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If only it were so easy.

Walk up to the ex-boy scout

Grown middle-aged

 

Behind the counter –

Or the sage librarian

At the typewriter –

 

For instruction on directions,

Career path, marriage prospects.

Someone to stop you

 

Swiping that credit card

At the check out

Every time you think of it.

 

“Don’t wrack up debt.”

 

And then, at 40, you’ve

Got a hefty savings. Yes,

Make peace with your

Finances and your soul.

 

Go to church, but don’t

Ever follow anyone’s rules

To the book and don’t

Judge others. “That’s what

We owe history: risk.”

 

This is Poem #35 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

This particular poem is part of a series inspired by my visit to The International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine. Some days I’d just point to a location on the museum map above, and write from there.

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When you’re in between

And change is mud season,

Mucky, murky, and you

Are stuck at the side of the road,

 

Avoiding the ruts

Got you nowhere.

There is fear in the middle.

 

No one loves uncertainty,

And the risk to move forward

Seems grim. It requires

 

A shedding of the past –

The tire iron at the ready.

 

We have nothing to believe

In anymore. Science her very self

Is under the microscope,

 

And condemned a witch.

Burn her at the stake.

Her feet sway under a long, grey,

Flax dress. Tiny black

slippers pointed like a ballerina’s.

 

We should have listened

To her long ago. But denial

Is so easy to believe

When the world is dying.

 

This is Poem #34 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

Crypto Map

This poem is part of a series inspired by my visit to The International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

After the third beer

The truth trips

Telling off his tongue.

 

He does a good job

Of masking contempt

Otherwise, but booze

 

Bring out the illogical

And unlock what he

Truly thinks. The way

 

To imagine her slunk

In a corner, cowering

At all he’s done

 

To rescue

Inferior her.

His willingness to take

 

On a fallen woman

A superman cape

His ego can wear

 

Around the other abuses.

“Get back down into

Yourself” he commands,

 

Indirectly, of course,

With words not chosen

But hurled forth

 

From the grey matter

Where they’ve drunk

Cocktails together for decades.

 

This is Poem #33 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

I have secrets from you.

This is not a good thing.

It’s a Big Foot gorging

 

and growing and gaining

Every day that I keep

My troubles inside.

 

He gluts himself

On the suffering

Of my lies

Then ducks behind

 

Rocks at each

Flashlight beam,

Camera flash,

Video echo.

 

I need to prove

With evidence substantiated

And secured by logic,

Facts, undoctored

 

Photographs,

And hope

That proof of discovery

Will not cause panic and fear

And a mad rush out

Of this quagmire.

 

This is Poem #32 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

Crypto Map

The front page of The International Cryptozoology Museum’s floor map.

This poem is part of a series inspired by my visit to The International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

I suppose it’s more

Politically correct to call

Them “Undocumented

Species” – the creatures

Generations of folks

See. All over the world,

 

Here, Big Foot, there, the Yeti.

Here the Mountain Lion,

There, El Chupacabra.

 

Sometimes a sea serpent

Appears to lift

Your ship up above

The ocean. It is easier

 

To keep yourself secret

Underwater with depths

Too deep for humans

To explore –

 

Places where the pressure

Of salt seas would squish

Our heads –

Implode our ears,

our brains –

Where there is not light,

But phosphorescence,

And dreams.

 

In the hills the Himalayas

Or the rural towns of Maine,

How do giant fur men hide

So well not the gift of official

Shelter remains found?

 

This is Poem #31 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

This poem is part of a series inspired by my visit to The International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

Crypto Map

The front page of The International Cryptozoology Museum’s floor map.

 

On February 24, 2016, while staying at The Inn at Park Spring in Portland, ME, my husband and I  happened upon an add for The International Cryptozoology Museum. This is the world’s ONLY museum focused on the subject of Cryptozoology, or the study of creatures not yet proven to exist, also known as cryptids. Of course, we had to go!

While there, I experienced an epiphany that only the joy of discovery can inspire as we ventured through the place, and learned that not only are creatures like Yeti and the Loch Ness Monster  studied, but also the North Eastern Mountain Lion and creatures that were later verified, such as the museum’s mascot, the coelacanth, once considered a cryptid but now, thanks to a specimen, proven to exist. These “monsters” all fall under the umbrella of this work.

The next morning, I wrote:

Next, onto The National Cryptozoology Museum – which was pretty interesting and filled with artifacts, “evidence” of undocumented species. Even the North Eastern Panther – or “Mountain Lion” or Catamount was there. And – I’ve seen one – crossing the street – at night -large and lanky. Too big to be a dog or coyote, too skinny to be a black bear. 

I was so taken in by what I had learned that day, that I began a series of poems inspired by the creatures and the science that I’d experienced as I sauntered through exhibits.

Today’s submission, Poem #31, is the first of these.

Crypto Map

The front page of The International Cryptozoology Museum’s floor map.

Crypto Map 1

The back page of The International Cryptozoology Museum’s floor map.

A Poem Inspired by a Bottle of Wine

 

An angel hovers –

Robes floating around her –

Billowing breezes come.

Her sword is ready

 

For the kill. When wrongs

Are done, do we do

The work of Vengeance

Or allow Karma

 

To do his work? Smite

Those who wrong and who

May never know

The blame to accept.

 

A bottle of wine

Banshee and Angels

Sell pressed grapes

And 11.6% alcohol.

 

Vindicated: when all

Is again right with

The world.

 

Smite: people do

Not use this word enough

Anymore.

 

The Angel raises her sword

Above her robes; do not

Distract her from

Her delicate work.

 

This is Poem #30 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

I appreciate your feedback as these poems are not “finished,” and I intend to go back into many of them in the future.

They can move a structure

Across towns and cities –

Away from its original,

River home – to stand

 

Like new. These ancient

buildings, bridges, school

Houses that have witnessed

 

Proposals, weddings, learning.

Spitballs cemented to the ceiling.

 

They sell it to you

For one dollar.

 

You shell out thousands

for new plots and

Taking down power

And phone lines

 

For the slow crawl

From one spot to another.

 

Repurpose. Reinvent.

 

And the ladies drink

Coffee from tall, steel

Percolators.

The sugar sprawled

across the table

and the leaking creamer

Spreads like spilled blood.

Word on the street is that eventually

teachers will need to be versed in more

than lockdown drills and covering

classroom windows. Some schools are

already offering up PD in

active shooter response training –

What little old me would be expected

to do in the face of

a Dylan Klebold or Adam Lanza.

 

I’ve weathered events with my

Students. I was in the classroom

Tuesday, April 20, 1999, when Columbine

Became an event and not a city. How could

We not suspect every student in a trench coat

After that? I sat all day with my seniors

As the images of 9/11 blasted

Us through the box

Television sets suspended in each classroom.

 

And the news of Newtown

Came through on a student’s

iPhone Period 8. We turned to a

Screen again.  (At HDHS, clean, modern,

new, one floor of classrooms. Me near 

the main entrance, an easy target – my

first classroom – awash with posters, pens,

pencils, and peril.)

 

President Clinton’s Response to the Columbine Shooting

 

This is Poem #28 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

I appreciate your feedback as these poems are not “finished,” and I intend to go back into many of them in the future.

It’s all in the eyebrows.

Do they tilt up and out,

Or create raised rainbows

 

Above each watery eye?

The way they inch

Into each other – a crevasse

 

of worry deep between.

Draw them second, after

The circle of the face, the bulbs

 

For ears. Paint them on like

Snake-lady, who shaved

Hers away and drew them on

Each morning with

An eyeliner pencil,

 

In the days before

Benefit Brow Bars

And string art

 

Amputations at the mall. Without

Them a naked countenance,

No means to say

 

(without words)

 

I want. I lack.

I love.

 

This is Poem #27 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

I appreciate your feedback as these poems are not “finished,” and I intend to go back into many of them in the future.

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