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TGAP 3 Week 05 May 01, 2011

TGAP Week 05 Artwork by Cameron Ouellette

You slash verse from the budget,
Until it’s got no place
In the curriculum you claim

Reading a mathematical
Text and rote memorization
Of tainted historical facts are
The cure for all that ails us (which
To you is simply the
l
a
g
g
ing e-con-
o-me.) While,

The Poet Laureate sits in
A swanky Washington office and
Fumbles with his pen, wondering
“Why the fuck am I here?” Searching
For a job description (an-
y – where) when he knows

Across The Mall ogres
Argue against art.

So, he swooshes the air
With a sword that seems
To have lost its point. Slammed
Into this world, born 

Artists, naked in this story,
(for every yin, a yang,
every tick, a tock,
every flip, a flop,

for every battlefield casualty, a premature birth)

We know, Mr. Conservative,
Why you hate poetry
And wish you could bury
It in some sandy lot next
To back copies of the New
York Times
: the truth makes
An ass of you, the butt
Of each joke in poetry and its mirror
News of words.

And time,
Well, time reveals
Your task, Mr. Laureate –

Take that pen down
From above the hearth
To remind us why 

Each stanza matters.

This is my submission for Week 05 of the Twingeekz Artz Project 3. 

TwinGeekz is a loose affiliation of loose affiliates in New Hampshire who began the TwinGeekz Artz Project challenge in May of 2005; the task was for each of the original seven participants to produce and submit a piece of art every week for one year.  Every artist succeeded in completing their 52 pieces of art, and thus the TGAP theory was proven: “all creativity needs is a deadline”. 

We grew each of the three years that the project continued. It’s time to bring it back. 

Let’s do it again! #tgap2020 join us!

December 28, 2016

It is not a game, but they are

Playing like it is.

Seven billion People hang, waiting for the next

Round – whether the dice will roll

Their way. It seems

We have all been forced

To skip a turn. Powerless we watch

The token few waltz

Around the board, breaking

The rules. (Scarfing up

Park Place only to burn

It down.)

Nothing makes sense,

Like a little child

Driving a car around

The board, oblivious

To the object of the game

And the ways that we

All can somehow

Win at its conclusion.

This is Poem #228 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 230 poems.  (Seems my math was off.)

Here, I have published second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

Just two more will take us to the end of 2016.

December 23, 2016

Created by former students as a prop for their Fahrenheit 451 adaptation.
We all follow that star,
Looking for someone
To save us. A tiny
Baby, cold in a stable
With lowly beasts, could

Rise to such power
And be so misrepresented.
The truth is easy to change.
How can we know anything

Is real? Now, idiots
Are using vague understanding
To prove their
Inability to critically

Think.

Gold, Frankincense, (Frank's
Innocence), Myrr will
Make your day.

What will an infant do
With such things?
We have no power
Over our messages,

Once they leave our
Mouths or the nibs
Of our pens. Every person

Sees the world through
Their own cloudy lens.

This is Poem #224 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 poems.  Here, I have published second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

December 18, 2016

Eventually, even Nazi Germany
Recovered, for many, and
Returned to a new normalcy

On the other side of fascism.
This is what it feels like
At the precipice - powerless

To stop the bad you know
Will come and wondering
If this time will be

The last time it starts.
Is there an emergence
From the tunnel we are entering,

Or are we doomed
To be victims, all, of the

Impending collapse?

This is Poem #222 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 poems.  Here, I have published second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

December 10, 2016

Those of us with memories
Are horrified. We know the old adage;
Those who don't, repeat.

Pride is not a trait desired.
Hang it up with arrogance,
But both are claiming they'll

Run things soon. Hide.
What sort of leader wants
To take away a child's

Only hot meal of the day?

This is Poem #216 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 poems.  Here, I have published second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

November 12, 2016

An anonymous clan
Of slack-jawed troglodytes
Determined this election -

And we're left to wonder -
Where did we go wrong?
On The Simpson's in 1990

When Mr. Burns spit
Out that gelatinous
Chunk of three-eyed

Fish, his campaign
Was flushed along with it.
Fell to the ground like

A mutant fish.
But this time round,
Our own Mr. Burns

Ran and spit-up
Three-eyed fish daily.
Enough of us

Just did not care. Make fun
Of the disabled. Threaten
Those who disagree

As Hitler did. Say,
Women are nothing but pets
To be dragged around by our

Pussies. Those
Working-class, white boys,
Who've not had their

Needs met for a
Couple of years, will fuck
Over the whole,

Wide world and vote
For you anyway.

This is Poem #198 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 poems.  Here, I have published second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

The Simpson’s “Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish” If you need to rewatch or haven’t see it yet, you should. You may notice eerie comparisons between the episode, which originally aired in November of 1990, and goings on during the 2016 election in which Trump actually stated in Iowa, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” Sadly, he was correct.

November 9, 2016

I am embarrassed - 
Like I have gone out
With no clothes.

We are all out
In the cold

now.

This is Poem #196 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 poems.  Here, I have published second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state. 

November 3, 2016

The spine of the manifest was broken,
Leaking history onto the damp ground.
Who will pick it up and remember,
Do not forget the past? Most

Especially when you are reliving
All of it. Poems remind us
Not to move backwards. But,
We do, always, it seems.

So, from whence do schools fail
Us and teachers wonder where
They went wrong? (What will
happen next week - on November
8th - because we will

make history - good or bad -
ether way.) Ink like blood
Will keep you out of protective
Countries like China, who

Censors Google and Poets.
Poets. Priests. Politicians. Who will
Teach us the most through their
Words? If the spine is broken,

Letters, like vertebrae, clink
as they hit the pavement, diving
out of books, drained
As only censors can drain.

This is poem #192 from the Poem Almost Everyday Project. Again, this poem broke my rule that the words needed to be composed first thing in the morning, and rose from an activity I did with my students. We read Yusef Komunyakaa ‘s poem together and then the students and I responded to the prompt instructing us to chose a line from the poem to use as the first line of ours.

If I was to further revise this poem, I would most likely delete the third and and beginning of the fourth stanzas. I kept them here, to demonstrate the mindset leading up to what was take place just four days after this poem was written. My students wrote many poems out of their anxiety about what that day would bring. Unfortunately, many of their literary concerns were not unfounded.

Also, remember how nice it was to have a president that read poetry. And books. And newspapers . . .

October 27, 2016

Stupidity abounds. Cynicism
Without critical thinking, is never
A good means to an end.

Fuckers with Second Amendment
Envy and no sense of their own
His tory threaten revolt.

They cannot face the idea
Of Girl Power and competence.
They fear

They are afraid
They are afraid of the wrong
Things. Now, we

Are fearful of them.
Some of my heroes from US History: Congressional Union for Woman’s Suffrage, National Summer Headquarters, 128 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, R. I.

This is Poem #187 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 poems.  Here, I have published second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state. 

As the 2016 election neared, things were heating up. I wrote this poem after reading about a group of male supremacists who were proposing that the United States should “appeal the Nineteenth Amendment.” It made me realize how tenuous everything is.

October 21, 2016

When they do not talk 
About you, it is
Like you were never
There at all. In the past

Only white men did
Anything of importance.
The rest of us hid,
Apparently, in the closets

Of history and picked up
Their messes. They are trying
To do it now.
But how

Do you erase the black
President or the woman
This close to it
From your books?

Smear their names
With the media
You own and sit

Back. Let the repetition
And lies do their work.

This is Poem #184 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I challenged myself to spend a year in which I’d wake most mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee. By the end of the year,  I had written 241 poems.  Here, I have published second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state. 

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