Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Poems, poems, poems!

Update on my 2010 Poem-A-Day progress (2 weeks of poems even!):

027-State of the ampersand

No skin in January. Fingers forced
into pockets and gloves. Some mittens

even. We avoid eye contact
as our breath makes like smoke.

February will only get worse. More
gray skies & hands held apart

even as we pray for March
& everything that follows after.

028-False Alarm

It wasn't a fire
& it wasn't a drill.

029-Before & after

Before midnight & after noon;
before Xbox & after Atari;
before episodes I through III
& after episodes IV through VI;
before the whole 9/11 thing
& after the Challenger explosion;
before the dominance of Google
& after the decline of card catalogs;
before the end of smoking in small bars
& after the "This is your brain on drugs"
commercial; before the Large Hadron
Collider & after Albert Einstein;
before Nickelback & after Nirvana,
there was a brief moment in which
I felt the world move a little.

030-Searching for hearts

Brave women search
for accommodating men,
who search for accommodating
women, who search
for brave men searching
for brave women.

031-Why I started writing poetry

Say every time a woman looked in your direction
people found you sprawled out in a gutter
muttering, love, by god, love. Say the last look
burned down a house and left everyone
running for cover. Say what you want, because
you can re-build that house whenever you want,
and you want and want and want. The blood
soaks into the bread; you can say so. Say
the sky is empty and you just want it full.
Say the end is too close for comfort. Say
it all began with a girl. Say the words just
came and that they just continued to do so.

032-Don't Panic Just Yet

Every lost cause, every forgotten
commercial song, every dropped
phone call, every doomsday
prediction and abandoned placard,
every mateless sock, every empty
inbox, every unfulfilled promise--
there is always a button to push.

033-To the groundhog

You may have the others fooled,
but I am on to you.

034-Ohio Geography

Zanesville-place to stay the night when lost
Youngstown-pot holes big enough to swallow a car
Xenia-always worried a tornado will hit
Waynesville-antique capital of the midwest
Vandalia-place to visit as a child, forget as an adult
Upper Sandusky-actually south of actual Sandusky
Troy-eat strawberries along the river levee
Sharonville-has a nice park for running hills
Reynoldsburg-wrong side of Columbus
Quaker City-pretty much self-explanatory
Perrysburg-has a water tower south of Toledo
Oxford-attractive college campus and students
New Lebanon-nice town to drive through without stopping
Mansfield-largest all boy track relay meet in midwest
Lebanon-has a horse track and other stuff
Kettering-great place to raise a family
Jeffersonville-outlet shopping madness
Ireland-tucked away in corner no one ever visits
Hillsboro-place to escape after graduation
Greenville-weird circle in middle of town
Fairfield-caught between Cincinnati and Hamilton
Eaton-home of the Preble County Pork Festival
Dayton-birthplace of aviation and Paul Laurence Dunbar
Columbus-the heart of the heart of it all
Bowling Green-flat land with one big manmade hill
Ashtabula-Lake Effect Snow

035-celestial poem

bend the sun
around the moon
like a halo.

tell the other
planets to align
as if blessed.

in the morning
we will search
for the answers.

036-rain poem

let the rain cover me
slide across my skin
connected to itself

let the rain fall on me
pitter patter plink
as if I'm made of tin

let the rain dampen me
my skin is not tin
nor will it rust away

037-moon poem

He pulls the moon
down to the lake
and asks the girl
to lose the clothes
he bought for her.

038-One evening

"I am surprised
you're not in love
with me," he said
as she shifted
in her seat and
looked for the moon.

039-Like branch

This branch
that branches out of this
other branch
branching out of this tree
is like the way
I like your very

040-Love Sestina

She shows me her chifforobe,
but I'm more interested in her pantaloons:
how they make her a hobbledehoy,
a girl traveling a circuitous
vocabulary. The awkward hullabaloo
of my heart, a wooden boomerang

slashing the air. She asks, "Boomerang?
I was only showing you my chifforobe;
why is everything about hullabaloo
with you? Forget my pantaloons
and your lusty, circuitous
cravings. I may be a hobbledehoy,

but I'm not easy." "Hobbledehoy
or not," I say, "I didn't mean boomerang
in that way." My reasoning's circuitous
path, my sudden despair of chifforobe--
maybe I should stop being a pantaloon
and ignore the overwhelming hullabaloo

of my heart! "After all this hullabaloo,"
I tell her, "I feel like the hobbledehoy."
"You wish," she says, "Mr. Pantaloon."
She calls me out, puts a boomerang
to the very cluttered chifforobe
of my heart. "Am I being too circuitous,"

I ask her, "or are you being too circuitous?"
"There you go with your hullabaloo,"
she answers, "always confusing chifforobes
with closets." She smiles like a hobbledehoy
who knows she can hold any boomerang
she wants, and I can't stop her pantaloons

from wandering through my pantaloon
mind. Dirty or not, this is my circuitous
soul! I want to give her my boomerang;
I think she should take my hullabaloo
and declare that she is my hobbledehoy--
throw open the doors of my chifforobe!

But she knows my chifforobe contains pantaloons
of other hobbledehoys; they wander circuitous
trails through the hullabaloo of my boomerang.


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Jessie Carty said...

these were so much fun to read, probably most interesting cause it is almost like reading someone's journal as you see little connections between words like skin and moon.

i particularly liked 27 and 29 :)

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

The sestina's my favourite. Closely followed by all of 35-38.