Never Finished

DSCN5410

To the piles of patterns with
unsown expectations

To the everlasting cracks full
of weeds and wanting

To the dirty car of conveyance that
begs for a bath

To the older body pushing away
diets like a toddler

To the love of my life who
never has to explain

To the ache of looming loss unable
to reach me

To the unwritten lines boiling up without
rhyme or reason

I say

tomorrow

NaPoWriMo #30

*And also have to say that I’m amazed to have made it, glad to fulfill a commitment, encouraged by the act of writing every day, and really impressed with the poets and poetry I’ve encountered along the way. Thanks for the support and hope to see the poems continue!

I wrote a poem every day in April as part of NaPoWriMo’s celebration of National Poetry Month. We may be able to live without poetry, but who would want to?

Identity Theft

DSCN3781

Behold a single drop in space
unable to stop the march
on youth and fresh starts.
You have a limited number
of tries before the sign in
is blocked, before security
questions become irrelevant.

What will you have when
you forget your mother’s maiden
name or submit the wrong
address from childhood? Just
beyond your grasp lies a memory
of knowing who you really are,
as you punch in the wrong password
over and over.

NaPoWriMo #29

I’m writing a poem every day in April as part of NaPoWriMo’s celebration of National Poetry Month. We may be able to live without poetry, but who would want to?

Flying South

DSCN5158

Taking apart the nest
is hard work, so many
flights of stairs with legs
too old for dorm life, as tales
of drunken pre-graduation
escapades coast through
open windows while we
struggle to land on our feet
carrying an uncertain future.

Tomorrow’s a strange flyway
now, the academic dust
from secondhand advice
disappearing fast with feathers
of pomp and prospects. Yet
we stifle all doubts inside
the U-Haul’s gaping mouth
and turn our best guesses in
the opposite direction of spring
geese heading toward their
transitory summer jobs.

NaPoWriMo #28

I’m writing a poem every day in April as part of NaPoWriMo’s celebration of National Poetry Month. We may be able to live without poetry, but who would want to?

Wonder Bread

DSCN5821

Old Mom rides low
In Son’s silver Camaro
Slinks into Stinksburg for
Miracles of the white loaf,
Jacks into General Store.

She wants some Wonder Bread.

General-behind-counter salutes
To the Pepsi Girl and Cherubs
Under counter with the cold cuts,
Special only on the frozen harvest
Sheaves in cellophane and chips.
He promises Ice Cream with all
Artificial Preservations.

No, she says, just the bread.

General shakes his head.
Understand there is no
Demand for the harvest,
America don’t grow
Good sons no more.

No luck at the store.
Mom drives away in
Silver to try another
Display.

No bread, no wonder.

NaPoWriMo #27

*This is a poem I wrote in college, probably around 1979. At the time, I was very influenced by the Beat poets, heard Allen Ginsberg read “Howl” and Ferlinghetti from “Coney Island of the Mind,” watched Patti Smith and Jim Carroll perform their magic onstage, and lived for a time in the same town as William Burroughs, who read Poe’s “The Raven” at the local radio station every Halloween.

I’m writing a poem every day in April as part of NaPoWriMo’s celebration of National Poetry Month. We may be able to live without poetry, but who would want to?

Fragrance #5

DSCN5808

Sweet notes of tropic
getaway wend their way through
rooms unaccustomed to anything
better than cat pee and sour
winter endurance. I’d throw
open windows but don’t want
to share this cloud of exotic
wellbeing with any of my neighbors.
They’ll have to understand why I
am transported by an oriental ecstasy
that dims the lights of ordinary and
makes me forget the stench
of an average day.

NaPoWriMo #26

I’m writing a poem every day in April as part of NaPoWriMo’s celebration of National Poetry Month. We may be able to live without poetry, but who would want to?

Day Off

DSCN5699

I apologize in advance for the dishes

left to soak through my conscience, hamper

overflowing with dirty regret, month-old bills hanging

around like bad influences.

Cobwebs mock me from above, spiders

swing their high wire acts past spotlight beams

of a dusty circus, and the cat rustles up some

centipede rodeo.

Tomorrow it’s back to another kind of work, but

I can’t wrap my mind around piles of mending

and self-help books hopelessly holed up on my dresser,

a leaky faucet dripping apathy.

Instead, I play Nick Drake songs while time checks

my pulse, follows the light around my house, sips

an early hour glass of amber contrition and

hopes the sun won’t set.

NaPoWriMo #25

I’m writing a poem every day in April as part of NaPoWriMo’s celebration of National Poetry Month. We may be able to live without poetry, but who would want to?

The Suburbanite Gets Ready To Mow The Lawn

DSCN5795

the lawnmower wouldn’t start
so we pushed its prime and
pressed its choke with every
hope and pulled the cord
again and again and again

and again until it sputtered
but was too weak to go
on so we checked the manual
and pulled the cord and yelled
wiggled some wires and worried

then took off the gas cap to peer
inside and pulled the cord but got
nothing so we tipped it around like
a carnival ride and kicked it and
cursed the grass and the rain and

spring and warm weather and that
fertilizer we foolishly applied and all
yards in suburbia and beyond but still
not a single spark of promise so we
shoved it and walked away to stomp

down a lot of mole hills as we lifted our
fists heavenward to rail against Demeter
and her daughter and all homeowner’s ordinances
and mankind’s conformity and rules in general
but then we came back and pulled the cord

and it roared to life

NaPoWriMo #24

I’m writing a poem every day in April as part of NaPoWriMo’s celebration of National Poetry Month. We may be able to live without poetry, but who would want to?

The Library Patron

DSCN2878

I listen to your
bottomless brown
eyes with no pupils
as you fight against
mental wards and
doctors’ scripts
to make you
silent. You have
suffered by the
hands that were
meant to help. Life
betrayed by a vengeful
father who’s harmed
your son and left
his scuff mark
on your face. All
the books on the
shelves, the ones
held, the ones checked
out and overdue,
the ones lost
can not describe
the story I’ve helped
you search for
inside a legal
binder, your
last chance told
in the shield of
paper to keep
you free.

NaPoWriMo #23

I’m writing a poem every day in April as part of NaPoWriMo’s celebration of National Poetry Month. We may be able to live without poetry, but who would want to?

Go Clean Up Your Room

DSCN4393

Vacuum the carpet under pine
so that forest folk never know
you’ve been there.

Fish out those impulsive plastic
pleasures from sickened seas
for a better view of the bottom.

Wash off that gritty grime
from our sins left behind
by burning barons of industry.

Leave the quiet caverns
be, instead of filling them
with the folly of hidden shame.

Put away your hatred against a wild
world that never meant you
harm, and learn to share.

Then dust off our hope for a green dream
and polish it into perfection.

NaPoWriMo #22

*Sharing some advice for the Earth Day prompt today.

I’m writing a poem every day in April as part of NaPoWriMo’s celebration of National Poetry Month. We may be able to live without poetry, but who would want to?

Fortunate One

DSCN4560

You will bite into the dry flesh of a stale life
and dream of mist-kissed mountains.

NaPoWriMo #21

*Taking part in the Day 21 prompt to write your own line for a fortune cookie, based on Frank O’Hara’s Lines for the Fortune Cookies.

I’m writing a poem every day in April as part of NaPoWriMo’s celebration of National Poetry Month. We may be able to live without poetry, but who would want to?