October Poems

Based on Themed “Challenges”


No Joy on the Horizon

I had no tale to tell of joy
that would be straight not “slant”–
of triumphing and climbing high,
my strong voice sweet in chant.

As misery is vertical–
it has no left or right–
horizontal latitude
does not seem worth the fight. 


Making No Sense

This is my voice, and I won’t give it up.
For it feels strength, and it shows weakness.

This is my sight. It sees what it sees.
And I won’t deny it. And I won’t make it pretty.

Here is my hearing, pastless, with unknown future.
It hears my voice, current, without a whimper.

Here is my touch, for I can’t give it up.
So it tightens, for I won’t weaken.

That was my scent, but I will keep it.
As I don’t choose to linger…but will.

That was not to my taste, yet filled.
It was what it was, yet it left. Me too.

[No, this isn’t all that I did in October.  I’m editing a new collection of Beat-style poems in hopes of getting it published; and my hunt for the elusive steady paycheck that comes with a good old-fashioned day job continues as the novella I’m supposed to be working on languishes in a pile of post-its and notebook paper.]


October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month,

which is the reason I am wearing a pink coat in this photo.  Well, actually it’s the reason I posted the photo of me wearing a pink coat.  These are horrible times, the whole world—American economy leading the way—has officially gone to hell in a handbasket.  Last New Year’s Day, however, my friend since 1991, Brian, was in for his annual trip to Beantown to visit old grad school pals and enjoy first night festivities and Boston’s sights.  We were freezing our butts off, but that didn’t stop us from going to Mike’s (in the historic North End of Boston, Massachusetts) for delicious Italian cookies.  In times like these, I look at this photo, and it makes me happy and hopeful, and grateful for good friends and good health. 

Groups for a non-Groupie

It’s not easy for natural loners to congregate, but this week I found myself exceedingly comfortable in, even energized by, two writers’ groups. One is an older group into which I have dropped on occasion in the past.  I don’t get any significant publish-worthy work done there, but it is pleasant.  We sat sipping tea, and I just plain enjoyed the positive atmosphere.  It was okay to be ticked off and disappointed that the plummeting economy has cost me two second interviews just when I was seeing a light at the end of the dark financial tunnel that has become my traveling path since I quit teaching—has it really been?!—4 years ago.  One of the many reasons that I quit is that at 40 I was just plain too exhausted to work 40 hours per week as an office assistant in addition to working evenings and/or Saturdays as a part-time instructor, then spend Sundays correcting papers.  I’ll be 45 in January.  It’d be nice to work one full-time job, go home to a nice quiet studio, and maybe go out every now and again, with positive people who enjoy their lives and think friends deserve to enjoy ours too.  A thriving economy isn’t really about stuff, it’s about buying a little peace of mind.  Good thing decent companionship is still free.

mignon ariel king

Is this thing on?!

Well, I am slowly figuring out bits of techno stuff as I go deeper into the woods of blogging, no small feat for a creative writer who considers mastering the microwave one of her greatest life achievements.  But I google myself and find all sorts of curiosities: sites I quit attempting to register my blog on months ago that my blog is indeed on—so I tossed up my hands in total frustration thinking I’d srewed something up, but actually I had done it correctly but just didn’t know it?

I think the wonderful world of webbing should pretend technewbies are kindergarteners.  Each time I do something right, a gold star should appear on the screen, or maybe the computer could say: “good job”!  in praise of exceedingly minor accomplishments.  Humor me.  Make me think I can grow up to be Bill Gates. 




It’s Fall: the crisp air scuttles leaves along sidewalks, sparrows transport construction one twig at a time into abandoned air conditioners, and the Red Sox are up one game in the play-offs.  My eyes are slightly red-rimmed from sitting glued to the television until 1:20 am; my knees ache from two hours of yogi-style bending, and my sleep-deprived brain is is repeating simple words while grasping for sentences.  Yet I feel young and alive, mentally replaying in a fanatic manner the stretched limbs of Jon Lester, pitches rolling off extended fingers, and the side-diving catch of lightning-legged Ellsbury, black eyes riveted to the ball as if to magnetize it to his gloved hand.  Ah, October!

ADDENDUM: Aw, shucks! –Wait’ll next year…