Everybody Has to Stand for Something.
An older lady on a bus. A pledge.
A judge. Let’s boycott turkeys trussed.
No one has the right to bind our breasts!
Yet, “We must, we must, we must increase
our bust.” Since the seventies: Don’t love
too hard or trust. Oh, give tirades a rest!
Campaigning for you, not US.
The Last Brunch
There are four sisters, or maybe three,
in my apartment on Center in J.P.*
Yet here we are for “Girls’ Day” of fun.
Just Momma and I in 1991.
[Prompt: Ekphrastic poem. On a photo, in this case.]
The Drone of Spring
Automatically, a squirrel chases another up an oak,
but he’s a New England squirrel, still a bit confused
by the snow piles with chirping robins hopping by
to the same drumbeat that a white rabbit seems to be
following, though the silly animal is behind glass with
neon plastic eggs being cracked by sticky miniature
humans whose hard-heeled shoes shine in the sun,
the sun that reveals a primlipped grandmamah
who lacks the lexicon to politely note how the bright
rays reveal what the daughter-in-law neglected to dust.
[Prompt: drone, lexicon, animal, crack, shine. Note that I changed tense or number, etc. so it’s not a proper word poem.]
A Woman with Nothing to Hide
Suffering is welcome, as long as it’s kept in a cool, dark place.
Ditto for complaint-free decomposition, with extra credit
for photos of you, waterside in seafoam gauze, kicking
a seersuckered calf at oncoming waves. Anger sears.
There will be none of that. Bliss is all men ask for
in a lover. It is mostly what regular women crave from
their friends. Yes, there are pockets of counterculture
yahoos flying black freak flags. Crazy is cool unless one
seeks employment or cruises the personals fantasizing
about a man on Sag Harbor who doesn’t crave mystery.
[Prompt: Mental Health and society’s views, etc.]
Revenge of the 21st-Century Bard
It doesn’t cost a cent, unless one is
particularly determined or profoundly
disturbed And we were all raised better.
But every now and again it thrills to give
a trespasser against the spirit his or her
comeuppance, even if only for the the thrill
of having tracked down the scent of reason.
Reasons to write “comeuppance” are rare.
Well, the NaPoMo poems have turned into a chapbook! I’ve been very busy fighting my aching back/neck to do a lot of typing (30 poems plus editing volume three of the poetry trilogy to mail by May 1st); standing and sitting at readings.
So, pictures being worth the thousands words I haven’t posted this month, here are a few thousand words for you 8-)
Mignon Ariel King singing “Dream On” (March 10) in honor of Stephen Tyler’s birthday (March 26) – from the poem “gone girl” in What Good‘s a View of the Charles…? (ALL CAPS Publishing, 2013).
photo by chad parenteau
SURPRISE! I read two poems in the Feature portion at the BPL, Copley for the Boston National Poetry Month Festival. Read two on the open mic too.
With the Co-host of PTAOW (and my pal) Rene Schwiesow. The features Timothy Gager and Chad Parenteau and the open mic were amazing!
April 13, 2014, Plymouth, MA
Happy National Poetry Month! I’ll be writing 30 poems in the next 30 days, posting some of them here. As an added challenge, I’m doing 26 Massachusetts-related poems in alphabetical order. Cuz that’s the kinda Masshole I am!
It isn’t Brookline. Nor Brighton. Between the A-Line
-used-to-be-here streets, fine Swiss sweets or plain
Dunkin crullers. Food from West India. Brazil. Italy.
“Funky” write-ups from new locals on Yelp. Used to be
an embarrassing zip code but full of one-bedroom steals.
So close to Harvard, now: solar-powered condominiums.
There isn’t much to report in the bookmaking world. It’s no secret that a lot of small-press publishers have taken a beating in this economy. But, more disturbing, is how crabby and nasty some writers have gotten. We’re all poor, but some folks are more bitter about it. No small victory goes unpunished. So, here’s to writers, editors, publishers, book designers, et al. who are making it work somehow. Scale back where you must, but keep going!
This is actually the bad news section of my post. I started Hidden Charm Press in 2011 with hopes of pumping out 2-3 books per year. So far, Extra MoJo! (Feb. 2013) stands alone. I’m determined to publish my memoir 2013-2014, but I’ve given up hope of having a poetry chapbook contest this year. My goal is to keep the fee low yet be able to offer a cash prize as well as publication. Perhaps next year.
For a variety of reasons, my poetry has ground to a halt. I chose to focus on my neglected genre, fiction, this year and will be self-publishing my first novella within months via Tell-Tale Chapbooks (TTC). Of course, sacrifices had to be made – the biggest being the online journal U.M.Ph.! Prose; it will become an anthology via TTC (in collaboration with Stone Soup Poetry host Chad Parenteau) … hopefully next year. So I’ve produced two decent poems this year. It’s been a lonely summer without poetry, not something I can explain unless you’re a poet too :-) .
Now for the good news. This month, as I enthusiastically await the publication of my second book of poems What Good‘s a View of the Charles…? (ALL CAPS PUBLISHING), I’m also trying to prime the pump and get into poetry writing for the winter by writing 14 poems in November. A lot of people are writing 30. Hurrah to them, but not my goal! My point here is simple. We’re all struggling; we’re all discouraged. But we who are lucky enough to have words are holding onto them. We’re doing what we can, no matte rhow small or large, to keep the written word relevant, important. We need words…and they need to be written…and a lot of people are still comforted by reading them.
[Sorry about the format. Have to stay as is for now.]
April was the cruelest NaPoMo ever here in Massachusetts for some obvious reasons, some personal ones. But poetry always adds some bright spots to my life. So I’m just going with two poems, kinda Best of Times/Worst of times instead of an entry. The first is here; the second is published in a special Boston Marathon 2013 tribute issue of my online journal of city narrativesU.M.Ph.! Prose. God Bless Us, Everyone!
A Love Song for Moby
I’ve tried so hard to share the ambiance,
revealing why your tail’s transfixed so long.
It’s lulled me, like a babe, into a trance,
and I alone must sing the white whale’s song.
I want to lure you too up from the deep
– so you can write a line or two for me!
And dreaming of your tale (when I need sleep),
I write pelagic tableaux that I see.
I’ve read your book four decades in the past
and never felt a need to log critique.
But now I must synopsize what I grasp
– my memory is growing so oblique.
Land’s sake, I’ll have to finish all alone, for
yellowed pages don’t list your hydraphone.
[April 23: My annual Shakespearean sonnet]
Nothing to report here. Slowly but surely plugging away at getting all 5 parts of my autobiography published. So, I won’t do it before I’m 50, but by golly I’m taking a stab at coming very close – maybe “while I’m 50″ :-) 3 down, 2 to go. More info to come on who’s publishing “__: poems of tribute, volume two.” Woo hoo! The memoir is done in terms of revising. I’m dragging my feet trying to figure out how to format and upload the dang thing myself. It makes my brain hurt.
HAPPY NATIONAL POETRY MONTH! Back to Moby poems!
Gotta go hang up my laundry. No, not a glamorous writer’s life, but at least I wear clean socks.
I’ll be back….