Archive for April 2017

To Either John or Bobby

April 30, 2017


To either John or Bobby

His wave left particles
in its wake–it was a smile like that–with teeth and fingers and
photons, that is to say, charged–

And when he let it loose
upon the crowds–actually, it wasn’t like that–
his smile was not an animal
whose bars he lifted,

no, it was more like a plant–a sun flower that turned back and forth
to the crowds
as if each person who gaped
held light, only it was the smile
that held the light,
shining as toothily
as a sun, as if it were the sun
that sought the plants,

it was an odd
bi-photosynthesis that happened so fast
you could see it–as if you could see a tree grow–

can you imagine seeing
a tree grow–
which is why the cutting down
was so cruel,  a tree supposed to grow
its whole life.



For Bjorn Rudberg’s very cool prompt on particle/wave theory on Real Toads.  End of April.  I didn’t fully participate this year, but did get back into blogging poetry.  For this I am very grateful, thanks.

A recycled drawing above from JFK’s funeral.


Competing Versions

April 29, 2017

Competing Versions

A man came out of my closet every night.
He was the vacuum cleaner, wearing
my own clothes and some of my mother’s hung
in that closet whose door was broken, so that he could never
be quite shut out, and even when I knew
his shadow well, I always would cry out,
till one day a girl in my class–her name was Glenda, sort of like
the Good Witch, except more beige, told me of the man in her closet
except he had a ten inch knife, and it was only
when she told me that they chased him all the way to a not-super-near
shopping center, and even then, not till years later
that I began to doubt Glenda with her perfect page boy,
realizing how hard it would be
to run that far, and harder still
for her to watch it, the way my guy watched me,
from the dresses still as ghosts,
the vacuum.



Here’s another belated post for Rommy’s prompt on Real Toads about a childhood bogeyman.  I am trying to catch up a bit on my April (Poetry Month) poems–don’t think I’ll get to 30, but this an extra.  I feel that the better poem I’ve posted today was the previous, Penultimate, so read that before this!  (Yes, I know I’m telling you to late!)  Drawing is mine.  All rights reserved.  


April 29, 2017


You could no longer swallow, so after they finally let us say no
to the tubes, they wrapped you in white and wheeled you
out into what felt like a plastic lozenge but was also
the only way home.

It was a bitter day, and the white just thin
cotton–the gurney spindling and shaking
in the wind, the curb too high, the door too slow, nothing fast enough
in that bright blow–

so I, having flown down from winter,
wedged my woolen hat
around your head, armed your chest
with my coat
but they were women’s wear, the hat crocheted
with big petal flowers, and you
my father,
and as I worried that you’d die in them, the word dignity
ricocheting about my head, I determined that you would not die,
not on that
way home, and making (maybe) some kind of joke,
laid my head gently gently
against yours, the hat brim whiskering
my cheek

while your eyes, slitted, tried
to smile, while mine kaleidoscoped time,
and as the ambulance began its swerves,
the wagon swinging even though it did not race, I held to some
metal rail, and you to something
else, and the heat
came on at last
with the engine,
and we made it
all right.



Draft poem for Brendan’s wonderful prompt on Real Toads to write about the penultimate, or other related matters–best to read the post itself.  Drawing and photo of drawing mine.  All rights reserved. 

If I have time and will may try to post a few new (drafty!) things to make up missed days in April. (Sigh.)  Congrats to the stalwart who have posted every day this month! And congrats to others too who have done their best! 

Still Bargaining Against the Fall

April 28, 2017

Still Bargaining Against the Fall

When I think of you suffering,
I wonder how I can hurt
one thing–step
on a bug, eat

I am not comparing you to a bug
or salmon.

I only know that when I think of you suffering,
when I think of the possible loss of you,
I want to lessen suffering,
I want loss to go away,
I want you to stay.


A drafty poem that was inspired in part by Rommy’s  childhood bogeyman prompt on Real Toads, though I’m not sure it really fits the prompt, as it is not really limited to childhood, but it came up thinking of the type of bargaining one does as a child (and an adult) to keep something difficult from happening.   Drawing is mine–all rights reserved.  

What I Don’t Know From Poetry

April 27, 2017

What I Don’t Know From Poetry

What I don’t know from poetry would fill
a book,
would fill a bulldozer
if a bulldozer were a book,
which would be an extremely hard read–even a murder mystery would not be easy to read in bulldozer, the earth in
your ears, the grumble of dirt

and though I could undoubtedly pack
a book in the way that a bulldozer packs
its maw,
would anyone stand
on some hill–perhaps it is just
the other side
of my excavation, elevated only
as compared to my dug pit–
and squint across that chasm for
some ore–I can’t honestly imagine
a nugget, tending as I do
to overly long poems–but some vein of something randomly
broken up–

If there is  such a person,
I bend to them my multi-jointed neck,
I toggle my levered gears,
I stop my tread in my tracks,
I here mound up
my thanks.


Another poem for my outsider prompt on Real Toads, trying (sort of) to make up my deficit in this April National Poetry Month.  I’m not even sure of my number of missed days, but may try to squeeze some extras in!  

No Heel

April 27, 2017

No Heel

He tried to speak in boot, but worried that it came out
in penny loafer–

The problem was that he didn’t want to speak
in the tongue of just any
boot–not goose-stepper, arse-
kicker, not

but rocker, worker, hiker,
Frye–he’d even have settled for high-top, which was rather like boot, if cloth–

Oh, bass weejun could, he supposed,
talk the walk,
but his words felt flat, soulless–also, he really really
did not want to sink
to topsider–

Then he met her,
and one night at a party full
of ankle-covering (if

she took his hand and pulled him outside
to a lawn fresh-soaked
with summer night,
and sighed–”isn’t it so great
to have slip-ons–” slipping
hers off–

He accepted then
some part of himself,
which felt snug, in a good way,
and almost as warm in that moment
as her side–


drafty poem for Real Toads prompt by the wonderful Marian Kent to write of shoes.  The pic above is a charcoal (photograph modified) of mine, and for interest I post one I made on iPad below.  Thanks!


April 26, 2017


His body was no longer outside the spark
that had sputtered and flamed,
that had fluttered and beaten
that, guttered by his limb and skin,
had flickered and flown in him.
She tried to breathe it in.



For my own prompt on Real Toads based on the idea of an outsider or outsider art.  Pic is mine, based on a pieta at the Metropolitan Museum, but the poem is not meant to refer to the pieta or to be overtly religious.  (I am just using this drawing, in other words, because I like it.) 

A warning that I may post a lot (if I can) in the next few days to catch up to April quotients.  Ha.  We’ll see, I guess.  k. 


At some age

April 25, 2017

At some age

Her eyes tailed him–
he was just so cool and she so
the opposite
that whenever their paths actually crossed,
her gaze was grounded,

till it got to to where he sat down
and she felt blindfolded
not that she was so bound
to the hind parts
of the his anatomy,

but because she so missed
his dart and swish
(the white formica of her own tabletop
a visual white noise)

that she could even seem blocked from
the thrill in
her ache–


Belated poem for Margaret Bednar’s prompt re peacock on Real Toads.   I am some poems behind for this April and may try playing catch-up if I get a little time.

After Re-reading “The Sleepers”

April 23, 2017

After Re-Reading “‘The Sleepers”

You look so beautiful when you’re asleep,
he says, and I say, no, yet,
having read Whitman, I also know
what he means,
how faces soften
when sleep comes,
how the sneer of even the hardest heart calls
a short cease-fire,
how the scowl of the unmoved makes
a temporary peace,
as if between the wrinkles of sheet and skin,
against the rock-dark grid
of pavement or sheen
of sateen, on the slope
of slack-jaw,
the features find some child that is so young
it still is willing to embrace them–you know how unconsciously kind
the very young
can be–

And I wonder now about the sleep
of other earthen things–whether stone softens
as night falls or if we just imagine
its velveting,
whether grass puts down
its blades–
only grass, it seems to me, is just as likely
to snooze on a midsummer afternoon–I’m sure I’ve heard
its snore–in fact, this is one of the qualities of grass
about which I have
mixed feelings–

and, I don’t, I say to him, you probably just think I look nice asleep
because I’m not talking for once

 No, he smiles, bending to kiss the knuckles
of one of my hands,
and I know in that moment
a peace that can also be found
fully awake–


Drafty poem for Gillena Cox’s Prompt on Real Toads to write in response to another poem; in this case I am writing a poem after re-reading The Sleepers by Walt Whitman.  This poem is quite different from that, but that started it out.  Drawing is mine; all rights reserved. (This has been edited since first posting.) 


April 22, 2017


You expect green, but, in the mountains,
Spring edges in with head tinted red
and brown carpet slippers, yet


After a shower,
even trees dress
for the occasion.


Poem for Susie Clevenger’s prompt on Real Toads asking for a response to the beautiful lithograph of Mi Young Lee below.  Above pic mine.  All rights reserved to holder.