Posted tagged ‘April is the cruelest month’

Tight Spot

April 1, 2014
Parallel Parked


Tight Spot

She’d angled it in
looking at a mirror,
fixing parallels, nosing
fended bangs,
but the thumping that she thought
had been the road
still thundered,
the heart refusing to be parked
the uncurbed heart.

Here’s first draft poem for April, for Mama Zen hosting Words Count at With Real Toads. She asks for a poem that will surprise her in 37 words or less–

April is the cruelest month, or the most fun, or some mixture of the aforesaid, for those interested in poetry. It is National Poetry Month, a time in which some tortured people inexplicably decide that they should pull a new poem from their pocket every single day. Real Toads is planning to offer an assortment of prompts every day this month for those interested in testing their resolve but also needing inspiration.

Thinking of End of King Lear In A Backyardish Way

April 24, 2013


Thinking of End of King Lear In a Backyardish Way

Never, never, never, never, never
tugs at my eyes, the retinae hung
with ropey cords; those I’ve loved/lost
rumpled cloths
upon those lines, stiff
as boards now, frayed
capture-the-flag wisps.
I want, foolishly, to weep them back
to softness, only the never in which I live
makes tears dry down, allows just
the collapse of salt,
the damp evening grass that lapped
imprints of even tip-toed steps
silted over. Though clumped sand seems stuck
in off-kiltered hour glass, still and ever,
it runs.

I am calling them all drafts for the moment for too many reasons to delineate. (One is that I am back in States, but still not home1 And not with my own computer.) This draft poem written for http// prompt re Shakespeare (whose birthday is in April.)

Last Day of National Poetry Month! (April!)

April 30, 2012

At The End of National Poetry Month

I am linking this old post to With Real Toads, where Kerry promises that the Real Toads crew will do thirty prompts in thirty days for National Poetry Month.  I’ve written a poem a day in April for the last few years – and since the Toads prompt today is about what April means to a poet, I thought of linking this.  The poem at least is short – apologies for the discursive beginning.


Today is the last day of this year’s National Poetry Month.  As in the last couple of years, I’ve tried to write a new draft poem every day of the month.  I hope that even the not-so-good ones have provided some fun for readers, even if that fun was at my expense!

One of the great things about an exercise like this (to my mind) is that it helps debunk the notion of the muse.  

People/poets/writers/artists can get very attached to the idea of a muse–this shadowy presence that comes and goes and makes them feel special.

To me, a rather plodding sort of person, the muse is mainly a combination of attention and determination.

Attention to what is going on outside; attention, too, to all the little pokes and prods inside.

Then there’s the determination to take notes of what you’ve paid attention to, and, once you’ve taken the notes, to reshape them in the sometimes harsh (sometimes way too indiscriminate) light of your computer screen.

The advantage of an exercise like writing a poem a day is that you just can’t wait for the muse to come your way.  You simply have to get down to attending and determining!

As my final homage to National Poetry Month 2012, I am re-posting my April 30 poem from 2011:

End of National Poetry Month Haiku

Some say that April is the
cruelest month. They must
be people who write poems.

Thanks so much for checking in!

“Marching Orders” From My Dog Pearl

March 8, 2010

Pearl Being Exuberant

T.S. Eliot said that April is the cruelest month.  I tend to think it’s March.

March is a teaser.  You step out in the mornings into air that feels suddenly, caressingly, warm.  Your heart lifts.   Then, after maybe a minute,  you become aware of a damp undercurrent.   You realize, unless you manage to collide with an angle of absolutely direct sunlight, that the caress was like the touch of a best-selling vampire wearing gloves.   All it truly is, is warmer than it’s been.

It’s dark when you get out of the subway after work–still dark.   Your eyes fixate on the big hard mounds of extremely gritty snow in the middle or on the edges of certain pubic spaces.

You just know it’s going to start raining soon (probably on the weekend.)   You imagine big pools of water collecting at street corners,  pools so murky that people will risk injury by veering taxi cab rather than get close to them, even people who have spent monsoon seasons in Calcutta.

You tell yourself that this is March, predictably unpredictable, that Spring really is coming.  But, since you are stuck inside for the nice parts of the day, it’s hard to feel good.  In fact, you feel pretty lousy.

At times like this, I tell myself that I should emulate the one great sage I know, that is, my dog Pearl.

Pearl is a very old dog.   She seems, unfortunately, to be going blind.  She sees my shape moving from living room into kitchen with absolute clarity.   But once she tracks me into the kitchen, she can’t always tell if I’m holding a treat in my hand or if I’ve dropped it in front of her, or if I have dropped it in front of her, where exactly.  On evening walks, she’ll almost bump into things (like park benches) or  halt in sudden fear or disorientation.

That part is pretty sad.

Most of the time Pearl is beyond sedentary.  (Sedentary derives from the word “to sit”;  Pearl doesn’t bother with sitting; she’s generally stretched out flat.)    But there are moments, on a nearly daily basis, that still  bring out a joyful puppydom.    These often follow that difficult evening walk.   There is a stretch of carpeting in  my building’s hallway, between elevator and my apartment door,  that she has always found to be an irresistible running track—the carpet is firm,  and at that point in the walk, she’s free–of leash, of whatever “business” took her outside, of any further duties for that day.

She goes, to put it mildly, bananas—running back and forth, circling, grinning a weird canine side grin.   She will run until she’s almost choking, and then (she’s not the smartest creature in the world),  run a little more.

What Pearl seems to understand is that new energy comes from the expenditure of energy,  new joy from old joy, from jumping into joy, and  that joy doesn’t need to be saved up, it just needs to be savored.

Some might say I’m anthropomorphizing.  Some might say that I’m not, that what Pearl does is simply easier for a dog.   Either view seems to offer me something palpable:   to find exuberance, be exuberant (even about the routine, the mundane,  especially about the routine, the mundane);   to get through March, march right on through it.

Of course, once Pearl is back in the apartment, she usually collapses again.  (After one more quick exploration of the kitchen.)

That part sounds good too.

PS – for a poem about Pearl’s exuberance, check out this.