Posted tagged ‘dverse poets’

Words that Failed Me

June 5, 2014


Though I never do.

Though I never do.

Words that Failed Me

The only words that ever failed me
were those I uttered,
voiced, when even the scrape
of toast buttered
was the better choice, more

For those who need badly
to be heard
need extra space
for their words to move around in,
like someone learning to park
not used to a rear-view
like someone learning to dance
afraid to take chances,
like someone who’s been told
what to do too long,
for whom listening
is a tired song–

The words that failed me–
the ones I crowded into
the distance between us–
oh, what a fuss
they made–


I know I call them all drafts, but generally–as in the case of my last few posts–I know I should cut cut cut! However,  when you/me first write something, it’s a bit hard to cut as much as you should.  In this case, which I’m calling a draft poem, I don’t know that I’d cut but have come back since posting to change some words.  

It’s for Brian Miller’s prompt on dVerse Poets Pub prompt about when words fail you. Frankly, I believe the English language is pretty comprehensive, and really when words fail me, it is my (i) lack of good vocabulary; (ii) failure of nerve, or (iiI) as described here, talking too much.

Under-towed (Parking Poem)

February 19, 2013


All night I churn with the busy pens
of meter maids and meter men,
their dark slacks cracked with ticket books
they pirouette around nasty looks,
their growling tow trucks mastiff pets,
their spiked tails aching to drag Corvettes–
so strange to the New Yorker-me
who feels nothing but antipathy
for cars but has one parked today
and prays in dream it’s not gone stray–

As gusty winds wuther through the height
of jamb-slipped window through the night,
I twist till blinds show dawn-grey pleats
then hurry off to check the streets.
I scan at first a blank of tar,
oh where, oh where, are you dumb car?
Then realize that it’s not this corner
(and that there’s hope for this here mourner),
till finally I find some cars
(included in the line-up, ours)
that sit with the tranquillity
of the alternate side nobility,
their windshields clear as the just-confessed
oh space, oh time–you are the best–
for Tuesdays, A.M., so match-less.

Here’s a very silly poem for dVerse Poets Open Link Night.  I am in the midst of moving! So have had to bring a car down to the city for a few days (as well as rent a truck!), and have been living in the middle of boxes.  It is very stressful, even though, thankfully, I’ve been able to get others to do most of the work.  I may be slow returning visits for a bit, but thanks for checking in. 

To the Avant Garde–not sonnet, not 18

December 28, 2012


To the Avant Garde
(Not Sonnet, Not Number 18)

Shall I compare thee
to a summer’s day?
Thou art too hot
for lovely, too rough
for temperate.

Thy heavens lease decline (the lines
for the eternal
too f…ing long) and thou wanderest
the course of sometimes.

Thy eye, Darling, brags possession of that
that growest dimmed, but breathes

Shall I compare thee to
A summer’s day? But thy short
life/death (untrimmed) loses
eases “shall”,
buds “can”, dates
the wind.

Agh! I am in Orlando airport in a day of flying! The wifi doesn’t work so I’ve had to type the above poem on iPhone. I should stop complaining! But well– I have been in this airport a long time.

I am posting the above for Anna Montgomery’s prompt on dverse poets pub to write an experimental poem. The above poem only uses words from Shakespeare’s 18th sonnet–except that the f is the beginning of one word and the ing the end of another. There may also be some additional s’es.

Reading note: I only intend pauses to happen as punctuated and not with line breaks. Most line breaks are intended to rub on. (might make poem more coherent). Sorry for mucky typing. I think i got most typos but probably not all.

Doorbell Rings Some Time Very Late

June 7, 2012


Doorbell Rings Some Time Very Late 

Fear upstarts–
quake awake shaking, bleared night silent

but for bell that should not be ringing,
dark but for lights that I’ve fallen 

asleep on, torn jagged– “Who’s there?”
my voice 
this side of door, which, shit, is not locked–
Fear tumble-rs through brain
paralyzed against making noticeable click


chain, a pretense
of metal, that shaking fingers slip

silently into slot.

I call back “No,”
taking hold now of true

lock as eye scope

smudges blurred guy blanking to greenish hall–

A mistake, all 
safe, still shaking–no,
there’s stillness
on skin itself,  the quiver
inner, as twist

in  chest/plexus

refuses to let go of 
fisted alarm, armed

against beating flow

of all other tisssued self,

scared stalwart.

I’m back from brief blog break!  Not exactly rested – especially after being woken up in the middle of the night last night –but really missing my blogging buddies (especially all those great guys at dVerse.)  One lingering problem is, of course, that I’m not a poet!  If I am any kind of writer at all, it is of novels, but the kindness of the online poetry community is really hard to beat, and that kindess tends to inspire poetry even in prosaic types.

All that said, I am linking the above to Emily Wierenga’s Imperfect Prose.  Emily, another kind soul, has posted a poem of mine, “Thin Birthday,” on her other blog, Chasing Silhouettes, with a wonderful painting (by Emily.)  Check it out!

“The Hunger Artist” – Unread Kafka Her Mentor

May 22, 2012


The Hunger Artist


She putties potatoes/eggs/whatever
around her plate, constructing a trompe l’oeil
of savor, tinting flavor
with a spectrum of petite packages – fake sugars  (pastels),
cheap mustard (sallow yellow), ketchup (cadmium)–a palette
that abstracts a meal from anything, or
nothing, frames nibble.

So, she molds herself, flattening
with fingers a fluted
throat, bas-relief of belly, stilled life portrait
that refuses to be titled help me.


She has not read Kafka, but re-enacts
the self-expression of
repression, metier of life/death, her wont: I won’t/I won’t/I won’t.

Or too like the earlier Brunelleschi, working out
perspective by numbers, the intersection of
calories, weight,
narrowing to
a single
vanishing point.

Lettuce pray.


You can self-sculpt flesh
but carved bone is weakened (even when
buttressed by concrete will.)  A
mighty fortress is
my will
, hums
the hunger artist from
the ramparts
of rib cathedral.
Help me, murmurs the animal
base of brain, only, since it holds no
language center, the words transubstantiate to
I won’t.


The patina depicts
a picky picky
no no no, while within the
figurine –  so much easier to manage a life
that can be pocketed–hallowed emptiness
aches to please.


The above is my draft offering for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night and also for Imperfect Prose.   I urge all interested in reading and writing to check out these sites.  

Crib notes – Franz Kafka wrote a great story called “The Hunger Artist” about an artist who specialized in fasting; Brunelleschi was the Renaissance architect/sculptor/mathematician who was one of the principal developers of linear perspective.

No Stopping It

December 17, 2011


DVerse Poets Pub has a graphic prompt today, hosted by Brian Miller, with drawings by Tera Zajeck. The drawings are lovely and detailed–you can see some of them on Tera’s site, Olive Hue Designs, but I tend to like to use my own art, so have done my own rather muddled version of one of them.

And here’s a sonnet (of sorts).

No stopping it

I learn each day there’s no control to be had.
The wind will roar, the jacket that you wore
will be too thin. Joy turns sour, smiles sad,
what used to fire his passion now’s a bore;
children that you carried look askance.
Remember how they hated to let you go?
Now they leave without the merest glance
while you soothe your heart with how it must be so.
It’s not all lost, you find such sweetness too–
the cake you share, the couch where you two sprawl–
but still no holding fast, no straight course true,
no certain grace to mitigate the fall–
only the moment, that present but distant shore,
that you know must be enough, for there’s no more.

Ballad? Maybe. (Song, or Rather Sing-song–Yes!) Morning Ballad

December 15, 2011


DVerse Poets Pub, hosted by Gay Reiser Cannon today, has a prompt to write a ballad, carol or lullabye.  I do not think this is a true ballad, but it may be an entertaining effort.  (Also a bit of an homage to Robert Frost.) 


Morning Ballad

You woke up that morning–
you woke up that day–
wanting to see me
in the worst way.
You saddled your horse
and you rode fast and true
though the rain, it was washing
the sky through and through.

You rode beneath storm clouds
and past lightning’s strike,
past water high-rising—
we’d never seen like–
while your horse, she was frightened,
you held fear at bay,
riding on as rain threatened
to wash all away.

When you came to my window,
and murmured my name,
the sun seemed to rise
though it rained all the same.
Come quickly, you whispered,
we’ve not time to stay
if the road we must take
does not wash away.

I stole to the barn and there,
soaked to the bone,
we clung close together
in lovers’ sweet moan.
Then just as you mounted
high up on that horse,
we heard the dread sound
of my father’s stern voice.

Betrothed to another–
that’s what he said,
and that other’s I’d be
if he saw me dead.
You reached for my arms,
but duty held sway
for I feared that his anger
would ne’er wash away.

He swore that he’d kill you;
you heeded him not.
Till I told you I wanted
what that other had got:
a rich farm with cattle,
a tea set of ‘plate
servants aplenty
to wash and to wait.

Tears hammered my heart
like rain at the roof,
but my face was a desert
my manner aloof—
Oh, I was so clever
that though you did look,
you no more could read me
than a tightly-closed book.

I woke up this morning
like I woke up that day,
wanting to see you
in the worst way.
But what I said then
I cannot unsay.
cause the road not taken
was washed away.

I think of your fingers.
I think of your hands.
They’re farther now
than the farthest of lands.
A heart that’s forsaken
is here for to stay,
while the road not taken
is washed away.

Oh I woke up this morning
like I wake up most days,
wanting to see you
in the worst way.
A heart that is broken
is here for to stay
while the road not taken
is washed away.

P.S. –I am also submitting this poem for the Thursday Poet’s Rally.  And please please please check out Nose Dive!  New comic novel!

A Flash 55 of Thanks

November 24, 2011


Here is a poem for Thanksgiving–dVerse Poets Pub prompt on what one is thankful for, and also, since it is 55 words, for the G-man, Friday Flash 55.

The Luck (and thanks) that come with Parenthood

What I am thankful for:
First, this birth.
(Second, their births.)
The resulting constitution–one that
Can accommodate
The sickness of babes, also of
The old; that, when faced with a dog’s
Tick, pulls it out; reaches into a blocked drain;
Cries readily, laughs quicker, allows
Itself to dance. How
Did I get so