Friday, April 23, 2010

napowrimo #23 - haiku

You, conservative,
my one source for black wisdom,
read my poetry.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

napowrimo #22

Dizzy like tomorrow's plan,
this life is nothing but fierce;
you must hold a door open
for some fresh air to push its way
through the crow of your heart:
the black open ditch
where you place sins
stack them like grocery store cartons,
sins spicy as peppers on death row.
Before you fear the rust of time,
before you flinch at red lights and panic,
plan for tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Imperfection - napowrimo #21

You gave me my hands,
that snag easily like sensitive silk;
you gave me my mind,
its moods are hard to tame, like mother gorillas;
you gave me my lips,
they pump out heavy words, like a bag of peaches;
you gave me my heart,
it carries memories like blood on the loose.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hero of Mothers, napowrimo #20

She drove me to auditions, to high school,
to play practice; she drove me into fights
that lasted as long as the years it takes
to get into the college she prepared me for.

She is beautiful still with short, wild hair
that exists like bamboo, a thick survivor
on the curb of her moods, our moods
mixed together like butter and salt

We're zipped into each other; both of us
studying in college like concentrated chefs,
both of us worrying about the inside
and what it looks like from the outside.

With infected blood, she still kisses me
goodnight, still drives me home from school,
gives me what I need: new glasses,
a can opener. She is the hero of mothers.

Monday, April 19, 2010

napowrimo #19

With a moment as bright as a southern
California morning in June, I sip
icy water and breathe in like I'm starved,
starved for an answer:
why such angry nightmares
and sad dreams?
I suck in the fog from sleepless images,
count to three, and believe in three
divorce, adoption, death,
and then jaw-locked anger
bit down.

napowrimo #18

Like the lionness, I crave a good fight,
one with family stamped into each blade
of grass, sharper than my white as milk teeth.
The pain to protect is fierce like feminism,
climbing up any tree planted by man,
claws digging into the bark like jackhammers.
The children, my precious cubs, roll in my paws,
I watch them show teeth I don't want them to use.
A good fight is always prey over the cubs.
Like a good lionness, I rule like a king.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

napowrimo #17

born as fire
born into fire.
Hot as a piece of burning newspaper
in the family fireplace;
unforgiving and unforgetting as boiling water
fallen onto a human hand.
twisting and swirling like panicked tornadoes,
the fire within me attacks my mood
and feeds me

Saturday, April 17, 2010

napowrimo #16

Like a pile of rose crumbs, water becomes perfume,
the scent of a woman playing in petals of peace lilies;
lavender oil, fresh and clean as vanilla beans,
drips into the creases of her palm like candle wax.

Becoming stirred inside this pile of what it feels
like to rest away, to sleep like a rose bud,
is to mold me into the mix of the day the woman, the mother,
played. Days before she eternally rest like rose crumbs.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

napowrimo #15

This kind of followed the prompt, but not completely. It's titled "Changes" for now.

You didn't promise a floating place
for us. All you did was teach me the pain
of missing. Pain as unflavored as gum
chewed for hours. I became broken, off-center,
like a tire hung from a branch:
a wooden skeleton of before and after.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

napowrimo #14

This prompt was definitely a challenge, and as I have a lot of homework to do for my creative writing class tomorrow, I don't think I'm going to try the cleave. Instead, I decided to write a haiku. I haven't written a haiku since 5th grade. I plan to attempt the cleave in the future though.

Love in the Winter

Like milk on a spoon,
you touch me gently with chills:
two hearts pour sweet salt.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Poem Starting with a Line from Norman Dubie

A kiss is like a dress falling off a tall building,
slipped into your bones
like a love letter in the mailbox.
It is loose as the wind from the drop
of your dress; your body is disconnected
from flesh: it's a newborn feather, light
and hard to find, easy to lift
like sprinkles of sand
that are poured
and emptied
between soft fingers.

Monday, April 12, 2010


let's put it together, Saying it separately:
the cows inside us laugh at our Extreme attempts,
because we're afraid to Cast off what drinks from our hearts.
Rest awhile like dogs in the sun of summer,
Except stick in your tongues, and fight out each thought like gristle;
in Time this process, this reminder, won't be needed.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dirty Unchosens

Genetics and blood, sister and sister,
we did not choose one another,
I chose to open my mother's bedroom drawer
with hands as young as the birth of puberty;
and there I found it: you on the paper,
you in bold letters like chocolate stains,
sweet and dirty, I didn't know, nor did I choose,
the dirty side.

My mother's maiden name on the form
fondled my bones: I shook like the chill before sleep.
Picking up the phone like lifting a drying, dying
caterpillar off our sidewalk,
I dialed my mother, asking if I should know her,
the name on yellowed paper that I stroked with my thumb.
I did not know, nor did I choose, the thumbing between us,
it's like transparent wax on us both,
we only feel what's there,
we don't feel what's real.

And what is real?
Your punishment plan on my mother,
how you blame me for being born thirteen
years later and one day earlier?
I did not choose that, nor do I sometimes want to know
or choose

Saturday, April 10, 2010

napowrimo 10

My cousins bat mitzvah, she was 13 years old with 60,000 dollars decorated around her. Neon themed and bright as gold on fire. An oxygen machine, professional dancers, buffet lines, an open bar, even her own hollywood entrance called Katie's world. You had to walk in her world first before she became a woman of the religion. Her father walked around observant as a fox, and I said "this is great." A year later, I don't know what they will do for her wedding, perhaps rent out Israel.

Friday, April 9, 2010

napowrimo 9

the torch inside your belly
strums my veins, making them pop
like an octopus out of water.
it feels just like winter within this flap of life,
mean cold winds and white vision,
controlled as a chimney,
smoking up like campfires that I sat
around with my girl scout friends.
the memory of no worries strikes
my skin like a talon from my father.
my mouth begins to taste like a broken
apart aspirin pill, not even sour, bad
as all hell. my feet as rugs for your ignorance,
itchy, rough rugs like tiger tongues.
growing a bruise is your specialty,
you even add salt, you're so cruel.
you watch me limp like a blind dog,
hand me a walker. nothing more.
just leave me a pile of dry roses,
and give me the first thirty seconds
of moonlight sonata. that's the least
you could do. you can do the least.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lover, Best Friend, Brother

First day I saw you, you walked in black like panthers,
claws tucked inward, eyes a beautiful sorry sag
like the mother's breast; I'm sorry you lost her
so I'm trying to love you better at all times,
especially when your mouth gets dry & sandy,
becoming a cushion for flies.
I want to turn into clay with you,
stop time like music on our very own road trip.
The first time my heart became a wheel,
well it was with you.
Loving never felt so skinned,
everything peeled off, nothing mattered
but you:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Not Love, Feeling Bad

freshman in high school, his junior prom
my mother told me to say yes to his nervous you don't have to
he danced like a broken-legged rabbit seizure
stiff rockness of his hands straight on my waist
i sighed out a trapped bird when i was finally home

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Smile - napowrimo #6

i love looking at the father's smile, his child smile:
the something i miss, the something i never knew,

never saw the one on the right.
now he's left-handed, on the left in another home

alone and working like a brand new engine,
smiling only like a lion, only in times of need,

like when red meat stabs the carnivore's eye,
the mouth only opens widely then

when a kind of hunger takes over the body:
hunger of the lips that can no longer pinch

inward, hiding a smile.
i grab onto the weirdness of this photograph,

the fairytale of seeing him as something i could hurt,
like steel-toe boots on baby grass.

Monday, April 5, 2010

First Years - napowrimo #5

I am called by poetry's name when I need room to crawl
and explore: dust-maker and wordy-escape.
She twists the edges of hair strands, saws at my fingernails,
begging to be born.
When I nurture her with milky white paper and fruity-smelling
pens, she stops out of fear. She pauses like a cat, cautious
and self-conscious.
After a moment of strategy like first time shoelace tying,
she sighs in relief, and sends windy words down my throat,
they just appear like seeds.
Almost finished, she wants to dress the wicker shelf
like autumn leaves and scattered soil. Afraid
to be jumped in, laughed with, and picked up.
Dust-maker you are;
poetry, you gather dust like apples,
creating your shelter,
escaping from words.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Of Violent Digging and the Self Turned Out

so close to perfect and then you turn me inside out/the father with hands black as dirty sandpaper crawling on my bones, sucking me out like snakes/i won't play with/slipping into something else, something terrible and tested like thunder/build me a nest for my turned over skin, my hands floppy like child-made pancakes/the dough of my survivor heart/i'll admit my feet are vulnerable, turn them over into burning pieces of cement, dry and able/to take any beating like my mother/she has skin soft like baby hands/she has hair rough and thick like itchy rashes on the chest, red as thirsty, unapologetic lips/she takes punishments like we take food/thoughtless and spoiled/i'm folding into two/father and mother/dreamer and dream-giver/animal and beast/the best is still out there, thinking of the inside me/until then you see the damage: i was one thing and now the other/from words mean like hot iron on my belly/from those trying to steal me, find a tangible way inside of me like virgin sex/you take and take/and take like tomorrow is just a word, nothing real to face/you have rolled me out into a jelly bean, easy to swallow/give me your violent kiss/let's mix

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Before I write my poem for today's prompt of what scares me most, I just want to say that I think it's interesting that today I also received an email from my professor letting my classmates and I know that a horror and fantasy magazine, Niteblade, is in need for submissions. I'll have to face my fear and submit it, too.

Getting Used To This

I'm scared that the work I do now
will mean nothing tomorrow.

The truth is, reality won't hover
like rain buttoned up to the neck.

In a parking lot in Squirrel Hill, there's a wall:
it says "the wall" in white spray paint.

Is that it? Nothing for all this?

Sometimes I feel like the cat who kneads,
never learned to leave the litter,

so with the unlocking of my fevered lips,
I speak like wet fire: truthfully, softly harsh.

Beyond all of this, I fear

you will leave me soggy and wanting

Friday, April 2, 2010

Rightnow Write Poetry On Regular White Paper

I miss the regular white paper
of days in the sunlight;
golden reflections on the page
like lacy trim hidden in the closet.
My fingers would skate along
the unforgotten tree's peel:
regular white paper.
I miss its smell of old libraries
and cotton.
I miss the feel of controlled sand
and smooth paper body.
Regular white paper
is the runaway wasted plaything
of freckled imagination.
Read what's possible.
Rest wishes plainly,
and rightnow write poetry
on regular white paper.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Church Song

suburban streets had their last hour
the only gray tunnel,
a streak of white graffitti
led you to evening Mass
where the dogwood trees are.

my mother has a friend:
he wears black and a golden badge
outside the church,
he does too much,
handcuffs are bracelets here.