if i messaged myself while trying to write a poem (20170216)

breaking into a sweat–no
breaking into a swear
after the nightly walk
breaking into a swear
after a twilight stroll

wouldn’t you break into a sweat during the stroll?

that’s i why changed it to swear

don’t act like you knew where this train was going
you just bought the ticket
sight unseen
you didn’t even wonder about
the direction the tracks pointed–

breaking into a swear
following the course
of our discourse

very clever

you know what? fuck off

you always resort to swearing
when you run out of things to say

that’s kind of the point

Poem 20150415b

I missed day two of #NaPoWriMo, and also I wasn’t that happy with my dialogue poem of yesterday (here if you want to read it–it’s kind of a downer). But here’s a poem that fulfills the dialogue prompt and also the prompt from day two, which is as follows:

And now, our (as always, optional) prompt, provided to us by NaPoWriMo participant Carla Jones. Today, I challenge you to take your gaze upward, and write a poem about the stars. You may find inspiration in this website that lists constellations, while also providing information on the myths associated with each one, as well as other salient information. Your poem could be informed by those myths or historical details, by the shapes or names of the constellations, or by childhood memories of seeing them. Any form or style will do.


i say, roll over onto your stomach
pretend you’re going to get a massage
and like those women in the brochures
put your hands under your face
turn your face to the side
and smile

you say, those brochures are bullshit
it feels great after the massage
but during
it hurts like hell
fingers driving into your muscles
trying to split the fibers apart
imagine doing that to a roast
with your bare hands

i say, just do it, and let your hair
cascade down. i want to draw
on the small of your back

you ask, what do you want to draw?
nothing embarrassing
nothing in ink

i say, no, no, i’m just going
to use my finger
i’m going to draw the night sky on your back
in the hollow curve
just above your tailbone
i’ll only include the stars
with better names
sirius, procyon, rigel, and betelgeuse
castor, pollux, and deneb
altair, antares, and arcturus
none of the stars with only letters and numbers
for names
i don’t want designations.
i want them all to have names

you feel my finger tracing a spiral
stopping and dropping a star with each

you say, this is going to take awhile, isn’t it?
why not draw the universe while you’re at it?

i feel you sinking into the bed
the weight of all those stars
pushing you down
you’ve put your hands under your face
your hair spills down and
you turn your face to the side and smile
like the women in those brochures

i’m not that ambitious, i say
adding a thousand more stars
making up names as i go

Poem 20150414

Day 14 of #NaPoWriMo, and here us the prompt:

And now for our optional prompt! Today, I challenge you to write a poem that takes the form of a dialogue. Your conversant could be real people, or be personifications, as in Andrew Marvell’s A Dialogue Between the Soul and the Body, or Yeats’ A Dialogue of Self and Soul. Like Marvell, and Yeats, you could alternate stanzas between your two speakers, or perhaps you could give them alternating lines. Your speakers could be personifications, like those in Marvell and Yeats’ poems, or they could be two real people. Hopefully, this prompt will give you a chance to represent different points of view in the same poem, or possibly to create a dramatic sense of movement and tension within the poem


you think you know what you want?
because you are aware
because a net of consciousness drapes across you
and you open the mouth
and declare, “this!” or “that!”
and yet–
and yet, a small thing derails you
from your tasks
but i will have the final say
in all things

like a captain, i steer this ship
command a thing to be done and it is done
desire to sleep, and i find solitude in dreams
desire to revenge, and i lash out
desire to love, and my words play out sweet
and soft
and irresistible

you are mistaken
allow me to educate you
though you will deny the lesson
desire to love? you have an urge to touch
and to take, a lust in your loins for the flesh
of another and your words are less meaningful
than a songbird’s plea, marking territory
or begging for a mate
desire to revenge? you have hatred and fear
churning in your guts, and your lashing out
is more oft only played out in fantasies while
the objects of your scorn go unpunished, and just as
well as your perceived slights are petty
desire to sleep? you fear sleep most of all
that analog of death
so close that if your breath stops short
you startle awake, place your hands to your
and ask in a trembling voice, “am i here still? do
i yet remain?”
yes, you are the captain, the captain of
a ship doomed to sink
and like all good captains
you will go down with it