Thursday, April 22, 2010

NaPoWriMo ~ Week 4

A poem a day is a chore, but overall, I'm happy with my progress. Even on days when I do not publish a poem, my mind is writing.

If you are reading this on Facebook, my revisions make a lot more sense on the actual blog ( where you can see the colors at work. Bold white text is the original impulse on a particular day. Green text is revised after the first day. Gray text is deleted.




cloud of Sweet Olive


change is the nature
of Nature

~ Bayou Lafitte

The floating lands,
folded by a storm surge,
return rebounded with tides too saline
for gGiant bBlue iIrises
to thrive

And yet they Yet these tenacious flowers
do survive,
clutching to the certainty knowledge
is the nature
of Nature

And that Giant Blue Irises
can also rebound.



Thursday, April 15, 2010

NaPoWriMo ~ Week 3

Week 2 started strong, but then seriously dropped off. The poems were longer, more noticeably structured, and located firmly in New Orleans, sights and recent experiences. But then, nothing. Or perhaps I should say, too much. Too many thoughts swirling inside my head like a carousel, but no gold ring to grab hold of. It's times like these when my pocket-size notebooks are really handy to jot down snippets.

DAY 7 ~ Genius in My Living Room

How long can I be content
being just a genius
in my living room?

I know, pPublication
is a secondary concern for writers
after writing.
But validation, admiration, respect?
Love? Who doesn't want love?

But if love can be won,
I haven't won it yet.
Plenty of admiration though,
some respect, more copious eEncouragement, yes,
some respect, and even admiration. And yes
a bit of plenty of head-wagging.

But love? Really
I should look elsewhere.

Validation, admiration, respect...

To feel a part Of It All.
Not just feel it, but believe it.
To look outward
instead of

CTo sit, crowded at the table with the
other VIPs
with the the other, hungry young celebrities, all of us
scanning the ballroom, looking outward
instead of in, anxious to see
and be seen, anxious for someone to call
our names.



~ The Final .2 Miles

A marathon is more than 26 miles long.
To be precise,
it's 26.2. The .2 added
because a young queen
wanted to greet
runners of the first modern marathon runners
at the gates of her palace.

At the line-up there are 26 thousand
of us,
hopping in place with excitement,
under the falling sky flowers
of the opening ceremonial fireworks.
Speeches I don't hear. I eat
my first handful of Cheerios.

At the mile 6 marker, I am holding steady,
happy with my selection of moisture-wicking socks,
my feet falling into that pleasing rhythm
I recognize from training, when that barefoot Ethiopian
who soon will win won the race was
is already returning,
grinning as he passesd me in the opposite direction,
flat feet flapping on the blacktop.

And when I finally see saw that 26 mile
marker for myself, my momentary
upsurge of pride,
elation, and relief was are swallowed
by the realization of
.2 miles
yet to go!. Oh no!

But everything I brought
to sustain me for 26 miles
I had have used up already,
all my good intentions gone,
both water bottles empty, and I had
consumed every
bite-sized bit of energy bar
consumed, plus and all the Cheerios.

My physical stamina was is long-since depleted,

and I ran run solely on emotional energy now,

and that too wanes. was waning. fast

My right IT band was is tearing away
the knee, and my stomach
was is
painfully bloated
painfully. What fuel was is left
that I could can use?

A tiny voice inside me whispers, Rage?.
Yes, of course, why not rage against the dying light?.
Like so many other times before, Wwhen all else fails me,
can carryiesd me over what felt feels like
the final .2 miles of my life.
Whatever works.

No one can ever take that away what I have accomplished
so far,
from me, nor the understanding body certainty
that long distance goals
are really short distance goals
when taken daily,
further divisible into
one step at a time,
and then
the next.

I have am not finished yet. I earned am still earning
every painful step of these final .2 miles
before I can be greeted at the queen's gate of an ancient queen.
I still run the marathon, and know that sometimes
just maintaining
forward momentum has got to be enough.




Thursday, April 8, 2010

NaPoWriMo ~ Week 2

I've never written so much poetry at once, not even in creative retreat. I'm more-or-less thrilled with the 7 poems I've written so far. All 7 are in various degrees of first-draftness, but some have potential for further development--after this break-neck pace is over.

Ok, week 2. Inhale. Here goes...

turning tide




DAY 3 ~ French Quarter Fest
Sexy, sexy people
and not so sexy people
dancing, nodding,
rocking side-to-side,
clapping, or doing
the Funky Butt

to a kind of musical hybrid
that can flourish only
in New Orleans:
calliope and the Blues,
Zydeco Bounce,
or the world's premier trio
of steel guitar, sousaphone,
and washboard.

Salt peanuts for sale
or a painted face.
Let's catch that crawfish
eating competition
and then grab a beer~always
a Big Ass beer.

Grateful for sunglasses
dimming the glare
off of the river
but regretting the lack
of sunscreen. Oh well,
you'll look luminous
dancing tonight.

What use are empty hands?

Better for clawing digging up through soil.
No premature graves for me!

Better for cupping water
to my thirsty lips.

Better for reaching out holding hands
with to someone else.

Better for touching,
pushing, throwing
and holding myself together.

Better Good for waving goodbye.
Best for caressing!

DAY 1 ~ Where the Industrial Canal Meets the River
At the point
where waters merge,
green grapples brown,
and breezes buffet my
face and body on all
sides at once.

On the water side, the levee
slopes down to rocks
clashing like Caligula
with the tide.
Foolish kings. Water will
have its way.

But on the levee's
grassy side, the pom-pom heads
of clover, grown high, nod
vigorously with the winds
like a million angels dancing.

And in between both sides,
lies a middle path
paved in
broken oyster shells,
bumpy on my bike, and narrow,
seldom straight.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

NaPoWriMo ~ Week 1

April is National Poetry Writing Month, and I'm participating in a nationwide group write: a poem a day for the next 30 days. Hmm... Sounds intimidating. But here I am, tossing my hat into the ring. Check this blog now and then,

Text color indicates work in progress. White text is the original impulse for a particular day. Gray/black text is a deletion. And green text is new since the original impulse.

Where waters merge
green meets brown,
and the breeze buffets
my face and body
from all sides at once.

Clumps of clover grown high
on the incline of the levee
shudder, but on the water side
are rocks
like Caligula
with the tide.

Foolish king.
Water will have its way.

Whispering begins in the raffia friction
of last year's fronds, stubbornly refusing
to fall from the tallest palms.

Then bamboo rustles her taffeta leaves
as the
pipes that dangle from the eaves
begin to chime.

Wind animates them all,
with desire
at the roots of everything.

Why then should I let go of desire, let go
of it all~to crossover into Nirvana
or some other sweet oblivion?

Who would ever want to leave
these trees, this wind, those chimes?

DAY 5 ~ (Unasked-for) Advice for Writers
You are a writer
only when you write.
You are a Writer
only when you revise.

Learn to write
by writing,
then re-writing,
and by reading the Greats.
Listen when writers talk,
especially about writing.

Don't wait for inspiration.
Find inspiration in your writing.

Don't write to earn
gain love.
Love what you write.

Don't write to be
get published.
Just do your best work.
Have something to say.
Say it well.
But never worry about
Voice. That is a Marketing term.

Write to weave
patterns, to create order,
to construct meaning~
because meaning, like story,
is a constructed thing.

Write because
your days are haunted
by words, images, and emotions~
inside the private theater
of memory.

Write because, like me,
you have no choice
but to unburden yourself heart
of our
aching this barely endurable
love for this our phenomenal

Easter Sunday DAY 4 ~
A Poem by Frederick Mead
cConfessional tone.
sSexual longing.
sSpiritual groping.

I awake every morning
for an angel's burning kiss
or a poem on my lips~
aching to feel Chosen.

And so I start my day
constructing my voice
from all the available accents~
stout-hearted, yet guarded lest
my fragility show, armored
by personality.

I speak
iron, plainly,
volcanic sounds
from deep within my
lungs of fire,
words hammer-forged
inside the cavern
of my mouth.

I make seek
expressing meaning
through rhythm
or repetition,
near rhyme, or
the telling silence,
in structures meant to
and delight

You my
first Muse top banana
of in
my Pantheon cosmology, world order,
even though you might
never grasp my meaning
across the our gap
of language.


Fluttering hummingbird
heartbeats pulse felt

where skin presses
skin, bodies together
in pleasure, beating out the
syncopated measures of
Want, want, I want!