Thursday, April 29, 2010

April is going…going…almost gone

It’s the eve of the final day of National Poetry Month. I’m conflicted as I write this tonight because I have been somewhat remiss personally in making the most of this month. I started NaPoWriMo and regular readers will already know, I bailed on it last week. For the past three years I’ve printed nicely produced broadsides to give away, but I departed from that this year, largely as a cutback in spending. In past years I’ve done other things- such as daily quotes by poets or favorite poems. For Poem-In-Your-Pocket day (today) I did carry a favorite W.S. Merwin poem on small slips of paper that I gave out to some of the people I cane in contact with. I carried this out with a sense of duty to inflict poetry on others.  ;)
Still, there have been remarkable things happen this month.  I participated in a 120 hour poetry filibuster reading to set a new record for continuous poetry reading passing the old record of 56 hours and 25 minutes set in 1978. We were successful in reaching the 120 mark and it was all documented in video.Also on the personal front, I had two poems accepted for publication this month.
I noted today that until mid-night tonight you can cast your vote for the Poet Laureate Of The Blogosphere. This is the 5th year I believe that this annual vote has been held.
Poet Kelli Russell Agodon has orchestrated the participation of some 55 poets and publishers all giving away at least 2 poetry books each in drawings this month. If you’ve not entered, you can find the list on the sidebar of her blog and quickly enter them, but time is running out. Each of the poets and publishers participating obviously are a important part of making this awesome April event – but Kelli has been organizer, solicitor and cheerleader as the event has grown to what it has become. Over 110 books – can you believe it?!! Kelli tirelessly has been promoting poetry – but then she seems does this year round. 
Has poetry month been good to you or challenging? Tell me about your Poetry month activities. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Confession Tuesday - The Trash Edition

If tomorrow is trash day… this must be Confession Tuesday. Come with me to the confessional.

Dear Reader~

If I may speak of trash day for a moment… I confess to having missed paying the trash bill. This of course leads to no trash pick up. We should be good tomorrow, but the trash man will get an extra dose of trash. ~0~

The yesterday in a conversation with a co-worker there was a discussion of food people stay away from. I confess, as I did then, that there are a number of food items I will not eat. To name a few, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise (don’t even like to say that word… it creeps me out) to name a few. I don’t do toad stools – they are fungus for God’s sake. There are more, but you get the picture. I confess that I may be an OCD food person. Let me go further on this point. When eating food on my plate, I will often stick to finishing on dish before moving on to the next. Especially if there is something I’m crazy over on the menu. If this is the case, I confess that I don’t want to share my taste buds with anything but that food. I will often save it till last and not for example meander all over the plate, a bite of corn, a taste of roll and then onto another. I prefer not to commingle my food that way. Odd, I know. ~0~

Feeling the obligation to speak of poetry here, and since I am confessing, I am a NaPoWrMo failure for 2010. I’m raising my hand as I confess so that all may see. (Woof whistle) “Yeah, over here, I’m talking about ME!” Last week I threw in the towel and said f*** it.

You see, I had gotten behind a day and continued running behind a day for about three days and was not happy with what I was writing anyway, so I just decided the world was not going to end if I stopped. Little did I know, my wife was going to miss reading them. She sent me an e-mail to that effect and I then stopped and wrote one and sent it to her.

I’ve written since, I just am not following the prompts from “poetic asides” which I was not as impressed with this year as last. It seemed like everything was something (filling the blank) or (fill in the blank) something. I’m not trying to blame the prompt maker for my failure; I’m just saying this didn’t add much extra incentive to remain committed to the write.

So there you have it… standing bare before you… you see me as I am.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Unconscious Mutterings Week 378

You Say.... I think:

  • 1.Hell :: go to
  • 2.Scott :: Dred
  • 3.Dominion :: over earth
  • 4.Stunt :: driver
  • 5.Cougar :: wild cat
  • 6.Columbia :: sportswear
  • 7.Gasp :: surprised
  • 8.Cancerous :: cigarettes
  • 9.Bitty :: Beans
  • 10.Quit :: fed up
Get your own list here

Dogs Dream in Splotches

Dogs dream in splotches
all my dreams are linear

I wish for them the color
of my dreams—  but I want novellas
not epics.

I want my dreams to stay in one place
for a while—  my mind is weary
of the night time journeys;

I long for one that cuddles up to me
not orders me to march in night madness
bayonet at my back across continents
for years on end...   Just a little smudge will do—
till morning comes.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Darnedest Things

The rain seems to have settled in for a spell. Ominous looking sky moved in and had sort of frozen in place like it moved in to stay. When I was out earlier it was a bit muggy but inside there is the chill that one normally associated with a damp chilly day and there seems no in between.

My daughter called from Arizona and asked if I saw their Governor on the news.  If you’ve caught any news in the past 24 hours you’ve probably seen her, Governor Jan Brewer. My daughter’s voice wasn’t beaming with pride in the Governor but rather embarrassment maybe…

The law essentially instructs local law enforcement to seek out illegal immigrants in the state. It establishes an authority for them to ask for documentation where they believe the person appears to perhaps be an illegal (undocumented person) in this country. Interestingly enough the Governor believes that while she doesn't  know what an illegal looks like, she is pretty confident others in the state do. Listen to the video clip below.


Oh… I also fount this hysterical… The Sue Lowden Health Care Plan.  Sue is running for Senate against Harry Reid in Nevada.  Anyway, time to get back to my regularly scheduled weekend.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hugo House to Host Their First Writers' Conference

The Richard Hugo House will be hosting their first ever writers' conference over the weekend of May 21-23 and boy, have they got some good stuff in store for participants. The conference will include panels and workshops, among other festivities, to the theme of Finding Your Readers in the 21st Century.

Not only are we in the middle of a terrible economy, but the modern publishing world as we know it is going through a historical transition and looking fairly uncertain for many professionals and book lovers. Local bookstores are closing; our favorite magazines and newspapers are increasingly becoming thinner; the industry has seen hundreds of lay offs; and as this decade's most popular saying goes, "Everything is moving to the web."

Full Story

Potty Poetry

 Thrilling Tales: A Storytime for Grownups - our 2010 schedule of stories.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mad Poets Society create a camaraderie - Life - Delco News Network

Mad Poets Society create a camaraderie - Life - Delco News Network

By JOE McALLISTER   - Correspondent

Like any driven artist, Eileen D’Angelo believes in dualism. “I’m a paralegal by day and a mad poet by night,” says the director of the Mad Poets Society, a non-profit arts organization that has grown from a handful of poets at Media Borough Hall to over 100 members spread out over the five county area.

Like their logo shows (a wind-blown, mad-hatted poet struggling against the elements with a hand full of penned poems – an illustration of the odds facing most poets), the Mad Poets have 100 events scheduled for 2010 and that’s a whole lot of organizational onomatopoeia. With April deemed National Poetry Month, local wordsmiths see it, literally, as an opportunity to spread the good word.
“The media gets involved and the public remembers there are beautiful words out there,” says D’Angelo of Glenolden. “The focus is put not only the art of poetry but the purpose of poetry: to capture and make sense of the world around us.”  Full Story

Posted using ShareThis


National Poetry Month perfect time to rhyme
Classic artists like Silverstein, Carroll ideal antidotes for late-semester stress

Published: Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April is National Poetry Month, and what better time to spend on meter? It’s diverting to compose those limericks about studying till dawn or a rhyming couplet about how frustrated you are at your grades. The poetry world offers a wide of variety of subjects ranging from serious to silly to help cope with the end-of-semester crunch. Full Story

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The City of Newark and NJPAC to Host 2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, October... -- NEWARK, N.J., April 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

 "The City of Newark and NJPAC to Host 2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, October 7-10, 2010

Biennial event to feature MORE THAN three dozen renowned poets, including four U.S. Poets Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winners, and other acclaimed, award-winning and widely-published poets - Tickets go on sale Friday, April 23rd

Expected to attract 20,000 to NJPAC and other Newark venues

NEWARK, N.J., April 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- From Thursday, October 7 through Sunday, October 10, the City of Newark and New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) will host the largest poetry event in North America, the 2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. Tickets for the Festival go on sale beginning Friday, April 23rd (see below for complete Ticket Information and Festival Prices). The Festival is sponsored, in part, by the Bank of America and PSEG Foundation."    Full Story

Confession Tuesday

Tuesday has arrived quite in schedule so I’ll saunter on down to the confessional. Care to follow?
 Dear Reader-
 I confess that last yesterday afternoon, after a routine doctor appointment and trip by the chiropractor’s office, went home and fixed my wife and I dinner and then promptly crashed for the evening. I felt a little under the weather and as a result did nothing that I would normally do in the evening. No reading, no writing, didn’t turn on the computer. I’m sorry to say I didn’t even clean up the kitchen after dinner. This morning I actually feel only slightly more functional. ~0~

My son had been out of town for a week and I would dog sit in the evenings and on weekend while he was away. Evidently something went array in his upbringing because while I’m proud of him and what he has done with his life, I cannot explain his attraction to the fox cable news network. We picked him up and the airport and took him back to his house and we had only gotten about five or six blocks when he texts my wife and says his TV has some kind of virus… he turned it on and got MSNBC (which was intentional on my part). I confess I laughed my ass off all day long and still chuckle thinking about it. ~0~

Looking at my present journal (maybe half full) I confess I want to replace it with a refill because it bugs me when I have a few lines of something I’ve written that I abandon and move one. Once that happens a few times and or I have stuff I’ve crossed out it really starts to gnaw at me and I want a fresh new refill. Of course I don’t run out and replace it… I suffer through it to completion and I do mean suffer because it really bugs me. I can clearly see I have weeks of annoyance left to work through. I may have to see a therapist.

Thanks for listening dear reader… now we can get on with our week.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

From Natalie Merchant, a Literary Tour -

From Natalie Merchant, a Literary Tour - "A FEW weeks ago Natalie Merchant was pondering what the promotional sticker should say on the package of her new album, “Leave Your Sleep.” She was worried that “the P-word,” as she put it, might deter potential listeners. The P-word? What unseemly term could Ms. Merchant, one of pop’s most kindly and conscientious voices for nearly three decades, possibly need to hide behind an initial?" CLICK TO READ THE ENTIRE STORY

To Think of Summer

[For today's prompt, take the phrase "To (blank)," replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Some examples: "To the left, to the left," "To write or not to write," "To Kill a Hummingbird," "To the Doghouse," etc. There are so many possibilities.]

There you are—
on the wings of summer

wind in your hair
Marigolds everywhere

sunshine falls across your face
brown eyes shine without a care

you entice seemingly
without even knowing

I think you wear summer
best of all

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Body and Mind

[For today's prompt, write a science poem. Science encompasses a lot, so your poem doesn't have to be scientific to still be a science poem. For instance, you could have a poem titled something like "The Science of Love," and then examine a relationship. Voila! A science poem! Of course, it'll be interesting to see how many poets talk about volcanoes and single cell organisms, not to mention finding out how many "mad scientists" are out there.]

"every cell in your body is eavesdropping on the brain" ~ Deepak Chopra

Every cell?
The cells in the second joint
of my left pinkie finger?

This idea of "smart cells"
poses a whole new bioethics.

If I knew full well
that it's unlawful to drive drunk,
then falling off the wagon
and operating a vehicle
is more than a lapse of judgment.
My legs and feet that did not walk away
knew, my hand that kept
raising the beer can had knowledge—
so many cell co-opted in this—
they could have intervened
but failed to.

this makes any transgression
seem worse. Let's face it,
your whole body
was into the act.

When I was told no more cookies
before dinner and then caught
in the cookie jar, had my had slapped…
it deserved it, for it too was culpable,
as were my shins and elbows—
hell, poke my eyes for good measure
and ground my sperm!
They all were in on it.

Knowledge is a heavy responsibility.
My whole body is convulsing at my thoughts

So Easy – So Scary



Friday, April 16, 2010


[For today's prompt, write a deadline poem. You can interpret what a deadline poem is however you wish. Maybe it's a poem that laments the idea of deadlines. Maybe it's a poem about someone intentionally missing them or who never has problems with them (I wish I were that person). Regardless of how you take it, remember that you have until tomorrow before another prompt will be posted. Consider that your poetic deadline.]

In an urban trauma center
a gunshot victim
becomes just a portion
of the 2 am bedlam—

the changing of the guard;
EMTs hand off the victim
to the hospital staff—

in a hurried continuum
down a corridor
throw swinging doors
now under bright lights
the crimson soaked shirt
is cut away—

bags to IV tubes refreshed,
monitor hooked up,
orders shouted like barking
from competing street vendors

from here it looks like chaos
but the movement is routine
as a well practiced fire drill.
This is the fifth or sixth gunshot
this week— I lose count
and it’s only Thursday.

“We’re losing him” shouts a voice…
“Stand back,” comes another.
“Clear!” things become
slow motion here. Another,

The red line on the monitor flattens out—
They've reached another deadline;
“Time of death 2:32 a.m.”

The Poetry Deal by Diane di Prima

I found this wonderful piece of writint at SF Gate.  Below I'll leave you with an explanation by the poet laureate of San Francisco Diane di Prima - I could identify with so much of it.  After you read it - follow the link and read "The Poetry Deal"

Diane di Prima is San Francisco's poet laureate. About "The poetry deal:" I committed myself to a life of poetry at the age of 14, as a sophomore in high school. I'd been writing some poetry since I was 7, but to me "commitment" meant that I'd write something every day, and would learn all I could about the craft of the poem. As the years passed, I kept doggedly at it, writing, studying obsessively, and always avoiding classes and workshops. By the time I was 24, I was putting out a book a year. Forty years after that commitment, it occurred to me that - selfless and unquestioning as the creative life is - there actually is something like a contract between me and my art.

click below

On Death

[Maybe it's a little too close to tax day, but today's prompt is to write a death poem. You can write about a specific death or consider death as an idea. In the tradition of Emily Dickinson (and other poets), you could even address Death as an entity. Or you can surprise us with a different spin on the subject.]

From birth we commence
with dying. —with no understanding
of this fact or knowledge of what death is.

Our life is wrought with death daily,
we experience it in little things—

first, cheap toys that that break down
and leave us…

the randomness of an ant crushed
under our feet…

the spider your mother took out
with the sole of her shoe…

the naked baby bird
fallen from a nest— it's beak open
it's neck broken.

It becomes more personal
with the death of a pet. A dog
or cat, or turtle… something to which
we've grown attached
up and dies…

and we learn
the deeper meaning of sadness—
more profound than the plastic decoder ring
that was broken and thrown out;
and I think

each time we see death
the world dies a little bit more
for what has passed on

and as children we are often spared
the trip to the funeral home because we are
so young; but at what point…
at what point do any of us
achieve understanding? At what point
do we suddenly have a comfort level?
I think never…

for death stalks us
day in
day out—

it will wait for us.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Unconscious Mutterings Week 376

You say... I think:

  • 1.Habit :: Nun
  • 2.Relaunch :: Program
  • 3.Mondays :: Manic
  • 4.Bootstrap :: Pullup
  • 5.Funk ::  Mayor
  • 6.Appreciate :: Love
  • 7.Yay! :: Overjoyed
  • 8.Life ::  Sentence
  • 9.Sheets ::  Paper
  • 10.Date night ::  Friday Night
get your own list here

Jeweled Island

[For today's prompt, take the phrase "(blank) Island," replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. You could do a well-known island, such as "Treasure Island," "Ellis Island," or "Total Drama Island." Or you could make up the name of an island. Or you could even have a long drawn out title, such as "You'll never get me on an island" or "If I were on a deserted island."]

Jeweled Island

The beaches, vast in topaz crumbs
sparkle against the morning sunlight
and the deep blue waters ripple in
with a white foam tide.

Coconut trees are heavy with
fire opal fruit and near by
yellow tourmaline bananas
dangle above us.

In the distance, beyond
the lush jaded grasses
mountains of blood stone
and onyx rise high into the sky—

some snowcapped in diamond.


[Two for Tuesday time!  Here are today's two prompts:
1. Write a love poem.  2. Write an anti-love poem.]


feels like a silky blanket
or binky that pacifies—

it's the best fitting jeans we've ever had—

the shoes you almost forget
are on your feet.

Love is—

the exhilaration of free fall—

invigorating as standing beneath
a cascade—

cool as a tall glass of iced tea
on a summer day—

warm as a hot coco & marshmallows
on a winter night—

it can rage like a forest fire engulfing—

it can race the heart at a 1000 RPM—

but even then, it is the peace that breaks out
like a rash inside you.
Poetry / Around and about:

Kelli Russell Agodon

leads discussion on the topic "What constitutes a good poem?" in a Field's End Writers' Roundtable event at 7 p.m. April 20 at the Bainbridge Island branch of Kitsap Regional Library, 1270 Madison Ave. N. The event is free and open to writers of all levels and interests. Information: (206) 842-4162,

And this:

Q&A with poet Susan Rich

As I'm sure you all know, it's National Poetry Month, and I was happy to catch up with a very busy Susan Rich to ask her about her newly released book, The Alchemist's Kitchen (White Pine 2010). Also the author of Cures Include Travel and The Cartographer's Tongue ~ Poems of the World, Susan has received awards from PEN USA, The Times Literary Supplement, and Peace Corps Writers. Recent poems have appeared in the Antioch Review, Harvard Review, Poetry International and TriQuarterly

Poetry magazine finds home at EvCC:

Everett can now claim a spot on the literary map. Everett Community College is the new home of Poetry Northwest, a national poetry magazine started 51 years ago by writers who became literary giants.

The magazine has a Web site,, and an independent staff, most based in Seattle.


Adopt a Poet for National Poetry Month:

I bring it up because April is National Poetry Month, which was started by the Academy in 1996 with the hopes of turning April into a month “when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture.”

The program has grown over the years and is now celebrated with readings and programs in schools and even an app.

Well, if you’re looking for a way to mark the occasion — I have an idea: adopt a poet.  Not literally, of course.

In an age where Glenn Beck is making some $13 million a year from books, maybe it’s time we did something to help those who are certainly as deserving.

So, what do I mean by adopting a poet?   Find out - Entire story here!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

San Francisco

[For today's prompt, pick a city, make that the title of your poem, and write a poem. Your poem can praise or belittle the city. Your poem could be about the city or about the people of the city. Your poem could even have seemingly nothing to do with the city. But the simple act of picking a city will set the mood (to a certain degree), so choose wisely.]

It’s like an island connected
to land. It has bay, ocean and mountains.
It feels tropical in some ways—
with palms, still modern and filled
with culture and all things urban.

There is a staggering beauty
from the Pacific coast
to the downtown skyline
with the Transamerica Pyramid
towering high above.

The bridges are spectacular
Golden Gate shrouded often
in a mystique of fog.
The low lying San Mateo
stretches out for an eternity
across the bay
linking east and west.

The weather is most congenial
cool breezes and shirtsleeve warmth
most days.
The city is alive in ways
most cities never imagine—
trolley or the wharfs
people move about
consigned from boredom.

A sunset any direction
is staggering—
you cannot deny
God’s poetic thumbprint.

Confession Tuesday

Tuesday’s come like clockwork now. That’s a crazy statement. Nothing has changed, just my perception.

It’s off to the confessional~

Dear Reader- I’ve been doing NaPoWriMo this month and I’ve cheated. No, I’m not stealing others writers work or anything like that, but I confess I’ve gotten into a pattern of starting late in the day on a poem and finishing it the next. This has happened several times and I keep looking over my shoulder to see it the poetry police a lurking behind.

I could say that I generally keep them within a 24 hour period it’s just that sometimes they straddle the timeline of calendar days. ~0~

While on the subject of NaPoWriMo I have other confessions to make.

  • I confess that sometimes I really don’t like a prompt and I find that generally sets my mood and tone and tends to guarantee that I will not like what I write.
  • I confess too that while I’ve been posting everything to my blog I don’t really like doing this. This stuff is much too raw to be considered poetry in my view and I prefer not to be judged by readers on it.
  • This brings up another confession about my poems and my blog. Usually when I post a poem on my blog I’m sad to say it is not my best work even when we are not in NaPoWriMo mode. If it’s all that good I want to submit it elsewhere. If it’s all that bad, I don’t want to post it at all. So what gets posted is something teetering on the edge. This whole thing bothers me. ~0~
I confess too that I am overly tired this week. I’ve been dog sitting for someone out of town and so that has put me between work, home and a third location. More driving is required and it makes for a disrupted schedule. I don’t mind helping out… I’m certainly not intending this to come off as complaining, just stressing the point of why I’m likely overly tired. At least I hope that is why and not some other health issue. ~0~

My San Francisco Giants baseball team has been playing awesome…. they are 6 and 1! I confess this makes me crazy happy!

Lastly, I confess that I’ve missed being away from Cathy on the nights I’ve been dog sitting.

Monday, April 12, 2010

~ Book of Kells: Breaking News - Pulitzer Prize winner in Poetry Announced

~ Book of Kells: Breaking News - Pulitzer Prize winner in Poetry Announced

I was asleep at the switch and Kelle beat me to the punch with this news and I'm too tired and still have more to write so I'm going to piggy back off her post.

I have to admit the winner for Poetry, Versed by Rae Armantrout sounds deliciously interesting.

The Last Poet

[For today's prompt, take the phrase "The Last (blank)," replace the blank with a word or phrase, make that the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Some examples: "The Last Train," "The Last Kiss," "The Last Time I'll Give Directions to a Complete Stranger," "The Last Dance," etc.] * actually yesterday's prompt, I'm posting late.

If you think poetry is useless,
rather a bore—
and when the subject comes up
you're out the door—
then this poem my friend is just
for you—
it’s about all the things you fail
to realize you do.

The sunset in the western sky
the things you marvel
and question way;
Grand Canyon’s cavernous
and golden wheat tops
that glisten and sway
with wind that howls
and storms that loom;
that darkened glum
on the horizon—

or Pacific surfs
at Monterey
and tides that come
Atlantic’s way…

all these wonders
of which we see
speak to the poet
that is both you
and me.

You may not write
down things profound
but you see them
you know them
they’re all around.

So when this all
comes to an end;
and all about this earth
caves in

be assured
that you too have been
a poet—

the last poet
please turn out
the light.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


It's Sunday night - 11:30ish and that's me on the left. Ok, maybe not but that's how I feel. It's been a long day and a long weekend and I'm waiting on the washer to go off so I can transfer clothes to the dryer.

I have a poem to post but I don't care to wrestle with it at this point. It will have to wait till tomorrow. It's my poem for NaPoWriMo.

I was able to catch the very last part of the Giants game. Their fifth win in six games. Wahoo!!

I read an interesting essay about Plath's poem Sheep in Fog and I'm too tired to go into it here, but perhaps I will in the next few days. Monday is coming way too quickly for my liking and I just heard the washer click off so I'm going to make the transfer to the dryer and maybe read for 15-20 minutes and conk out for the night.

Book Party for Nathalie Handal's - "Love and Strange Horses"

ANYONE IN NEW YORK    ~     This Thursday, APRIL 15, 2010

 A MUST to Put  on your Calendar

"Book Party for Nathalie Handal's Love and Strange Horses"

Gallery Bar - 120 Orchard ST. NY, NY

7:00pm - 10:00pm

I would so go to this if I were there.  Handal is a uniquely talented poet who has a very universal voice.  I loved her book Neverfield.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sleepless Nights

[For today's prompt, write a horror poem. Make it scary. Make it cheesy. Make it funny. Whatever you do, link it somehow to horror. Who knows? Maybe someone will write the next great raven poem.]   

Sleepless Nights
Under light of the moon
the crackened earth moves
to modest gasps from below—
Dante’s hell whispering hello
unseen by human eyes
the souls like gas rise
their presence felt about
that tosses and turns us out
of bed

Friday, April 09, 2010

Portrait in a Morning Mirror

[For today's prompt, write a self-portrait poem. Other artists study themselves to create compositions (not all of them exactly flattering either), so it is only natural that poets, who are word artists, write self-portrait poems from time to time. In fact, some poets make self-portrait poetry "their main thing." For at least today, make it yours..]

Peering into the mirror
I see a man in the bottom
of the fifth— two outs.

Brows raised
in seriousness,
intensity— offset

occasionally with a smile
even laughter
often mystifying.

There is a busy energy
about his head…
part bewilderment
part an ordering,
blocking off thoughts
in stanzas—
juxtaposing the many
that converge therein.

His eyes Capricorn blown,

His hair transformed and still
a work of process.

He sees things as they are
and wonders why – and asks
why not, as to others.

Somewhere deep within
there is a pilot light that burns
the fumes of rage off. Sometimes,
sometimes when the stench
from injustice is too thick,
when things cannot just be burnt off
and the pressure cooker builds
he will not be silent. He will not be.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Rolling Pin

[For today's prompt, pick a tool, make that the title of your poem, and write your poem. There are the more obvious tools, of course: hammer, screwdriver, wrench, etc. But there also less obvious tools and/or specialized tools available as well. Before attacking this poem, you may want to just think about the various possibilities first. Or just write.]

With the flick of a wrist
the checkered cloth came off
the table exposed like a magic trick
down came the muslin cloth
dusted with flour
a lump of dough
and the strong arms of granny
against the handles
of a rolling pin.

With the legs of a runner
transformed to granny’s arms
she would slam the pin
against the dough
and roll forward
a mighty force laid flat
against the putty
flattened like new asphalt

Each stroke an advancing army
flattening the territory,
advancing—    resistance weakening.
That’s how I remember granny.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Until The Geese Return

[The prompt for today - Until (blank)  fill in the blank.]

The dogs will bark
at people passing by—

and grass will grow
lush & green in the field
where they would rest
and strut—

the songs of lesser birds
will fill the morning air—

clouds will come and go
without their meticulous V—

the only honking
will be from cars—

and I will anxiously await
the reassurance
their familiarity brings.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

After the Rain / Based upon an Art Print by Harold Silverman

[Prompt for today... write an ekphrastic poem. According to John Drury's The Poetry Dictionary, ekphrastic poetry is "Poetry that imitates, describes, critiques, dramatizes, reflects upon, or otherwise responds to a work of nonliterary art, especially the visual."]

Based upon an Art Print by Harold Silverman 
click above to see print

Cold naked bark
shivers in the fog
fingers wipe the glass air
heavy with raindrop
balled windshields
and glass puddles
reflect a higher profiled
reach of the out stretched hands
of oak and maple

Good News

This afternoon, as I'm getting ready for a Poetry Reading... I check my e-mail from my phone and the following pops up as new mail....

Hi Michael,

I am pleased to tell you that your poems 'The Face of Mount Rushmore' and 'She's Acryllic' have been selected to appear in the next issue of 'Cats with Thumbs'

This should appear in Mid-May.
This is the kind of e-mail I like...    More please!  More often!!! 

Confession Tuesday

It was when I reached the upper level yesterday at the ballpark, after hoofing it from my car parked on the edge of hell… my seat not yet even in sight, that I realized I seriously need to start going to the track again ore something… otherwise next season’s opening day they are going to have to roll me to my seat in a wheel chair. It is with this stark reality that I’m off to the confessional.

Dear reader, it has been a week. Yes seven days and it seems like only yesterday I was doing this. Where it is that time goes? I confess that sometimes I feel there is a hole somewhere that I am losing time out of. A hole in a pocket, a crack in an hour glass… it just keeps flowing like a sieve – sometimes I think I feel it trickle down my pant leg and leave this trail behind me.

I confess that time is my enemy. Or so I convinced myself many years ago. Time = life. I believe that, and yet I am not the best appropriator of time. There is absolutely no logic to it, but if life and time are interchangeable, I should value time all the more, but I seem to fear it. ~0~

I confess to enjoying the ball game yesterday. I confess I would have enjoyed it better if my wife were there. I confess too I am well aware she would not have enjoyed it very much. After the game, I came home and spent time sharing about the afternoon with her and hope that she was not bored by the talk. ~0~

I confess that Easter Sunday I ate too much before church. I not only ate too much but ate way too many carbs. I was hard to stay awake for Mass, in fact I physically felt horrible well into the afternoon. ~0~
I’ve been writing each day keeping up with NaPWriMo but I’ve not been especially happy with the draft/poems I’ve written. I can admit this, but I confess I am not particularly bothered by it. Normally this would bug me to no end. I’ve so far managed to not allow myself to beat myself up over them; figuring time will solve this problem. I confess I’m pretty happy keeping a positive spin on it. ~0~ 

This seems a good place to stop… on an upbeat note. 

Thanks for indulging me.

Monday, April 05, 2010

I'm Reading - 3:00 PM Tomorrow as the Longest Poetry Reading Continues

I will be reading as part of the history making LONGEST POETRY READING tomorrow at 3:00 p.m.

Prospero's Books
1800 West 39th Street - Kansas City, MO 64111-4402

if you can't be there...  you can watch on the live internet feed at


Opening Day Crazy

[prompt is a TMI poem. Too Much Information]

So much to do,
to remember,
the winter months
away from the game
numb the mind--

The peanut bag, in shells of course,
ball cap; more then ascetics, got to
protect the face from sun--
score pad… and number two pencil.
Two in fact, check for sharpness
those tiny boxes require thin points
to surgically deliver the precision markings
that can be read when referenced
come September.

Cash, $10 for parking, $5 for program,
three draft bears $21 round up to $25 for tips,
hit dogs $7 for two- that's $47 - from the ATM
make it $50.

Game starts at 3:05,
it's 1:30-- a stop at the bank
and parking… should have left
10 minutes ago.

Oh… the tickets!

11 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month With The New York Times

The New York Times has a great piece titled 11 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month.  Lots of interesting resources . A lot of things that would be suitable for school teachers, but not exclusively teacher orientated If interested, check it out here.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

A Brief History Poetic Conception

A parasite in the mind-
sucking off our memory
and replacing it
with the scary
the romantic
the perverted
the beauty of
growing in the
bowels of a dirty

This tequila worm
wiggles its way
into our day or night
or fermenting
over several days
and learning to be
a figment
a filament
a fantasia

groping for paper
to postulate upon

Easter Mo & Journal Bits

Here is Mo in the annual back yard Easter Egg Hunt. Here he is still a little tentative about his find. Mo is just so huggable.

The brisk breeze this afternoon is a nice feeling. I'm concerned about tomorrow though as I have the baseball opener in the afternoon. We may have morning showers... long as they are out of here by noon time, I'm cool with that.

Now for some Journal bits for the past week... March 29 - April 3

  • March 29 - (rough notes from a podcast A Conversation with Andrew Mitchell - at Stanford University on poetic language / Martin Heidegger philosophies) Paraphrasing - Describes poetic language as ambiguous ambiguity - language that is not frozen. The origin of the work of art does not  exhaust itself. Poetry as a way to expose unknowns... we become mortals through our encounters with poetry -Language is relationally defined by poets. Poetry gives name to the gods. 
  • March 31 - I'm thinking about the fact that I'm sweating and its the last day of March. It's hot and I'm in a shitty mood tonight.  
  • April 1 - National Poetry Month begins today and with it, my poem-a day- challenge. This is where it gets all crazy.
  • April 3 - "Under the crush of an August sun / in the baptism of sultry shifting about / I opened my shirt for air-- / the two sides hung / like dead flags on polls / and there was no relief in this."
  • "they walked the path to the creek abreast / as the woods crowed them, he took the lead, / his hand lingering behind in hers." 
  • "If Kipling were here / I'd offer him a piece of mind. / Myopic, crumpled one--" 
  • March 4 - quote by Martin Heidegger "Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one."

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Partly Naked

His flesh is flush
with innuendo
a part clothed
a part exposed
leaving onlookers
stripped of what
to know

Prospero’s Books stages a 120-hour poetry marathon -

Prospero’s Books stages a 120-hour poetry marathon - "Prospero’s Books stages a 120-hour poetry marathon
By TIM ENGLE ~ The Kansas City Star

GARVEY SCOTT (photo credit)
“Sometimes for poetry to be noticed, it has to be noticed in a big way,” said Connie Dover, who helped launch a marathon reading."

Five straight days and nights of poetry reading sounds like a colossal undertaking, but it all started Friday morning with one little boy and an even littler poem.

“Day by day the ghosts go past,” recited almost-5-year-old Riley Werner-Leathem, hoisted up to the microphone by his dad, Prospero’s Books co-owner Will Leathem. Riley dressed up for the occasion, wearing a paisley tie over his Prospero’s T-shirt.
Minutes earlier it wasn’t ghosts but an ill-tempered thunderstorm that passed by. Former Kansas poet laureate Denise Low of Lawrence acknowledged it with her work “The Bear Emerges,” part of which goes:

In bed we hear the rumble,
distant, as we find again
under blankets and skins,
the deep-set thud of heartbeats.

All through the hard winter
we forgot about rain and lightning.
Prospero’s, 1800 W. 39th St., is spending all weekend and part of next week celebrating National Poetry Month — and trying to beat a record for longest poetry reading. The round-the-clock marathon will feature 200-plus regional and national poets, most reading in 20-minute chunks and most performing their own work.

It got under way at 10 a.m. Friday with about two dozen spectators and will wrap up at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The actual record-breaking moment, however, should occur around 7 p.m. Sunday — that’d be the 57-hour mark. Organizers are hoping to wallop a record set in Cincinnati in 1978, when a poetry marathon lasted 56 hours, 25 minutes.

If all goes well, the local effort will rack up 120 continuous hours of poetry, more than double what those disco-era dudes did.

Complete Story

Read more:

Friday, April 02, 2010


Presumably frozen
upon the moon
filling the depths
of the blue lagoon

upon a board
flat lined across the floor
rolling like mercury
under a door
waving to those
upon the shore

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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Shades of Blue

The prompt for day one is to write a lonely poem. The narrator could be lonely. Someone or something in the poem could be lonely. Or the poem itself could try to evoke a feeling of loneliness for the reader

Will anyone care to read me…
I mean really hear
what I’m saying?
Place their ear to the page
and listen for the sighs
or the tone in my voice
with its highs and lows.

Will they think
I’m just another
silly poem—
or figure
I’m too complicated;
too much like their last

the one no one gets.
The one coded
with meaning
they never understood
and would not wish
upon another—
like I would want you
to feel my pain.

Like you could
know the quiet
that squeezes me
till I’m suffocating
and my biggest fear
is no one is there
to see—

and anyone
that would will not
until the Powder
turn Periwinkle
turn Maya
turn Iris
then Indigo.
Until it is just
too late.

National Poetry Month Has Arrived

Crazy Time!  Crank out those poems. One-A-Day!

Yes, I'm doing the poem-a-day challenge again this year. I'm still debating if I will post the drafts here or not. Stay tuned for my decision, but at a minimum, I will report the daily exploits in this journey.  You can count on that.

Last year I completed the challenge and had maybe five decent poems that survived drafts that I had written during the 30 day period. I won't lie to you, this gets to be painful about 20 days in. I think it's more to aspect of writing to a set prompt then the writing part itself. Some days you just want to tell the prompt  where it can go. But for now, the challenge is met with fresh enthueasam.