NaPoWriMo #17



Hello dull ache tugging at the base of the skull.  Hello sunlight pink behind the lids. Hello stinging zombie jaw, I release you from your meaningless labor.  Hello farts.  Hello shoulder bone and hip bone bearing up this heap in the dark.  Hello hamstrings and achilles, metatarsels and phalanges, wiggling against each other in the heap.  Hello bladder, go back to sleep.  Hello warmth and mouth breathing behind my head.  Hello! Claw at my foot, orange cat stalking all black pupils on the edge of every scene.  Hello cloud of white blankets I wrap around me like so much fluffy armor. Hey roll and stretch and cool metal headboard on my hands.  Hi lungs I can only imagine as two oddly shaped pink whoopee cushions.  I fill you and stretch you to your tiniest points and let out a guttural yawp.  Hey you with the open mouth and the adam’s apple sticking up above the sheet, sounding the deep tones of a humpback whale,  warm and heavy heap.   All things roll toward the heavy one here.    Hello elbow point I plant on the other side of me.  Hello large warm hand on my back, long arm pushing me over without a word.  Hi vertical world, sinuses draining down, head’s weight fading into the background.  Hello gravity transforming me from heap into lines  and pendulums and levers.  Hallo! down there cold feet taking the leap to bear the weight out amongst the predators.  Hail, feet.

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NaPoWriMo #16

Pantun Stanza


One block north of here, twice a day,

cars speeding west smash into cars heading north.

My mind’s map is missing.  To keep the fear at bay,

I chant the points I’m facing: “west, west, west, north, north . . .”

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NaPoWriMo #15

Walking Sonnet

Couldn’t figure out how to post text that is right and left justified, so here is a screen print from Word of my poem.

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NaPoWriMo #14

You have to understand, Mr. Blank, this is a puppet show we’re in.

Any dead thing can come alive—you, the beast who took my leg, my leg—

didn’t you realize, I have only one leg? This wooden leg, I took it from you

and left you with a phantom.  You find the space where it pretends to be,

you trace a shape through emptiness, reeling invisible silk with your hands.

You make me think of Einstein and those diagrams of a ball falling

into a grid of space and time, bending and stretching it like a blanket. 

This puppet show we’re in, it’s coming close to curtain call,

and still I haven’t bed the beast who took my leg so I can

take it back, enchanted as I was by his hands. .

But what do I do? I hop around, every joint haphazard and spastic,

my direction unpredictable even to me. .

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NaPoWriMo #13

Exercise for Children 1: Music and Movement

Find a Picasso painting in a museum,

large or small. If it’s small, make yourself small. 

Note the sharp and soft parts of the figures,

and tell me, of what materials

are they made, and how would they move, 

and what would it sound like?

Notice the musicians in infinite

exposures, their guitars and violins

and accordions, their forms like sheer fabric

sliced into triangles and pulled apart. 

See here the throat of the “Mother

with Dead Child,” like a bendy straw’s

stretched out neck, the popping of every rung

when you stretch it out.


See the carved up body of “The Swimmer”

(1934), her face caved in,

a gasping funnel (hear the gasping, the splashing),

one nostril and one eye aimed upward and wide

as though they can suck air, too. 

See how her breasts swim detached from her body

like pilot fish.  They are of the dark triangles

of underwater.  See how the surface,

sharp shards of consciousness, holds her in stocks

at the neck and elbow and ankle,

toes and fingers that spread in pain or fear or ecstasy. 


Then move to “The Charnel House” and tell me

if the bodies stacked on top of bodies

make one body, and if you feel, too,

as though these figures are underwater,

or if you smell them at all.  See the food

on the table above them, just slightly

out of reach.   If you make a small frame

inside the painting with your fingers, 

what do you see? The tiny foot of a baby

next to the gaping mouth of a woman

next to a navel that faces up with an “o.”

And what are these undulating forms

exiting the scene in the top, right hand corner? 


Other paintings to consider: “The Rower”:

its body a creaking of machines 

trapped in such a small space, its movements

all feeding a closed system, arms, back, and legs

a circular movement of levers,

the head a skull that sticks up from the top

on a swinging neck, the background all foamy white.

“The Kiss” (various versions): the various lovers

of Picasso / the various ways to play

the charnel house game / the infinite ways

we melt into each other.  

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NaPoWriMo #12



The feral cat in my belly

Jumps into scorpion shape

As though surprised by a snake

When love comes smiling around our feet.

I keep it in a padded box

Where I can watch it from above

Like a man looking down

at his suddenly erect penis.

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NaPoWriMo #11

Trying to catch up here.  

“Hereupon, the beasts, enraged at the humbug, fell upon him tooth and claw.”




Red in tooth and claw

I jumped awake this morning

Red sun in my ears

Your smothered feet skittered red

with dreams and I embraced them.

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