Day 5: Short Spring

Photo by Devin Avery on Unsplash

Short Spring

over time, trauma is a thief of joy
two fingers of bourbon mug the mugger
spring oozed into her room nonchalantly
embracing us with equanimity
her voice cooing we shouldn’t do this now
her lips tasting of why haven’t we yet
the fire in her almond eyes read mine
we chose the same musk-knotted adventure
music was jealous of our harmony
you introduced me to Martin Gore and
I didn’t get him, but through you, I did
I’m jealous I missed your London punk scene
and all the parts that broke you apart
we were both trauma and broken things
we been runnin’, done ran, till we bumped heads
finding joy in tending each other’s shards
I lived to cut myself open on you
seducing you into seducing me
say I won’t rise to meet your velvet taunt
your tongue had already run us through
I marked you as mine when your teeth pierced me
by the thinnest skin of goddess sinew
we loved, clear-eyed in the blackest of night
as the box-springs sang je t’aime, je t’aime
you took my life each time I surrendered
only to find your dear Eeyore renewed
I’ll re-steal this joy, returning to us
delightful, bottled beautiful struggle
thus was the elixir of our short spring
***

NaPoWriMo Day 5: “Twenty Little Poetry Projects,” developed by Jim Simmerman. The challenge is to use/do all of the list below in the same poem, or as many as possible. This was extremely challenging, but also super engaging. I kicked off my shoes, threw out the punctuation, meditated on a topic that frequents my thoughts, (I was born a dirty old man. Sorry/not sorry) and started tinkering. I fudged some of the criteria, but I honored the spirit of all twenty requirements.

Here they are:

  1. Begin the poem with a metaphor.
  2. Say something specific but utterly preposterous.
  3. Use at least one image for each of the five senses, either in succession or scattered randomly throughout the poem.
  4. Use one example of synesthesia (mixing the senses).
  5. Use the proper name of a person and the proper name of a place.
  6. Contradict something you said earlier in the poem.
  7. Change direction or digress from the last thing you said.
  8. Use a word (slang?) you’ve never seen in a poem.
  9. Use an example of false cause-effect logic.
  10. Use a piece of talk you’ve actually heard (preferably in dialect and/or which you don’t understand).
  11. Create a metaphor using the following construction: “The (adjective) (concrete noun) of (abstract noun) . . .”
  12. Use an image in such a way as to reverse its usual associative qualities.
  13. Make the persona or character in the poem do something he or she could not do in “real life.”
  14. Refer to yourself by nickname and in the third person.
  15. Write in the future tense, such that part of the poem seems to be a prediction.
  16. Modify a noun with an unlikely adjective.
  17. Make a declarative assertion that sounds convincing but that finally makes no sense.
  18. Use a phrase from a language other than English.
  19. Make a non-human object say or do something human (personification).
  20. Close the poem with a vivid image that makes no statement, but that “echoes” an image from earlier in the poem.

Day 3: crashing a block party over on fullerton…

By Flickr user: Seth Anderson Chicago https://www.flickr.com/photos/swanksalot/ – Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/swanksalot/331315405/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22585050

crashing a block party over on fullerton…

the boom to the kick
and then in comes the improv
to the moon, riding thick
when the sun bows and dissolves

too soon the pulse quickens
when the fun begins
she said her sign is the twins,
I’m trying to get in them skins

so I’m lying like I know
about the horoscope
like I try bending flow
like I’m skipping rope

even though I hate the shallow
like a misanthrope
I play the rope-a-dope
hoping to feel her cantaloupes

she say nuh-uh,
you a Capricorn,
yall’ boys are too uptight
I said if our minds vibe right,
I would beat the daylight

to her bedsheets,
we could creep like TLC,
or wile-out like Janet
anytime, anyplace,
I don’t care who sees us
on this planet

she played me to the left,
calling me thirsty like Rice Krispies
but not being risky, she
slipped me her digits,
knowing she frisky

bystanders threw it in my face
like I was vexed by her reply
but I knew she was two-faced,
just like all sexy Gemini
***

NaPoWriMo Day 3: basically, use Rhymezone and a random book off a shelf to create a palette of rhyming words to construct a poem.

This one didn’t grab me, so I modified it a bit, using both Rhymezone and a quasi-freestyle from words that popped in my head while listening to a 90’s Hip-Hop song (the one imbedded above).

It was pretty fun. Reminded me of when we would gather in hallways banging out beats on the walls while “passing the mic” around to each other.

Day 0: Just Past Dawn

Image by falconp4 from Pixabay 

Just Past Dawn

I’m roused by a crimson red sun
streaking across reddish-brown skin
nude, save for pale thigh, tinted rose,
draped midriff, ignited by dawn.
What on earth was in that merlot?
Cherry-red lips mark morning kiss;
my red-eyed world turns to meet them.
Disturbed, pale-pink thigh shrinks from blush.
What on earth was in that merlot?
Scarlet kiss, ruddy thigh, opposed?
What on earth was in that merlot?
And I, red sun, caught between worlds?
Trapped between dawn-reddened kisses
my neck and spine tattooed in wine
bracketed by lavish pink pours
confusion yields to crimson want
the cock crows rise with day aflame;
I drown in cups of red again.
“You touch me nice,” said your pink grin.
“Me too,” said your cherry-blushed friend.
But was it really the merlot?
***

NaPoWriMo Day 0: Early-Bird Prompt

Tension: A Line Drawn Taught

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Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

Tension: A Line Drawn Taught

I am a tyrant.
I yielded her harvest so decent.

I play at decent.
I gorge on her harvest like a tyrant.

I am engorged; a tyrannical decency.
I yield to her harvest.

A yielding tyrant who harvests what she gorges –
Her decency.

Harvesting her “play at decent”,
yields her as a tyrant.

Decency of a tyrant!
Do I yield? Does she harvest?

Tyrannical decency! I gorge.
I gorge upon her.

I yielded, gorging her harvest so decent.
Do I play at tyrant?
***

Inspired by Real Toads Weekend Mini Challenge: The Uncertainty of the Poet, hosted by Kim M. Russell. As depicted, I opted to go with a familiar tension of sorts.

I’m kind of bummed that Real Toads is so close to ending their amazing run, so I’m trying to contribute more to their remaining prompts. It’s bittersweet, but as with most finite things within our cosmos, nothing lasts forever.

Also shared at Pantry of Poetry and Prose #7 hosted by Magaly Guerrero.

Paying it Forward

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Photo by  on 

Paying it Forward

“You look good all dressed up”
a voice said, and I turned
to see her two grey eyes fixed
upon me, devouring my contrasts
and contours, reading my reactions
as if she knew I’d always wanted
for her to say something, anything
to me, knowing I wouldn’t know
how to reply as I stammered out
a cheesy, but sincere “well, uhm,
you look good anywhere” retort
that made her snort, her crooked
smile twinkling down upon me
from the declining escalator we
both shared that seemed to descend
endlessly into the gutter of dirty
things I wanted to do with her that
made me blush as if she could
read my intimate thoughts on what
had to be the protruding horns of
my corny forehead that she reached
out to touch gently, having heard my
thought that said “please, for the love
of everything holy, reach out to
touch me gently, or even not so gently,
I don’t even care, thank God you’re
here-” my thirst interrupted and
quenched by a tender kiss and a soft
reminder that it’s time for me to end
the escalator ride towards the center
of us and awaken to the real world,
and much like my dream, this poem
will end abruptly with a vague sense of
dissatisfaction.
***

Originally posted on Medium.

Shared on dVerse OpenLinkNight #255 hosted by Grace. Other poets have shared here

And I’ll Paint Love Upon You

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Image by bdpeterson from Pixabay 

And I’ll Paint Love Upon You

You see your freckles as
the sun marking you as you age;

I see them as a hybrid game
of connect-the-dots with kisses
and color-by-numbers where

my lips brush skin till filled
with a rosy blush, augmenting
exquisite mixed-medium
masterpiece.

Pucker-up, sweet
sun-kissed canvas.
***

Written for dVerse Quadrille #84, hosted by Mish. Other poets have contributed to this prompt here.

Day 20: Gas Leak, Revisited

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Gas Leak, Revisited

I was stuck in a country music bar on base
due to a gas leak; don’t ask, I didn’t get it
either, but our instructor bought us a round
of Jack ‘n cola to pass the time, and damn, bruh,
that shit tasted like tasty-ass smoke, ya knamean?

I was hooked on brandy at the time, but that changed
‘cause that Jack Daniels tasted like brandy with balls,
but when I told my classmate, he was like, nah, son
you should try this, and he fitted me with bourbon,
and damn man, it was like all my shit locked in place,
the air felt right, the gal behind the bar flirted,
the lady next to me almost got me dancing
and if we’d all died in an explosion that night,
I’d have been pretty chill with how chill things turned out.

But we didn’t die, the gas leak was cleaned-up good,
and my homey who showed me that dope-ass new drink
dropped me at the airport to meet wifey in-time,
and yeah, he probably shouldn’t’ve been driving,
it was fucked-up, but we got away with it, and
that’s not really the point I’m trying to get at;

I mean, when I was trying new drinks and flirting
with women I never would’ve met otherwise,
up to that point in my young life, I never felt
so… you know… alive… like I was finally here,
and all that woke shit came to a dead-ass ending
as soon as wifey flew back in from Chicago,
like, the vibe was gone, the warning signs were right there,
but I just said fuck it and moved on, making sure
I added bourbon to next month’s shopping budget.
***

Written for NaPoWriMo’s day 20 prompt: write a poem that “talks”; that is based in normal, contemporary spoken language.

I typically try to use cuss words moderately in my poetry and within context; never for “cheap heat” or shock value, but when it comes to my normal every-day dialogue, I cuss like a… well… you should know by now.

Note: I know I skipped yesterday. I was drained, so I gave myself permission to take a break. I plan on making-up yesterday’s prompt, though.

Day 14: Scent of Roses

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Scent of Roses

Lounging unhurriedly
at the confluence
of Willamette
and Columbia,

Portland is
a confluence
of ordinary
and wondrous
non-sequiturs.

An unofficial jewel
whose unofficial jewel
is probably Obsidian Stout,

a local import.

She is so unpretentious
that she seems extremely pretentious,

but she don’t give a fuck what you think
and she’s too kind to tell you

unless you get pushy.

She will bum a square outside a club,
or lend you one if she can spare it,

listening to your dreams,
sharing her own in-kind

before retreating inside
when her song is played and then

her stage name is called as
you slowly realize that
you’re now kindred spirits
with an exotic dancer

erotically peeling away
her layers, down to where
imagination meets
pale, toned, imperfectly
beautiful reality.

If she ever read this,
she’d laugh and be like,
“Really? Chill, dude.
It’s just stripping.”

Her indomitable spirit flies free,
but she brokers no jackassery or
disrespect of any kind. If you touch

her without permission, security
will escort you out, but after being

kind enough to help find your missing
teeth and stop the bleeding. As a spark-plug,

Portland doesn’t scrape the sky,
but she doesn’t need to;
she gets plenty high enough.

At the peak of her bustle,
she doesn’t impose her will on you,

but if you show an
inkling of interest
or curiosity,

she’ll lean into you
with a wink and sneer that asks,
“well what are you waiting for, old age?”

You won’t recall what street you were on,
or what landmarks you saw, or the wonders
of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

or how the roses smelt
(or if you prefer, smelled,
for they won’t check grammar
off the clock).

You won’t remember many
remarkable physical attributes,
though notable ones are celebrated,
eclectic, and prolific,

but you’ll remember how you felt
while you were in her.

You may have winced or
groaned at that last innuendo,

but she would’ve barely been
bothered to shrug before

either ignoring
or matching your lewdness,
depending on the weather.

Oh, and it rains a lot,
which is clearly a
wondrous kind of
ordinary.
***

Written for Real Toads’ day 14 prompt: The Streets (“Where is your favorite town or city to take a stroll in?”)

Also written for NaPoWriMo’s day 14 prompt: write a poem that incorporates homophones, homographs, and homonyms, or otherwise makes productive use of English’s ridiculously complex spelling rules and opportunities for mis-hearings and mis-readings.

Obviously, I wasn’t really into the NaPoWriMo prompt, as I didn’t do too much with wordplay. Perhaps I was swayed by Portland’s rebellious, counterculture spirit.

Blueshifted Music

Blueshifted Music

Somewhere in-between
procrastination and care
lives a unique skill

I enjoy moving melody
a half measure sooner
than the vibration hits the ear

anticipating the motive
prior to its motivation
breaking it all down just
before the breakdown

I steep her tealeaves
several heartbeats before
her heart skips into
craving its honeyed warmth

I trace the groove
that draws her taught
and leaves her slack
before our moves

I’ve always been a
Thursday kind of guy
for in Thor’s mighty voice lies
the promise of weekend bliss

Friday’s a branded catfight
among the past goddesses

my goddess draws breath
as mine was easily lost

exhaling clairvoyant will
into her deepest wishes

I melt snow-sculptures
before they’ve fully amassed
accumulation
in her driveway

I live in the tension
in a contorted face
before the cry

don’t mistime me as sadist
for hearing the cry is still both
jarring and frightful

but the building crescendo
is everything

living in this way,
using my singularly
blueshifted power

in half-measured strides
into our future

keeps me in pace
with our present
***

This poem was shared on Medium as Blueshifted Music.

 

Nocturnal Remission

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Photo by Jay on Unsplash

Nocturnal Remission

Once upon a frosted moon
I gathered diamond dust in June
Nonsense or hogwash, dare you say?
Perhaps you’re right; it was in May

With snowdrifts icing late spring blooms
I laced my skates and headed north
Her hand outstretched from feathered plumes
My butterflies flittered for warmth

This bird migrated in three-fourths
I lagged behind her melody
Her song was lilting, light, on-key
We danced our dream with fragile force

Her sea-salt kiss reigns tearfully
Melting capricious symphony
My snowbird left this lonely loon
In sentiment and fantasy

That once upon a frosted moon
I gathered diamond dust in June
***

Written for dVerse  Stock Phrases, posted by lillian in Poetics.

I enjoyed this prompt… but look, I get it… I know there’s not much to hold onto in this poem (or perhaps too much, depending on your perspective), so pardon my whimsy.

“Once upon a…” prompts get me in a bit of a whimsical mood. 🙂