Susi Bocks of the I Write Her blog has posted an interview we did to promote her anthology, The Sound of Brilliance: The Short of It, which features a couple of my poems. We talk about stripclubs, Ohio, trauma and The Truth for about half an hour then I read a poem.
Happy May the Fourth! I’ll be reading this at the Carrboro (NC) Poet’s Open Mic Night tonight via Zoom which starts at 7pm EDT (2300UTC) and usually lasts about an hour. Connect up and share your poetry too!
So long since I last heard our songs
I miss the sounds of my language the beckoning song of a silken woman the yips of children playing in the trees even Malla’s nagging would be welcome
Recordings and transmissions from home can’t convey the breadth of tone or inflection we use everyday from bowcaster ads to poetry
I love my friends though pale and sickly they appear but I speak like a simpleton so they can understand— the subtleties of Shyriiwook are lost on fur-less ears
Take me back to Kashyyyk— I want to hear my wife say my name— my true name— once again
May Days are have become doubly celebratory for me in the past decade since it also marks the end of National Poetry Month and the Poem-A-Day Challenge. For the first day in over a month, I will neither write nor post a poem. However, I have neglected some opportunities for shameless self-promotion.
First, the Sound of Brilliance has been published on Amazon, featuring two of my poems. Susi Bocks of the I Write Her blog has done a wonderful job putting this together and I’m proud to be included with so many other excellent poets, writing beautiful short poetry.
And finally I want to highlight my fellow Living Poet, JeanMarie Olivieri, who did of remix of my poems from this April, like I tried on Wednesday, and did a much better job of it. I’m honored that she stole my mediocre lines and crafted them into something brilliant.
For today’s prompt from Robert Lee Brewer’s Write Better Poetry blog, write a goodbye poem. Whether leaving for a holiday or going to get groceries, many people find themselves in positions of saying goodbye to each other. So this feels like an appropriate way to close out this year’s challenge…until we meet again.
Farewell To Stromness
The wind blew into Stromness from Hoy Sound as if urging me to stay. From the deck, I watched a gull hover over the ferry. She’d twitch a feather here, a muscle there, no exertion, no panic, as if suspended in a mobile over the cradle of a fisherman’s child.
Instead of recalling my time at Skara Brae or the Ring of Brodgar, I was hypnotized by this bird’s deft demonstration of unthinking. She swam in a relentless river of air without plan or concern, unlike me— checking clocks and worrying timetables.
As the boat coughed out into the roiling quicksilver of the North Sea, I looked back at the stones of Stromness and realized some part of me remained.
For today’s prompt from Robert Lee Brewer’s Write Better Poetry blog, write an evening poem. The evening can be a quiet and contemplative time, a stressed or fearful time, or, well, party time. Evenings can be lonely or romantic, cool or humid, inspirational or numbing. And today (or tonight, depending on when you consume your poetry prompts), evening is the time for poeming–even if you’re doing it in the middle of the afternoon.
The fog comes on little bat wings after the sun retreats to the west leaving the harbor town undefended.
Gaslight soldiers on every corner resist the darkness sweeping the city but little orange flames are no deterrence.
I emerge into glorious night, inspired by a moonless sky to hunt the lost souls I find.
Streets glisten with dew or blood. My actions surgical— my teeth insatiable— no screams from the brokenhearted
as the forgiving dawn comes too late for those who I glimpsed in the fog.
For today’s prompt from Robert Lee Brewer’s Write Better Poetry blog, write a remix poem. This has become one of my favorite prompts, because it asks us to look over what we’ve written this month and pick something (or many somethings) to poem out in a new way. Maybe your free verse becomes a sonnet or your sestina transforms into haiku. Or take a line or phrase from each of your poems this month and work it into a cohesive new creation.
That Grain of Sand Irritating
I leave this poem as apology writing as if Shakespeare were holding a Glock to my head
I inherited my father’s voice and sing praises to the moon like a dog chasing a car heart thumping like a flat tire I drink life straight from the bowl
But some vessels are best left unopened frustration like a pressure cooker simmering— about to erupt I want to see climatologists with steam shooting from their ears
Free to smoke the morning away in my idling pickup truck we know that death comes silent and sudden feeling floating falling folded in a book I hope will survive the flood covered with emptied bottles of water
You told me dolphins were angels whose bones are these? might as well leave them in my coffin
(All lines stolen from my previous poems-a-day this April with very minor edits.)
For today’s prompt from Robert Lee Brewer’s Write Better Poetry blog, take the phrase “(blank) World,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Theme Park World,” “Poeming World,” and/or “Brave New World.” Have fun putting the world in a poem.
Look up! Any time of night you’ll see blinking lights of airplanes crossing from horizon to horizon and you won’t see the milky way.
Listen hard! Any time of day you’ll hear the growl of a motor burning oil or the hum of some electric spinning and you won’t hear the leaves in the breeze.
Our pollution extends beyond smog and toxins as we contaminate perception itself like a once pristine glacier covered with emptied bottles of water.
For today’s prompt from Robert Lee Brewer’s Write Better Poetry blog, write a thought poem. Of course, my first thought (maybe like yours) is, “Aren’t all poems thought poems?” Well, I guess, but I’m thinking of a poem that captures a thought or random ramblings running ’round your cranium. It doesn’t have to be a rambling poem, but that’s one thing. Another possibility is having two people share their thoughts with each other and/or NOT share them. Think about it a moment and then unleash your thought poem.
I Think Too Much
It was a good thing at school or the office where I’m paid to sit still and think for eight hours a day but it’s a problem the rest of the time
Does she want to be more than friends? Why hasn’t she texted me back? Am I being too clingy?
Like a vaudeville plate spinning act my thoughts spiral to desperation I should learn to trust my instincts
I’m a moth and she’s the flame I just have to accept the singed wings
Just a reminder that I’m one of the featured readers at tomorrow’s Poetry on your Plate show. It starts at 6pm EDT (2200 GMT) on Zoom.