Poetry Challenge #25: Untitled

2013Normandy Beach

Born again. Another day. Regenerated, cells reprised.

Always. Change. Still. Constant.
Sleep is our exile: from birth to exile.

In our dreams we perform twice-hourly spacewalks to retrieve (several) film cassettes.

The purpose of this lonely circling rendezvous is to move and shake in mystical states, in anticipation of the cliffhanger scene when we forget our safe world in the lonely circle and fail to return from our dreams.

How quickly the lighted taper of our existence burns to vapor, as we fade to black on Earth’s surface.

Return home to our seedpods, in a distant sky with different stars. Far from the astronomer’s gaze.

With our Earth eyes disabled, we use transcendental meditation to put the finishing touches to our minds.

At the time of writing, our film is Untitled.

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Poetry Challenge #24: Two Bodies

Two bodies speak to each other in smoke rings.

Signals blown back and forth. The mysterious air

between the pair: cloaking their mystery.

What are they saying? Is language extinct?

Are words with all their meanings pinned

down. Frozen. Stiff.

No map no GPS
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Poetry Challenge #23: Forgiven

She adds the tragic loss of her daughter “Michele” to the mystery of how humankind came to be here on Earth.

If God’s people cannot agree on the Beginning of Time, her wish is that her daughter will never trace her and save herself the disappointment of discovering the tale of her beginning  —

“Once

Upon a Time.”

Her homeland is a primitive island in the midst of the Caribbean Sea.

“Learning to reading

and

writing”

was reserved for the rulers of the island.

As Michele grows up, she will want to be read to at night. What

will her mother tell her? Should she say that her eyesight is poor.

              *        *       *

My illiterate, mother.

I span her like a shadow self,

calling out her name. “Frances”.

 

Step into my tracks, Frances. Frances.

Tell me your life story. In my dreams

you are a lifesaver.

 

You are a palm reader. You read palms.

You read me every night.

There beside me…. whispering incantations,

telling me what comes next…

Replacing fairytales? Replacing

sorrow.

I remember who I am today.

Tomorrow.

2Normandy Beach
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Poetry Challenge: #19: SALT

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Hello! The prompt for today’s poetry challenge is to write a poem that uses at least five of the following words:

owl
generator
abscond
upwind
squander
clove
miraculous
dunderhead
cyclops
willowy
mercurial
seaweed
gutter
non-pareil
artillery
salt
curl
ego
rodomontade
elusive
twice
ghost
cheese
cowbird
truffle
svelte
quahog
bilious

3SALT

(Double click on image to see full-size text.)

Poetry Writing Challenge #16: Riddles in Rainy Weather

The challenge for today is to pick a language that you don’t know, and then translate a poem in that language.

Use the sound and shape of the words and lines to guide you, without worrying too much about whether your translation makes sense!

I chose to translate a poem written in Norwegian from a collection called Regnværsgåter (Riddles in Rainy Weather) by Gro Dahle.

HVEM ER DET SOM VENTER PÅ DEG UANSETT HVA DU HAR GJORT UANSETT HVA DU HAR SAGT MYKERE ENN DU HADDE TENKT BEDRE ENN DU KUNNE HUSKE?

Puten din
i det slitte gamle trekket
Et eneste stort kinn
av omfavnelse

Have they met some Ventura (good fortune) perhaps inserted afar? You have jotted down “Inserted Afar”, you have said Mercury in the Heavens; think betraying them, you can help?

Put it down!
I do slither as gamblers trekked.
And earnestly sought out kindred spirits
Above the state of OM (primordial vibration),
Five nails I see.

Below is the correct translation of the poem.

WHO IS WAITING FOR YOU REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU HAVE DONE REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU HAVE SAID SOFTER THAN WHAT YOU HAD THOUGHT BETTER THAN WHAT YOU COULD RECALL?

Your pillow
in the worn old cover
One big cheek
of embrace

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Poetry Writing Challenge #15: Saltoun Sea, California

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1brighton.beach.2013_0911

Saltoun Sea, California

I don’t know how to tell you of this journey and not forfeit my peace of mind.

I have been attempting to draw a line under
my Book of Experiments for almost a year now.

My equations calculating density,
Tidal waves and unremitting desire.

I want to be an inventor; to exist on more
than faith and mineral water, coffee and exercising.

Present a bunch of lilies to my lover at the week-
end, unapproachable as he is — all hot air,
apt to blow a fuse at the mention of marriage vows.

I’m remembering our most recent heterosexual position on
high ground at the Joshua Tree National Park. Seduction

above the heads of Emerald trees, looking in the direction of the inland

Saltoun sea –

created by a freaky flood in 1905.

It is said (by whom?) that the Saltoun Sea
sits on top of the San Andreas Fault Line.

If this is true, then I suck my teeth at her pop-up location.
This unfathomable so-called Sea, her
Longevity as unlikely as my holy matrimony.

If only a wave would roll over me and dispel my unease.
Return me to my senses!

The native wildlife, mountain lions etc.,  I roll my eyes at, but that is a given for me.
I lay down. Avert my eyes from the landlocked sea.
Turn inwards towards my spiritual sea.

Nothing to read but the ancient future.

Poetry Writing Challenge #14: Batman in Harlem

Black associates of the Joker have kidnapped Batman and Robin and, at gunpoint, forced the Caped Crusaders to help aspiring rappers escape from the Hood. A yet to be famous musician called Gill Scott-Heron narrates the story.

The Adventures of Batman
The Adventures of Batman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Batman in Harlem.

Aspiring rappers nicknamed the Sharp Necks are clamoring to gain entry to the Story Avenue club.

I shall not stay awhile under this duress, says Batman.

Say, what’s up, Bruce, you don’t dig the jive in Harlem?

I’m late for an appointment with the Mayor of Gotham City, opines Batman.

Lights! Camera! Action!

De-ne-de-ne-de-ne-de-ne… BATMAN!

Okay, in today’s episode, you and

Robin spin the turntables forward and

retrograde mimicking the paths of planets.

Are you down with you that plan, B?

Batman says nothing.

He’s a superhero. KABOOM!

What’s our payoff ? POW!!

BOOM.

We are company that his soul can’t bear to keep. SPLAT!!!

Roll away the stone, put your smoke in the air. HOLY SMOKES BATMAN. Life

is waiting and we gonna peel outta the ghetto like apples falling far from the tree.  ZAP!!

Chickaboom.

Hey you poets with the gold teeth – wave your hands in the air.

I present to you: Robin and Batman. The original R n B!

The crowd go wild. Stamping. Clapping. Cheering. Whistling.

Radiant eyeballs spin like casino numbers.

Robin and Batman start rapping out a Percy Shelley tune.

Batman: “Watering his laurels with the killing tears/ Of slow, dull care, so that their roots to Hell might pierce…”

Robin: “He has hung upon his wiry limbs a dress like King Lear‘s…”

And then like the pint size/nice guy/ that he is Robin lapses into a reverie about Ancient Greece.

My name is Tiresias: I am the fire of desire and passion.

For seven years I lived as a woman. If I don’t slip back to the Bat cave tonight

there will be chaos in the comic world.

A Sharp Neck in the crowd shouts out…

Die to yesterday, Robin… yesterday was shit!”

Batman is getting itch feet and tries to calm the crowd by continuing with Shelley.

“A lady-witch there lived on Atlas’ mountain within a cavern, by a secret fountain.”

At which point, I interrupt Batman, and step up to the microphone — and say:

“Batman you are a complex figure, with a foot in each of many oppositions, mediating between gods and mankind, sleepwalkers and seers, present and future, Gotham City and the Harlem ghetto.

Drink deep before your ghost can see the future for himself.”

Upon my words

Batman slows to a pause.

The crowd hush up and stare.

Looking to and from, Batman and the Sharp Necks, I rap:

“Today the obstacles are translucent and, with your help,

we’ll achieve our dreams. Batman, I say to you:

As the Joker’s apprentice is my work finished for the evening?”

 todaythevoice

Day 14 of National Poetry Writing Month.

Today’s challenge is to write a persona poem — that is, a poem in the voice of a particular person who isn’t you.

http://www.napowrimo.net/

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Poetry Writing Challenge #13

National Poetry Writing Month (also known as NaPoWriMo) is a creative writing project held annually in April in which participants attempt to write a poem each day for one month.

Today is Day 13 of the challenge… I heard from a trusted source that it’s not too late to enter the challenge!

“Your prompt for today is simply to take a walk. Make notes — mental or otherwise — on what you see on your walk, and incorporate these notes into your poem. A bit more serene and observational than yesterday, and hopefully a nice, calming poem to begin your weekend with.”

Paper Dance Steps

She

CUTS       an old-fashioned

dress

pattern

into paper dance steps

for left        and right

FOOT.

She lays the makeshift choreography on the frozen sidewalk

directly below her ninth floor Boston apartment.

She counts from 1 to 100

for her partner to appear.

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