National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) 2013

Here are some poems posted for the National Poetry Writing Month event, April 1013. Enjoy.

April 1cw in santa monicas

A Poet

I scrape the leftover potatoes
Into the last of the vegetable soup
Rearrange the espresso cups

Astral body surf over the mountain, arms
Splayed out, leading a V of migratory geese
Make love to the Dalai Lama’s mistress
In a cold cave with incense burning

Christ, please save me from this night
Of sordid tasks and boring dreams

I speak of this to my seatmate
On the flight from Albany
To Scottsdale, an accountant
Going to his former wife’s
Fourth wedding. He smiles politely
Looks out the window
At the passing clouds

My word. A poet.
I must tell Madge.

April 2

Alone in the Dark

 Come, join me here in the shadows
It is better for seeing Mars and the other planets
Lined up in a row for the only time
From where I stand, in my life

You must give your porch light eyes
Time enough to adjust to the jaws of darkness
Yes, even this will be enough
To promise you a vision of the night

Walk with me through the meadow
By the woods, where the neighbor says
A bear lives, a wildcat lives, a coyote lives
Howling as it waits to eat our house dog

Stand with me under the leafless poplars
Where a blue jay caws its demand to fill the feeder
Where a silver squirrel jumps in commas
Over the full moon grass, the berry patch

Listen, the wind is whispering through
A stand of spruce, whispering our names
“Come home, come home, my children
This darkness will not last forever”

April 3

Conjoined Twins

 we were never one
even from the first breath
sucked into our shared lung, the particles
distributed differently

my feet are not your feet
my ears are not your ears
my eyes never yours
even from the first look
each blink distributed differently

alexa and angel
glanced at each other
in their separate beds

I don’t need you

April 4

Why I Will Never

I will never win the Nobel Prize
A Pulitzer, a National Book Award
Because I am five foot four and therefore
Too short, because I do not have long hair
Or wear bell bottoms with an embroidered basilisk
On the leg, because I have not been in jail
For more than a night or two at a time
Because I am not black or a woman
Or a black woman or gay or friends
With an arms dealer or a Harvard president
And do not live in Manhattan or Harlem
Am not buried in Bennington and have no books
Published by City Lights or Grove Press

I have a few good points on my score card
Chased the dragon with heroin and opium addicts
In the deserts of Iran, sat on the head of the Buddha
In Bamian before the Taliban took him out with cannons
And left the rubble for tourists and soldiers to cry over
Slept on a table in refugee camps in Malaysia
With mosquito coils burning and the lamentations
Of the dead and dying, oh yes, I have lived alone
In a world of wounds and watched roses bloom
From the drying blood, oh yes, I have wandered
In small places with the unappreciated and ignored
Enough to earn me, at best, a C- in the race for fame

Today I will thin out pansies in our basement grow room
In preparation for a late Spring planting, after the last frost
Perhaps catch a poem as it races by, a small cloud in the bright
And windy Adirondack sky, watch it disappear over the border
Into the green mountains of Vermont, or onto a page
To yellow and wither as other seasons flow past
And if I am as lucky as a god, have it found and saved by
My gay, mulatto great great granddaughter and loved back to life
As an epic and prize winning verse in memory of gramps
Before all my worldly goods are bundled and burned
And the ashes mixed in compost for the garden

April 5


 Death, Bodily Functions and what? What?
Was it memory? I can’t recall

Or the temperature
We tend to like it hot

Politics is a staple
And the crime rate
And the crappy education
Of the young

Our house, how comfortable
And stylish and how
We will never move

And how we live in paradise
And no one else does
And why our expenses are low
And you spend too damn much

And on that subject
How can you afford
Such rent and strikes and food
A peach for a buck twenty five
Why in the olden days

Is that it, the olden days?
Profligate youth? Unfulfilled dreams?
How much we do for you?

Could it have been…….?

What do the old talk about?

Why are you asking me?

Ask that guy
He might know

April 6

Alien Nation

 We abandoned our tents
Down in the occupied zone
When the blue and shielded
Storm troopers came with fire

Hoses in their hands to wash
Our stain off the lands that we
Had taken from the patriarchs
That had forsaken the rest of us

Arrested all the rest of us
Who could not run away in time
Or travel wormholes to another bench
Or mark another sign against our oppressors

A photo drone flew out between the pillars
Of the walled fortress we had besieged
Sent to identify the leaders
Of the leaderless milling crowd

Our android and idevices flash mobbed
Marching orders, gathering points
Confrontation locations to counter demonstrate
The Tea baggers in Uncle Sam suits

Chanting get a job you slackers, give us back
Our park our fantasies our oppressors
For we cannot live without them
Feeding us the meaning of our lives

Black helicopters with blue lights
Lit the clouds, the tear gas skies
Rubber bullets shattered skulls
Among the peaceful souls assembled

To face down the parasites
Of money and power and greed
Of haunted politicians afraid to
Let us be the land of the free

April 7


 do you still
want to kill me?

yes, but not today

I want you here
holding your head

to my breast
saying it’s alright

do you still
want to leave me

for one with better
breath, a different smell

who whispers in your ear
words of compassion?

no, but a word of lust
might sway me

no, yes, today is a day
to stroll botanical gardens

hand in hand with
the blossoms of spring

today is a day
to forget what you

remember of me, oh
do you still regret my past?

Yes, but not today.

April 8


“If matter were to disappear
space and time alone
would remain behind
as a kind of stage
for physical happening”

Albert Einstein

 darkness has covered the earth
and all the over and under worlds
are at peace

there are no shepherds
no flocks to feed
no salt to rub in wounds

no lord to sanctify
sinner to purify
comfort hope joy

unto us silence
our yoke is easy

on an empty stage
behold a virgin
shall conceive

April 9

There is No Peace

 The night is thick with proverbs
Each corner reflects
The sermon of the streetlight
A rat’s moonscape, cratered
With cars and people

A building winks at me, the gutter
Flows, confident of
Apple core and orange peel

Ash cans wait
Omnisciently, hands out
Grey robed monks begging a meal
They know
There is no consolation
In knowing
There is no peace

April 10

Versus Dark Matter

Extracted from the essay
“A New Relativistic Viewpoint of Galactic Existence”
by Bob Yassanye

 Dark Matter is unobservable
it must exist for what
we see to be real

Hail Dark Matter

time dilates at the edge of a spiral disk
identical atoms emit differing wavelengths
particles accelerate in multiple directions

Hail Dark Matter

spin the gyroscope at the center of the galaxy
mass/energy teaches space/time how to curve
space/time nurtures mass/energy in the dance

Hail Dark Matter

observation distorts the object seen
photons on the geodesic path displace
oh the tragedy

Hail Dark Matter

we are certain to arrive at the wrong
conclusions and science is never right
if what we see is real

Hail Dark Matter

like a god, it cannot be measured
like a god, it cannot be trusted
this is the death of dark matter


April 11

Breakfast Invitation

 On bad days (generally Monday and Wednesday)
I devour the children of mine enemies
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday I fast and meditate
Praying only that the lord smite the wicked
With hemorrhoids
Weekends I am an almost omnivore
So anything except sushi and fried cicadas
Will be fine. When and where
Would you like to meet?

April 12

An Object

fog is a lace curtain
across our camper door
I peer out on the maples
frame the morning darkness
try to image the view
of the ancient trees

I saw you yesterday
kneeling beside a stump
capturing the flow of it
in the deformity of its burl
and hoped someday
that I might be such

an object
perfect in your eyes
in the morning mist

April 13

To My Granddaughter Who Has Never

To my granddaughter who has never
Seen the first snow on the last yellow leaf
I bequeath this October morning
Of soft white feathering down from a grey
And penitent sky, these high peaks
Wrapped in their cashmere shawl,
My stony shoulder on which to
Lay your head when the desert heat
Becomes too much to bear

To my granddaughter who has never
Leapt from a granite cliff as the half-moon rises
I bequeath the abyss of darkness
That floats above the one quiet pool
On this river raging down the black chasm
Of winter, oh do not be afraid
For I am the softest of all waters
I will catch you and cast you back into
The velvet arms of the night

To my granddaughter who has never
Written the last line of any poem
I bequeath this insect in an amber bead
This oil lamp of Jerusalem clay
These long evenings when the northern
Lights agree to curtain down
Across my mountain stage, I leave you
The slow drip of maple sap when
The stars are frozen and the day is warm

April 14

Confluence of Opposites

 An opportunity to examine
the confluence of opposites…
Van Alstine & Ramersdorfer
are installing monumental sculptures
in Olympic Park”

Jackie Keren

Slate lunges up

an ancient swordsman
down from the mountains
visiting the red dust world

in the cavern at the center
a white spike marble solid
fragmented with light
levitates ungrounded

 I have touched them
my sweat too
is on these stones

 Olympian clockworks of gray and steel
spin Sisyphean circles, swell
through rooms that never move
to or beyond the path

a moth dances, lost in
labyrinths bone bright
following an inner view, an
other strand of light

 I would dance here
cooled by soft wings beating
just for me just for us

 I have seen them
my tears too
are on these stones

April 15


 it would have been nice
to be born a dog in china
to be harried and stoned
through the streets of Beijing
whipped out of villages
by packs of howling boys
wanton after one glance
at my gashed foreleg
my rock bruised ribs

it would have been nice

to be saved by a squat
Buddhist butcher, stewed
in a sauce of pineapple and plum
nice to be spit out
by the nauseated wife
of a visiting western dignitary

April 16


 God is alive
in one body
at any given time

currently God resides

in a 6 year old
girl in Pakistan

She sews covers on
soccer balls to be kicked
by American kids

in a few years

She will become
a prostitute in Lahore

in a few more years

Her husband will cut
Her throat in a blind rage

She will die for

our sins
and move on

April 17

A Depressing Little Love Poem

 My only hope is that, Someday
You will find someone to love
As much as I love you

April 18

Festival of Lights

 The night was cold, the dog was whining and the moon
Had set. I could see by the light of my clock radio
That it was 4:47, but could not sleep. Across the room
The amber glow of a telephone handset lit a corner
Of the desk, the blue light of a hibernating computer
Burned the other edge. On the carpet, a power strip
Sang its emerald green to the silent floorboards.

I wandered to the kitchen, seeking the purity of water.
Three ultrasonic rodent repellers glared red in the mouse free
Darkness. The dishwasher flashed that it was finished with
Its work. Clocks on the stove and microwave glimmered to me
That it was 4:52. The amber glow of a telephone handset
Lit a corner. Past the bolted guestroom door and shuttered bath
The hallway stretched in lightless gloom.

A wireless internet range extender flashed blue in the dining room
Forcing me back to twilight, oh, a wireless dog fence dial bloomed red.
Two lighted light switches led me to the living room, shimmering
In the flickers of the DVD, DVR, HDTV, laptop, printer, shredder.
The broadband modem had five blue lights, the router four more yellow.
The amber glow of a telephone handset lit a corner. Bright was the beam
Of the Uninterruptable Power Supply.

The night was cold, the dog was whining and the moon
Had set. I went outside and began to count the stars.

April 19

I Inherit From My Father

I inherit from my father a face
angry in repose, a forehead
of crossed swords and lips
so still

I inherit from my father a body
fired by the sun, a native
of soft dunes and deserts
so small

a red dust man, a violin
casked in velvet, vulture thin
so still

I inherit from my father a stare
frozen in a shadow, a sculpture
of coiled wires and sticks
wound so tight

I inherit the fir tree on that hill
his refuge on autumn evenings
the place he went to be alone, to
rail at the rising of the moon
and the end of one more day

I inherit from my father
so still

April 20

Crows in a Snow Storm

 Two crows in a snow storm
Symbolize nothing
Black against the grey sky
The white air

They speak in telegraph code
A long and three short kaws
Before one flees from the white pine
To a cat piss spruce

One goes and one stays

One flies into the forest
Three more fly onto the spruce
Bounce the branch
Like kids on a backyard
Trampoline, all flap and
Falderal in the crystal cold
North Country vapor

One says I like my life
So far, I am interesting
And you two have only
Gathered grubs and seeds
And are as boring as
The wind. Go away

They glide to a nearby
Poplar and curse
The arrogance
Of some birds

April 21

Dancing Lesson from God

three steps slide right
must be getting old
these shoes are sticking
to the floor and the band
can only play a waltz

but I want to dance the Mambo
I want to dance Meringue
to limp along with the rest of them
give me the Samba
Ah, Brazil, why am I
not with you
I had so much promise
in my youth

the jungle, that’s my natural home
take me away from this desert, take
me away from this city, give me
life in the chill out zone
give me peace give me a beach
give me Argentina give me Rarotonga
an iguana, hot and cold running senoritas
give me god forbid a life
and leave me the fuck alone

April 22


 the pumpkin vine dodges
through a row of carrots
dividing corn stalks from squash
and races for the fence gourd
bearing a message to the nether field

weeds masquerade as turnips
but cannot evade the justice of the hoe

Chinese peas embarrass
their larger snap bean brothers
with inscrutable fecundity

red potatoes join the underground

all, all fear the lace wing and
the sow bug, the rabbit and the frost
but I am the real enemy

the vegetables organize and march
against the harvest, issuing
learned tracts on eminent domain

I purge the garden of its treasures
burn and plow the rebellious husks under
insuring next spring’s revolution

April 23

The Shower

 The stream of droplets changed
From cold to mild to near
Skin blister as I stood under
The shower head, soap in hand
And bent up one leg
Bent down one back
Worked the lather
Into my foot
Massaged the pressure point
Behind the great toe

The floor began to rock
A blown capstone of some lost
Adirondack volcano oozing
Up to life again, pouring
Red and gold swirls down the drain
And I with it, long handled
Bristle brush in hand, paddling
Like a kayak master in rapids
To keep my head above water

April 24

Goa Poem 1

I climb my window
above the black rice
fields, my eyes
harvest a bushel of fireflies

I will string them
for the tourists

in the night
they will fly home to me
like prodigal halos

April 25

Goa Poem 2

She is a question
coiled on the mat
in her diary

am I alone

the boys stand on their heads
in the cowshit

April 26

Goa Poem 3

Her room has two candles
and the pig is at
the window again
pawing for scraps

under the trees she can still
see to write a letter

we are here we are here
eating sausage in the dark

April 27

Goa Poem 4

I have seen an old man
with a long robe with a long stick

he gave me a seed
he told me it
was from the ocean

I will burn it
and sleep tonight
on the white powder
then she will love me again

April 28 

Goa Poem 5

the rain is a thick tree
with many trunks
and vines hanging

it shields the sun from me
an untouchable

the ocean hisses
a dark man with a lantern
is whispering

a viper was killed in a stone hut
a mongoose has eaten your eyes

I break an oyster on the rocks
hook the meat
and cast her clothing back into the water

April 29


 The meter kept ticking
While the aging English actress
Shopped for goose liver pate
At the upscale market. I helped
Her into the cab and drove
Up the hill to the tree shaded
Neo French mansard turreted
Mansion with a view of the Pacific
And guard at the gate
And carried in her groceries

There comes a time, she said
When every woman must choose
Between her bottom and her face
She slid like melted butter
Onto the brocade couch
Took off her satin pumps
Young man, would you like some tea?

A maid brought in the Wedgewood
Yellow with raised white florets
Poured two cups and left
Why me, I asked. She crossed
Her legs and shot a smile that cracked
Along the edges. Because my chauffeur
Is a toad and lives in an apartment
Over the garage. Sugar or cream?

April 30

The Satyr’s Last Love Song

                                                                        “Every man has inside himself a parasitic being who is acting not at all to his advantage.”

William Burroughs

 He waits with bald hat covered head, paws the hardwood
And sawdust, a mist figure of bone and tendon
An embalmed Lenin an aged satyr slack and rigid

Hangs out at the edge of the dance floor, lifts his head to
Gander stalk a candidate in the crowd, scans for loneliness
For the right mood the right face the right bounce

Of ankle and flounce of thigh, a finger snapping
Androgynous god willing to be the darkness of this night
The last needle in the last vein on the last bed of his lifemare

Too old to find someone to suck him dry he heads home
Leaves his shoes on a mat by the door and finds a cat
To lick his face and balls and the soles of his feet

Shoot the bitch and write the book he sings
Shit your life on the page and free yourself
I am getting so far out one day I won’t come back at all


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