Poem 42

my first and only alcoholic experience

Two swallows to raise my level
Just seconds to calm my nerves
The fear and anxiety of adventure
Iced the water on my sweating curves
They dance like banshees all around me
They offer me more poisoned sweets
Burning through my lips and tissue
No time to process, no time to cease
Spinning walls will import migraines
Jesters toast to health, defeat
Directionally lost in miasma
A victim of the bantering beasts
I am myself, I am myself
The harlots promise me my life
Unrecognized faces pressure
Linger closer, fill my breath
Reversing shots return as bile
A procession of the zombies comes
They tend to me in loving nurture
Bringing water. towels. myrrh.
Bath me in their whispered safety
While I drench myself in filth
I am myself I am myself
They must be sick; I can’t remember
Who they are or where I am
Am I myself—am I myself?
There must be foul play afoot
But the harlots promise safety,
the harlots flattened on the wall
There’s only noises, no more faces
Through my eyes a palate blur
Sounds come from within my body
Bursting lips for lack of words
Speaking quickly to each other
Hospital, water, bring more—quick
But they ignore me and the yelling…
Someone says I may be sick…
They-say-its-fine I’ve never seen them
The dancing animals fade away
But then the memory is gone—

Poem 41

Found forgotten in a Box, Crowded like Siblings
Twenty-Six faces of toy soldiers
Lead laden, scattered rows
Low laying—punctuated
Hold the key to all I know.
Forgotten industrial children
So tediously inked.
Each piece of my unwritten vows,
Priced steeply, my regret.
I purchased every one of them,
I could not break the set. 


Poem 40

The Death of Jane 
The mother of my mother lives
in a small space just south of here
or would have if not for the fire.
She is the farthest person I know
from the point I am standing
—but she transcends the blackness—
Days after the breath my mother would lament
Sad about (spaces, places, cement)
gave her a first class ticket on the ferry
going nowhere, with no captain.
We were all there to see her off…
I read a nice poem and she smiled
instead of saying goodbye
The mother of my mother calls often
But leaves no messages, we haven’t spoken in years
But she is still my mother’s mother
Still somebody’s mother
—she transcends the blackness—

Poem 39

Impossibility of the cosmos
Through a lens into the eye
Smoke and mirrors in a telescope
Denounce the good book as a lie
But to stone crowds battled churches
And what mighty God had wrought
All was muted by the gavel
Muzzled now but not forgot
Lock a man up with his findings
Hide him in a book
Blinded in his conquest
The mortal world unshook
When truth is undeniable
And still they lend deaf ears
When science is irrelevant
Discovery disappears
He will sleep oblivious
Fight breathlessly his finds
The sun and moon traverse the Earth
Cornerstones to limit minds
Chain him to the lectern
Appease who disapproves.
“Muove Tuttavilla”
No matter, she still moves. 

Poem 39 EditingPoem 39 Revised

Poem 38

a villanelle repeats itself in a specific order

My grandfather lives in a glass house
So everyone can see my past
Time watches a glass house
Like the subtle eyes of a grandfather
Everyone can see my past
Because the windows permeate light
The subtle eyes of a grandfather
Looking, aging, never changing
The windows permeate light
Like aquarium walls watch the fish
All the while aging, never changing
I can remember it looking this way
Aquarium walls watch the fish.
The whole world sees a glass house.
Books yellow pages, sofas clawed feet
Remember it always looks this way
The whole world sees a glass house
Everyone can read my past
Books yellow pages by sofas clawed feet
Permanente where they reside

Poem 37

on the airplane ride westward
I am a poem from this side of the world to the other.
Triangulate these lines and find something angular in these
words. I declare them satisfaction on the roads mid construction
highways cleared of trees; I am progress–if poetry
moves forward–I am the windshield protecting inspiration
from misfortune’s flies and ambitious stones.
Thumbs out! or clutching the nubs once pencils. I am
poetry where I stand or wherever I once stood. Come
riding with me some afternoon absorbed to the moment–
I am poetry living for a destination. For it is destiny
sending me to you.

Poem 36

Exams will be postponed due to weather

or not we could have seen this coming. 
I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t take you in, Blind Faith,
but I’ve told you already with damp cheeks
on a car-ride I never expected to take. With you,
all three hours drenched in conversation
save the two minutes following my confession
at an unnaturally lethargic red light 
where you held my head in your hands
saying nothing. No need to…

it’s quiet in my mind–hush now–are you listening?

All love-storied begins and ends. Beginnings
stable like settling sidewalks beget endings promiscuous.
I promised myself it would be short lived.

I’ll remember this as the part of my life I regret
the least. I won’t remember this at all since 
it’s Thursday of exam week and two days ago–
this very morning–we woke with a start upon
an alarm I set with the inkling it might last all evening.

I knew we would oversleep, the body needs
more than three of anything: three hours, three weeks
three one syllable words. We’ll get there, I’ll set my alarm. 

Come April with a bang and whimper among the 
intermediary noises constructing conversation; 
come April I’m still impressed we weathered March. 

Sitting on a self folding seat next to a stranger, 
last night I watched books collect dust while 
she–unexpected–anticipated our arrival, but only I
met her at the door. Reading the world to life
with her lips while I watched imaginary mind curls 
(the kind one pulls from the edge of a liberated leaflet)
dance as she collected them: one then two and three…

All together with a deep breath in, the room stomachs
memories like a barrel of pickling cucumbers. Youth
sours before us, but you and I will be together nonetheless…

I had expected as much. 

Poem 36 Edited Poem 36 Revised

Poem 35

rules for sestinas: six lines, same ending words in varying order

According to Chance

Without skin there could be no touching
the knotted muscles; no gorging these eyes
in the sultry undressed silence
of a whispered suggestion. Fear
not! Hold steady, hands and fingers; sweet-
soft shadows of the lamplight—all yellow.

His contours black and yellow
in the petal-pastel shades might touch
the linens or curl through this sweet
darkness until they demand my eyes:
colorful; subtle like peaches. Prickled fear
traverses my limbs as I discover his in silence.

Hush! Hush rustling sheets which stir silences.
Can you hear it from the sun-colored yellow
corners of your heart discouraging this fear?
This fear of what, I ask, this fear of touch
or surrender, or perhaps the terror of eyes
and speculations, souring the very sweetness

of this minute. Don’t. Nothing exists sweeter
than this petrified breech of morality. Silence
knows no bounds. No boundaries. Unlike our eyes
which know only the pink flushed yellow
outlines of our collapsed forms; which I long to touch.
So, with new-found brazen fingers I conquer the fear

and reach towards his navel, the shadowed follicles. Fear
not. Breathe in the desperately strong scent of him. Sweeter
to taste—I would hope—than to merely touch.
Holding the wrapper between his teeth in silence
it crackles and pops, white letters promise ecstasy from that yellow
plastic, captivating the field of my desperate eyes.

Do I let him see my fingers quiver? Do I fall victim to his eyes?
With irises skylight, he smiles, my lips tremble of fear.
The sound cuts the room in two, white teeth on the yellow.
And in a moment that mechanical smell takes the sweetness
from the low-light. Unsaid questions in perfect silence.
I do not move. I cannot move. But yes. Yes. Touching

my shoulders, my curved skin; touching my forehead with his lips, eyes
burrowing through my paralyzing fear; fingers tracing the subtle-sweet
surrender of my silence. The torn wrapper thrust aside—all yellow.

Poem 34

missing the library, missing W

Toes in the Water
We play hide and seek in seats
we share with strangers.
With you hiding and me
Seeking. Sought truth but
Only found more
Questions. The well is
Endless and the well informed
Tread water in the wake of inspiration.
This filling cup twice its necessity
Breeches the shore in all
Directions. Come find me where
Books smell of fingertips and
Sleeping hoards lay vulnerable,
Heaped upon borrowed furniture. 

Poetry Contest 31 August 2011


There is a contest for published and unpublished poets run by the World Poetry Movement. One entry per person. I’m not sure how legitimate this is but lots of prizes are available and there are metals, and who doesn’t love metals… I’m sorry but they are not chocolate on the inside…

Rules are here:

Enter here:

Enter a poem and write in the comment section about your choice strategy and your experience with this or any other contest.

As always, read the contest rules before entering!!

keep writing!!