Monday, May 20, 2013


I will cut off all my hair
and send it to you in a box
wrapped in gift paper
some holiday design or perhaps
an old map, tie it all up
with a bow or some twine if you'll send me
in return
your most recently worn undershirt.
Sweat in it good for me first.
For one more night
with your shoulder as my pillow
you may have
your choice
of my teeth.
Take them all.
For your voice,
saying anything, reading
magazine ads in my ear
while you stroke my hair
I would cut out my heart,
that raw animal, so noisy.
I haven't even used it
in days.

Friday, May 10, 2013

9/4makeup: day9pome4. Translitic!

Es fällt ein Stern herunter
Aus seiner funkelnden Höh’!
Das ist der Stern der Liebe,
Den ich dort fallen seh’.

Es fallen vom Apfelbaume                                            
Der Blüten und Blätter viel
Es kommen die neckenden Lüfte
Und treiben damit ihr Spiel.

Es singt der Schwan im Weiher
Und rudert auf und ab,                                             
Und immer leiser singend
Taucht er ins Flutengrab.

Es ist so still und dunkel!
Verweht ist Blatt und Blüt’,
Der Stern ist knisternd zerstoben,                                 
Verklungen das Schwanenlied.

This was the *very first* attempt at transliterating.  I had to punch a rather lot of the words into Google Translate and ask her to pronounce them for me so I could try a listen.  Sometimes I just gave up and went with something closer to the spelling.  After this first transliteration, my physical brain was in actual pain.  It's crazy messy!

Die, Libby, the star
Is fault in stern her under
Odds signer funk phone golden her
That’s east there stern there libby
Then its door fallen see

It’s fallen from apple balm
there blue ten and ladder feel
It’s coming, the neck in then loose, duh
Untried bun damnit ears peel

It’s singed there swan in wire
under dirt awful dab
un dimmer laser sing and
daughter in flute in grab

assist so still and uncle
for what is blood and blue?
the stern is niece turned there stolen
fear clung and that’s swan in lead

Four editversions later, I have this, which I will continue to revise, but here it is for now, just in time to finish the 9/4 challenge.

Deliberate Star:
It is not your fault if stern,
odd signs hang, golden and funky, calling
you to go east.  Stars will stop
in the door to think before falling into the sea.

They fall under apple trees,
leaving behind letters written in blue ink,
you’ll feel them coming, nooses on their necks
that untie when they hear your curses.

Their electricity singes swans
as they crash deep into the earth,
dimming out like neon signs,
singing, their voices like flutes.

Sit still among the trees.
Your veins are as blue as their letters
and your knees may swell from kneeling
in fear while the swans softly bleed.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

the 9/4 makeup: day8pome3

Look, this is silly and it's also fun.  It's meant to be like the Big Rock Candy Mountain, except it's for my friend Linda and her wonderful daughter and granddaughter (who are also my friends) who live on this mountain I love to visit.  But Linda's the matriarch now so it's mostly about her.


One morning down in Arkansas

as the summer sun was rising

Down the road came a poet driving

and she said, “I’m going climbing

up a winding road that twists and turns

with joys that can’t be counted;

Let down your hair, we’ll see what’s there

when you go up Linda’s Mountain."

When you go up Linda’s Mountain

there is birdsong in the air

and she’ll welcome you into her house

and she’ll offer you a chair

And she’ll brew you up some coffee,

or a tea if you prefer

with a lemon slice

if you think it nice,

or a little bit of honey

if that might entice,

When you go up Linda’s Mountain.

When you go up Linda’s Mountain

she may take you for a stroll.

There will be some conversation

and some doggies on patrol.

You can count her lovely chickens

and you might just leave with eggs.

Walking through the trees

in the lovely breeze

and underneath your feet you’ll hear

the crunching leaves,

when you go up Linda’s mountain.

When you go up Linda’s Mountain

You can meet her lovely crew

like her daughter named Vanessa

and her grandchild, Stella, too.

There are smiles and laughs aplenty

and adventures, crafts and jokes.

You can join the club

with a handmade mug,

and I hope you did your stretches

cuz there’s lots of hugs

when you go up Linda Mountain.

When you go up Linda Mountain

you will see the land anew

with a sun that shines like Stella’s smile

and a sky that’s crazy blue.

You can solve the whole world’s problems

if you simply think and talk

Can’t wait to go

where the gardens grow,

can’t wait to see their faces

when we say hello

When I go up Linda Mountain

I’ll see you soon one afternoon

When I go up Linda Mountain.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The 9/4 makeup project: day2pome2, from a prompt in Mindy Nettifee's "Glitter in the Blood"

I had never heard the word before.

And there he was, biggest person in the whole house,
a red thunderstorm, blustering from room to room,
the broom beneath his nose bristling back
and forth, calling out, "Where are my

cu-ka-cuff-uff-ufful-flink-links-ks what a beautiful
complex treat for my young mouth, cufflinks, I wanted
to say it over and over, this thing I'd never heard of,
and Peter Pan was always my favorite story and
Mr. Darling, the broom-sporting thunderstorm, was also
Captain Hook, you know, my fascination
with this magic started early, started young,

I would stay up staring out my bedroom window nights
thinking if I only believed hard enough, he'd be there,
Pan, floating outside my second story, tickling
the sycamore, reaching out his hand to take me to
this magical world of cufflinks and acorns and

thimbles, which were or were not kisses, and
the year I met the young man who wore cufflinks,
I accidentally fell in love, I couldn't tell you how
now, any more than Pan could tell the Darlings
how he flew, without thinking, maybe the young man
tricked me with pixie dust and when I finally couldn't
fly for him anymore, months later I found

in my panty drawer, tarnished now, the silver Italian pair
I'd found in the antique store where I'd repaired
chandeliers one summer and I thought about how
even magic can get tarnished over time.

((I also wrote a haiku at work today.  I asked the bartender to make me a lemon twist for an espresso order by saying, "May I request a lemon zest?" and she said, "Only if you make the next poem about it a haiku" so I came back after having written down for her:
espresso is nice,
but sometimes folks want a lem-
on zest.  so gimme. ))

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


The challenge was to write one poem every day for the month of April.  Thirty poems in thirty days.

Before I paused, I did miss a couple days, and on the following days I would write two.

I wrote on a total of twenty-one days out of thirty.  I missed nine days.
I wrote a total of twenty-six poems out of thirty.  I missed four poems.

Does this mean I have nine days in which to write four poems?  Does it mean I have four days in which to write nine?

I'm going to write poetry for nine more days and hope that four decent pieces come out of the mix.  Cuz why not?

Today, 1 May, day one of nine, is from prompt #1 here:

I believe in oak,
spiral leaves with lobbed margins,
serrated leaves with smooth margins,
flowers called catkins that give birth to acorns,
bitter fruit in tiny cups.
I believe in holding on to dead leaves
until spring gives you new ones.
I believe in strength and resistance
and making liquids more precious
just by holding them a while.  I believe

in pine, in fire and resin, in needles
and cones, in growing fast
and dense; I believe in hickory,
in being native to the whole world
and being prized world-wide, in giving
foundations to stand upon and flavor
to your food.  I believe in pecan.

I believe ash can betray you.
I believe teak should never be broken.
I believe mahogany should be treasured
and respected, not just for its strength, not just
for the beauty of its song.  I believe cedar
is a word you can smell when you hear it,
I believe maple is a word you can taste
when you hear it, I believe sawdust
is sacred.  I believe the sound
of a bandsaw is a fine violin, a nailgun
is a snare drum, and sandpaper
sounds finer than the ocean at night.
I believe in carpentry.  I believe

it is possible to build a whole house
from nothing, to build a whole home
from a house, to build a whole family
from a home, I believe dovetailing makes
the strongest connections, and there
are also joints named knee joints,
lap joints, and my father had knees
and a lap and my father knew how
to build a house and the value of each
type of wood and my father was sacred
as sawdust and strong as hickory
or oak; I believe father is a word
you can feel when you hear it.