30 Poems in 30 Days

30 Poems in 30 Days
A Project for National Poetry Writing Month

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Day 30 Backwards Poem

Wallace Stevens in a Dream with Snakes

Like any dream in Tennessee
they did not have another place
the jar and quiet snakes.
They took dominion. Everywhere --

so blue, and courting light and air.
The jar was bright against the dirt.
They slept awhile and dreamt of mice,
theses snakes it summoned, curled inside

they writhed and moaned.
We tasted whistling, grizzling air,
then filled it there with hair and clay,
that jar I placed in Tennessee.

* This poem is a backwards reshaping of a poem I wrote on the first day of NaPoWriMo in 2013, in response to a prompt which asked us to begin with the first line of another poem. The original poem can be found here: Firsts.

And so...thus endeth the poetry-finger-painting exercises for 2015, stumbling across the finish line once again.

Day 29 Review

Anxiety and Generalized Idiopathic Weepiness

While the materials here are perhaps,
as the kids say, relatable; sadly they are also
all too common. Serving up A&GIW
with a splash of whiskey or one-too-many
umbrella drinks does not make them
less ordinary. I recommend you subscribe
only if you enjoy insomnia and long, parking lot
sobfests. Better for you to turn off NPR.

Day 28 Poem About Bridges


each day                     some how                      we bridge                      our way

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Day 27 Hay(na)ku

long long
day, no sleep

Day 26 Persona



[eyes        eyes]

                                [eyes   eyes]
        drop                                          drop          
                    ping                                    drop

                                                                                 breath  breath  brrrreeeaaathhh  brrrreeeaaathhh


                                                         sooooffffftttttly                  ssssshhhsssshhsssssssss

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Day 25 Clerihew

James Joyce's Goblin

James Joyce is off to Paris
where artists are so careless.
It's not at all like Dublin,
Joyce's pocket goblin.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Day 24 Parody

I abdicate myself or king myself
and what you presume you shall presume
for every madam belonging to me should belong to you.

I toast and invite your skol
I mean I toast and you tease, disturbing the maids you've hired at last.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Day 23 Pick a Card

Fante di Spade

Questa Carta di Corte combina il simbolismo del Fante col simbolismo del seme di Spade.
Si tratta di una persona veloce, dinamica, pronta a muoversi rapidamente con la parola e col pensiero. Il Fante del seme di Spade difficilmente sta fermo in un posto: cambia rapidamente, come il vento che soffia rapido senza fermarsi in alcun luogo.
Non ha ancora solide radici, il suo potenziale può svilupparsi in innumerevoli direzioni, ancora non prestabilite. Le aree di sviluppo più promettenti sono nel campo della parola, della comunicazione e dell'intelletto. 

or so they say, quick cuts to and through and derring-do and so on
the kind of card to make things happen a go-getter
but it won't work -- it's a card and they never do
and would that bring on the wrecking crew is what we'd have 
to wonder and then what might that mean for the fate or
small gears of a system would be the next thing to ask but
curiosities are mysteries in miniature, tiny fascinations
hence a plural seeming diminutive just like those baby steps
too forward and we're back to dancing around what 
is wanted always breaking a cup of tea or two and a pastime
and would you just look at those leaves?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Day 22 Pastoral

Pastoral after Dark

(for Poetry Church)

with red wine
minestrone     brie and bread

and stunned night bugs
breaking themselves open

against the porch light because
that's how things are

and the poets
grateful at table

to be with poets
this night, with their good

gab of poets, poems, the broken
world, and in the holly

in the crape myrtle
just there by our window

the wrens must by now
be sleeping

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Day 21 Erasure

Excerpt            Solitude

Many years later      Muchos años después      
                                                        discover     hielo

                   blancas            enormous

                     many  cosas  carecían  names

gitanos     new inventions        sparrow manos

                                             lost     perdidos   for a long time     tiempo
                         cosas     have a life of their own   vida propia

iron lingotes de hierro 

                                   a copper locket       relicario

la tierra es redonda like an orange


Monday, April 20, 2015

Day 20 What I Know

The Knowledge

the hippocampus looks like a seahorse swimming
up to the cerebral cortex

and grows larger in the brains
of taxicab drivers

who, in London, must pass a test
The Knowledge 

which requires proficiency in the order of theatres
on Shaftesbury Avenue

and apprehension of which streets cross 
which avenues where

but does not include training
in childbirth

though children sometimes decide to get
born in backseats

of taxicabs, and giraffe births invariably occur
at first light

though not, to my knowledge
in automobiles.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Day 19 Landay

You won't speak to me of love these days
Once, you followed me everywhere, pining to know my ways

Day 18 Warning & Rush

Note Found After the Storm

so if you don't find me, at least find the --

Day 17 Social Media Poem

You'll Be Shocked When you See What She Did Next

We enjoyed our whole hog butchering class at Porter Road Butchers this afternoon.
Here Comes the Fun: birthday girl Kristina: forbidden picture with Earlybird filter.
Is that another bustle in my hedgerow? I'm alarmed!
Yeah, I bet you're bending God's ear taking 'bout me.
I need to read the book.
Who wants to do this with me?

(Overheard on Facebook)

Day 16 A Sort of Terzanelle

Rain Song

I thought to take you with me in the rain

to ghost the streets of Inglewood
beneath the flowering canopy and remain

beloved, yes, beloved, and somehow, good.

When we put our tongues to the cusp
of all we'd said, we'd find there a bud

thickening with spring's fecund dust.

Vines, spiraled and wet, bright
ferns unfurled and mosses burst

from fragrant dirt. The cloud-mottled light
puny, at first, might make itself a glory
round the trees, silvered and quite

thick.  Here, the uncertain sky
will keep us, still. In its long gaze
we'll find the constant of inconstancy.

On earth we're only stowaways
wrapped in rain
pining hearts ablaze,
the same.

Day 15 Direct Address

Advice to a Young Poem

To give a poem advice? To say
rhyme or do not, depending?
To tell a poem enough with 
the modesty; off with your form?
I'll none of it. Each poem makes
its own ars poetica. So I'll just
keep quiet and look, leave you be.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Day 14 Dialogue

The Nose and the Sneeze

Nose:  All day I do my best to breathe
           and still am interrupted by the Sneeze.

Sneeze: Dear Nose, I'm not at fault in this;
              Tis pollen rouses -- achoo! achoo! sniffsniff.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Day 13 Riddle

Should be Obvious

lanced snake --
winding road to nowhere --
killer curves pushing
round the world --
pole and dancer --
what you give her

(dollar sign  $)

Day 12 A Favorite


sings cotton-rasped air
     creek water -- bright and leaf-mottled
el camino hubcaps flashing a bent world
    whiskey flicked, neon-spangled nightscape
wren over yonder, in the pines

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Day 11 A Little Something Greek

Fine Weather Sapphic Stanza

Ripe how ripe the sky goes down, doming days and
dreaming girls in sundresses, striding summer
queens, beneath such shimmering silvered, sparking
motionless longing.

Day 10 Abecedarium


A little housetop pitched against snow.
An A-frame. A steeple. A tipi.
A  dart. An arrow through a puffy heart.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Day 8 Palinode


I did not buy my brightlings in the sky. I stole them.
From his eyes.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Day 7 About Money

I bought my brightlings
at the sky, invested in the night,
doubled up on daylight by
saving time

Monday, April 6, 2015

Day 6 Aubade

She Chuffs

When birdsong cracks open persistent sun
she snouts me, my Schnauzer, right in
the kisser, and chuffs. Cold black
nose to my nose, she chuffs
and snorts and woof-whispers,
places the tiniest of polite kisses
along my jaw and will not leave
me be, will not settle nor let me finish
out my dream, instead insists on my
waking self to wake itself and take
the long walk to the back door wishing
all the while, that she were a bit taller
and proficient in door locks.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Day 5 Dickinson Riff

Dickinson de Luxe

Purple, the color of a Queen (and violets here in hand), is this:
The color of the sun at setting, this and amber.
Beryl best drunk by tongue at noon.

And when at night Auroran swaths fling suddenly
on men, it's this: a kind of witchcraft nature keeps
on hand. Iodine.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Day 4 Love Poem?

Love Poem to Sand Paintings in Glass Jars

on a shelf at the Global Education Center,
Gerber-topped and gleaming, the undulant
pinks and blues and yellows and red sand
against black sand, and I'm back in grade school
amidst  all those failed art projects of my youth
and the ever patient Mrs. Rosenblum
who taught measure and mimicry, that depth
and perception are about more than just the way
one holds the pen.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Day 3 A Fourteener (Sort Of)

Like This?

At fourteen you want the boy, the girl to pay attention
to leave you notes, call you up and shake you up, to mention
how you both must feel like reeds, these grasses wild and bending
or violets, starry clusters blooming in bright moss, dark sparks

and oh, how elemental. How un-coincidental
this pull and push of sky and earth, how it arcs your tidal
blood and lonesome breath toward longing, how longing turns to light
and, dare you say it, faith that one horizon harbors night

and day both. You know it like you know your beloved's voice
settling in the ear, its silvered song, and pulsed counterpoint
within. You are not too young to know that this peculiar
gravity has weight, that what draws down the waxing pewter

moon is spin.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Day 2 A Poem About the Stars

tonight's stars:
two, one
for each eye

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Day 1 Poem of Negation

Day, not blue, as you say
not fine, nor gold, nor even

Last night, my overpopulated
dreams -- not not strange, nor

Waking after sun, into quiet
dust, who would not