30 Poems in 30 Days

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

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Day 24 -- Medieval Ekphrastic

So, I've gotten a bit behind this week, but here's the Day 24 draft of an ekphrastic poem in response to marginalia from a medieval manuscript:

Dragon Music

give me a lightning-spiked sky
and I scuttle under
demon dreams, wry prophesy
heart's blunder

give me a note, hatchet-shaped
hanging on a wire
I tongue that plea for 'scaped grace
in fiery choirs

oh my scales, spine-thorned
wretch, gold and blue
and thus adorned
is my love for you

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Day 23 -- Elevenie


drenches us
our whole city
shining, slouched, spring chilled

Day 22 -- Georgic

They That Wing the Liquid Air

When the rain came down in great shining walls
and the doves had settled beneath the eaves
whoo whooing the bride and groom
and thunder scuttled all other sound
we, in the pavilion, in our good clothes
thrummed, steadfast and joyful
among friends.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Day 21--Overheard Conversation

Okay...a day behind, but here it is:

To State the Obvious

To state the obvious: space is huge.
We need to get busy. We need to explore.

Why not a colony on Mars? We're
the Empire masking as Rebels.

The planet strikes back. Earth
strikes back. Can't you feel it?

Thunder like rockets launching.
The sound of doom.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Day 20 -- Sporting


your badminton mouth

shuttlecock tongue

flung feathers

long day


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Day 19 -- Creation Story

The Birth of the A Minor 7th

Once up there was a cave high up in those jagged cliffs above the sea.
A woman lived in the cave. No one knew how she came to be there,
so high up, so alone. No one asked. And at first, no one noticed
the note, how it rose from the foam alongside the moon, how
it arched its silvery way up, up, up reaching for the cave
to sound itself inside, to wrap round the woman tending
her fire.  No one heard the note bend and plummet until it returned
with the woman to the sea and made a harp of her.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Day 18 -- Neologism

What Would I Call You?

What would I call you if you came with longer ears
and blue-spotted skin, if you had silver eyes through
which you'd smell the world in living color? If you
had wrenches for fingers, oh handy man, and wheeled
toes? I'd still love you. I'd still call you darling.
Ah, me. The mother of convention.

Day 17-- Nocturne

Rain at Night

When the rains come through the monstrous dark
like Riverdance on my rooftop, I pretend
the water speaks Gaelic and says impolite things to me
about Yeats, who never truly learned the tongue, though
he was aspirational in that regard, as we all are, these days
about so much: the dream of a clean house, a trip abroad
a lush and useful garden. At night everything might be.
By a wet sacrament, our grace is our forgetting.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Day 16 -- A Letter

Thought I'd Say

I write them in my head, the letters our biographers will wish they had.
I think how I will send them to you, on linen paper or embossed cards,
how, I will set down my half of our remarkable correspondence with a silver
fountain pen, and you will reply with yours, which is gold, shaping
your tenderest thoughts in that perfect, slender script, because you have
so much to say to me in my head, where I hear the nib in the engine
of your hand scoring its inky way cross the page, the very sound of longing.

Day 15 -- In the Middle

In the Middle of the Message

In the middle of the message we find another message
and in the middle of that message another message and
in the middle of that message another and in the middle
of that another and in the middle another and an-
other other other other other other other other

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Day 14 - Clerihew Catching up

The Literati

The literati do not glitter
and this, perhaps is why they're bitter.
They blather so on love and death
until the subjects stop their breath.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Day 13 -- Ghazal

Not a Ghazal

long lines and love and couplets don't belong
in a day full of bombs and bad news
from the world where the ghazal got born

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Day 12 -- Sonics

Pink Wink

Pink wraps April round
winking white blooms.
Who knew we'd be blown
under by such green thunder?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Day 11 -- Bop

Bop with Raindrops and Dylan

In April we know by heart rain's translation to variegated green
blossomy, bloomy, quivering things: you can name them all
these flowering trees, each shrub-busting loose-lyric azalea
and their birdcalls too. Tennessee spring, I find your broke-open eggs
in the street when I walk out between cloudbursts just to see the weather-bruised sky
and I want sometimes to say to all that wet life: stop, stop, yer killin' me

and it's a hard rain gonna fall

This afternoon the storm kept throwing itself against my window
like the feds breaking down hearsay's front door again and again.
I couldn't see a damn thing, not the trees, not the light poles, not the people
running, running. It felt like amnesia, now contagious, which leaves
us suggestible with regard to what is here and what is not here.
Would it matter where, if it kept raining like it's raining
and we kept loving like we're loving, throwing our bodies
against the windows of our souls, would it matter where we meant to go?

and it's a hard rain gonna fall

And so, my blue-eyed darling one, the weather report favors
wind and rain; there'll be peepers and birdlings and snakes
to make us zero-boned and glad.  If we walk out we'll be
rain-wrapped, thunder-thrummed, a little uneasy. We could
file for divorce from gravity; we could wish the nightcloud
to unpeel itself from the moon, watch her play tag with Jupiter.

and it's a hard rain gonna fall

Monday, April 10, 2017

Day 10 -- Portrait

Sleepy Woman

work clothes rumpled up round her middle
she nods into her bedside book of good intentions
all the work, all the this and that of a too-long day
weighting her eyes, freighting dreams
with longing, tilting all of her over sleep's sharp cliff

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Day 9 -- Nine Lines


Lay you silver-limned
sweet suckled
moon kenned

Lay you brook-bright
moss muckle

Lay you lover-hushed
bud nestled
fern lush

Day 8 -- Repetition

I Found a Word I Like

                I found a word I like: zorro
                Spanish for fox, or pop culture
                                               for Zorro
                                             the Mexican
                                          hero who,
                                       when acted
                                      by Antonio
                               a fox
                         indeed. Foxy Zorro,
                        outfoxing the fat cats, foxing
                        all the lovely ladies home

Friday, April 7, 2017

Day 7 -- Luck and Fortuitousness

The Name I Walk Around With

is French and comes to me by way of Canadians who got it from the actual French who may have, some suggest, picked it up in Spain. I have been to all three places and never met anyone named LaChance that I know of, though it's a common name, I'm told, and means "luck"in English. What kind, bon or mal, is uncertain. Also, it is a name assigned to or adopted by gamblers, and deep down, aren't we all? So, with such a name, I am inclined to think everything that happens to me is destiny derived from chance. Once, in Auvillar, France, I found iodine tablets in the guest house, which were to be taken, I assumed, in case the nearby nuclear plant chanced to melt down, which luckily, it did not while I was there, nor has it yet. Auvillar is a pretty village, even if one can see the steam rising up from the reactor's cooling towers in the distance, the view framed by the centuries-old buildings near the village center.  Such roses and such wine! Rabbit and duck, cheeses and fresh asparagus! The eight kinds of strawberries, and the lucky St. Jacque's pilgrims making their cheerful, holy way past gardens in the rain, no one dying, just then.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Day 6- Inspired by Stevens's 13 Ways

Umpteen Ways of Fucking Up a Country (A Short List)

Tell the people they are the best, the greatest, the free

Tell the people to get a job

Tell the people that to be poor and brown
and to walk across an imaginary line
to get a job is a crime

Tell the people that to be brown and/or queer and/or trans
is a crime

Teach the people one language
and one language only and
say it is the best

Tell the people there is a pill for everything

Tell the people who are sick
that no one fucking cares

Tell the people to go shopping

Have the people pull tons of carbon
from the earth, then burn it or
spill it upon the waters

Tell the people anyone can be president some day

Tell the people you have a plan

Tell the people to be afraid

Tell the people you are keeping them safe
on this side of the wall

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Day 5 -- The Natural World

What is it with this Wind?

garden gates blown open
all the dogs loose
in the streets, all the cherry
blossoms loose
in the streets
in yellow-grey
light, nothing untouched
nothing alone

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Day 4 -- Enigma


here’s my birthday sandglass
white grains, gravity
Cassie’s gift and I tease
time in a bottle

when I watch sand moving downward
Sappho’s gossipy lines slip through
between my ideas -- the finest sight:
whatever one loves is

I don’t read Greek, but would
kiss the fingertips of translators
if I could

history shifts
one grain slips through
then another

Monday, April 3, 2017

Day 3 -- An Elegy

Departure Lounge

put on your red shoes you said,
so I turned, strange changes
still spinning my jukebox heart
transmission and live wire, doing time’s
cigarette in my mouth, young
american style
all night, waiting by the sky
for your sidereal self
to blow my mind

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Day 2 -- A Recipe

The Roof of the Love Shack Has Fallen In
(Recipe for the World’s End)

rain and carpenter bees,
thick winds, benign
neglect -- an entire houseful:
all the abandoned things
mound up -- mulch or artifact
(glove, branch, toy)
accumulation freights

the glistening day

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Day 1 -- A Kay Ryan-esque Poem

Video from the Memphis Zoo

The infant giraffe
arrived front feet first.
Then came the smiling
isosceles of a head, and then
the rest, all at once dropped.
Zoo patrons held themselves
quite still, held their collective
breath as he lay quite still
beneath his mother's black
tongue licking him, they hoped,
alive, held their breath and
watched him wobble
like a miracle up into his
lanky life, surrounded.