(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 23, 2014)
Every bird loves to hear himself sing:
poet as broken sparrow full of pitiful sorrow;
poet as proud cardinal, tight and righteous;
poet as bald eagle, impractically clichéd;
poet as California Condor unable to land;
poet as grouse (formal grouse, lyric grouse, the avant-garde);
poet as vulture feeding on the system;
poet as parrot squawking down the red carpet;
poet as crow, loudly erroneous;
poet as warbler, precise, lilting and endangered;
poet as the high-necked goose, ugly, deluded;
poets of the weather describing the heather,
birds of a feather endorsing each other.
(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 22, 2014)
I remember the story because I was agitated,
perturbed to hear grandma would return and visit
Aunt Edna beside her hospital bed and not us,
say to Edna it was okay to pass on and not us.
That’s how I know somebody told me the story.
Why would I make it up?
I never thought about Edna in the hospital
or grandma coming back.
There was a splinter of feeling forsaken there,
whether grandma was a ghost or a delirium,
we were missing out. What does it matter
if it was true or untrue, whether you believe in ghosts?
Every family has its skeleton;
why shouldn’t we have ours.
No bank robbers, no moonshiners,
and now no ghosts. They say
dead men tell no tales, except they do.
They tell their tales through us.
(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 21, 2014)
She was offended by the Day of the Dead;
she was offended by the night of the crystals;
she was offended by Henry Rollins;
she was offended by an old man in our office;
she was offended by the waiter and Shannon;
she was offended by the idea of homosexuality
as anything but a lifestyle choice;
she was offended we didn’t agree;
she was offended by Cher in a sari
but not Cher in a war bonnet;
she was offended we didn’t like the President;
she was offended by the kids from her old high school;
she was offended by parking restrictions;
she would be offended I’m telling you this now
although she discarded items from aisle four into the shelves of aisle six
making the claim she was giving the little people job security;
even though she said, because I was robbed, my peoples
were low-rent peoples. This all begs the question
as to why she does not do unto others inoffensively.
Meanwhile, we each lay in the trenches of our sensibilities.
(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 18, 2014)
Except it’s a bona fide,
genuine real porch:
and you’re sittin’ in chair,
really sittin’ in one that leans back,
sun catching only your feet
as you drift into a warm listening sleep,
while the old relatives
turn over all the times and folks
you haven’t known, folks who lived
back when you didn’t exist
(in any poem-writing form).
They are wearing out the years,
and are eloquently silent about the future,
except they know all the poems
you have left to write.
(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 17, 2014)
Someday I will say
remember when my parents came to visit us in New Mexico
and I made soup every supper for two fortnights?
Heartache in the belly.
A poem is a rubber stamp on what
we have exhumed and presumed
of shadows passing through.
So I can say I own this.