(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 14, 2014)
Set to work, love to sweat,
but not be made to sweat.
All work and no play
make you an American
bore; but likewise
as you make your bed,
as you sow,
as you lay your mine(s)…
Everything’s easier said
than done. Everything.
Easier to start.
Easier to be in it.
Easier to be done.
Easier to steal the doing
of someone else
through theft or pittance
or always asking for help
under the name of creation,
genius, destiny. Preaching trolls,
delegating, obfuscating Faith
never moved a single mountain.
Do it yourself.
(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 13, 2014)
Time flies around a storybook story.
After storytime, it’s time to go to sleep.
After sleep, tomorrow begins another story.
Inside the storybook, every picture tells a story.
Not everybody agrees what that story is.
Narrative is just an illusion anyway,
One made necessary for the operation
Of storybooks, some with only pictures telling
Stories, some with impossible surmising captions.
First think, then speak. Unless you don’t believe
In talking bears or thneeds. When you grow up,
Narratively speaking, you should grow out the-need
To believe in a happy end-middle-beginning.
You should rip up every page in the storybook
And throw its pieces up into the air.
The interesting story is how it all falls down.
First things first. Why does this always feel
Like the ruse of 52-card pickup?
(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 12, 2014)
Can poetry survive? Can we survive as poets?
There are more poets than tigers or black rhinos.
There are more readers of verse than Leatherback Turtles
or all of the Yangtze Finless Porpoise.
Grand Theft Auto, Strive-and-Thrive books,
Brave-New-World movie rentals—
they may have taken over living room pleasures.
But now with our tweets and submittables,
our bad poems travel fast.
The wires and workshops are still full of weedy thinkers
and word-tinkers. Maybe the distribution will change
and who makes the money, like the printing press
set the monks to the curb. The medium was always unstable.
As soon as an invention is born, it begins to die.
Don’t put all your eggs in one anthology.
Speaking of which, we’re not as big as a chicken-
processing lobby, nor our players as emboldened
as enthusiasts visiting Comic-Con. But we’re full of deviance
and underground custom, perfectly respectable as a cult:
religious, novel, obsessively durable.
(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 11, 2014)
A woman’s place, a woman’s work, how actions speak
like some loudmouth authority week after week—
Who are you to say? Who am I to say
for what April showers bring but a bathroom leak?
One can only pose a think
when assertions are the weakest link
until you’re assaulted down that random alley
and assurance is a tether against the teetering brink.
May I state with some authority besides,
there is no safety in queries either.
To sugar come the flies.
To questions come the lies.
(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 10, 2014)
During dinner, while the noise of too many swimmers
deafens Mr. Kingfish, he says to his wife, Mrs. Kingfish,
“This is what happens when too many so-called ‘swimmers’
dilute the souk and gum up the lake.”
Mr. and Mrs. Kingfish dine on minnows
as she concurs, “You question their legitimacy, dear.”
“Yes I do!” “You question what swimming is
if everyone tries to do it?—
who is allowed, what value is added
by all these new “swimmers” swimming through.”
“Yes, that is what I’m saying: don’t go near the water,
until you learn how to swim!”
“They’re bottom-feeders ruining everything,”
decides Mr. Kingfish. His wife squeezes his arm
and says, “Then let’s get small, dear.
There’s entirely too much swimming going on all around.”
“We need gatekeepers, tighter schools,” cries Mr. Kingfish,
“or we’ll all suffocate!” Spitting out tiny fish heads in the sand,
Mrs. Kingfish assures her husband, “All will be well that ends well.
But I do wonder, love, what about the turning tide?”
(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 9, 2014)
Who is this who holds the pen?
Who feels the hurt as I scratch the wood?
What is my tale but society’s tale?
What is my ego but the eye of the universe?
Fractured, unglued, a skin made of sponge,
I am not who I think I am and so I evaporate
into the infinite me, some which are you.
This may be true, but it’s better the devil
you know than the devils you don’t.
Self-portrait of my DNA, fluted nameplate,
a word that means me swirling in another language.
Who tells the reader about the bloodless me?
Who tells the reader my soul is meshed into their soul?
Who receives the feeling? Who tells the reader in me?
Who did not decide to write this?
Dear my different me-s, my lovely, distracted plural,
this is how they come to power, they who are not you,
this is how they divide (the me) and conquer.