(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 21, 2018)

Someone I liked was throwing a party that year
and we didn’t go.
We went to the Central West End instead,
to an all-night diner.
It felt fateful and good
and we were inseparable after that
all through college,
watching horror movies on VHS,
adopting our dogs, Ariel and Helga.
We dreamed of being cultured
and nesting. We made shrinky dinks
and Easy Bake Oven cakes
long after it was age appropriate.
We watched MTV all night long,
waiting for our favorite singers—

you waiting for mine,
me waiting for yours.

We walked through a Chicago snowstorm
and survived a tornado in Forest Park.
I thought we would be friends forever,
through all the rites of passage.
We were like some combination
of Annie and Lillian
except we never reconciled.
And now when I hear the radio
play Howard Jones
or someone mentions Hellraiser
or I run into a memory
with someone we knew,
in all the backwards glances
I can’t decide if it was the moving away
or something felt long before I left.

Where do these gaps come from,
like black holes in the fabric?

You gave me your Renoir print,
“Dance in the Country,
and I’ve kept it in my bedroom
for over twenty years.
The New Mexico sun has turned
it’s consoling reds and blues
to desolated, faded greens.

It’s my heart’s quiet hoarding
that even now
I don’t want to let it go.
These poems for NaPoWriMo were inspired by a poem I did years ago for my friend Michelle after hearing she passed away, 30 poems for inspiring women connected to me. The title now says "33 Women" because the poem to Michelle poem had already been written as well as two prologues I posted March 31.
See Lisa here! www.marymccray.com/33-women.html#lisa-nellie
Madhumita 12h
Find me before I am forever lost;
This madness tastes too sweet.
Give direction to these stumbling feet;
They cross lines that can’t be uncrossed.

I gave you up before I knew the cost.
How easily I admitted defeat!
Find me before I am forever lost;
This madness tastes too sweet.

Save my heart before it hardens to frost;
I need your warmth, your burning heat.
Will you please cling to me when we meet?
Find me while my heart is still soft.
Find me before I am forever lost.
NaPoWriMo Day 21
Poetry form: Rondel
(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 20, 2018)

Some friends are warm,
electric energy that magically buoys yours,
especially when it sputters or burns,
an orange and yellow embrace,
a feeling everybody wants in a friend
and these chums are always split in time
half in all fronts. You only get the moments,
like prom nights, or quiet downtimes
stage left of our Senior plays.
I tried to play the witch like Meryl Streep
and you played Gretel like Paula Abdul.
That was the year I learned how to cackle
and you learned how missing rehearsals
for family vacations turns you into a cookie,
in a backup duet of cookies.
But you were a trooper.
You wanted to be a song and dance man
and you studied the moves of MTV’s dancers
and you cookied it up
and never let that sort of thing
ever happen again.
You dutifully played the part:
straight-A girl dumbing down for the boys,
straight-laced girl next door
becoming Vegas showgirl,
a real, good friend who disappears
into the neo-vaudeville.
But if we couldn’t corrupt you
with our spiked coca-colas
and lunchtime AWOLs,
Vegas wouldn’t. And when the drama
of the dramas wore me down,
you became permanently
on the road, foregoing milestones
and collapses. To us you were a paradox
and those who loved you
could either live with it or not.
I find you every few years
and see how time works
like an accordion, collapsing,
wheezing time.
We’re old broads now
full of stories.
We’ve been all over,
crisscrossing the landscape
in our separate odysseys.
Your glitter still tumbles out
of all the neutral, slimming black.
And of all the legends you imitate,
it’s your Lauper I love the best
because she’s just the explosion
of halcyon light and spirit
that most imitates you.
These poems for NaPoWriMo were inspired by a poem I did years ago for my friend Michelle after hearing she passed away, 30 poems for inspiring women connected to me. The title now says "33 Women" because the poem to Michelle poem had already been written as well as two prologues I posted March 31.
See Nellie here! www.marymccray.com/33-women.html#lisa-nellie.
A certain pleasure
seeps throughout my arid soul
when the rain gently
coaxes the unyielding earth
till it is lush and verdant.
NaPoWriMo Day 20
Poetry form: Tanka
B 1d
Dear god of feathers,

Father to flight
Cousin to pillows
Step-father to sneezes
Brother to quills
Other brother to bad poetry
Godfather to just going with it
And weird uncle to Icarus
It is to you that I direct this prayer

First of all, how dare you
How dare you give flight to a bird with a brain smaller than its eyeball and not to me
How dare you fill my pillow with stuffing that is somehow hot on both sides. How does that even work?
How dare you tickle my heartstrings long enough to make me watery eyed but not long enough to make me sneeze
Letting me love somebody who - wait, no, sorry. I'm getting ahead of my myself
I'll start over, because unlike your pillows, I know how to keep my cool

Here is what I really wanted to say, oh god of feathers
Thank you for inked quills. Even if you bully me with your beauty, at least you give me an out
Thank you for reminding me that bad poetry and just going with it are really just the same thing
Thank you for Icarus, who fell from the sky believing 'soaring' and 'human' deserved to be used in the same sentence
I won't pretend to know what it is like to be you
Though, I know what it feels like when you're present

It is true that I will never be able to take to the heavens
But I have known love, and that gets pretty close

By the way, peacocks are crazy

Amen
at first light, leap / and you
could stick the landing / call it
dancing, loop around

the moon. and when you
see her, say "harvest" / but be
HUNTER. say "planets"
but mean PREY. say
"Of Course I Still

Love You" / but be
brave when it means
exactly what you / know
it does. cos when you

sink your teeth through that
ticket you / make your orbit
my ballet, carry my dream
in the camera of
your throat, taste
my colors cooling on
your tongue. you will watch
dips in the star light
with eyes that might

see more
red than they’re
ready to but

it's what
you were made for
it's why
i am writing
it's worlds
all around you
NAPOWRIMO 2018 DAY 18
(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 19, 2018)

Her American Lit class was a disarray of desks,
as if to say
rows don’t matter in the chaos of literature.

She sat in the middle of seventeen
like the center of a cyclone,
and it was the way she held the book—

in the midst of honors kids
where I had slowly crept
from years of remedial; former friends

ignoring my sudden presence in the discussion.
It was lonely
and I felt so remote to the scene I wrote one thing

she found worth reading
and she read it
to the class while my face went hot,

all my divergent endings
to Huckleberry Finn.
And if the words of Gatsby

were still floating, etherized above my head,
I would be the bashful sycophant
loitering in their swagger.

It was the way she held the book.
It was her bearing.
She was pregnant and fierce

in her defense of our pregnant student,
as if to say we could,
sure as hell, read Hemingway and propagate.

It was her bearing. So muscular and precise,
like a Book General,
shoulders back, head high and bemused

at the brink of an idea.
I can’t explain it
but I’ve been trying to replicate it

all my life. It was the way
she held the book, dominating, contending
the flapping wings of pages,

chapters flipped open wide
by a single hand,
waving it around us like a gun.
These poems for NaPoWriMo were inspired by a poem I did years ago for my friend Michelle after hearing she passed away, 30 poems for inspiring women connected to me. The title now says "33 Women" because the poem to Michelle poem had already been written as well as two prologues I posted March 31.
Even though a cold heart
tries to remain unfeeling,
detached,
unexpected kindnesses
and easy smiles
remind it
that the world is still a warm place.

Even though a broken heart
tries to remain wounded,
lamenting,
changing seasons
and fresh desires
remind it
not all love has to be eternal.

Even though a trembling heart
holds fears
of the unknown,
curiosity to know what lies
beyond comforting complacency
remind it
that courage finds those who seek it.

Even though a lonely heart
tries to remain stoic,
shut in,
fleeting joys,
pure and tender,
tempt it
to choose hope over despair.
NaPoWriMo Day 19
Poetry form: Lyric
i keep writing about you( dew-eyed
doe glistening by the river )you don't
see what dough i'm made (of      course
you can't when i won't say)    it

slushes me up like this(    morning
i thought
about the
pearls of
your fingers
on the plush
of my wrist

just as the
thread you
tied there
caught on
my pencil-
case zipper
and i almost
had to slice
the whole
thing off )so i'm bowed & sludge-soft now

a small storm on the quiet floor
a seasoned thing force-folded
at the knees( & here's
the dent you might not need to know: i am
shaking where you (k)ne(a/e)ded me )
you saw tension in the spots where i
was trying    / in the space
i didn't mean for blood to be

(all the spacing got messed up in this GOD JDSHKFGHJ click here 2 read tha way its Supposed 2 be http://fav.me/dc97lob sorry)

NAPOWRIMO 2018 DAY 17
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