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J May 2018
It’s a break -
Not a breakup.
It’s been a fun run
But for now I’m done.

I gave a month to your lyrical need
But with these rhymes I shall be freed.

To read!
I made it to 30!  Time to take a break, go back and read, and focus again on quality not quantity. It was a good exercise but they definitely aren’t all keepers!
Mary McCray Apr 2018
(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 30, 2018)

It was my early twenties and she was in our poetry class,
a girl taking the same train as I was
one late night from Manhattan
to the town of our school.
She wrote beautiful poems,
long lines without punctuation;
but mostly she missed class  
because she was an actress
and the rumor was
she was working on a Spike Lee movie.

The train car was mostly empty and lit with a bad yellow light.
Train people would read or eat
or I remember liking  to look out the windows
into the apartments of Harlem
because I longed to know how other people lived.
Soon enough, the lights would dim with the darkness
of the boroughs and then the suburbs.

She was sitting up to the left and she recognized me,
smiled and said hello. I was startled a bit
out of my reclusion and we had a small,
friendly conversation about our class
with Tom Lux and what a character he was.
We were like strangers or almost-strangers on a train,
connecting with the warm light of fireflies.
She would go on to star as one of a gang of girls
in a long-running TV series, but I can see her
just as she was that night, a girl traveling
into a future so amazingly ahead of her.

We turned back to our own private rides
and the cars returned to the quiet,
except for the shuffling sounds of all the tracks
we crossed. I sat in the melancholy yellow light
and caught a reflection of my own face
in the mirror of an evening window—
I, too, a ******* a train.
These poems for NaPoWriMo were inspired by a poem I did years ago for my friend Michele after hearing she passed away, 30 poems for inspiring women connected to me. The title now says "33 Women" because the poem to Michele poem had already been written as well as two prologues I posted March 31.
J Apr 2018
Hip hip hurray!
It’s cleaning day!

I get to poke and **** and pull
While you ignore me like I’m a fool;
Threats of no tv and no iPad
Fall on deaf ears - and just make ME sad.
You’ve figured out it’s all a bluff
That if you wait I’ll put away your stuff.
But what am I supposed to do?
Leave this gigantor mess - and let anger brew?
Honestly - what is wrong with you?
Do you think that we live in a zoo?
What consequence can I perhaps muster
That you shall see as more than bluster?
I simply can’t abide this loathesome mess
And how you can - I sure can’t guess!

Argh.

After exhausting every parental cliche
And barely surviving cleaning day
I think it’s time; this must be said -
For us to consider hiring a maid!
When neither carrot nor stick motivates but things need to get done, what do you do?
Mary McCray Apr 2018
(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 29, 2018)

What you didn’t know was a lot.
They were essentially pixelated
and mostly human offstage.

What you saw were fictions
of the staged and costumed,
all the misleading mise en scene.

But there were clues,
the power of a photograph
and a deadpan stare.

The New Englander in slacks
no matter how goodly-wife she tried to be,
Hepburn always came out.

And the shaky-voiced cattail of Mary Richards
who once haunted my ideas of Marys.
But I came to accept her capable

punctualities and small courage.
So different from the vamp trails
of Cher and her roster of femme fatales

who never once succumbed
to a story. Or Bette Davis on a staircase
a tank of eye-rolling.

They were no sleuthing Nancy Drews,
none of them, no high-voiced cream puffs,
their sighs were full of gravel,

their silhouettes a poignant defiance
of No, I don’t think sos.
and So what if I dos.

They were living shedoneits,
the new swashbucklers,
arch, caped rapscallions

who could part the Red Sea
in a dress, sequins flaring
bullets at the lenses.

Years later, Ru Paul explicates this
on a show he calls Drag U,
how dress-up can make you feel brave,

how you could fight fires and dragons
with a dose of ***** and, in a pickle,
Walter Mitty-it and presume.
These poems for NaPoWriMo were inspired by a poem I did years ago for my friend Michele after hearing she passed away, 30 poems for inspiring women connected to me. The title now says "33 Women" because the poem to Michele poem had already been written as well as two prologues I posted March 31.
Gargi Apr 2018
Playing rummy is a lot like music.

Rules to guide you
A pure sequence to bind you
Leeway otherwise, to slide by
A pile to dig from
A companion to play with
(or against?)
And a purpose
to find.
On vacation, away from home
ConnectHook Apr 2018
Apr 28
Hi all !

Having a great time here in post-modern poetry.
We’ve been on the island since Sylvia Plath croaked in ’63.
It’s been a bit smoggy, incoherent  and gratuitously cryptic, but the prison-guards are super-nice and they let us write Haiku once in a while. There’s this MFA creative-writing place just up the road from the gulag, it’s really charming. They publish a chapbook that 4 people on the island read. They also host workshops, like How to Find Your Authentic Voice and Pushing Language Beyond the Boundaries. Last night we saw some non-identity-politics-driven verse in the nearby wilderness reserve. It had beautiful plumage and made totally weird sounds. (Hey Dylan, you’re remembering to feed my muse, right? Don’t let her out after 5 since she might stay out all night. She does NOT like the free-verse abstract work. Feed her the structured message-oriented stuff to the right of the editorial literary-elite. Thanks ☺ ) Anyway, we’re trapped on this island so if you find someway to get us off, do your best.
PLEEZ tell the editorial prison-guards that we are working on our English Lit MA degrees.
P.S: send the Maya Angelou and Adrienne Rich books soon !!!!!
                                                       Love,
                                                     ­     Rita Dove’s Bookshelf
PROMPT:   draft a prose poem
in the form/style of a postcard
J Apr 2018
Of all the emotions
That one can cite -
(And I’m sure to come off too trite
But it’s super refreshing
When your existence
Is characterized by fright, fight and spite...)


There just something about hearing the words..
“You’re right!”
Want to make someone’s day when their job is to peddle  new ideas or wisdom to people who don’t want to listen whether they are kids or adults?  This is all you gotta say!!
Mary McCray Apr 2018
(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 28, 2018)

What they have to teach us,
I do not know. Something
about spoiled milk
or how bees become bullies,
the frayed benefits
of reservation.
Backed into corners,
most often by themselves,
they portray sinister
with moll faces, half-shadowed
in office hallways.
But they are no caricatures
of femme fatales;
they are their own systems
of blood and belief
and all the synonyms
of vindictive.
There was the prim boss
in the office downtown
overlooking the library.
She told me men
aren’t worth crying over.
They are like trains:
another one comes along
every fifteen minutes.
I was good cop to her bad cop
until she turned on me.
Then there was
the aristocrat of orchards
dismissing the riff-raff
with her friendly fire.
And the Shakespearean villain
of Amish country.
That was my first time in the tank
with a real shark. And then
the one who literally
put curses on people,
a real nails-in-the-parking-lot girl.
I think about her
every time I feel
bad mojo.
And does it all go back to the girl
who lived behind us
on Claudine.
Our fight in the street:
I was punching and she was slapping.
She called me Indian Giver
after she grifted all my toys.
They’re full of slurs, these broads,
and you feel it the first moment
they try and push you over,
the haze of smoke
floating over their kettles.
They **** out the trust.
Maybe they’re born with it;
maybe it’s in the makeup
or that their tantrums are like seizures
they can never come out of.
These poems for NaPoWriMo were inspired by a poem I did years ago for my friend Michele after hearing she passed away, 30 poems for inspiring women connected to me. The title now says "33 Women" because the poem to Michele poem had already been written as well as two prologues I posted March 31.
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