31 March 2011

NaPoWriMo 1 ~ Stilettos & Feathers ~ Big Tent

~Process Notes~
One of the prompts at Big Tent Poetry this week was to use feather and stilettos in a poem, but to use them without people wearing them. The first thing that I did to tackle the prompt was brainstorm a list of words that shared sounds with stiletto and feather. I added to the list all day today. Pairing the words in several variations, I said them aloud over and over. When I sat down to write, the first sentence I wrote was, “Ethel’s stiletto left a divot in Devin’s head.” I looked up divot and discovered it isn’t the hole left behind, but the chunk popped out…ew! Anyway, that sentence started my first piece for NaPoWriMo. The rest of the poem took some time and I tried to incorporate the sounds, which ultimately drove the content through an admittedly bizarre landscape.


When Ethel came home and found Devin dead

Ethel’s stiletto left a seven centimeter
pit in Devin’s head that became a haven for maggots.
Writhing, white and wormlike
they fed on Devin’s flesh.
Sentience ceased
and his energy lit the Ethernet’s libretto.
Feather’s fell on Ethel
like a soft warm snow.
Downy dark quills
covered her computer
and she cried.

Devin kept her tethered
far above the nether,
where they metronomed together
Eskimos against death’s cold.

Feathers enveloped Ethel’s ankles:
Devin’s final caress.

Steeling herself against the stench,
she dialed 9-1-1.

Ethel knew she’d never wear those shoes again.

29 March 2011

musty minutes

When flourished forgettings flash,
crows play chess in the folds of my brain.
Their fluttering flusters up musty minutes
as onyx pawns cross alternating sidewalks
of feathered glass.

My glasses.
Where did I put my glasses?

What was your name again?

A big crow circles my thoughts.
Tracking the front of its revolution
my head sways side to side
and my glasses catch the window light.

What am I doing in the kitchen?

Here is the prompt from We Write Poems:
"Musty Minutes. Where do these two words take you? Memory? Past experience? Dream images? Might your response be driven by scent, or more related to some history of your life. Wherever they take your thoughts and words, use those results to create your poem. You may use the two word phrase in your poem or even as a title. Or that one phrase might suggest another turn of phrase. Something in the attic or as close as your own back pocket? As always, please take this spark as wide and far as your imagination desires."

28 March 2011


The crows called out.
Chilled souls.
Merlot and bordeaux
fire glass burning
in the billowing
Bozeman white.
A toast to
ponderosa peaks!
A caw to
Glasses raised high,
we sauntered streets
bellies warmed
palates charmed
arm in arm

26 March 2011

The Boogey Man Cha Cha

“Cha cha, cha cha cha,” sings boogey man.
“Cha cha, cha cha cha,” sings he.
“Cha cha, cha cha cha,” sings boogey man,
as he hides inside your tv.

He hooks you into his stories
designed to delight and deceive,
that boogey man sets an invisible scheme
to implant an agenda in thee.

“Cha cha, cha cha cha,” sings boogey man.
“Cha cha, cha cha cha,” sings he.
“Cha cha, cha cha cha,” sings boogey man,
he unders humanity.

Boogey man crawls up power line poles
and works his way miles through wires.
Beware all his manifestations
(he hangs his ideas on spires)!

“Cha cha, cha cha cha,” sings boogey man.
“Cha cha, cha cha cha,” sings he.
“Cha cha, cha cha cha,” sings boogey man,
I hope he never gets me!

Bombing Lybia vies with time for Japan's tragedy in the news. Programming us, televisions blare in homes across the world. Every channel has people spouting ideals. Comedies, drama, dress, and dance are mimicked by youth and adults. We run out to buy whatever they're selling. Propaganda is one boogey man out there today that is bothering me of late. The Boogey Man Cha Cha was written to be read aloud.

I posted this at the Poetry Pantry, where several other poets have linked great work. Check it out!

we are we

The disappearance of our world
imprinted in our faces
echoes in kindred cages
in labs across the states.
Can’t you see yourselves in me?
Can’t we be a we?
Living side by side and free
human and chimpanzee.
Open all the cages
provide a sanctuary,
with birds, and chimps, and bonobos
it’ll be an ape-iary.

Thank you to Donna Vorreyer at the Poetry Tow Truck for the picture of a chimp she took in the Kibale forest of Africa. This is my first posting for PTT (thanks for the tip, Pamela!). This week Donna provided several pictures she took on vacation in different places. I chose the picture above. We were prompted to let the picture take us "to a place far away from the everyday." 

There is a place I’ve only visited on the Internet, The Northwest Chimp Sanctuary. It is located in Washington state. The picture Donna took, and the chimps who live at the sanctuary inspired this piece. Give them a visit; the site provides bios. Teachers, this is a good place to take your students. It engenders discussion about humanity’s use of animals, and compassionate responses. If you are interested in further reading on the exploitation of bonobos, try Sara Gruen’s book The Ape House. She keeps delivering masterful tales. If you love to cry during a good read, The Ape House won’t disappoint.

25 March 2011

Call it war, it is what it is

Epicenters of uprisings
explore decimation,
plundered people scatter in panicked packs
some track flat beneath turreted tanks
ta tat - ta tat - ta tat tat - tattering torsos
to shreds of
all that used to be.

we open our eyes
to sunshine and doughnuts
living every day
like nothing matters but Facebook.

Suffering superfluities Batman!
We oughta get outta Afghanistan!
Lybia shmybia shimmering glimmia
“It’s not an Iraq, It’s not an Afghanistan.”
What is it then,
a sparkling jewel?

Process Notes: Listening to the news, I noticed how they cleanse language to conceal the horror of war, rendering it benign. When discussing the uprising in Lybia, the American news referred to “epicenters of uprisings.” This poem was born from that phrase. Disclaimer: I know a lot of Americans live their lives for more than facebook.

24 March 2011

Three haiku and she floats

whirling illusions
polish deception until
clarity dissolves


fingers move across
introspective ivory
air becomes alive


secret renewal
intoxicates deep regions
hitherto unmoved


she floats

Neurotic introspection
caresses hysteria
encouraging destruction.

Merging hallucinations incessantly chant
. . . shackles . . . shackles . . . shackles . . .
undering perception.

Futiitly polishes darkness
while Earth hibernates
in hyperspace.
Dodging destruction,
she floats.

Inspiration for these pieces came from Big Tent Poetry's Monday prompt. Here’s an excerpt: “This week we are going to try bending, maybe even breaking & re-stitching words together. And we’ll use Big Tent Poetry’s latest resource page: Poetry Toys!   For these pieces, I visited the Language is a Virus website, where I found moveable refrigerator magnets with words from famous poets.

Anais Nin’s multi-syllabic words captured my attention. Almost all of the words in the haiku are from Nin’s fridge. The last piece, she floats, has Nin’s words woven with my own. To find other poets' refrigerators, visit the electronic poetry kit at Language is a Virus. Thanks again to Big Tent (this was fun)!

22 March 2011

Satan's Wires

Forsaken eyes bleed
under cloudless blue skies,
dripping brick veneer
down holy crowns
tearing thorn through flesh to
mess with its essence,
dispatching frequent pulses
that vibrate Satan’s wires.

A shout out to Nicole Nicholson at We Write Poems for the picture prompt.   "Nicole stumbled upon the work of an Australian street artist named Rone who creates a variety of striking graphic art on the streets of Melbourne." 

13 March 2011


scrambled and tossed
become debris
churning in the roil

12 March 2011


Hopper grows old at the foot of my chair
dreaming of dog bones and pussies to snare,
More often than not my feet find him there,
sleeping deep deeping beneath my stuffed chair.

The prompt at Writer’s Island this morning was “tribute.”  This one goes out to the family dog Hopper.  Hopper is a pit bull mix.  He’s graced out lives for nine years, and we love him.  Pit bulls get a bad rap.   Hopper is deaf, so he sleeps the sleep of the dead.  A good stomp on the floor wakes him.  I used iambic pentameter in this piece to help me get something moving.

Visit Writer’s Island for more takes on “tribute.”

10 March 2011

black swan slipper car

fascopy paper formed into ballet toe
will cushion an egg,
raw, wrapped and
nestled in its egg-protector
as it sails to rain-gutter glory

(it’s sharpee black body dons a
skull sticker with wings)

one centimer folded columns
bumper the slipper’s toe
fronting a pool of squirted glue
that ups the car’s mass to
meet challenge requirements

fins provide balance and finesse
they streamline eyes that
admire the black swan slipper’s promise

--challenge next week—

Process Notes:

Monday’s prompt at Big Tent Poetry asked us to incorporate science into our poems. This week at school was a high stakes (think NCLB, AYP) testing week. Kids tested in the morning, and our middle school team (go Dynamos!) worked their way through four different 45 minute stations in the afternoon. Fortuitously, I worked in a science classroom, in which we constructed paper cars. I noted that my car looked like a ballet slipper, and one of the students, said, “Yeah, the Black Swan, maybe…” My car took a turn toward the dark side. :-) Allotted only three sheets of paper to make the car, it had to have a mass of 40 grams(that’s where the glue came in handy). For next week’s addition of wheels, I glued on the axle housing (straws)--after I took the picture.  Next week the cars will run down rain gutter tracks carrying an egg. The gutter will end in a cinderblock. The challenge is to have the fastest time with egg intact. Go Black Swan Slipper Car!!!

07 March 2011


The prompt from We Write Poems this week asked us to select 10 to twenty words from Gordon Lightfoot’s song, “Don Quixote,” –you know the one “Through the woodland, through the valley, comes a horseman wild and free…” I selected twenty words from the song to construct something, and from those twenty utilized some form of the above 12. I tried to necessitate each word. The piece contains darkness born of the wild and free horseman, and the recent overdose of a man whose children found him. Let me know what you think of the construction, as well as the content. I’ve been dry lately. Stilted. Unable to write. Here’s something….


Needles blaze 
bruising tangled veins
across battered blue ghettoes
opening rusty hinged neglect
onto oceans of
tear-tarnished taverns that harbor
the tilted shouts of some damned prophet.