April 30, 2010

NaPoWriMo #30

Texas Gratitude

Rusty sunlight
in my hair and a three-sixty
of yellow-green grass.

A good morning.

Every heartbeat
is a stretching tide,

the sound tangles
in the open grass and
places left behind.

I fold wasted maps
into paper airplanes.

They set sail,
headed for sky,
headed home

heavy with crossouts and

I find notes in my pocket
full of cities,

Nashville, Seattle,

I start a new beginning
and a brand-new ending.

I can't believe I just made it through April writing a poem a day. It has been so much fun and such a cool experience for me, and I come away from the month with many potential-filled drafts. Congratulations to everyone who has pulled through the month successfully as well, including my sister, a first-time NPWM-er! If you didn't stop by her blog throughout April to see what lovely poetry she's been writing, you really should -- it's so worth your time.

On a sadder note, ReadWritePoem is leaving! Today was its last day as a fully-functioning social networking and poetry site, and RWP has left such a footprint on the world of online poetry sharing that I'm sure there will be sites to fill the gap but nothing quite as big. Big Tent Poetry has started up, and it's worth a look around as well, although it's fairly new and expanding day by day...it looks quite promising and I think BTP might just cover up the gap -- after all, it does sport many of the same team members/staff.

Nevertheless, thank you to everyone who's commented this month and provided encouragement and support! I really appreciate it!  

April 29, 2010

NaPoWriMo #29

Marimba-Playing Robots

Metal slaps
in your ears closing in,
an army of feet
and sound.
Garage-band melody
thumps its way outside
and the air trembles
with the shake.
Robots march,
wide-open, wide-awake,
feet stomp along.
Marimbas left in the dust,
robot hands slapping
robot quadriceps,
robot feet displacing
earthy sand.

The prompt over at ReadWritePoem was to use headlines from news sources, and I was on the LA Times blog, where there was a headline that included the words 'marimba-playing robots.' Come on...you couldn't honestly expect me to leave that delicious phrase lying around. This poem was hard, though -- way harder than I expected, but I just tried to focus on that throbbing beat and the sound of robots moving, since I'm not too much of an expert on marimbas. I will admit that I didn't know what a marimba looked like until today.

And on the subject of good news, tomorrow is the last day of NPWM -- and April! Can you believe it?!

April 28, 2010

NaPoWriMo #28

Ride-In Direction

Morning. One-way
street, you better go
left or turn back
the way you came,
two hundred dollars in
your hands.
Hold on, the ride
hasn't stopped yet,
the roller coaster still
hasn't finished its
loop-the-loop. You
better go now,
left or turn back
the way you came.

April 27, 2010

NaPoWriMo #28


Stardust is
every word, every
end and beginning of
my body, a
breath of
effervescence like

April 26, 2010

NaPoWriMo #26


Your radio refuses to pick up
signals, it fades into
the air like a cigarette

from one of the empty
Marlboro boxes in the corner
you're too scared to touch.

But inside you are full.
You don't hit the dust
until revolution twenty-one,

after you let go.
You don't burn blue,
you're open like tide on the shore.

April 25, 2010

NaPoWriMo #25

In Place

Flight cancelled,
turn around and go back home

with your full-to-the-brim luggage
you thought you were
taking somewhere.

Don't drive home:
run home instead,

run for
Chevron next exit and
population: 99,

the place you wanted to leave.
You know yourself too well,

you don't find trouble, but
trouble finds you.

April 24, 2010

NaPoWriMo #24


The past runs high
in the terminal,

wheels and feet
tell you, We're in transit.

We equal movement
and full hearts:

we are the faces of this layover
and the next and the next,

airport Starbucks and
unheard-of cookie stores. We are

the tax-and-duty-free gift shops
and the gossip magazines;

we are the perfumes and
the Photoshopped magnets,

every souvenir known to man
wrapped up in our bodies.

We are not tempted,
but we are loaded with the weight

of flight and hope,
air hostesses in navy blue,

coiffed hair, and

April 23, 2010

NaPoWriMo #23

The High Road

I take the high
road, not knowing
where it leads.

My body swims
into unknown territory
like a jumping diver,

bones free and loose,
soul miles ahead of feet.

The route is stitched out
in plaid guess-and-check fabric,
bending, twisting,

and I lose and re-find
myself along the way,
right foot, left foot, right foot, left.

Tangled and untangled,
I am fearless:

this is the story of a girl
whose heart lives in
New York.

side note: poem inspired by "the high road" (broken bells)

April 22, 2010

NaPoWriMo #22


I linger in my
square of life

while winter trees
gently wave their

beyond my porcelain window,
anorexic rust-colored branches
tilting in refusal.

My square comes alive
in the dark, overflowing.

45 followers?!?!?!?!?! Thank you!

April 21, 2010

NaPoWriMo #21


I wake up
and take a breath and
I am lucky,
not for the first
but for the
in my life.
I am blessed.
I have been rained upon
with invisible angels:
I know
I'm going to
be safe.

Today is a very special day in our lives here at home...it's my mom's birthday! She has always been there for me, no matter what, and she's supported me and had my back since day one. I owe her everything I have today, so please make sure you stop by in the comments and wish her a very, very happy birthday because she's an absolutely incredible person. I couldn't do half of what she does; I'd probably go insane. So, if you're reading this, Mommy, I love you! You are such a light in my life and I am truly, truly blessed to have you as my mother.

April 20, 2010

NaPoWriMo #20

High Heels and Umbrellas

In the thirsty darkness you lie
awake listening

to a hundred
taps on your
window as you

fall to sleep.
A river of

floats by in the dark

past your curtains:
people come and go
in heels like rain
that cut away at the street.

You are a stranger
and they are strangers:
the world is upside-down.

You are cold.
You hide under the
sheets like women hiding

under umbrellas
out in the pouring rain.

April 19, 2010

NaPoWriMo #19


I am a flier
in the middle
of the sky, caught
between cloud and city
and falling to
the ground.
I learned that the first
second after
you jump
is the best part.
I learned
that bodies
like mine
are made
for air,
for tasting
that cold open blue.
I learn now to take
the last
seconds and
them. You can't
freeze time,
so let yourself
fall closer
to the

I really like the shorter lines: they help me think the poem out better. I'm playing with my Alice in Wonderland theme in my head; hopefully I will be able to dish one out this month, but if not, I know I'll have some fuel to run on after the NPWM challenge is over.

NaPoWriMo #18


I hear a brittle smell before
it collides
with my nose,
sweet like the sticky
and the sun
clinging to strands
of my hair.
Apples and confectioner's sugar
reach for me
from the kitchen,
laying color
into the dull air:
I hear the
stains on my mother's apron,
flour and dots
of sugar like sand,
cloth blueberries.
The low-day dust
is gone.

I wrote this while I was lying in bed before I fell asleep, by which time it would be ridiculous to turn on the computer and post it. So here it is, inspired by my sister talking about how she had discovered a newfound love for Ted Kooser's poems, especially one of his pieces about applesauce.

April 17, 2010

NaPoWriMo #17

Element One

Break out the wind,
the sky, the whole body
contained inside.

We feel the earth:
above us stretches
emptiness stained with
From top to bottom,

this planet screams for

a caged wild child
with an unfree soul.

The body complains.

Frozen Grand Central


April 16, 2010

NaPoWriMo #16


The air smells fresh and wet
like soggy mud.

Rain dissolves
into moist air, and the stream
bubbles past
just a little higher.

Over my head, the bendy
branches of lonely trees
spread in a
sprawling mass of leaves
and green under the sky.

I watch and wait for nothing,
pulling up weeds along
the bank and throwing them
out into the swishing
volume of water.

All alone in a
quiet fantasy, all alone.

I guess I've been writing about rain because that's kind of what it looks like every day here. Not to say I'm complaining; I love rain.

April 15, 2010

NaPoWriMo #15


In the sleepy morning,
the world starts turning.

The day is beginning
under striped sheets
and tangled hair.

Light tumbles in carefully
through the window
like quiet promises.

Today is my grandma's birthday! Please stop by and wish her a very happy birthday in the comments. :) Thank you!

April 14, 2010

NaPoWriMo #14


Standing behind the
window of this midtown highrise.
Neon lights unspool on
the other side of the glass,
a blinking, glitter-accented
city of false hope. We're all
lost in this town, hiding
behind poker faces and nightlife.
We're all broken people with
broken lives pretending to make it big.
We're like the sliding raindrops
on the flip side of the window,
slipping in every direction but north,
lost in every way.
We're a glamorous neon town,
but we need compasses
to stitch ourselves out.

Tried RWP's prompt - it's great, don't get me wrong - but it didn't work. I would have loved to spend more time with it, but I didn't have that time between an insane load of schoolwork and catching American Idol. :) I wrote this one really quickly, in about ten minutes, but it's not bad for that amount of time. Thank you for reading!

It would be really nice if, while leaving your comment, you could offer a little advice on how I should fix my comment-spammer problem without having to enable moderation...frankly, I don't want to have to put comment moderation back in place - I'm guessing it's annoying for you.

April 13, 2010

NaPoWriMo #13

"Worlds are being told like beads." -Norman Dubie

Like Beads

Your story is spelled out
in pools of rain. Your world is being
told like beads and you know.
You trace shapes in the water,
spring leaves nearby find
their liquidy twins under your hands,
and your fingertips find cool, soggy
earth at the bottom. You rub mud on
your jeans the way I like to,
making yourself part of this universe
and you know you belong in the
big, big world,
something we all tried to do, too.
You're one of us now, and you're
one in the world,
with your story spelled out in
accumulated puddles of fresh early-spring
water from heavy clouds.
Worlds are being told like beads,
mine and yours and everyone else's,
and we all know,
the same way we all know
we belong in the big, big world.

Over at RWP, the prompt is to use a line from Norman Dubie and title the poem "Poem Starting with a Line from Norman Dubie." However, I don't like being put in a box poem-wise, no matter what, so of course I didn't play along with that title...and I like mine better.

The quote was pretty intriguing, so I used it both as an epigraph and as a line in the piece, and the poem overall just explores the whole wide big big world and one person's attempt to find their niche in it; it also touches on how the lives of completely different people can sometimes parallel each other. I like it, but I think the beginning is stronger...again, another piece with some potential but not a brilliant one for a day that's supposed to be lucky.

April 12, 2010

NaPoWriMo #12

Today's RWP prompt was really fun for me today, as I love "nonsense" phrases. I started off with "the weeds play with blue sunshine" and "the rain knows blueness too" and it just evolved into this.

Don't Forget Me

The weeds play with
blue sunshine,
not the sad kind of blue
but the color of
Don't forget me.
The sky knows blue,
but it's like blue corn,
deeper and plagued
with hints of purple
against the falling sun.
Don't forget me,
don't let me dissolve.
I'm blue, real blue,
deep blue, not like blue
corn but not like forget-me-nots
Just real blue.

If you can't figure what the poem is about yet, it's a lonely sunset in a (weedy) garden. I really like this one; I think it has real promise, and I only need to change a couple of word usages and re-phrase a few things.

April 11, 2010

NaPoWriMo #11


The colors would have
flickered against the light
differently: yellow or pink.

Life would keep spinning,
stitching, sewing.
Nothing else would have changed.
I wonder about
fruitless things,

things without fruit
and things without point
like the colors I ask for.
Still, the leaves would have
fallen, the air would have been
cold and crisp,

my snow-globe universe
would have stayed upright.

On my deep, enriching discussion in the Apple store regarding whether I should have picked a yellow or pink iPod. (I went with the pink.)

April 10, 2010

NaPoWriMo #10

Stepping Stones

Logs slide downriver,
the same way seconds
drift off into hours. We jump
from rock to rock, shining stone
to shining stone across lazy,
long-haired water,
trying to keep our feet in the dry.
We speak, and the sound jumps
against the air
like hyperactive atoms. The river
swims around my feet carefully
under the sky.

April 09, 2010

NaPoWriMo #9

I wrote this last night after my computer had been shut down and didn't get a chance to post this, so I'm posting it under yesterday's date.


The wind is sweet and soft
but too curious. It blows
like the curtains framing
my ever-changing window,
wild and untamed.

There's a freedom in those curtains,
some kind of story.
I listen some days, but
I don't hear much and I know
there are secrets
behind the truth that I'll never hear.

April 08, 2010

NaPoWriMo #8


As a little girl, I didn't
know what I could be.
Nobody knew.
I remember that summer in
the farmhouse in Tennessee,
the one where I learned to
play guitar. I melted in the
sun and took cold showers and
ate too many popsicles.
Life back then was a map uncharted,
unpredictable like a tangle of
overgrown wild roses.
It still is.
I'll never forget that.

Needs revision, but it's got potential. It was partly inspired by Miranda Lambert's "The House That Built Me," which is one of my favorite songs.

April 07, 2010

NaPoWriMo #7


I wake up too early,
long before the rest of this
town will.

I slide the curtains away and
stare out at the hushed drip of
the rain, splashing against
the glass,

and I look down at the
Polaroids on the low table
next to me --

the photos that detail
yesterday's rain and the rain
from the five days before.

April 06, 2010

NaPoWriMo #6

Mason Jars

Early morning sunshine
through the dusty window,
I step outside and it smells
like the rain from hours
The grass is still wet and it's
soft and cold against my bare
rising paper cutouts of sun
paint temperature into my arms.
From the backyard I can see
those mason jars in the window,
those colors of glass lit up in
light and renewal.
My small corner of the morning is
raw and real and honest:
it tells it like it is,
no secrets to hide.

This is, hands down, my favorite April poem to write by miles. Writing off of a photograph is so natural and so easy, and I also picked a gorgeous shot to use, which was just icing on the cake.

And while I'm posting, I'd like to wish a very (late, but nevertheless heartfelt) happy 21st birthday to cuileann and a wonderful, wonderful sweet sixteen to Summermoon.

(Inspiration here.)

April 05, 2010

NaPoWriMo #5


Footsteps. Laugh.

The road is straight.
And smooth. It curves.

We trace the curve with
our feet. Running.

We run,
today, tomorrow, yesterday,

and two days from today we will
be running too--

running till we get to the sky.
There we'll dodge stars
in the sea of blue.


This piece is more free, and it was really fun to write.

From here on, comment moderation will be in effect for posts older than 10 days...spammers are back. :(

April 04, 2010

NaPoWriMo #4

Wet Town

October leaves take flight.
From my night-window I

rain pouring into rain. I slide
the glass away:

water floods my skin.


Happy Easter!

April 03, 2010

NaPoWriMo #3


You belong to
melon-blue stars
and soft curtains,

Barbie dolls and Halloween
pretty pink dresses.

You are strong.
The road ahead
will keep you safe:

wait for me.
I'm coming.

April 02, 2010

NaPoWriMo #2

Bone Fever

I breathe underwater.
I'm ice deep at the
bottom of the ocean.

In my ribs, I find a hole
of winter, of things lost and
burning silently.

Shore lights swim through the
they want me, but I
don't want them.

Here we are, steel statues
at the bottom of the ocean.

April 01, 2010

NaPoWriMo #1

In The Post Office

I swim.
I float in heavy water.

I am foldable,
coastal towns ripped apart.

This place is home.
This is the water,
the stars and the sky.

Secrets, whisper-words:
they belong underneath my chest.

I am home.
It's so great to start off on a high note! This took me the whole day to formulate, but everything about the writing process of this piece is just so fun.
Done with day 1!