Impossible If mirrors would cease reflecting—a relief not knowing if my hair is askew or graying, only proof of me existing in heaps of worn jeans and clean underwear, warm sheets where I must have been sleeping.
Foreclosure Next door is the property of pests. It used to be a family’s we never met but waved at. Nobody’s home but rats, black widows, brown recluses, poisonous plants, an unmown lawn of allergens, irritants to skin. We call the bank, the city, the county. No luck reaching anybody.
I just read (and totally recommend!) Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith, a retelling of the myth of Iphis. I dug out my copy of Edith Hamilton's Mythology to look up Iphis; she doesn't retell Ovid's myth, alas, but I've always had a soft spot for Hamilton's book, so I've been reading bits of it. And the bits from Hamilton gave me an idea to work on a poem, which is good because I haven't had many ideas in that department at all. Our Neighborhood At pick-up games, Apollo shows off the same arms, legs, chest of the athlete he used to be, maintained with twenty minutes a day on his Bowflex machine as Hermes lugs boxes up and down the street for UPS, and artists who watch from windows don’t know they’re sketching the gods in our image, everyone’s weekend one tableau of overtime and basketball.
I haven't been posting because I haven't been writing poems. Enough said. But I did work on this poem earlier this week. Brown Corduroy, seared surface of well-done beef, skins of russet potatoes, upholstery of old sofas and cars, nutshells, chocolate bars, certain parts of darting bodies of flickers and chickadees, fifteen feet of tree trunk, patchwork of dirt and dry grass, slats of our privacy fence.
I was sitting on the patio and noticed some ants, and so it goes... I was glad to work on a poem as I've felt kind of stalled out, probably because of being super-busy with teaching lately. Weeds, Anthills Did they crack our patio or did cracks come before in one or more earthquakes before we lived here? No one cares. It’s an old slab of cement with no one to repair it. Only I can see it with spring filling out the neighbor’s hydrangea and our mock orange.
I haven't been posting because I haven't been writing much, just a few notes here and there, hopefully toward a project that will ultimately come together in a more satisfying way, but too early to tell. I finally wrote a little poem that I felt I could post, so here goes. Tidy Goodbye, flickering lamp, mismatched towels, threadbare sweaters and jeans. The van for donations comes today. Mom calls it Tobacco Road if we store boxes on the porch even temporarily. Goodbye, sturdy boxes from the liquor store.
Dear Blog-Friends, I haven't forgotten you, but I haven't been writing much poetry because of needing to write assignment sheets instead and also because of grading papers. Here are two very tiny poems, which, you never know, could become part of something bigger about "road trips" as I'm always wanting to write more about road trips since I do try and write in my notebook whenever we drive somewhere and stay in a motel... And speaking of tiny poems, I'm collecting short poems for a mini-anthology called Poems for Your Pocket , with a submissions deadline of March 28. I plan to hand out the anthologies for free at the college on Poem In Your Pocket Day , so send me tiny poems if you want to participate. After Mountains An ancient restaurant perched over a river-- let’s stop for root beer. ** Interstate 5 My fingers hurt from the cold and damp and from driving.
I don't know if it's still like this, but it used to be you could drive over the top of the dam on Baker Lake. I don't usually write about being a kid, but I got this idea after reading the following prompt in In the Palm of Your Hand by Steve Kowit: "Recall something that happened many years ago near a body of water." Baker Lake Dad takes the narrow road over the top of the dam. In the back seat, we study the lake like cats regard what’s behind a shower curtain. We hear each pebble under the tires of the Malibu, watch waves lap the dam, through the residue of window decals Dad tried to remove.
It's still so dark in the morning. I usually sleep in, but sometimes I wake up early. I guess the events of this poem actually took place at like 5 in the morning, but it felt like the middle of the night. Is it a shame that my poems don't have more "original" titles? I don't like to push it. Well, I like that this poem fits in with my "weather" series. Also, I really like looking at the snow. Middle of the Night Woke up a little shook up from dreams I couldn’t remember, took my pills, looked out between the blinds. Snow had piled up while I slept, everyone’s yards blurred together under an unseen moon.
I started this blog to nudge myself to write more, and over the past week or so, I've been reading a lot but writing very little. But then I was like, "Remember the blog!" and worked on this poem, which also owes something to the assignment I'm writing up for my poetry class for next week on using listing and/or repetition in poems. Literature All over our floor— paperbacks from thrift stores, hardbacks from libraries. Debit card receipts, coupons for medium pizzas. A plea to save polar bears with canvas grocery sacks. I’ll write them a check.
I may do a whole series of poems comprised of things I've seen through the windshield of my car... (Or maybe I won't. Who knows?) Warning: High Car Prowl Area By the lake in the city park watch for suspicious activity, low clouds, gray skies, gray everywhere, more accurately, because of the parking lot and how the lake reflects weather, pavement, feathers of the bodies of migrating geese.
Here's a poem from some notes I made earlier in the week while I sat in the car beside Green Lake, having an apple and cheese and watching some all-weather exercisers. The last line I'd say is kind of a tip of the hat to my grandma. Joggers Their raingear reflects headlights and wicks moisture away from their bodies. They follow yellow arrows to miss bikes and rollerblades, but nobody’s on wheels today but babies, strollers covered in plastic like hairdos of careful ladies.
Well, I didn't throw a party, but I reflected on parties past. I did, however, need to solve the mystery expressed in the last two lines; luckily I was able to solve it quickly! Party’s Over Napkins, crumbs, toothpicks, plastic wrap, coffee cups, dessert forks, and more, unfortunately, than a few tiny flies, from the amaryllis or maybe the oranges.
This is one of the poems I've been working on regarding the bad weather and flooding from early December 2007. Macramé Thick threads of headlights in the north- and southbound lanes can’t stop the river pulling loose— a million knots give way, dirt, branches, leaves and water all over the place.