243/365 One Poem More

One poem more
Another poem, another blog post
This never-ending month of August
Will hopefully never be repeated
One poem more.

I wrote more before this month
How can I write another poem?

One poem more.

Tomorrow I’ll write about songs
Or maybe I’ll write about dreams

One more day of poetry writing

Will I ever write another poem?

One more day of hating poetry

I was born to not write poems

What a blog post I could have written

Had it not included poems

But Kim chose the topic

One more poem before the month ends

And here I write a parody

Of a song from my favorite musical

I tip my hat to my blogging friends

For their creations the month of August

How I dare to write this parody

Will you accept my apologies?

I’m already thirty-nine words over

The 100 word limit for this month

I’ll leave you with this last thought

This song parody

Is like a segue for next month.

241/365 Birthday night dreams

The night I turned sixty-two
I dreamed of squirrels and speeches.
Squirrels escaping attic windows
their kits following and flying.
Acceptance speeches in designer gowns
not sure of the venue.

The night I turned sixty-two
I dreamed of taxis and water.
Mid-speech taxi ride
Will Smith was the driver
Will Smith dove the taxi into a river
drenching the designer gown.

The night I turned sixty-two
I dreamed of Will Smith’s daughter
Will Smith knew I had some money
to take care of the ride and gown
But he offered to give me his daughter’s piggy bank
in case I didn’t have enough cash.

********

Note: I wrote this the morning after the dream and thought I would save it for next month because the topic fit. This morning I looked at it again and realized that I wrote it in a poetry format (not that I didn’t realize that when writing, only when I was deciding when to post it did the format slip my mind) so I offer it during poetry month instead.

 

240/365 Drenched

i
sit in
my attic office
sweating. it’s 95 degrees
outside but a little cooler
in the attic, which surprises me.

salty
oily liquid
drips from my
scalp, trickles down my
forehead, through thinning eyebrows, onto
my eyelids, stinging my weary eyes.

the
back of
my shirt against
the black office chair
sports a huge wet circle,
growing bigger as I write this.

Elsewhere
my body
leaks, drips, dampens,
saturates, already soggy cotton
undergarments, a linen top, pair
of capris, glued to wet skin.

 

239/365 A poem I immediately loved but didn’t begin to understand until recently

You know which poem of which I speak. It’s probably the most quoted poem in English — or at least one of them…

“In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo”

“Do I dare to eat a peach?”

“I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.”

“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;”

“Let us go then, you and I”

It wasn’t until I became self-conscious of doing things that seemed more fitting for younger people (eating messy peaches, rolling up pant legs and walking on a beach) that I could identify with this narrator.

One day not long ago, looking at my coffee spoon on a napkin I thought, this morning is just like yesterday morning and tomorrow morning will be just like this morning and the mornings before that.

Of course the Atlantic has a different take: When T.S. Eliot Invented the Hipster

And here Monica Lewinsky has written an Ode to the poem in Variety: Monica Lewinsky: My Love Song to J. Alfred Prufrock

So perhaps I don’t understand this poem at all!

238/365 First poem that made me cry

I imagine I read this in high school — it was probably printed in some book we used in a long-forgotten English class. The class itself might be forgotten, but the emotion I felt from the words of the poem are not.

I never remember the name of the poem, but a search on Google (poem about man finding pregnant deer) always finds it for me: Traveling Through the Dark by William E. Stafford.

Traveling through the dark I found a deer
dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.
It is usually best to roll them into the canyon:
that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead.

By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car
and stood by the heap, a doe, a recent killing;
she had stiffened already, almost cold.
I dragged her off; she was large in the belly.

My fingers touching her side brought me the reason—
her side was warm; her fawn lay there waiting,
alive, still, never to be born.
Beside that mountain road I hesitated.

The car aimed ahead its lowered parking lights;
under the hood purred the steady engine.
I stood in the glare of the warm exhaust turning red;
around our group I could hear the wilderness listen.

I thought hard for us all—my only swerving—,
then pushed her over the edge into the river.

I found the video below this morning. In it the poet talks about the inspiration behind the poem, and reads it at the end.

When I first read it as a teenager I thought he made the wrong choice, but as I grew older, took on more responsibilities, I began to understand his decision.

237/365 his gift to me was the absence of cigarettes in his life

my son gave me a wonderful gift
for my birthday. he told me he’d quit
smoking.

when i’d learned
his sister smoked i didn’t
handle it
well in fact i was
scary if not verbally abusive.
by the time
i learned my son smoked i realized
i couldn’t change it.

she stopped
on her own because she
realized it was disgusting.
(and maybe because
of me)

he stopped
for several
reasons, but his partner
told me #1 was because
i hated it.

i know handled it better
with him
than her and i detected
that resentment
when she
and i texted
about
his quitting late
last night.

235/365 To Dona Lee – My First Grandchild

My grandfather wrote this on the event of my birth.

Broadcast it to the Universe
So to all it may be heard,
That Dona Lee Patrick arrived
On August twenty-third.
From fooling around
Between Patsy and Elvin.
They received a wee bundle,
Straight from Heaven.
Her Dad asked for a boy,
But it was not
He could readily tell ’cause
It had a — pink bootie
Her eyes are brown and
So is her hair.
When she arrived there was
An inch of it there.
She is very tiny
But so is her mother.
Now try again
So she can have a brother.

WTG (Walter Tyler Green)

234/365 You are right

If you think I am not trying very hard
You’d be right.
If you think I am just putting up words to get through the month
You’d be right.
If you think I am impressed with everyone else’s posts this month
You’d be right.
If you think I am running out of things for you to think
You’d be right.

229/365 Contacting the dead

It was Penny’s idea, both the séances
and the location: my dad’s basement bathroom shower —
It was the only place that could be made completely dark on a late-summer afternoon.

The first time it was Vladimir Lenin,
because we had a mimeographed school worksheet with his likeness, in purple ink.
We didn’t have much luck, although the flame of the orange citronella candle
wavered and Penny insisted she felt Lenin’s presence.

The second spirit we tried to contact was freshly dead, but with secrets:
Mary Jo Kopechne.
We asked her if Teddy killed her because she carried his child.
Penny was certain Mary Jo came to us that afternoon,
and proved it by extracting a curly blonde hair from the drain.

228/365 Hands

When we were thirteen
Cindy exclaimed at how young
The toddler’s hand looked
Compared to hers.

I think of that day
When I examine
My own, nearly 62-year-old
Heavily veined, wrinkly hands and
Bony fingers and
Shake my head at Cindy’s words.

When we are eighty-two
Will I look back to today
And shake my head at my
Own words written here?

227/365 Ode to The Highwayman

The summer was a long and empty expanse of laziness.
The days were an excuse to read and sunbathe; hot, haziness.
The bookshelves were full of literature; though some less lofty,
And the verse book was calling —
Calling — calling —
The verse book was calling me, and it was very bossy.

It was a green tome, quite heavy, its title embossed on the spine
Its pages, and there were many, were the color of white twine
They turned with never a crinkle. They were sewn tight in neat stitches.
And it opened up to the middle,
Its perfect, very middle,
Its center, its mid-section, opened to the most-loved riches.

Here I met Bess, lovely red-lipped, black-eyed, Bess brave; sadly doomed.
Here I met horse-handler Tim, as he listened, plotted and loomed.
Here I met the Highwayman, and likly fell in love with him.
I hoped for a happy ending,
I prayed for a happy ending.
I expected a happy ending, my first reading of the poem.

The ending was even better than a happy ending could be.
Bess, shot at the window, warning her lover to quickly flee.
The Highwayman, shot dead on the road, killed by the King’s men.
I found my Grandpa’s Underwood and typed
The poem over and over I typed
I committed the poem to memory that summer by typing and typing again.

226/365 ABC Poem: Metrophobia

August has arrived
Bringing with it poetry month;
Certain unnamed blogger will never be forgiven*
Despite her broad interpretation of poetry.
Enough moaning, Dona.
FTSM!
Get on with it;
Have faith in yourself Dona.
(I don’t, that’s the problem)
*Just kidding
Kim, really
LOL
Metrophobia: fear of poetry (really!)
No more Dad poems; Mom’s lists are gone;
Oh, that poem Grandpa wrote: later this month
Poetry has never interested me, much
Quite frankly, poetry terrifies me
“Ridiculous!” you say?
Skipping this month is out of the question.
Time to wax poetic.
Unfortunately my talent is waning;
Virtually disappeared.
Wayne writes prose-poems. Perhaps I can do that (although not nearly as well)
Xeroxed sheets, warm from the copier with instructions for writing poetry make me
Yearn for the days teachers taught the subject. I wish I’d not
Zombied-out back then.

224/365 Poem by Elvin, age 7: My Wants

Here’s a poem by my father that he wrote at age 7:

I always want more than I can tell
And other folks just want a smell.
I always want things for my bike
But I don’t always get what I like.

When I ever go into the store
I want those things more and more.
I want something that’ll make a noise
But of course you know I’m like most boys.

I like to make airplanes you know
I rather do that than play in the snow.
But if that would make me real happy
I don’t think I’d have time to help my pappy.

221/365 Mom’s list (#2)

January 1, 1998 
A new beginning?
Let go and let things happen; don’t try to control
If you can’t say something nice about someone don’t say anything at all. — thanks mom
January 2
Wrong about a new beginning
January 3
Drunk again
January 4
Same
January 5
Again!

220/365 Mom’s List (#1)

For the next few entries, because I am woefully lacking in any originality this month (and still have that fucking cough), I am posting some lists and notes that I found among Mom’s things.

Everything is just as it should be.
Let it happen — don’t try to make it happen.
If you have something to say — say it.
If you have something to do — do it.
If its not worth doing or saying then don’t.

219/365 a tip

take
the first letter
of each word
in the title
of a book you
are reading

take
the initials
(in capitals)
of the author
of the book you
are reading

take
the digits
(month and date)
of the date
you started
the book

You now have your next password. (if necessary add an exclamation point)

217/365 Iktomi

She sat
quietly
watching,
waiting,
listening?
while we ate
our salmon
pasta
in cream sauce
on the tiny porch.

Clare
noticed her first
and politely
addressed her:
“Hello!
have you come
to join us
for dinner?”
Chask’e provided
her name: Iktomi,
and told us
a Lakota story
about her exploits.

The following evening
after a dinner
not on the tiny porch
a visiting friend
noticed Iktomi
when he
opened the door.
Not knowing our history
with the spider
and because it was
large and
hairy and
a spider,
he squished her and
loudly and proudly announced:
“I killed a huge wolf spider!”

216/365 Poem by Clare

Vintage Olympia Typewriter with paper on which the words "I tried to feed a crow. He would not eat my speck. Such is life" is typed.

I tried to feed a crow. He would not eat my speck. Such is life

This typewriter sits at the top of the stairs in Clare’s apartment building. We’d just eaten at a nearby pizza restaurant and a crow eyed us as we passed beneath the tree in which he sat. Clare tore a piece of speck off my leftover pizza and placed it near the crow’s tree. He didn’t seem interested so Clare wrote a poem about it.

213/365 Recycled Haiku

The first poem I ever felt at all proud of was the haiku I wrote in grade school. I liked it so much I used it every time a teacher required we write a haiku, possibly through college:

Flowers bloom, then wilt
Snow falls down and melts away
Life begins and ends