River Remix

I sat on the rock just down from the bridge,
Its steel looming there, a confirmation
That, though I had crested the hill, the ridge,
I could not escape civilization.
It is not that I had turned my back
On humanity, but that I had put
Before me what I had sought to unpack,
Why I had come to the river barefoot:
To think, yet to slip into unthought,
To listen to and watch the river flow,
And to regard fully what I had brought:
Feeling ungrateful and a little low.
And as I climbed again back to the road,
I found my shameful thoughts dimmed and slowed.

/ / /

This poem was written to the day twenty-eight prompt at Poetic Asides to write a remix poem. I’ve remixed “River” – a free verse poem from day two over at NaPoWriMo – into a sonnet.

Duplex (Though I read the directions)

Though I read the directions
I did not know how to get there

     Not knowing how to get there
     I asked for help

I asked for help as best I could
But did not make myself understood

     Making myself understood
     Has long eluded me

What has long eluded me
Is understanding myself

     Trying to understand myself
     Has lead me to many places

For all the many places inside myself
There are no directions to read

/ / /

This poem was written to the day twenty-seven prompt at Poetic Asides to pick a direction. I also incorporated the day twenty-six prompt at NaPoWriMo to write a poem centered around repetition. I was very much inspired by Jericho Brown’s poem “Duplex (I Begin With Love)”.

All the Animals

All the animals in the zoo / controlled chaos
Butting up against each other / and the system
Control? That is the illusion
Depending / of course / on your viewpoint
Everyone thinks their religion / is the best
For that is how we were raised
Gregarious or introverted
Hoping to do well / not to disappoint
Injuring none / especially ourselves
Just hoping for some justice
Kicking at the system / and its unfairness
Living our lives as best we can / or
Nothing seems quite good enough
Over and over again
Punishing us for our selfishness
Quietly / at night / when we are alone
Restrained in our own thoughts
Suddenly / up against ourselves
Thinking of the times / we were thoughtless
Under the illusion / belief / affront / that we were important
Vanity our guide
Xenophobes thinking we’re different
Yelling at us because we’re
Zebras / not horses

/ / /

This poem was written to the day nineteen prompt at NaPoWriMo to write an abecedarian poem.


Its uh good state two bee inn.
Their iz noh shame inn bearing you’re sole.

You’re spelling May bee bazaar
Az ewe try too comprise an assay,

Butt get you’re words down inn teh frist draught.
Ewe may allways revision them latter.

Ewe must except teh citation,
And entitle you’re assay w/ flare.

Bee shure too sight you’re situations,
And innclued them inn you’re biography.

Peak you’re readers innterest;
Thay will no too what ewe elude.

Do knot censure you’re thoughts,
Butt bee conscience uv discomfit.

Latter, appraise you’re work,
And fax those capitol letters.

Riting will take ewe from confusion
Too uh state uv clearity.

/ / /

This poem was written to the state poem prompt at Poetic Asides and inspired by the day fourteen prompt at NaPoWriMo, especially Taylor Mali’s poem.

Mine Monotonous fore Dramatic

Two bees are knot two bees. What is teh kwestion?
Weather its knobler inn teh mine too suffrage
Teh swings and arroz of inrageous fore-toon,
Oar two fake arms afresht uh see of tribbles
And buy posing anthem. Two dice—two sheep,
Noh moor; and buy uh sheep too says wee end
Teh hart-ake and teh thousand island schlocks
What flash is air too: its uh consomme
Devoured two bees fished. Two dice, two sheep;
Two sheep, percent two cream—eye, theirs teh nub:
Four in what sheep of debt that creams can cone,
Then wee have shuffleboard this mortgage oil,
Mush give uhs paws—theirs teh inspect
What makers calamari of sew long strife.

/ / /

Dis pome wuz ritten fore teh day forteen promped at NaPoWriMo too rite uh poem dat inn-corps-per-rates homofones, homografs, and homonimz.


In English class, we look at the origins of words
The roots, the languages they’ve come from

In History, we consider origins
As an exploration of geography

Where was this civilization founded?
What creation stories do they tell?

This makes us reflect on our ancestry
The societies that are our background

In Science, we look at origins too
The fixed end of a muscle

And marvel that origins are within us
That we carry them and they move

In Mathematics, the origin
Is where axes intersect

It is the place from which we measure
The fixed place that gives coordinates meaning

Where is the origin of my curiosity?
And why does it show up in a poem?

/ / /

This poem was written to the prompt to write a poem of origin at NaPoWriMo.

Earthquake Weather

My neighbor is going on about earthquake weather

It is hot, I say

And I am waiting / for something to break / the heat

An onshore breeze would do nicely
Blow the light clouds away
And bring the temperature down

My rational mind knows
There is no such thing as earthquake weather
But there is this tension now
I can feel it in the air / or think I can

Maybe I should meditate
Allow the thought to pass from my mind

I imagine an onshore breeze
Blowing the irrational thought away
I watch it go with some satisfaction
And I feel less tense

But it is still hot

/ / /

This poem was written to the prompt to write a poem that starts from a regional phrase, particularly one to describe a weather phenomenon at NaPoWriMo.

It’s a Moving World

Don’t you wonder sometimes
In this criminal world
Those kilometers and the red lights?

It’s a very modern world
But nobody’s perfect
Don’t you wonder sometimes?

I slide to the nearest bar
Wonder how the dollar went down
Those kilometers and the red lights

Somewhere there’s an ocean
Somewhere, someone’s calling me
Don’t you wonder sometimes?

We walked proud and lustful
In this resonant world
Those kilometers and the red lights

I feel a bit roughed up, feel a bit frightened
Nearly pin it down sometime
Don’t you wonder sometimes
Those kilometers and the red lights?

/ / /

This poem was written to the day five prompt at NaPoWriMo, where I’ve written a villanelle using lines from outside texts. Specifically, I’ve used lines from David Bowie songs from his “Berlin Trilogy”: Always Crashing in the Same Car, Sound and Vision, Fantastic Voyage, Move On, Yassassin, and Red Sails.

Georges-Pierre Seurat

Georges-Pierre Seurat, the youngest child
Of Antoine and Ernestine, delicate and mild
In his sensibility, but with a precision of mind,
Logically and mathematically inclined.
He played with color and light,
Colors muted and colors circus bright.
There were islands and bathers,
A mix of humanity and nature.
A concealed love, Madeleine,
And Pierre-Georges, a young son,
Seurat himself dead at thirty-one.
Leaving the world of men
Two weeks later, dead too the son,
Leaving the familial legacy undone.

/ / /

This poem was written in response to the painter poem prompt at Poetic Asides and the sad poem prompt at NaPoWriMo.