NaPoWriMo/NaPoREADMo #10 — Following this noise

Following this noise

My wife chews 

on a crunchy cookie
	as she breathes 
		through her nose 
	next to me.

Our child turns 

a page in her journal and 
	sniffs on the futon in the studio,
		headphones playing music
	we cannot hear.

Our two friends
	on the couch and 
  		in the child’s borrowed bed, 
	both snore softly.

Traffic in the six lanes 

out front swishes and shushes 
	in the rain and occasionally 
		clump-umps on a 
	loose manhole cover. 

The washing machine 

and a jet overhead 
	in the night
		scream descendingly
	in a soft duet. 

Our new neighbors, 

still settling in, move about 
	upstairs, unsettling nothing, 
		while I lie here 
	about it all
		on such a quiet night.

Keepin' the "Po" in NaPoWriMo....

O.P.P. #10 — Gwendolyn’s building…

Day 10 of National Poetry Month.

And we are listening to the neighbors…

kitchenette building

by Gwendolyn Brooks

We are things of dry hours and the involuntary plan,
Grayed in, and gray. “Dream” makes a giddy sound, not strong
Like “rent,” “feeding a wife,” “satisfying a man.”

But could a dream send up through onion fumes
Its white and violet, fight with fried potatoes
And yesterday’s garbage ripening in the hall,
Flutter, or sing an aria down these rooms

Even if we were willing to let it in,
Had time to warm it, keep it very clean,
Anticipate a message, let it begin?

We wonder. But not well! not for a minute!
Since Number Five is out of the bathroom now,
We think of lukewarm water, hope to get in it.

NaPoWriMo/NaPoREADMo #9 — Not the first time

Not the first time

I am reading a poem and realize, some 
lines into it, that I have been thinking 
of The Man in the High Castle, which 
I have just been watching, and I have 
not absorbed anything at all of the last 

four lines of the poem—like when you’re 
driving home and can’t remember the last 
four turns, the last few streets that you have 
driven on—and then I come back to the 
poem for a few lines but then I am taken

by the idea of writing a poem about this 
experience and its analogy to driving a 
regular route and not remembering how
one got somewhere, and again I realize 
that I have not been paying attention to 

the poem though I have still been reading 
it and I am struck by the thought that not
only can my body—my hands, arms, legs 
and head—be made to do something that 
I am apparently barely aware of, but that

one part of my mind can also apparently 
be made to do one thing (read a poem, for 
instance) that I am also barely aware of 
and cannot remember doing very well while 
another part of my mind is thinking about 

writing about this experience and yet another, 
third part has realized that these two things 
are happening and then, rather suddenly the 
charade is over, the wizard runs and hides. I 
don’t know precisely where I am and I’m not 

entirely certain any more just where I reside or 
if I remember the way and I put down the book, 
go to the keyboard and write this poem about 
reading (while also not reading) that other poem 
and here I am again, not knowing how I got home.

Keepin' the "Po" in NaPoWriMo....

NaPoWriMo/NaPoREADMo #8 — While is a verb

While is a verb

In the rainwashed gullet, in the skeletal, 
sketched out waste network of the city, 
something marks the invisible boundary 
of an anonymous and boneless aloneness.

A slight and fragile lance has fallen to rest 
in the green and scraggling cracks of the city.
An instrument that softens all the blows,
it’s heart a black stillness that plunges deep, 

sips hunger from a cylinder and slips its 
spike into nightless sleep. Palsied children 
sweat on couches and search for a place to 
get away for a while while what took them 

away waits to take them again to any place 
but here. Washed up on the shore of things, 
they barely remember and no longer care. 

A night-house on the point of ever-beckoning 
return calls and calls and calls. 
				                    We measure 
our lives in so many units of so many kinds. 
How exactly do we measure our deaths?

Keepin' the "Po" in NaPoWriMo....

O.P.P. #8 — Anne’s lament…

Day 8 of National Poetry Month.

And we are saying, “I think…I think I could…”


by Anne Sexton

Someone is dead.
Even the trees know it,
those poor old dancers who come on lewdly,
all pea-green scarfs and spine pole.
I think...
I think I could have stopped it,
if I'd been as firm as a nurse
or noticed the neck of the driver
as he cheated the crosstown lights;
or later in the evening,
if I'd held my napkin over my mouth.
I think I could...
if I'd been different, or wise, or calm,
I think I could have charmed the table,
the stained dish or the hand of the dealer.
But it's done.
It's all used up.
There's no doubt about the trees
spreading their thin feet into the dry grass.
A Canada goose rides up,
spread out like a gray suede shirt,
honking his nose into the March wind.
In the entryway a cat breathes calmly
into her watery blue fur.
The supper dishes are over and the sun
unaccustomed to anything else
goes all the way down.