Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Considering Forms of Love


You're on your back,
sweat on your belly drying like sand;
striped sheet,
a smell of tidal marshes
and iron.
The surge and ebb of him is still echoing--
in your pulse and trucks out on the highway,
and the thwacking blades of that helicopter.
It has been searching for an hour,
or fifteen minutes, useless,
like a dog chasing cars.
His breath has turned slow,
and you trace cracks in the ceiling
while they turn into branches and twigs
against a March sky and
you are watching clouds spin
above the merry-go-round
you pushed it fast
to catch and lean back, and back
until your hair brushes the dust
as you wind down from flying.

WWP Prompt 31: Love

Friday, October 22, 2010


October is ending, November's on its way.
Dancing on the precipice is fine for spring and summer,
but it's time to fold the motley and put it on its shelf.

skinwalker's toss

this is a little choppy,
but, hey, Halloween...

Skinwalker's Toss

worn work boots, wing tips, stilettos, Birkenstocks,
flip-flops, moccasins, Doc Marten, Converse, bare
dog trailing a chain, cat, pigeon, owl, rat
no matter the form of the foot it will falter.
ecstasy or peace, the shapeshifter's chance

on one street out of many in any small city,
a building with a doorway in no way remarkable
casts a lure of peace to any who can hear
the screaming dark moon,
like a wild cat in heat

throw off your skin and come to your sister
in the one form you belong to: none
unity, unity, fleshless and free
wild in the space between fragmented wholes

but the door whispers sanctuary, sanctuary, home

the future will hang like the last autumn fruit,
out of reach, out of knowledge
one last new skin could be destiny in flesh
or the anguish and formless insanity
who calls the winner when the coin doesn't fall?
every dark of the moon
the same choice returns

Friday, October 15, 2010

poem from a wordle: the Flock


the Flock

Before the bitter winter comes,
the purple martins gather.
No extract of coal could be more black
than their glossy iridescent masses.

They trade away winter in hook-neck gourds
and staircase-less apartments
for the southern kiss of warmer days,
and the drooping mass of Spanish moss.

Mosquitoes bred in muddy sloughs
they pluck like cherries on the wing.
Their passing, thick as shadow,
is right and perfect on the sky
as a cat on a porch, blue lines on a page,
or a smile on a porcelain doll.

October wordle

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

animal poem for WWP

In answer to your question:
I can, in fact bwaawk like a hen.

( conversationally ) Bwaaawk, bwaaawk, bwaaawk.

( with excitement ) BWaaaawk!

( self-satisfied, or petulant, oddly the same )Bwawk.

and ( because there are always such moments ) Bwaawk?

It's a skill; it's a talent; it's an art.

For other animal visions, see
WWP Trip to the Zoo

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


the poop
deck, car
the wal
to sail.
pluck up
the droop
ing stair
the hook
from alice,
and let her
swim away.
her muddy
gone bit
ter and the red
queen's pur
ple in
the face
from glos
sy dolls

Monday, October 11, 2010

Libran Workle in Progress

100 words

I begin to doubt that this will work, but even if it doesn't I will have learned something.  When the haibun prompt came up, it reminded me that I had intended to try some American Sentences.  I didn't then.  Now along comes what ought to be the perfect occasion.
Of course, I haven't even read that many, but I have a hunch that mine are, not simply not good, but actually bad.

Still, we lie on our backs and wave at the ceiling before we start to crawl, before we walk, before we run.
About 1/3 of the way through the list:

  1. Refrigerator latch broke; pap inside's tepid, and a touch foetid.
  2. La primavera: a warm embrace, but her storms have icy kisses.
  3. A dust of butterflies wings wafts, delicate, past the trickle of tears.
  4. A jet plane over the ocean lives by the beauty of fire and air.
  5. A fleck of gold in his green eyes, sparked an alluring frisson of lust.
  6. I escaped the lunch with a light heart and a handful of chocolate stars.
  7. She snapped back, too warm to be a polite and well-modulated sheep.
  8. The clasp at the nape of her neck was sea glass, cool as a sky blue rose
  9. Make an I ching trigram called amazing joy out of windstorm thick leaves.
  10. To stuff a fig, you must love, not the fruit, but drudgery: or murder.
  11. The fuzzy dice on her dash were studded with hot pink diamantes
  12. At the roast they served her a baked swan song sauced with hot gin-soaked cherries

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Quantum Charlie

    Quantum Charlie

    there was a TV show.
    a man's mind bounced around
    in past tenses, like a fly in a window,
    and settled each week into some
    different body's set of troubles,
    leaving suddenly just as things began
    to clarify, about to go right.

    week after week
    with nothing but
    Bukowski's hangovers.

    MONDAY PROMPT / October 4 - The World's Poetry Archive 108
    Question And Answer
    he sat naked and drunk in a room of summer
    night, running the blade of the knife
    under his fingernails, smiling, thinking
    of all the letters he had received
    telling him that
    the way he lived and wrote about
    it had kept them going when
    all seemed
    Charles Bukowski

    Exercise #1

    One thing that came to me along with my husband was a book of essays, Vibration Cooking.   While it does in fact contain recipes, it is in reality a book about  people making joy and home from the ingredients at hand.

    The directions were clear enough, but not restrictive.
    .........................To question would require an act of imagination, or
    .........................the mind of a ten-year-old.

    But adaptable.  There was no saying:  I don't have that
    and closing the book on the whole enterprise.
    And why not be open to interpretation?

    This was not neurosurgery,
    or baking,
    or contract law.

    Locking the door behind me,
    I stepped out into October,  with the crows cursing the gray cat,
    acorns clicking onto the sidewalk, dogs making exuberant remarks
    about squirrels and personal property, and juvenile rodents devouring
    the red ripe kernels of pomegranate-like magnolias

    and began to
    Walk At Least 5 Minutes Every Day

    Thursday Prompt #22 What’s for Dinner?

    Friday, October 1, 2010


                I want your money and
    your life she said stepping outside
    her trite and truly off-the-rack
    painted by the numbers linear life.
    none of that namby-pamby wishy-
    washy, flip-flop, either/or,    either.
    I want it all she said, leveraging
    with the addition of an air guitar.
    beautiful, I'll be the goldfoil angel
    wearing diamonds like glass beads,
    crashing masked balls bare-faced,
    cursing infants for their own good.
    and I wonder why didn't I do this
      years ago

    ____     ____     ____

    You can see the genesis of this here.  
    And if you're wondering how this poem came about...

    I liked the story with Jill’s prompt so much that I decided to steal it.
    As a black-hearted highwayman. 
    I stole the tree-fort tree and picked an apple from it.
    Stuffed her leverage in my pocket, while I was at it.  My childhood was Disney-Grimm, so all the bad fairy curses turn out to have positive outcomes. And because the good fairies are indistinguishable from angels, and Jill seems like such an angellic imp, I just decked her in sequins and gold lame, and stole her off the top of the (now a fir) tree.

    But, because I am only pretending, I put everything (and everyone) back the way I found it when I was through playing bandits.
    big tent poetry

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010


    the girl with dreams in place of a heart

    she liked books about horses
    and often concocted
    epic adventures for a girl just her age
    with golden palomino ponies,
    glossy black stallions and blue roans.

    always, in imagination,
    there would be triumph
    blue rosettes, golden trophy cups,
    racing silks like motley,
    purple as mardi gras.

    when the plots began
    to hinge on human males
    imagination drew romance:
    something old, something blue
    white satin, lace,
    and a golden ring.


    Drop in and visit WWP.  See how many ways there are to interpret a prompt.

    Sunday, September 26, 2010

    whimsy's progress

     Note:  this looks better at the Wordpress location

    Whimsy: "a product of Capricious Fancy"

    tuesday: my whimsy
    is on backorder

    an e-mail from the company
                 (with frown-y faces I discovered,
                  images displayed just this time)
    declared with rueful glee
    they'd gotten orders
                                             past imagination
    responding to their ad suggesting

    WHIMSY: It's
    a bad, bad thing

    __ back atcha layta, they said

    my whimsy
    is en route

    an e-mail from the company
    took forever to download and open
    perhaps due to the embedded flash
    showering the page with pink and pastel purple
    pixels of ecstatic joyous symbolic confetti

    a cache of whimsies was uncovered
    by a team of steadfast warehouse workers
    a room entirely filled with boxes
    labelled ( by mistake) OFF-Color
    a party has ensued, but the whimsy's in the mail

    __ back atcha layta

    dear Frances,
    I just got the official notification that my whimsy has been shipped.
    Guess we under estimated them, or over estimated the amount of
    alcohol mislabeled in the back rooms of that warehouse,
    which I now know is in, of all places, Buffalo. When you were in
    school there, were there warehouses of off-color whimsy around?
    Perhaps shipped in from Kodak in Rochester? I would have
    put money on China, but there is a logic to Buffalo.
    is atcha layta a suburb?

    an e- from UPS
    no bells and whistles
    charts the progress
    of my whimsy
    in six-hour increments
    by longitude and latitude
    the package, when it comes,
    is described as oversized, but
    weighing >6 (?)
    It may be expected on the
    front porch no signature required
    TODAY between noon
    and six pm

    my whimsy arrived
    3:17 pm according to it's tracking label
    does anyone have access to a crowbar?

    Friday, September 24, 2010

    Roc, Roc (who's there?)

    Big Tent Poetry wants a haibun with a mythological character

    I am sure many of you will have produced beautifully crafted haibun. You will have included the requisite flying horses or fairies gracefully while describing some place in such a way my mouth will water while I read.
    I could not write a haiku if my life depended on it, and not a good one even if it would save me AND make me wealthy. As to the narrative, well, I am not bad at beginning, but there is a reason I call myself Poet Wysfool and not Novelist Wysfool.
    If you can’t recognize it in all the verbiage, this is an apology for what follows. My only excuse is that it's a rough draft. a very puny excuse.
               (something of a post script here:  I've been reading some
                interesting interpretations of the prompt, and feel a little
                more comfortable trying the form.  I'm not certain that it
                says what I want, but if you're interested when you finish,
                my attempt at haibun is at
                haibun.  or not haibun )

    One who has an irrational fear of heights, or a rational fear of extraordinarily large birds, would be advised to avoid the Outrider Mountain Peak Experience. I am one of the later, but no one warned me beforehand that the only access to the workshop, the only transportation to the peak, would have to be just such avians. Rocs.

    Outrider Mountain is impressive, as old, eroded mountains may still be. It is the first appreciable elevation one encounters traveling east across the plateau from the central basin. Miles of rolling eastern prairie run up against the ridge of Outrider like carpet at a wall. One turns off the highway a few miles before the road turns upward to cross the barrier by way of a low shoulder.

    At this junction there is a gas station with attached restaurant and shop.
    The Roc’s Roaster sells a great variety of unfortunate useless things in addition to the usual sodas and sandwiches, and also--as attested to by large peeling signs for miles in advance--fifteen flavors of roasted RocNuts. These are, in fact, small brown bags of peanuts. The place is depressing to say the most complimentary thing that comes to mind, and I wish to god that I had stayed there.

    [here would follow description of the winding dirt and gravel road that skirts the mountain for miles, the boulders that fall with frequency, occasionally landing on some farmer’s tractor or cow.
    [then we would discuss the landing site and the process of strapping into the harness by which the birds carry you, and the deeply unsettling sensation of rising one thousand feet into the air under with nothing between you and oblivion but the wings and badly maintained feet of two foul tempered birds.]

    The Rocs and their handler spoke to one another in a rough and unhuman language, but it was obvious to me that they were discussing my weight at some length, and it seemed for a while that the birds would refuse me passage, though I am only guessing: at no time did the birds or their attendant speak to me.

    When I at last staggered to my feet after landing, the larger of the birds muttered something and the woman who was assisting me out of my strapping laughed heartily. When she pointed me in the direction of my cabin, she handed me a wooden disk. It was red with the number 2000 in yellow.
    “Baldy says you’re heavier than you look, " she said, as if it were an explanation. "Seems to think you must have some triceratops in your family. That’s your diet.”


    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Observation Regarding Rules

    Thursday Prompt #20 Exceptions To The Rule
    September 16, 2010 — staff@wwp
    Exceptions To The Rule
    We have all heard of the old adage: Rules are made to be broken. Was there a time in your experience when you broke the rules, a particular rule? Why did you do that and what was the outcome? Are there certain indiviudals for whom you always make exceptions? Are there areas in your life where there are never allowances for exceptions? Which rules would you like to break, and which exceptions would you wish to see carved in stone? You might want to take some time to do a free write on any, or all of these questions, or simply on the general concept of the prompt. See what poem you can “cook” from these ingredients! We’ll see you Wednesday to find out the results.

    (while loves and losses, abstractly,
    are fruit for the mill
    grist for the fodder
    available to any and all
    the particulars of my transgressions,
    and their lessons, are my own not to tell.)
    Observation Regarding Rules

    two points of view
    if each wants the peach at hand,
    the one who eats it, eats it
    no contest

    say: the peach is just beyond
    it is the possible, the potential,
    the foreseeable future
    agree on it, or slug it out
    either choice is the first rule of your society

    the rest of the rules
    smooth the stones,
    save wear and tear on the knuckles,
    give social interaction a place to hang it's hat
    rules are agreed-upon, changeable, breakable, repairable
    rules create the game

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    blue love

    This painting, Fisherman, is the week's subject from the Writer's Island.  There is a lot of blue in it.  There are a lot of blues.  I do not know which colors go with which words, but their names are beautiful enough to be a poem on their own.  I didn't go far from that.

    blue love

    you settle in his arms
    as a rowboat rests above
    the names of blue
    cerulean, periwinkle, ultramarine.

    his fingers on your forehead
    on your cheek
    call your skin magnolia, lotus blossom, rose
    his breath upon your eyelids calls you
    midnight, royal, cornflower, pacific, summer sky.

    sparks along your nerves
                    are neon
    fires inside your chest
                    are steel
    you swim in depths of indigo
    and memory of him
    will never be without
    a taste of blue.

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    poem from a "wordle"

    Big Tent Poetry

    the funeral home looked like gone with the wind

    the last niece arrived late for the viewing.
    she skirted the swarm of ghouls milling
    at the door. camouflaged in dusty dull
    black carapaces, the females mimed at
    humanity with tears and scraps of laces.
    once past the canopy, an unctuous guide
    in graphite chanted her through hushed
    doors and past the crush of zombies,
    messily strewing the dead man's wake
    with the remains of his backbone and
    his embellished balls. The debris of a
    half-eaten child in miniature mourning
    answered to the fates of the bereaved.
    her uncle was already on the loading
    dock, fortunate.

    (when I copied the words, half-eaten and child ended up together.  I could not resist)

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    the woman who was an old maple tree

     “ 'Cause everything is never as it seems
    line from the song "fireflies" by someone called Owl City
    for WeWritePoems

    the woman who was an old maple tree

    her hair below the line of gray is black
    a painted matte without the gloss of coal
    and sparse as winter grass
    her arms are thin
    almost emaciated
    lacking strength,
    she who was lithe
    enough to thread her body
    through a wedding ring
    can’t bend to pick up pins or pennies
    her chest within its narrow ribs
    is round and hard
    a wooden cage with welded cooper’s bands
    her breathing comes in gasps
    as thin as window glass
    she thought of the immaculate
    when her womb began to swell
    but knows the pain
    is wrong for blessing
    still bears it for remembrance
    like the black that lacks the gloss of coal.

    Life Sign

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    words, scrambled

    Monday Prompt/
    September 13, 2010
    By Big Tent Poetry

    Life is just a temporary fix--
    What goes over the fence last.
    Life is the half-eaten debris
    of Sunday dinner stuffed into
    tupperware.  Embellish to your
    heart’s content, it is still leftovers.
    Life is the hem of your skirt caught
    by your heel.  Life is the evidence
    of things you wish hadn’t been seen.
    Life will dock your dickory, yes.
    It’ll swarm, life will, in your walls
    where the winter is warm, troubling
    but life is sweet as a jumprope chant
    and supple as a child.  Life is
    all about heart...and backbone.

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    what I wish I'd said

    I remember you

    friends, pals, buddies, chums
    there were plenty
    lovers, fewer
    dates, none
    you said come over
    I’ll make dinner.  poured some wine put on some jazz
    prepping for the omelets sliced the tip off of your finger.
    just enough to make a mess.
    I believe I was embarassed for you.
    Not knowing what to do, I pretended nothing had happened.
    You were a nice guy.
    I should have fainted for you.

    MONDAY PROMPT/ September 6

    Sunday, September 5, 2010


    need to know:

    I took a nap this afternoon
            here is my dream:
                I am in a story that seems
                strange to me
                about a country
                far away across the sea
                and by a sea

                there’s never any rain
                and nothing grows
                not even lichens
                on the rocks      
                the people there
                                care for birds.
                they keep the rocky rookeries
                for herds
                of smoke gray
                                crested sea birds
    and in the long winters they burn
    bricks of dry and ancient bird shit.
    when the nights roll gray the clock around
    under coverlets of woven down, they lie
    to sleep on neat and warming ash heaps

    Thursday Prompt #18, Need to Know Basis

    Thursday, September 2, 2010


    With someone else in mind
    I thought of you

    stalking Rochelle around the Fair grounds,
    infiltrating families, separating couples.

    You never touched, not salt skin or clothing,
    one of the fluid mass.

    Appearing accidental, you were beyond every projection.
    Such intense nonchalance.

    Did you intend fear?

    I was amazed to find you behind the face
    of my quondam friend.

    The glint of blue neon off a parked car:
    you met my eye.

    Note: I heard the word "fetch" from a crowded hallway. Although the word does not appear here, I had it in mind in it's sense of ghost or apparition.

    again,  fetch


    Was that your horn
    that tapped
    on my ear?

    It woke me from a sound dream
    I was at peace; now I want an argument--
    you, me, and Revelations.

    Was that your skin
    cast off
    on the floor?

    When will you stop stepping out of it
    to prove a prophecy
    and hurry god?

    Was that your fetch
    that prayed
    on white knees?

    Will you be watching your performance
    when god taps you

    prompt:  eavesdrop and steal

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    I tried to write today.

    I tried to write today.

    I wrote drinking watery draft
    from the prominence of
    half-stuffed vinyl bar stools
    at a glossless black top bar.

    I attempted to write the one about the Wagnerian blond
    in red fishnet stockings
    knocking down the grocery aisle rounder array of cans
    Campbell’s in red and white.

    Also, there was the one
    about shouldering open the swinging doors
    into that restaurant kitchen--
    two sorts of asylum there:  the safe and the chaos.

    I forget what else,
    but I must have tried fourteen variations,
    and not one shows any signs of working.
    Like bipartisan governments,
    and exclusivity without vows,
    some things
    lack the traits to be taken