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

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