Author Archives: sdtp33

Drive / The One and Only Quartet

 

 

Drive

On a strange day

in a life that’s becoming stranger

Myron is driving north of Kona

on a road bisecting the black lava landscape

when Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

comes on the radio,

and in no time at all

he’s picturing himself

on a boat on a river

and marveling for the first time

at that rhyme between

marmalade skies and kaleidoscope eyes

not the skies and eyes

but the lade and leid

and just when his head

is filling with technicolor

the black cloud that’s sitting

on the mountains to the right

moves across the sun

that’s shining

on the blue ocean to the left,

and the black asphalt road

and the jumbled chunks

of frozen black lava

that cover the landscape

suck the remaining light

from the air

leaving everywhere

a dull monochrome.

 

This poem was published in The Galway Review some time back and also previously published here.

Daily Prompt : Quartet

The Toddler King Part (1)

 

IMG_0269 (10)     IMG_0269 (8)    IMG_0269 (9) 

    Orange is the New Bleak 1 (3)

The Toddler King Part (1)

5 am in America

the toddler king
checks his Twitter feed

a five hundred pound ball
of carbohydrate and grease
rolls across the parking lot
of a big box store,
no one notices

assault rifles take stock

the second amendment
thinks about making amends

the founding fathers
find themselves wanting.

 

Identical (In Praise of Extended Benefits)

via Daily Prompt: Identical 

In Praise of Extended Benefits

born identical twins,
they became indentured servants
to Lord Denton,
a wealthy landowner
who believed passionately
in the benefits
of dental care,
consequently
the identical twins
lived a long
indentured life
and never endured
the indignity of dentures.

Provoke (Haiku for Donald/ Trumputin)

via Daily Prompt: Provoke  

These poems were originally written as an attempt to provoke. That didn’t happen, and nothing changed as a result of writing them but at least I had some fun doing it. The second poem appeared in the magazine Anti_Heroin Chic 

IMG_0269 (8)

 

Haiku for Donald

petulant pillock

postcranial curmudgeon

bombastic buffoon.

 

IMG_0269 (9)

 

Trumputin (a romance)

Don loves Vlad
Vlad loves Don
Love as big as
A nuclear bomb.

Front door, back door,
Kremlin, tower
Nuclear love
Nuclear power.

 

Heavy Metal Heaven

Heavy Metal Heaven

Slim plugs in his guitar
sets the dial on his amp
to “heavy metal”
hits an E minor seven
walks out of the room
takes a leak
makes a cup of coffee
drinks a cup of coffee
checks the football results
texts his brother in England:
what the fuck’s up, mate
his brother doesn’t answer
he starts writing a novel:
Like every Saturday that Summer
they are lying behind a log on the beach
at English Bay, up to no good. The sun –
a red ball of anger on the horizon –
shouts through the brown chemical haze:
“that’s it, I’m getting the fuck outta here”.
Then, and only then, they hear a baby cry.
That’s all he’s got
Slim returns to the room
that E minor seven
is still going
but faint now
like a rustle of paper
like the distant chatter
of dead drummers
in heavy metal heaven
he picks up his guitar
hits an A minor seven
walks out of the room
starts his taxes……

 

innocent

Tree (woman with stroller)- 2

 

Nature Poem (a slim verse)

you call your

self a tree

my bank has

more branches.

 

tree-6-2

 

plus a bonus poem in which Slim escapes the 3 syllable shackles of slimverse and displays an uncharacteristic lightness of being.

 

The Low November Sun

The low November sun
hits the silver birches
and the cherry tree
sending the bush tits
and the black-capped
chickadees
into a flitting frenzy
Who pulled the alarm?
Which one is my nest?
Where did I leave that worm?

Both poems have appeared in other posts, this combination was prompted by the Daily Prompt – ‘branch’.

Word of the Day – Cisgender

Word of the Day – Cisgender

Origins:
‘Cis’ is a latin prefix meaning ‘on the same side of’. ‘Cisgender’ is a term used to describe people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned at birth.

Examples of use in a sentence:
1. Last night at dinner, he told his family he was ‘cisgender’; they said: “what’s changed?”
2. I am a cisgender, bi-national ( two passports), white male.

Assumptions that can be made from sentence no.2:
Never assume anything about anybody based on a label.

What I dislike about the word:
It was spawned in academia and therefore is more likely to obfuscate rather than clarify.
It has a whiff of fundamentalism, totalitarianism to it; it has the odour of doctrine.
When I hear the word, I hear the language police knocking on my door.

What I really dislike about the word:
There is no poetry in it; no alliteration, assonance, internal rhyme. Not one letter is repeated. All those wheedling slender vowels, the awful hiss of that first syllable like a snake slithering across the floor. And then, and then that doughy ‘g’ which can’t be saved by the late arrival of that hard ‘d’ like an ambulance to an accident.

Other than that……I’m fine with it

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Photo: English Bay, Vancouver, A-MAZE-ING LAUGHTER, by Yue Minjun.

American Carnage (Edit)

WU 2 (4)

American Carnage

Not the export it used to be,
nothing like the glory days
Hiroshima, Vietnam, Cambodia;
still popular at home tho’
nearly twelve thousand gun deaths a year
the gun barrel points both ways.
This is not much of a poem, is it?
That last metaphor was a bit clumsy
and there’s no music in statistics
but there is a rhyme in that last line
and there’s assonance in ‘American Carnage’
and there is an ass in the White House
but enough about that
stay away from the low hanging fruit
we need a rhyme
carnage, baggage, garbage, image
imagine all the people
that’s what this situation needs
a protest singer, a protest song
three chords and a chorus
that we can sway and link arms to
Where are you
Josh (Ritter)
Michael (Stipe)
Bruce ?

 

This poem originally appeared in Rat’s Ass Review . 

I was watching the CNN town hall last week where some of the teenage survivors of the Parkland school shooting got to pose questions to 3 politicians (including Marco Rubio). It was probably one of the most painfully riveting pieces of television, I’ve seen in a while. It was truly amazing to see a 17 year old high school student cut through the usual fog of evasion and diversion to pin down Marco Rubio about NRA sponsorship of his campaign. Marco, in the end, refused to say he would stop taking money from the NRA. I thought of these lines from Bob Dylan:

“Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’.”

 

 

Encrusted (not all CNN ads are about bladder control)

via Daily Prompt: Encrusted 

Encrusted

encrusted with barnacles
encrusted with sesame seed
encrusted with sea salt
from a qualified ocean
rust is a scale
not a crust
some people trust in God
Ron Reagan
says that’s a bust
dust to dust
that’s it
that’s all
life hath no sequel
so have a ball
I wonder
what his dad
thinks of it all.

 

When I saw the daily prompt ‘encrusted’, I thought…well, I like that word but I don’t see a poem in it. Then I was at the gym listening to Don Henley’s album, ‘Cass County’, on Spotify. It’s a country album. I don’t particularly like modern cowboy-hat-and-boots country, the singer always seems to be in a rush to get to the chorus, but this is more singer-songwriter country music and Don Henley is such a good lyricist that I would listen to anything he does. 

Country music, of course, is all about story and rhyme – the melodies are usually lifted from other songs. So, my brain started to absorb that rhyming rhythm and free associate on the word ‘encrusted’ , when I hit “trust in God” I thought of an ad that Ron Reagan has on CNN. The rest…….

A Very American Problem

A Very American Problem

In the wake of the recent mass shooting…
in the wake..as if the mass shooting is an ocean liner
and we are sailboats helplessly bobbing.

In the wake of the recent mass shooting
the President will talk about mental health (not his own)
and find someone to blame.

In the wake of the recent mass shooting
Anderson Cooper and his panel discussed how in future
the notification of victims’ families could be speeded up,

the acceptance of the inevitability of mass shootings
inherent in this discussion
saddened me more than anything.

In the wake of the recent mass shooting
thoughts, hearts, prayers will go out,
in a mass exodus of platitudes.

In the wake of the recent mass shooting
no one will ask how someone who can’t legally purchase alcohol
can purchase an assault rifle.

This observation, this juxtaposition
has become so obvious, so commonplace,
it no longer qualifies as an insight.

Lecture (The Cartoon President)

via Daily Prompt: Lecture  

Lecture (Why Fifty Shades of Grey is a boring title)

a reason
to protest
glass

the
intimate
taste
of
butter

the
intimate
taste
of
glass

a reason
to protest
butter.

IMG_0269 (10)

The Cartoon President

I watched the new Showtime series “The Cartoon President” on the weekend. It was funny…..sort of, more Simpson’s than South Park. The main problem is the central character, Donald. He comes across as a benign mix of Homer Simpson and Archie Bunker or even Dennis the Menace – a rambunctious, mischievous boy child constantly frustrating the adults tasked with his supervision. He’s almost, and I hate to say this, likeable. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that Donald himself and seven year old boys all over the world will probably enjoy the show.
On the plus side there are very accurate caricatures of General Kelly, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and Donald Trump Jr.