Tag Archives: poet

Poetic Ailments (Edit)

pumper 2 (4)

Poetic Ailments

irritable vowel syndrome
arrhythmia
pain in the assonance
acute enjambment
inflammation of the lower case
latinnittus
typographical dysfunction
fear of sonnets
halibunions
grammaroids
rhymetism
pundruff
the irrational fear
on entering a room
that someone is going to recite
The Lake Isle of Inisfree
in a plummy, orotund
stage Irish accent.

Taking part in Open Link Weekend over at earthweal.

Incident on Main Street, Kenopsia, Minnesota

Incident on Main Street, Kenopsia, Minnesota

Kenopsia, Minnesota
is a pissant, little burg
has been ever since
that one horse died,
only landmark is Mel’s Burgers
on Main St, the only street.
Try Mel’s Famous Burgers
the sign on the outskirts
of town says and some people do.

One day a stranger came to town
dressed in black with a low brim hat
and Lee Van Cleef eyes
some say he hailed from Aphasia, Wisconsin
others were past saying
you know what I’m sayin’.

The stranger walks into Mel’s Burgers
and Mel’s dog starts to howl
a pitiful howl that could be heard
in Amentalio, ten miles down the road.
Give me one of your famous burgers
he says to Mel, and Mel does
ten minutes later
the stranger is dead on the floor
and all hopes the town had
of appearing in a Stephen King novel
or an episode of Fargo
died with that stranger.

Thanks to Linda over at dverse for her excellent prompt, check it out here. The names of the towns in the poem were taking from the book The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig. All is explained in Linda’s post.

The Ghost of Hangovers Past (returns)

The Ghost Of Hangovers Past

Your cell phone rings
but you’re not listening
because you left it
in The Fox and Vixen
behind the cistern
in the last stall on the left
next to the condom machine
and now it’s 4 am
your wife sleeps soundly beside you,
in the corner of the room
your hangover squats
sorting a tray of instruments.

It all began with a few beers,
some Christmas Cheer
so how did it get
from there to here?

Slowly you remember or think you remember….

Did you really poke your boss in the chest
and tell him that you know better
that you know best?

Did you really down three shots of scotch
grab Mark from marketing by the shoulders
and proclaim “I love you bro”
over and over ‘till he begged you to stop
to let go?

And why, why, why
did you call that shy Dutch girl from accounting
“sad-eyed lady of the lowlands”
again, over and over?

You groan inwardly
you groan outwardly

and just when you think
it could not get worse
your hangover stands up
and crosses the room
carrying what appears to be
a small mallet
Zooooosh,
he enters your head
and proceeds to knock on the inside of your skull
with that same mallet
all the time chanting this manic mantra
“deck the halls with human folly
Fa la la la la, la la la la”.

Four hours later your wife is shaking you
Up you get, she chimes
It’s time to do some Christmas shopping!
Joe Fresh opens at 9!

Taking part in Open Link over at dverse.

This poem first appeared in Sarah Connors advent calendar 2020. Check out Sarah’s 2021 calendar here,

Fragments From a Long Weekend

 

1 (conversation overheard in a downtown bar)

he wants to retire
back where all the spires conspire
to show him the way.

2 (too much of a good thing)

summer evening
the red sunset bleeds regret
maturity lost.

3 (Why can’t I write like Rupi Kaur?) 

my quinoa* quota
was far from quotidian
thanks! sunflower seeds!
*’keen-wah

4 (Climate Change is Opening Windows)

rumours dropping from the eaves
neighbours thick as thieves
singing off key at three

o’clock in the morning.

The challenge from Laura over at dverse is to write a poem consisting of fragments:

“Either:
a poem of several numbered stanzas. Each being complete in itself and having only a passing relationship to each other, if at all
OR
a poem of disjointed images (like listening to conversation in passing, repetitively switching between radio/tv station, random images across a screen, or paintings/photos seen in a gallery)

Rules:
Your poem should NOT conform to any rhyme scheme
Your poem MUST include Fragment(s) somewhere in the title”

Toad at the Gates of Doom (with extra verses)

Toad at the Gates of Doom

Outside the Gates of Hades
sits a cross-eyed toad
beside a burnt-out serpent
a broker and a phone

Outside the Gates of Heaven
sits an angel in disguise
beside a corpulent bishop
with ecstasy in his eyes

and the sign on the gate says:

Closed for Renovation
No judgement today

If you’re looking for accommodation
Clear off, go away.

God is on vacation
taking a well-earned break
there’s only so much suffering
one true God can take

So, get your ass back down there
be good to everyone

drink lots of water
and try to get along.

Outside the gates of Hades
sits a cross-eyed toad
beside a devil with a laptop
revising the Moral Code

Outside the gates of heaven
seven priests in a line
they’re longing for eternity
but this is not their time

and the sign on the gate says:

Closed for Renovation
No judgement today
If you’re looking for accommodation
Clear off, go away.

God is on vacation
taking a well-earned break
there’s only so much suffering
one true God can take

So, get your ass back down there
be good to everyone
drink lots of water
and try to get along.

An Atmospheric River Runs Through It

An Atmospheric River Runs Through It

The moon is waning gibbous
the pollen count is low
and yet another atmospheric river
is on the way,
all that warm moist air
all that water vapour
looking for a place to condense;
based on anecdotal evidence
this is either normal for the time of year
or a signal that we should start building an ark
but one thing is starkly clear
the data with which the calculated risks are calculated
is no longer valid
is in need of an update
the paradigm has not shifted
but the perimeter has been breached
like a dike in need of repair.

Taking part in Open Link at earthweal….it’s raining again in British Columbia.

Mother’s Day in Ollantaytambo/ Station Road (2 haiku’s) Redux

A post from the time before the time.

We got off the train from Machu Picchu at the Ollantaytambo station, walked up the station road to the town square and came upon this: Mother’s Day in Ollantaytambo. It went on all day – entertainment, raffles, prizes, politicians’ speeches. The ladies seemed to enjoy themselves, although they never clapped once.

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Later that evening, we had dinner in the restaurant down at the station and walking home we witnessed this haiku-worthy scene.

Station Road

                I

Two black dogs humping

a puzzled white terrier

on the station road.

              II

Puzzled about what?

about the expectations

of the dog in front.

photo by Marie Feeney

Taking part in Open Link over at dverse.

Apunkalypse Now (A new movie by Francis Ford Cortina)

Apunkalypse Now

In a dystopian future
there’s rioting in cities and towns
all across the USA
and anyone who cares to
can own a semi-automatic weapon.
One fateful night
a seventeen year old baby-faced punk
called Kole
heads into town with his semi-automatic rifle
to restore order on The Streets of Somewhere,
by the end of the night
three people are dead.
Kole is arrested, tried and acquitted
in The Court of the White Over Caste.
He becomes a hero, an icon, an example
and soon young punks all across the USA
are starting to feel lucky.
(Spoiler Alert:
It’s not the Future).

Taking part in Open Link Weekend over at earthweal

Revelation in a Diner (wayra)

Revelation in a Diner

not the kind of place
for revelations, then boom!
awooga! there it is, the
unbearable flatness
of beige pancakes in the morning.

Over at dverse , Grace’s challenge is to write a wayra incorporating onomatopoeia. What’s a wayra? I’ll let Grace explain:

“The Wayra (Quechua – wind) is a popular verse form of Peru and Bolivia. It appears it originated in an indigenous Quechua language but has found its way into Spanish literature. It is a short syllabic verse form found at Vole Central and some other sites around the internet.

The elements of the Wayra are:

1.a pentastich, a poem in 5 lines.
2.syllabic, 5-7-7-6-8
3.unrhymed.”

Hal The Halibunist Looks Back On His Long Career (2)

glass 2

Hal The Halibunist Looks Back On His Long Career

halibuns about Haliburton
halibuns about halitosis
halibuns about Halle Berry
halibuns about Halley’s Comet

halibuns about Spiritus Mundi
halibuns about Rosamund Pike
halibuns about Solomon Grundy
halibuns just for the fun of it

halibuns at Sun Dance
halibuns in Halifax
halibuns about halibut
halibundance
halibundance
halibundance.

Taking part in Open Link over at dverse.

Peripatetic Blues Rewrite (Verses 1 and 2 and 3)

1

I just popped that pill I got
from a guy who called me ‘dude’
now the signs along the highway
are leaking semiotic fluid

2

and the cacti look psychotic
lizards parse the desert floor
far off in the clint-eyed distance
I see a slowly revolving door

3

and I’m feeling, demotic, neurotic, anecdotal, overused
I’m looking for a sanctuary, the fisherman and the shoes
I’ve got those hallucination highway peripatetic blues.

I’ve been writing/ rewriting this poem verse by verse this week, posting a new verse each day. I think I may have come to the end of the poem, but I may take it up again.

Either way, there is a fascinating prompt from Bjorn over at dverse on the subject of conceit: To quote Bjorn:

“A conceit is defined as an extended and complex metaphor”

From Wikipedia:

“In literature, a conceit is an extended metaphor with complex logic that governs a poetic passage or entire poem. By juxtaposing, usurping and manipulating images and ideas in surprising ways, a conceit invites the reader into a more sophisticated understanding of an object of comparison.”

Also from Anna in a previous dverse post:

“Conceits, on the other hand, surprise and shock the readers by making farfetched comparisons.”

Somewhere in there I think my poem fits…….maybe.

Thom Yorke takes a walk on Halloween Night(4)

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Given the week that it is, I decided to bring this poem back from the dead…..

Thom Yorke takes a walk on Halloween Night

The dead move slowly
through the graveyard,
they are few at first
but as they pass
each row of headstones
grey fists punch
through mounds of earth
in a manic salute
and the throng grows
and the throng grows
and the night howls
and the fog curls
and a thin cloud
bisects the moon
and at the edge
of the graveyard
is an old well
and at the bottom
of that well
is a little boy
and that little boy
is crying for help
and that little boy
is Thom Yorke

The Name is at the Bottom Blues (2)

View BTH

The Name is at the Bottom Blues

it’s a name that you come across
in someone else’s bathroom
beside the shaving cream
the Tylenol
and those pills that people use
and suddenly
you’re soaked
in melancholy
from your head
down to your shoes
there ain’t no doubt about it
there ain’t no doubt about it
you’ve got those Estee Lauder blues.

The Exclusivity of Space

The Exclusivity of Space

consider the object
consider the space
consider the objects
excluded from the space
ask the question:
is the object occupying the space
worthy of the space
or is the object
a waste of space?
consider the material
forming the space
journey to its origins
in a plantation somewhere
British Columbia, perhaps,
or Brazil
see the tree felled,
shorn of its branches,
loaded on a flatbed truck
with its passive companions
follow the truck
to a paper mill
the size of a small city
see the tree chipped, pulped, processed
see the gases escaping to atmosphere
hear the outfall roar into the river
ask the questions:
are we here to consume?
can we be consumed by consumption?
see the worker arriving home from the mill
to food on the table
a roof above his head
ask the question:
is there only one answer to a question?
return to the space
consider the object.

Taking part in open link over at earthweal

A Reasonable Facsimile

A Reasonable Facsimile

that’s what Myron’s mother called him –
a reasonable facsimile ,
of his brother, that is,
in that his brother
was preternaturally unreasonable
if his brother was the weather
his mother said
he would be deemed unseasonable
his actions were incomprehensible
reprehensible, irredeemable
so based on the principle
that no praise is too faint
Myron was amenable
to being called
a reasonable
facsimile of his brother.

Taking part in Open Link over at dverse

Ruba’i Tuesday

IMG_0247 (3)

Talking Senses

Wet whiff of sour milk
the rustle of silk
the kerang of a guitar
the Who, or their ilk

the whirl of a dervish
the bloat of a blowfish
the wince of a lemon
that chocolate fetish

a pause for reflection
I have a confession
nothing too serious
but I have to mention

I have doubts about my ability
to convey tactility
so ,hey, here’s an eggshell
go on, feel the fragility.

The man who communicated with paintings

He liked to shout at Picasso
commiserate with Van Gogh
ruminate with Monet
joke with Michelangelo.

Goodbye, Ruba’i Tuesday

this is it, finally, the last ruba’i
it’s time to call it a day, say goodbye
but there is still time for another rhyme
yes, that’s right, you’ve guessed it, it’s ‘Dubai’.