Mrs. H (Day 26)

(Today’s prompt at the National Poetry Writing Month website is to write a poem from the persona of another person.)

He tricked me–lured me with flowers and sweet words and promises of a future spent cuddling on the sofa in front of a crackling fire in an impossibly clean upper-middle class home his writing royalties paid for, a future where we ate vegetarian picnic meals in the sun on 73° blue sky afternoons by a lake where the breeze made ripples and fish broke the water’s surface and shimmered for our personal amusement before disappearing in the blue-green depths.

But he changed, and maybe they all do to some extent, but he never got rich which in itself is okay but all that potential I saw in him  at 20 stinks of rot and decay now (or maybe that’s just his breath or armpits or ass–who can be sure?) and any time we cuddle he tries to slide a hand over my breast and kiss my neck as if snuggles are foreplay, plus he hates the sun because his eyesight’s failing and natural light washes everything out so he can barely see my features let alone an acrobatic bluegill at a state park.

But I love him, because I chose him and he chose me, and he still makes me laugh and I still turn him on and he can still be trained and bent to my will, so perhaps that future he promised is just ahead, waiting to surprise me with a bouquet and a poem he made from words cut out of magazines.  

Maybe tomorrow.


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A Clerihew about Kanye (Day 25)

(It’s late, and today’s suggested prompt is short.  It’s a Clerihew, a biographical quatrain.  I’ll go longer tomorrow, I promise.)

Kanye Omari West

is certain he knows who is best.

The Grammys should probably check

with him before honoring Beck.

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Cornered (Day 24)

(Day 24 of National Poetry Writing Month.)


It’s the eyes, I think—

the feeling that they can see into you,

the intensity in their pupils—

you feel a little afraid of eyes like that

but also drawn in

because the person talking appears

to really believe everything they say,

a rare quality in a world of irony and cynicism

You should know better

but you can’t resist 

the way he just gets you.

The successful ones start out easy,

peace and love and maybe a good time

until you’re all the way in,

too deep to think about leaving,

and then they pull out the stops and

you learn that the Beatles are prophets or

Guyana is a paradise on Earth or

we need to escape on a comet or

our Dear Leader loves little girls

and there are humiliations for those who say No

and the beatings begin

maybe you’re cornered by someone more 


with a prison record and buried secrets

who tells you There Is No Leaving and

We Have Your Children, and 

soon the Leader isn’t the only paranoid one

and you make little compromises to 

survive day-to-day

doing things you abhor until

you find the writing on the wall

and it’s in blood, or

you hold your lifeless child with

poison foaming on your lips and

the voice of Father in your ear

urging you on

toward Bright Oblivion

and you can’t remember 

who you really are. 


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Reservations (Day 23)

(Only a week left of National Poetry Writing Month!)


no heat no air no internet no room for an orgy just you and your partner locked in together by kindly owners

toys are not provided so good luck getting your whips and chains and ball-gags past the TSA folks and you will need to fly unless you live in Europe in which case just take a train

can’t say I’m surprised that someone in Germany is renting out a sex-dungeon prison cell given their history which you would think might kill the mood but apparently not

how does one set about building a prison in their home like does a contractor just nod and offer an estimate or is there a lot of laughter first and then an awkward silence followed by a shrug

the nice part is that this rent-a-cell is listed as pet friendly so you don’t have to leave your cat at home while you’re role-playing Guard and Inmate and maybe little Muffin could even be the contraband Officer Butch discovers in the cell and the convict has to be punished for it

no reviews yet so please be the first to share your thoughts and describe your experience and choose a star rating so my wife and I can make an informed decision about the trip we’re getting my parents for their anniversary

my father has Germanic heritage and he’s always smacking my mom on the butt in public and now that I’m thinking about it I don’t want to go into their basement anytime soon because maybe they’ve redecorated the wrong way

they should get out and see the world it’s so bright and beautiful and other cultures have so much to offer plus they can trace their ancestors and see where they came from and then shiver all night long in a cement room with no amenities it’s the least I could do to thank them for the way I’ve turned out 


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The Parent She Deserves (Day 22)

(Day 22 of NaPoWriMo.)

your child deserves better than a ball of barely contained rage for whom the first tremor of whine building in the back of her throat lets loose the cruelty you swore when you moved out of your own parents’ house you were leaving behind with all the baseball cards and the broken-spine paperbacks in dusty boxes you’ll never retrieve

she deserves healthy snacks cut into appropriate portions and waiting for her on the kitchen counter when she walks in the door with a book bag full of homework you’re happy to help with and permission forms you’re glad to fill out and she deserves a dinner of her favorite foods prepared from scratch using organic materials and ready the moment her homework is done and in an ideal world she would sit next to you after dinner and you would read to her from T.S. Eliot and she would understand without explanation because of all the hours you spent reading to her as a baby and she would never want the television on or a cup of soda or a bowl of Lucky Charms and you would get up with her at dawn and plan adventures and tell each other stories and you’d never yell at her to Be Quiet or Go Away because if you were a real parent if you loved her like you’re supposed to she would recharge you and make you feel whole and you would smile more often and sing “Moon River” every night as she drifts off to sleep and you should definitely hold her more because she’s growing up so fast and then it’s all over and she’ll hate you for what you actually are which is a disappointment

until she has her own kids who deserve better and realizes that you tried and that everyone is a disappointment in some way if you look hard enough and maybe on one of those nights where her son is on his back screaming in the grocery store because he wants a Crunch bar and he can’t have it she’ll understand that none of us get the parents we deserve and she will forgive you


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Erasure poem from a PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2 review (Day 21)

(Day 21 of National Poetry Writing Month.  The prompt today involved taking a piece of text and erasing words and phrases to create a poem.  I’m working with Bilge Ebiri’s review of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.)

Nobody                                                                              did it 

                         , but you might


the trick 

with a

 happy ending of                         an illusion.   new wife 


mother    s                              milk truck


                look up, 



Daddy                               things and           Sin      But 

don’t expect                                          The 

shenanigans                  to 

take              a boy                              


                                                               this time, it’s     sneering                     team 

                             circle                              fucking


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Honeymoon in Denver (Day 20)

(Two-thirds of the way through National Poetry Writing Month.)

I know it’s not comfortable

but we have to get through security

and they’re not going to check


just don’t  bathe for a day 

or two

and let your hair go stringy

with grease 

wear a baggy t-shirt

with stained armpits 

and some grey sweatpants

that don’t match anything

I promise TSA will 

not touch you

believe me

If I were a woman

and you were a man

I would do this for us

I know I could

carry some

back there

but do you really want

to put something

that’s been up my rectum

in your mouth

even if it’s been

wrapped tight

and besides

you can fit more

in your storage 

than I can in mine


no, I didn’t mean it like that–

but this is all about

bang for the buck

and we’re not coming

back here for years

and this is good shit

like the strongest I’ve had


and you’ll like it 

next time

I assure you you’ll 

like it like I like it

you just need to relax

ride with it

don’t get so paranoid

like you’re being now

it’ll be fine

I promise 


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