you receive the words, rehearsed
robotic & well programmed
repeat for effect, for reactions –
the combination of ones & zeroes
tilt-shifted, creates kaleidoscope
gratitude, blurred sympathy.
I’m behind, because I’ve been a busy editor bunny, working on Slim Volume: Wherever You Roam.
this is based on the day three poem-a-day prompt, ‘machine’.
parts of me filter
into parts of you, dissolve
into the stories. you tell stories
I don’t want to hear
for the sake of becoming
& the lemon juice truth burns
my lips when we kiss, creeps over
a year, cuts a ravine
between our bodies. then
I crack a joke through a cloud
of your smoke. I could
never, ever hate you –
not even the secret you
in the half-lies, because
he’s still the you who
nests in untold myth:
when you’re Pothos in my arms
when I’m Blodeuwedd in your eyes.
today’s poem followed the poem-a-day prompt, ‘secret’.
if only the ghost-tread
of tyres on the road
of the process
behind burning rubber
& if only the truth
had a bouncing soul
like my best pair of boots,
steady in the onslaught
[oh, you pretty things]
& if only I could be the pavement
soaking up the rain, head
too hard for hailstones
& if only we understood
the bitter-dust magic when we
daily turn gold back to straw.
this is the result of following the poem-a-day prompt, ‘resistance’.
This is two days late being posted, because on the last day of April I was extremely busy, and yesterday I was as well. But this is the end … until 2015! And the last NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a goodbye poem.
it seemed hard to draw a line under
the way your eyes used to sparkle
the way I noticed they’d gone flat
though deep down I knew why and split
through the middle of myself. the old
helplessness made its nest in my chest.
it was hard to say goodbye to promises
of more – more love, more affection, in the end
more than you could give; in the end, I
realised, more than I could stand.
but it was still hard, though not the way
it looks from the inside out. we were held
together by cobwebs, every strand still
connected to an old scar, tugging at our
skin. and little more than smoke won’t hold
between those who understand the need
to be self-contained, who see the world upside down
and don’t know how to let themselves be loved.
I’m putting the intro here first, because this poem was actually mentally and physically hard to write. It’s a laudation, and I got the prompt here from Jo Bell’s 2013 prompts. You actually have to be super kind to yourself and sing your own praises with one of these. It was an enormous challenge but also kind of satisfying at the moment. Won’t be making a habit of it though … ;)
Kate, you are astonishing, you are tough.
What hasn’t killed you actually does make
you stronger – even Nietzsche bows down
to you, is flattened by your ability to see
the emptiness of the world, and smile anyway
the futility of caring, but love anyway.
You’re a force of nature, forever creating
or crumpling up and beginning again.
You always want to tell the truth
you are not afraid of your feelings
and you own every action you do, for better
or for worse. You own your pain, your mistakes.
Kate, you are beautiful, you are the sexiest
hippy grunge pixie the world has ever seen –
no one wears patchwork hair and literary tattoos
like you. You wear your tears like a song, like art
you make beauty from misery whenever possible.
You are, as they say, in the business of being rad.
Rock on, Kate. You have a common name, but there’s only one of you.
streets pavements bus stops –
the blur of urban landscape
your feet carry you
slip between bluebells
under trees whose baby leaves
since last week have grown
So this was inevitable. Can’t get through NaPoWriMo without some emergency haiku. Emergency running-based haiku, in fact.
I wonder if she was a student
face upturned to the sky
& barefoot on the grass
nestled between petitions
and protest groups, belonging
to no one, uncertain & dreaming.
I wonder if she was a housewife
suburban or small town, sure
of herself & life, the world ended
with the last house on the street
serving lemonade in the backyard
shade trees staving off July heat.
I wonder if she had a job
and by job I mean on her feet
all day, selling things she didn’t want
to sell, or making small talk, serving
drinks and food for tips, and when she
wore this dress she was herself.
Without setting out to do it, I’ve used anaphora in this poem, which was the official prompt for yesterday. Also I’m quite struck by the idea of where all my vintage & secondhand clothes have been before they got to me. As with the pirate poems, I think this is a tiny seed of an idea that’s going to be a bigger project later on.