Thursday, January 24, 2013

In which I write a sad poem

Elegy to a fierce creature
     who once lived in the burnt-out, 
     abandoned house across from ours.

There is no poem that I want to write
about the broken bridge of fleshless ribs,
open to the sun, laid bare on the asphalt-

but she was full and furred, once.
She was two star-pointed eyes piercing
the midnight brush on the side of the road.

There was a little girl in a tutu who used
to sneak out breadcrumbs and milk.
There were clumsy hands and greasy pets.

Frame her outside the context of our love
and she was a fierce hunter, a feral mother,
an urban warrior, a short-lived fury.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Transatlantic Project: The New Year

Hi, friends! It's time for another installment of The Transatlantic Project. You can hear my poem here and read Steve's here.

For those without audio, here's the poem.

The New Year

We start at the base of the bur oak tree
the old trunk circled with a frothing ice
thick thigh roots in winter stasis

We move to the floodplains the
field of frosted wheat stretched and
cracking as hide across an old drum

We end high on a wind-carved bluff
above the low Missouri river with her
sluggish currents sliding down the vein

We pass a plaque to Lewis & Clark
in greened bronze at the highest point
to make fresh boot tracks in the snow

Thursday, January 3, 2013

the transatlantic project

Salutations! My lovely friend, Steve, and I have endeavored to start a poetry podcast called the Transatlantic Project. It's so named because he's in Birmingham, England and I'm here in good ole Missouri, USA. Part of the project is that we give each other prompts each week and respond.

This week, Steve gave me a prompt to write a poem containing the words snow, skeleton, and eclipse.

You can listen to it here.

winter break

The thing about clouds,
At least these snow clouds,
is that they are the great
leveller, a gray blanket, a
simple backdrop for rolling
outlines of skeleton fingers
grasping at the horizon, for
the industrial windmill to
fade quietly into, located on
the edge of campus, where
we all try to fade quietly in,
where there are still cigarette
butts and the stadium looms,
unused over Winter break,
shadowed by empty bleachers,
eclipsed by the reverent silence
of the calm before the storm.

Let us know what you think! His poem is posted to his blog.

Happy listening!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

In which there is a seasonal poem that I shockingly like

Hey, y'all! Happy New Years!

If you're anything like me, you maybe had too much of whatever that purple drink was last night: maybe you need to send apology texts to friends you said unfortunate things to, maybe you didn't made resolutions because resolutions are crap, maybe you reaffirmed your desire to keep writing, and maybe you had an awesome friend tell you to finish that crap novel you're writing because THAT IS WHAT YOU SHOULD DO. Or maybe you were a responsible adult and partied responsibly, drank responsibly, and all that good stuff.

Either way, here is a lovely poem that showed up in my inbox this morning. Hope you enjoy!

The Year
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That's not been said a thousand times?

The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.

We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.

We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.

We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our brides, we sheet our dead.

We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that's the burden of the year.