Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Poetry Jam #13

Indulge me once again, unlucky readers, for my thirteenth batch of fancy poetry.  These poems were not meant for such an unfortunate designation; they just happened to have been written between December 2012 (you know, when the world ended) and February of this year.  By this ill chance they were cursed to be a part of Poetry Jam #13.  Apologies all around.

Usual commentary and nonsense, post script:

Susan's Thoughts

If America invaded Florida to
rebase the moon,
repair the seniors' homes
and hospital gates,
and save the alligators,
the world would be happy for us,
history would be kind.

Blue Sparks

That satisfying plug of entry;
now I know we're cooking with fire!
Put it in, plug it in, blue
and silently, before the hum
of industry, cool electricity
coursing through our wires
like the dawn of time and after.


When winds and waters sharply thunder "stop,"
reveal a polished path of ancient rock
and stand completely still, then
who will be so bold
to take the walk?

Not I, say I,
I don't intend to live so long that all
Those secrets shall be willingly unlocked.

My Lover's Favorite Song

My lover's favorite song is done
and I've forgot the melody;
I wrote it in the margins but
I can't remember how I did,
and anyway the paper's gone.

If she will keep the memory,
perhaps not all is lost, perhaps
the song will still play on for her
without my voice to hold it up.

Perhaps the echoes of my love
will keep the music in her heart.

No More Secrets

Relax my love, don't stop, hold still,
we have nothing to be scared of
from the open door beyond;
let the beams of sunlight bare
our secrets to the world, darling,
let our freedom burn the air
around us.

Night to morning break
and dawn to dusk I'll hold you near,
so don't you mind if someone sees;
we have no need of shame or fear,
and neither will we bother with
as long as they can see us clearly
through the open door.

The Song Incomplete

The music fades at the bridge,
and where am I left?
Among stars and vapors,
alone again in the mists,
as silent as then
when the music started:
before the beginning,
the strings in tune,
the precipice

Medieval Gloria

His face, she thought, was not too bad, and how
his armor shone beneath the sun!  She sighed
and thought of Europe in the Middle Ages:
home of glory, inequality,
its castles and its squalor and the plague,
and how an Irish girl might fare with luck.
Determined not to be forgotten once
she'd had the chance to wear that shining armor,
would she keep the charge in her defense?
Apart from time, between the light and dust
of the museum, she could still believe.

Idle Questions of the Sky, Questions Soon Forgotten

How shallow is our misery
when up above the clouds
the sun is either shining
or replaced by brilliant stars?

What shadow on the surface
can compare to all of this?
Why bother with the rain
when you can fly?

Trouble Sleeping

If you're having trouble sleeping,
watch the flame give up the ghost
and think; if this is only fire,
if my consciousness will burn
until it smothers and no longer,
won't these blankets put me out?

Then sleep, and know that waking
will be kindled by the sun;
the light will surely come again,
and even if it doesn't
you will sleep.

Paper Soprano

"Sketch of Spain and Catalonia,
shadow on the paper sea,"
the sweet soprano sings to no one,
but her genius reaches me;

Across the false Atlantic sea,
from years ago and years above,
and scribbled on this manuscript,
a living map to someone's love.

But how I come to hear the sorrow
of the charter, I remember
nothing much, except the summer
that emerged from her December;

Trumpets in the afternoon
and clarinets as evening falls,
with sweet soprano lyrics hanging
on the paper concert walls.

A Simple Goal

I have a simple goal for us:
to love in spite of sadness,
and the onward march of days and years
that tread across our hearts.

A simple goal,
for people very much
in love today
who wish to be in love forevet,
love and never stop.

Abandoned Homes

Somewhere in my town,
between the woods and hills and
other houses
Is an abandoned home.

I don't know if it's safe
to go there,
but I've been there once,
and between the other houses
this one looked alone.

There may be pests inside,
or chemicals,
or insulating foam;

There may be traps,
there may be treasures
in abandoned homes.

Broadcast Day

Both of us have gone asleep
with the radio on;
tonight the DJ is playing
the strangest things
that I have ever heard.

Bossa nova, indie pop
and a tremulous jazz,
with static falling around us
like powdered snow
unfrozen in our hair.

Mournful trumpets in the air,
an incredible pause
and then the analog murmer;
the broadcast day
has ended like a dream.


Thirteen poems, we'll never live it down!

In my mind, Susan's Thoughts is not actually a poem I wrote.  Sometimes I dream about teaching, and in one such dream I was teaching some sort of elementary school art class.  One of my imaginary students put these words on a poster board for a project.  In my dream, I gave her a high five.

I swear to god, I did not mean to write Blue Sparks as a sex poem.  Scrub your filthy mind!  It's clearly about the miracle of electricity and nothing else.

No More Secrets is pretty sexful, though.  I was home for Christmas, and I was lonely.  Loneliness also accounts for My Lover's Favorite Song, but that one isn't all that sexful.

Discovery is all about that cute little ending.  Everything else is justified by the ending.  MOVE ALONG NOW.

The lack of final punctuation in The Song Incomplete is intentional.  Look at the clever guy!

I wrote Medieval Gloria shortly after reading Malachy McCourt's History of Ireland, having been impressed with the author's apparent eagerness to tell the stories of the island's most interesting ladies.  It seemed to me that people ought to be inspired by the best examples of history, whatever their gender.  The girl in the poem looks beyond the ordinary, male-dominated presentation of history and sees an integral place for herself in the story.

Trouble Sleeping is one of my candle poems.  Sometimes, I am obsessed with candles.

I *love* Paper Soprano.  I don't even think it's perfect.  I just love the idea behind it.  Art to emulate, art to recreate, never quite recaptured.

I know there's nothing simple about love, but I don't think that's love's fault.  A Simple Goal is another poem for Tara.

I wrote Abandoned Homes after I walked past one on an epic hike with my friend Bau.  We were trying to find the richest homes in Eugene.  We found them, but first we found a sketchy, empty dwelling that I'm sure the neighbors were thrilled about.

I recall writing Broadcast Day on the whiteboard while subbing for a math class at Willamette High School.  I was bored during study hall and thought about how nice it would be to nap with the radio on.  Childhood memories did the rest.

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