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Category: NaPoWriMo

POEM: a Brooklyn fable

a Brooklyn fable

every short sharp shock is a gunshot in Brooklyn
even though it’s more likely, here in Windsor Terrace
to be a workman putting the finishing touches
on the new back deck of a banker’s brownstone
or two bloggers fencing their organic garden
but the back-of-the-brain memory of urban sounds
learned through a lifetime of movies and rumors
defeats the more recent research of the eyes
isn’t it dangerous there, ask the wide-eyed Ohioans
and we want to say yes to them, confirm their belief
because we came here for the danger, the adventure
not for fresh tofu and chai tea and strollers in the park
you’re more likely to be struck by a $5,000 bicycle
than by the steel-jacketed bullet with your name on it
but don’t worry, you can make up a scary story in the ER
and all your friends will believe it, because they need to

30 April 2012
Brooklyn NY

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It’s National Poetry Writing Month! A poem a day, each day in April. This is the final poem. I missed a few days, but I came up with some keepers, too. A fun month.

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POEM: practice apocalypse

practice apocalypse

little boy
camo pants
Spidey socks
feathery hair
dirty nails
red cheeks
mixed teeth
front gap
deer shirt
legs crossed
on bed
killing zombies

27 April 2012
State College PA

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It’s National Poetry Writing Month! A poem a day, each day in April.

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POEM: hand movements / end of the universe

hand movements / end of the universe

them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn’t exactly gone out of your
hand movements
end of the universe

hand movements
It was to be called “The Ends of the Earth.”
them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn’t exactly gone out of your
Carwardine
hand movements
hand movements
It was to be called “The Ends of the Earth.”
known
end of the universe
remembered being angry, angry about something that
said, “You can’t win, you know. You

guide to the guide
usually claimed
It was to be called “The Ends of the Earth.”
dressed
end of the universe

them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn’t exactly gone out of your
out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the

them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn’t exactly gone out of your
hand movements
end of the universe

guide to the guide
a trilogy in four parts
Life, the
a trilogy in four parts
Janx Spirit, for my head will fly, my
you?

25 April 2012
Brooklyn NY

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It’s National Poetry Writing Month! A poem a day, each day in April. This poem was made using one of Charles Bernstein’s experiments: Acrostic chance: Pick a book at random and use title as acrostic key phrase. For each letter of key phrase go to page number in book that corresponds (a=1, z=26) and copy as first line of poem from the first word that begins with that letter to end of line or sentence. Continue through all key letters, leaving stanza breaks to mark each new key word.

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POEM: Brooklyn cowboy (based on a true story)

Brooklyn cowboy (based on a true story)

he saunters in to the bagel shop
leather duster nearly reaching the floor
sunglasses on despite the overcast day
boot heels clocking along the tiles
satchel slung across his chest
sunken mouth looking short on teeth
no six-shooter, which is just as well
the cops in this bagel shop don’t know
how lines work and they don’t have
senses of humor, either
he moves like a mountain
counts out his change like he’s looking
for a coin to give the ferryman
one cup of black coffee later
he gathers his things to leave
there’s a yellowed sheet of paper
poking out the top of his satchel
as the door closes behind him
everyone in the cafe sighs in relief
glad to not be the name or the face
on the cowboy’s tattered poster

23 April 2012
Brooklyn NY

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It’s National Poetry Writing Month! A poem a day, each day in April.

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POEM: waiting for it to rain

waiting for it to rain

Saturday night / we’re listening to Romain Collin / waiting for it to rain / after a day in the sunshine / from which we returned different colors / one surprisingly tan / the other lobster red / but just on the front of the thighs and inside of the calves / as if by design

now it’s nighttime / knitting time / stitching it together into something we can slip into / a comfortable garment / one that will last / the air smells like an oncoming storm / we were promised thunder / we’re holding / Mother Nature / to her word /

laughter in the courtyard below / the warm spring-summer night brings out / neighbors I had imagined lost / stacks of unclaimed mail in the foyer / like a message in a bottle / spat out by the angry ocean / the one we can just glimpse from our roof

someone is grilling / someone is smoking a cigarette / lingering incense from morning meditation / Mr. Parke said / when you smell something / tiny particles of it enter your nose / enter you / you are what you smell / though / has never become a popular axiom / not like Carl’s star stuff

it smells like rain / but it’s not just the air out there that is pregnant / tense / the air in the house is also heavy with unspoken meaning / we’ve barricaded the door with pillows / and stuffed animals from our childhoods / to keep out the bogeyman / to keep us safe

21 April 2012
Brooklyn

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It’s National Poetry Writing Month! A poem a day, each day in April.

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POEM: 15th Street

15th Street
for ________

every time I see you
I have to write a poem
about the sound
of your uncertain accent
or the look
in your classic
mascaraed eyes
like an It Girl
from a silent movie
you’re wobbling
slightly
on silly shoes
shoes you wore
just for this occasion
(but not for me)
we overtipped the server
whispered
snarky stories
you told me your
guilty truths
so I told you mine
you gave me dried
mango and chocolate
and as we walked
to the train
a crazy moon stared
down at us
from the end
of 15th Street

7 April 2012
Manhattan

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It’s National Poetry Writing Month! A poem a day, each day in April. I missed yesterday, so this is my second poem for today. I wrote it earlier this month but didn’t post it.

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POEM: where I’m loving Brooklyn

where I’m loving Brooklyn

“I’m having one of those days
where I’m loving Brooklyn so much”
we were walking down 5th Ave
when she said it, bellies full of sushi
noses full of blooming magnolias

(we thought the plant on our
window sill was a lilac but it wasn’t)

“and you” she added, holding my arm
the way you see in picture books
of the early 1900s, when the women
carried parasols & the men wore boaters
& white shoes & striped jackets

(it turned out to be a hyacinth)

these days Brooklyn feels like an ocean
our room an island floating in it
the bed our lean-to under the palm trees
where we write messages on the pages of books
slip them into bottles / cast them into the sea

(it didn’t matter to us at all)

20 April 2012
Brooklyn NY

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It’s National Poetry Writing Month! A poem a day, each day in April.

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POEM: sage, neem and wool

sage, neem and wool

the bundle of sage in our shower
                                                is blooming

it smells like the Sonora Desert

home to so many walks
            in the hair-dryer-in-the-face heat of summer
            in the silky-aired warmth of winter

that smell is memory:
            two decades
            of expectations
            bends in the road
            slow erosion

on the window sill is a bar of neem tulsi soap from India
            it, too, is fading
                  translucent
                          nothing to pin
                                    one’s hopes on

the tree outside our window is on fire
            we sit in the breeze
            listen to the sirens
            the snuffle of dogs
                        in the courtyard below
            you knit a sweater
            I knit these words into
                        something to wrap
                        around my shoulders

17 April 2012
Brooklyn NY

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It’s National Poetry Writing Month! A poem a day, each day in April.

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POEM: uh thin philm of heir

uh thin philm of heir

wee taik sew much four grantid
ekspekt to c the wurld uh serten weigh
butt sumtymes wee knead to steppe
awf the beetin path & trie two sea
frum uhnuther’s purrspektiv
watt maykes hir akt that weigh?
watt maykes him thinc thoze thawts?
watt maykes enny won uv uss
beehayv the weigh wee due?
inn the finull analisis wee r awl
on thiss ltl rok twogether
hell’d on the serfis buy uh forse
wee doughnt kompreehen’d
kereening threw the I-see voyd
with nuthing butt eech uther
& uh thin philm of heir

16 April 2012
Brooklyn NY

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It’s National Poetry Writing Month! A poem a day, each day in April.

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POEM: two turtles on a rock

two turtles on a rock

a robin watching, feet just beneath the surface
of this little pond in a corner of Prospect Park
there’s a fallen-down half-sunken wooden fence
overgrown with vines / a newer metal fence
keeps everyone this close to nature but no closer
the pond has a bend in it but it’s deceptive —
the water ends right there / no adventure awaits
at least not the kind we associate with rivers
now the robin is bathing, chest puffed out in hubris
until a third, smaller turtle swims up behind
convinces the bird there’s no shame in sunbathing
when I look up from writing that line, it’s gone

15 April 2012
Prospect Park
Brooklyn

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It’s National Poetry Writing Month! A poem a day, each day in April.

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