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Category: NaPoWriMo2023

haiku: 29 April 2023

striped tail!
at the window: whiskers
traveling cat after spring rains

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29 April 2023
Charlottesville VA

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POEM: Please Wait

Please Wait

The box fan blows the last
of the salmon & oil smoke
out the front window.

The rice is still warming
in the cooker, sending up wisps
of steam like a papal signal.

The dishes are Tetrised onto
a plastic camp table
covered in blue-checked cloth.

In the living room that is
also the kitchen, a man hunches
over the keyboard.

Two robins play tag
on the front lawn; a single
bluebird alights on its box.

Soon there will be washing-up
to do, and then the long hours
until sleep.

(After 20 minutes on hold,
the music cuts out and
the call is disconnected.)

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27 April 2023
Charlottesville VA

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POEM: A Splenetic Conundrum

A Splenetic Conundrum

What do the spleen do?
I don’t know, do you?
Why does one vent it, and when?
Is it when it gets hot? What then?
I think that I’ve got one, though where
it resides in this body, on a dare
I could not answer. Low down?
Is it long? Is it squat? Is it round?
I think you can have it removed,
I’m fairly sure that’s been proved.
What do the no-spleen folks do?
I have no idea, do you?

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26 April 2023
Charlottesville VA

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POEM: Snake Oil

Snake Oil

if you just
no but really, just
see, like that person is
all you have to do is to
those beautiful vistas
it’s about the
if you had
if you just

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25 April 2023
Charlottesville VA

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POEM: Teaspoons & Tablespoons

Teaspoons & Tablespoons

I have burned incense.
I have lit candles on the shelves.
I have made offerings to the memory
of Bourdain and Child.
I have done these things to summon
the ability to walk
into the kitchen,
look through a series
of scantily stocked cupboards,
then to take what is found
and create a meal.
The magic has not visited me,
but on full-moon nights
I can almost see dinner.

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24 April 2023
Charlottesville VA

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haibun: 22 April 2023

As the storm starts I press play on the Dave Brubeck album and think of my grandpa. When I was a kid he had a record by the Jack Stewart Quartet, playing Brubeck tunes. They were a band from the Berkshires, where he and I are also from. Half the album was recorded live at a private girls’ school, the other half … I can’t quite recall. Long before I heard the Brubeck originals, I heard these local reproductions, which had the odd effect of making Brubeck seem like the copycat.

thunder drowns the piano
rain on the glass like snares
turntable memories of spring

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22 April 2023
Charlottesville VA

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POEM: Suss


Back in the rocker,
literally and meta-

in my way,
to be alive.

There’s the wolf,
now howling,
now skipping light-

over the diamonds
on the water.
Makes the whole
pressurized coal thing

feel a bit suss,
I’ll admit.
I’ll huff and puff
or just chew edibles.

That line was
for the kids.
I’m all the way
with Ian MacKaye.

I was driving past the zoo
when I heard the news.
I didn’t care then.
I would have cared now.

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20 April 2023
Charlottesville VA

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POEM: Lost


The prompt is to pay tribute
to someone or something I’ve lost,
but I don’t have time to write
an epic poem like Homer.
I don’t know how he made his money
but I have to work for a living.
Suffice it to say I’ve lost a lot.
We all have, of course.
And let’s be honest
[looks meaningfully at you,
dear reader]
we all know “what” (read: who)
this poem is about.

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19 April 2023
Charlottesville VA

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POEM: What I Want

What I Want

“Someone to take care of you?
That’s what you want?”

“Yes, and I don’t want

[waves hand at everything]

to do this anymore.”

[presses play on BBC version of
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy]

“I looked up a Trappist monastery
this morning and their age cut-off is 50,
so the clock is ticking.”

[sips sencha]

“So it’s either a caretaker or
a religious order?”

“That’s what I’ve narrowed it down to,

[gently sways in rocking chair]

[nods off]

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17 April 2023
Charlottesville VA

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POEM: Counting


Are there 90 million birds in Essex?
He sets up a folding chair
on the high street and starts to count.
After an hour or so the sun has risen enough
to become somewhat annoying
so he repositions the chair
but as he looks down he notices
the shadow of wings flitting
across the pavement;
he realizes he’s missed some.
I guess we’ll never know, he thinks,
and goes for a cuppa instead.

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16 April 2023
Charlottesville VA

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