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Category: NaPoWriMo2022

POEM: He Is Rising

He Is Rising

the return.
I have to keep
telling myself
it’ll be worth it
in the end.
I remain skeptical.

/ / /

17 April 2022
State College PA

(NaPoWriMo Day 17)


POEM: Tobyhanna


Monday is a goldfish.
Tuesday is a goblin.
Wednesday steals my lunch.
Thursday hangs me out to dry.
Friday comes a-creepin’.
Saturday remembers.
Sunday looks at a cloud.

The church in Tobyhanna
stands across from the country store.

/ / /

16 April 2022
State College PA

(NaPoWriMo Day 16)

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POEM: Furusato


This atarashii town
is the place where I umareta,
but I don’t yet know its michi or tori.
I don’t have a sumu basho.
Last night I ate heibon Mexican food
at a restaurant whose iriguchi
I had trouble finding in the pouring ame.
The path to antei is long.

/ / /

15 April 2022
Pittsfield MA

Based on experiment #80 by Charles Bernstein.

(NaPoWriMo Day 15)

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POEM: Call The Doctor

Call The Doctor

Better living through chemistry:
the hit of dopamine that comes
when you discover the nearest
Indian restaurant is still in business.
Tom Baker is looking at me
with a jaundiced eye
from his perch above my keyboard.
Back off, Tommy boy,
you and your oversized scarf.
We can’t all be living
the high life in 70s London.
Some of us have to work for a living.

/ / /

14 April 2022
Pittsfield MA

(NaPoWriMo Day 14)

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POEM: Oh, Mexico

Oh, Mexico
for CC

This sandwich is named for a James Taylor song.
It has Mexico in the name because … guac, I guess?
While eating it I learn that my friend has never heard of JT.
I take our shared frame of reference for granted,
but it’s a smaller frame than our pictures require.
We send one another photos of London streets
        and Berkshire marshes.
Voice notes sailing the ocean faster than any ship.
Back in my office, I look into the eyes of a Funko Pop Tom Baker.
What a weird old world it is.
Have a jelly baby.

/ / /

13 April 2022
Pittsfield MA

(NaPoWriMo Day 13)

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POEM: Undershirt Blues

Undershirt Blues

I’m a fat guy in business casual:
executive Crocs and a shirt with buttons.
I took a lunchtime walk wearing a jacket
past closed shops and defunct restaurants.
Still, the city is finding its footing,
repairing the damage from the white whale.
I’m looking for stable ground, too,
though it’s not easy to find in the Walmart lot.
I returned from the walk sweaty,
wondering if two layers is the right move.
Maybe short sleeves are the way to go.
Or healthier eating habits.
In any case I’m faking it till I make it:
a standing desk during the daytime,
a cot in the back of a minivan at night.
A wise person once told me:
You can’t fix everything at once.

/ / /

12 April 2022
Pittsfield MA

(NaPoWriMo Day 12)

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POEM: Derelict


As I leave work, the anxiety sets in.
Heart racing, fast breaths.
After five weeks of safety
it’s back to the van.
Nowhere to go, on the hunt
for a safe place to park.
I walk along a marsh trail
after parking in the first place
I ever slept in a car.
It was fun then, a shared adventure.
Tonight I need the sound of the birds
and the feeling of the breeze
to dry the tears
that suddenly spring to my eyes.
Later still I find a Walmart parking lot
with several broken-down RVs,
a pickup truck up on blocks,
a derelict school bus.
I’ll take a chance,
hope to avoid a knock.

/ / /

11 April 2022
Pittsfield MA

(NaPoWriMo Day 11)

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POEM: Walter Rodney

Walter Rodney

I’m learning about Walter Rodney.
Headphones on, listening to
the intertwining guitars
of Remmy Ongala from Tanzania.
This world is its own multiverse.
I have a constant opportunity
to see and hear and taste new wonders,
despite the efforts of my ancestors
to own what cannot be owned.
Water Rodney was from Guyana.
I had to look it up on a map.

/ / /

10 April 2022
Latham NY

(NaPoWriMo Day 10)

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POEM: Catechesis


is Palm Sunday,
the day when
slapped some skin
with his
or something
like that;
it’s been
a while
since I
read the book.

/ / /

9 April 2022
Latham NY

(NaPoWriMo Day 9)

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POEM: My Grandfather’s Hands

My Grandfather’s Hands

He could make so many things with his hands.
He made the doors in the house I grew up in.
He crafted the scrimshaw I wore as a kid.
He painted the images that hang on our family’s walls.
He steered the car to my clarinet lessons.
He played the saxophone in the days before I knew him.
Just now I looked down at my own hands,
noticed the deepening lines in my knuckles.
They look more like his hands now.
That’s just a coincidence of aging; it turns out
one of the things he didn’t make was my mom.
But he decided early on to be part of my found family —
before he even knew I’d exist.
I try to make good things with my own hands.
And I do it in memory of him.

/ / /

8 April 2022
Latham NY

(NaPoWriMo Day 8)

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POEM: Sink/Float


I’ve given
up. We live
in the shitty world
we live in and apparently
I don’t have what it takes
to escape it (money or skills), so
I need to capitulate and then do what
I can with whatever free time I have left.
With whatever free time I have I can
escape and do what I want to
do, with whomever I can find.
We live, and apparently given
the chance, we thrive.
Up up up.
I yield.

/ / /

7 April 2022
Latham NY

(NaPoWriMo Day 7)

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POEM: Disposal


This “morality” ran without need.
Those he condemned moved forth.
Given feeling, current, real sense.
The rule disposed of the anarchist.

/ / /

6 April 2022
Latham NY

Taken from “Anarchist Morality” by Peter Kropotkin.

(NaPoWriMo Day 6)

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POEM: The World’s Saddest Lightsaber

The World’s Saddest Lightsaber

In the photo I’m five or six,
holding an inflatable lightsaber
that looks like a bizarre 70s sex toy.
I’m in my footie pajamas, like all good Jedi.
Head lowered, seated on the end of my bed,
I look like I just found out Darth Vader is my dad.
Fast-forward four decades: My cousin asks if I’m OK.
Yeah, I’m mostly OK. Just waiting for the dust to settle,
even though I’m fairly sure the dust never settles —
it just keeps swirling from one place to the next.
That’s OK. I don’t have a lightsaber, but I have some light.
And I hear they make adult footie pajamas, so there’s still hope.

/ / /

5 April 2022
Latham, NY

(NaPoWriMo Day 5)


POEM: [x] baby [x]

[x] baby [x]

Dwight and Cari are watching it all burn down.
It makes sense, because everything is burning.
Mississippi, the Cayuhoga — canaries.
I attach a hose to the spigot but no water.
There’s a can of gasoline in the garage.
The flames jump high enough
        for me to read the instructions on my parachute.
Now to find a plane or a very high window.

/ / /

4 April 2022
Latham NY

(NaPoWriMo Day 4)

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POEM: two-minute warning

two-minute warning

in two minutes my alarm will go off / I’m writing this intentionally with a baseball game on in the background / seems like it might be a stretch to get a poem out of this / but I’ve gotten weirder things from less material / (he’s allowed just one run on five hits) / soon I’ll be back in my van / not sure for how long / I think a couple months / it’s getting warmer so it won’t be that bad / (it nicked him, grazed his arm) / the alarm is ringing so it’s time for my Zoom

/ / /

3 April 2022
Latham NY

Based on #29 from Charles Bernstein’s experiments

(NaPoWriMo Day 3)

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