Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Two for One

When, "Get in your crates, boys!" yields some confusion.


"But Mom, he has a soft bed! I like his better!"  (Yes, that *is* Finley in Pippin's crate, having gone in there before Pippin... and stayed there.)

Don't feel too bad for Finley. Pippin only has a soft bed in his crate because he hasn't puppy-eaten the last two I've bought him!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Me, Myself, and I

I've noticed you like to write to people, not about them.
Yes, I enjoy writing in first person.
Are they all real?
Who? The people in my poems?
Yeah. Did all that stuff in your poems really happen?
Yes. I'm sure it really happened to someone. Somewhere.
But not really to you?
No, not all to me. Not really
So it's really just lies?
In the strictest sense, I suppose you could call it that.
Fanciful tales from my brain.
Written strangely
In choppy
Phrases
That make you
Crazy
Sometimes.
The next guy will want to know if you were real.
And I'll have to tell him no, not really.
Then he'll stop
And wonder
If he's really real, after all.
And I'll smile
Because the poet
Has done
Her
Job.
Why do you write in short, choppy phrases?
And why do you ask me questions when you don't really exist?

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This poem was written in response to the July 2014 prompt on Poets Online. I didn't write it or submit it in time--July 2014 was a blur of grief and busyness for me--but I found the prompt intriguing, so I came back and picked it up now.

Questions Asked of the Poet

July 2014
If you are a poet and publish or give readings, you may have been asked questions about your poems. Readers and listeners often wonder how real or autobiographical the details in your poems might be.

Some readers expect that the first car you owned in that poem must, in fact, be the actual first car you owned. That Francine who was your first kiss - Was she really your first kiss?

How honest do you need to be in your poems? How autobiographical are your poems and how much poetic license do you allow yourself? Is there a line of fiction that poems shouldn't cross?

For this month's prompt, we consider the questions readers ask (or might ask) about your poems. There are two poems by Aimee Nezhukumatathil that serve this prompt. First is her poem, "Are All the Break-Ups in Your Poems Real?" I like the way she answers the question in several ways and I think for many poets the answer does depend on the poem and situation.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Your Name Is an L Word

I love the exercise of writing poetry to a prompt. It stretches me as a writer to have to work within someone else's confines. This month's writing prompt at Poets Online was as challenging as it was interesting: write a poem about sex, using tweet-like stanzas of fewer than 140 characters. That's it. 

So, with a blush and a sigh, I offer you this month's post. 

Your Name Is an L Word

I really, really didn't know what I was doing, all those years and all those climaxes ago. Never mind the virginity. It was intentional.

Yes. I had decided to bottle all of it and save it for you. Every last drop. Every once in a while, we uncorked it and tasted a little.

Scary how it almost consumed us, those few little drops. It was sweet and savage and I knew it would be the death of me. In the best way,

like she said as she sang about the dark and wonderful unknown. It *was* wonderful, this unknown passion that threatened to undo me

and send me careening. There came that point that the wine tastings of the future glory were too much for me. Drunk on you. Drunk

on the need. The craving that was most certainly going to eat me alive--or at least my resolve--was staring me down. I wanted it to win so bad

I could taste it... but I corked it back up and I made it wait. Starved it for a while, to make it hungrier and hungrier.

They called it old-fashioned, and truly it was, for who waits for this sacred moment anymore? I felt it in my throat. The longing. I felt it

in my gut, the aching need. I became aware of words like "loins" because I needed a word for it. Such a good Bible word

for the good Bible girl. Longing and loins and lovers. Luscious L words.

Lingering. All the waiting had made you patient. When the day finally came and the dam finally broke, you were ready

to wait a little bit longer. Just long enough to play skillfully and work wonders, without any training save a book and a song. We learned

together, those many romps ago. Your fingers worked me like they do that guitar, and I could barely breathe from the desperate hunger of it

all. Craving. One flesh. I consumed you, and you filled me, and it was unspeakably worth the wait. Every. Single. Time.

Who knew it could be new every time, and that every time would be my favorite? The years are swirling, and the taut flesh is aging,

and the guitar fingers ache a little in the morning. But you're still the best thing I ever tasted, and I'm still so glad it's been you.

Only you.

Listen to Ingrid Michaelaon's "Wonderful Unknown"

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

We Run On Fumes

My husband and my daughter OG are training for a half marathon in October. They've done several small runs in preparation, the most challenging of which was this mud run.

 
 

I ask you: Who looks this good after miles and miles of running in sand and mud?! (I think I would be dead. I am not kidding!)

After this, conquering the half marathon next month is just a matter of context.

*Entry 9, September - The 12 Months of 2014 Blog Challenge
The title is a line from the song "I Run to You" by Lady Antebellum.