napowrimo poem 18: moments of prayer rubaiyat

write a ruba’i. AABA. multiple stanzas makes it a rubaiyat.

1.
we are not the graced or winged ones
our bare bodies cannot seek the sun
i offer up a twisted prayer
mere passenger til flight is done

2.
my city stagnates on a broken conveyor
hands over mouths of the earnest taxpayers
i offer up a please oh please
as lover, healer, stranger, soothsayer

3.
these babies bring me to my knees
keep me from rooting beyond the sea
i know, i know that god is change
still, keep what is precious safe for me

4.
i’ve never known a love so strange
he finds me out on a sacred range
he tells me how he tells god my heart
in our ancient ancestral exchange

5.
i peer deeper into my human parts
waiting for the call to start
terror, tears, laughter, doubt
and i wake up again inside my art

napowrimo poem 17: three senses grow tired

write a poem in which you very specifically describe something in terms of at least three of the five senses:

this day blurs a wild chaos before me
i hear stunned muting clouds, my coming sleep
i taste the sweet nectar, new dreams arching up
i give no struggle to the dark willing deep

napowrimo poem 16: lies

write a ten-line poem in which each line is a lie.

i am stronger than the oceans
in this moment i need for nothing

i am a clear day to the horizon
i can even see tomorrow

i leave my memories in the past
my forgiveness is wholistic

i carry no heavy regrets
my songs have found a resting place

my childhood is behind me now
i can even see god’s face

napowrimo poem 15: my sleepless terza rima

prompt: write a poem in terza rima, the form invented by dante and used in the divine comedy. it consists of three line stanzas with a chained rhyme scheme – ABA, BCB, CDC, DED, EFE and so on.

a sleeplessness
fills up our last night
with it’s bittersoft caress

sharp mind blank white
dreamwatching the stars
as they turn up ancient light

look, you see mars
up by the blood moon
through our rusting wrought iron bars

we pile sand dunes
shape the endless clouds
day will find our bed too soon

morning comes loud
we should rush to go
but seek the last warmth allowed

we cannot know
what spirit seeks us
if we accept tomorrow

but let’s not fuss
let’s hold with both hands
tender miraculous us

this strange love lands
in the quiet black
our primal body demands

we don’t look back

random SPRING music round-up

today for the first time since december, beyonce’s ‘drunk in love’ came on a playlist and i skipped it.

to honor this completion of a small complicated era of obsessive listening, i thought it would be nice to share what else i have been tuning into. what you will see below is mostly pop, which is my favorite music for spring, and other seasons.

these are not critical reviews, it’s not even really a set of recommendations. it’s just what i like right now as i procrastinate on a piece of writing:

1. sam smith, nirvana – been listening to his EP and everything else i have been able to find on spotify and youtube. his voice is perfection, his live performances show it isn’t a fluke or a gimmick – it’s really that pretty. he reminds of my friend mike in the sense that they both evoke the cool of boy george with a bit more husk to their spirits. the songwriting is solid – just a pleasing experience. highlight: the dj premier remix of ‘latch’.

2. latasha lee & the black ties – found the lead singer a while back through an indie black women singers list posted on forharriet, but i’m really diving in now. she reminds me a lot of amy winehouse and a little bit of one of my favorite people, my friend janine. the group is giving us modern subject matter through a timeless sonic lens that both samples melodic lines from and gives funky reference to the temptations, the jets, mint condition, sam cooke – they’re just wonderful, her voice is time traveling. highlight: stuck in my mind.

3. feist, metals – somehow this album came out and i missed it, even though i wore “the reminder” out. but lynnee found it and it’s so magnificent. her songs are complex but sound simple and spare and emotive. so good. highlight: the circle married the line.

as a mood album, i’m enjoying beck, morning phase. this album picks up the journey he began with sea changes, which is just a soft transformative soundtrack.

i also want to mention these songs/folks who are good on a playlist, though not necessarily blowing me away: imagine dragon (though if you add kendrick lamar to ‘radioactive’, i’m blown away), lorde (excited to hear her when she’s 35), pharrell (the best song off g.i.r.l. imho is ‘brand new’ with justin timberlake), aloe blacc’s ‘the man’, jessie j’s ‘who you are’ (and nothing else so far except her cover of ‘we found love‘), mr v’s ‘go downtown’ when i need to blush, and the national’s ‘graceless’ when i need to feel human.

oh and guilty pleasure: shakirihanna’s ‘can’t remember to forget you’ (just ignore the silly video).

who y’all listening to and loving these days?

napowrimo poem 14: what is this togetherness?

prompt: write a poem in which every sentence, except for the last one, is in the form of a question.

i feel very together in my life right now. the virgo influenced poetry of it:

is the detritus bagged
& stacked out in the alley
is the compost tucked
deep in backyard bins

are the clothes all clean
& folded & stored
is the walk in my bones
the clay mask off my skin

was the book by the bed
consumed all the whole day
is the work on my table
my joy beyond wealth

is a feast all prepped
from the earth & the sea
these are sunday songs
this is loving myself

napowrimo poem 13: that springness

write a poem that contains at least one kenning. Kennings were metaphorical phrases developed in Nordic sagas. At their simplest, they generally consist of two nouns joined together, which imaginatively describe or name a third thing. The phrase “whale road,” for example, could be used instead of “sea” or “ocean,” and “sky candle” could be used for “sun.”

in the motor city crisis zone
a glacial age falls finally away
and in that gorgeous absence
we let the firefly season lift us up
we glorify the sun
which will give us every single thing
and then hold us with reckless wonder
until the first snow

napowrimo poem 12: transcendence/bird

prompt is a “replacement” poem. Pick a common noun for a physical thing, for example, “desk” or “hat” or “bear,” and then pick one for something intangible, like “love” or “memories” or “aspiration.” Then Google your tangible noun, and find some sentences using it. Now, replace that tangible noun in those sentences with your intangible noun, and use those sentences to create (or inspire) a poem.

tangible noun: bird
intangible noun: transcendence

fright, passivity,
mourning, and beauty
are interwoven
with transcendence

transcendence has many vocalizations
it is the rarest warbler
oft perceived as a monster
recovered from near-extinction

considered sacred
thought of as thief
symbol of virtue
harbinger of war

female transcendence is muted
tho we migrate great distances,
defend our territory a whole season
camouflage provided by our plumage

we scavenge or mate…
among many socially monogamous species,
extra-pair copulation (infidelity) is common
…we are anomalous

this relationship is mutualistic,
cooperative honey-gathering
and we are the honeyguides
we are transcendence, deified

napowrimo poem 11: drunk in love

prompt: write about wine-and-love.

there there blurred morning
pouring too soon through
that sliver of window
and onto the mussed bed

hush please whisper

my night eyes north stars for you
now ink an early face
your mouth so soft, bruised
and pressed upon

murmurs to my neck

we knocked the stemmed glasses
from the table’s edge
you sweep up the shards
from the floor, laughing

we need no words

in the light, you are my intoxication
you the spinning room
the rose d’anjou
on my lips

now drink me again

napowrimo poem 10: Here Now

prompt: write your own advertisement-poem.

this was a challenging one, there isn’t much i like to pitch or sell. but i have lately been convinced of the value of landing completely in the present moment and letting it unveil everything. so here’s a pitch for here and now.

this Here Now
is the only place we know
we offer up parched cupped hands
take all we can
slip our scarce time into the slot
watch our tears come down and
so much laughter

this Here Now
is a subtle taste, oh let it grow
let us offer up our flesh hearts
feel all we can
let this hour press life through us
let us revel in this moment
now, and after