Free-Floating

When she’s not free-floating
she took out the measuring tape
to check the width,
and then used a ruler to
mark it and scissored out
the marbled paper.

As to the length, it’s always
30 centimeters which made
the job easier. She’d lined
all the shelves, rescuing
those wasted chipboards
from squalor.

In between tidying up
she’d pondered the particles of
sunlight, all-embracing, vested in
closed spaces, the weird feeling
it’s all some kind of biography.
Not a single cloud visible.

Prompt:

Day 29. The prompt, not the day. There’s something soothing about keeping things in perfect order. The French has a phrase for it, “mise en scene”, which means roughly the setting or surroundings of an event. It makes living so much more pleasant to have everything in its place. Just like in a novel, setting reflects a character, so in a psychologically real way, how a person’s house is arranged matters as an externalisation of the inner person. But I’m just wondering when things aren’t perfect, does it mean on some real, psychological level you’re in a bit of a mess? I’m only following this train of thought because Robert Brewer wanted a a metrics poem, either a poem written in meter, or referencing some measurement in metric. I’m sure you’d find some genius way to write to the prompt. I hope the poem measures up. Heh.

It Isn’t Pointless

You’d cracked me up, rambling
on and on, yet truth be told,
there’s always an explanation,
it isn’t pointless, quite the
opposite, all the festooning had
won me hands down, so I’d
have to pretend to hiccup or
something, not to be outdone,
doing it repeatedly in a kind of
pestering way so that you’d winced
and said something deja vu like
you don’t say.

Prompt:

This is the one I’d missed yesterday. It’s a word list: pest, crack, ramble, hiccup, wince, festoon. Use them in a poem–what Robert Brewer wants us to do. Truth be told we’re nearing the end of this delectable month, said with a bit of irony only. Stranger things have happened. Why do I say that? I thought about it and this isn’t the most natural thing to do, to write a poem a day. It isn’t. It’s even unnatural to a lot of people. And even pointless I suppose. Anyway I’ve better things to worry about than to think about what other people think. So this is just me trying to be in their shoes. Those shoes don’t fit obviously. I’m taking them off and putting on my own festooned sandals.

About The Hippie

He’s a really cool guy.
I’d say the hippie eco type,
wore his hair long, messy
held by a bandana, his pants slouchy,
real comfy, and he padded around
in brown crocs.

His apartment reeked a musky
smell that clung to hair,
the air and the furniture.
Everything moved so slow
being there with him,
I felt like screaming.

It’s just sad, the way things
moved bit by bit, or the way
they started up then stopped,
we’d backed away then would
start up again so each time
the odds would go lower.

Prompt:

Day 28. Where did yesterday go? Well, it went for a walk in the forest and I lost its trail. So you’d have to wait till I find him. Or is it an ‘it’? I checked out Robert Brewer’s smell prompt and decided to jump right to it. One has to follow gut instinct right? Right. So technically there’re two more days to go. Let’s go. Wait. What’s the scent?

How To Tell

You had completely shut down,
clammed up. As if an ill wind
had sent you shaking like
a leaf. Why, this is exactly
the mood of someone who’s
down in the dumps.

Of course you’d deny it.
But remember what you said,
you don’t regret any awkwardness,
know what the important stuff
is, you’re really not dumb,
but being motionless.

Prompt:

Day 26. But really it’s Day 27. I’m kinda late. I’m kind of resisting. But resistance is futile. Why? Because the words are still flowing. So I’m as doomed as Sisyphus. The weather’s real stormy these days. It’s extreme heat alternating with extreme storm. Of course ‘extreme’ could be an exaggeration. But how I wish for mild weather. Like the Mediterranean winter. Rainy but no storm. In a thunderstorm, I think of the people living in floating houses. Or fishermen. They’re exposed to the elements much more. I pray to God for mild weather please. With no fatalities or regrets. Of course I have to link it to Robert’s Brewer’s prompt to write about regret.

God Only Knows

I hate to bother you but
things had to run their
true course, you know that.
Listening to The Beach Boys,
so not off the mark.
Some grain of truth.

I needed to recuperate.
So weak. From what, you asked.
The conundrum that’s life
I said. So what does it mean?
What does anything that matters,
truly mean? Time to hit ‘delete’?

This body of work having grown so,
it’s making me sick, making me
nostalgic or something.
You know time has lapsed so
why go back? So what now?
God only knows.

Prompt:

Hey guys I need to run off shortly. So five minutes. What I’d like to say is that I’m here in this community to write. It’s somewhat of a ghostly community now, because there’s no bouncing off of one another. Just a few, so thank you. To me it’s a sign that perhaps I ought to take a leave of absence. When things have run their course, let them lay still. It’s like, you know, the lines went dead or something. Maybe people decided to hit the beach. Or something. Is there love? That’s the question and there’s no answer really. You might like to answer Robert Brewer though.

That Kind Of Day

It’s no use, all the talking.
Talking non-stop, huffing
and puffing, drunk.
Joe got shit done.

You don’t know if he’s listening.
But he was. And had come round with
the black rubber plunger
like it’s no big deal.

Then just like that your faith
in humanity had come back.
You felt like a drunk horse
saying uh-huh, all smiles.

Prompt:

Hey guys, would it be ok if I go dark on you? As if I no longer existed kind of thing. I do feel like it, this kind of retreat, which is really a retreat from humanity. Why? Because why impose one’s self on another person right? Why say or do anything that will say, look at me. I’d rather no one’s looking. I don’t mind if strangers are looking. After all I’m just a pixel, another stranger. I’d just as well be an anonymous person. And after all, I’m not really seeking your attention. I’m really seeking…for God. And I want to know, for myself, that I really do exist. That’s who I am in conversation with, alright. What? Faith, that’s the thing I’m looking for. And Robert Brewer too.

The Last Time

The last time he said something,
it sent my heart soaring.
We sat upon a grassy slope.
It wasn’t even important,
what he said. It felt somewhat
like a moment of clarity.
That kind of thing.

I don’t like to be bored out
of my skull. But the precise meaning,
once you seized upon that,
here’s somebody who could do that,
gave you that exact sensation.
Even if there’re ups and downs,
and then he’d bummed me out.

Prompt:

Day 23. How’s your mood? Up or down? I guess half of you would be up and half of you would be down. That’s how the world works. Half the earth in daylight and the other half in darkness. I’m in the part that’s in darkness. Then there would be the ones who would be both up and down. Maybe they’re bipolar or something. I think in a way we’re all bipolar. We harbor the extreme moods as well as the mild, pleasant ones, and depending on the trigger we let the one out. That’s why we need spiritual practice. A center of gravity that is all calm. So when was the last time you were real moody? Because, you guessed it, Robert wants us to write a poem that uses the phrase “Last Blank-Insert Anything Here”. If you have forgotten what happened the last time, tell me your current mood please.

The Fable Of The Dancing Bear

Night crackled with madness.
We saw the bear, a dancing bear
against the tree. Jelly-like,
undulating like a snake.

You made this up, you said.

And Lila danced with it.
The bear was deferential.
Can you see plainly now?
Beauty and the beast.

This went on for a while, I said.

The bear asked, would you be mine?
And the catch? Is there one?
You’d die of heartbreak.
She pondered, and said yes.

She laid with it.
But when the moon disappeared
behind a cloud, she’d woken up.
The bear was not in sight.

That’s the fable, you said.

Prompt:

Ah a fable. Storytelling with a moral. You know, like “The Tortoise And The Hare”. Everyone knows that one. Its moral is something like “Slow And Steady Wins the Race”. It’s a worthy moral. Just like us who are writing poems in the whole month of April, right? Do you think you’re mercurial like the Hare? Taking catnaps? Do you feel like the Tortoise? Steadfast and diligent. I guess if you managed to complete the course, you’d be that one. I feel tortoise-like in that aspect. But in the other aspect, in the aspect of swiftness, I feel like the Hare. I write super fast. So that makes me a hybrid. Am I off point? The point, my dear, is to write a fable.

The Buddha

There was a laughing Buddha
carved in reddish brown,
about three feet tall.
Right on the staircase
landing, he so reminded me
of his amiable dad.

Like the rosewood furniture,
the Oriental carpet,
the cuckoo clock which chimed
on the hour, all those
floating shadows,
the searing loss.

He’d wore the sarong,
and raised his eyebrows,
so out of range, rapturous
once, not unimportant but
a legend of long ago
and still as a pond.

Prompt:

Day 21. I’m officially weary. Nine more days to the gate, and yay, I’ll be done with this kind of poeming pretty much! So Robert decided to have mercy on us and asked for an object poem. Too easy peasy? Only, why stop at one object when you could have a list? A small list or even a rapturously long one. Why? Because desire doesn’t cure itself. Just when you think you don’t need one more thing, you see and you need. It feels like a seizure, if you know what I mean. This wanting. It’s human nature is it not? Damn you, human nature!

A Different Universe

Once the heavy-as-iron
tasks be done, cheek-by-jowl,
we barricaded ourselves,
the world outside held
no more meaning.
We took our pleasure,
lips on wrists, the inside of
the elbow, the shoulders,
the breasts, hands on belly,
the thighs, between the legs,
mouth closed on nipple,
intent, discovering
a different universe.

Prompt:

Day 20. By now you should have filed your tax return. Now that was a task, mundane, boring, necessary. So thank goodness there’re other things that are more real. I mean, taxes are real but they’re not really real, do not figure in the meaning of our lives. What is the meaning of our lives? They lie in stirring stuff, the stuff that sets your heart on fire, palpitating. First there has got to be a sexual awakening. I don’t know about you but it seems to me that sex is a necessary part of one’s becoming. We’re err.. sexual kittens. I was just reading about a character’s sexual awakening, and this was what was said: “Sex seemed to me all surrender–not the woman’s to the man but the person’s to the body, an act of pure faith, freedom in humility. I would lie washed in these implications, discoveries, like somebody suspended in clear and warm and irresistibly moving water, all night.” (Alice Munro, Lives of Girls and Women). So Robert Brewer wanted a task poem. But you could be a rebel and write a sex poem instead.