Saturday, April 9, 2016

Day Nine ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2016


Day Nine. Day Nine. Day Nine. Day Nine. Day Nine. (It helps to be a Beatles fan to get that.)

Maureen Thorson's NaPoWriMo prompt: "I challenge you to write a poem that includes a line that you’re afraid to write. This might be because it expresses something very personal that makes you uncomfortable – either because of its content ('I always hated grandma'), or because it seems too emotional or ugly or strange ('I love you so much I would eat a cockroach for you'). Or even because it sounds too boring or expected ('You know what? I like cooking noodles and going to bed at 7 p.m.'). But it should be something that you’re genuinely a little scared to say. Happy (or if not happy, brave) writing!"

Robert Lee Brewer's PAD prompt: "For today’s prompt, write a hide out poem. When I was a kid, we’d build “hide outs,” I guess from our parents or other kids. An assortment of criminals (fictionalized and real) have their hide outs. But maybe there are other hide outs, like a 'man cave,' 'she shed,' or the local pub. Heck, maybe it’s the library. Give it a thought, and I’m sure you’ll find the right hide out poem for you."
Hello, friends. I'm going to start something different today. I had been waiting until we co-bloggers — Alan, Jed, Sarah, Ven, and me — all get done with our poems before posting the finalized blog. By the time all the poems are in, it's usually pretty close to midnight. From this point on, as soon as one of us finishes the day's poem, I'll put out the blog post with that one poem. And then add other poems as they get done during the rest of the day. That way, our various fans will see the poems they're waiting for as soon as possible. Okay?

All right, I'm first out of the gate today. Melding both the prompts. Once I figured out what the scariest line(s) was/were, this poem pretty much wrote itself.

No Hide-Out

                              I grow old . . . I grow old . . .
                              I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
                                                                                  —T. S. Eliot


I’m getting old.
That’s the scariest line I can’t write.
Not “I’m getting older.”
But OLD.

Behind that line is the line I really can’t write.
I’m going to die.
Not “We’re all going to die.”
No. You yourself by yourself. Wait, not “you.” ME.

Behind the line behind that line is the scariest of all.
My kids are going to die.
I know, I know.
We all gotta go sometime.
No. Damn it. My kids. Forget me. MY KIDS.

You know what?
We all fantasize a hide-out from this.
Like . . . 60 is the new 40.
No, people. 60 is 60. That’s it.
My firstborn is within single digits of reaching a half century.

We fantasize a “man cave,” a “she shed.”
Where Batman is still camp.
Where Barbie is still the newest toy.
Where the Rolling Stones are not yet 30.
When I was a teen, you weren’t supposed to trust anyone over 30.
Now I am double that. PLUS.

Goddamn poetry.
Why does poetry make you realize this shit.
There is no hide-out.
There is no hide-out.
The Grim Reaper will find you wherever.
This getting old is not for wimps and weaklings.

Wait. YOU are the hide-out. Or ME.
You are Death’s man cave.
Death is hiding.
Inside me. Inside you.

Just love the kids.
Just love yourself.
And say it, coward. I’m getting old.
Then you can go out with some dignity.
Write your poems. Or whatever.
Make beauty.
Fuck death.

—Draft by Vince Gotera    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

I posted that poem on Facebook also, and Jed wrote this comment: "That is most definitely a 'rampaging across unresisting paper' sort of poem." Jed's own poem for today has a similar kind of slide down the page.

Waves

Grief needs to be felt
From time to time.
It's no crime
To weep.
Give
Your grief
His day out.
It hurts to feel,
But pity your grief
So you can feel
Pity for
Other's
Grief

Too.

Then get back to work.
Life will not wait
For your grief
Or for
You.

—Draft by Jedediah Kurth    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

About this Jed says, "Sometimes you think you're done, but feel something still rattling around inside, and you sit and stare at the paper a little longer, wondering. After 'Too,' I thought I was done." Thanks, Jed.

Ven takes on the "line you're afraid to write" prompt, but in an unexpected direction.

Hidden Poem To My Three Children That I Hope They Don’t Read

Your Mom is a cunt and I’ll smile when she dies.
I’m not remotely afraid to write that line
but I am worried you’ll see it someday
if for some reason you google my name.
So I hope it lies hidden away on this page
Obscure and unviewed after the next few days.
I enjoy letting true words provoke and enrage
but there are a few things I’d choose not to let loose in your three brains.

At least until I’m dead and not around to explain myself.

—Draft by Ven Batista    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

Alan did the "hide-out" prompt today. He says, "Folks, April is the worst month for teachers, because we are trying to complete a school year, and we wind up with a month loaded with activities, some in preparation for almost a year. There are times when a person would dig a hole only to climb in and pull it down on top of himself or herself, and we all escape as we can."

Runaway

I hide in laps. They think I run
for health. I don’t. I run to hide,
where no one talks, shoes, shirt, and shorts,
no phone or keys. At my first mile,
my left knee aches, but then pain dulls
so I can keep few things in mind,
my breath, my laps to go, and not
my folks at home, my job, my self,
set free just then to start my day,
right here, at some peace, in plain sight.

—Draft by Thomas Alan Holmes    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

Alan, I know precisely what you mean. I hear ya. Thanks for the poem.

Finally, here is Sarah's play on the "hide-out" idea.

You

You bring me to safe places,
pockets of timelessness
in a world that won't stop ticking.
You tuck me away with soft
words, chocolate and warm blankets,
highly heated chess matches,
and you never try to fix this
paranoid, delusional brain.
Here, I can even smile.

If you are my savior
from a world of demons
clothed in pressed pant suits,
then why does this incessant fear pound through my veins:
that you're the one who needs saving?

—Draft by Sarah Smith    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

Interesting take on the sonnet, unrhymed, with a 9+5 rather than 8+6 structure. Thanks, Sarah.


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Ingat, everyone.   


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