Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Day Eight ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2020


In today's NaPoWriMo post, Maureen Thorson talks about twitter accounts "that tweet phrases from different poets’ work," such as Plath and Shelley and even Vogon poets! Today's prompt suggests, “peruse the work of one or more of these twitter bots, and use a line or two, or a phrase or even a word that stands out to you, as the seed for your own poem.”

Robert Lee Brewer’s Poem-a-Day prompt: “write a future poem. The future is a never ending well of worry for some. Others harbor a great deal of optimism. Still others see a mixture of awesome flying cars and terrifying robot overlords. Regardless of your outlook, I hope there’s a poem in your very near future.”

Future News

When Rupert Murdoch’s sons inherit all
his empire and decide their name must be
redeemed, when they have turned the brand Fox News
into respected journalism, who
will start the next extremist outlet, poised
to cultivate a moneyed audience
so frightened for their privilege that they
will grasp at any vague explanation
repeated in hyperbolic shouting?

My dad picked up a saying in the Guard,
“as crazy as a shithouse rat,” that seems
to me the best name for that channel, when
the time comes for the casual, profane
term because it must preserve the very words
the President will utter, his third term
demented as his condition merits,
his core support normalized even more
than now, when his profiteering illness
cures and caging children are accepted.

I hope the owner of this channel has
a name that also sounds like something stuck
off a list that Rowling made, Hogwarts names
that seemed too gross at second thought, like “Moist”—
let’s call him Herschel Moist, of working class
but now a magnate, heartless as a pit
from a half-chewed desiccated prune spit
onto a china dish, imperfect smile
because veneers do not match exactly,
his hair as smooth as a coat of Flex Seal,
his skin as smooth as applied Plexaderm,
his fetid breath visible on the air.

His marriage to Tiffany makes Nielsen soar
to heights no show has ever seen before.

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

Alan, excellent humorous poem! Flex Seal and Plexaderm . . . brilliant soundplay and internal rhyme!

Today, in following both prompts, I'm offering a poem in my ongoing novella-in-poems about aswang, mythical Philippine monsters. In the novella so far, two aswang — Clara (a manananggal vampire) and Santiago (a shapeshifter) — fall in love and live as humans in San Francisco. They have a son, Malcolm, who turns out also to be an aswang. During WWII, Santiago enlists and goes off to war, and this poem is set during that time, with Clara as the speaker. (Incidentally, Alan gave us a sonnet four days ago inspired by Gerard Manley Hopkins, and today my poem is a curtal sonnet, a form invented by Hopkins.)

Aswang Childhood
Curtal sonnet starting with a Plath
line from SylviaPlathBot, 5/8/2020
Can such innocence kill and kill? Tonight,
Malcolm, six years old, his father at war,
caught a bat in his bedroom at bedtime.

I was afraid my baby would get bit,
but he held it tight. I could see its fur
glowing black between his fingers. And I’m

almost sure it was screaming. In utter
calm, with an angelic smile, my boy tore
its wings off. Worst, my son’s own wings then came
out, trembling, as the bat died. What future
                                            deaths will come, Malcolm?

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

Six of the poems in my aswang novella will appear this summer in the forthcoming Aeolian Harp Anthology, volume six of the Aeolian Harp Series, due out in a few months from Glass Lyre Press.



Friends, won’t you comment, please? Love to know what you’re thinking. To comment, look for a red line below that starts Posted by, then click once on the word comments in that line. If you don’t find the word “comments” in that line, then look for a blue link below that says Post a comment and click it once. Thanks!

Ingat, everyone.   


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