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National Poetry Month

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April is National Poetry Month, for which I am grateful this year. The Poets Academy sends a poem a day to anyone who wants it, and this has inspired me to read more poetry than usual. For me, reading and writing poetry only happens in a certain kind of head space, more meditative and calm than everyday madness. Although I can discipline myself to write prose just by sitting at my desk, poems either come to me or they don’t. I’m hoping a poem or two will come to me soon–it’s been quite a while.

In honor of Poetry Month I’m posting a few old ones. Enjoy.

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All I Ever Wanted

All I ever wanted from you was a baby.
All I ever needed you for was your seed.
The rest was a cover.
The rest of the needs
I presented with tearful platitutdes
were merely a disguise.

I used your maleness ruthlessly.
I never was what I pretended to be.
I needed your seed
and I took it with style
and after the first
I milked you for more.
I milked you, do you hear?
The silly things you used me for
never really touched me.

Once I had my children
I played on all the mean
sadistic nastiness in you
which wasn’t hard to find:
I had chosen you for your nastiness
knowing it was my ticket out.

Wicked woman that I was,
glorious witch,
triumphant she-devil!

All I ever wanted from you was a baby.
All I ever needed you for was your seed.
The rest was a cover.

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Sick

You were sick that weekend
lying in your purple-sheeted bed
absorbed in deterioration.

I was on the campaign trail then:
the well-worn trail
women have traveled for centuries,
out to make you love me.

And there you were
in a purple-sheeted bed
hopelessly vulnerable.

So I rode the Amtrak
to your hobbit hole
and did your cooking
washed your dishes
served you tea.

The campaign trail is rough
though the markers well-defined.
On the second day I stumbled.
I cried out to you
but you couldn’t respond:
you were sick
I was healthy.

You were sicker that weekend
than I had imagined.

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Midnight Instincts

Don’t follow midnight instincts:
that knife-edged clarity
is but a dagger against darkness.

Lovers you decide to take
will do more than warm your bed.
Letters to your mother
will be misunderstood.
Those dream-inspired lines
were probably written by Proust.

Seal envelopes at dawn.
Dial telephones at noon.
Make love in the blazing sun.

When shimmering visions disturb your slumber
remember that midnight’s Eurekas
are morning’s mea culpas.

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Whose Side Are You On?

We were running running
and suddenly I faced him.
All our lives had led us to this moment.
His rifle aimed at my heart
and he pulled the trigger
a split second before calling my name…

and the air is thick and sweet
and I am fairly swooning…

We were in a car,
he on top of me:
I wriggled beneath him
and called it love.

He went off to the wars.
I stayed home and had babies,
forever dreaming of his sweet love,
waking, reaching through the thick sweet air
I called love.

He came home from the wars.
I grew up with my babies.
We reached for each other
but the air had turned bitter.

And I am running from the guns.
All thoughts of love are gone.

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2 responses »

  1. Thanks for the poems. Glad it’s had a positive effect.

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