Friday, April 29, 2011

Sushi Haiku - NaPoWriMo 29/30

Settle, sticky rice
into a bath of soy sauce.
Soak, smoky mustard.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

To the Cosplayers - NaPoWriMo 28/30

the proceeding comments and criticisms
may come as exceedingly geeky.
Listen at your own discretion and risk
of otaku exposure.

To the cosplayers
who ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’
over barely acceptable costumes,
to the cosplayers
who fill convention centers with
the hot air of their unfounded fawning
like so many of Miyazaki’s soot-sprites,
to the cosplayers
who comment carat-eyed
on subpar costumes simply because
the character is rarely endeavored:
            Have some damned standards.

Every cosplayer bold enough
to pose as glittering gold
is not that precious substance
if their wrappings reek of brass.
You scour con-spaces like your last name is Ketchum
and the first peek you get
gets you throwing that ball like
“I choose you, unearned hyperbolic response!”
What happened to quality?
Were we cursed overnight like so many Sohmas,
who instead of shifting shapes
acquire costume-stoked low standards?
What happened?

I’m not saying betray your fandom,
and I’m not saying you shouldn’t be excited
to see a beloved character cosplayed
but if someone wears velvet and
tries to call it fur,
I try not to call them something
worse than they deserve
for swerving so inexcusably far from
the clearly textured blueprint,
for turning Kimahri’s hirsute blue
into cheap cerulean spandex,
for turning Sailor Moon into
bloated bait for resident trolls,
for overshadowing greater efforts
with advantageous
but heinous
For the sake of the fandom, Usagi, and cosplay,
please have some commitment to quality.

The preceding comments and criticisms
were, without doubt, exceedingly geeky.
In listening to this imploring poetry,
the listener’s nerditude has garnered XP.
The listener has leveled up!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What Washed In from the Pacific - NaPoWriMo 27/30

Ashy skies and foamy shoals,
coastlines dressed in shifting furs,
which rise and fall like salty hems
that gather lapping at your toes.

Like the yield of distant stars,
shedding luminary wills,
all that washes from these seas
speaks for erstwhile wetted fires.

Mingled with the swallowing sands,
wave-fuls of the stellar debris,
so unlike the rising sun
whose rays allude to living hands.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Content with a Body of Ears - NaPoWriMo 26/30

As you clutch the radiating cup
of your Sunday morning Starbucks,
bask in the aromatic warmth
of freshly brewed worship,
fellow Christian,
I implore you
do not forget the world beyond your sanctuary’s walls.

Just like the illegal collective
left by Christ to Roman aggression,
the Body which spawned
multitudinous cells,
there are still basements of the
faithful facing hateful oppression,
observing bloody Sabbaths under governmental pressure.
There are still religious climates
that closet Christian fellowship
and seek to enfeeble and snuff
the flames of sanguine-ransomed kindred.
China still accosts the cross
through those who glory in its burden,
Burma still clandestinely quiets
any voice they discover the Word in,
Mexico still hosts cartels for whom
Christian intimidation is currency –
we can’t forget the nations striving
with violence to silence our community:
India, Iran, Algeria, Sudan,
Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Cuba, a few.
The fields beyond your picket fence
are not without their flowers,
but flourish they won’t in the midst of such
brambles and wilds liable to devour them.

So go,
enjoy the ease of communion,
thank God for the blessing
He deemed to bestow,
but never forget that you’re part of a body,
and the whole cannot stand
lacking even one toe.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fighting Another's War - NaPoWriMo 25/30

His tactic is transparent,
but no less potent for all its predictability.
Set to slaying each and every
member of humanity,
striving to strike some vain checkmate
against Heaven in sifting
its entrants,
he breathes self-breeding
warfare, offended fire
fanned within neighbor nations.
He knows this life is not the end,
and as long as he can convince us
it is, push us to battle and fret
and defend temporary soil
instead of the salvation from which
his fallen forces recoil,
no ditch will be deep enough to deny all our dead,
no slaughter too costly to that Baphomet head.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

What You Give You Keep - NaPoWriMo 24/30

Some have trouble keeping their promises.
Some are subject to mouths
that machine-gun
the ammo of good intentions,
swearing the moon
with hands full of soil.
Some assure the sunshine
even as their words
fall frozen on Pluto.
Some have trouble keeping their promises,
but not You.
You, the embodiment of a good word given.
As apostolic lips garnered bile
in Gethsemane,
christened glistening leaves with
a beloved’s treachery,
You succumbed to persecution
and fulfilled prognostication.

The blood that dappled your brow,
a vow in moonlit crimson,
each spot upon your englaimed skin
a promise of God’s Tanakh.
Those scarlet beads that led
to streams and pools at Pilate’s bidding,
Your ravaged countenance atop
Your cross-exalted form,
You, the Isaiah-spoke
unbroken Pesakh lamb,
the walking covenant of God,
crushed in keeping every law.
You perished in perdition
and fulfilled prognostication.

Some have trouble keeping their promises,
but not You,
rising from your Sabbath
as a reconstructed temple, 2 days
departed from that rabble-demolished rubble,
not You.
You swore me the sunshine with eyes full of fire,
You promised me the moon with hair agleam with pallor.
You promised me the moon
and beneath its notary seal
yawned the hollow of a tomb,
lunar full as You fulfilled
each eager word in waking.
Some have trouble keeping their promises.
Some have speech longer than their reach,
but not You.
No, as You bodily strode the graven law
and wore the thorns, scorned and raw,
to rise anew from Hades’ maw –
never You.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Undesirable - NaPoWriMo 23/30

I only grow thorn bushes here,
this garden is not for pleasing.
For more desirable vegetation,
try another street.
This way is for the dolorous,
lined in thorns and brambles,
a sign to show the way needs taken
by piercing-fated feet.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Trial of Simon Peter - NaPoWriMo 22/30

An Easter-themed poem in accordance with Good Friday, when we remember Jesus Christ's sacrifice for the world's redemption. This piece in particular follows Peter, who denied Christ three times before fleeing His presence in guilt and shame. It speaks on the redeeming love of Christ, how no matter how vile we are in our own eyes, He is quick to restore us from our faults. How great He is, truly.

The Trial of Simon Peter

“Forgive them, Father, for their witness.”
Forgive me, Lord, for I am faithless!

The second crowing of the cock
augmented all I thought
I knew, and segmented this heart became,
shaming me to flee from You.
I did not stand when You they fell
with blows and disbelief like hail.
I spoke not truth when You they mocked,
I could not stay when Your gaze affirmed
the sentence that cawing guilt-knell locked.
I could not withstand your eyes, my Lord,
so I fled to shower the darkened waste
with the waters of my weeping. Poured
salty infidelity on the bitterness of dust,
of more good here
where jackals prey, where
fabrics fray and metals rust.
Of more good here are lying lips
where no ear can behold their sin,
where no crucifix can rise
from such selfish, traitorous, devil-kin,
friend-betraying, God-forsaking,
evil, faithless lies.

Forgive me, Lord, for I am faithless.
“Forgive him, Father, his false witness.”

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Allusive Nature - NaPoWriMo 21/30

Spring erupts with verdant plumage,
lilac breezes preening such yield.
All around bestir the boasts
of resurrected life, the rout
the Green Man in his rise reveals.
As he climbs from a barren tomb
of snow and stultifying winter,
rending dead bark
with unyielding life,
the Green Man manifests a scene
unhindered in its christened sheen.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

To Know the Fullness of Pain - NaPoWriMo 20/30

Taking NaPoWriMo up on their prompt today, today's poem is a ghazal.

As given on
Today, because why not, let’s try writing a ghazal. (Pronounced khuzzle, more or less). Ghazals are an ancient Persian poetic form, and they are a good way of trying to let go of prose-like sense when writing poems. Ghazals are composed of couplets – about five to fifteen, so they’re short. But that doesn’t make them easy! The first couplet of a ghazal introduces the theme, which traditionally tends toward longing, erotic or otherwise. Both lines of the first couplet end in the same rhyming word or phrase. Then the second line of each succeeding couplet uses that rhyming word or phrase as well. Traditionally, you’re supposed to include your name, or a veiled reference to it, in the poem.
I woke up today knowing what I wanted to write about, but not how, and this prompt hit it right on the nose for me. Never had tried it before, but very happy with the end results! (Just try to ignore the inconsistency of font size.)

To Know the Fullness of Pain

One will never truly know the fullness of your pain,
that faultlessly burdened brand of necessary pain.

It wasn’t just the boon that Pontius thought he did ordain,
but of more than swinging shards was that, your precedentless pain.

It wasn’t the driven, rough-hewn splinters your carpenter arch did attain
as you labored through languor to deliver that promise of monumental pain.

It wasn’t even the vampiric iron that repeatedly pierced your membrane.
Not even this, with your liquefied heart, truly tells of your knell-honored pain.

It was but to tilt your face Heavenward, for once, to glimpse darkness where you knew Him to reign –
This was the Fatherless and forsaken sadness that truly concluded your pain.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mere Humanity (or Misplaced Confidence) - NaPoWriMo 19/30

“Memento mori,”
quoth the skull from
beneath its soil pulpit,
a chorus squirming,
affirming its words with
wriggling genuflections.
The unavoidable domicile,
the inevitable employment of earth;
for all your sense of self-sufficience,
the hillock still steadily rises,
looming to doom and deftly annul
the self-confidence mankind devises.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Man of Steele - NaPoWriMo 18/30

Last week marked a year since the passing of Peter Steele, vocalist of Type O Negative and all around music icon. I've always felt a deeper connection to him than just fan appreciation. Us sharing the same birthday might be a part of that. Anyway, I loved his work and will continue to hold him in high honor and admiration. For now, peace Mr. Steele...I'll see you in the Kingdom.

Man of Steele

I could always sense your funereal baritone
when those fugues of fuzzy feedback
teased and pleased these attentive ears.
When your funibrial bass lines
rattled sludge-thick thunder through my thoughts,
and that tongue spun Slavic vespers
rolling rich like Gothic froth,
something in me stirred.
Now don’t get me wrong.
I like goils
as much as you,
but there’s no denying
the bewitching sarcophagal spell
your type o’ negative self-indulgence
wove upon each brooding wave.

Aptly branded with that mountainous name,
Your Brooklyn-bred physique
was more vampiric than any
Carpathian conqueror,
an unintentional idol, but
whose loathing, most goth
of all your subculture-claimed traits,
deflated any ventured flattery
with the drone of a little feedback.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Nosferatu - NaPoWriMo 17/30

I’m no Nosferatu,
with lanky, bent-backed, Schreck-like languor
and an iniquitous, untethered shadow,
but for all my urgent yearning
concerning those crucifix-sluicing rubies,
I’ve a vampire in this vessel.
I’ve a Grendel in these bones, because
nothing stokes this soul-wove craving
and sates that parasitic need
like Yeshua’s blood,
those garnet streams.
This everlasting ghost
denotes a sanguine requisite,
a slavering scarlet thirst
only slaked on the Christ’s right rivulets.
I’ve a vampire in this vessel,
an unyielding need for particular blood,
met only by the messiah’s immaculate flood.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Feline vs. Cell Phone - NaPoWriMo 16/30

I'll be honest, I almost forgot about today. I'll be working all day, so again, I had to speedily shoot a poem out like I'm some kind of octopus filled with poetic ink. A quickie today, simple and funny (you won't get that often from me, I reckon).

Feline vs. Cell Phone

The cat is that
that doesn’t grasp
the notion of conversation,
prying every phoned exchange
with meowing interjections,
as if to say of the one seen person,
“try a little eye-contact,
you inconsiderate animal.”

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Lesson of Lit Incense - NaPoWriMo 15/30

The twist of incensed silk,
fragrant wisps that weave
and wreathe
even as we breathe their ease,
their aromatic yield,
the everlasting lavender
dance that lures the eye,
the nose enchants,
always whirling in elegance
no matter how the wind
may shift.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easter Service - NaPoWriMo 14/30

Families file in today,
their Sunday finest flexed
to mask their unfamiliar standing.
Seats are set aside
for them, their Easter influx
expected now,
saddening as that is
as they settle
for anonymity annually.
As they entertain church
with this one-time attendance,
their obligatory service stands
to sway that of worship,
and, with so many seemingly satisfied
with entertaining the stranger on the cross,
one can just imagine His concoction
of joy and loss,
no less than that of a parent
whose progeny’s disparate visits
always come on the crest of neglect.
One can almost hear His voice,
with tones that connote
a greater anguish than the cross,
meekly breathed to each Easter attendant,
“I’d love to see you more often.”

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Folly - 13/30 NaPoWriMo

Lightning never strikes the same place twice.
How finely the nature of those fuzzy
tines reflects a resonant trait
in the nature of their author.
As forks of antlered voltage
vie to illuminate the sky, reason
can read no more than a guess
in their puissant gesticulations.
The strikes may spark in the same
gray matter,
but the air that they’ll sunder
and the earth that they’ll cinder
defy any and all divination.
            Lightning never strikes the same place twice.
never strikes
the same place
And the one that does propose
to know where the lightning’s strike
will glow
may find their very air alive
with their mistake’s incalculable static.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Fear of the 49th Regiment - NaPoWriMo 12/30

Back for a 12th day in a row! I know I'm playing the part of a poet, complete with craftier-than-thou pretentiousness, but I'll admit I've never written this consistently before. 12 days down and I'm not running on fumes yet, I must be a better poet than I thought.

For today's poem I decided to take up on their prompt, which actually coincides well with an event today marks.
Spend a few moments examining an old photograph—a found image, a photo from childhood, an iconic shot from history—and give it a title. Then put the photo aside and write a poem using the title. (Source: Poets and Writers).
Since today is about nostalgia, as well as the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War, I figured why not marry the two for today's poem? So, today's poem, number 12 of 30.

The Fear of the 49th Regiment

I’ve seen the earth erupt,
    seen it splash smoke-choked air with
       as if it were water,
seen the field upturned by fire,
     feeding the diffident to
            distant physicians
                   in cannon-barrel caskets.

I’ve seen legs abandon a body,
emigrating for the field’s
   greener pastures.
It can all change so quickly.
These boot-clad confidences can crack
in an instant, suddenly
just the brittle reminders
        of all a little lead can do.

I’ve seen men unmade by this,
     the damned hailstone of
          God that it is.
All it takes is an opportune spark
           and heads vanish
      like we’re here lopping daisies.
I’ve seen ugliness.
I’ll not deny the gouts I’ve seen,
the veinal yield of victory –
    as ugly as the upturn
at the corner of my mouth
       each time our cannon shouts.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Why Are You Surprised? - NaPoWriMo 11/30

When killers kill in captivity,
on what grounds do we found our alarm?
We tout the attraction’s pernicious descriptor,
but quail when the whale
proves our promotions as true.
From where do we conjure our shock?
A tank for an ocean,
entertained gawkers for pods,
the buoyant exclamation point of a
trainer’s fatal misfortune,
and we become magicians of wizardly magnitude
for the surprise we materialize.

Do not suppose to safely hold the lightning on a leash.

If trying to capitalize on creation’s nature to kill,
do not expect to quell the killing
nature of the whale.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Word of an Illumined Kingdom - NaPoWriMo 10/30

A new kind of light is illuminating this place.
God’s lifting this dimmer now
quicker than before.
Other times and preceding eyes
may have deemed to surmise
the silhouettes of distant spires,
just the faintest of fate’s
far-off lineaments,
but now!
This illumination!
Do not lock your eyes to these luminary rappings.
Do not deny yourself the view of the unveiling that is happening.

This is the morning light
as it slid into a borrowed tomb,
plumbed the barren alcove
with its inch-by-inch encroachment.
This is the slow revelation
of a promise long in fulfillment,
afar immune to the lit filament,
but near,
uncovering the prophesied figure:
the bodiless bundle of burial wear,
confirming the word interwove with the air.

We can see eternity’s contours.
In this accelerated unveiling
we are witness to the luminous fusion
of creation and intention,
of a promise given and a covenant kept.
This, the quintessence
of all our invested potential.
Our common clockwork wound
around this one unceasing gear.
Do not miss this,
this ever-illumined kingdom.
Its envoy is already here.

Trust in Tribulation - NaPoWriMo 9/30

Tribulation is the soul’s tattoo,
each painful instance injecting
perspective like epidermal ink,
but in its unsavory raiment also
refining as if afire.
Each indelible lineament
may come as we tarry
on tenterhooks, the skin
of our understanding stretching and
tearing and yielding and stretching
and screaming
be right!”
The uncertainty with which we
receive each stripe
sets our spirits to shaking,
jaws clenched and crunching down on
spaces without wisdom,
time abetting our forgetful nature,
anxiety blinding us to the bigger picture –
the wonderful new perspective,
impossible without such pain.

Weak in the Phalanges - NaPoWriMo 8/30

Let me trace these tips upon your skin.
Let me paint my adoration in
unseen arabesques.
You recline a pallid canvas meant for
the talent of tender strokes,
and my watercolor longing
moves my fingers to their purpose,
looping translucent runes into
your newly fallen snow.

Let me trace these graces in your
opalescent sand,
send ripples of delicate magic
through your shivering, shifting planes.
Let me darken, drawl these shadows
over your luminous skin
and honor with these invoked shudders
your disarming air of beauty.

Let me lace your shape in these,
the faintest brush of fall-fell leaves:
just the touch of fingertips,
all the weakness, all the strength
such lovely charms allow me
when beckoned by these formless lips.

Needfully Hollow - NaPoWriMo 7/30

Its tubular framework is key.
The way it wanders on shifting winds
hinges on those hollow bones,
wings but vain decorum
with our particular density,
flight but a pitiful flapping
if those bones weren’t so empty.

Allegory of the Lake - NaPoWriMo 6/30

The lake’s contained bulk lapped placidly,
despite the ceaseless need that refused
to settle into unlit sediment.
Its boundary of concrete humanity,
unyielding as it was,
could never immure that desire for motion,
bury it into murky neglect
like so many forsaken bicycle tires.
The body of water was made to move,
to pour itself into the ocean’s greater vastidity,
to nourish barkless saplings
and sapful bark on its way,
to enliven brittle soil in its orchestrated flow,
to return to its original form.
This spirit will always press the lake
to strive and persevere,
its natural yearning great indeed
but dammed by indomitable humanity.

Corpus Isis - NaPoWriMo 5/30

Curves like the Nile rise from her ebon reeds,
presenting carob-crested pyramids above her dusky stretch.
The magnificence of Isis in that sculpted form abides,
imperious with the peerless tilt of the Sphinx’s peering eyes.
Her face, a feast arrayed in features irresistible:
onyx-outlined almonds glistening, glimpsing my whole soul,
lips whose pout like apricot coats every word in honey,
locks bedecked with precious beads –
This queen in one word: stunning.

A Cold Sky's Comfort - NaPoWriMo 4/30

I was born into the company of stars,
into a cold and distant reception of
nameless, flickering photographs.
I was unaware of my solitude.
I didn’t know the lights that littered the canopy
had already been put out.
When I did discern this, my division
grew colder, grew bitter with but
snuffed tapers about me. Their
thin wisps of dissipating silk
only served to worsen my loneliness.
Space may have arrayed its yawning maw
with a smile of shining teeth,
but I could not see their beauty,
for the lie in their light, betrayed.
I could not make a connection
with a sky of dying breaths.
the horizon spoke,
a golden thread unknown to me
with my unliving sky. The horizon
came aglow and poked its countless
spokes across the source of my despair.
I could tell this light was different
as it thrilled the filling air.
The rays of red and marigold
gathered in a knot upon that
burning thread. You know,
I dazzled at what they caught:
a wholly boiling diadem
like nothing I’d ever seen,
all alive in its ascent,
blazing and roiling.
You must have seen it
countless times, observed its
victorious morning climb,
and maybe it means as much
to you, but by that risen light
I knew that the melancholy midnight
blue had not reflected truth.
Here there was a living light,
no mere spectre of a bygone star,
but shining still as its rays
reached me, bathed me in
newborn saffron warmth…
and lit the millions likewise enlivened,
we each now aware
of our collective form.

The Wineskin - NaPoWriMo 3/30

We thought we were
these mortal bodies,
just our fleshly vestments,
unknowing of the vested
grams that matter
after death.
In our sinewy wrappings
we saw nothing
consequential, and uncredited
continued our religion-spawning
We thought ourselves entirely
of corporeal creation,
but now our sense of incompletion
makes immortal sense.
We, both beset by hollowness
but thought wholly
these unfulfilling bodies also,
are not our flesh but
phantom fragments
not fitted for this form.
The wine is not the skin encasing,
the value is in the substance.
Our bodies are but vessels, host
to the ceaseless substance of a God-craving ghost.

Unless... - NaPoWriMo 2/30

It’s like saying that
only the zebras grown
behind zoological bars
are true to the species.
Defining racial validity
by its most vacuous of elements,
elevating aesthetic while
nullifying character –
welcome to the zombified, automaton America,
land of the boastful slave.

Ghettoes get forced upon
their option-less crops,
and in return we forget
what it means to esteem,
claiming and praising this
domestic poverty, as if
struggle is a best-seller
and we retain all the rights.

Unless LaRog’s wealth winks among my teeth,
unless my wrist and collar coruscate in sunlight,
unless my responsibilities writhe beneath a luxurious, 4-wheeled whip,
I cannot be black.
Since I esteem endeavors and intellectual gain,
since I’d rather see things bettered than become litter in ignored gutters,
since I refuse to wear the shackles pandered to me in diamonds,
I must not be black.

Unless I let my race define me,
I cannot be black.
Since I’d instead define my breed,
I must not be black.

Chrysalis - NaPoWriMo 1/30

Homo sapiens,
the chrysalis longest in vacating its cocoon,
a body aeons deep in dormant sleep.
Beneath the spun fibers of
unfurtherable flesh,
living but imperfect in the
face of its potential,
the eidolon reposes
in its coma.

Homo sapiens,
grown fond of its comatose position,
forgetful of the purpose that saw the pupa formed.
Wake and break your chrysalis,
release the creation latent
in your transitory husk.
At your core it tarries for the chance
to at last evolve, to emerge
unprecedented and perfect
at the pierced shekhinah’s beckon.

Writing for NaPoWriMo

NaPoWriMo (or National Poetry Writing Month) is the main impetus behind this whole blogging initiative of mine.

For those unfamiliar with the tradition, the challenge of NaPoWriMo is to write one poem for every day of the month of April. Now, I have been undertaking this challenge, but poems just don't seem to carry the credibility I'd prefer when simply posted on Facebook. So, to the "blogosphere" I went.

It may seem a bit of a rush, but I'll be catching up on the first week or so by posting the first 9 poems tonight, after which I'll be posting them here regularly.

My experience with writing this frequently tends to be similar to that of a Gold Rush enthusiast: a mixture of gold and dirt, but hopefully with more of the former than the latter.

Well, you'll let me know which one I'm full of, right?

“Through me the way into the suffering city..."

“...Through me the way to the eternal pain...

Abandon every hope, ye who enter here.”


Of course I exaggerate. You can hold on to your hopes.

My poetry isn't that bad.

My name is Rodney, and I invite a lot of unfitting connotations by calling myself a poet, but I'll chance it. I love poetry, been writing it for over a decade, writing feverishly as if the muses are always cracking their quill-shaped whips behind me. 


You can expect a lot of that here: some (hopefully) witty allusions and literary illusions, prosaic explorations of the world and its many profundities...and if you couldn't tell by that last promise, a whole lot of potentially unfamiliar words, too. Dig out those dictionaries, dear reader.

All witticism aside, this is really just a place for me to vent and share my work. If you enjoy poetry, I would hope you'll enjoy what I have to offer.