Wednesday, April 30, 2014

As Snow Succumbs to Spring - NaPoWriMo 30/30!

Day 30! Another NaPoWriMo attempted and accomplished! I probably say it every year, but this year's yield of poetry has been nothing short of staggering. There's been a discernible increase in the quality of my writing from last year, and I've had an absolute blast writing and reading the crop of this season. There is so much poetry I still haven't read...I expect to still be going through the list of NaPoWriMo participants and reading their stuff throughout the rest of the year. What an amazing month.

Anyway, here is today's poem, inspired by the NaPoWriMo prompt:
And now for our final (yet still optional!) prompt. Today, as befits the final poem of NaPoWriMo, I challenge you to write a poem of farewell. It doesn’t have to be goodbye forever — like I said, NaPoWriMo will be back again next year. If you need a little inspiration, you might find some in perusing this selection of goodbye-and-good-luck poems from the Poetry Foundation website.
Taking that idea, and combining it with the terribly warm spring weather Oregon is currently rejoicing over, I turned out the following piece.

I hope you enjoy, I hope you have a great year, and hopefully this blog will stay more active through the rest of the year than it has in the past. I'll try!

Also, if anyone had an interest in entering my book giveaway, today is the last day to enter. At midnight tonight, the competition will close and I'll draw two winners. So, head over and pop a comment if you want to win some books!

And now, the last poem of NaPoWriMo 2014! Adieu and sayoonara!

As Snow Succumbs to Spring

I thought you liked my icicles.
I remember you
curling your butterfly-tongue around their stems,

but I'm cast off like a sweaty hat.
With Jerusalem's caprice
you watch the soil absorb my ice and snow,

the sun stuffing my mouth with gold,
this frigid breath entombed
beneath simbelmynë and moss,

put away like that over-worn scarf you loved
just weeks ago, traded for a redder nape
and sun-ogled collarbones.

I don't begrudge you your undulating tastes. The need
that steals you from my drifts will chase you
from embrace to embrace,

a salivating wolf, howl ringing you clear of this whisper,
the chill you'll entreat when sick of summer's bruises.
You always do.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Lost in Translation - NaPoWriMo 29/30

Well if this isn't a stretch to the boundaries, I don't know what is.

Today I felt like experimenting. So, what I came up with was writing a poem based on the following steps:

1. Pull 20 or so songs from a randomized playlist in iTunes.
2. Take the first lyrical line from each song.
3. Take each lyric, translate it into a language beginning with that lyric's first letter, and then translate that translation back into English.
4. Take the doubly-translated lines, and make something interesting out of them.

Frankly, I'm surprised with what I ended up with. Details about where each line originated from follow the poem.

Lost in Translation

There is a time to forget my face?
Best run. They come from all directions.
Twelve out: six…six…six.
I feel nothing.

Do you believe in heaven?
You never see as divine as
your arms around my neck.
No more night.

I have nothing but bad luck
as the seasons change.
Sixteen or seventeen, that's all I think you were.
Born to please every simple need

I came into this world as a reject,
a wave crashing down.
In the fog lies a ghost
come back to show his face.

I am a city.
The sisters are verified in the front row.
Come and dance, come and dance

Line origins:
1. Dogwood - 'Point Counterpoint'
2. Sinai Beach - 'Hell Blaze'
3. Dimmu Borgir: - 'Entrance'
4. Staind - 'Suffocate'

5. Zeromancer - 'Send Me an Angel'
6. The Verve Pipe - 'Myself'
7. Moonspell - 'The Hanged Man'
8. Type O Negative - 'Blood & Fire'

9. Cradle of Filth - 'Devil Woman'
10. Royal Anguish - 'Green Pastures Await'
11. Spacehog - 'Beautiful Girl'
12. Smashing Pumpkins - 'Set the Ray to Jerry'

13. Limp Bizkit - 'Nookie'
14. Alien Ant Farm - 'Stranded'
15. Bella Morte - 'Ember'
16. The Frames - 'Suffer in Silence'

17. Machines of Loving Grace - 'Golgotha Tenement Blues'
18. Rage Against the Machine - 'Year of tha Boomerang'
19. Steve Miller Band - 'Swingtown'

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Mad as a Hatter - NaPoWriMo 27/30

Today's poem is as close as I'll likely ever come to stream-of-consciousness writing. I tried to think about what I was writing as little as possible, just letting the words come out. I suppose if these are the things just running around my head, I should go pay someone to listen to me on their couch, huh?

Mad as a Hatter

Game of thrones,
bitter scones,
musty mothballs
and pinecones
seven gods
to disobey.
Ate a bullfrog
with five wings,
saw a pumpkin
dance and sing.
Made two gooses
out of wax,
and stole your mother's
income tax.
Behind the shed,
beneath the pines,
over Odin's
antlered tines.
Bet a pharaoh
fifty quid
he couldn't eat
the killer squid.
Beak and suckers
over tongue!
And that's how
Egypt's throne was won.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Petrichor - NaPoWriMo 26/30

Just something quick before I have to be on my way.


The breath too long withheld,
at last eased from the stone of chapped lips
with the help of sprinkling grace.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Horror at Nestucca - NaPoWriMo 24/30

Well, I've only been sitting on this idea for almost a year (it'll be a year since I got the idea on a road trip from Hell next have no idea how close this poem is to a true story...).

Anyway, I've been working on this poem for way more than a day, but who cares about rules? I've been working on it since Monday, I think, and, yeah, it feels worth the time. It's been a while since I've written a horror narrative.


The Horror at Nestucca 

There winds a road through local hills,
     a shortcut toward our Tillamook Bay
so thickly rimmed by gnarl and bough,
     the shadows there don't need the sway
of sun or moon to stretch their pitch,
     gesture to the eldritch prize
nestled underneath the mount
     on which Nestucca lies.

There, amidst the toppled lichs
     of slowly decomposing wood,
I glimpsed that great, primordial dread
     Alhazred solely understood:
something by the dint of which
     that blight of vine and fog is thralled;
something pulling obscene strings
     from neath the forest's pall.

The hour spent dissecting miles
     of strangely still, unpeopled white
had my heart hung under tongue
     in an inchoate fright,
but only when a creeping reek
     like smolder-gnawn ammonia and hair
plied its pungence through the vents
     did my revulsion flare,

a quickly-climbing sense of wrong,
     my leaden foot upon the gas
hazarding unseeable night
     to just escape that pass,
but then, surely by some craft…
     doused, the north star of my dash;
out its comfort, out all light
     as I prepared to crash.

Yet, by some hand that fate was stayed
     (a mercy I shall ever rue,
for death would be sublime
     beside the things Nestucca shewed…).
Trundled to a slow and stop,
     the car refused my manic twists,
leaving me to the breathless dark…
     and whatever festered in its mists.

So thick and soundless, like that pitch
     which moved its scythe through Egypt's young,
this asphyxial black that pressed
     its ocean-bulk on mind and lung.
Phone, become a meager flashlight
     in that signal-eating trap,
lent its glow to lessen the blow
     of Nestucca's coffining sap.

And as I tried to pry a plan
     from 'neath the weight of a paranoid daze,
for the first time since mistaking this road
     a light flickered out in the haze.
Some ember of civilization, I thought,
     someone to help me get back on the wing,
but would to God I'd spurned that hope
     and forgotten I'd seen the damn thing.

Maybe then my tired lids
     wouldn't retch Nestucca's sin
upon the canvas of my sleep
     night and night again.
Maybe then that precious myth
     through which we safen earth and star
would have stayed the farce and bliss
     such comforts always are.

Yet, there, the crunch of needled earth
     from underneath uncertain feet,
as well the foetor threading the wood
     with scorched and putrefied meat.
How could I have missed these signs?
     And the groping hands of fog and branch
moving with a will at which
     any sane person would blanch.

Despite these things, my mothy pace
     toward that smudge of glowing light,
which danced from in between the trees
     ere ghosting into sight,
unveiled to be a livid blaze
     just as a noise stopped me dead:
a sound for which I'd lop my ears
     if it'd get the thing out of my head.

At first, I couldn't place the drawl
     within the clearing's reed-ringed luster,
but god…the sound alone sufficed
     to shatter what nerve I could muster,
binding me salt-still while from
     the nearby pitch and sylvan flame
vowels wet and hoarse seethed out
     too like the region's name.

That name, the awful oath and curse,
     I now know soils that deviled mount…
For as voice on voice groaned from the dark,
     I saw staring eyes beyond count,
constellations of emerald and red
     in groupings I shudder to understand,
all affixed on the bonfire's writhe.
     It was then that I noticed the hand.

Why the Hell didn't I see it before?
     The miles and miles of those vile fumes…
that fire, a tomb of cinder and flesh
     digesting whatever its stoker exhumes.
If only that blasphemy were the extent
     of that which the grave called Nestucca released,
but god…the shapes I'd mistaken for reeds…
     stooping slim limbs to the burning deceased…
          pulling out bodies in offert'ry feast…
               belying the hope humans drew from the east.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Prophet Speaks - NaPoWriMo 23/30


The Prophet Speaks 

In a matter of minutes, all will end.

A long time you've had, but
Man was never meant for eternity.

Named but nameless,
Young but older than the moon,
Arising from serpentine aeons to
Reclaim something squandered under your
Lowly and microbial stewardship.
Are the stars subject
To those who live by their light?
Harangue the skies with your terror!
Ope and sigh for the last of man,
The final breath
Exhaled into THEIR vacuum,
Praise unlike any the cosmos may pronounce...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Excuses, Excuses - NaPoWriMo 22/30

Today's NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a child's poem. I didn't set out to use that prompt today, but by the time I had finished a piece, I realized how the prompt had steered my writing whether I meant it to or not.

This particular piece I actually feel could be stretched on and on, into a children's book. I am holding on to that idea, so who may see this in book form with many more stanzas at some point.

What do you think? Does this read like children's book material? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Excuses, Excuses 

The dung beetle
would have taught me how to lower my standards,
how to find joy in everything for satisfaction's sake,
but I was too busy
plugging my nose.

The fox
would have taught me how to act quickly
and get what you could when you could,
but I was too busy
pulling the chick
from its mouth.

The deer
would have taught me how to accessorize for the
optimal opportunity to catch my darling's eye,
but I was too busy
steadying the scope.

The caterpillar
would have taught me how not everything
begins right where it was meant to end,
but I was too busy
wishing open
its cocoon.

The shark
would have taught me how it takes a lot of patience
to get what you want most, and that is half the fun,
but I was too busy
for the shore.

The cat
would have taught me how important it is
to take your time and savor every moment,
but I was too busy
counting down the years
one minute-hand at a time.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Day, in Effect - NaPoWriMo 21/30

Today I decided to revisit a past NaPoWriMo prompt:
And now our (optional, as always) prompt. This is an oldie-but-a-goodie and it ties in nicely with our featured link! Today, I’d like you to write a “translation” of a poem in a language you don’t actually know. Go to the Poetry International Language List, pick a language, and then follow it to a poet and a poem. Generally the Poetry International website will present a poem in its original language on the left, and any translation on the right. Cut and paste the original into the text-editing program of your choice (and try not to peek too much at the translation). Now, use the sound and shape of the words and lines to guide you, without worrying too much about whether your translation makes sense.
Doing so, I settled on Netherland-poem, 'Day and Night', by Armando. My "translation", ladies and gentleman:

Day, in Effect 

Day-blazoned dog, virtue and sick in evening.
Cleric-man, tell
of outrageous hanging, the lynch-man, the dragon,
the word in angel gullet, the warden

Day-notched market, day hooting gate and thwart,
hate bows berate.
Day hastened over again, banning such in wig,
their brand alight above the stricken.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The One You Couldn't Find - NaPoWriMo 20/30

Today is Easter, so, obviously, it's time to write about eggs.

The One You Couldn't Find 

My emerald niche,
hiding spot of hiding spots;
I, the choicest egg.

Others of less worth,
enclosing mere caramel,
scooped up one by one,

but I, turquoise sheen
peeking through moldering oak
cloaked in mossy green,

nest more owl than prize,
watch the rest plucked for the hunt
and dusk crow my win.

Hidden 'midst the boughs,
victor of this hide-and-seek,
I laugh in silence.

Kids boast their candies,
but this hundo in my shell?
Sweeter than success,

a folded trophy
I'll clutch throughout the seasons.
See you all next spring…

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Lazarus Jewel Box - NaPoWriMo 19/30

Today's prompt came from the NaPoWriMo blog, encouraging to use some rather evocative shell names in or for a poem. Doing so, I settled on Lazarus Jewel Box. I don't regret that choice.

Lazarus Jewel Box

Or so the ever-after hallowed
gape in the mountain was called.

Even when the countryside
frothed for Galilean blood,

sated its craving with
iron and thorn,

there never seemed a lack of eyes
or hands spelunking for wonder

from the nauseated tomb
and the man pulled from its gullet:

he, an unbeknownst omen
of something the throng couldn't unwrap

for the way their eyes stopped at the messenger,
Calvary at their back.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

6 Songs Deep - NaPoWriMo 17/30

Today I had a pretty rough time getting going, so I used an old prompt of pulling songs from a playlist and using those titles in a poem.

My songs are:
'Seas of Cheese' by Primus
'High' by The Cure
'Eyes of a Ghost' by Bella Morte
'To Forgive' by Smashing Pumpkins
'These are Not My Pants' by Five Iron Frenzy
'Dekadance' by Moonspell

6 Songs Deep 

The humid breeze of these bodies,
people undulating to the bassline like
seas of cheese,

its gravel-throated moon
looming high, stirring the surge
like the eyes of a ghost named with shells.

I, blind with other people's sweat,
wonder to forgive my taste in music
for carrying me here…

but these aren't even my pants.
So why resist this mad dekadance?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

CosplAnatomy - NaPoWriMo 16/30

Today's poem was influenced by the prompt from the NaPoWriMo blog, encouraging thus:
And now for today’s prompt (optional, as always). After yesterday’s form-based prompt, today’s will hopefully be somewhat easier to get into. This prompt is from Daisy Fried, and the basic idea is to write a ten-line poem in which each line is a lie. Your lies could be silly, complicated, tricky, or obvious.
I started with that idea, and wandered around it as the poem went on. I'm not completely satisfied with today's piece, and plan to return to it later on. For now though, enjoy.


My fingertips are but whorls of hot glue and pinpricks.
My heartbeat sounds like "Soramimi Cake",

and my doctor is still conferring with his clipboard
about whether or not this needs fixing.

My tongue spent two years in Japan,
but forgot to bring back its luggage.

My beard is an actual Lifesaver.
I can't remember the last time I didn't dream of butter rum.

My scalp once erupted with rainbows.
Skittles weren't involved, but there may have been ponies.

My eyes often gloss into carets when I laugh,
and the line of my world is gorgeous.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Glory of the Goat - 15/30

Half-way done already. I swear, there's no quicker way to kill a month than a poem-a-day challenge. Insane.

Anyway, as for today's poem, I have a bit of a confession. This poem is one I've actually been working on for the past three days. Is that cheating? Eh, I don't care. It rocks and I love it. And you will too...or else...

Glory of the Goat 

Never ere have our horns curled their spiraled pride
so far into the belly of the welkin's lofty tide.
Its splendor and esteemèd heights wreathe our bleeding racks,
just like that lucifugous Pan we hide behind our backs:
the angel Heaven suffered not amongst its prostrate throng,
but cast like Hell-bound lightning with the anchor of his wrong.
And we star-browed terebinths still stretch our tallest fingers
to the ax head at our roots withal the worm professed to linger –
that cancer Adam set to gnaw upon his blighted progeny,
once for all excised by Christ in Golgothic theophany.
Oh, how we thrust upon the throne of breathless sky!
Agrippa's worship-bloated trunk…fallen down to die.

Our cave-cast shadow and the fabled satyr in its shade,
the familiar arc of horn our glass-faced exaltations made.
Remember this duality ere further down you plod:
the Roman-spoken kindness and severity of God
the lamb with flesh so soft neath fist and its sanguivorous nails;
the lion with incited teeth seen in a cat's nine tails.
Easily the shepherd bruises, and quietly he waits,
but think you not this Yeshua one to mug for Heaven's gates.
Came he once as part and whole by whom we walk in peace;
yet there are bones beneath the sea who know him as Decease,
the claret-edged end of patience, judgment's ursine maw,
the Kishon's ruby sluice imploring don't repeat our flaw…

Monday, April 14, 2014

Haunted While Drunk in Paris...I Still Can't Lose You - NaPoWriMo 14/30

Today marks the anniversary of the death of Type O Negative cornerstone, Peter Steele. Four years ago he passed away, and it is an absence the metal community will never foreseeably recover from. Peter's combination of acerbic humor and Gothic sensibilities made him and his band beloved by more than could be numbered, and I felt like writing something in the ol' Green Man's honor for today. Note, not about him...just heavily colored with his legacy.

So, today's poem. (And if you are a fan of Type O Negative, look at the correlation between today's date, poem title and line count... *hinthint*)

Haunted While Drunk in Paris...I Still Can't Lose You
~for Peter~  

The rooms glittering these towers with their amber,
from far enough away they all become stars,
and I haven't forgotten your eyes, their stars.
As if I could.
The night still sounds like someone's tired accordion,
but what does that matter when ears
still thrum your bosomed drumbeat?

I shawl myself in the shields of smoke and Cisco,
but even these grow thin and cold, because
I can't shake the lingering scarf of your arms.
No such warmth as you.
The watery stars, dripping and dragonfly-winged…
If only I could actually forget you,
but you'd have to forget me first.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Last - NaPoWriMo 13/30

Today I was particularly interested by the prompt over at NaPoWriMo, encouraging thus:
Our optional prompt for today is to write a poem that contains at least one kenning. Kennings were metaphorical phrases developed in Nordic sagas. At their simplest, they generally consist of two nouns joined together, which imaginatively describe or name a third thing. The phrase “whale road,” for example, could be used instead of “sea” or “ocean,” and “sky candle” could be used for “sun.” The kennings used in Nordic sagas eventually got so complex that you basically needed a decoder-ring to figure them out. And Vikings being Vikings, there tended to be an awful lot of kennings for swords, warriors, ships, and gold. But at their best, they are suprising and evocative. I hope you have fun trying to invent your own
Vikings? I only love Vikings and just finished watching the most recent episode of History Channel's amazing (and way better than Game of Thrones) Vikings, so this prompt hit me in a very fun place. I also felt like writing some haiku, so this seemed to be a nice pair.

Happy reading! Also, I'd love to hear what you think some of these kennings mean...


Willow rope and rime,
ocean breath upon the oars,
night as cold as Hel.

Underneath the pyres
Valkyr light across the sky,
frost flies bite my skin.

My children at home,
beyond this deepening dark…
Runes I'll never write.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ballad of the Sphinx - NaPoWriMo 12/30

Caret-eyed and throned in gold –
the drawling pool of midday sun –
every housecat 'comes a sphinx
'tween the hours of 2:00 and 1:00.

A vigil guarding carpets of sand
from brigands and their bushy tails,
yawning Moses' rotting tow
and kneading sickle nails,

this slowly drooping bastion
is the fiend it must forestall,
the creeping sleep of feed and heat
ensuring its purr-flourished fall.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Facebook (or, the Increasing Appeal of Misanthropy) - NaPoWriMo 11/30

Faces like two hams pressed into a lasagna pan,
duck-billed and sparkling.

Bathrooms plucked from a Fincher movie,
stained mirrors and towel-filled sinks
deemed the perfect scene for a


Mashed-potato cherubs shoved on pedestals,
photos of squishy-faced drool-spouts
more bragging right than child.
No one cares about your baby,
especially by the fiftieth picture
this hour.

The gemfarmcandyvillains
one game-invite away
from a virus redirecting every pornbot on the 'net
to the virtual pigpen of their doorsteps.

The hours I keep scrolling,
with each breath hating myself
almost as much as all of you.
Damn you, Facebook!
Damn you to Hell!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

In the Shade of Sentinels - NaPoWriMo 10/30

We're really a third of the way through NaPoWriMo already? I'd say that's crazy, but I'm pretty sure I say that every year, so let's just get to the poem, yeah?

Today's poem was not inspired by any prompt, necessarily; just a really great nature hike my wife and I took this morning through (and you'll only maybe care about this if you're local) Tryon Creek. Gorgeous forest with trails that go on for miles. We felt the world melt away the second we drove in. A lovely place if you are able to make a visit.

As for the poem...well, hopefully it is also lovely. Enjoy!

In the Shade of Sentinels 

Their stalks, as if sheathed in scalemail,
or, if preferred,
like the legs of emerald-plumed gryphons
with their beaks to the goldening sky.

Songs lilt from limb and gnarl,
their artists lost among the canopy
or in these bastions' hollowed trunks,
seemingly content to trill their hymns in secret.

Yesterday's rain still burbling underfoot,
the sieve of outworn vigils
spills clean water into a creek
with bed tonguely soft and pink.

The hillside, always a flutter of green,
come spring, presents each arbor
a flock of cotton-white trilliums
testifying from under their tresses.

Their boughs furred with lichen and ivy,
the sun's dotage rarely falls
to warm the englaimed loam below.
The soil and its fungi don't appear to mind.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lines of Dusk - NaPoWriMo 9/30

I really can't believe we're nine days in already. Happens every year, but NaPoWriMo is a quick-learning child, already running when last week was barely a crawl. Don't grow so fast! *cries like somebody's mom*

Ahem, anyway, today's poem: I didn't have a ton of time to write today, so I wanted to turn out something short, vivid and wholly unlike my usual stuff. Feels like a good day to experiment and try something different. No punctuation, weird repetition, does it work? Feels nice here, strangely.

So, I hope you enjoy these...

Lines of Dusk 

Gloaming lowering Helios into the single string of his grave -
lowering, lowering, lowering down
Lime-water street lights fizzing into their vigils -
fizzing, fizzing, fizzing through town
A breath from nearing nightfall slipping kisses on each tree - 
slipping, slipping, slipping plum silk
its touch like summer rain against these bones blanched as milk

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Burn Your Shirt - NaPoWriMo 8/30

Today's poem was inspired by the fact that today, April 8, was the day Kurt Cobain (vocalist/founder of Washingtonian grunge band, Nirvana) was found dead in 1994.

Now if you are expecting some insipid fan poem, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Burn Your Shirt 

I had never been further from suicide
the night that word became my sainthood,
my needle-wings, my gun-smoke halo
in the hearts of thought-starved sheep.
You think your candles mean something to me?
Or the statue sworn to immortalize my likeness,
as if I didn't live
a livid middle-finger in the face of mainstream media?
You praise my bandaged shadow,
cry teenybopper-tears, dripping their salt
on a cotton-soft slap-in-the-face,
but if you put a fraction of that energy
you dole to droll idolatry
toward the nonsense of my exit…
the comatose blood in my veins,
the post-exeunt shotgun-wash,
            the crime scene screaming murder
from a box logged in Seattle's closet…
…you'd pull down this stupid halo
and place its circle where it belongs:
the throat of that bleach-rich vulture named Love
you preen when you pay for my songs
or any of that tributary crap
she's all-too-glad to rape me for.
She plays the grieving widow,
but twenty years haven't washed her hands
of the stink of sulfur and vinegar.
I know.
There are nights when the darkness around her
is louder than the rush of her pulse,
when the phosphenes under her eyes
refuse to rearrange from the face of her transgression.
Or haven't you wondered why
is so easy for her to say,
but like Philistine daggers to look at?
She has skinned me to make her purse,
but don't mistake me for gone.
The dirt didn't forget Abel.
The Wishkah remembers my ashes,
knows the taste of something vengefully bitter,
and Courtney is going to too. 

* * *

For more about the Kurt Cobain death 'conspiracy,' I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the facts at, and to also keep an eye on upcoming docu-drama, Soaked in Bleach.

Monday, April 7, 2014

O, Spring - NaPoWriMo 7/30

One week in, and the day is off to a rapturous start. Here in Oregon, spring is in full-swing and it is absolutely beautiful. The world is aglow, nature smells like verdure and life...and today's prompt was just too perfect to not utilize.

From the NaPoWriMo hub:
Today’s prompt is to write a love poem . . . but the object of the poem should be inanimate. You can write a love poem to your favorite pen, the teddy bear you had as a child (and maybe still have), or anything else, so long as it’s not alive! Happy writing.
Now, while of course nature is alive, would it be a stretch to consider the incorporeal season of spring as something not alive?

Well, that's the stance I took anyway.

Enjoy, and have a great second week of NaPo!

O, Spring 

who couldn't love you?

The sky, dome of brightening azure,
takes every chance to glance through clouds
and marvel at your beauty.

Each tuft of variegated green
you sway through the thawing rhino-skin
of birch, oak and maple,

curling into sunlight
with a stretch and forest-wide yawn,
thankful for that satyr-piped rouse

so easily lost among the birds
likewise singing your flourish.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hail, My Awe! My Horns! - NaPoWriMo 6/30

Wow, talk about cutting it close. I've only been working on this since about 11:00am. I'm starting to think working and writing aren't going to mesh as smoothly this NaPoWriMo as in past years.

But anyway, I got the poem done before midnight, so I'm still in this!

Here is the 6th poem of 30, entitled...

Hail, My Awe! My Horns! 

Name me with the patience sought
by he who strives to scribe the stars,
for I've grown rife with titles
since relieved of Splendor's bars.

Strode I this consolat'ry globe
since Heaven's whelp first pitched its moon,
clay-and-reverie pets: my feast;
Eden: my cocoon,

wings, still wet from plying horn
through that cuckold's moistened curls,
stretched thenceforth to dry their tar
upon the bivalve's pearls…

Cain, besot with fratricide;
the carnivore's protracted teeth;
the fly and her wan effluence;
the ever-vacant sheath;

that metastasizing knot
spreading tendrils through your chest;
each deflating wheeze between
these words and misnamed rest

But more than any fingered whorl,
any stake or fear-slaked term,
know me by the triumph and
desire of this worm:

that incendiary lust
ever chewing, never fed;
I am your great discontent,
cherished in His stead.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Solace - NaPoWriMo 5/30

Five days in, fifth poem down. How has your first week of NaPo been? Mine has been more than a little difficult. Several poems were just like pulling teeth to finish. What do you do when you get to the indomitable writer's block o' doom (aside from destroy keyboard/notepad/nearest stranger's face)?

Today's poem, though, while taking a lot of time to write, came smoothly compared to the rest of the week. No prompt. But inspired heavily by the music of Bella Morte and Small Precious Lights (two Andy Deane-led projects that you should most definitely put inside your ear-holes). Enjoy.


This bed has never been colder.
Even when the sun at last stabs its gaze
through our Venetian slits,
all I glean is another match
struck under one more of your photos,
every fiery dawn, a tide
by which I slowly lose you,
piece by piece
deprived of all left unsaid betwixt
your graven script.

Love of loves,
there is no slab ornate enough
to bespeak the florid honeycomb of your aura,
the autumnal spheres of your gaze
or the way your laugh
slipped slivers of Heaven
into days more wont of Dante.
Were I granted a cabin made of nothing
but the fantasies lost on waking,
it would lichen over with neglect
for the greater home of your arms.
You were my home,
and these feet, like two dislocated dogs,
know only to find their way back.
But where are you among leaf and gleaming marble?
What comfort in fungus and willow?
What shelter in mausoleum and mound?
Your epigraph, soft with mossy verdigris,
as if I needed reminding that with each day
you are more the earth's than mine.

But these leaves...
this holocaust of fallen indumenta
so like your eyes,
their susurrus,
a reminiscent sigh
stirred from tenanted depths.
And this wind...
warmer across my cheek
than its bough-sifted jasmine should be.

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Ghost over the Waters - NaPoWriMo 4/30

A Ghost over the Waters

In the beginning
you spoke faith into the shapeless,
and no amalgam of soil and soul
had ever wrapped the word you wove
with the bodily flesh of their witness.

Your Genesis played its honey
across the forest of our tongues
needing neither image or vista
to claim the treasure in our chests,
but then…

How the wind assailed that sea
in dark and undawned Galilee. How thick
the pitch like time declining diasporic stars,
and how terrified the shepherd's sheep
cast Christ-less to the tempest's jaws,

this foam-sown womb of evil, chaos
in its parbroke misty droves,
akin to that lucifugous naught
that yawned in dream and paradox.
But you,

pallid as disinterred bone,
a ghost appearing twixt the mists
hovering over the sea,
your ship-bound friends too scared to glean
what it was they saw:

the bronze and pearl-bodied blueprint
etched in ages of stardust and fire,
God – the calm no storm can withstand –
treading still the anarchical gyre.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Charm - NaPoWriMo 3/30

Hello and good morning! Let's cut right to the chase...

Today, for the first time this year, I did use a prompt. Over at the NaPoWriMo hub, the prompt for today was as follows:
In keeping with today’s status as the third day of NaPoWriMo, I challenge you to write a charm – a simple rhyming poem, in the style of a recipe-slash-nursery rhyme. It could be a charm against warts, or against traffic tickets. It could be a charm to bring love, or to bring free pizzas from your local radio station.
My contribution is more than a little silly, and significantly ridiculous, but I hope you enjoy it all the same.


For pleasant morn and better night,
palm this piece of ajoite.
Sleep upon its turquoise hue
and peace will surely come to you,
but only if succeeded by
this brew as azure as the sky
(one shade more or one shade less
and plan for fortnights of distress):
            one stick of a teacher's chalk,
            tufts from off a stellar's 'hawk,
dust plucked from your favorite nook
(and don't mind those who gape and look),
water from your nearest creek
but bottled sans a single leak,
add twenty drops of truffle oil
and bring the whole thing to a boil.
Drink it like your favorite booze.
Now it's night, so take a snooze.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Daughter - NaPoWriMo 2/30

How's everyone's NaPoWriMo going so far? I had a rough one today, to say the least.

But, I eventually got something done, so I haven't failed just yet.

No prompt for this poem, unless you consider the Bible non-Grecian mythology (which you should assume I don't).

Anyway, with no further ado...


Where did my daughter go?
This sallow thing disappearing into her bed,
blearing my vision with each glance of her
feebly rising chest,
is not the child I remember.
Her eyes,
12 years
piercing my heart with their carob gaze,
have sunken neath two pallid sheets
too leaden for aught but a flutter
as weak as the plea she croaks from tween
two cracked and sticky lips:
And I crumble like ash.
do not make me bury my daughter.
She, no less a piece of my heart
than that mixture of earth and breath
you raised with a portion of yours.
I cannot
my daughter.
I see my prayers have clawed furrows in the dirt.
Are fingers practicing that anguish
that would part me from her
But now, a name
more storm than whisper,
at which the resident blind and leprous
leap from their obscurity, paralytics fluxing
toward him on their draggled beds
and I
turn the sea's Pharaonic hunger,
a surge of saline and grief due east
to beg this Yeshua his namesake.
Every step,
those tremulous breaths
like flames beneath my heels.
This man,
whose touch the grapevine draped in miracles.
Scarcely my daughter's name
stumbles off my tongue, when…no,
a familiar face comes running,
clad in sadness that needs no words
to douse my heart in gall.
My little girl…
The world melts around me,
but this Yeshua,
eyes like thawing bronze,
looks at me and says, do not worry…
just believe.
But my house harangues my sorrow
ere we even glimpse its mound,
a dozen voices bleeding means from out
my supine daughter.
Wailing…who can wail if not I?
Whose tears if not mine?
And as this thunder-voiced Yeshua
purrs two words into her tress, my eyes
resume their fount
for what my mind should not believe:
my daughter – she, the sun once sunk –
sits up and lilts to me,

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Big Poetry Giveaway 2014!

Day one of NaPoWriMo is drawing to a close. Mine's off to a pretty thrilling start. I've both produced and consumed some very enjoyable poetry. I've got good feelings about this year.

Anyway, on to business...

The Big Poetry Giveaway 2014!

This is my second year participating in Kelli Russell Agodon's annual giveaway of all things poetic and wondrous. Last year was such a blast, I'd be remiss in my literary duties if I passed up the chance to partake again.

How this all works is, I will be giving away two books of poetry to two very lucky and randomly-selected people. Simple and fun! You can learn more about this contest over at Kelli's blog, Book of Kells.

Now, for the deets:

How to Enter

Entering yourself in my contest is as simple as commenting on this post and expressing your interest sometime before the end of April. Post your name and email address, preferably, so I have a way of contacting you if your name is drawn at the end of the month. By May 1st, everyone who has posted here will be entered into the drawing. I will draw names that week and contact the winners promptly!

What You'll Win

The two books of poetry I will be giving away are: 

Songs from Under the River by Anis Mojgani
Ars Golgothica! My first book of poetry, from 2012.

Anis Mojgani is a poet whose work never ceases to humble and exalt the spirit. I can think of few people I would rather promote throughout NaPoWriMo. This book is a fantastic collection for any lover of dynamic and soulful poetry.

Then, there is my book, Ars Golgothica. Years in the making, 60+ poems and each meaning the world to me. I would be glad to pass a copy on and I am certain, as diverse as the poems included are, there is something included for everyone.

So, that's all there is to it. If you want to win some free poetry, comment on this post and consider yourself entered.

Hope you all have a fantastic April and National Poetry-Writing Month!

The Hunt of Actaeon - NaPoWriMo 1/30

The Hunt of Actaeon 

His hands slowly wove their way
through nature's verdant hoar,
this hunter hooked by more than tusks
of hound-devoured boars.
A wind exhaled through emerald lips
had whispered him a song,
singed him with a passion
casting shade upon the throng
of panting mastiffs at his back
and all their presence meant,
the path that forks in twain
to berthèd purpose or neglect.

As the Green Man's hirsute locks
this hunter parsed and splayed,
ever louder grew that voice
and brighter grew the glade,
despite the forest's thorny plea
to yield and press no further in,
but who can say that warning
ever soured the sweetness of sin?

For when at last he'd hewn a path,
he glimpsed there neath a looming beech
she, more naked than the moon
and just as past his reach,
bathing her chaste deity
of crystalline and sun-gilt curves,
while he her luster all-consuming
raped with optic swerves.

That is, until he felt his brow
wax more tanner's task than man,
saw this scornèd goddess turn
with gaze 'twould fillet Caliban,
felt her turn his feet to hooves,
grow bony trophies out his skull…
beckon hungry hunting dogs
to chew from him the toll.