in the evening with you

watching light from the salt lamp
illuminate your skin,
orange and soft, a sunset
in the curves of your body

National Poetry Writing Month Day 30: “try your hand at a minimalist poem. What’s that? Well, a poem that is quite short, and that doesn’t really try to tell a story, but to quickly and simply capture an image or emotion.”


i know you’re there,
hiding just out of sight
in the corners of every room
and behind street signs,
watching me as i drive to work,
as i was my face, brush my teeth,
drink my coffee, check my phone
and as i sit in my chair at work,
i feel you creeping up behind me,
your breath caressing
the sensitive flesh of the back of my neck
as you reach around and brush
the the skin around my eyes, stroking
each bag and shadow
until you reach my eyelids
and gently drag them down
holding them there
until all i can see
are the remnants of nightmares
inscribed on their insides

National Poetry Writing Month Day 29: “producing a poem that meditates, from a position of tranquility, on an emotion you have felt powerfully. You might try including a dramatic, declarative statement, like Hass’s “All the new thinking is about loss,” or O’Hara’s “It is easy to be beautiful; it is difficult to appear so.” Or, like, Baudelaire, you might try addressing your feeling directly, as if it were a person you could talk to. There are as many approaches to this as there are poets, and poems.”

(Meant to post this yesterday, but I fell asleep while writing it.)

this is a list of lists

i have a list of reoccurring nightmares tucked under my pillow
next to a list of first lines for new poems
i’ve been adding to both every morning before sunrise
i have a list of things to do before i turn thirty —
see Hamilton live, go scuba diving, and find my brother —
and a list of things to see before i die —
a clear night sky, the roots of a rainforest, and a Shakespeare’s gravesite —
i have a list of tequila brands i can’t drink anymore
and a shorter list of red wines i actually like
i have a list of things i should buy at the weekly farmers’ market —
radishes, rainbow kale, and green onions —
and a list of what’s cheaper at the supermarket —
tofu, strawberries, and carrots —
i have a list of chores to do this weekend —
wash the pots, clean the cat box, and sweep the floors —
and another of homework to do this week —
a paper on theory to edit, a blog post to write, an article to read —
i have a list of places its safe to park around campus
with all the spots i won’t get towed
i have a list of things that make me shake,
things my therapist calls triggers —
heavy footsteps, slamming doors, hands where they shouldn’t be —
and i have a list of affirmations from my therapist
in the glove box of my car for the days
i want to write lists of everything
wrong with me

National Poetry Writing Month Day 26 Prompt: Repetition

sudden summer thunder

every day is another thunderstorm,
a chorus of ricocheting hail
pinging off my car and window
a cacophonous song,
screeching and screaming

every evening, i pull
the blankets over my head
and squeezed close my eyes
pretending the flashes of lightning
do not exist, that they’re only
passing headlights of cars driving by

by yet they still climb in through the window
even thought i never leave it cracked
and crawls in to bed with me,
until i can smell is rain
and unable to breathe,
i suffocate
on their humidity

National Poetry Writing Month Day 25: Write a poem specific to a season that uses imagery

i didn’t go home again

drinking my third cup of coffee
at the coffeeshop off North Elm Street,
black with no room for cream,

and knowing i’ve spent too much
even as i prepare to buy another,
i begin to cry

because only empty corners and cobwebs,
silent shadows and dirty dishes
wait for me at my studio apartment

and i can’t stomach another evening
tracing the same spots on the ceiling
and stains on the floor

so i’ll stay another hour or two,
even though it’s already 9:30 at night,
and pretend to be the barista’s best friend

National Poetry Writing Month Day 24

Once again off prompt.

my mother’s painting

soft hills of burgundy and yellow 
blending into one another,
a scene she perhaps imagined
at 16, alone in that hospital bed
after they placed metal rods
along her spine, dividing her body
like the fence posts slicing through
the middle of her painting, 
harsh brown repeating lines, 
the only manmade thing 
on these hills the color of flesh

NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo Day 22: Use poem to express something about another form of art

i cannot breathe

i am suffocating 
in coffee grounds,
choking on them
as they fill every
empty space within me,
and i cannot sleep
when i cannot breath 
so throw this broken body away
bury it in the field behind the grocery store
and forget my name
forget the poems i tried to write
forget the flowers that grew from my skin
forget i ever existed
because i never really did,
i was only a cactus in a pot
on your one sunny windowsill
that you only fertilized
with leftover coffee grounds

NaPoWriMo Day 21: Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that, like The Color of Pomegranates and “City That Does Not Sleep,” incorporates wild, surreal images. Try to play around with writing that doesn’t make formal sense, but which engages all the senses and involves dream-logic.

we can talk later, i don’t want to ruin your evening

i’ve started noticing 
my body can’t hold it all, 
it is crawling out of my skin 
every time i open my mouth,
all these hundreds of dead bugs 
and i need some relief 

because i feel this disconnect
i feel this sourness, an unforgiving citrus
on my lips, a burden in 
the palms of my hands

i am covering my body 
with sheets and towels, 
hiding from my intense dreams
and from you pushing away

its almost like we are moving,
realizing we are on the fast downhill
to destroying me 

NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo Day 20: Write a poem that “talks.” “Try to write a poem grounded in language as it is spoken”

Soooo, I wrote a poem made of lines from text message conversations.