Tag Archives: NaPoWriMo

One In Every Crowd

He would often take up
residence at the Cafe Intermezzo–

a palace where cadres of quixotic
Gen-Xers would spend their cigarette
money on coffee, and once-a-month
pre-atrophy middle-aged couples would
rove for over-indulgent desserts that
would make the lactose intolerant faint —

where he would wax poetic, Nay!, regale,
rhapsodize even, concerning the joys and
infernal simplicity of past lovers. The
in-depth palaver could last for hours and
be heard over all other conversation, over
even the hiss and clang and wheeze of the
industrial capuchino machines.

It was enough to set off a continual
vibration in my skull — right behind the ear,
in the mastoid, bitch of a headache —
making the task of bilking the wanna-be
coffee connoisseurs out of another
five-plus-tip next to impossible.

In the corner the violist played in
obscurity — thinking to put herself
through medical school on a talent
no one here appreciated, and tips that
never matched her skill — with a half smile,
as she imagined the spindle of thread and
the dull needle she would use to suture
the blowhard’s lips together.

Cafe Intermezzo, Berkeley

(Photo credit: Curtis Cronn)

For her Monday Melting, Shawna has selected a set of evil, wicked mean sadistic…umm, excuse me, ‘challenging’ words. Check them out and play along. FYI, there is a Cafe Intermezzo in Atlanta (and I am sure elsewhere), this is not that place, in the poem or pic.

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Art of Alphonse Mucha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was not the job
she wanted —
no woman would —
on display on a French
Quarter Balcony,
cigarette, done-up-hair.
But she ate, had nice things,
rare for a girl around here.
Her, on the perch, was the
madam showing off,
she did not take clients
that way; no, she was
special, commanding more
than some passing sailor
could afford.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She wore yellow flowers
in her auburn hair,
but never when she worked,
only on the days she could
get away from the city.
They were fresh and pretty,
reminding her of what she
once was, and hoped to be
again some day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She rarely gave in to tears,
and never, ever, where
another could see, but
sometimes when alone,
and the loneliness, emptiness,
was too much to bear,
and there were no yellow
flowers for her hair.

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Elusive – a Haibun

He searched the text of any book he could find,
absorbing ideas and context like water to a
sponge. Isolating himself from influences of the
world, to scry for answers without interruption.
He fought against interaction, touch, emotion —
an impersonal barrier that kept him from the
enlightenment he desired.

What we often seek
is usually found within
but not found alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written for The Mag photo prompt and One Single Impression.

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Storm Cloud Tears

The pewter-grey clouds look ominous,
dark horizon where a sunset should be,
sending tourist indoors.

I wander the empty lanes, indifferent to
to imminent rain. The cries and beating of
seagull wings follow me into
every alley–

intractable flocks undeterred by
the oncoming storm, their only concern
to accomodate perpetual hunger,
never ones to squander opportunity —

haunting reminders of a sea
close enough to salt my skin,
blue-green waters I dare not
gaze upon for fear I might see
the color of her eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

Written for The Sunday Whirl wordle. Also posted to Sunday Scribblings.

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Immortal Boredom

The taste that was once so appealing
had lost some magic,
though the rush was still there…
the power that accompanied the
sudden spurt and flow of
another lives liquid.

The typical, inevitable outcome
of the hunt had even lost
most of its thrill,
shrill trill of screams no
longer exciting.

Occasionally, that last look
in a victims eyes —
full of fear and final acceptance —
provided a small amusement.

The taking of men’s souls
had become tiresome,
bereft of joy and lifeless
as the husk of bodies
she left behind.

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dVerse at the Bar — Allegory

I’ll see your Dante and Raise you a High Bartender listening to Hotel California

It was a hazy room,
to the extreme — almost cloudy indoors —
masking the crowd of
blank
smoking
muttering
faces

incoherent, murmuring babble
overrides the hum of
those fluent in
speech
communication
empathy

abnormal, sexless dancers
grind on poles
a slow death to
libido
interest
desire

fallen and found clump
together in loose knots
faith shaken like the
cloudy drinks made of
juice
spit
fire

the doormen guard the velvet
rope against the walls
there are exit signs
everywhere but no
doors
stone
escape

Profile of Dante Alighieri, one of the most re...

Profile of Dante Alighieri, one of the most renowned Italian poets, painted by his contemporary Giotto di Bondone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

the dVerse Meeting at the Bar asked for an allegory — is it? could be. or just a bizarre prompted romp. Be the judge. Thanks to Shawna for new words!

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Embrace

past lives linger long after their death,
imposing their will on future life;
shadows of decisions marring hope
of happiness to come.

she often sat in the light of a
single bulb, reading of the garden
and the One that shed (prayed) bloody tears —
amazed hers were still clear —

tracing the kinky path of her life,
longing for One with which to share a
confidence, someone tender in their
soul, and in their embrace.

Tears of Blood

Tears of Blood (Photo credit: Bas Van Uyen)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes

Written for Three Word Wednesday (Bloody, kinky, tender) and the Trifecta weekly challenge to use the third definition of confidence. If I did it correctly, each of the 3 stanzas should consist of 33 syllables, with lines of 9,9,9,6.

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Perspective

the red roadside sign
proclaims Pain Management,
the letters stand out bright
in the brilliance of the
spring afternoon.

that is not a route for me
to contemplate. I am not
ready
to accept the concept
of pill-pushing
bottom-of-their-class
half-docs as a resource
for medical treatment.
soon enough we will
have open-pharmacy
pacification forced upon
us, and we will call it
progress.

I shall manage myself the
pain I carry, the days are
not so long, the discomfort
not so great. better a slight
twinge, here and there, than
to be a muddle-headed,
thought-stymied, creativity
drowned drone,
lacking in cognitive ability,
blocking life favorable to
inconvenience.

three in the morning, the dark
and quiet only broken as I
wander,
room to room, stretching legs,
watching out windows, waiting
for the stars to move.

opening the medicine
cabinet for the third time,
I remember
the red roadside sign.

Various pills

Various pills (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Touch

Shawna at Rosemary Mint offered the following words for her Monday Melting: tremble, prickly, lurch, asparagus, blackout, copper, scaly, smudge, skewer, sift, membrane, slaughter. She also linked to some of Margaret Atwood’s Poetry. Girl without Hands, especially the last stanza, inspired this piece.

TOUCH

“…you can’t hold it,
you can’t hold any of it.”
Margaret Atwood from Girl Without Hands

No Margaret,
I shall stay away from your
girl.
If I am to be touched by
one that knows me —
knows what has happened —
then I want to feel it.
I want the prickly, trembling
feel
meat must experience
as it is skewered and set
on the flames.

There must be feeling to
accompany the touch,
else simply sift me
through the membrane of
existence,
toss me out with the chaff
as was desired of Peter;
assign me to polish
the smudges from the
scaly copper skin of the
Dragon of Judgement.

Allow me to feel the
touch
of the one that knows,
connection and meaning.
 denial of contact would
be torturous —
rather, blackout my vision
and leave me to lurch blind
with the ignorant
herds, blissful to the
slaughter.

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Enough

It was enough.

Peace had been made
with remaining family;
she had preceded him
years before.

Earthly affairs were
in order.

He had promised her,
that last day,
had put it off.
The tears and words had
finally come.

The preacher had just left,
promising that it was enough.

Jesus and Mary at the deathbed of St Joseph

Jesus and Mary at the deathbed of St Joseph (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written for Poetic Bloomings Prompt to use the last line from a previous poem as the beginning of another. I chose the last line from Serenity Garden.

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