Sunday, April 28, 2013

NaPoWriMo 27

Fourteen Pounds

eight pounds 
obvious in cheeks
fold of thigh and dimples
bigger voice
discerning eyes
the ounces sneak in, in seconds

Friday, April 26, 2013

NaPoWriMo 26

As the month comes to an end, I have to admit that I'm glad I took part in NaPoWriMo again this year. Blogging these rough pieces is probably the only way I could have forced myself to get any creative writing done this month--if only a haiku some days.

Spring Shoes

Puddles on the ground
Which footwear, a tough call for
Chilly or damp toes?

NaPoWriMo 25

Did I

the Did I game
we play every night
what was left on, unlocked, open or shut inappropriately
what will burn down the house tonight
or accrue an overdue fine
what must I have said and what did they mean
and will I have to call again in the morning
or did they understand
reaching over forty times to poke the baby
Asking if I spilled Cheerios on him during his 4am feeding
and if I did, did one maybe perhaps get in his mouth
I keep racking up points
but I never seem to win
though I come up with the most questions

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

NaPoWriMo 24


Not a cell, something
not yet known
too tiny to be a mote on a mote
the beacon adheres like a pushpin
to a shoulder
a mole
someplace benign
makes strange
and broadcasts.
The unlikely animals find it
track it,
hover, then embrace.
like big infected blankets
made from wet asbestos

NaPoWriMo 23

The man with the dog and the hat
(who walks by every day around 11)

I've invented a backstory
for both of them
a romance gone wrong,
an inheritance
of nothing 
except the hat
black leather, brimmed,
that he wears every day
He likes to make models out of matchsticks
He hates millipedes

The dog, a broad, strong, mutt
 was set to be retired from the military
the hard way
but rescued one last person--himself
He likes turkey
and steamed broccoli
and understands commands in Latin
sleeps with his head on a pillow

If I don't see these two
while snooping from my kitchen window just before lunch
I worry
and write them more adventures
as I spread jelly on peanut butter
One day I could greet them
on the pretense of digging in the garden
the one I'm going to start out there by the sidewalk

But no. They're so perfect right now.

NaPoWriMo 22

I just don't trust blogging from mobile, so I got behind in posting. I'm in for a strong NaPoWriMo finish, though!

For the Ride

Swiftly caught by the sleeve
dragged along the evergreens
face kept down but ears get scathed
I know we're going west
into the sun
I know that eventually the integrity of the cheap stitching
and the cheap fabric
or maybe my arm
will give way
and I'll sail slightly backward
land like garbage
and walk
--the way I wanted to go anyway

Sunday, April 21, 2013

NaPoWriMo 21

Grand Garden

"Let me show you the garden," she urges
for the second time that week
We share the excitement of watching growth 
and retreat
of harvesting
and dividing
West side first, we view
A single vexing Giant Grey sunflower
she's asked me to pull up, but I know she doesn't mean it
alongside the miniature windmill
covered with borrowed birdseed served at the nearby pine tree
heirloom roses like wads of crumpled yellow tissue
she loves these
but I can never remember who they're named for
and she tells me every time
We admire the full blooms of tree peonies, nail polish pink and larger than my head
slowly pass under the apple tree with deceptively beautiful fruit ravaged by maggot flies
and resting in the shade
I poke at an apple with the toe of my sandal
"Take some," she says.
I wrinkle my nose.
"Cut around them," she says with a wave of her hand
like she's saying "Go ahead, eat the last cookie."
coffee filters peek out from the lower leaves of a bright, ancient hosta that needs dividing
one-eyed land swans with geranium loads and fading beaks still manage to look haughty
over sedum and pots of begonias
We walk under clematis trailing up a white arch
as we go back inside to the air-conditioned relief
and coffee, always coffee.

NaPoWriMo 20

Ghosts in Glimpses

the attic is empty
warming walls tap out laments alone
but a familiar expression of incredulity
forming vaguely in a new face
with discerning eyes
the singular tilde twist of tiny mouth
a spastic, specific motion miming the adjustment of a hat, just so
and anticipation of wandering attention
a haunting of the blood

Saturday, April 20, 2013

NaPoWriMo 19

Snowman in April
How I loathe your cold features
Begrudge your whimsy

Thursday, April 18, 2013

NaPoWriMo 18

It's a rough NaPoWriMo day. I've started two poems and they were both too unbearably bad to publish, even on my tiny site that gets very few hits. I blame the weather. It's still snowing in Minnesota.


I pocket the minutes to myself
save them up 
spend them slowly
Hand them over with great care
and the skeptical glance
of an old woman with a fistful of coupons in line for the teenage checker
at the grocery store

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NaPoWriMo 17

Today's NaPoWriMo challenge is to write a poem of greeting. It sounded like a good idea, so that's what I did.

Greeting the Day

Morning begins with a squeak
not unlike the sound of the loose brakes of the bike I used to have
coming to a not-sudden-enough stop on wet tar
I roll over and pull up the blankets, hoping it will stop
but it rarely does
It escalates
to the sound of a small motorbike my previous neighbor owned
I didn't like him, especially at five a.m.
and I groan a tired but hopeful sort of groan
and wait
and after a moment of surprising silence
there's the tone of my first teakettle,
the one I found in the trash at college
it had a broken stopper
That's the end of the line
I fall out of bed onto my reluctant feet
and eyes not yet cooperating
peer into his bassinet
someone takes the teakettle off the burner
He smiles.
"Good morning, Handsome," I say hoarsely
like a lawn rake going through dry fall grass
"What do you want to do today?"

NaPoWriMo 16

#16 is something silly I wrote on my phone before collapsing into my bed yesterday.


I can't be friends with anyone
who doesn't like raisins
You can make out faces sometimes,
in their condensed grape-y goodness;
tiny shrunken heads
One must appreciate
nature's candy--
more macabre than eating gummy bears
and sweeter

Monday, April 15, 2013

NaPoWriMo 15

I made the mistake of watching four hours of horrifying coverage from Boston today, and of course the incident is heavy on my mind. I sat on the couch nursing my son when the story came across my Twitter feed, and I turned on the TV to watch the news. Big mistake. I have no desire to write some sort of tragedy poem tonight. Anything I say at this point would be both angry and (likely) cliche. So, here's something hopeful.

To be kind

His fingernails are razors
but trimming them is his dad's job now
because I fear clipping his finger again.
I let the wild wolverine pup attached to my breast
rake a layer or two of skin off my chest.
Later I read him books 
(he likes my voice right now)
about the adventures
of fairies and bears
and being kind to crocodiles.
The most important lesson,
I think,
to be kind
(but cautious of crocodiles).
But I know books aren't going to do it.
I contemplate the lesson of kindness
and if we are good enough to teach it to him.
And how it goes hand-in-hand with bravery
and I am not brave
but I would like to be.
And when I think of all the things I want my wolverine to be
the word kind emerges every time,
swinging over my head like a colorful plastic link
and I am reaching
hoping to grasp it and hand it to him.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

NaPoWriMo 14


My Sunday feeling comin' up over me
the record player skips in my head
from many long Sundays ago 
with someone else's music collection
and hi-fi 
borrowing their taste
making it my own
My Sunday feeling comin' up over me
as I drag myself from room to room
moving things to their right places
until I'm bored with it 
and the baby starts to fuss,
I recollect the album covers' smell
just like library books
but with a hint of something else
coffee or pot or a slightly more heinous strain of mildew
I hum the line
and can't remember the rest
just a hint of a riff
I hum relentlessly,
driving my husband mad
He starts singing Manic Monday
but doesn't know the whole song
and makes it up as he goes
My Sunday feeling comin' up over me

Saturday, April 13, 2013

NaPoWriMo 13

Today's NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a poem after taking a walk.

A Cruise Through Wal-Mart with Crying Baby

the cart is mostly full of baby and baby carrier
but groceries rest near him,
his arms not yet long enough to grab the raw chicken or the rattling box of noodles
I stroke his cheek as his dad pushes the cart more quickly than I can walk
and I fall behind
mother who can't quiet the baby 
and who by casual observation
doesn't need to be out during flu season
when she should be at home
doing nurturing things
with the upset baby
who loudly, red-faced, refuses the pacifier
I catch a brick of washcloths (on sale for two dollars)
with the corner of the overstuffed diaper bag
amateur hour, I think to myself, sighing
and since no one saw I let it land with a flump on the floor
and don't even feel bad about not picking it up
not much, anyway
"Let's get the hell out of here," I mutter 
"You can come back without us for the rest."
we go home singing silly songs to the poor inconsolable babe
who hates the carseat
and Walmart

NaPoWriMo 12

Another haiku for a busy yesterday

The Harbinger, Too Early

eight inches of fluff

fat robins wait noisily
chilly orange glory 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

NaPoWriMo 11

Today's NaPoWriMo prompt:

Today I challenge you to write a tanka. This, like the “American” cinquain, is a poem based on syllables, with the pattern being 5-7-5-7-7. 

Rate This Title

Snow falls in April
and I, in my yoga pants,
glare at the shovel.
And refuse to make a path.
This is why Netflix exists.

NaPoWriMo 10

Just something simple for the 10th using the NaPoWriMo prompt.

Love for Taxes

It's not that I don't appreciate the roads and liberations
the pretty new nickels, the plastic pennies
but after all the questions are answered
circles filled in
rates calculated
papers gathered
and thumping head pain endured
could you at least send a small cookie?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Goose Leash

The following is for VisDare #14. It's 128 words, edited lightly from not much more than that. I wasn't feeling the story this photo was telling me today, which is odd because I absolutely love the photo. Enjoy.

Goose Leash

By the light of small kerosene lamp, she carefully hand-hemmed a small triangle of brown and grey tweed and glanced down at him from her rocker. "You won't stray again, Henry. I'm making sure of that." 

The white goose opened his bill and hissed disdain. His black eyes darted around the room as if he was trying to locate an exit.

"No reason you can't still be nicely dressed, though," she said with a positive but stern tone. She smiled. "And calm down, darling. You don't have hands. There's no way you're getting a door open. Best to relax." She giggled, the lamplight sparkling in her glasses, "Silly goose."

Fellow VisDare-ers, look me up on Twitter @gardenofedits for grammar, style, and baby tweets as well as my little fictions and poems.

NaPoWriMo 9

I have to fight the angry, red-faced person in my head who's loudly whining, "Don't hit publish! It's awful and it's under-developed and it's not done and it's just... bad!" But, that's not the spirit of NaPoWriMo.So. 


so many things They don't tell you
in the little cards that come with flowers,
on the tummies of teddies,
or in the comforting, moldy pages of a borrowed book 
about the aches and gore
about the neverending where the hell did this come from?
this distraction from inside out
realizing your name is everyone else's name too
you find deficiencies
inabilities to be mended
knowledge to be appended
every room upended
and the time you would have used to give a crap 
is better spent taking a nap
years of clothing and not a damn thing to get dressed in
unseen abilities manifesting
like finding out how many things you can do 
while peeing
--it's surprising and impressive--
better left untweeted
you just have to be there
to know

NaPoWriMo 8

I napped most of the day, so I phoned NaPoWriMo in with a haiku. Still counts!

Spring and Despair

almost five o'clock
but years away from summer
soft snow blocks the door

Sunday, April 7, 2013

NaPoWriMo 7

Today's prompt is to write a poem in which each line except the last takes the form of a single, declarative sentence with the final line taking the form of a question. I'm game.

Spring but not

It is April.
The salt is gone.
Our boots wait clean on the rug, expecting mud.
My coat needs new buttons.
Wind jiggles the house, basement to dormer.
Angry geese land and huddle, hissing their discontent.
Snow falls upon green shoots by the front door.
Are they tulips?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

NaPoWriMo 6

Today I'm using the official NaPoWriMo-suggested prompt, to write a goodbye poem.

Ode to Stripy Socks with Monkeys on Them
and an Inexplicable Large Hole in One

Hand hovers over the garbage can
I'll never use them again, I think.
There's nothing that can be done.
And somehow I'm sad, momentarily thinking the thoughts going through
their collective mind.
You used to love us. Where will we end up? Don't you have room in your life for us anymore?
No, I think sternly, as if they can hear me, as if they have ears
or a brain.
I don't need you.
I don't want you around.
I'll watch the garbagemen pick you up and think fondly of the times we had together,
but that's all.
Good day.
Relax the grip
they fall, with a whisper
that sounds like We loved you 
into the trash bag

NaPoWriMo 5

All the things

Sometimes in the shower I think of everything I should have written down that day--
all the snippets and crumbs that fell out of my ears, that I should have caught,
but got lost in the couch cushions instead.
I remember the vitamin I should have taken last night.
The missed appointment I'm never going to have the courage to arrange again.
The friend who's in town who I should have texted.
The shirt I should have remembered to soak in cold water before tossing it in the machine.
And if only I could live in the shower
and be on top of things
clean, but wrinkly

Thursday, April 4, 2013

NaPoWriMo 4


No bowls in the cupboard.
In these early days, we subsist on cereal and soup, sometimes salads
but nothing is in season and the garden has yet to be dug.
Plenty of plates, chipped, 
with veiny roadmaps from forkfuls past;
Dirty dishes and laundry, never-ending, 
done slowly in three-minute bursts between diapers and spit-ups,
after Henrietta's Hair but before Three is a Magic Number,
often taking several tries.
Wiping bubbles from my arm, I wipe bubbles from his mouth. 
I never saw myself here, not even for a visit.
And I'm not. At least, not I who never saw me here,
reformed nomad of no place interesting.
And oddly, the days are accommodating.
And strangely it makes sense.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

NaPoWriMo 3

A short haiku after a distracted day

Tiny, Expensive

Bills accumulate
And I, in my pajamas,
Spill tea on the stack

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

NaPoWriMo 2

I struggled today to compose a poem in the few moments I've had to think about, well, anything beyond diapers and dishes. At first, I thought I would write a poem about bowls. That could happen, but not today. I feel today's poem is dashed-off and raw, yet not raw enough to be really interesting. 

The Aches of Spring

Eyes like headlights on a wet road,
it's cold and from her window she focuses 
on a shred of mylar languishing in an elm tree and
the remains of once-noble snow banks, ashy and small and missing chunks where children have dug their fists in
She wills the bulbs to rise from their own chilly beds and wither to brown again,
the flood waters to recede, leaving behind ramen noodle wrappers and mold and wads of tissue
Wishes for the spring to dry up, lay bare the yards to dry in the summer's sun, 
to ignite the true crops
to spur on real roots

Monday, April 1, 2013

NaPoWriMo 1

Easter Blessing

Pressing the tops of cupcakes into bright green coconut

My hands are smaller and more boyish than hers,
weaker too.
Holidays past, rife with anxiety and waiting for everyone to arrive
and leave,
left the mornings to us alone
to practice flour-based rituals
to be liberal with sugar and butter
to paste together too-warm crust
to gripe at each other in an ancient language
shove things under heavy furniture
stuff miscellaneous into other miscellaneous.
And now my hands, which look nothing like hers,
are dotted in green.
The coloring always sticks to me longer and I've never known why.
Scrubbing it off takes days.
Such a stupid ritual
and it's mine.

NaPoWriMo's featured poet/poem is brilliant today, by the way. You should read it.