Archive for April, 2008

I need your help!!!

Friday, April 11th, 2008

Okay, so I’d love to come out of NaPoWriMo with a full “bestiary alphabet” but I have a lot of ground to cover, and I require inspiration.

You look like an inspiring kind of person!

Perhaps you’ll tell me your favorite animal (and why) beginning with the letters I haven’t written about yet?

My friend Abbie informed me today that elephants always give birth at midnight?


Too bad I’ve already covered “E”. Damn earthworm!


A is for anteater
B is for Bear
C is for Crwdad
D is for Dragon
E is for Earthworm
G is for Gorilla
M is for Monkey/Mayfly
O is for Ocelot
T is for Turtle
X is for Xiphias Gladius

NaPoWriMo: 14

Friday, April 11th, 2008


D is for Dragon

The slightly awkward dragon,
Who never has been kissed,
Defends, “It doesn’t matter much,
Since dragons don’t exist–”

NaPoWriMo: 13

Thursday, April 10th, 2008


M is for Mayfly

A certain clever mayfly was good at Greek and math,
He loved postmodern poetry, and read it in the bath.
He hoped to go to Harvard. He thought he’d find a way.
But college is a pipedream when your  lifespan is a day.

Poetry Friday!!!

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

It’s funny to be posting a special “poetry post” when I’ve been blogging little poems every day this month for NaPoWriMo (see velow) . But Poetry Friday is different, and not to be neglected.

 Today, a poem by Paul Guest,  (who has a new book coming out from Ecco, and you should pre-order it!). Paul’s an old friend and classmate from undergrad. We studied together with a poet named Richard Jackson, and one of the assignments Rick had us attempt was a poem spoken in the voice of a cartoon character.

Mine sucked. 

Paul’s (evidently) didn’t.  Or at least he revisited the assignment years later, and wrote this, which definitely doesn’t suck:

Donald Duck’s Lament 

All those years an avatar of rage and fury:
my feathers gone in fits until I’m ink
and nubbled flesh, pink. A poor meal,
by my naked look. A long knife in a dark
drawer, my heart would open me
in an instant, a wet moment, nightmare.
Maybe then I’d begin to know
what sweetness is, if it is a revenge
upon the earth for all its grubbing and lack,
its insistence upon flight. And
for the denial of wings, I hate what god
made me hands. I make all fists.
Alone, I would have been fine.
Filled my days with model trains
and trees whittled down,
lowered my face into miniature smoke
rising from the locomotive,
at once acrid and sweet—
inhaling it all, a heaven to hold forever.
Or, a picnic, on a green hill.
Autumn sun, sandwiches stacked high,
and who I could love
with me on a red gingham blanket,
both of us fattened by time.
You would think a bone stoppered my throat
for how I talk, ridiculous clot
of babble and gurgle, impediment
as dreamed by the idiot or obvious—
and then writ large, screamed out
so no one with ears could ever miss me.
And for all that, who’d listen
but to the stilted music I make,
father of laughs, forever waiting
for the wooden mallet to come down,
tear open my mind, paint red
the whole world I looked on at dawn,
for a moment, with faint joy?
Call me a wrung-out dish rag,
a pin cushion infinitely pricked—
a stubbed toe, the funny bone’s compound fracture.
Is it too late to say what I want?
And if it is, there’s time still
to want it all the same: this peace
I’m allowed just long enough
for it to be shredded
by the punchline’s riot,
that tree rising up a thousand feet.
Only a romantic
would go, as I will go, to tear
it from the earth for ruining scale,
to stand among the roots waiting to be crushed.

Wow, right?

 (Incidentally, another friend also revisited this assignnment years later, to great effect!)


A thought…

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

These NaPoWriMo poems are doggerel.  Which means I am blogging doggerel.  Which is…. BLOGGEREL?

In other news, my house is very clean. My yard looks great. But my hair needs a washin’ and my kids have been eating stamp-pads.   So there are little blue faces everywhere I look. 

You can’t win ‘em all.

In still other news, I began draft 3 of Any Which Wall in earnest yesterday. I love my editor!!!  I love you, Mallory. You are BRILLIANT!  Really and truly.  Don’t ever leave me.

And finally, I will be setting forth to trek northward in a week (with one surly cat and two cranky kids in my car.  We will be stopping a lot).  For Passover in Baltimore, with a brief visit to NY.  

I would love to see you!

(now… back to the bloggerel)


NaPoWriMo: 12

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008


T is for Turtle

Adventurous turtle decided to dwell
Inside something other than  his tiny shell.
He ran and he ran but he could not escape.
The house followed closely, in pretty good shape.

NaPoWriMo: 11

Monday, April 7th, 2008

E is for Earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris)

An earthworm of delicate palor and grace,
Believed he was destined for damask and lace.
But though all his fripperies made him look flirty,
He never quite managed to stop feeling dirty.

NaPoWriMo: 10

Monday, April 7th, 2008


X is for Xiphias Gladius

The Xiphias Gladius carrries a sword
To wow all the ladies.  But please rest assured–
That short of the waterproof fellows who fish ‘im.
No one will pursue him. It’s no fun to kiss ‘im!


Monday, April 7th, 2008

The Edge of the Forest is FRESH!

And this issue includes all kinds of goodness, including:

NaPoWriMo: 9

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

M is for Monkey

Deep down in a cavern, all dark and spelunky,
There wandered a handsome but unprepared monkey.
And without a candle to brighten his cave,
The poor primate’s prospects began to look grave.