Words

Who would I be without books,
if I could only scrawl my name,

or not even that, just make a mark
thumb pressed in black ink,
writing a mystery, marks dancing
and empty masque on a white stage?

all those words unread, unwritten –
words I have gobbled up, plots
I have sucked dry, narratives gulped
and guzzled, and then my writing,
words scratched, scratched out,
scribbled, scrawled, scraped out of me,
words flung freely, words floating
in the air around me, waiting to be grabbed
and grappled, as if I’m catching fireflies
made of indiarubber.

What happened to all those “me”s?
Did we talk more, tell stories,
pull an audience in around the fire?
Did we carry the soul, the story,
the history of whatever people
we chanced among? Did we knead our
words into dough, cut our words
out of apples? Did we stitch stories
into samplers? Did we daydream
as we moved dust from place to place,
see plotlines moving in the flames?
Did we chant poems to the moon?
Did we pray? Did we whisper our words
into our children’s ears as they slept?

So many words. I have lost count.
More darkness than star, more grass
than flower, more sea than foam,
I have buried myself in them,
feasted on them,
vampire suckled myself on them.

The invisible woman

She slipped invisible
between the pages
unnoticed, finding her own way,

invisibility is a curse,
and a power –

I mean, it’s terrible to be
unseen

and yet, invisible, you can
work your way into
the heart of things.

She wore invisibility
like a cloak,
used it to hide

hair unbrushed,
comfortable shoes,
hands untended,

slipped between
blades of grass,
between sheets
of plate glass,

sipped coffee
watched the world.

 

 

For Lillian, a very visible woman, at dVerse. We are invited to think about superpowers, real, imaginary, whatever.  

Eagle – for dVerse

I’m all coffee-ed up. I’m so caffeined
I don’t know what to do with it.

I twittered, but you never read me,
I facebooked, but you never upped your thumb –
I’ve me-ed it in the corner for a long time, baby,
But now I’m us-ing down the middle of the street:

See that sky? I’m going to sun it –
See that road? I’m going to bloom it –

Because today I’m lipsticked
In the red fire of anger,
I’m booting in bare feet,
I’m loving, joying, dancing –

I’m so super, just watch me nova,
And when I spread my wings –
I eagle.

Watch me.

A poem of verbification for Lillian at dVerse. I was surprised at how many of the nouns I thought of have been verbified already. Language moves and grows and transforms itself in our mouths. 

NaPoWriMo 26 – call and response

She Shanty 
To be sung by a raucous chorus of piratical women, swinging their cocktails in time to the music.

This is a song about the men I’ve known,

Let him swim away, girl, set yourself free,

I’m happy with a man, and I’m happy on my own

There’s plenty more fish in the big blue sea

 

One was a story that you’ve heard before

Let him swim away, girl, set yourself free,

I wanted him, but he wanted her

There’s plenty more fish in the big blue sea

 

 

Two was handsome and he had a kind of flair

Let him swim away, girl, set yourself free,

But he spent 4 hours just styling his hair

There’s plenty more fish in the big blue sea

 

 

I love my friends, and we have a lot of fun

Let him swim away, girl, set yourself free,

But Three didn’t like me seeing anyone

There’s plenty more fish in the big blue sea

 

 

Four really wasn’t good for me at all

Let him swim away, girl, set yourself free,

He thought he looked big when he made me look small

 There’s plenty more fish in the big blue sea

 

 

Five thought he’d tame me and keep me at home

Let him swim away, girl, set yourself free,

But I’m a wild cat and I like to roam

There’s plenty more fish in the big blue sea

 

 

Six was the one, I was pretty sure

Let him swim away, girl, set yourself free,

But he said a smart woman made him insecure

 There’s plenty more fish in the big blue sea

 

 

I told my ma and she said “Come on –

Let him swim away, girl, set yourself free,

You kiss a lot of frogs before you find the right one!”

There’s plenty more fish in the big blue sea

 

Let him swim away, girl, set yourself free,

There’s plenty more fish in the big blue sea!