Monthly Archives: January 2010

Self-Portrait with Stick of Butter (poem 5 of 365)

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Soft as an oil crayon
slide across the curve of your forehead.

Do not use for cooking
baking or basting.

Fresh-scented girl,
name your stick
and wish it well.

Light the tip of your butter
with flame from a rusted gas stove
…………..inhale the memory of popcorn in a pan,
thread-bare movie house carpet
roaming fingers not quite long
enough to wrap a steering wheel
…………..curl around
a bottle of beer.

Lick sweet and salty
from lips you can not see.

Straighten your shirt
(you do not wear skirts)
Face the mirror once again.

Soft as an oil crayon
slide beneath the curve of your chin.

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Here’s the thing about writing every day, about coming to the page no matter if you feel uninspired, rushed, tired, un-caffeinated: something will emerge. It might not be great. It might not make sense. It might not be good until you work with it for days/weeks/months, until you combine it with another poem, or until you leave it on the altar of “well, at least I tried,” and move on.

But you have a bunch of words in the shape of a poem, and that’s progress, baby! Poem-gress!

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Please Join Me in My Latest Quest (which is not a resolution)!

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A post wherein I resolve to write more blog posts…and discuss the notion of resolve.

 

Resolutions are bad, right?   At least, I’ve heard they’re bad because they’re so easily broken. I spent much of this New Year’s Day organizing the hundreds of books I have crowding floors and baskets and bookshelves.  Not a resolution, just a goal I have carried with me longer than I care to admit.  After realizing I accumulated at least 50 new poetry books in the past year that I’ve not even read yet, I have almost (not quite) forgiven my husband for not honoring my one Christmas wish which was for poetry books on my Amazon wish list.

Sitting surrounded by poetry, watching Iron Chef, I picked up Mary Jo Bang’s latest, The Bride of E. Another new book I have read maybe one poem from. While reading, I was inspired to write a poem. All at once, I thought, “Hey, why not try to write a poem-a-day this year?” We shall see… Join me anyone?

 

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Being the Only Child in the Suburbs to Grow Up Eating Homemade Macaroni and Cheese, June Cleaver Goes Back to the Old Neighborhood In Search of a Recipe, Discovers the Kitchen Is Not Big Enough For a Large German White Woman

 

There were things I did not have
growing up
things I wanted
the blue box of macaroni and cheese
turquoise toilet water
lighter blue eyes.

Then there are the gems you hold
in your fists while you sleep–
sparkling water
so bright you could drink from a blue goblet
were you to dip one in the toilet,
the rush of warm oven heat
a blanket of soft white cheese
eyes that match your father’s
and the river he swam in as a child.

When you are blue
remember these dinners
on cobalt plates
steaming macaroni and cheese,
the blue gingham apron
keeping your mother clean.