Category Archives: poetry

30 / 30 Project – March 2013


Dear Friends,

I confess I have not been the best blog keeper.  I confess in my mind I have a daily writing practice, but, in reality, it is more like a weekly writing practice.  I confess I do not like asking for help, for money, for favors (of any kind :).  To that end, please join me this month as I begin a daily writing practice and ask for money and favors!

Say what, Jilly?  Let me explain.  This month I am running (Oh, yes, I also confess I dream of running) what is basically a poetry marathon.  I will be writing 30 poems in 30 days.  Hey, wait a minute, those of you who know me might say, You’ve written a poem a day for a month before.  What’s the big deal?

Yes, what is the big deal?  Why don’t I let my friend Jeffrey Levine from the awesome and amazing Tupelo Press explain:

Welcome to the 30/30 Project, an extraordinary challenge and fundraiser for Tupelo Press, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) literary press.

One poet per month will run the equivalent of a “poetry marathon,” writing 30 poems in 30 days, while the rest of us “sponsor” and encourage her or him every step of the way.  For December 2012, our first volunteer was Rebecca Kaiser Gibson. You can read her full month of poems here. For January 2013, we had 9 volunteers: T.M. De Vos, Shannon Hardwick, Lindsay Penelope Illich, Mike McGeehon, Janie Miller, Nina Pick, Katerina Stoykova-Klemer, Allyson Whipple, and Margaret Young. You can read their month of poems here. For February 2013, we also had 9 volunteers: Alison Cimino, Kate DeBolt, Lené Gary, T.J. Jarrett, Jacey Blue Renner, William David Ross, Joanna Solfrian, Dan Thomas-Glass, and Nina Israel Zucker. You can read their month of poemshere.

This month, we again have 9 volunteers: Serena Chopra, Jill Crammond, Rachel Fogarty-Oleson, Brett Elizabeth Jenkins, Kali Lamparelli, George McKim, Luisa Muradyan, Dan Nowak, and Emily Rudofsky. Read their full bios by clicking here.

Please follow their work (by clicking “Follow” on the bottom of the page), and feel free to acknowledge their generosity and creativity with a show of your admiration and support by donating on their behalf to Tupelo Press. (Click here to donate, scroll down to the form at the bottom, and put a contributor’s name in the “honor” field.) Just imagine what a challenge it is to write 30 new poems in 30 days!

So you see, dear friends, this is a big deal.  I will be writing for a cause.  Writing to help a small, indie press keep publishing great poets like Aimee Nezhukumatahil, Ellen Dore Watson, Kathleen Jesme, and others.  Because I believe in poetry.  And you should, too.

What’s in it for me? you might ask. Well, other than the satisfaction of supporting an independent literary press, how about the opportunity to tell me what to say or see your name in print?

  • For a donation $5, I will dedicate a poem to you!     A poem which will be posted to the Tupelo Press website and which you can see for days and months to come!  Just imagine!
  • For a $10 donation, you can give me a theme to write my daily poem about.  AND I will dedicate it to you.
  • For any donation of $20 or more, I will dedicate a poem to you AND write it on the theme of your choosing, AND plaster your name and your awesome contribution all over the book of faces and Twitter.

Many, many thanks!


Poem wherein I try to engage my inner dog person


This morning the dog


peeled back her short-haired underbelly
to reveal a giant S. No zipper, no stitching
no sexy pull like a stripper losing magic pants


just an opening up—think first date, third beer
the time of night when details float from the cup
of a stranger’s open mouth
as moths circle a bare bulb.


So, the dog. Have you had your suspicions?
Best friend, loyal companion. Just pet your dog,
the martial arts instructor said. He was from Hawaii
wore flowered shirts, sandals. He had toes the color
of dark lager—five of them could kill you with one swift strike.


The dog. Superhero? Black and white mutt,
part Collie, herding me day after day in circles,
always leading me home.
Would she save me from a burning building?


Swoop in at the right moment
to spirit me away from the man—he seemed pleasant enough–
about to kidnap/maim/violate her hapless human?


I’ve never called her a bitch, though she wears
a pink collar, has the scar proving she could have been
a mother, if the universe hadn’t had other plans for her.


It’s all been done before, I tell her. Keep your power
to yourself.
Lesson one for lonely women
and superheroes: Never reveal your true identity.

June Cleaver as Snow Bunny


When you see a snow monster

in June, it’s time to put the mug down,

slosh the java on the table, two-step

away from your devotion.


The monster is not in trouble

your ring finger is aching

from so much diamond


and pearl, pearls are not the solution

although what harm in accepting (shame) harm-


less baubles from short, blond (or not) strange men?

Strange men make good bed fellows

at least I’ve heard they thrust neat

hospital corners.  When you find yourself tucked


in a tight bed, sheets (sins) pressing you into the mattress

consider stripping.  Rid the clothes.  Cotton, silk, polyester.


Skin breathes better en plein air.  Rumor has it

Monet and all his friends painted their impressions

naked, out in the fields while bored cows

chewed cuds, dreamed of taller haystacks.




I wrote this after reading Barbara Hamby’s Who Do Mambo.  She really plays with language, so I tried to write from the first thought that popped into my mind, a sort of free-write, stream-of-consciousness thing… You can read more playful poems at Read. Write. Poem