Anger

I wear my anger as armor,

I slowly sharpen it into a knife,

and you won’t see it coming,

the way, the wrecked,

leave the worst wreckage,

cunning, stunning,

justified by the worst times,

until all that is left,

is an apology,

and me.

2022 NaPoWriMo – Day 14 (Opening Scene)

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is: Write a poem that takes the form of the opening scene of the movie of your life.

The camera zooms in on a girl,

a banker’s lamp lights her,

as she hunches over a black Remington typewriter,

stabbing the keys with furious fingers,

but sometimes they linger, instead,

when she drops her head.





The camera zooms out of the stage,

and a light illuminates she typed a blank page.





Sometimes there are just no words,

to describe what hurts.

NaPoWriMo – Day 8 (Alter-Ego)

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is: Write in your alter-ego’s voice.

I peer at old photographs,

with a magnifying glass,

I visit old locations, review conversations,

read between the lines, note pivotal times,

I jot down aberrations, motivations and accusations,

list suspects and personal effects,

I wonder what ifs, revisit past tiffs,

pull up the archives of my own mind,

I watch others go on with their lives,

talk to experts who testify,

I sort through the lies.





I question so much,

but it’s not enough, it’s not enough,

as I spread out all my clues,

I still don’t know where I disappeared to.

2022 NaPoWrimo – Day 7 (Proverb)

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is: Write a poem that argues against, or somehow questions, a proverb or saying. I blended old lines with new ones for this prompt.

They say tigers cannot change their stripes,
but I don’t think that’s right.

I always saw the stars as scrambled in the sky,
until I saw them through your keen eyes.

You pointed out Orion,
with his belt of three stars in a row,
and the Big and Little Dippers,
with their handles and bowls,
and The Twins, two stick figures,
with their arms stretched far,
and The Bull with his v-shaped face,
found first by locating the large red star.

It seems stars can rearrange themselves,
I’ve seen it so myself,
I wonder now, what else I’ve missed as remarkable,
because of what I thought impossible.

I've seen the inner workings of my own heart,
twist and turn,
as it learns,
to love.

I think that's all proof enough,
to believe,
that something can also change with you and me. 

2022 NaPoWriMo – Day 2 (Obscure Words)

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is: Write your own prose poem that is a story about the body. write a poem based on a word featured in a tweet from Haggard Hawks, an account devoted to obscure and interesting English words. 

Daily, I trudged through the deep snow,

Tired, from the simplest of tasks,

Doing, whatever you asked,

Surviving, the greatest of blows.





I forgot what life looked like in the light.





Still, even in the dark,

I waited for life to bloom.

I weathered your cold heart,

even as it froze my own.





I thought, soon, soon,

life would rise with what I’d sown.





Comforted, by thoughts of spring,

of time working it’s magic on me,

I wanted, I waited expectedly.





Afterwinter,

with it’s failed expectations,

it’s lingering affectations.





I listen for a chirp in the distance,

as proof there is indeed life beyond this.

Drop

I

drop

hints and eloquence.

I

drop

bad habits, old friends,

all the make pretends.

I

drop

my heart anxiously,

my stomach constantly, in knots.

I drop what I forgot.

I

drop

masks and too hard tasks.

I

drop

to my knees, praying, begging please.

I drop what is heavy, what I don’t need.

I

drop

conditions and expectations,

pretenses and messes.

I

drop

tears that linger

at the cusp of my chin.

I drop fights I cannot win.

I

drop shows and stories before their

endings so I can go on pretending.

I

drop

words of comfort, love notes and hope.

I drop it for you. For the you that will maybe, someday, pick it all up and offer it back to me, an understanding, of all I have lost and all that I still am.

Your Soul Swirling

It all seemed possible then,

laying outside watching the stars, when,

the rest of the campus slept,

sharing our deepest secrets and scars–reworking them from impediments to impetuses–

teasing us out.

We were still so young, and we didn’t know as much as we thought,

but we had so many thoughts …

Thoughts about how the world should be,

and how we would be in it.

(You, a politician fighting the good fight, and I, writing your biography.)

We analyzed everything, from conversations with crushes to the constancy of change,

making sense of the little of life we knew.

We repeatedly played the song Gardens and Graves during our nightly charades,

so adeptly describing the urgency of our lives,

the eagerness to matter,

the restlessness of becoming.

How wild we thought it was,

to just be with the stars, and the music, in the middle of the night,

to experience such a life.

Life! Opening up right in front of us,

trying to live it because we could,

far removed from our contained childhoods.

One night, we detoured to a tattoo parlor,

just for the hell of it (to say we lived!).

You got a panther, of all things, on your ankle.

It excited us, to be more than who we seemed to be,

You, a tatted man, of all things!

The sheer thrill of it.

I think we got it wrong though, my dear friend,

we didn’t know then, what I see so clearly now:

You never had to be more than who you already were.

You were always amazing,

your life always rippling,

simply by existing.

I choose to suspend you here, in the shadows, looking up at the stars, your soul swirling.

Still possible. Still dreaming. Still alive.

I Thought (Poem) and a Typewriter!

This little poem got stuck in my head so writing it down here.

I Thought

I thought I saw you through the window,
your face up against the glass,
blurry, with the rain as your mask.

I thought I heard you in the other room,
shouting, “Coming soon!”
I thought I smelled your oceanic perfume,
the one you wore to make me swoon.

I thought I tasted your kiss,
soft, like the morning mist,
and a long sigh.

I thought for a moment you stayed alive,
that someone still existed in this world I could call mine.

Now, I am pleased to share this beauty. A refurbished 1938 Underwood Champion! Took some time to find a functional one within my price point! I hope to fiddle with it this weekend and maybe type up some poems on it. Can’t wait!

Typewriter

NaPoWriMo – Day 30 (Fascinating Fact)

Today’s National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) prompt is: Write a poem that engages with a strange and fascinating fact. 

I’m in denial that today is the last day of the NaPoWriMo challenge, so maybe tomorrow I will acknowledge that fact. For now, below is my poem about viruses. It draws from the fact that “eight percent of the human genome consists of viruses.” It’s also influenced by Gerald Callahan’s essay, Chimera.

Some of our DNA
are relics of viruses
from past infections
so scientists say.

Envelope viruses like the flu,
carry lipids, protein,
and the stuff of genes,
from the hosts they travel through.

I like to think,
this means:

After years of sharing a home,
and conceivably the flu,
I’ve collected pieces of you,
stored in my chromosomes and genome.

You are not lost, you see,
You make up parts of me, literally,
saved in my “immunological memory.”

anh-phan-133434.jpg