Malcolm writes

to avoid seeing Marjorie in person as her condition might be contagious:

“Yesterday you wrote in your letter
that you are sick and not feeling better.

I hope this reply with pickle and lime
will give you a much better time.

In the event that this does not work,
I advise you to go see that jerk

down the street who calls himself healer.
He’ll give you a paper for the dealer

of sweet mint-flavored pills
that for sure will cure all your ills.”

– Felix Morgenstern (© 2011)

Written for NaPoWriMo day 9 in response to this: “... today you are encouraged to write a nursery rhyme. 4 to 6 lines, 3-5 accented syllables per line (don’t worry about making them iambs or dactyls or what…as long as your lines are short), and of course, a rhyme or two.”


As if you'd won the lottery

Don't stand there with that shit-eating grin on your face,
my dear, as if you'd just won the red noise prize.

Let me tell you that a fruit's a fruit and a tart's a tart,
and that Annabelle – well, suffice it to say

that I knew her in school, and all to well.
If you know what I mean.

So don't you feed me that 'J'en sais rien' line.
I seen the two of you parked in my car,

and it was rocking.

– Iself (© 2011)

Written for day 8 of NaPoWriMo.

This was written in response to:
"Today’s prompt is a bit of a smorgasbord, and reflects the fact that we are at day seven. It asks you to write a poem with seven different phrases, ideas, or just plain old “things” in it. These are:
1) an example of synasthetic metaphor — one that describes one sensory perception using adjectives more naturally suited to a different sense (e.g., “a red noise,” or a “a bitter touch”)
2) a fruit
3) the name (first or last) of someone you knew in school
4) a rhetorical question
5) a direct address to the poem’s audience — “Reader” or “mom” or “Michelle,” or maybe just “You”)
6) a word in a foreign language
7) a reference to a game of chance (darts or pool or the lottery or etc).
All of these may seem pretty disjointed, and indeed, they’re meant to be. But these kind of little “projects” can work wonders in keeping a poem both lively and concrete, instead of letting it wander off into a forest of abstractions)."


The Matapedia

What is it?
A road somewhere in Canada?

Shreds from a song
to form an inaccurate picture

"And we raced the Matapedia –
and we were not afraid"

But there is also an unexpected meeting
with room for ample speculation

"He said, 'Oh my God, it's Kate!'
'No, I'm the daughter of Kate.
My name is Martha.
Who are you?
Ma never told me about you.'"

And on they race the Matapedia,
with minutes to spare.

I imagine to board a ferry –
a ferry to somewhere or nowhere.

– Iself (© 2011)

Written for NaPoWrimo day 7 in response to the following: "Today’s prompt is one of musical ekphrasis. Ekphrastic poetry comments upon or is inspired by another work of art in a different medium. Most people think of it as a poem inspired by a painting or a sculpture. But it could also be music!"

Lest this remain too cryptic...
As pointed out by vivinfrance in her comment, the Matapedia is a river in Québec, Canada. I still think, however, that the song by Kate and Anna McGarrigle on the album of the same name I'm alluding to must refer to a road running along the river, but I could be wrong. I would assume that the Kate and Martha characters mentioned in the song are Kate McGarrigle and her daughter Martha Wainwright.

Here's a link to the song on Youtube:


I could feel

I could feel
some melodic drowning
coming on today
with horrid greatness.

With horrid greatness
I could feel
some melodic drowning
coming on today.

– Iself

It's all about oxymorons today, this 6th day of NaPoWriMo, and the ones I used were generated by the Serendipitous Oxymoron Maker at the very first try. And I didn't even need to consult the horoscope today ... it was all right there with horrid greatness ... that melodic drowning, or at least some of it. Beware, oh moron, of oxys.


The 2011 Francisco Cabrera Revolution

We almost missed the revolution.
– Paul Hughes
In a nightmarish café
(garish, gaudy lights,
smoke twirls, drone,
laughter, cackling)
in which I'd long given up
trying to listen to anyone
in particular, somebody
raised a glass and shouted
above the din, "Long live
the revolution!"

All I remember after that
is feeling guilty about not
knowing which revolution
this was about. But I did
not dare ask for fear of
appearing uninformed.

Which I am, about most
revolutions nowadays.

– Iself (© 2011)

Written for NaPoWriMo day 5.

The challenge today was to take another participant's poem and riff off of it. The one I riffed off of was one by Paul Hughes titled subway talk part ii (to be read here).


Time Waist

time waist time waist
time waist time waist
ime waist time wais
me waist time wai
e waist time wa
waist time
e waist time wa
me waist time wai
ime waist time wais
time waist time waist

 – Iself

A concrete poem for NaPoWriMo #4.

Not quite a 1-word poem (along the lines of Aram Saroyan's lighght, see NaPoWriMo blog), but the best I could come up with.



For L.

"There are three fields I work in,"
she said, "performance, video
and drawing." (Her father prompted
with proper suggestions to go on.)

"The performances are exhausting;
they all have to do with ropes,
climbing and descent. I'm not sure
whether they are Apollinian or

Dionysian, something else I have
been interested in. In one, I cut
a bowling alley in half, making holes
in the walls left and right at about

half height to hold the rings
for my rope. I went along towards
my audience, it was both strenuous
and exhilarating. Sometimes

I caught myself wanting to laugh:
what were all these people doing,
watching me with serious eyes
as I went along." Her father prompted,

"And one of your videos was..."
"... dancing along an ugly street
in funny yellow pants. I did many
iterations of this, varying my steps,

arm movements and behavior.
A friend of mine did the filming.
Mostly the people seemed per-
plexed, not knowing what to think

of this crazy person doing this,
making way, moving aside. Not
stopping." "Is there any money
in this?" somebody asked.

"In the videos? – I suppose
they could be sold. Or the drawings
I do – that's my third field
of activity." "And how do you

do them?" her father prompted.
"I make myself rules, I restrict
myself. One drawing might be
only boxes, for example, in only

five colors, but with other rules,
to increase complexity." "And
these you would sell, there is
a market for that?" her father said.

"There is a market, and, once
it has found you, it wants you
to repeat yourself. I could become
the colored box lady,

or the rope performer, or
the hip-hop dancer of dreary
streets, both Apollinian and
Dionysian." Thus ended Lou,

to soon perform an acte
morpheusien for a change.

– Iself (© 2011)

A freewheeling act for NaPoWriMo #3, concocted fresh from the lips of Lou herself last night.