Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Coming Out

The relief I felt was a small release.
Sports Illustrated:
“Why NBA Center Jason Collins is Coming Out Now”

If you’re not who you are
then you’re not finished
dealing with the world

if you keep a closed mouth
others define you—

That’s too much power to give away

Day 30
April National Poetry Month
Prompt: a finish or unfinishe

It's been fun—all thirty days.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Try to Forget that You Left

Let it out
Release the panic
Oh, release the panic
Get it out, get it out
Release the Panic by Red

a tablespoon of chocolate ice cream in the freezer
a half eaten apple on the kitchen table
an unanswered letter waiting for a response
a half completed Sunday crossword puzzle
and four books with bookmarks on the lamp table

instead recall the sound of the Carolina Wren
corralling listeners with a song—it's spring
and forget whatever you left uncompleted

the hoped for projects— possibilities
delayed for another season

soon the sun will rise early and retire late
whatever is left can wait—

Day 29
April National Poetry Month
Prompt: use a line from a previous poem as the title

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Looking Backwards

Release, do not bind
and get bound.
--Sri Sathya Sai Baba

do you know
that everything I write
recalls words
once spoken
thoughtlessly in haste
now indelible

Day 28
April National Poetry Month

Prompt: write a shadorma 3/5/3/3/7/5/ syllables

Saturday, April 27, 2013

No Experience Necessary

I spread nuts, bolts, wood parts, and
metal skeletons for hanging folders
on the card table. I unfolded the
oversized paper of directions, placed
a screwdriver near my right hand
and began to read the first of eighteen
steps required to assemble a file cabinet.
Two hours later the drawers refused
to slide into the grooves, the metal skeleton
hung askew. Three long screws remained.
When I released my hold the cabinet
sunk down like a boat taking on water.

April National Poetry month
Prompt: mechanical

Friday, April 26, 2013

Casting a Spell

cast off for places
not found on maps

cast your net widely

cast sheep's eyes at
the contours,
at flowers five feet high,
at the way the ocean
leaves calligraphy
on the sand

cast aside doubts
of whether it's real
or illusory

release the fence
that excludes
from reality

Day 26
April National Poetry Month
Prompt: cast

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Everyone Has an Answer

Manifesto for the Unscrupulous

Even when not sure
uncertain about the reason
take a guess, take a stab
You might be right

Use your imagination
speculate, don't fret
if you're off base
just release your words

Manifesto for the Scrupulous

read between the lines
don't pass it on

Day 25
April National Poetry Month
Prompt: Everyone————

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Excuse me while I kiss the sky.
—Jimi Hendrix
—released in the UK 5/12/'67

my cousin's boyfriend owned
a convertible with tiger print
seat covers, a steering wheel
encased in lamb's wool,
and a dashboard hula doll
swaying with each turn

when he accelerated
shark teeth painted
on each side of
Mustang headlights
tore down the street

Friday nights he drove
the local streets
to the accompaniment
of Jimi Hendrix

Day 24
April National Poetry Month
Prompt: auto

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Art of Reading

Love a book and find
another realm, a changed
identity, a new script
where you stay
until the last page,
then a release
to the present

Day 23
April National Poetry Month
Prompt: love

Monday, April 22, 2013


The world is simple
in a complex way.
—Zack Merrick

if you don't use it
give it away
if you read the book
pass it on
if it looks like clutter
take it away

but I like to collect
odds and ends—
souvenirs, rocks,
trophies, relics,
of where I've been

why simplify
why disturb
a tolerable clutter

why release, let go of,
chuck, toss out,
pitch away
my comfortable
mare's nest

Day 22
Aril National Poetry Month
Prompt: complex

Sunday, April 21, 2013


release, let go, leave go, let loose of, unhand,
unclutch, unclasp, relax one's grip or hold
Roget's International Thesaurus

no matter how I
try to forget that you left
memory grasps you

Day 21
April National Poetry Month
Prompt: write a senryu

Saturday, April 20, 2013

To Release Our Differences

There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
--Leonard Cohen

Beyond the usual
Beyond the ordinary
just a rent in the common
way of speaking
We look at each other
and see our own reflection
If we stand on a precipice
we see the same shale
If we skip stones in calm water
concentric circles form
When we pray, the same God
hears our words

Day 20
April is National Poetry Month
Prompt: Beyond

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Different Time

Many of us are not capable of releasing the past,
of releasing the suffering of the past.
We want to cling to our own suffering.
—Thich Nhat Hanh

Who has not burned under a hot sun
before we knew about slathering
sun tan lotion—over every bare place,

My ears turned red, blistered, bleed
after a day at Jones Beach
My back turned cherry red
while I flew a kite at Crane's Beach
and watched it challenge the sun to a dance
I bought ointment and gently
spread the balm over raised welts

Who has tanned under a burning sun
since we began to slather
sun tan lotion—over every bare place

Day 19
April National Poetry Month
Prompt: burn

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I am a Feather

Now tall Agrippa lived close by
so tall he almost touched the sky;
He had a mighty inkstand too,
in which a great-goose-feather grew.
—Heinrich Hoffman

taken by the wind
landing on a roof
dropped to cement
twisting in wind currents
plastered against a window
or waiting for a breeze
to change directions

yet give me an ink well
and I control the wind
lower the roof
alter cement to a sea of moss
change twist to dance
create the breeze
select where to go
release my words
into the world

Day 18
April National Poetry Month
Prompt: I am a —————

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Way of Seeing

created with
splattered oil paint
and one black line squeezed,
released from a tube with a pure frenzy

Day 17
April. National Poetry Month

Prompt: expressive poem

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Dining Experience

What's possible?
What's impossible?

At Nathan's hot dog eating contest
one contestant consumed sixty-eight
cooked franks in ten minutes—

In Madras it took thirty seconds to eat
200 live worms and earn a world record

In Miami a man died after winning
a worm and cockroach eating contest

Imagine eating over 24,000 Big Macs
it's been done over a period of thirty-six years

Oh what's possible
What's impossible

We can swallow differences
Blur boundaries, release our
particular preferences
or expire with our differences

Day 16
April National Poetry Month
Prompt: impossible

Monday, April 15, 2013


Two bombs exploded in the crowded streets
near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday,
killing three people and injuring more than 130
in a bloody scene of shattered glass...

Intrude on
Encroach upon

Why the release of bombs
killing, maiming innocents?

April National Poetry Month
Prompt: infested

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Response to Chemotherapy

The release date is just one day,
but the record is forever.
Bruce Springsteen

a group of friends gathered early Sunday afternoon—
ate brownies, some chips and dip, a platter of veggies
and a bowl of sugared nuts——downstairs Peg
sat in an overstuffed chair holding a limp teddy bear—
people drifted downstairs, chatted and waited—
a wooden chair from the upstairs kitchen became
a barber's chair, Peg wrapped herself in
a purple plastic smock and waited—
waited for the clippers and the first swipe
through her short graying hair, three people took turns
— they left a spiked Mohawk cut on top
one person brought purple spray to color
the fringed edges, another friend
took photos to record the day

April National Poetry Day
Prompt: a fourteen line poem

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Release the Attitude

My old sedan sits close to the road,
refuses to strain through ten inches
of snow, and allows approaching
headlights to shatter her calm
She wiggles her way into parking spaces.

Our new SUV rides high, shoulders her
way to wherever she wants to go, flattens
snow with her muscular tires, and stares
ahead with laser concentration.
She needs ample space for her girth.

The old sedan encouraged eating, didn't
mind crumbs. The new SUV is finicky,
and prefers if you dine elsewhere.
One loves the camaraderie
while the other remains aloof.

April National Poetry Month
Prompt: comparison

Friday, April 12, 2013


The violets in the mountains
have broken the rocks.
—Anton Chekhov

fractured or damaged
bones or china cups

rejected or defeated
cracked or split
a mirror
a lip

humiliated or brought low
a spirit crushed
no fixed address

not continuous—
like relationships that falter,

no glue patches the cracks
or fills the empty places
forgiveness mends,
releases the sadness
and breaks the rocks

April National Poetry Month
Prompt: broken

Thursday, April 11, 2013

In Case of Overload

Throw out old newspapers
Tune out the talking heads
Eschew reading tomes
Recite the multiplication tables
to assure yourself of continuity
Open the window
Feed the birds
Release your breath

April National Poetry Month
Day 11 In Case of —————

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Release of World Hunger Statistics

with caramelized onions,
cherry tomatoes,
sautéed mushrooms—
served on a buttered
toasted sesame roll

20,864 people
died of hunger

April National Poetry Month
Day 10 prompt: suffering

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Foraging for Mushrooms in Maine

When the spores of a mushroom
are released, they may travel
a certain distance before they land.
—Brandeis field biology

spotting wild chanterelles
perfect for omelets
finding overlapping caps of
Hen in the Woods nestled
near oak and ash trees

discovering a lilac-brown bolete
—inedible in Maine,
seeing snapshots of poisonous
Yellow-Orange Fly Agaric
and toxic Jack-o'lantern

but how to know a deadly amanita
virosa from a simple puffball

Instead I take photos
of mushrooms
and slip their
pictures into a scrapbook

April National Poetry Month
Day 9 hunting

Monday, April 08, 2013

A How-To Primer

A dramatic experience concerned with the mundane
may inform but it cannot release;
and one concerned essentially with the aesthetic politics
of its creators may divert or anger, but it cannot enlighten.”
-- David Mamet

verbiage needs unpacking
To grasp the inner meaning,
to resonate and sigh simpatico
requires instruction in decoding,
in removing layers until
only the barest language remains

First, remove all adjectives,
expunge adverbs and then reread
Find the key words, explore
meanings, dig beneath the surface,
look for the fault lines, an intersection
between your life and the writer's life

If all else fails
wipe the dust from your shoes,
and utter Hawthorne's words
Easy reading is damned hard writing.

April National Poetry Month

Day 8 instruction Poem

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Releasing a Proper Response

Why did you tell the story
hanging her life out there
like clothes on a line

giving permission
for questions, a barrage
pummeling the table

She spread preserves on her toast

April National Poetry Month
Day 7 a sevenling poem

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Post-Season Illusion.

Release Me
Will you release me
Ah...Release me
Will you release me
--Wilson Phillips

they win
the first few
games I begin to
conjure up the post-season wins,
then the world series,
a hard fought

Wishful thinking
Too much to hold
All season long
Too much to hope
All season long

April national Poetry Month
Day 6 write a post poem

Friday, April 05, 2013

Pot Luck Dinner

I heard an Angel singing
When the day was springing,
"Mercy, Pity, Peace
Is the world's release.
—William Blake

It's all about the first letter
of your last name.
All A to Gs bring appetizers
from H to Q it's main dishes
and R to Zs create desserts.
Hyphenated names sow the seeds
of confusion. Which name
to honor, family name
or matriarchal lineage.

Only a hyphen separates
each blood line. Long dashes
might cause one to wonder about
ties of blood. Perhaps a conflict
spreads the two names apart.

One dessert
One appetizer

Selecting each name
keeps the family intact.

April National Poetry Month
Day 5 Write a plus poem

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Hold the Flow

a red watercolor wash
drips and stains
yellow flowers,

petals fray and lose
form—weep and bloat
green stems,

drips continue
enter a vase
join the water
and lose identity

tears stream
release the overflow
to stand as a witness
to ups and downs
then dry up

April National Poetry Month
Day 4 Hold the ———

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Today's Not the day

I settled down
placed the dictionary within reach
adjusted the light
moved my chair closer
tilted my screen
brought up a blank document
selected a font
changed my mind
turned the computer off
watched the light fade into dark
took out a fountain pen
filled it with dark black ink
changed my mind
found a blue gel pen
removed a pad of yellow lined paper
from a desk drawer
found a half-filled notebook
tore all the written pages out
pulled out the scraps remaining
settled down in a soft chair
placed a writing desk
over the armrests
remembered tea
heated the water
measured out Assam tea
waited four minutes
poured the tea in a mug
returned to the chair
wrote the date down
on the yellow lined paper
and waited for inspiration
to release words

waited and waited
perhaps tomorrow

April National Poetry Month—Day 3
Tentative Poem

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Dangerous Reading

dark streets
shadows that spill
out of alleys

sounds piercing
fog and mist

echoes ricochet

a scream
released into
the night

my hair stands on end

i look over my shoulder
at the flickering light
listen for breathing
and close the book

April—National Poetry Month
PAD Challenge Day 2

Write a dark poem

Monday, April 01, 2013

The Release of Winter

I set paper-white bulbs into
one dollar glass jars
imprinted with decals of lemons
and the word juice in bold script

under the weight
of a few flowers their stems
sag and lose hope,
stoop down to view
their roots—

now crocuses
poke out of snow patches,
part the brown grass, insist
on a display of bravado

a revival


April—National Poetry Month
PAD Day 1 Arrival Poem