National Poetry Month

March 31, 2008

If you haven’t joined in the discussion on “What is Good Poetry’ or have– jump back down and do a follow up and read through the thread. After all, this is about building community and I am glad you are here.

Beginning tomorrow, I will attempt to post a poem a day in support of April being National Poetry Month. Not all will be good as usually I hit the mark about every seventh one. 🙂

So, as a good poet–take the challenge and do the same.


Brautigan and the Plastic Buddha

March 29, 2008

We stumbled around the corner and found ourselves in Chinatown. This stretch of street was experimental poetry with Peking duck hanging in the window. The rain had stopped and the naïve world was washed clean by green tea and paper dragons.

We were on a mission for dim sum. We wandered down an alley with the sweet fragrance of opium hanging in the air. We settled in at Hang Ah, one of the oldest dim sum restaurants in the city. I pointed at the noodle rolls, tarts, and dumplings as the carts rolled by.

“Smell that coming in?” I asked.

“Opium. The Chinese smoke opium in their bathrooms,” Brautigan said.

“Put that on a postcard and send it home,” I said. “Hey, try this noodle roll.”

“The old people sit in the tub,” he said taking the last swallow of his beer.

“That’s just bizarre, man—the bathtub?”

When we got up to pay the ticket, Richard said something to the busboy in Chinese and we were nodded and motioned to the kitchen area. In a darkened storage room off the kitchen a clay pipe was passed around. It was a dream scene set in a Chinatown fog. Old Chinese were sitting in the tub and young children gathered around on the floor. Paper lanterns were stretched across the ceiling on fishing line and bobbed to the sound of an Erhu breeze coming from the alley. A plastic Buddha sat winking on the window sill. I listened to the ping, ting, sing, for minutes, hours or days. Time did not move when the Erhu played.

Finally, inching our way out of the alley, we saw a Chinese princesses riding a lotus flower to the sun weaving down Grant Street in a slow motion display of waving silk. This image stopped us along with a head of cabbage being yo-yo’d down on a string from a balcony above. Smiling elders grinned and waved at us on from above. It splattered at our feet and plastered bits of damp cabbage on our jeans. The old Chinese celebrated from their loft—smiling, nodding, and clapping.

“Ah, man–look at my jeans” I said. “Now what?”

“I need to find a paper, he said.”

Brautigan put the coin in my hand and disappeared behind the paper dragons.


Up Against the Wall

March 27, 2008

my ex called the other day
she made small talk at first
like how have you been
the last thirty odd years
and I was thinking about you
and do you still think of me
and remember that time
and did you ever grow up
and quit kissing your mama’s ass
what kind of job do you have
are you still a Jerry Jeff
wannabe cowboy boot kickin
still drinking out of your Stetson
leather vest wearin’ getting drunk
on Saturday whooho worthless
sleeping on the couch Sunday

strumming that internal G chord
I knew there was still a reason
to like country music.

Get Off the Blog, Haiga. After yesterday, we need a little humor.

March 27, 2008


Brautigan said, “it’s raining somewhere programing flowers…”

This Brautigan poem was introduced to me in high school–perhaps somewhat responsible for all of this.

Who was the first poet you discovered?

Counting to Ten

March 26, 2008

tries to sleep
hoping not to wake
before bars close and
footsteps find the hall

stale booze and cigarettes
paint the wall like
hushed mouth secrets
taken to family graves

doors squeak shut
she counts to ten

knick- knack- paddy- whack

says her ABCs
over and over
clutching her doll
like lost children playing
in someone else’s


Question: What is good Poetry Anyway?

March 25, 2008
Sitting at a round table with friends…

What is good poetry? What goes in to making a poem successful?Make a list?

Should a poem take a stand–have an edge–grit?

Or should the masses be able to identify?

How many tag surfs or other searches do you do on blog sites only to click off as fast as you got there?

How often do you buy books of poetry? So are poets the only ones that read poetry?

Is poetry an art or a craft. Let’s talk.

Darfur Equinox

March 24, 2008


it’s raining as I
sit here with a stash of two
buck chuck’s finest wine

we drink in paper
cups celebrating when the
sun sits directly

at the equator
a world away we ignore
rape, torture, murder

a movement of time
a Darfur fast march to death
ignored genocide

while we buy organic sprouts,
wine at Trader Joe’s