Overgrown

Overgrown

Sometimes my poems are cluttered with adverbs and adjectives,

subjunctive clauses, desultory detours like this front yard is overgrown

with weeds. When my poems gets like this. when you can’t see the structure,

it is time to bring out the whipper snipper. Time for a trim.

Taking Off

Not all poems will leave the tarmac.

Not all are destined to fly.

Some are too heavy to lift off,

weighed down with their own importance,

too mechanically unsound.

Some simply haven’t enough fuel in the tank.

Others are just puzzles, enigmas,

the captain scratching his head in the cockpit,

saying, well, it should fly. Everything appears in order.

It was checked this morning.

Not all poems will leave the tarmac.

Not all are destined to fly.

  • pic courtesy of Pinterest

You Used to Call Out

You used to call out when we had sex, he said.

You would raise the roof and ululate.

Street lights would flare, power lines fizz

with excitement, fruit bats rise from their roosts in alarm.

Whole shrouds of them.

Why, even the bed shook as if it were coming.

The very veins in my wrists wanted to pop.

It’s awfully florid, the editor said.

It’s meant to be a romance novel, not a porno.

Can you tone it down a little?

The Black Glove


My laptop has a mind of its own
Has decided due to its senior years
To take ‘nana naps’ in the afternoon,
To nod off during the ‘quiet times’
its screen dark and sinister as a black glove.
If I upbraid it, it turns to me saying,
What’s good for the goose is good
for the gander!
Where does it even get this stuff?
The ‘nana naps’ sometimes drift into sleep,
in which case a sharp rap over the knuckles
of the keyboard seem to do ‘the trick’

Another Altercation with Auto Correct

Parth serves me.

He deals with my query,

sets me up for Unlimited Data.

The next day

is Mother’s Day.

If you want anything to happen,

changes to your laptop,

forget it.

Mothers Day: the Holy of Holies.

but the next day

is all good

BUT

when I message Parth to thank him

auto correct  does not like ‘Parth’

but changes it to

‘Parthenon’ !

What the %#$%^&

He’s not a Greek temple, he’s a person, I say.

And besides he’s Indian NOT Greek

and when I correct it, auto correct

over-rides me.

We come to blows.

I change it back

end with a

‘Have a good one, Parth’ and quickly press ‘send’

but the next day

I get a message

‘Hey John! What is it with ‘Parthenon?

That Little Imp

When my writing ‘seizes up’ like my laptop

when it gets too stiff, formal, clunky

I call in my little imp

that firecracker of mischief

to get in amongst the words

like a dog

amongst the sheep

to shake them out of their torpor,

their locked in state,

nip a few ankles if necessary

give them the run-around

so everything’s loosened, wide awake,

shifted,

moving again

then ,

I can call him off

& when the dust settles the poem settles too

into something like

normalcy

relaxed, loose, easy.

Dark Spots

There’s an ad on some Word Press posts saying,

‘Don’t Cover up Your Dark Spots’ and I thought,

Whoa, isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?

Keep our sins and prejudices in the attic,

not hang them out like dirty linen in public,

to hide our inner trolls, I know what the ad means.

I’m not stupid. Just got carried away by the metaphor.

And anyway I almost put up a post yesterday

Revealing a darker, nasty side of me but my therapist

Urged me not to put it up, that there are dark spots,

she said, that are best concealed.





  • Tribute to Blenholt by Natalia Zaratieger on Pinterest

A Bit of Love

Some of my poems end up like this,

bashed, broken , bent beyond repair,

car wrecks,

the ones you don’t usually see

in the showroom

of my blog,

the ones abandoned in the junkyard

out the back,

but sometimes I remember a part that worked

when the rest of the poem didn’t

and I go down & look for it amongst

all that scrap metal

of words

misshapen phrases

 give it a polish, an oil change

a bit of love

& fit it into the poem I’m working on now

so the old gives vigor

to the new.

It works every time.

The Third Sentence

Many creative writing classes and manuals will stress the importance of the first sentence, that it must grab the reader’s attention. Even Hemingway espoused this fallacy. But the first sentence is never enough.

Yes, it must grab the reader’s attention, If it doesn’t the reader will go elsewhere. There are plenty of options — but if the second sentence is flaccid, all will be lost. The second sentence fulfills the promise of the first.

But it is the third sentence that seals the deal. The third sentence assures the reader that the writer is authentic, that they are worth listening to, that they have something to say and have the command of language to say it with flair and authority. They can be trusted.

After that the writer will be ‘in full swing’. The reader will be committed;  will go along for the ride.  

Their Inner Cannibals

Like many writers I keep a journal, jottings of my jousts

with reality:

jests, jumbled thoughts,jaunty glimpses

of how things are

inside their skins,

a goulash of impressions

my larger poems feast upon

so they won’t be thin;

 not a morsel is left untouched, wasted;

you will find them inserted

 in my posts,

sneaky little apercus that say the most.