Posts Tagged ‘Poetry Jam’

Poetry Jam–I, 2012

Holy holy.

I’ve taken a break from writing to the Poetry Jam prompts. Maybe it’s been 2 months or so. This has been conscious but also feels somewhat out of my control. I’ve been sick and noticed that all of my poetry-writing vim and vigor had dried up during the period in which I’ve needed to focus my energies on simply getting well. I also wasn’t sure how to participate without becoming overwhelmed. Everyone is so encouraging and I couldn’t keep up with commenting on other poems. I found I was pressuring myself to be more like other poets who comment so consistently and beautifully. I would read everyone’s work, but when it came to saying something on each blog, I found myself faltering.

I am struggling with my own writing, but I think the Poetry Jam can be a way to force myself to put out a poem-in-progress or even a bad poem. I need that. I get too precious and fussy instead of letting the process be process. I was really pleased with some of what came from the prompts, so it has been fruitful in that way, too.

Without much further ado, I’ll give it another go. For my own organization, I’m also starting to count the Poetry Jam posts over for 2012….

This week’s prompt, which is so great, is hot and cold. It should have been a rich one for me, but I’m just going to bite the bullet and print what I came up with. It’s a snippet, not finished, and maybe doesn’t need to go anywhere else. I’m trying so hard to let these things be and to stop fussing. Holy holy.

How Do I Move Away From the Body of Middle Age?

Hot, cold,
or warm, Luke?

At night, my feet stay cold
my toes, frozen

so I bundle myself in layers of mohair and wool,
down and cotton

I wake in another hour
to an unbearable heat from the feet
I can’t move away from it quickly enough

I slough the covers
peel socks, pj bottoms and nightshirt off

and pant for cooler waters
in the dry winter air

Where is my temperate zone?

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Here is my attempt for this week’s Poetry Jam. What’s cooking this week? Write a poem which uses the following words:

laugh  laundry  ghost  edges  beer

I’ve tried to fulfill the assignment and the result may be the worst poem I’ve written since I started this blog (believe me, not my worst poem ever, because some of those I wrote in my younger days are real stinkers).

I’m terrible with humorous poems and I tried to go that route with this one; then I decided, what the heck, I’ll let it be what it is. Not too happy with the result, but as I’ve said before, the shit can get pretty deep around here so it’s good practice not to take myself and work too seriously.*

If you are new to my blog (maybe came via Silent H, Deadly H?), welcome and please look at some of my other poems via the Category column to your right. I swear I usually do better…..

Ghosts of My Grandmothers Hanging Laundry

I love the laundry,
it is true,
I always have,
I always do

The sheets hang like ghosts
in autumn’s fading light
sins of my fathers
labors of my mothers
precede the
rhythm of my days

My grandmothers make sharp edges
with hot irons

Sometimes an uttered curse
up to God or down to Hell
rarely a laugh
the labor long
with diapers
and stained undershirts

Oma didn’t drink
because alcohol
was a demon
walking side-by-side
with the soldiers and the bombs,
Meine Opa’s
fists livelier with every slug
from the bottle

For my Jewish Grandma Elsa,
ceremonial wine

And me?
Do not I love the laundry?

Jeans on the line,
and genes from my fathers,
slugging my beer
‘til I can’t drink any more

I love the laundry,
it is true,
I always have,
I always do

October 16, 2011

*Dear Readers–the trick of setting you up for disappointment is not new to me. I understand this robs you (and me) of a fresh ear to my work and a genuine, untainted discourse in regards to it. It’s an old behavior of mine and I pull it out here consciously. Perhaps a woman of greater character and strength would have let the chips fall where they may. My only defense is I don’t do it often and I’m pretty strong most rest of the time (you know I’ve got a pair of brass ovaries, peeps!). I love you, my dear readers; don’t forget it!

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