Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Poem a day -- 11 thru 16

11. describe something--only one thing--that is either very interesting to you or something you think is often overlooked and taken for granted.

This is easy, if you're paranoid.

the mushrooms
outside the cabin door
I knock them down
but every morning
they’ve grown back

always different patterns
there’s a message
if I could read it
but no help
nothing in the code books

or the short wave
got to work this out
for myself
first the geometrics
then the colors

they’ve shaded from blue
to coral
no way that’s just random
time to move out
proceed with caution

wait for the
woman with the red dress
what I really
wonder about is
who’s leaving them?

12. write an apology poem.

How else do you start an apology poem?

This is just to say
I found the
naked pictures
of your wife and mailed them
to the enemy

I had to
do something to
get the dogs off my scent
and I didn’t know
you’d be back

excuse this note
sorry I couldn’t wait
I would have served tea
but there’s none
and by the way

I did save a couple
of shots for myself
to trade in
case of capture
or for those lonely nights

you know how it is
or you don’t
you’ve probably never
had to cross the border
or thought about it

13. write a poem based off your response to a song.

I wish I could be like
the guy in Warren
Zevon’s song
about jungle work
they parachuted in

parachuted out
with sten guns
clutched in each hand
Mozambique Zimbabwe
Sierra Leone El

a true mercenary
strength and muscle and
jungle work

or steal secrets
from trusting employers
like James Mason in
Five Fingers
or betray my

partisan comrades like
Victor McLaglen
anything but
this cold vigil
this infernal border

14. write a poem with the title "How (fill in the blank) behaves"--with the poem inspired by whatever you put in that blank.

This border
is often unguarded
makes me suspicious
why guard at all
if you don’t

have some purpose in mind?
So I monitor
the patterns of
the sentry
he’ll tip off their approach

through binoculars
on the screen of
his cell phone
pictures of a girl’s breasts
always the same girl

different poses
dropped to reveal one
or the other or
both some kind of

morse code like the mushrooms
which I should report
I tested by
eating one

15. Write an insult poem

Today we faced
each other across
the border
I was armed to the teeth
with invective

I called him a swine
a mongrel
I mentioned several things
all of them vile
about his mother

her habits
pertaining to hygiene
her sex partners
her choice of footgear
(combat boots)

I was just warming up
I questioned his
racial and ethnic
his taste in underwear

none of it seemed
to have an effect
perhaps he
speaks a different language
or else he’s deaf

16. Poem With a Twist at the End

Well, most of these have had some sort of twist at the end, so what could be different?

Time to file a report
they’ll be worrying
about me
its been three weeks
since I last made contact

short wave radio
shorted out
I’ve repaired it
so many times but now
flux exhausted

torch burned out
can’t heat solder
it won’t flow up the joint
have to improvise
getting there

crackling static
sound fading in and out
got to let them know
I’m still here
it’s dead again

the last thing I hear is
they’ve got a new dance
it goes like
this and its name
is the peppermint twist

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