An hour and a half, and 3 Poems to Go

April 30, 2009

There’s an hour and a half left of April, I’m dead tired, and I have to squeeze out 3 more poems.

The good news is, I just compiled the 27 I did manage to write, and they aren’t as bad as I thought they were. I originally intended to post one of each “type” of poem I did here. I’ve already posted a fortune cookie poem, an imitation, and a magnetic poem.

I attempted to post this year’s pantoum, but the spacing wouldn’t cooperate and I was too tired to fight with it. And you need proper spacing to get the full pantoum effect.

So here’s last night’s random journal poem, instead:

Don’t laugh, she says,
It’s happened before.
It’s my sister’s birthday
Words litter my table
the rain pours outside
and her temperature rises.
Ponies spin in circles.

In my dreams, I’m always moving —
stooping under low ceilings,
the scent of mildew clinging to me.
I turn my eyes away from German windmills
and try not to think of home.

Coming up tomorrow: the month’s worst poems, and the news of whether I hit 30 or not.


Poetry and Pantoums

December 4, 2008

Tomorrow night I’m going to be in Madison, Wisconsin, reading my poem, “Angry Catholic Woman” from the GirlChild Press anthology, Just Like a Girl: A Manifesta! I feel nervous about it, as I’ve never considered myself much of a spoken-word artist, but I like Madison, and it was so easy to commit back in the summer when the thought of reading in front of strangers (and a few friends) felt so far away. But then, I’ve never considered myself much of a poet, either (my eyes always glaze over calls for poetry submissions),  but that wasn’t enough to keep me from submitting this one.

Of course, I feel a bit as thought I cheated: I used a template.

I wrote “Angry Catholic Woman” shortly after my friend Theodora introduced me to the Pantoum, a poetry form that follows a specific pattern of repetition. So I decided to try my own Pantoum out, and voila! About six months later, I was holding the acceptance letter in my hands (which is still hanging on the fridge, by the way — GirlChild Press has gorgeous stationary). So if you’re like me, and don’t consider yourself a poet, or even if you do, the Pantoum is definitely a form worth trying.

And if you’re not able to make it to A Room of One’s Own for the reading tomorrow night, or if you just want to see what a finished pantoum looks like, here is mine:

I am an angry Catholic woman
I cross my arms, don’t fold my hands
I slouch in the pew
I drop post-it notes in with dollar bills during the offertory.

I cross my arms, don’t fold my hands
The notes say, “Jesus challenged the status quo.”
I drop post-it notes in with dollar bills during the offertory.
The notes say, “Male and Female God created them.”

The notes say, “Jesus challenged the status quo,”
so “Support the ordination of women.”
The notes say, “Male and Female God created them.”
I cried the first time I saw a woman at the altar

So “Support the ordination of women.”
The priest wouldn’t wash women’s feet on Holy Thursday
I cried the first time I saw a woman at the altar
The priest wouldn’t wash their feet because their nylons were a hassle.

The priest wouldn’t wash women’s feet on Holy Thursday
He started when I left the Church, I like to think my anger had something to do with it
The priest wouldn’t wash their feet because their nylons were a hassle.
Still, I go barefoot and I love the feel of clean feet.

He started when I left the Church, I like to think my anger had something to do with it
But I only explored, traded one for another, always came back.
Still, I go barefoot and I love the feel of clean feet.
And you are not fit to untie the strap of my sandal.

But I only explored, traded one for another, always came back.
I slouch in the pew.
And you are not fit to untie the strap of my sandal.
I am an angry Catholic woman.