Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Here is one of the three poems I brought to the Advanced Poetry Workshop. This is the second draft and I really like how this poem has shaped out. I am not final with this one, so please comment and let me know what you think.


Our third grade class was watching the silk cotton candy
cocoon. At first no one noticed. But Mrs. Roberts

began to ask questions. And we were all so
expectant, hungry to see the unveiling.

Someone broke the branch. Pilfering
the prize from the class terrarium. We looked

in desks and cubbies. In all of the trash cans.
Even in the art and music rooms. Everyone

was upset and busy. All but Joey Watkins. Who
stood solitary by the monkey bars at recess.

We tried to include him in our somber
games. But he said to leave him alone.

Clouds banked in and upon our return to the classroom;
Joey Watkins had a glitter of scales upon his lips,

a dismembered angel thorax in his pocket,
and a look of fulfillment in his eye.

Friday, June 19, 2009

This Morning

I woke up with the following lines in my head. It was as if I had been thinking about these lines while asleep and was able to remember them when I woke - surprisingly. Maybe they are part of a larger poem?

you have read
enough to ask
who I am.

I am going to play with them today. We shall see what comes of it.

Charles Simic's The Melon

I have been reading the July/August issue of Poetry and I keep coming back to one of Charles Simic's poem - The Melon. Here it is.

The Melon

There was a melon fresh from the garden
So ripe the knife slurped
As it cut it into six slices.
The children were going back to school.
Their mother, passing our paper plates,
Would not like to see the leaves fall.

I remember a hornet, too, that flew in
Through the open window
Mad to taste the sweet fruit
While we ducked and screamed,
Covered our heads and faces,
And sat laughing after it was gone.

I love the last line in that first stanza - it is such a great turn when we realize that the mother will not live. But this moment, one of fear and happiness, is remembered. I also like the description of the cutting of the melon. Slurped is such a wonderful word.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Heavy metal during a thunderstorm

The best part isn’t
the rain, nor
the way it latches onto my windshield
in big luscious drops.
The best part is not
the lightning.
Striking like a cultist group
around me – ready for sacrifice.
And not the size of this storm:
Most certainly is
not my hands
slapping the steering wheel,
in my usual fashion.
Not the waves of splash
back from oncoming trucks.
The best part
is when the thunder
and the band
hit the bridge
in unison.

As always people, comments are welcome. Fire away.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Reclaim and New Follower

I know I said I would be better. And I know I haven't. I have been teaching this summer program, where students who are not proficient in writing come and we teach them for two weeks. The goal of the program being to get these students to write a proficient paragraph. So far so good, but classes have been starting and I wanted to have a little fun before it was back to the grind stone and so most of my time has been filled with reading and video games. Not much writing has been happening. I see that changing beginning now.

Yesterday one of my summer courses started up at DU. Natural Science and Literature. While I am not thrilled about science, I do feel it will be an opportunity to strengthen my writing skills. We specifically are writing essays, memoirs, or narrative journalism pieces that have to do with science or nature in some way. I'm not quite sure what I am going to do, but hopefully soon I will - I would really like to get started on it soon. I do see many poems coming out of this class. For some reason when I look at or talk about nature poems just issue forth. We shall see.

Tonight my Advance Poetry Workshop begins. Joe Hutchison is teaching it and I am super excited. It looks like a small class, which should be fun. And I am hoping to really crank out some good writing.

Here is a poem - it didn't start as one, last night in class we were asked to write something after looking at a picture in a Natural Geographic. I came up with something a little more obtuse, but here is the revised prose poem edition. And as always comments are welcomed.

She (good old mother earth) is reclaiming. Taking back what is hers. Serpentine grasses: brown & yellow. Those shrubs, spiked with angst; snake their way through the broken down, fielded car. The rust pits his skin, cancerous. He screams in fright. A remorseful water tower, like a lonely water god; silently watches the valley. Does nothing to stop the mother’s onslaught.

YES! A new follower. My apocalyptic twelve is complete. All other followers must participate in a rigorous application and interview process.

Welcome to Kevin - one of my former students from Pomona high school and a wonderful writer. Check him out here.