The Toxic Environment in Silicon Valley

Kelly Clarkson shows no sign of fluorescent color.
You know you want superpowers, purple lashes and brows.
Slouchy trousers open the door to special occasions, spoil
my body, invite a little invisible woman to a certain level of
Genesis. I tell her that she is the face with a twist of glitter,
the impeccably dressed tomboy, supple and smooth.

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I’m way behind because I’m assistant directing a production of this thing. But in theory, I’m writing poems this month using phrases from the February 2020 issue of InStyle.

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The Slings and Arrows

The actress has turned into a sprinter. Her actions have
put the oceans in diapers. There is nothing more important
than local news on TV with Dolly Parton singing “Jolene,”
a little bit of a lampshade on her head. Always wake up
smiling. Sometimes we just cry—a lot of times.

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A new month means a new magazine. This time, it’s the February issue of InStyle, which I’ve never read before.

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Intimacy Is Not the Mess You Give

Her demons never left glitter at restaurants—
she was a cocktail of dazzling sun on your night sky.
The darkness was captivating, the spine of a dance
that Agatha Christie taught you. She understood
when to hold back, how to deal with limitations.
Maybe it’s time to speak into the intensity of
Whitney Houston’s dark demands: cocaine,
the roil between icy tomorrow and love.

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Belatedly, here’s a final post from my January project using phrases from that month’s issue of O magazine. I feel like I finally cracked it by the end. In related news, have you noticed that it’s hard to find magazines in stores near you? I have. I’m still on the hunt for a good one for February.

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Casual Friday Plus Satiny Jeans

How do you wake up happy, beyond your roots?
It’s a snap: a rainbow of shimmering champagnes
inside the closet with a sensual liquid. You may be like
the sun at night, a dip in the day’s oil. The gold mask
casts a shadow that’s visible just below your skin,
the veins in your arm, your face, your neck—
a larger halo for the journey to a heaven.

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This month, I’m writing poems using words and phrases from the January issue of O Magazine. I’m finding it surprisingly harder than December Good Housekeeping. The language is so high-toned that it’s difficult to split it open, and also in some cases, people are sharing personal stories that it’s hard not to walk respectfully past.

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Glitter So Much

Cry for your moment, child. Alone.
Name the feeling when you break down,
a lovely thing for dying early. Something else
wide open, guided by voices winding down
the good fight. Choking on blood, how do we
keep safe? The haves and the have nots,
relatively speaking, are multi-orgasmic types.
The larger universe dismisses the mood.

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New year, new month, new magazine. It’s a lot different from the one I was working with last month (remember, I’m writing poems using words and phrases found in one issue of a particular magazine).

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The Ultimate Elixir

Precious oils, a powerful representative.
Holiday tablecloths hang in any place,
decorate the mirror. Naked, chic Katy
entertains more than Jay Gatsby
deserves. Pucker up, grown-up. Write
in mittens, dive into the year—free.

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OK, that’s it for poems written by stringing together phrases from the December 2019 issue of Good Housekeeping. My project for next month is … pretty much the same thing, but with a different magazine. Once again, look for a total of three posts next month, one of which will tell you what magazine I’m using. Until then, enjoy diving into the year!

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Delicious Sugared Gifts

And over their 3-year-old, they unwrap a chocolate bar,
an unexpected delight, the awareness of purpose.
The star, the same twinkly pool under today’s ice-blue
satin amazingness. And it’s pure genius, the season’s
dark rum woods, the gentler nighttime healers of
buffalo. Gold elixir, powerful magic, pining for space.

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You might recall that my project for this month involves piecing together a poem each day from words and phrases in the December issue of a magazine. The month’s almost over, so I’ll go ahead and tell you it’s Good Housekeeping (I was playing it close to the vest — not sure why).

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