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.

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.


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.

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).


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.

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!


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.

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).


On Looking Ageless

If sex is not a bed, finish up before noon,
sleep, talk, love your dream. You’ve found
wine bottles for hands-free perfection
in your home. Like a pro, you discover
37 things to pop after a long day of comfort.
French festival houses, vanilla weeknights
make it easy to repeat relief. It’s proven.

Remember, this month my project is to write an erasure/found poem (often multiple poems) every day, using the same issue of the same magazine. It’s very easy to lose the magazine and go into a panic.


Project for December, Plans for 2020

I meant to post this soon, anyway, but I see that it’s my 8th bloggiversary, so …

After writing and posting every day for the past month, I didn’t want to just stop, and possibly stay stopped for another whole year, but I also needed a break from all the personal stuff. What eventually evolved is that this month, I have a new project, and I plan to do a different project for each month of 2020.

Every month, I’ll post what my project is, in case you want to try it, too, and I’ll post a couple examples of my own work. I can’t continue the daily posting of poems because of the well-known Previously Published hex that renders blogged poems useless in terms of submitting to most publications. But I also don’t want to withhold everything, because I enjoy sharing and getting feedback — more than I ever get through publication. So, let’s try this for a while.

My project for December is that every day, I’ve been going through the current issue of one magazine (same one each day) and writing a bunch of found poems using only words and phrases that I find in it. I’ve been stitching them together in order rather than mixing them up. I guess these are erasure poems.

What I mean is that if you did this with my preceding paragraph, you could have:

For December, going through a bunch of words,
I find I’ve been mixing up …

but not:

I find a bunch of words
every day, mixing up …

I’m not telling you which magazine I’m using, but I will say that December issues of women’s magazines are especially good for this because of all the holly-jolly striving. It leads to rather jarring poems about sugarplums and stress.

Maybe the formula from now on is that I post what my project is on or near the first of the month, then post an example around the 15th and another at the end of the month. See you around the 15th, then!


All My Homes Were Home

Let’s end it here, even though so many things happened
before and after. Let’s drop back down into our
brick-walled kitchen in Thief River Falls (sometimes,
I’ve just said Minnesota, but today I’m being precise),
where my mother asks if I want Kix for breakfast, and
when I say yes—giggling because I know what’s coming—
she kicks me lightly a few times with her quilted slipper feet.
I knew the address was 903 N. Knight before I confirmed it,
maybe because I’ve looked it up so many times before, or
(get this!) because I’m now Facebook friends with a
previous girl in the house before I was a girl in the house,
and she once made the trip back, posing with her brother
under the house numbers we all shared. So many things
get layered over and under, it’s hard to tell how much
we really remember, from when. But here’s this:
On Google Maps, just now, I moved the street view
around and around, almost trying to eat it, my house,
with my eyes, as if I could go inside if I just looked
hard enough. We only lived there from 1979 to 1981.
You wouldn’t think it would count as home.
You wouldn’t think so, but it does.

Today’s (final) Poem a Day Chapbook Challenge prompt was “the end.”