When a Solitary Bee Comes Knocking

Have you thanked a solitary bee today? Have you
put some pollen in the pockets of its pants?
Whether you’re a squill or a crocus, a snowdrop
or a winter aconite, your local solitary bee is ready
to assist you with all your reproductive needs.
Discreet. Friendly. Professional. That’s the kind of
service you can expect when a solitary bee comes
to drink your nectar with its strawlike proboscis
as its head wings legs pockets collect your pollen
and as you realize–for the first time–why it is
that you’re alive. So don’t be shy. Don’t be lonely.
When a solitary bee comes knocking, open up
your sepals, your petals. Stretch out your stamens.




For NaPoWriMo, Day 10. The prompt was to write a poem advertising something.




Recently Played

We are young, my dark horse of Pompeii. We are
young, and headed straight for the volcano. Ashes
everywhere. Cinders. It’s easy to talk dirty when
you’re already dirty. It’s hard to be in love when
you already know that love is a stereotype.



For NaPoWriMo, Day 9. The prompt was to use a list of five random song titles. Can you spot them?


Black Stone Lying on Whatever

I really don’t care what day it will be, or where,
or what kind of weather, when I die. Do you? Really?
If so, I’d venture to say that you’re fooling yourself —
or indulging some romantic notion about how these things go.

If you die in Coshocton, Ohio, on a snowy February night, you will be
equally dead as if this occurred on a rainy day in Paris.
I’m sure I’ve driven through Coshocton, and I went to Paris once. Both are
OK places to die, no matter which way you wear your arm bones.

Marilyn Cavicchia is dead, or maybe you are. Maybe both of us.
No one beat us with sticks. We missed our final shot at drama.
We thought there might be a rope, but of course there was no

rope. Who said we merit witnesses? There are no witnesses.
Just put your arms back on, and lie down. Be quiet. Try
to think about other things for a while, if you can …



NaPoWriMo, Day 8. The prompt was to rewrite a famous poem, and this one was suggested.





You spare me the worst of
dishpan hands. I suspect you are
ancient. From my daughter’s bed,
through the wall, you sound like
a motorboat plying Lake Michigan,
heard from a big white porch
as the sun sets — the hour of
Vernors and distant dinner
preparations, when I was
younger and didn’t have to
help with dinner, or with dishes,
or feel guilty for not helping.
When I was younger, and I
didn’t know you yet.




For NaPoWriMo, Day 7. The prompt was to write a love poem to an inanimate object.



Questions on a Sunday

Does the Little Tykes Cozy Coupe
against the gray house long to
hop the gray fence, go driving
down the gray street?

Do the flowerpots know what
they’re waiting for? Have
last year’s dead leaves
tried to give them hints?

Does the bathtub on the
back staircase wonder what
it did to get tossed out of
the breakfastless B&B?

If the whirligig of the fisherman
in yellow slicker and red boat
on blue water is completely
still, does it need a new name?

Do I need a new name, too?
Should I change it with every
season? Or is it better to keep
some small things the same?



For NaPoWriMo, Day 6. The prompt was to look out the window and write down some nouns, colors, and verbs.



That Was a Sweet World

I once knew a girl named Ginnifer Green,
whose hands were like a pair of Buddhas.
Somewhere, she had a switch, always “On,”
so you never knew if you were going to the
movies, or over the fence to steal rotten fruit.
We’d get buzzed until we could hardly stand
it — that enervating joy of being what we
were. I’m sure I’ve had better things to eat,
now that I’m an adult and can afford the
luxury of discernment. But Ginnifer’s smile
is something I can never have again, and
that was a sweet world, in our boozy spit.
What would I trade to once again be out
on Ginnifer’s white driveway, toeing the
gravel? That laugh. That flash of teeth.


For NaPoWriMo, Day 5. The prompt was to write a Golden Shovel, which is a bitch of a form, let me tell you. Here’s the poem I worked from:


Green Buddhas
On the fruit stand.
We eat the smile
And spit out the teeth.

— Charles Simic

Do you see what I did?


And Aosaginohi, Luminescent Heron of the Night

Aka Manto, I do not wish the blue paper or the red —
no paper for me, thanks. I’ll squat and drip dry,
and thus be neither strangled nor sliced.

Akaname, you are welcome to come and lick my
bathroom clean. I’ll think of you like a house centipede;
we’ll agree to unsee each other as we make our living.

Azukiarai, what is the sound of your azuki beans
being washed? I imagine it as shook shook shook.

Abura-akago, I’m afraid we don’t have the right
kind of lamps for you. Your infant tongue might burn
on the coils of our lightbulbs, and still not find any oil.

Ameonna, do you sometimes make rain for Amefurikozo
to play in? I would do this for any little boy, if I were you.



For NaPoWriMo, Day 2. I wrote based on this list of creatures from Japanese legend. I regret that I couldn’t give the little boy in my last stanza the long accent over his final “o.” I’m still figuring out this new blog theme.



Only the Sound

I used to be mystified by whale-shaped volcanoes.

Now, I know it’s all just so much razzle-dazzle,

a certain belching of acid or fire, a little rumble

shaking us up toward our only glimpse of sky.

Sometimes I think our whale volcano might be

on a birthday cake, white frosting under our feet

if only we could dig far enough. If only we had

any inclination, or enough shovels. Sometimes

I think we’re all alone, and there’s no such thing

as birthdays. Only saltwater. Only lava. Only

the sound of our own breath, repeating.