And Then Some Days, You Write 6 of Them

… and they all just suck (to put it frankly). What is going on? Did I jinx it by saying things were going well? And … will the magic ever return??? What if I wrote my last good poem ever, a couple of days ago? (Do these questions sound familiar to you, fellow poets?)

Or maybe this is just a Sunday night in July, and I am temporarily unable to see past some other things that are going on — like my son’s impending 4th birthday. Not that he’s to blame … but I do find I am often boggled by special occasions, financial obligations, and other “chatter” in my daily life.

Also, I had a Peep-roasting incident tonight … yes, in July. There were two left, so I fired up the gas range, and then I grabbed them to pull them off the skewer. Melted marshmallow tends to fuse onto skin pretty tightly — as I learned around Easter and relearned tonight.

On the plus side, a burned thumb (it immediately made a blister, and now there are some purple places as well) is a handy excuse for what I hope is temporary writer’s block. Perhaps I’m just distracted by the pain … and my own stupidity.

But wait — the first three lackluster poems were written before this incident. So much for that excuse. The upshot is that I’m just not feeling it today but hope to feel it again tomorrow … and will choose a less hazardous dessert next time.



NaPoWriMo, Day 17: Epistolary Letter Involving Many, Many Elements

Episiotomy? No, epistolary. Meaning, in the form of a letter to someone. Or in this case, to something. I was supposed to write a letter to an inanimate object and incorporate at least four of these elements: 

1) a song lyric
2) a historical fact
3) an oddball adjective-noun combination (like red grass or loud silence)
4) a fruit
5) the name of a street in your neighborhood
6) a measure of distance

If you’re not from around here (the U.S., that is), you might not immediately know what object I’m addressing. Also, I tried this again tonight and enjoyed the results. I actually prefer the chicks (maybe because they’re, I don’t know, more iconic?), and I think the heat should be low, not high. Just like when you toast marshmallows, you want more of a slow, controlled burn — unless you happen to like a totally charred outside and solid inside (and if you do, hey, that’s none of my business). Anyway … here’s the poem already.


The Thrill is Gone

Dear Marshmallow Peep,
I used to love to skewer and roast you
over the flame of our gas range.

But this year, you taste too sweet.
The thrill is gone, baby. The thrill is gone away.
You’re like a rotten apple: Cloying. Sick.

I bought fifteen of you at the CVS
a block from where I work; I’m glad I didn’t
go all the way to the one on Kenwood.

I wouldn’t walk a mile for you, Peep—
not even the long-short miles that make up
my shaggy orbit. People used to believe the sun

orbited the Earth. I no longer revolve around you,
Peep. Not that I ever did, but still, there was 
something about you as you sizzled and melted,

gnarled and charred, something about your
crispy shell, creamy inside, something about
post-Easter chicks pierced and flambéed.

I don’t know what happened. If I could reignite
the fire inside me, I would. It was nice to desire
something so small, so attainable as you.