day 30 — A Galaxy’s Failures

I have missed
everything, even the moon,
but one does not land
in a kiss of stars
when you are clueless
of where you aimed.
Well, soon it’s just the same;
this black black blackened sand.

Thirty days and only vomit
is kin to the tasteless way
I bleeded the buds of my tongue,
wasted away the galaxies’
sins that smoked in my lungs.
Water over ashy sand
is mud, still mud.

But the grooves of my palms
grow packed with universal dirt;
I may know you better now.
Just as once I knew to letter
all the old day Psalms, my heart hurts
with this new voice that,
from a planetary past,
calls back, calls back, calls back. 


Day 30- Write a poem employing extended metaphor to illustrate the experience of the last thirty days.

day 29 — shadow waltz

What calls to you at night, lacking
girl with small-wrist hands that reach
and fumble for skims of light,
are ghosts, my dear, phantoms—
not shadows, not silhouettes 
of your sisters’ autumn dance.

They used to plead for you to dance
with them; books were lacking
to prancing, slender silhouettes,
and handsome men needed to reach
and hold aloft tiny waists, like phantoms
with their voices soft and feet light.

You used to hide from the light-
haired boys. Your words would dance
around them, coaxing with phantom
promises, never lacking
in saccharine kindness, and you would reach
a sort of joy in all your false silhouettes.

Tonight, under the severe silhouettes
of Victorian ancestors, your sisters’ light
laughter does not crest, far out of reach
and the spirits continue to dance.
Hear their shackles, screams lacking,
sounds they make not sound, but sound-phantoms. 

"We love you madly," say the phantoms,
"each evening without you lacking.
Let us dress you in gossamer silhouettes
and confess in our de-light.
Let our mouthless kisses dance
and our reaching fingers reach.”

This is dawnless, you realize as you reach
the old ballroom, the phantoms
fawning and tripping now, no dance
or waltz to the way their silhouettes
drape over you, and you wish to light
everything ablaze, but passion, still, you are lacking.

Morning reaches your tired silhouette.
The only phantoms left are you and the growing light,
but to dance with little Dawn feels… lacking.


Day 29- Briefly research a poetic form of your choice and write a poem according to the rules of that particular form.

The sestina is wonderful, and I know one poet who wrote lovely sestinas. I’ve always been too afraid to try them; they’re difficult, but so lovely.

day 28 — jellyfish eyes
Are my closed eyes so blind?My hands are new, my hair is blue,my flowers cannot growbut brightly they have bloomed;I do not know where I have sinned.
The winds of time have swept mein, and left me at your side.The tourists bide the breezeand gawk at me, the heretic.I never meant to make you sick.  
But you thirteen are cursed, toa life without impermanence. While others met the guillotine,you are cleaned and cleaned and cleanand you’ll never age a day.
But eyeless child that I am,my legs unmoving, smile smooth,I shall be taken far awayas all the cherry blossoms fade by the dying dregs of May. 
Day 28- Visit a virtual art gallery and look around until you find a piece that intrigues you. Write a poem inspired by the artwork.
"The sculpture ‘Jellyfish Eyes - Saki, Tatsuya, Max and Shimon’ by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami is displayed at Chateau de Versailles. "

Day 27 — The Poem I’d Never Write

I am not a writer. 
I am a genius.
I know my way around words
like a whore’s mouth around you,
but I leave them in my wake
unflinching. They mean nothing.

I love you more than I love words.
I’d give up writing for your kiss.
I miss you more than the thrill
of touching a book for the first time,
the smell of unopened pages
on a dusty, rainy day.

The pens can break. Let the ink spill
like slashed arteries on the desk.
No matter. May my imagination die.
May I be subservient only to you.
I am a genius.
I am not a writer. 


Day 27- Begin with the title “The Poem I’d Never Write.” Then, write that poem.

Day 26 — The Horoscope
What isa matter of degrees?This is the challenge.
Your legacy, by generations,the Echoes’ lore,a better world,mosaic of memories,realitytwice removed?
Unfinished utopia,Awaken. 

Day 26- Gather some magazines/catalogs you don’t mind cutting up and spend ten minutes flipping through them looking for words/sentences that spark your interest. Cut out the words as you go, and (at the end of the ten minutes) arrange the words to form a cut-out poem.
Magazines: Stanford Magazine July/August 2010 and Stanford Magazine September/October 2010, supplied by my friend’s mother. I had my nervousness and hope about college next year on my mind, so— here’s the result.

day 25 — wedding bells

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon lift their veils.
Pistachio trees droop, small hearts
bloated, like mosquito-mothers.

In groups they stoop to weather
vanes, like your crumpled lion
washed out of fly-flecked myth. 

By the hour, pebble, hand-in-hand
with pebble, spills out your
gaudy, varnished mouth,

a well of pitch where the heather
died three years ago. The lion twists
to kill the living ink, 

but the soot-glaze seeps; the lion fails.
I do, I do, I love you Miss!
(Decay, decay, was prettier than this.)


Day 25- Write a poem that includes all of the following words: pistachio, ink, pebble, weather, varnish.

day 24 — curse

sloughing off the crust of bones     aching you
shall crawl alone     out from the shutters     curtains
flutter (b l i n d) the blinds
the winding spools of red     and who
will swallow     all the dew   who will swallow
will it be you     round the clustered ivy
wrings the wrists    in dust and moth
it bleeds     it rots     in rusted swings
your mist (you’re missed)     who will follow
bleed anew who will wallow

may(it)be you


Day 24- Write a poem that’s different in some way from anything you’ve ever written. Take a chance! Be wild!

day 23 — how to keep you close to me

it’s true that fresh air is good for the body
that newness and nature restores

it’s true that ash will cloud and choke the lungs
and I stopped smoking for that reason

but I am burning all our letters, bathing in
the heavy box, because this, this writing

this is our body 


Day 23- Write a seven line poem that begins with “it’s true that fresh air is good for the body” (from Frank O’Hara’s poem “Ave Maria”) and ends with “this is our body” (from Gary Snyder’s “The Bath”).

day 22 — terwilliger

He was decrepit, gasping, and white,
his sole meaning for existence
to drive me around—
like Driving Miss Daisy,
but in a weird universe
where whites
drive little Asian girls
a bit crazy
with their funny noises. 


Day 22- What is the first car you bought/drove/remember? Write a poem about it.

day 21 — but the one that reduced…

two humans to something–
an explosion, wherein
our love
will be made of ashes,  
but not one that let life,
each empty space a letter,
just the right amount for

by the sunspots we once called
war, we danced ourselves into,
we leave behind 
the swan song, and the note,
annihilated, will dissipate,
grow from nothing.

So vast, the distance between us,
everything that once mattered.
This is the end of the
white-like stars.
Years from now
they’ll call it The Big Bang.


Day 21- Choose one of the poems you’ve already written and posted as part of this challenge and re-order it in some way. You could rearrange the lines or stanzas or even words in a line. Think of it as a puzzle!

I used the leftover line as the title. I added in some punctuation and changed around one line, but the rest of it is just line moving. Here’s the original.