Poem A Day: Week 1

April is National Poetry Month and I’ve been writing a pome a day for the #amykaypoemaday challenge. It’s been really fun! Here’s what I’ve got from week one.

If you feel inspired, follow @amykaypoetry on Instagram and you can see the prompts every day. This challenge is completely about participation points. You get points for any level of participation!

And I would LOVE to read what you are writing!

Also, if you aren’t following me on Instagram, you are missing out on some of my content. I try to update most things here, but IG is so convenient and quick–so look me up! @michelledwhipple

Day 1 Prompt: Throw a Party for Heartbreak


Do you know the kind of day like today?

The sun is obnoxiously bright, 
Not in an oven fire sort of way—
More like a preschool teacher’s apron.

The trees and bushes are well-watered and well-fed? 

The birds chirp that insane song.
Nobody taught them that—well, 
Maybe it was god, or the wind, or their mother. 
They go on incessantly. 

God, what I wouldn’t give for a rainy day. 
Something to match my imploding chest. 

But I guess I will 
Make do with this.

Who brings a piñata to a funeral?

Day 2: Take a Title from Lord Birthday

@lord_birthday meakes the best lists!

Actual Things I’ve Said Lately

He plays the French horn…but not for fun.
I accidentally ate a bowl of Lucky Charms for breakfast.
So next time that happens, you’re going to 
    think of me saying, ‘There’s the pussy thought again!’
That shelf install was way more of a two person job 
    then the chandelier. I held the shelf bracket with one hand, 
    the shelf with my nose and the drill with the other hand.
Cardamom spice latte—that sounds delicious!
This chain saw has been leaking oil since day one. 
I don’t think it’s going to go well if I call him Jimothy….
I bought a hydrangea and the lady that sold it to me 
    told me it symbolizes lesbianism. 
Come on UPS man! Take the package!

Day 3: Let Your Ancestors Inspire You

What will they say about me when I’m dead? 

My great great grandfather wrote an autobiography.
I read it. 
A trite thing. 
But he was not a writer. 

He was an entrepreneur 
a farmer 
a missionary 
a polygamist.

Zella read it too. 
Zella, my great grandmother, 
with no good words for that man. 

Left her in Wyoming for two years when she was twelve. 

Took a second wife, 
who was younger 
and prettier 
and taller
And more fun.

Run out of Wyoming. 
He travelled with a pillow under his arm, 
spoke Zella with contempt. 

I read his words 
and he thought himself a blessing.

Day 4: Reasons to Love You

Reasons to Love You

You feel like a teddy bear. 
Your tiny tail shakes wildly when I touch your squeaky toy. 
My heart tripled in size this past year.
You are feisty.
And SO sweet. You sleep through the night. 
You legitimize my wandering the neighborhood.
My first love thinks you're his little brother.
Your growl.
Your kisses.

Day 5: Status Update

Inspired by Rebecca Lindenberg’s “Status Update.” And so much fun, I wrote three of these!

Status Update.

Michelle Whipple just ate a hamburger. She used to think it strange that people so often cooked themselves a hamburger for dinner when you can buy one for one dollar just a block down the street. But now she cooks them for herself quite regularly. Because she has chipotle mayo which is delicious with avocado and ground beef on a brioche bun with a ripe tomato. But don’t think she is a foodie—it’s just a hamburger for goodness sake. Michelle Whipple is drinking rosé. Probably too much rosé to be updating her CV, but sometimes things happen on a Monday night. And now it’s out in the world with a new last name and a new section on volunteer experience to people recovering from catfish. Not the kind you noodle, the other kind. Michelle Whipple is laughing to herself about how strange the world is where you can list that on your CV as volunteer experience. Michelle Whipple is drinking water now. 
Status Update. 

Michelle Whipple is flossing her teeth. She once had a boyfriend who said there should be two continents on this earth, one for those who care about oral hygiene and another who don’t. Michelle Whipple feels somewhere in the middle about oral hygiene. So she is pretty sure she is on a ship or an island between those two continents. But she sure as hell does not want to be shipwrecked the on the one where everyone has meth-mouth.
Status Update. 

Michelle Whipple is boycotting boycotts. She does not feel like taking a stand on purchasing anything from any one. Michelle Whipple eats at McDonald’s on the same day that she buys organic produce from the farmer’s market. She gets clothes from a store called Free People that she is pretty sure does not free people. Michelle Whipple just became curious and checked. Sure enough, “none of Free People’s supply chain is certified by labour standards which ensure worker health and safety, living wages or other labour rights.”  Michelle Whipple says, Damn it! to herself as she writes a poem lamenting her obligation to care about the cost of creative fashion on humanity. Michelle Whipple has no shame… or no principles. She cannot be sure which. Michelle Whipple is modeling a new outfit for the gram. 

Day 6: Write About An Ache


Poem ache. 
When you have to write a poem but you really just want to watch TV.

Head ache. 
This morning from the rosé.

Phone ache. 
That feeling when your phone is not right where you think it should be.

Neck ache. 
Age will not be kind to cheerleaders who dove for the gym floor. 

Hunger ache. 
Fixed with two boiled eggs, one whole cucumber, some Bellavitano cheese and a buttered, fried piece of naan. 

Heart ache. 
For squishy cheeks and curly hair, Hot Wheels and war games. 

Home ache. 
Why do you leave the home that holds you best?

Ghost ache. 
The life you could have lived passes by you in the middle of a foggy night, just visible enough to let you know it could have been yours.

Poem ache. 
When a big feeling wakes you in the middle of the night and you put your fingers on the keyboard to watch it come to life. 

Day 7: How To Keep Going

How to keep going. 

I haven’t written a word today until now. 
I mean, I guess there was the medical note. 
The ONE medical note I wrote today…but it didn’t even have any good quotes.
A good quote opens a quick window between my reader and this patient. 
Lessons from state hospital years ago.  

Maybe no one will ever read it. 
Sometimes I don’t even read my own notes. So what am I writing for anyway? 
The malpractice attorneys and the medical coders. The billing specialists. The insurance company. 
300 words for them and maybe 30 for myself. 
Don’t copy and paste, but make it perfect
Every time. 
And unique. 
Make us know that you are as good as a computer at remembering every minute detail. 

Each risk, 
(like anyone could consider all the risks with a person who is on fifteen medications). 
That person is a walking science experiment,
being saved or ruined by my tinkering. 
And I make these decisions based on the past. 
Based on the fact that he set himself on fire once. 
That he spent seven years in a locked facility after he harmed his mother. 
Because he still talks about demons and chainsaws and redemption and hell. 
Because he cannot quite focus on what I’m saying no matter how many times I repeat myself. 

Because he knows not to talk about the darkest thoughts. 

So I talk to him about walking and sunshine on his face. 
I talk to him about his house and his shoes. 
He wants to go shopping for new socks. 
He wants to eat some chips. 
He wants a cigarette.