Lots of feelings this week on and off the page. I got a little worn out on poetry writing but I’m also halfway through! Thanks again to @amykaypoetry for providing the prompts. And if you aren’t following me on Instagram, you’re missing some of my content! Find me @michelledwhipple 🙂
Day 8: Mildly Interesting
As in the photos on Reddit’s mildly interesting feed. I found this photo of a pigeon nest made out of mostly nails, found on an active construction site and wrote two poems that might actually work together.
What? I used what I had! Said the bird who parked Two eggs in a Nest of splinters and nails On a Tuesday While the workers Drank lemonade From sweaty glasses In the hot sun.
Rest. If you are a hammer, everything is a nail. If you are a nail, everything is a two by four. If you are a two by four, everything is a wall. If you are a wall, everything is a house. If you are a house, everything is home. If you are home, everything is rest. If you are rest, everything is comfortable. If you are comfortable, you can rest in a nest of nails.
Day 9: Write a Nonet
Per @amykaypoetry, a nonet is a nine-line poem. The first line contains nine syllables, the second line contains eight, the third line contains seven, and so on. The last line of none poetry contains one syllable.
This is my narcissistic nonet.
Entourage. When I take purse dog to the playground, I accumulate a crowd of little girls that follow me around like ducks fighting over bits of bread. Feels like being Zac Efron’s plus one. Hmph.
Day 10: Write a Poem Beginning with a Retweet
The title is the retweet I based this poem on…and reinvigorated my search for a correct mom jean.
How High Can High-Waisted Pants Go? (Retweet from a New Yorker article.) I have been steadily working on finding an acceptable alternative to skinny jeans, because I’m no dummy. I examine the girls At the mall With their Levis Extending above the naval. And when I put them on, I feel equally supported And lost In the yards and yards of denim. So far I have returned every attempt at not-skinny jeans, except for one pair of corduroy bell bottoms. One Saturday morning, I wore them to buy lightbulbs and a tall, black man who was decidedly cooler than I said to me, “I haven’t seen bell bottoms in a long time but, girl, you are rockin’ those.” Those, I will keep forever.
Day 11: Things I’ve Done to Avoid Boredom
Pretty self explanatory.
Day 12: Forgive yourself.
I have lots of practice on this topic.
A Life Sentence. I spent my 20s being willing to die, even wanting it a little. But instead of suicide, I went to grad school while I lived in the basement. A basement, like a coffin. I ran once, when I first noticed the chains. I was suddenly frightened by the rattle but it got louder. Loud as the rattle in my chest. So I stopped. I have to forgive myself for that. I got used to the idea that my error was loving you too long. Hope can fuel a thousand days even when you want to die, even when you are already half dead, make that three quarters. Hope can make you limp along, quietly dragging the boat anchor through the desiccated lake bed, the heavy metal grasping each grain of sand like the doorway of a prison cell. I have to forgive myself for that.
Day 13: Write a Blessing
The temple. With peppermint oil on my forehead for the feeling of cool water, I pronounce myself clean. In the morning, I am anointed by daylight pressing through drapes and I stretch from the tips of my toes to the tips of my fingers to feel how I have grown. When I listen to the fountain dribbling blessings on the humming bird beaks and the hum of bees on the orange blossoms. In the hot bath with the water around my collar bones I hum to myself, Waheguru, waheguru, waheguru wahe jio. On the dark night that creeps on without sleep, I am the only one there to hold back my hair as I purge the toxic patriarch. I remember Mary’s words, Sometimes I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed.
Day 14: When There Aren’t Words
This is after Tony Hoagland’s poem, “Special Problems in Vocabulary.”
Special Problems in Vocabulary The energy of a brunching cafe full of twenty-somethings in bright dresses. The way the bucket hat on the man sitting next to me at the community table reassures me. How something I wanted forever, something so intrinsic, can gently release its hold.