Mother/Daughter

Almost forgot to post a story tonight! Imagine that: one day into the streak and I fuck it up. Not this time, though!

This story, again, comes from class. Here, we were given a photocopied page of a weird book about songs people used to sing while working around the house. The first section of this story is an exact quote. The next two build off it. 

Mother/Daughter

“I will sweep the floor,

Make it very clean;

Sweep behind the door

Till not a speck is seen.”

Mother

No one told me

That being a mother

Would involve turning my child

Into a slave, or singing stupid

Songs from from a stupid book,

But then again,

At least the floor is clean.

Daughter

She said her mother sang these songs

While they used to clean

The dirty floors. “It was my only lasting

Memory of her,”

She said.

Where do they come up with this?

I’d rather cry alone upstairs,

Or sleep on the filthy floor,

Than sing another stupid line. 

Prose Poem

I hate prose poetry, but maybe I like this? I had to write one for a tiny text class and came up with this in a fit of writer’s block. To get out of it, I decided to just write how I felt about the genre, or lack of genre(?), instead. So tell me: Do I like this?

Prose Poem

I don’t know whether or not a prose poem needs to look more like prose and sound like a poem or look like a poem and sound like prose, or if there’s a difference between the two. And what’s the difference between prose poems and free-verse poems? Whitman, who some say is the founder of free-verse, but before anyone else knew what to call his work, would write lines that went on and on that took up two lines, a concept that still doesn’t make much sense to me. Were the original editions these giant books where one line could be one line or were they the standard size we see today? And what’s the meaning behind one line that takes up two lines or one long line if, at the end of the day, we know that it’s all supposed to be one line? Could it just be two lines? What does that change, and how? The fact that there are no rules makes me want to say this is dumb. I feel dumb writing this, but there’s something pleasant about just writing, eliminating genre. I feel a flow, but it could just be bullshit. Should I indent this, or include a title? What if I don’t?

Riley

I wrote this poem for one of my best friends. I loved writing this as much as I loved him. I’m sure you know we all miss you!

Riley

It took the entire day to convince him
to take me on a walk. I wanted to explore
the neighborhood and
what goes on beyond the
backyard and houses
to the left and right. I want to
see the trees, the tall oaks
in the preserve, their acorns
always hurt my little feet
when I walk along the rooted paths.
We settled for a quick walk—
to see my friend Eddie who’s always looking for me.
The trip to his house is nice but I always get
Distracted by the cars and trucks their horns
are always too loud they hurt
my ears and I can’t think I want to run
but I’m always being held back. I’m told
the street isn’t safe to cross and I can’t
just run wherever I want,
but it’s instinct.
My daddy keeps me close by
while we walk down
the sidewalks, mindful of
the broken glass and dirty objects
with the funny smells. I run
around the poles to see how long it takes
him to catch me.
He has such long legs compared to mine.
I wonder what it’s like to be a giant,
to have to bend down
low to show me love, a pat on the back,
and a cookie, with a nice bowl of ice water,
and a nap until dinner time of course.
The clouds in the sky start to grey and I
can feel and smell and even taste the
trouble in the sky. I pull back towards
home as fast and as hard as I can.
Daddy knows I’ve had enough.
My mind starts racing and my little legs
Can’t keep up. I stop, scared,
in the middle of the street.
A big brown truck with the mailman I hate,
Who’s always at our house, who’s always
ignoring me when he leaves the boxes
I love to rip up, comes
roaring down the road and I want to bark
at him and make him stop. If he gets out
I’ll rip him to shreds.
I’ll tear that brown uniform apart. He’s,
he’s—lucky to be in that big brown truck.
The vibrations rattle all my organs and I can’t think I
have to stop and rest.
Otherwise I won’t know where I am.
Daddy picks me up and takes me home,
when we get back, that familiar car
in the driveway tells me
mommy’s home so I run and bark and grab my toys,
my mouth is full but as soon as I see her
she says “Hi, baby!” and it’s
all okay again.

Untied

Here’s a poem that I wrote during my poetry workshop last semester. There are a couple poems that I wrote for that class which I’ve already posted here, but as our final project, we were required to revise them. Maybe if you guys are interested I’ll repost the revisions I’ve made. This one was one that I really liked that needed to dive in deeper into the character’s mind. It needed to become more personal. Hopefully I’m getting close. I feel like it’s still a work in progress.

Untied

There are riots in the street,
looting of stores and flags burning.
For once, I don’t feel sorry.
Frustration explodes
in the sea of thousands,
destroying everything
in its path, leaving behind:

windows smashed on Broadway,
and rocks laying silently;
fires burning bright, and
singed nostrils from the scent
of burning rubber;
tear gas stings our eyes, leaving
a salty taste on our tongues;
a brick wall, the divided nation,
splits us apart,
forcing us to choose sides;
shots are fired, but only rubber
this time.

In eight years, the knot stayed
unraveled, they’d finally left it
loose to hang around my heart.
In one night, they let it slip
tight around my neck again.
Who knows when—no…
Who will just leave it
untied?

The Suburbs

Sorry for the delay! Trying to play catch up on all my school assignments. This is a poem that’s going to be workshopped on Monday. The class is so tough. Everyone is really talented. I feel like I’m constantly playing catch up just to get to their level. Anyways, here’s my attempt. Enjoy!

The Suburbs

Mario’s Pizzeria on a busy corner of the long
stretch of Broadway—where cars fly up and
down, weaving in and out, back
and forth between bagel shops, 7-Elevens,
CVS’s, Home Depots, Ralph’s Italian Ices,
Rita’s Italian Ices, another Mario’s half
a mile down (have you tried the clam sauce?
The red sauce. Buy a bottle of Blackstone),
Carvel, All American, Vote for Trump
on the back of pickups that serve no purpose—

Welcomes the same people who’ve been
coming since the joint opened, ordering
the same watered down red sauce (not
gravy) that their grandmothers from Italy
would roll in their graves over.
Their watered down sauce pairs well
with their watered down lives, afraid
of Black Lives Matter, afraid of
clowns, Hispanics, the city, their pasts,
Hillary—“Lock her up,” they all yell!
They’re all informed, they’ve faced
hardships, Depression babies, who remember
the cold nights in Manhattan with no
heat and little food. Money hidden
throughout the apartment—just in case.
Under the pillow, a loaded gun, safety
off, just in case.

As they leave well into the night, the
moon bright, blindly pulling off the curb
not a care in the world, they drive
home, slow and steady, rinse and repeat
another day, exactly the same,
watered down sauce,
in an aluminum tray in the back seat
permeating the car, and their clothes,
and their fridge, and their skin.

Car Crash

Sorry for the short break. I’m not done yet. I still have another poem for you guys. I hope your weekend was as good as mine was. I spent it upstate with my family and girlfriend, and it couldn’t have gone any better. I’ve never been happier.

Lately, I’ve been trying to write more politically with my poetry, but decided to take a step back from it. The other students in my poetry workshop are so incredibly talented that I really felt like I needed to try and write something better and more focused. After watching a horrifying video online after a shooting in Afghanistan. There was footage of a woman seeing either her child or loved one being carried out dead. She let out the worst scream I’ve ever heard, shaking on the ground, her body unable to even process what exactly happened. I hope I never see/hear something like that again.

Car Crash

The pain of not
Being there to help,
Of not being there to find
The right words,
Will forever hurt
More than the pain
I felt in my heart
When she walked out.

Like lighting a fire with
Wet kindling,
Like holding back
From a kiss when you
Feel you have heartburn,
And you know
They need to feel your lips,
The one thing that
You can provide is
Love, but you
ruined your chance.

As the birds chirp
Deep into the night
To no one in particular,
While the street lights shine
Their yellow light
On those just passing by,
A young father,
A former father—
Still a father?
He remembers the scream;
It pierced his ears
As they pulled her out:
Her mother’s scream,
And her body rocking
Back and forth
In the ditch, near the trees.

The crumpled car,
And the blood from her ears,
down her neck,
On the seat,
On her shirt,
On my hands, on my hands.

He walks away.
He can’t look back.
Mosquitos in the middle
Of summer, attack
His arms and legs,
The price—he feels
He has to pay.

He could have stopped her,
Said not to go, that he was
Sorry, he didn’t know.
It was just a joke,
He shouldn’t have said
That he didn’t care,
That she can’t love him back,
The love of her young life,
That he needed to go.

International Day of Peace

The streak continues! This time I have a poem that I wrote on the International Day of Peace. Yes, the title is ironic. I got mixed reactions in my poetry workshop but I like how it sounds so I’m posting it anyways. Hope you enjoy too. I’ll have another lined up for tomorrow too.

International Day of Peace

A young man, tall and thin
sits in front of the television.
Day after day, night after night
he wonders can he do anything right?
Can he walk out his door and
get to work, get paid, put it away?
Without getting put away?

He heard them say
“He looks like a bad dude,”
but it was just a breakdown–
quick run to the store, out of food.
Next thing, they scream “Get down!”
His hands go up, he gives up,
he does what he’s told, a heart of gold,
his goal’s to grow old
and give his kids the chance
to truly live.

But they take it away with the
pull of a trigger, everything to lose
is lost, a victim of abuse
from the system that continues
to refuse their right
to live like everyone else.
A bit of wealth is all he needs,
but even then, he sees himself
on his knees as he pleads
to live another day.
He’d go to jail and make bail with
his family behind him, thankful
He’s not six feet under,
No thunder from the roar of a gun.

His work’s just begun.
Back to the streets, back where
they want us, where we’re born
and raised. Where we’ll make our stand,
where I make my stand
against the system that allows
terrorists to live, rapists to walk free.
In the land of the free–
Is there room for me?