The Mic May Not Be On, But I Don’t Let That Stop Me

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“Are you talking to me?” you asked.
Oh…um…I guess I am talking to me.
There was an argument to finish up
So I did it in soliloquy.

Then some inner dialogue
Needed desperately to be outer,
And when I reached a conclusion,
I presented it in the shower.

I asked me some interview questions
For my someday late night debut,
So…I’ve talked to myself all day–
I have nothing to say to you.


Sure, it’s not weird if you talk to your co-workers, but if I talk to mine (the candle, the dog, my chair, the pens), I’m “socially maladjusted.” I know I’m not alone in this. Well, technically, I am alone, but I mean you probably do this too, just not with anyone. Creatives have a lot going on in the brain and if you don’t open the valve a little, it explodes.

PS. That great poster in the background is available here for a mere $5: Dumb Runner Obstacles Poster

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Yo Ho Howl

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It’s a shame that pirates
Get parrots by defaulty.
I would get a little dog
And name him Mr. Salty.

He could distract the targets
By asking them for scritches,
While I most efficiently
Relieved them of their riches.

With my Salty sea dog
The plank I’d never walk.
A dog can bring you jail keys.
All a parrot does is squawk.


I confess, all of that was because I thought it would be funny to name a dog “Salty.” I think of a lot of these things as I’m falling asleep, and I text them to myself. If the guys in black suits ever look at what I’ve been saying to myself, they’ll either make me a very high priority or decide I’m not any kind of threat at all. Arrr.

I’m also pleased to present this example of why I don’t do my own illustrations. Ta Da.

Apollengies to Joyce Kilmer

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I think that I shall never see
Something as bumbly as a bee.
Molest too much the flower it flew;
It might decide to bumble you.


When my little girl was three, she came running to me in a panic outside one afternoon. “Mommy! Mommy! That bee bumbled me!” She just received a warning buzz, but she wisely decided to leave the lavender to the bees for the rest of the afternoon.

Today, the puppy was outside trying to eat the bumblebees. This seems like a bad idea, but my apparent interest in taking pictures of them reinforced her idea that they are snacks. Why else would I bother with them?

I Seasoned It With My Tears And It Still Wasn’t Enough

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O gluten-free burrito,
I bought you by mistake.
I had to eat you anyway
Though taste you did forsake.
Your wrapper was so sexy,
Your words I did not comb.
I would have then discovered
Your “tortilla” was packing foam.
O sad disappointment–
Even lime chicken could not serve.
You’re the burrito I had to eat,
But not the burrito I deserve.


This is based on a true story. I have not made the same mistake again.

On another note, after publishing so many of these, I’m finding that I’ve forgotten what I’ve already done. The poem I was working on (in my head) all day is I think a repeat of one about how we eat “The Usual” around here–so you get this one I wrote in 15 minutes instead. Guess I need to make a list or something.

Sink

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               Officially notified, she sat down at her desk, staring without seeing.  There was something she had to do, but she couldn’t figure out what it was.  This was all wrong, and they were expecting some sort of response.  Her eyes roved across the items on her desk, on her shelf next to it, pens, notebooks, should she write in a notebook?  Stab into an artery with one of the pens? 

               She stopped at the little bottle of Higgins ink.  Unopened, purchased for some creative urge that was never satisfied.  She carefully tore the top of the box and pulled the bottle out by the rubber dropper.  The others shifted, uncomfortable at her silence but unwilling to break it.

               She grasped the bottle with her left hand and turned the dropper lid with her right.  Not that old, then.  It opened easily.  She squeezed hard, forcefully, then closed her eyes and released.  The full dropper was pitch black, the liquid form of a vaporous emotion.  She cupped her left hand and let the drops of darkness fall into it, splashing, filling her palm, small spraying dots marking her white desk.

               The dropper went back into the bottle.  She put her hands together, floating the ink evenly across her palms, like she did with her moisturizer every morning while Adam was in the shower.  Adam would not be in the shower tomorrow.  She pressed her hands to her face and pulled the color of hollowness across both cheeks, her forehead, her eyelids, scrubbing it in.  The outside would reflect the inside.  This was right.  This was what she was supposed to do.

Eternal Restroom

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I know you’ve been tempted to follow Death,
But don’t open that door, you’ll be mortified.
Yes, of course I want to keep you here…
It’s just…the afterlife is occupied.

Note: And with that, we’re done here. 31 poems in 31 days, from a campsite, from my office, from my heart and from my juvenile sense of humor. I saved this for last, because the picture is very … final. I would love to know if anyone has a favorite; I suspect it would be different from mine! Now we go back to the usual sporadic Bad Poem-Every-Once-In-A-While schedule, which might be weekly (ish). Thanks so much for being here. Any comments about the experiment welcome.

Now, with school starting, I will edit The Tiny Giant (oh, yeah, I finished the manuscript rewrite in early August…more later about that) and write some more of these dark twisty short stories that have been rattling around waiting their turns. I’ll see you all early next week with a grim little piece of microfiction called “Sink.” Since we’re into experimenting and all…

No, Mrs. Johnson, I Never Did Improve At This

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I bought one of those books–
Coloring for adults.
They evangelize them so much,
It’s like they’re forming cults.

“It’ll relax you!” they said,
So I got out my shiny pencils.
I sat and scribbled and scratched.
In five minutes, I was mental.

The stress involved in choosing
Colors for each insanely tiny space
Was “relaxing” an agonized grimace
Onto my tightly scrunched up face.

If you’re into this crazy fad,
Please don’t let me yuck your yum.
Deep inside, I must still be five,
Yelling, “Coloring is dumb!”

Note:   Mrs. Johnson was my first grade teacher.  She despaired at my terrible pencil grip for as long as I knew her.  Also, I bet you’re dying to know what I’ve saved for last. Me too. Tune in tomorrow to find out what’s running the last leg of this relay.