Bird Watching: A Poem

Photo by Brian Forsyth on Pexels.com

I track grief like birds
in the crosshairs of my binoculars.
A cross marks the spot
where my heart lies.

Cardinals are meant for mourning,
singing dirges in key major
like blood pumping.
They’re resplendent in red,
so when you see them,
you know a little piece of Heaven
sings for you.

I don’t believe in Heaven,
but I believe in birds.
I think if ever I
see my grandmother again,
it will be as a dot of red
against a field of blue.

Other ways to support me:

Joker’s Right: A Poem

Bringing it back to a time when I thought I was clever–and could actually rhyme!

Though I fancied myself as a rather mysterious person, multiple people told me they could “read me like an open book.” I didn’t like that, so this was my response to them.

In hindsight, I probably wasn’t as mysterious as I pretended to be.

Complicated beyond comprehension,
but what’s to comprehend
when it’s all a game?
I like to play pretend.
A bag of tricks
and some joker’s quick wit
brings the crowd their kicks.
Now it’s the clown being played,
though I’d gladly condescend to claim
you know the face behind the name.

Other ways to support me:

Show Me Yours and I’ll Show You Mine: A Poem

A PET Scan illustrating difference between a brain with ADHD and one without. PHOTO: NEUROSCIENCENEWS

I’ve always wondered
what neurotypical looks like.
Let’s compare brains.

You go first.
Cut off my hair,
peel back my scalp;
what do you see?

Is my brain sectioned
into hyperfixations
or does Henry VIII waltz
to Kpop?

What does it
look like?
A brain?
A castle?
Are the walls pink-grey
or splattered with glitter?

How does it feel?
Do the folds vibrate?
Or is it my legs
which cannot hold still?

Detach my brain
from its stem.
This doesn’t hurt
at all;
you see, I’m
grateful,
so grateful,
for the reprieve.

Thousands of things
happen every
second
and my brain wants
to know all of them.

Next time you see me
in a restaurant,
lower your voice
or all your secrets
will go home
with me.

Cradle my brain
gently.
Is it heavy?
It should be.
It’s full of
secrets.

Smell it.
Lick it.
Hold it to your ear
like a conch shell–
Can you hear the ocean?
Oh, it’s singing a
90s commercial jingle on loop?
Sorry, it does that
sometimes.

Had enough?
Put my brain back.
Stitch me up.
Find me a wig.

Tell me everything!

My brain looks
like a normal brain?
Look once more.
There must be something
to fix;
I’m getting tired
of forgetting–
what were we talking about
again?

Other ways to support me:

Caution; Slippery Floor: A Poem

This is something fun I wrote last night. It was meant to be a serious poem but I lost focus halfway through and it became this. I feel it’s a perfect embodiment of ADHD.

Side note: Richard Siken is one of my favorite poets.

Richard Siken speaks often
of cutting off his head;
I think I might too.
Maybe I could trade it
for another,
try on new brains
like I try on clothes.
Who do I want to be
today?
Let’s see how neurotypical fits.
What is it like to not
be at war
with yourself?
To be able to hold
a thought;
mine are as slippery
as a Minnesota winter.

At least on the floor, my
brain can feed the rats; the
only thing it feeds me is
song lyrics on loop while
I forget, again, to call my
dentist, to pay overdue bills,
to take blood pressue meds–
oh, shit, I left the stove on.

Traffic Line Romance: A Poem

I was going through my poems and separating things into various folders (I’m stupidly organized in ways that don’t matter), when I came across this gem. I wrote it over a decade ago and still love it. How many writers can say that about their old writing?

A drop falls
and then another.
Falling, falling
across the yellow traffic line.
The ripples slowly
spread outward
like fingers
seeking, seeking
the touch of another.

A Day in the Life of Henry VIII: A Poem

Na/GloPoWriMo has come out with some interesting prompts these past few days. Yesterday’s prompt to write from the perspective of the dead had me writing about Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury. Today’s prompt to write the to-do list of an unusual person or character birthed a Shakespearean sonnet about King Henry VIII.

See below for a short preview.

A Day in the Life of Henry VIII


Whether by ties or death should he sever
them from this most sacred and solemn vow,
he can be assured of his rightful choice
and take such succor as offered him now,
be it food or skin above a rich bodice!
Whoever she be, shall she be my queen
or be hanged for failure to make a king?

To Tell a Fib

I’ve been very casually keeping track of what’s going on over at Na/GloPoWriMo. I haven’t written every day, and what I have written has been off-prompt. I liked today’s prompt, though, which was to write a Shadorma or a Fib. Each are six-line poems with specific syllable counts. The Shadorma syllable count by line is 3/5/3/3/7/5, while the Fib’s syllable count is 1/1/2/3/5/8.

I, naturally, chose what felt like the harder of the two. I like to challenge myself this way; it makes me more conscientious of the language I use, and I think, by doing so, I write better poetry.

Here’s my contribution for today:

opera games

an
act
two-faced
masquerades
or opera games
a riddle behind ivory
peel away the venetian lace
you still won’t see me
I’m hidden
by more
than
masks

Donald Trump’s Titanic: A Poem

I wrote a poem called Donald Trump’s Titanic which was recently accepted for publication in the online literary collective Writers Resist. Please give it a read, and of course, I would love to hear your thoughts!

See below for a short preview.

The world today
is like watching a shipwreck in slow motion.

Donald Trump
is the iceberg, and America is
the Titanic. We laughed
about being able to smell ice
when it’s near—

Iceberg, right ahead!
We elected him anyway.