M is for maypop- Poem: Seer

Queen of Swords

Today’s new word:

maypop n. 1. the edible fruit of the passionflower, Passiflora incarnata, of the southern U.S. 2. the plant itself. 3. South Midland and Southern U.S. May apple.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write your own dramatic monologue. It doesn’t have to be quite as serious as Browning or Shakespeare, of course, but try to create a sort of specific voice or character that can act as the “speaker” of your poem, and that could be acted by someone reciting the poem.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Write a prediction poem. Make a prediction. Write about another person’s correct or incorrect prediction. Or, you know, be unpredictable.

My poem


Come into my parlor
Let me light your way
What is the burning question
That suffers you today?

For that, an easy answer
I can see here in your palm
When you see a maypop
Your true love will come along

But what is this?Let go my hand.
Stop this. Let me go!
Your touch, it burns my skin
There’s something more you desire to know

I see a coming conception
A joining of two worlds
A calculated abomination
A new hell on earth unfurled

Your union is a combination
Of demonic and divine
At this you reveal your real question
“Where is the other kind?”


Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Hum (ALA Notable Books for Adults) by Jamaal May.

Happy Reading and Writing!


K is for kayfabe-Poem: The Art of Kayfabe

martin-knize-37047-unsplash cropped

Photo by Martin Kníže on Unsplash

Today’s new word:

kayfabe n. 1. (in professional wrestling) the fact or convention of presenting staged performances as genuine or authentic.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem about a dull thing that you own, and why (and how) you love it. Alternatively, what would it mean to you to give away or destroy a significant object?

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Take the phrase “The Art of (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “The Art of Writing,” “The Art of Painting,” “The Art of Showing Up to Parties Fashionably Late,” and/or “The Art of Being Awesome.”

My poem

The Art of Kayfabe

Gray metal folded and forgotten in the closet
scuffed, dented, not quite trustworthy, not quite stable

Kayfabe your faces with humility,
patriotism, determination and love

Pulled out for card night and large family gatherings
a last resort when every other option is used

For you, the fans, it’s reciprocal see?
Of course, those baby-faced heroes love you.

Not spine supportive, uncushioned
uncomfortable, the back hitting blades

Kayfabe the heels with narcissism, egomania
rage, sadism and bitterness

Quickly re-folded and wall-leaned because
one would rather stand

They don’t love you.
It’s good for you to boo.

But tonight, a glorious tool, a gimmick
tonight, the star of the show

Kayfabe a romance
some boobs in his corner

On the edge of the ring made of shiny barbed wire
surrounding some things that will soon be on fire

Will they? Won’t they? She looks
mad. Did he cheat?

Unleashed in a way
that was not intended

With her sister? Her mom?
Is it true love forever?

With the same passion as helping
you reach forbidden cookies

Will she fight her sister and her mom?
A victim vs. cheaters tag team?

And acting as stage to your paper dolls
and holding your paint can, or muddy boots, or filthy cat, but mostly
those extra unseated guests

But not tonight
There won’t be a butt in this seat tonight


Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart by Alice Walker

Happy Reading and Writing!

J is for jequirity bean and jumbies- Poem: Origins

Abrus_precatorius_pods jequirity bean

Today’s new word:

jequirity bean (Abrus precatorius) n. 1. the poisonous scarlet and black seed of the rosary pea often used for beads

jumbie n. a type of mythological spirit or demon in the folklore of some Caribbean countries

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem of origin. Where are you from? Not just geographically, but emotionally, physically, spiritually? Maybe you are from Vikings and the sea and diet coke and angry gulls in parking lots. Maybe you are from gentle hills and angry mothers and dust disappearing down an unpaved road. And having come from there, where are you now?

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Write a dedication poem. This is a poem dedicated to a person, an animal, or an organization. Or hey, objects work too–like a poem to a rock or paper bag. Put the dedication in the title or in a line under the title (“for Mother” or “to the heart-shaped rock between the creek and the tulips”).

My poem


I come from the land of Forgotten Mangled Memories
near the town of Twisted Tradgedies
just outside the city limits of Confirmed Reality
in That Never Happened County

The house had many messy rooms
valuable trinkets–fragile, carefully selected
glared at me from every surface
collections of colors, shapes, lines and faces lingered
framed and under glass, covered and consumed
every inch of wall, protective box
each side made slightly smaller
though each world could be fallen into

Called by sound waves traveling along a string to
the ringed cans of past ears becoming
words never said, misinterpreted meanings
Emotions coat all with thick detritus
leaving nothing clear, the jequirity beans
I strung to fight the jumbies scattered
I see them everywhere
The combination of our colored lenses
tint it all a sickly hue
making us turn away and not want
to look back



Today’s poetry book for inspiration is All of Us: The Collected Poems by Raymond Carver

Happy Reading and Writing!

I is for ipseity- Poem: Whatever It Is

Today’s new word:

ipseity n. selfhood; individual identity.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that starts from a regional phrase, particularly one to describe a weather phenomenon.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Write a lone poem. Perhaps the poem is about a solitary wanderer or person who just prefers to go it alone.

My poem

Whatever It Is

It’s not the heat it’s the humidity
the frustrating accumulation of droplets of sweat before even grabbing a towel after a cold water shower, losing ipseity in the hopelessness of the dark triangles under armpits along backs under breasts where bellies can’t hide against fabric, perspiration can’t and won’t relinquish the damp, moist, swampy, Petri dish of microbial life
Yeah you right

It’s not the heat it’s the stupidity
the brain beating endless summer of torrential sunbeams pounding and pounding at damp flesh, glassy-eyed, immobile, barely functioning bodies swimming from one air conditioner to the next like sharks focused on survival, the shot-gun blast filling the electric sky promises short-term relief, heavy drops blending all the sweat marks into one is but lagniappe
Laissez les bon temps arriver bientôt!


Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Fast: Poems by Jorie Graham

Happy Reading and Writing!

H is for horripilation- Poem: Things that are love/ Things that are not love

Mt. Rainier reflected in Lake Tapps

Today’s new word:

horripilation n. a bristling of the hair on the skin from cold, fear, etc.; goose bumps.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write your own Sei Shonagon-style list of “things.” The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

  1. Write a love poem. All you need is love.
  2. Write an anti-love poem. Or not.

My poem

Things that are love

Diving into cold water starts a vibration
that tingles and lingers with horripilation
Curling up with words when the sky fills with rain
finding that poem to read again and again
The warmth of your silence as we both think and write
laughing at silly things, you collect a sound bite
things we say when we’re together
We laugh.

Things that are not love

Getting my blood pressure checked at the dentist
As if the dentist wasn’t enough cause for alarm
Shortness of breath while playing the flute
Everyone staring while the notes putter out
Florists who never deliver birthday flowers,
So you return from the door disappointed each hour
Bee stings and cupboard moths and midnight pillow spiders


Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Smudgy and Lossy by John Myers.

Happy Reading and Writing!

G is for grig- Poem: The Horror Show


Photo by Martin Brosy on Unsplash

Today’s new word:

grig n. 1. a cricket or grasshopper. 2. a small or young eel. 3. a lively person.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Think about the argot of a particular job or profession, and see how you can incorporate it into a metaphor that governs or drives your poem. The provided list of Professional slang is full of inspiration.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Write a lucky number poem. Some people have lucky numbers, some don’t. Wherever you fall on the lucky number spectrum, you can still write a poem about the phenomenon of lucky numbers and/or luck in general.

My poem

The Horror Show

The horror show began after
the baby catcher handed me the grig
I couldn’t find any joy
in the things that I previously did

The baby catcher said I had
pneumoencephalopathy that would clear up in time
but the grig stopped its bubbling
And I couldn’t stop its crying, so

I was sent to the Freud Squad, but
they made things worse
acted caring at first, but
were pill pushers all, and

The pills made me dizzy which
led to a fall and by trip number four
to the slashers and gassers they cured
my Acute Thespian Syndrome, but
replaced it with Mysterious Internal Spongeitis


The Planner Pages

Sorry I didn’t get these out yesterday, but life. One of the lessons I’m learning from this experiment is that an important part of successful planning is being flexible. Missing a deadline isn’t the end, it’s the opportunity to create a new deadline.

2019 April Week Two


Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Deep Well by Dan Bellm. I’m really enjoying this small collection about a man facing his mother’s death. It’s beautiful in form and format.

Happy Reading and Writing!

F is for fainéant- Poem: After the Rain

cut wood between trees

Today’s new word:

fainéant n. an idler. adj. idle; indolent.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that emphasizes the power of “if,” of the woulds and coulds and shoulds of the world.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

“After (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “After Dinner,” “After You,” “After Hours,” and/or “After I Finish Writing This Poem.”

My poem

After the Rain

if the clouds break and spread
releasing blue sky, the sun bursting,
glistening droplets on glass and bush
the blue-green waves pumping rhythmically
then saws and motors fill the air as if
men and women held them still
as long as they could, but the first ray of sun
set them free

if the sun breaks free and turns
the glistening raindrops to steam
rising up to join the receding clouds
let the growling, whining, revving, gnarling
inform the fainéants of their indolence
there is no rest against nature’s encroachment
no peace for those who live
among the virulent trees

if the rain ceases and the droplets are greeted
by the warm sun, spring has sprung
and there is growth, nature encroaches
and the peace of winter, the silent void of winter
is filled with revving and whining and gnarling and growling
if the fainéant sit, their heads soon split


Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong

Happy Reading and Writing!

E is for eleemosynary- Poem:Donations Eaten by Bureaucracy

iStock_000013284658_Small burning money

Today’s new word:

eleemosynary adj. 1. of or relating to alms, charity, or charitable donations; charitable.
2. derived from or provided by charity. 3. dependent on or supported by charity.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

“Write a poem that incorporates at least one of the following: (1) the villanelle form, (2) lines taken from an outside text, and/or (3) phrases that oppose each other in some way.”

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

“For today’s prompt, write a stolen poem. And no, don’t steal anyone’s poem! But you can write about doing such a thing. Or stealing hearts, stealing time, stealing minds. Or steeling your mind (remember: I don’t care if you play on my original prompt). Steal away into a comfortable place to write and break some lines today.”

My poem

Donations Eaten by Bureaucracy

Your altruism is in the mail
to eleemosynary systems of dilution,
stirring the cycle of hopelessness

You try to bypass through donated time, but
bureaucracy can ruin every good intention
Your altruism is in the mail

Regulations, rules–there must be control–change
behavior through punishment or reward,
stirring the cycle of hopelessness

You try to circumvent: offering temporary shelter;
donating clothes; preparing meals: inconvenience
Your altruism is in the mail

No one wants your eleemosynary roofs
if they mean invasive monitoring and checks
your altruism is in the mail
stirring the cycle of hopelessness



Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Native Guard: Poems by Natasha Trethewey

Happy Reading and Writing!

D is for dysphemism- Poem: Pollock in the Playhouse

Today’s new word:

dysphemism n. 1. the substitution of a harsh, disparaging, or unpleasant expression for a more neutral one. 2. an expression so substituted, as “cancer stick” for “cigarette.”

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write your own sad poem, but one that achieves sadness through simplicity.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Pick a painter, make him or her the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.

My poem

Pollock in the Playhouse

Stop crying! Why won’t you stop
crying? Get up! Get to work
Make phone calls. Find your stuff.
Stop crying.

Do you have to do that?
You’re killing a path through
the grass. I smell it on you
I can smell that

This isn’t working You
aren’t working. We’re only trying
to help you help yourself
Try this. You’ll like it if you only
try. Try that.

Better to leave her alone
To wallow, to swallow her pain
The pain that is all in her mind
Since she can’t leave the past behind
We don’t have time for this

All the whispers, so unkind
They find time to diss
the dysphoric with dysphemisms:
couch potato, cry baby, killjoy
negative Nancy in a black mood

I’m trying



Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Poems: Maya Angelou

Happy Reading and Writing!

The Planner Pages: Changing course

March week three pages

The Experiment

This month is flying by and I have very few submissions to show for it. My main issue is trying to read enough of each journal to get a feel for it and then when I’ve spent so much time reading the journal, I decide I don’t have a story that fits.

I’ve been debating if I want to continue to list deadlines, or reading period openings and I have officially switched to openings. This week, I finally convinced myself to submit to a magazine only to find they had closed submissions early due to too many submissions. I’m seeing more and more that journals that use submittable will only take a certain number of submissions per month due to costs which makes their deadlines indecipherable. I am also finding that I procrastinate, so deadlines are not really helping me plan ahead. It makes more sense, for all these reasons, to start looking at journals by when their reading period opens. So, after this week, I’m changing course.

This means I will have to redo all of the pages from this quarter for next year, but it was all an experiment, so I’m glad I’ve come to this decision now instead of in the fall.

Reading Discoveries

Though I have hit a slump in my submitting, I have made some fun discoveries through continuing the experiment. After reading an interview with the editor of Hinnom Magazine, I picked up a copy of The Nameless Dark: A Collectionby T. E. Grau. The first story, “Tubby’s Big Swim” is thoroughly entertaining.

In Blackbird I enjoyed Miniature Man by Carrie Brown and was excited to read This Is The Age of Beautiful Death by John Dufresne. I have read and enjoyed John Dufresne‘s books on writing and recommend them often. It was fun to recognize an author I admire as I was reading through the magazines.

In Shenandoah, I enjoyed Tender by Shruti Swamy.

I hope you’ll make some time to treat yourself to these great stories.

The Pages

Here are this week’s daily planning pages with new writing prompts and magazine information: 2019 Planner March Week Three

I hope you are finding the daily planning pages helpful, informative, and motivational. What do you think of the writing prompts I’m making up? Have you tried any of them? How are your submissions going? Do you think you’ll reach 100 rejections this year?

Happy Reading, Writing, Planning and Submitting!