1. Open your laptop
2. Drop in Billy Collins’ mouse and watch it
3. delete everything you wrote last week then
4. recreate words from its footprints
5. Accuse the words of lying
6. Fan them with a bellows until they blow off the screen and
7. land behind your eyes
8. When the words form tears
9. remember they are only mouse droppings
10. lying beneath the lines of your poem
The Napo prompt for Day Four suggested a poem in the form of a poetry prompt.
“The bones of the dead are excavated, scattered, and sold. Shrines are blasted from sacred rock in the name of patriotism.” -Tiffany Midge “Night of the Living Dead”
She follows patterns of shadows
that dance across the wall
lengthening dusk toward the
closet, where high on a shelf she rattles
the bones of the dead.
Culled from forest floors
each bone holds the secrets of
stardust tracing lines within a void.
She misses the trees
where patterns of shadows, like bones,
are excavated, scattered, and sold.
Her dad said trees were sentinels of time
always watching. She believes that trees
held stories forever remote and inaccessible
bulldozed by the highest bidder,
Shrines are blasted from sacred
places where patterns of shadows
no longer fall. She opens the box of bones
and inhales the forest floor grateful for
secrets and shovels. Grateful for her bravery
against the movement to destroy what’s gone
where every lie was a
rock in the name of patriotism.
Your body was your temple of doom. Your body was your
crutch. Your body drove your death to the front of that
truck on Montana 200. I imagine you cackled as you
flew through the air finally cheating life of itself and
If the dead could talk would you whisper or scream?
Last night in a dream a song about angels fell from your
fingers and landed on Evel’s soft padded paw tap tap tapping
my face awake. Months have passed with no thought of your
life flashing before your eyes. Then a poem about bodies inspires
dreams of fingers and angels and somehow you are
Using Napo’s day one and day two prompts, I wrote this prose poem. From day two’s prompt, I used a word from Haggard Hawks’ Twitter feed for the title. Fleetings are animal tracks or footprints left in the snow. A bit of poetic license at play here. I thought about powdery snow and how quickly it blows away. And how my hand went to my cheek when the cat’s insistence woke me. And how the poetic process brought a friend long gone to a dream. Poof.
I am Gladys Kravitz
watching a dead girl rise.
Her pungent eyes cast a stench of black syllables
she spits at the street.
Her glances taste like the rotten apples
Lilith rued in the Garden of Eden.
I am not Gladys Kravitz
but I can’t stop looking out my window.
The dead girl stops to vomit then smiles as
she spins a whistle round her finger.
A broken digit of Paradise.
A field of flowers, serpents, and flame.
To the corner she leaps in one bound
like a black tarp in wind.
She’ll soon be meeting Adam,
that heavenly dealer.
Stifle your needles with your head! Carpe diem.
The needle needles Adam to exorcise her demons.
Together. Apart. We watch the dead girl rise.