Day 13 – almost to the halfway point! How are you doing on the challenge thus far?

For me, today was all flavors of frustrating: however – HOWEVER – I did get back on track with my poems.  I got them written! I did go a bit dark, tho’.

First off .. prompts!

Robert Lee Brewer’s AprPAD challenge prompt is family. This one could be problematic for me, as I still have a brother recuperating at my house this month.

NaPoWriMo prompt featured participant is the wistful & lilting Jane Dougherty writes. Their selected poet for today is Rutger’s University’s  Evie Shockley.

NaPoWriMo’s  prompt today is another poetry form; the ghazal. An Arabic/Persian format, formed of couplets, each of which is its own complete statement. Both lines of the first couplet end with the end-word – repeated at the end of each couplet. And if you are really a traditionalist, you incorporate a reference to your own name in the final couplet.
As for my personal Poem A Day Challenge , today’s PAD is … a dry cleaner.

The #30DaysForEarth challenge for today is Say No to Plastic.

Tuesday & Wednesday, I have been musing on the benefit poetry has on mental health. If you follow me on Twitter, you would have received some articles I hash-tagged & shared on the subject and on the latest neuroscience research.  I even had a deep talk with a friend on Tuesday regarding it’s effeciacy. Many of the people writing about “Poetry for Mental Health” these days are psychologists & therapists.

Let me say – as a long-term patient/consumer – I started writing poetry as a life-line to staying sane at the age of eight.  I’m pretty sure, given the abuse I received – that I would not have been the nurturing mother I was, for my children, without that grounding resulting from poetry.  Poetry allowed me to psycho-ananlyze myself, to sort through the conflicting information I was given, to look outside myself at a situation and derive a lesson from it. To find truth. It allowed me to parent myself, to rescue myself, to shape myself. I am grateful to Mrs. Moore, my fourth-grade teacher for introducing me to poetry-writing (although – to be honest – my thoughts have alwys been framed like poetry) t. It gave me hope, gave me a voice when I didn’t have one. Without it, I would have committed suicide in my pre-teen years – if not before.

Even now, my poems are not finished until they feel like “truth”.

So yes – if you are struggling, i recommend giving poetry a try. Reading it. Writing it. Don’t worry about the rules, the guidelines, the forms. Poetry is at its most flexible right now – just write it in a way that feels Truth to you.

Incidentally, today is the first day since january that I did not write a political poem – I jsut did not have a chance to engage in what’s happening outside my bubble.

Let me share a draft poem from yesterday …

Every so often – my poetry goes down a dark alley. Sometimes a cannabalistic dark alley. There’s reasons for this – One: I like knives. I like throwing knives, swords, snickersnees, bootknives. Heck, when I go camping, we set up a knife-throwing alley.  (My husband wanted me to be able to defend myself if needed & I wuoldn’t have a gun in the house with kids!) Two – I’m not Dexter; I can’t really “tear a bitch a new one” in real life. ‘Sides, blood makes me faint. I can, however, funnel all my frustration into “tearing someone” in a poem. In fact, it’s delicious fun. They are even more fun to read at open mics. And no blood stains to soak out. Three – there’s a practical side to cannabalim in extreme survival situations, that I recognize.  Which – emotionally, seems often to be the situations I find myelf in – like Wednesday. Just trying to survive.  No fun. (Didn’t even get to play #1 linewednesday, dammit!)

Anywho – i thought, given yesterday’s prompt, i would make some applesauce if I got a chance (I didn’t get a chance). Could not find my own recipe so I pull one up off the web – and the instructions seemed to twist themselves into this checklist poem

checklist: fresh applesauce

  1. when i peel that apple with the paring knife, i slice
  2. the skin thin, get creative – its pommel in my palm
  3. as i let the knife slide like a lover – thin under the skin
  4. i twirl the red round and round the belly of the beast
  5. if i make it to the bottom without the coil breaking
  6. i whisper “ everything going to be permitted”
  7. with this blade i’m the grooviest, cooliest person in the world
  8. with this cleaver, i can cut away all that fresh flesh
  9. remove the core in a quick twist, the seed, the cartilage –
  10. you do that too, right? like right before
  11. you try to toss it, like a pigskin, into an open mouth of a trash can
  12. you tell yourself “if you make it, you’re the winner of everything!” –
  13. police be damned. place the filleted meat in lemon juice,
  14. pour it in a crock with all the drained liquid
  15. add deep brown sugar to bring out that rich color …
  16. i wonder why more people don’t whip out a sharpened knife
  17. whip up a batch. let it simmer, let it bubble,
  18. maybe add cinnamon, add crushed cloves
  19. knife stuck in up to the plunge line, grasp that shaft & let it stir
  20. release that fragrant cooked odor
  21. the flavor. wow – what you did!
  22. muffins would taste amazing with this – tremendously good! tremendously tender!
  23. i could spoon warm applesauce on that pork – good-eating, pig –
  24. baby – it’s a healthy choice to die for!
  25. eat a small bowl for breakfast, a side dish at dinner, a warm smattering for dessert.
  26. i wonder why more people don’t whip it out
  27. all those rare minerals will make you a more contented individual
  28. shinier hair, a slimmer waist,
  29. a sharper mind
  30. a better hunter
  31. with a knife in hand – you will be, by far,
  32. a more creative cook by
  33. degrees