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american sentences 2007

May 10, 2009

[as published originally at “the polkadotwitch blog”]


On the couch with a blanket, a pillow and my dog: this is self-love!

My nose fills with mucous; God damned virus, move along to someone else!

Plead mercy from barbers; so what if it grows back a little each day!

I have four sentences, already; I dash madly through fresh puddles.

I cry when I think he can’t hear; his arms tighten around my secret.

To enjoy cooking with him, I chop up my tongue and stir fry my eyes!

I am struggling to breathe today; this cold isn’t good for my asthma.

My tortoise eats strawberries and lettuce; he’ll live to be one hundred.

I need to paint tomorrow or else the gallery walls will be blank.

I ask a new friend to tell me her story by trusting her with mine.

My meds say, “We know you think you’re not sick, but you could be not sick-er.”

If you kiss me hard, I’ll forget all I am and take you at your word.

I count thirty-one crows on the lawn, maybe more, but they won’t hold still.

Roadside, stiff possum holds hands up to his eyes; he knew what was coming.

Wind hurls leaves at my head, bombarding me with shame wherever I go.

Spam: “Do you want a bigger penis?” Me: “Does my husband have to know?”

Rain soaked and sank red leaves before my camera got out to greet Fall.

I am sad today so I am making cookies and eating the dough.

My man saves my life daily; as a bonus he’s great at mouth to mouth.

A friend is leaving a bad job for a good one, and her smile is back.

The clouds hide the waning moon, but the cats still know it’s time to calm down.

On the soccer field today, the wind whirled the kids around like dry leaves.

Late afternoon, tree shadows paint zebra stripes on the road to my house.

We sawed skull caps off orange heads, scraped out their brains and cut their eyes out.

Orange glow from “pumpkinned” porches draws costumed children to strangers’ steps.


Oprah’s doctor talks about living longer; I feel like I should try.

i feel good making pizza, tossing dough in the air like i know how.

she’s been dead six weeks, but today’s her birthday, so we ate cake for her.

my TV is caked with dust; speaking of cake, there’s some left in the fridge.

babysitter cancels; can she get away with killing me like that?

today starts with rain, ends with sun; i my like weather in that order.

my husband found the dead mouse, took it out of the house: we breathe fresh air!

too many of my books have dust; i’m not eating enough words each day.

i know why my bathroom is dirty, but the kitchen confuses me.

11/10 (after a day-long collage workshop)
i cut myself up so i can glue the pieces together again.

11/11 (shout-out to read.write.poem, co-po and NYEA)
when a group expects you to be yourself, it is easy to belong.

11/12 (overheard @ panera; paraphrased to get to 17 syllables)
“then they’ll say, he just retired and the poor bastard’s dead already.”

it’s not quiet here but in the hour, no one’s begged, “mommy, mommy.”

my lawn’s frosty fingers plead with morning rays: “sun, take away our fears.”

after a night of crying, waking to a dark rainy days seems cruel.

i let go an argument today, yanked its talons out of my flesh.

cold weather comes late; we act surprised, like we didn’t know it was near.

good news! my “wild bird” poem will be published in ballard street this winter.

i bought a fall flowers centerpiece today, trying to be festive.
it waits at the table, feeling lonely in the family’s center.

remind me, flowers, to smile at my children and be grateful for them.

sad, ashamed, i’ll point to flowers and say, “look, honey. there’s some happy.”

i’ve torn out my heart, bagged it up with my liver, tucked it back in.
the holiday will pull it back out when the bird goes in the oven.
we’ll look at the cold heart and admit we don’t know what to do with it.
toss it in the trash and wash your hands and hope the turkey comes out right.

a woman with an open wound must divert attention to baked goods.

i love you, all of you; when you gather ’round, i find a place to breathe.
we’ll eat turkey and pie, comfort each other by filling ourselves up.

i saw joe torre in the audience at the macy’s day parade.
(i’m not really there, of course; my television’s showing him to me.)

my mother hates all the performances that interrupt the parade.

i most like marching bands: trumpets, drums, flags, stiff, white pant-legs and tall hats.

i also enjoy trivia about sizes of crowds and balloons.

he screamed, flipped the board and sent monopoly pieces and cash flying.

i wrote a bad poem today; it feels worse than writing no poem at all.

this rain-soaked november day illustrates how mondays got a bad name.

it’s impossible to feel sad watching ducks waddle fast as they can.


12/30 on new year’s resolutions and american sentences:
i will learn to carry entire days in seventeen strong syllables.


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