Category Archives: tongue

ordinary rapture ( pardonnez-moi)

NaPoWriMo 2021 Button with white background
NaPoWriMo 2021 Button with black background


at least we weren’t speaking french

there was another music etched between us


etched between us, music notes no other could sense

‘specially in this midnight light at the hush-hush bus-stop


stopped hush-hushed, this midnight light made ‘specially for us

cold lapping our bare legs, while tidal-tongues go lava-like


tidal tongues turned lava-like, our cold bare legs lapping each others’ shores

eyes closed, listening for the bus, but not, ear buds in, connecting us


us, listening, not for the bus, but for the budding connection without ears or eyes

goosebumps raised like brail, jingle-jangled to each touch


touching raising goosebumps meant as maps, like jingle-jangle trail

dead-scroll pilgrimage attempt washed up on bus stop bench


attempt a scroll on a dead-phone,stopped, this bench a washed-up pilgrimage

at least we weren’t speaking french


not a haiku


NaPoWriMo day 27:-

to write a “duplex.” A “duplex” is a variation on the sonnet, developed by the poet Jericho Brown. Here’s one of his first “Duplex” poems, and here is a duplex written by the poet I.S. Jones. Like a typical sonnet, a duplex has fourteen lines. It’s organized into seven, two-line stanzas. The second line of the first stanza is echoed by (but not identical to) the first line of the second stanza, the second line of the second stanza is echoed by (but not identical to) the first line of the third stanza, and so on. The last line of the poem is the same as the first.

Hung outside in, Kitchen

NaPoWriMo day 5


Hammered! Into copper-tongued clarity nothing

______matters, does it? Stuffed! Into cotton mouth

answers bluest call, shatters juices more from apple cored.

_____I wince. Panting quietly, my idiotic grin incised.

I can’t remember a taste as metallic as this

_____wishbone ( aptly gnawed) between teeth and trees and faith, passing

flowers have some honey, so does sun, and

_____isn’t that enough? Listen! This is just what

the bees whisper to breezy Spring’s

_____hips, thighs drunk, heavy, rippling, fizzing on

estrogenic tides. Sniffles caught on hazel twigs, drained and skinned.

_____Sorry! I lift my head and toes from this mess, taking intricate

steps. I lift kettle and cauldron down

_____gently, without much clack, fire quietly electricity, lightning cracks,

dying for some scalding liquid sympathy. Sun comes in

____at my waist, pouring pats on porcelain vase on table centre

My mind wanders out the window and teacup

_____strikes formica, gruffly asks a spoon to dance.

When has a morning been dressed as flayed as

_____this? Smashed passion for mama’s cooking, damp dents

in pillows, twisted patterned sheets…….dissipates……

_____The storm inside abates, beaten in syrupy circles

washed out in sea flakes and oat cakes

____a string of fresh laundry strung outside.


not a haiku

April 5, 2021


This prompt challenges you to find a poem, and then write a new poem that has the shape of the original, and in which every line starts with the first letter of the corresponding line in the original poem. If I used Roethke’s poem as my model, for example, the first line would start with “I,” the second line with “W,” and the third line with “A.” And I would try to make all my lines neither super-short nor overlong, but have about ten syllables. I would also have my poem take the form of four, seven-line stanzas. I have found this prompt particularly inspiring when I use a base poem that mixes long and short lines, or stanzas of different lengths. Any poem will do as a jumping-off point, but if you’re having trouble finding one, perhaps you might consider Mary Szybist’s “We Think We Do Not Have Medieval Eyes” or for something shorter, Natalie Shapero’s “Pennsylvania.”


Here is the poem that chose me…

Here Are Some Thorns, Splinters, Fishbones


Home for a pan-fried mackerel dinner, 

           my mother watches my chopsticks stumble

around the 가시. Full after a few bites,

           I remember a story. When I was a baby 

I choked on a fishbone at my grandparents’ house. My dad 

           wasn’t there. They yelled at my mother 

for not inspecting each flaky bit of fish I put 

           in my clumsy mouth, not teaching me 

the maneuvering of spiky slivers with my tongue, 

           how to place the needles next to my plate, 

extract white meat clean. Ever since, she peels and holds 

           skeletons above our meal—fossils before me.

Still, I am bad at pulling bone from fish, cutting

           skin from pears, which means I’ll never 

get married. But what about the nights where my mouth 

           drips with SunGold kiwi, looking over 

at my love, my lips smacking unabashedly.

           Me cupping the furry layer in my palm, and you 

standing over the sink eating it whole. 

           What would our mothers say? We laugh while I tell you

the story of how once, a splinter burrowed 

           into the meat of my thumb, and I kept it there for weeks.

Told my parents the splinter came out on its own

           while I hoped my body would absorb the slender spear

and disappear the 가시 painlessly.

how cool is this!


NaPoWriMo day 4


up to my feet

higher than ever

ever was

my knees awash with blush

blue as the sun

come to kiss



unpredictable dangle, my hips

swung undone, clicking in places, ungripped

angles untongued, unhorizoned, unzipped

come to pass


and over


where i was


heels over head

like a wheel

bums up, pants down

what a feeling!

i’m not burning. i promise

i’m adonis!


warming my jets

upended by toes

detached from all that ever

ever was

i’m not falling. i promise

i’m gaia! i’m higher


i’m fearless, trawling stars

a mess, a tangle of hair, a thicket of air

sketching nothing nothing that

ever was


i’m not flying. i’m goddess

i promise. look !

no hands! no stands!

imagine this!



Adonis : God of beauty, fertility , permanent renewal. Greek mythology.

Gaia: Personification of the Earth. Greek mythology.



In honor of the always-becoming nature of poetry, I challenge you today to select a photograph from the perpetually disconcerting @SpaceLiminalBot, and write a poem inspired by one of these odd, in-transition spaces. Will you pick the empty mall food court? The vending machine near the back entrance to the high school gym? The swimming pool at what seems to be M.C. Escher’s alpine retreat? No matter what neglected or eerie space you choose, I hope its oddness tugs at the place in your mind and heart where poems are made.