Category Archives: poison

the living end

napowrimo day 21


tell it….don’t tell it…i can’t because

it wasn’t midnight – that’s just one minute

it wasn’t eternity – that just a concept

it wasn’t a toast of glasses

it wasn’t a fumbling of cusses

it wasn’t a teacup of grief – gulp it!

it wasn’t beyond all belief – swallow it!

tell it…. don’t tell it… i can’t because

it wasn’t a blizzard – there must be a sky

it wasn’t a prison – there must be a key

it wasn’t a limit unfurled

it wasn’t the end of the world

what was it… what was it…. don’t tell it…i can’t because…

it wasn’t revealed until it congealed

it wasn’t sealed until it was too late to see what it was

it wasn’t fate…was it

it was … it was

darknesses drunk

princely forevers

faith trapped

frozen diamond

universe stalled

tightened bonds

cut neat ever after

words spoken never

never ever tell what it was, only what

it wasn’t

it wasn’t – i promise

til death

parts – us

to the living end – with this breath

i won’t tell…..i can’t because.


btw april 21 2021



Have you ever heard or read the nursery rhyme, “There was a man of double deed?” It’s quite creepy! A lot of its effectiveness can be traced back to how, after the first couplet, the lines all begin with the same two phrases (either “When the . . .” or “Twas like,”). The way that these phrases resolve gets more and more bizarre over the course of the poem, giving it a headlong, inevitable feeling.

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that, like this one, uses lines that have a repetitive set-up. Here’s an example I came up with after seeing this video of . . . a bucket of owls.

Bucket List

Several owls can fill a bucket.

Several buckets can fill a wheelbarrow.

Several wheelbarrows can fill a truckbed.

Several truckbeds can fill a song.

Several songs can fill a head.

Several heads can fill a bucket.

Several buckets filled with heads and owls

Sing plaintive verse all night long.