Category Archives: Sickness

against all advice

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salt-swooped, enticed

from the dark deep lake of his eyes

washed up on your shore

left there

balanced on a blade of his hair


you take a second chance at his skin

which has the look of tin 

left out in a recent storm

yet glinting

dangerous as a virus starting 

fished from his mouth


an unfamiliar curl of dull light like

a line of syllable struck on an infinite yet vacant sky

sickles you in its soiled embrace

he circles in again

patient like a surgeon

from a distant planet


you gulp you rumble yet fail

to notice sap that blooms and spills

ecstatic from his ruinous touch

that acts like a compliment, but isn’t so



you wilt you mumble

as he picks his teeth

larger than easter island monuments

as you swoon

sucked clean as a puckered scar

flapping there, un-speeched

beached on remnant happiness

no-one else gets


this vice is your 




not a haiku


NaPoWriMo day 24

 Hard-boiled detective novels are known for their use of vivid similes, often with an ironic or sarcastic tone. Novelist Raymond Chandler is particularly adept at these. Here are a few from his novels:

  • A few locks of dry, white hair clung to his scalp, like wild flowers fighting for life on a bare rock.
  • Dead men are heavier than broken hearts.
  • From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away.
  • She smelled the way the Taj Mahal looks by moonlight.
  • He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food.

Today, I’d like to challenge you to channel your inner gumshoe, and write a poem in which you describe something with a hard-boiled simile. Feel free to use just one, or try to go for broke and stuff your poem with similes till it’s . . . as dense as bread baked by a plumber, as round as the eyes of a girl who wants you to think she’s never heard such language, and as easy to miss as a brass band in a cathedral.


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my thoughts are over used

rutted and butted and puttered over


mulling and churning and chewing over


all details and entrails assailed over

and over and over thinking thinking

drinking and drowning down in

mess of haze-maze crazed

worry-boned alone-ness


it’s fair to say

my thoughts are worn-to-thin

fair-to-middling — overmused

knocking the stuffings of my noggin-chocking nights

no respite in sight; unlit — confused


whirl pooled in a floating world

misted twisted pensées swirl and curl

miserly, relentless, restless, gutted

i rise from sleep to sleep perchance but

just to think again again again again

my wearied brain is drained thus

in vain though

i own it

i know it

i think

i think

i think

therefore i am?

here? there? no? where?

it’s fair to say


overmused : worn out form thinking too much


today’s challenge is to write a poem based on a word featured in a tweet from Haggard Hawks, an account devoted to obscure and interesting English words. Will you choose a word like “aprosexia,” which means “an inability to concentrate”? Or maybe something like “greenout,” which is “the relief a person who has worked or lived in a snowy area for a long time feels on seeing something fresh and green for the first time”? 

I chose, of course, without overthinking the possibilities, overmused

WORD OF THE YEAR 2021: overmused 33%

(adj.) worn out from thinking too much

It’s fair to say we probably all had a lot on our minds in 2021, which makes this superb seventeenth-century coinage the perfect choice for Word of the Year. To overmuse is to overthink, or to contemplate too much—so if you’re feeling overmused, then you’re utterly exhausted from endlessly thinking, worrying, and mulling things over.



not a haiku