Less Is More?

Not much motivation going on today, so I tried (a version of) the ruba’i, as per yesterday’s prompt. Not sure about the end result though, as I have the feeling that I used some rhymes I’ve already used before…

(DAY 19)


It was an old and strange affair -
There were no flowers in her hair,
No leather gloves to shield his hands
From the regrets that stung the air.

Does this count as cheating?

I may or may not have cheated a bit with this poem. Thing is, I appear to be functioning after a certain time zone whilst living in another. Therefore, I’m not quite sure whether the poem qualifies as having been written very late on the 17th or extremely early on the 18th… Either way, this is my 18th NaPoWriMo try, and I’ve kept on writing…

(DAY 18)


I am afraid I may have lost these
on the way: the savoured anatomy
of your love letters, the confidence
of a fatalist child who knew
the whole forest was her path,
the spring when you told me
your secrets through flowers,
unfettered love, the ease
of greeting mornings on the street,
the spell that made me
immortal. I am afraid
I may have misplaced
my disregard of time.

Sound and Hearing

This time round, I started from today’s NaPoWriMo prompt, but decided to narrow it down somewhat. So, instead of writing “a poem in which you very specifically describe something in terms of at least three of the five senses”, as the original suggestion went, I focused on sound and hearing specifically. There was no complicated reason behind this choice; I suppose that was just the mood of the day.

"Eileen Agar (1975)" by Jorge Lewinski via The Jorge Lewinski Archive

“Eileen Agar (1975)” by Jorge Lewinski via The Jorge Lewinski Archive

(DAY 17)


This, she told me,
was freedom: the sound
of rain in one of those
tiny rooms of your heart,
the waltzing steps
of your parents on their
wedding day in another,
the clatter of a mirror
that fell but didn’t
shatter in a third,
and a stranger’s
unmistaken greeting
in the final chamber.

Collective Memory

Memory – in all its forms – is another topic that fascinates me, and since today appears to have been a good day for thinking about this, the token poem, unsurprisingly tackles the same theme. I hope you enjoy!

My maternal grandfather, somewhere in the Danube Delta.

My maternal grandfather, somewhere in the Danube Delta.

(DAY 16)


I don’t remember you,
but, writing down these lines,
my hand remembers:
the counterweight of your laughter,
the frail strength of your arms,
the ghost of tobacco
escorting your skin everywhere
like an old courtesan
adopted into the wife’s
household. I think
my hands remember, too,
the words you never spoke
to me, the veiled worry
and the sadness. There is
a prickle at the tips
of my fingers as I’m writing
this – that’s how I can tell
you’re there, even if
I don’t remember you.
Nevermind, you weren’t made
to scratch an image
in the mind, like other
people. Your memory is etched
beyond these things,
in the colour of my eyes,
in the motion of my hands,
and my butterfly effect
in the fabric of the universe.

Halfway Through

I’m already halfway through NaPoWriMo! I can’t believe it! Here, have another poem:

(DAY 15)


The air is disintegrating

all around,

ripped into narrow ribbons

slowly, then swiftly,

intensely, then slowly

once more.

There are so many people

all around,

but no, they are not


they are cut-out silhouettes,

shadow puppets,

this Grecian Urn is packed

with them,

the moments of silence, when

the music breathes in,

are thick with their beats:

da-DUM, da-DUM,

go their heart-strings,

ah-HAH, hah-HAH,

go their lungs. There is

chatter sometimes,

a thin, whistling membrane,

easily broken

by the push of a finger,

the pressure

of a palm making love

to another palm.

The only beat that I

do not hear,

the only shape that is not

blurred against

the ripping air and the people

that are not people

is that of a dream which,

only now,

I realise has never belonged

to me.

But the air is whole again

and the room

darkens with the absence

of music

before my thought can reach out

to him.

From niche to literary… hopefully

IMG_20140414_202357Today I just fooled around a bit and came up with a cento, or something like that. I thought it would be fun to put it together out of something with… let’s say dubious links to poetry, so I fished out a random cult horror book from my teenage years collection. I used a few (not-so-)random passages from S.P. Somtow’s horror novel Valentine (New York: Tor, 1992; pages 99-129), and this is what happened.

(DAY 14)


She removed her clothing, her theatrical cackle,
then she drew out a pin she had stuck
in her breath, crying: “Come to me now…
How about a late supper tonight, behind
the dead wind, here, together, inside our
private eternity? Pop one of them pills,
walk down the corridor. What do you think
you’ll do? Get it together!” “Those slides
they were showing earlier, those ancient art slides -
they’re bewitched. They’re holding their breath,
the little girls with their pigtails done up
in ribbons, the aging punks, the journalists,
the songs…” And tonight, this night,
I’m a prisoner. I am no angel, and I am
not death. The voice that had never
changed whispered a word of power:
“I will tell you,” she said, “in the hour
before the dawn, all about you, the painter,
grinding his very blood into the canvas, wringing
his soul into the pigment. Such beauty
can only come from evil.  Am I wrong?”

Paste Bodies

I guess today’s poem is another kind of collage.

Max Ernst, "die anatomie" (1921)

Max Ernst, “die anatomie” (1921)

(DAY 13)


I’m leaking round the edges,

my bolts are coming off,

whatever kind of glue

God may have used to

stick my limbs in place -

it wasn’t good enough,

it yellowed and cracked

with age.

And perhaps, all along,

I had paste eyes,

a woolen tongue,

a cardboard heart,

because it took so much

string, scotch tape,

and goodwill to keep them in place -

and just a bit of time

to displace them.


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