Monday, March 3, 2008

Saturday, March 1, 2008

So that's it!

Congratulations to those who finished! I am not joining you in the winner's circle this year, sadly. Too many other desires and demands conspired to prevent my poetry. I have, however, completed a 24th poem this morning dedicated to my falling short, "failed."

Please submit your 29 poems to me for verification by link or by email (annakissmm at gmail dot com), and I will send you your winner's badge and printable certificate. Which means, I suppose, that I should run off and create those.

So glad, myself, that February is finally over. Cheers!


no matter the pressure applied,
nor the incentive entailed,
the wings do not open
the sail does not spread
and i am plunged
in free-fall,
sunk to my neck,
embedded deeply
in the cracked, barren earth
that having lacked,
perpetually after thirsts.

Friday, February 29, 2008

13 hours left

The countdown has begun. We have 13 hours left to finish all our poems. The clock is ticking! Good luck everyone!!! Patty from emailed me last night to say that she hadn't written a single poem and wondered if there was still time. I said sure. I hope she churned out a dozen or more in the wee hours of the morning!

I have six poems to write today and we're going to the zoo and the bank, so we'll see how well that all works out!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

3 new poems

Jeannie's Horses

I ride jeannie's horses and pretend they are mine
like I have pretended things
my whole life long

pretended to not care when
the old, large, ethnic lady at the corner store
said things about a backwards young girl
too shy to speak
and i heard her words
not really understanding
but, somehow, knowing

pretended to be part of a crowd of girls
I couldn't even recognize
outside of their
Catholic school girl uniforms
and stuffed bras,
smoking cigarettes on a playground

pretended to want men that I barely knew
just for the reward of, just maybe,
possibly, being held
for just a little while
those fleeting moments
of pretend caring,
after the sex was done.


I fight them
the demons in my head
come out to play
as what is night
at its middle.
they ride a coaster
in my head,
sometimes, trains
or fast cars,
jets leaving a trail
across my sky.

I am left without a choice
but to stumble down stairs
I fight the bit
for as long as possible
till the inevitable

the pacing begins.
I am working on two
different tracks
wearing the tiles,
paths through the
oriental rugs.

I am convinced
of my wickedness
my weariness
my pressing state
of insanity.
there is no wiping this
slate clean
no return
to a less-complex
a less-troubled
a child,
worn tired from homework and play
eager to dream.

the ritual
of bedtime
the sameness of it
now i lay me,
guardian angel,
watch over me,
Hail Mary,
full of grace,
our father who art in heaven,
stay with me always

till my prayers are
the mumblings of a mad woman
heart racing,
the window
the silence

Sometimes She Spins

sometimes she curls
up in a ball
knees to breast
arms wrapping knees
head bent, neck rounded
rolls herself up and around
in the spacious king bed
in bedclothes of satin and silk

sometimes she becomes
a dervish and spins around the room
sometimes she is a top
hers colors spinning so fast
onlya blur and the music of it, she
dances around the finite space
dizzying herself with her own kaleidoscope,
falling, clumsy, to the floor on boney knees

sometimes he says
I need, I need, I need, I need
and she turns up
the humming in her head
finds a closet
closes the door
opens her silent mouth to speak
watches how it mimes a scream

sometimes she wakes up
in the daylight
without memory
without apprehension
without fear
and begins again
and again and again.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Day 23 anna kiss

sweating bullets

anxiety comes in waves
the twitched and upturned palm
the frenzied rush through rooms
heartbeat all a'quiver
darting eyes and too lax limbs
the cornea cascading over everything
the brain a disaster
for anything but unease
there lurks no quietude or unsensed calm
just frozen flames
licking neural pathways
clogged with thought
and all becomes but
a head turned over shoulders,
searching for an answer
not knowing the question.

Friday, February 22, 2008

new poem

Friday Night

she'd been waiting all week for just this night
this particular night
the chances she'd take,
the chance to wear something other
than her "mom uniform"

waiting to feel him, this man she called
"husband", nearer to herself
maybe with his hand on her knee
maybe with his eyes following the
length of her legs as she stepped
out of the car

into this night
with it's skyful of stars
and meteors and planets
and things so far away, they were

now she was choosing a lipstick
trying on her entire wardrobe
costuming herself for this one night
once, twice and then choosing shoes,
tucking her house in for the night
stepping out
and, only for a moment, remembering,

Day 22 anna kiss

the violence of history

i measure my life by my traumas,
by the lines wrought on my face
by sudden tragedy
and everlasting
it is the story that tells me
and in many ways
forgets the telling
of in-between stuff
the filling of contentment
accounting for happiness
the dramatic bliss
of everyday
is not enough to stir me
it is always the struggle
and the intermittent
negotiations of imminent survival.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Day 21 anna kiss

don't despair, organize

my notebooks lay splayed on the table,
baring lists of words in no particular order,
and dates numbered and forgotten.
as much as i long
to check things off
and write out every endeavor,
i have not set down
so much as a syllable
in days.
i have been having to forgive myself
my slow return to normalcy
from a suspended state
wherein it was necessary,
for a time,
to not do.

now the blank eyes
of my daily planner
stare at me
longing for the stroke of my hand
lifting the page,
for the saturation of ink
that spells the future
like a destiny
rather than a dream.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New Poem

Three Things Happened

first, the black cat slept all day
the fisherman's wife took it as an omen
feeling the swell of life in her belly
the roundness, the hardness, though
there could be nothing there and
she, after all, liked to pretend

afternoon came and she paced
the length of the great hall, dizzying
herself then bursting out into
the snow and the raw bite of it,
with naked hands, naked feet
stretching out the length of her body
ear to the ground, holding her breath to
hear the first heartbeats of living things in earth
waiting for their time

miles away, a woman swept a courtyard clean
covered a fine table with lace,
fluffed pillows in a haunted room
above a stone fire place,
stirred a flavorful soup, set a table for two
and the vases of flowers were so plentiful
she nearly stumbled with the weight of them

some time later
the black cat moved onto another life
the living things pushed up and out of the earth
danced in the sun then laid themselves
down, one by one,
beneath the massive shade tree
the fisherman's wife took it as an omen
as the loenly so often do.


Day 20 anna kiss

dammed mind

i am so very far behind
i have not yet found
that sweet spot
from which words flow
like so much water.
i cannot seem to settle
down into the parts of my brain
that clear and focus,
block out all sounds,
and form thoughts in brief,
alliterate words,
succinct and properly patterned.
i cannot seem to write.
and every day that
i do not do,
i wish to even less.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Day 19 anna kiss

the agony of weather

the snow melts
weeping rivers
whose serpentine gutterflow
is determined by gum wrappers
and piles of exhaust-soaked slush.

the sun sets,
dropped degrees,
the waste water of so many tears
freezing over.
the sky clouds,
dropping new flakes
and starts to work
rebuilding the glacial shapes
of each city sidewalk.

it is a repetitive process,
this winter.
over and over again
the air warms
then freezes
we nearly lose jackets
then pile them on once more.

in february,
with all this teasing back-and-forth,
the shortest month
quickly stacks against us
to seem, in fact,
the longest.

New Poems - February 17 and 18

Someone is Always Dying

And still we are surprised
the cryptic message
left on a voicemail
or an answering machine

"call as soon as you can, call before
you do another thing..."
the knowingness
as what is cryptic to the caller
becomes crystal clear
to the receiver
quietly, listening, knowing

now the vacant space
the newly widowed
with her strong face
her folding and unfolding
of her helpless hands

all the days spent beside her
his gradual leaving
each day, saying a good-bye
in each labored breath

and still, the surprise and the question
of how to fill the space
to close off the rush of empty air
whirling about her, blowing up her skirts

we, the living, sit and contemplate
utter our personal philosophies
spew forth our beliefs or lack of
so wanting to be right about
our imaginary versions of the hereafter

he was a child, she was a child
they had moments
perhaps, they tasted tea in the afternoon sun
skinned their knees running down grassy hills
and turned their clothing green
because of it

maybe they had fleeting moments
anticpating what if and when
and pushed them away
like a plate, having consumed too much
at the dinner table

maybe the point of a life
is to learn to resign oneself
to the inevitable end
and then throw that thought into the wind

this moment
he was breathing
this moment
he stopped
this moment
she was breathing
this moment
she stopped

this moment
i am breathing.

Here, Now, Look, Gone

coffee in the red mug, gone cold
upstairs, a toilet flushing
the truck passing the house
the clock and it's tuneful
announcement of the hour
whirring computer fan
cracked fingers on keys
a hot flash, throw off the robe
a rush of cold
the cat crossing the room
against my leg
a list beside, the papers
piled to the sky
someone coming closer
calling my name
trying to think
while the critics scream
the room
the silent whir of common noises
open the door


Monday, February 18, 2008

Day 18 anna kiss

inadequacy atoned

i must flagellate myself
i must agonize the show,
endure the ending
create the wicked bits of me anew
and exhibit this
the wrought faces,
the scrawled lips,
crooked cat-slit eyes and
askew tombstone teeth.
the punishment is
for naught -
i fail and fail again,
do not brace myself for failing
and must scrape
my melted skin and charred bones
off the floor
in the morning.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Day 17 anna kiss

being done

the daily endeavor
occupies all
the brain ticks
and itches
full with lists for doing
provokes the motions
of laundering and dusting
scrubbing and scratching
and i try
hard as i might
to sense the poetry
in all this doing,
but the lens self-focused
cannot seem
to extract the words
from me
even in slow motion
on treads tight as tendrils
or sinewy ribbons pulled by inches
from out my mouth and eyes
my fingers sense no vacancy
fit for the literary occupant
they flinch and flail
the monday through friday
and a life full of traffic
and conversations full of pretext
of unwritten rules
and the under-written
of this modern life.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Day 16 anna kiss

fourth movement

the lines of motion
follow hands and arms
in intricate geometric patterns
which form history
the symphonic interplay
of the rubbing
of bristle against grout,
the rush of water,
the stroke of sponge on porcelain,
the shifting of feet softly upon tile,
it is the orchestral accompaniment
of this ballet -
the hand up and down,
side and forth,
back and fro,
thither and so on,
each gentle movement
that rustles fabric
or tilts the head
creates this rising and falling
civilization of domesticity.
Hello all. I must apologize for the last two poems, well the first one was fine, but the second, though I attempted to edit it, came out wrong so i am putting it down again.

A Long Season

where did we leave off?
you ask, distractedly,
like someone does who has drifted
away only to suddenly be called back
as if recognizing the sound of
their own name for
the very first time

the child walks ahead,
skips ahead,
runs ahead,
her feet leaving small prints like
an animal in the snow

all the way to the mailbox
I call to her
she who does not listen
doesn't turn her head,
not even out of respect,
or to silence my calling
she so eager to discover

what might be hiding beneath
the snow.
I told her spring is on the way
but not yet
she only heard
the first couple of words

took them,
held them in her hand
and ran and ran
and ran ahead
beating me to the mailbox
the daily news

maybe hoping the headlines
announced the early arrival
of the new season
or that the mailbox
held some sign of spring,
a renegade nesting of birds
the early crocus braving the cold

when we turned towards the house
just for a moment
I thought I caught sight
og you moving in the window
emerging from the dark place,
you keep yourself in
when the world is too cold
to bear

just as quickly
I see a misguided
ray of light
has hit the window
distorted my view

spring is on the way
but not yet.


Poems, February 13th and 14th


one small offering of self
held tight in a white-knuckled fist
the trembling of that same self
eyes, averted, to hide any signs

the tender fledgling heart
as naive and innocent
as a young wet-winged baby bird
open and trusting
waiting to receive

one faint whisper
barely audible
one brief confession
all the bursting heart holds

one moment,

come morning,
the blood-red rose
scattered petals
in the street.

A Long Season

where did we leave off?
you ask, distractedly,
like someone does who has drifted
away only to suddenly be called back
as if recognizing the sound
of their own name
for the very first time

the child walks ahead,
skips ahead,
runs ahead,
her feet leaving small prints like
an animal in the snow

all the way to the mailbox,
I call to her
she who does not listen,
doesn't turn her head,
not even out of respect,
or to silence my calling
she so eager to discover

what might be hiding beneath
the snow.
I told her spring is on the way
but not yet
she only heard
the first couple of words

took them,
held them in her hand
and ran and ran

maybe hoping the headlines
announced the early arrival
of the new season
or that the mailbox
held some sign of spring,
a renegade nesting of birds
an early crocus, braving the cold

when we turned back
towards the house,
just for a momnet,
I thought I caught sight
of you moving in the shadow,
emerging from the dark space
you keep yourself in
when the world is all
too cold for you to bear

just as quickly
I see a misguided
ray of light
has hit the window
distorted my view

spring is on the way
but not yet.
and ran ahead
beating me to the mailbox,
the daily news

maybe hoping the headlines
announced the early arricval
of the new season
or that the mailbox
held some sign of spring,
a renegade nesting of birds,
an early crocus braving the cold

when we turn towards the house
just for a moment
I thought I caught sight
of you moving in the window
emerging from the dark place
you keep yourself in
when the world is too cold
for you to bear

just as quickly,
a misguided ray of light
has hit the window
distorted my view

spring is on the way
but not yet.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Day 15 anna kiss

month of poetry

everything is coming out all hideous -
gap-toothed smiles
and shrieking laughter
my quivering throat
in the face of expectation
draws vacant breaths.
and listless limbs
the subtle flinch
the chin points down
leading the face over the shoulder
such embarrassment.
this exercise
does not achieve
the desired outcome
the fear, the self-obsession,
the inner though
pulled out,
brought forth into
blinding birthing light -
the sub-consciousness exorcised
and slain for show.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Day 14 anna kiss

the pregnant pause

every dream
grows red with
meaty blood,
full up in
miscarried globules
and heart-shaped placenta

the belly ballooned
steadily by degrees
up and up
fingers feel into flesh
the firm, rounded edge
which writes the shapes of
knees and backs and rounded crown

the babe blossoms
in my brain,
slowly unfurled
from tadpole
to floppy limbs
and too-flexible joints.

so it is a strange revelation -
this empty womb,
its depths feel too hollow
and too small
it is vacant
and lacking in space
for any sort of fullness.
nothing here.

and yet i rub
the skin below
the navel,
searching out the origin,
finding no one home but me.

Day 13 anna kiss


the smallish moment
halved and pruned
to nearly nothing
in a space for being
so minuscule
as to be obsolete,
no room for a squeak
the head of a pin
wedged in this crevice of time
cannot fraction even a sliver

so to you i exhale
all hope
from out my crushed interior
as it languishes and evaporates
into the emptiness
between the emptiness
where the fullness of love cannot permeate
where the starness does not shine
where the heavens expire
and the dust of dreams
can neither surge nor settle

it is here, in nothing,
where i will await the dance
on rims of black holes,
looking outward
as time shifts
the subliminal backwards drawl
illuminating for noneyes
the history of the universe:
columns of nebulaic planetary rubble
galaxies of triumphant moons
and witness as the sun swallows
my precious earth.

Day 12 anna kiss

the heart wants and wants
and in wanting
forges patterns,
in the daily existence,
and follows them
again and again.
self-awareness occurs
and the question
why did this happen?
what was all this wanting for?
the head shakes,
the jaw slackened,
i do not know.
and do not know.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Poem, February 12th

The Eggshell Walker

She says it's not unlike
walking in snow
jeweled with a thin layer
of ice like fragile Murano glass
the sound of it, breaking,
amd the impossibility
of avoidance

She knows to anticipate the shells
waking and turning to him
waiting for a sign,
and sometimes, he is gone already
into the deepset part, the night

pacing the halls below
or holed up in
the space of his office
staring at a computer screen

for her, it is a game of chance
entering the room
choosing whether to open her mouth
or not

she says she has
gotten good at it
hardly scrapes her feet anymore
on the sharp edged words

When she was just a rebellious teen-age
girl, hitch-hiking with out
considering the danger of it,
she spent a summer barefoot

tougheing her thin, boney feet
on whatever lay atop
the hot pavement,
the sticks and stones

and jagged pieces of colored
glass in parkin g lots

uncanny, nver knwoing, the timing of the lesson and what would follow.


three more from natasha


sometimes a small
toothsome gnawing
creature, sometimes
roaring, always a
steel rod for my back,
a papershredder for my
fingers, a meal of my
lips and cheeks (a
delicacy, dear), a pack
of cigarettes, a pot
of coffee, sleeplessness,
weight on my chest,
on my head.

poverty, vulgarity

there's cabbage in the floor, again
never was a real domesticated lady.
i tend not to notice the bits of filth
they hide from my restless eyes
as if trying to cause trouble.
the laundry aint folded, clean's in the basket
but the dirty's in the floor and i ain't got
a whole load just yet
the rugs ain't vaccuumed, cobwebs just
a'hangin, tiny dust-ropes in the corners.
my clothes are all stained torn and
too small - i had a kid since i got 'em.
things just ain't as easy as they
used to be, money's dryin up just like
them dishes i washed - every night.


factory reopening

i could not oil the machine
before i set it running
now i pour it in to no avail
its not quite siezed up yet
and the noise is terrific
but somehow i fear
its not gonna last.
a few days in production
is all i can hope for
i can't run it full tilt
as if it were new
the demand for the product
is not what it once was
we sit on the shelves
in the nostalgia section
it just doesn't move like it used to

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Day 11 anna kiss

ground zero

the couch exploded
cross the living room
lies mangled,
the cushions strewn
by soft galloping bodies
tumbled from the arms
to the seat,
tossed about between
the back and its pillows
then the foam and cotton
brick for sitting
unzipped slowly
by fat two-year-old fingers
bursting out the entrails
from its cesarean wound
the belly bared.
they bore a hole
in the fabric lining the springs,
straight through
the muslin
covering the base
drop bits of
dirt, food,
matchbox cars
at times including
musical instruments
and rubber snakes,
five incarnations of
anakin skywalker
shining in plastic
with missing bits:
hands and helmets,
chewbacca's arm.
this all pools toward
the center,
in the fibrous
intestines of the sofa,
dangling haphazardly
amidst the wire frame,
its coils
suspending vader
and the others
like webbed flies awaiting eating.

Monday, February 11, 2008

2 new poems

February 10th Perspectives

he still sees himself
as a much younger man
a very smooth and sophisticated man

he still likes to saunter
with pocketed hands
and imagine a ll the girls
turning and smiling and
touching themselves
lightly, finger to lips,
upon delicate throats

he slays them and they
return for Act II and
III and so on

it is my habit to observe
it is my misfortune
to recognize
in a patriarchal society
a man can saunter
to his grave,
confident that there will always
be at least one long-legged woman
with supposed fire
in her groin
and blinding stars
in her eyes.

Febraury 11th How She Imagines My Life

she lives vicariously
as any woman would
kept in a cocoon
of her husband's design

she doesn't know how I
throw myself into space
hurtling past meteors and jagged
massive flying objects

it is never an easy
thing breaking down walls
or bending the wirey
spindles of one's cage

I tell her to beware
there will appear hands
some old and vein-y, others
young, seamless

holding and letting go
holding and letting go
the wet
uncertain palms

once God had made
Himself known to me
I realized that it's all
just a matter of time

the only thing that keeps me alive
is my desperate need
to create my moment of
imagined immortality

to scream in a silent voice
stubborn and resigned as
my little roan horse
who will not yield,
who feigns sleep against
the taut rein I hold
and closed her watchful eye.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Day 10 anna kiss

hot geek love

hot geek
in search of
soul mate
must love star wars
differentiate between
hoth and tattoine
without question
carry 20-sided die
understand muggles
interested in anarcho-syndicalist philosophy
follower of chomsky
admirer of winona laduke
has tried
fabric arts
and web design
writes poetry
but not too much
love history
and herstory too
reads graphic novels
makes yummy samosas
knows a good ethiopian restaurant
and a good wine
enjoys astronomy
and sagan
the pixies
and the clash
especially the clash
celebrates national talk like a pirate day
and can make me laugh.
i await your email.

I have not forgotten you!

Hello poets! I have not forgotten you. I intended to write an end-of-week-one post and got sidetracked by my life, which is to be expected, I suppose. I'm so proud of everyone and how well you've all kept up. You're doing great. I'm impressed that of this writing, on the 10th of February, I have nine poems myself. Not too shabby and there's the rest of the day yet to come.

This first week you may have experienced some moments where you weren't quite into writing. That's okay. You do what you gotta do to keep on goin'. I haven't quite found my flow yet, I'm too harried by kids and work and meetings. It is nice, though, to take a few minutes (or an hour or two) every evening to sit quietly and reflect on what's going on in my life at the moment. Each day, usually in the wee hours of the morning when my children have finally crashed out, I am able to sit aside time just for thinking. With the low today at 14 degrees, it's the perfect weather for cozying up with a mug of tea and my thoughts, forgetting about the week ahead and all the dumb things I gotta do. Writing poetry is exploring the heart, and we all deserve a little time set aside for that.

Also - Did you know that you can leave comments on each other's posts too? Give it all a bit of a writer's group feeling by sharing your thoughts and feelings on another's work? Click the comments link beneath a post to leave a short message.

Good luck in the coming days - I look forward to reading more of your poems.

Days 5 & 6 catching up with a couple of haikus

Looking at her eyes
Winter springs into summer
Faster than lightning

Blustering wind sends
Snowballs flying everywhere
Cars collide in the Street

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Three more from Natasha

i am stone

sickness creeps in
hiding in harmless
everyday sounds
showing innocent
eyes, bagged and
dusky, mussed and
sweated hair
i encourage silence
and feel the stone
i am revolving
face back to face
my new status.

unsettled insides

burgeoning belly
threatening to
devour my small frame

insides changed
crammed into new
shapes and places

there is room
for movement of
only one

it will have its space
unable to give thought
to my discomfort

it can only grow
evolve at high-speed
and emerge

leaving my insides
to resettle as best
they can.


3 a.m.

nearly time for the alarm
he awakes, and so do i
at the feel of a small
body crossing me,
thirty pounds on my chest.
he finds what he seeks
milkfruit pale in the
half-light we burn at night.
a moment of white fire,
then the dull ache that
reminds me there will
soon be another.
i wait. when i cannot
endure longer, i remove
his soft weight. he
has no use for the
small cold mattress to
my left, so i send
him right, into
the center of our warmth.
i watch his face, waiting
for the first call of time.
his eyes, half open, are on
me. i match his gaze and my
eyes drift shut. and then
his hands find my face
softly, and he gives me
the greatest reward- a tiny
sleepy kiss on my
forehead. my heart melts again.

She Knew Better

February 9th She Knew Better

She knew better than to expect an understanding. her reality so differnt than the life he knew. She stopped herself from telling him how there was something peaceful about sitting on a stone step outside a doorway in an alley with her bare feet on the smoothly weathered brick. and it was calming cool against her skin. she breathed in the city. Listened to the distant song of night. When she closed her eyes, felt a sigh escape, it was without effort.


Day 9 anna kiss

doing dishes as matter of reciprocity

the math of the moment
loses me
in calculation
the act itself
but a figure
to be
accounted for
in the
ledger of this life.

Friday, February 8, 2008

new poem Feb. 8th

February 8th The Return

it was a brief repast
over in the beat of a heart
the single beat or
the quick fluttery blink
of an eye
gone in that second
and on to the next event

the plane landing
the brief car ride home
his presence
bigger than she
had remembered.


Day 8 anna kiss

yeastie beasties

i have no discipline.

i consume what i desire
asking no questions
and giving no answers
i care not if my veins are
primed with lard,
if my lungs blacken
if my breasts catch on fire
and tiny organisms eat me
from the inside out.

let the tissue and muscle
fall off
in huge bloodied chunks,
my meaty insides
rotted green and weeping
flesh oozing pus

let my brain fall to pieces
my wisdom and
ability to reason
drained away.
let me be
lost for logic

what is here for disintegration
does not amount
to much anyway
the body is
so small
and so frail
and so
designed for this destruction.
i am made for mangling.

nothing heaves and sighs
or wears out
it is the twig made for snapping
and so it would seem
that even the most
microscopic of villains
is able
to exact
this execution.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

2 new poems

Feb. 6 While He Slept

she held his hand
in a way she hadn't before
not like this before

she took it in both her long-
fingered hands
studied the length of
his fingers, the design
of the palm
the whiteness of nails
against the tanned skin

he didn't flinch
he didn't move away
he didn't pull back
unaware of her presence
his discomfort didn't
visit him

she got brave
kissed each finger
then ran them, interlaced
through the fence of her own
spread of fingers

still he didn't move
laid still as a bear
asleep for the duration
of the season

so deep in sleep was he
she vacillated between
attempting to wake him
and allowing the night to pass

she revelled in this
time of peace
she silently chose
not to be the one to
end it.

Feb. 7th What Is Not

this is not a poem about the war in Iraq
this is not a poem about political platforms
or who the next preseidnet might be
this is not a poem about foreclosure
this is not a poem about Wall Street
it is not about recession
it is not about stem cell research
this is not a poem about abortion
this is not a poem about abstinence
this is not a poem about a patriarchal society
this is not a pome about Britney Spears or
Hollywood starlets with
substance abuse problems
this is not a poem about the weather
this is not about China or
the products that are made there
this is not a poem that will ever make news.
karen saint

Day 7 anna kiss

nur ow

all night long
we roll in opposite directions,
his hands grope
open, shut, pull
in half-sleep
he whines, whimpers
tries again
cries out.

deep within my dream
i hear the tug
on my arm,
tightly turn away into bedding
my pinkened nipples
from his torturous sigh

we are both
pulled far enough
from sleep
that i bitterly roll over,
gasp at touches,
grit teeth,
growl at him
as he rubs his eyes,
his frown opened with a wail
then part my shirt
and pull out the
lesser of two burned breasts.

Poems February 4th and 5th

February 4th Late Poem

he points out Orion's Belt
his arm, torso
he finds the north star
another galaxy
another sun
another solar system
all at a very safe distance

she reaches out to love
He says "I love you" and
pushes her back
down on the ground
says "I love you" and
leaves her in a heap
a crumpled leaf on the curb

she thinks he rules
the sun and the moon and
every star in the sky
he says "I love you"
and pushes her farther away

she wonders
what kind of mother
rejects her own son?
February 5th Satellite Boy on Fat Tuesday

sing-screams Billy Joe
across a wind-filled courtyard
in southern suburban sprawl
and the old floridians
come out to dance.


by karen saint

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Day 6 anna kiss

my overtired limbs
lay limp at my side
the list-making and
frantic rush for
dominion over dirt
have exhausted me.

my cheeks hang sallow
at the sides of my frown
the eyes drip

the hand slows
the movement of words
across pages,
coming finally
at the period,
to a rest.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Day 5 anna kiss

super fantastic huge-ass tuesday

I stroke the pots,
scrub the ladle,
watch the shine
the hot water swirl
white with suds

it is a meditation-
the ceaseless

quietude lurks in
the rush of water
and the heat
steamed up the kitchen

there is space enough
for hiding
within the fog
of domesticity
where I needn’t bother
being anyone
to anyone

I can drift
and stand
and pretend
for a moment
that I am elsewhere.

three days worth from natasha

which face?

again, the voices
open the cage
or pour the honey?
after a long silence
either action will
which voice speaks
for me? which face
will suit?



little explosions
mark his passage
feet aggressively
pounding the ground
rattling furniture and
dust-covered baubles
primitive structure
of language and form
carefully chosen words
and a smile, to tell
us stories of tiny
moons in juice or
big noodles
he turns us
into mirrors, he
makes us plants.



there are no words now
traffic noise and wind are all
sunday after noon.

February 3rd and 4th

Feb. 3rd Space to Breathe

he rails against my need
for a bit of space
some air I can inhale on
my own and during the act
of breathing out and in and out
again, some solitary
moments to study my
aging face in the mirror

I cannot understand
the origin of such need
in this case
his need to possess
me wholely, body and soul
every thought, every breath
every movement
in every moment
every moment
in every day

his barbed wire words folllow me
to the close of the bathroom
door and there in
the tiny closet of water
the gently rocking boat, tethered,
in the harbor, the Florida night
heavy around me, I lock
the door, create this space
this time to escape need.

Feb. 4th MOrning without Horses

I imagine they are stirring
in the long row of stalls
beneath the rush
of barn swallows
in this first light that spreads
across the eastern hemisphere
on an Monday morning

I imagine their throaty calls
stall to stall, some guttural
grumbling akin to the rumbling
purr that cats make,
some long echoes
coming from the long stretch of neck
extended to the sky

Jeanie with her wheel barrow full of hay
her order of delivery,
a sort of room service
in a motel of horses

I imagine the warm, musky
scent of them, leather and
horses, burying my face
against the neck of my favorite
just breathing in the stillness,
the bond

today I will pull on shorts
rub in sunscreen lotion
walk to breakfast
beneath palm trees
explore the decadence
that is NAples in Florida
and dance the night
away beneath a sequined sky

and all the while
I will be the odd girl out
homesick for horses.

by karen saint

Monday, February 4, 2008

Day 4 anna kiss

home is where the horror is

there exists a movement
in this house
between the things
in the air
a fluctuation
of goodvibe badvibe

the heebeejeebees
inspire shivers down spines
and general fear-stricken
moments of paralysis
nothing moves at all.

I wish I could say
it were different
but truth
knots my stomach
and churns my bile

the heating ducts
blow dry
to curl skin up at its edges
creasing every fault line
deeply embedded in knuckles
it gusts the stale stench
of land-locked negotiations
so each moment of despair
leads each moment of happiness
along by the teeth

it is an unsteady existence
marred by the perpetual
wavering of design and objective
and held uncertainly
by fools.

Day 4 Mary

Friends Meeting

Out of the silence
A solemn voice speaks
Pretentiously pacifistic
Not so much a message of peace
As an attack of anti-war

Quietly I contemplate
Keeping in the spirit
Struggling to accept
That this announcement
Was heaven led

Maybe it’s not so much
That I need to understand
Each word is no more sacred
Here, there or anywhere
I should simply listen to them all

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Day 3 anna kiss

"flames, on the side of my face"

i am pulled under,
pushed into tight boxes,
rooms crowded full of darkness, nothing,
aching bones and singed tissue
bridges collapse
beneath crashing fists
i move forward and on,
healing not

i become lost for words
can only slam doors.
there is no reason to it
your academic prowess
withers in the face of
seething, frothing vitriol
there is no debate
there is only the notion
of shattered glass
and great, echoing silences.

Day 3 Mary

Ode to TVland

There once was a show called Bonanza
A gunfighting extravaganza
Who was the boss?
Little Joe or Hoss
Or could it be Tony Danza?

2 poems, February 1 and 2

February 1st Florida Poem

he says, "expect it, prepare for it, pack for it,
what do you want?! It's February in florida!"
he revels in the fact
there isn't snow, no misery of the inclement
nature of winter Cleveland weather
nothing can compare
nothing gets better
than February Florida

his gestures scream happy-ness
he gets giddy, gets theatrical
happily theatrical
theatrically happy
he dances down streets
across parking lots

the weather
sets the stage for a life
dictates the quality of a life
how could I have lived this long and not known?

he leaves me baffled
staring at my open mouth
in the boat house mirror
passer-bys with eyes averted
staring into the sun
believers in weather
the goodness of weather
they are the chosen in the promised land

how could I have ever known
the good life
lies below the frost line?

Karen Saint

February 2nd Deja Vu

he seems too comfortable
squeezing in between
2 young blonde things at
the Long House Bar, high-top-table

she stands purposely tall
behind him, a rush of blood pinking
her cheeks, leans forward to place
her hand on the table

between him and the 2 blonde things
her left hand
with the 2 rings on the designated
finger, clears her throat

he straightens a bit in his suit
his tie, and says, "this is Shannon
and Cookie" before leaning his head
back into the blonde conversation

next door is a drug store where
she finds an old flame
lays down next to him on a
mattress in the middle of nowhere

there is no going back
she doesn't recognize his scent
his hands are foreign objects
the pressure is all wrong

later, she irons ripped jeans
a faded dust-blue cotton
shirt, they are man clothes
she swims in them

they begin the dance of musical beds
but she never takes off her clothes
says, "I have been here before"

the fear wells up in her
shakes her, wakes her
beside the man she calls
and when she moves
in sleep, he holds her
her sigh of relief, audible.

karen saint

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Day 2 anna kiss

the birth

the thing to do
the fury of rubber and asphalt hum
rocking stirring
going -
it is all finite within the abyss
while out the navel springs the universe,
its stars suspended light in blue eyes
its scope immense and holy
the heart cannot beat its rhythm any better
than first kisses
and your tiny body bathed in moonlight
I can only walk each step and breathe each sigh
and live with hope
gifted me by babies
and sunshine burst from out the clouds.

I can only carry the weight of so much life
breaking from somewhere beyond me,
glowing your skull like a halo,
the sheer mass of so much bliss
is too much to bear,
it blinds me
creases the folds of my cheeks
well past their usual span,
crushes my hands to my chest in exultation

the ecstasy of your borning
is the obvious outcome written on your face
it is beyond plans fulfilled
and lists checked -
it is the purity of having done
and being not bound by earth
and its foolish gravity.

-anna kiss

Day 2 from Natasha


i am silent
in it,
no action.
no re-action.
it is not
to move
from where
i sit.
no words
to voice
no tone


Day 2 from Mary

Facts blurred
It’s all fiction
Shadows on the wall
Different interpretations
Distorted images dance
Playing in our minds
Negotiations negate beliefs
Reaffirming reality lost
Woefully winning
Fruitless victory
Understanding resolution
Creating conclusions doomed


Day 1 from Natasha


same old stumbling blocks
i think i trip myself
i repeat the same old mantras
and prove wrong all optimism

where once the promise of the gods
lodged, sheltered from the wind
now is only empty, yet i watch
everyday, anxious, from the
big window, hoping, waiting.

handfuls of sand, mouthfuls of dust
bitter, bitter, bitter fruits.
a kiss brings blood, blood brings
fear, fear brings sleepless dry
nights interrupted by pain.

- natasha

Friday, February 1, 2008

Day 1 from Barbara W.


Chilly, beneath my bare feet,

One…two .. twelve

the rails smooth, unfaltering,

catch my shaky grasp as I descend.

The incessant ringing of the phone

increases my pace,

that fallacy of motion

speed is better,

and what lies on the other side

is that welcome addition

to our cluttered minds

-Barbara W.

Day 1 from Barbara

Beyond The Veil

A shroud hinders my view
yet dimly I can see the reflection of moonlight on clear still water,
bathing the night in it's glow.
a choir of peepers can just be heard as I strain my ears to listen,
Heralding the birth of spring.

Beyond the veil is springtime,
second chances.

Beyond the veil the moonlight is clear,
and all of nature sings to new beginnings.

Beyond the veil I can see clearly,
but now,
I see only the veil.


Day 1 from Mary


Tired confused alone
Waiting again
Hoping annoyingly
With neverending optimism
Time and more
Yet still nothing
Believing someday
Clarity prevails


Poem I.


there is no warbling birdsong
from ‘neath the long grasses
of these subtly sloped mountaintops
unless it is a microscopic hum
that bacteria make while chewing
inaudible to this ear
and the deep painful drinking
of the two year old nearing sleep

we rise and fall our breaths
slowly and unknowing
of what munches just below the surface

these peaks are ablaze
the rivers are burning
and slowly spinning single cells
are consuming milk
and spraying ethyl alcohol
on the fire.

-anna kiss

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Get Ready...

So tonight's the night! If you're still up at midnight, feel free to try to lay down some verse. Or perhaps you'd prefer to wake tomorrow feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the first poem. Don't worry about self-editing. Don't be concerned with your rhyme or meter. We're not reachin' for Shakespeare here.

The goal is to get something out, on paper (or binary), that comes from you and helps you to express, understand, or experience the world. It can be long and rambly, short and succinct, or completely absurd. There are no real rules for poetry, and there are certainly not really rules for my challenge.

For an extra challenge, try a different style each day. Write a haiku, a sonnet, a limerick, or explore the style of e.e. cummings. Whatever you do, check in tomorrow if you have a chance and let us see some of those first attempts, unedited, unchecked, imperfect and raw. Good luck! Have fun!

Monday, January 28, 2008


What's the idea here? Write a poem a day in February.

Are there rules? Not really. One poem per day and it has to be original.

When do I start? Midnight, February 1st. Not before.

When do I finish? 11:59 p.m. February 29th.

What if I skip a day? Can I catch up later? That's up to you. Come out with 29 poems by 11:59 p.m. on February 29th and you win.

What do I win? You will be awarded a winner badge for your blog or website and a printable certificate. Collect by contacting me at annakissmm at gmail dot com.

How do I prove I finished? Email me your poems or refer me to where they are posted and I will count from 1 to 29. Contact at annakissmm at gmail dot com.

Okay, I finished. Now what? Up to you too. You can send your poems to me for publishing on this blog (easier for me if you do it regularly throughout the month as opposed to at the end)(oh, and you keep your copyright), provide me with a link to add to our participants list in the sidebar, print out all your poems and make a chapbook to sell on the street corner, organize a reading in your town to share all your new poetry, or build a bonfire and turn them all to dust. Contact me at annakissmm at gmail dot com.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Month of Poetry Badge

For those interested in placing the Month of Poetry Badge on their blog or website, you can do one of two things - view the page source and find the html yourself, or I can email you the code if you post a comment or contact me via email.

A Month of Poetry

Friday, January 18, 2008


So a year ago, because I suck so bad I failed to write a novel in 30 days (okay, really I just almost lost my hand and couldn't write anymore), I decided that I would write a poem every day in February. So I did. 28 poems in 28 days. Which is what I was going to call this blog until a friend reminded me that this is a leap year and there are 29 days. Oops.

This year I decided to take my vision to the masses. I am inviting anyone and everyone to join me as I write 29 poems in 29 days. You can post them to your blog, send them to me to publish on here, bind them in chapbooks and sell them, read the poems at poetry readings, or hide them away in a box never to be seen again. Whatever you want, it's up to you.

I hope to organize a live reading of February poems in Cleveland Heights, Ohio sometime in April (National Poetry Month) and encourage others to do the same. We're taking this international.

Anyone willing to help out in this venture, please let me know. If there's enough interest, we'll get a real site of our own, make html badges for people to put on their blogs, and start a webring. If not, it'll just be me sitting here by myself quietly writing every day, broadcasting nowhere. sigh.