cooking, poetry, and unapologetic intense moments in a life

Month: April, 2013

NOPOMO 13 or God, I want my lobster


Miles to Go

Each patch of skin
Is inventoried
All the stories that arrive with a touch

Tell all the nasty natal secrets
The preternatural longings, naïve mistakes, wild worldly wisdom
Anomalous wantings

Every inch has a history
They are all named and numbered and filed away
Shoved into memory
Without exception, forever locked
In my bare bones

Most steps I take sing a song of you
And I don’t even know your name.

NAPOMO day 12, or Dad


It happened so slowly, like erosion
Or some other process that wears away
Even the most minute of characteristics
Without so much as a warning

Little by little you became faint as you fell away
It seemed like years before I realized you were missing
Somewhere on the couch you occupied
You spirit gave in to deep gravity

It sank in some half world
Some retreat for the lost
A haven for the iniquitous, the abandoned, the abased
I never saw you again.

So I grew and grew
Became a woman with strong hands and fierce heart
For better or for worse knowing who I am, where I came from
I can even tell the direction of the wind on some days

Some days I think of your crooning voice
Your particular tastes
And how I must have smelled
When, as an infant you sang me to sleep.

NAPOMO day 11 or ode to a prince, not yet arrived

Ode to a prince, not yet arrived
-Carmen Mandley

Wanting to see your face
Forty years from now
Reminds me that were I not getting old
The requested amount of time would be around sixty
Or eighty.
But the part that is the best parts of all of the parts
Is that I will be able to name and number
Your sweet wrinkles
For the planets and worlds
That travel through your miraculous spine
And settle soft on those eyes
That light on me when I speak your name
In a lover’s language
Every day
For the rest of all of the days.

NAPOMO Nine or Delilah never went to the dance hall


Secondo Posto

With a shake of hips and a lick of promise
He encased her mouth with dark kisses
The dance hall, a ghost town

Lights dim
He could not tell the difference for once
In tequila haze

Were it not for the daisies painting her black locks
He would not have come to
Not have realized
No memory of Lila would have come
He wouldn’t have walked away from the angelo puttana
She would have fit the bill
She would have served a turn, you know.
But he had to step away. Just for a look.
Then off he went into the night alone.

You see, Delilah only wore
The pure purple
Of crocus lilies
In cappeli neri

She smelled of the freshest beets
Dug from tart earth
Knees, knocked, severe and lovely.
She spoke of God and men, and sweet, sweet babies
(The ones who would miss her after the fever)
She dreamed of Afric, Canaan, and tremendous storms.
She spoke his name in her secrets
And called to him each morning to pray
She was sweeter than a mango kissed with the sun-

And her hands were stained with rain.

napomo day eight or nothing is certain



Adeline came through water in Hyde Park Gate that day.
(Wet, screaming jumble of blood and bones)
Straight into the world
(One awash with blank pages.)
Water would be the theme, it seems.
Did she know as she penned that manifesto for women?
Was it plain to her?
Did she know that when the rusty cage freed her
She would return to the River Ouse?
If so, she waited until the words ran out.
When she knew it was time
When all she could write
Was a simple note to her weary, quiet love
After he left her toast and tea and went walking in Sussex
A few particular phrases
And some praise
No heroes or lovers, but a truce
A certainty on that balmy day in March

A great truth became as soon as it was applied to paper
It rested for release while she collected rocks for her pockets
“Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness”
Blood and bones, she went in
Blood, bones and all

NAAApoMO Day seven, or how I like to be woken up


Wake up call

The dip is severe
Four inches at least

Traveling from such great heights
Can be treacherous
In particular when
The race is so close
Any moment lost will be time ill spent for the athlete

The starting gate, unmarked
Soft, supple ground
Breathing in holding pattern
For the green light

Once given a go, it is merely gliding
Into the sweet
Valley of her
Petite waist.

Once at rest, his hand continues a victory dance
Into the home stretch
Somewhere between Elysium and Canaan
(The decadence between the ribs and the breasts)
And comes to rest longingly on lovely pert chin
That is tapped ever so sweetly
As she groggily comes to see his face from slumber
And whispers for water
In the heat of the morning

-Carmen Mandley

napomon day six?


Joan (Things people say)

Awash with joy
She climbed to the top of green hill
Aching for a better look
As the siege laid claim to the soldiers

She watched carefully as each
Several comrade
Was slain one by two by five
Lambs, she thought, to the slaughter

The Godly messages betrayed her that day
Prayer couldn’t find her lips
Without words the world crumbled
The only thing left to do was ignite and wait for rain, possibly

Or for a more experienced messenger
To wind her in words more reliable

napomon day four

ImageThere is poetry
Enough in the prompt, you see
But it doesn’t fit
Never fits
There is not a time
When it will fit into the meter
In a way that pleases
In a way that is comfortable
But the phrase
Is perfect
In the right poem,
(For our poem) perfect.
For this day, unique in comfort
Full of what elaborates the art
What sheds the unnecessary
What can be potential for grace
What can move us
What gives us a chance for breath

Sometimes you
Have to

The Gods said Whoopsie. Na Po Mo Da Thre

ImageThere were three surges that day.

One, a great love.
The kind of legends.
The kind that harbors back breaking mischief in corners.
The kind that leaves two weary.
The kind where finger bruises are the thing
and food becomes tertiary to sleep and more making of the love.

Two, a great tidal wave
Encompassing town,
And burden alike.

Three, a great fire
Hovering above water and love.
Floating free on the blanketed town
And the lovers
lost under the sea.
It signaled to the Gods,
somewhere above
-the slate was clean.
That it was time to come in and redecorate.

So the Gods went bowling that day. They drained it all dry and cleared the wreckage. Made the graves and buried all lost. Planted lovely trees. Built mansions of gold. Revamped the sky and the sea to cleaner shades of blue. Washed the air with reeds of lavender. Said prayers to larger Gods to protect this Mecca, this land of promise.

And they waited.
First with sublime patience.
Each moment ached with anticipation.
A tantalizing task for the all-powerful.
The sun would plummet from the painted sky each day, exactly as planned.
The moon complied with schedules, waning and waxing like the best of them.
But nothing howled.
Nothing required rain.
All stayed feverishly still for three hundred thousand years.

The Gods were sad, despondent
Overwhelmed with sweet grief the moment it dawned on them
You see, the grievous error had become apparent.
The Gods were out of luck. They knew when they heard it.
On that balmy Sunday.
The sound.
The only sound.
The moving air came from the song.
The song that wafted up to the Gods.
The first song they had heard in three hundred thousand and one years.
This was the only sound to ever be heard again.
It came of the hollowed, barren ghosts of the lovers.
A simple song that spoke of a love lost to a terrible flood.
A song that remembered flesh and tooth and secrets.
An aching ditty that spoke of requirement.
A foreboding tale that spoke of an island never to see life. Never again.
Until hand by hand the lovers could eat each other whole like almonds.

As the Gods became aware of this error, this love extinguishing blow they issued,
They tried to make good on the deed.
But as their luck had run out, they saw.
Oh, did they see.
How immortal they had made the lovers.
How this song was punishment, penance and purgatory.
How this would become the way
The way to worship
The way to plead
The only vernacular for communication in a still, subtle world of no breath at all.

The terrible loop of lost love made half world shamed the Gods.
They begged for mercy as the specters searched in vain
For lover’s kiss that would never, never come.
A musical moaning filling each moment,
Each breath
Each godly sigh.

Nat Poe Mon oneandtwo



A Day in the Life of a Roman Soldier (From Start to Finish)

Caius Marcius crushed butterflies once
In his tiny child hand
Before falling into slumber
On his Mother’s breast

It is said he entered Corioli and shut the gates as he entered
One by one he met each, most likely examining each face
Making a clear picture in his mind of what was to be lost
Home, wife, wealth, beautiful babes

From start to finish he was a thing of blood
Finishing the town from top to toe
Knowing only his instinct to secure Rome
Knowing how proud Volumnia would be

He thrust himself into the Sun
And shut the envious city behind
He begged for water, but only a little
He became legend that day

A teacher told me heroes go to their deaths in order to save a village
Madmen go to their deaths to fly for a moment
The Icaran want to feel that fire before they fall
The sick, for want of freedom

Corioli wanted freedom, flight, fire that day to save them from his boyish wrath
As butterflies, they knew what to do
But lingered a moment too long
To look the anti-hero in the eyes





Landscape (On the Couch)

It’s extraordinary
The model lies so still
Each breath interrupts a brush stroke
Each sigh on the white couch yields a whiff of blue
Aching from his subtle brush
He has named her, even still
A secret name only he will know
He paints in each time he will make love to her
He dabs a baby, here and there in her long hair
In her tiny feet, a late night dance in some French street
Arguments in her petite fingernails
The apologies arrive somewhere around the navel
A traditional navel, not filled with sophistication
Each sorry a simple sorry
From a simple man
Who paints.


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