It’s hard to believe my running mates and I are already in the final stretch of our month-long, daily-poem-writing marathon!
Thank you to Julie Woodside for generously donating this week to Tupelo Press on behalf of my month-long poetry writing “marathon”! Julie kept the energy going and donated since the last round-up.
I want to share with you a favorite poem from each of us on the March “running” team this week. You’ll find these below. Enjoy!
Want to support Tupelo Press and Kate’s “run” while boosting your own writing practice? Join Kate *THIS* Sunday, March 29, for a $20 one-day fundraiser workshop! DESIRE AS PURPOSE: A CHARACTER-BUILDING WORKSHOP (all genres) is offered in partnership with Shut Up & Write! – Sacramento. Join the event at the SU&W!-Sac Meetup Group or email Kate directly at asche (dot) kate (at) gmail (dot) com. Space is limited and as of this posting, half the spots are filled. Full description is also on Kate’s 30/30 Project webpage.
And, if reading this poetry moves you, head over to the 30/30 Project website to read all of our daily poems, our bios, and to *donate*! Want a gift in thanks for your donation? Check out my special 30/30 Project webpage and view what I have on offer, including the below one-of-a-kind gratitude poems and also the below limited edition broadsides–check out last week’s roundup to view samples of these!
Here’s to poetry!
Dear Carole, I Wait To Stop Feeling Hungry / by Sarah A. Chavez
You once said eating with me
made you nervous:
I can see you counting calories
when you dish out food.
But what you really saw
was my mental resistance not to count,
not to see exactly where that food
would end up when I didn’t exercise.
It has been exhausting trying
to undo what had been done
for so many years and all
I wanted was to get to the point
where I could just say,
Fuck it and eat.
My mother counted calories,
constantly cycled through new diets,
pinched the fat of her belly,
refusing to look in the mirror.
She drank nothing but chocolate powder
and ice for months, then made nothing
but dry tuna patties and tomato slices.
The tuna water squeezed from the slit
in the broken seal, the pink flesh
plopped on a plate. Her hands soft & facile
making little mounds and placing them
on the dry nonstick frying pan,
my job to smash with a spatula
and turn over.
Our real diet was inconsistency.
It was who knows what will come today –
Pepsi and candy for breakfast, no more
than one cookie after lunch,
boxed Mac n’ Cheese, Hamburger Helper,
canned green beans,
these in any combination for dinner.
And I find myself here again
keeping track, except this time
it’s not about calories or pounds,
it’s about the consistency
of desire – the desire to stop desiring
all the time. It is distracting.
I sit down to write and every line
is an item from my pantry,
what food might be in walking distance:
peanuts, candy corn, Wheat Thins,
apples, Dove chocolates,
kale chips, left over pizza.
Each new tried food is logged
and cataloged, to determine
which will sustain me the longest,
make my stomach cease its endless
desire to be filled:
Plain bagel with peanut butter – 7:45 a.m.,
Hungry again at 9.
Egg and cheese on English muffin – 8:15 a.m.
Hungry again at 10:45.
Black coffee with each, thirsty again
after each mug drains.
Here lies / by Carol Willette Bachofner
Ezra, man of distinction in his day.
Here he is with his wife, Amelia
together forever under this stand
of birch, he on the left, she on the right
as they lay in their four-poster
fifty years. Are they happy now
that no plowing needs doing, no dishes
to wash by hand in cold water? Children
three plots east and west of them,
all but four never saw sunlight, gone
too quick for names. Here’s Junior
dead at 22 in the war, Eliza his twin
of heartbreak a month after him. Maryann
gone to influenza at 18 months, pretty red hair
damp against her pale face as she coughed
her last, Mama, Papa. Jacob at 15, drowned
in the pond out back of the house. You
told him not to dive. No one knows
the solitary meals you shared, holding
on to each other for fear of going crazy.
Here you both lie, sorrows like ghosts
over this place. Here you are. Hello.
enough / by Patty Joslyn
How much is enough?
half a stick of butter
two cups of sugar
the smell of your buttons stored in a tin box?
How much does wind weigh
your last breath
my thoughts of missing you?