Monthly Archives: January 2017

Whiskey Love (First Love Poem)

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And I tell you again, as
A lover must repeat words
We feel are a sacred scripture:
You
have
the
whisky
touch.
Your embrace engulfs me
At the first

gulp.

Those rough hands deliver
A burning
truth
that never
Pulls punches
but tests my strength, and reminds
Me of what they call
“a man’s drink”

(and, yes, you’re all man).

Then you kiss me.
And it hits me so hard
I get lightheaded. I forget about
The meat thawing in the sink
Or our overtime entry-level
Peanuts as I sink down onto
the carpet, dig my knees into your
waist.

Slowly,
I am sleepy.

I can throw away the manuals
And pills that promise steady
Breathing. Because I have you.

I have your whisky touch.

Note: I wrote this for my husband one week before our wedding day (which took place July 2015). This is also a special month for us; we’ve been married for a year and a half, but January 24 marked 9 years since our first date. 

Photo by Lalesh Aldarwish

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Micropoetry of the Week ( Rough Drafts and future potential)

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photo-1432821596592-e2c18b78144f

1.

You were the first
Flower
To sprout,
To break out
Among the stones
And blossom
Despite these conditions.

2.

I wanted to grow up
Good. But I inherited
My father’s shadow—the one
Jung talked about,
So it would all go downhill
From here.

3.

Today just isn’t easy
For an introvert behind the counter,
And the public’s tiny
Questions sound the way
A mosquito bite feels

4.

Today just isn’t easy,
When the tongue
Weighs a heavy ton,
And the body must move
While carrying the rock

5.

It was gradual,
But she felt the change
In him. And at first it seemed
Ugly because she wouldn’t
Accept it. And also, it was truth.

6.

The line that divides them
Was growing. The crack
In the facade was threatening
To tear the house apart,
Expose shattered bodies

7.

You read once,
That the only reason
I splurged was to forget
About you,
The accident,
The surgeries.
I denied it, so I wouldn’t
Have to say I’m sorry.

8.

After breaking news,
She says not to worry.
In sickness and health,
War and peace,
With troublemakers in between,
We seem
To outlast every challenge.

9.

I wish
I was never afraid
And my voice didn’t
Tremble as if a cold
Chill owns it. But diagnosis
Already made a decision.

10.

I was never afraid
Of rejection. I wait for it.
But when you eagerly
Invite me, it’s like
An ancient machine in
My hand: what to do with this?

11.

To kiss a friend
Is not quite chaste
But not foreplay
To another tired hookup
Either. Wedged between
Them is that love we only
Understand through touch.

 

Note: You may see some of these lines again in future works. Some micropoems are simply teasers, a work in progress and the potential beginning to something bigger–a full length poem. Meanwhile, other micropoems, satisfied with their brief existence, may begin and end as is. 

 

Poem: Katrina Mold

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Green black blurs blotted, crawled
up the loose leaf wet wall; silent growth,
so couldn’t report the ankle-deep news
through Baton Rouge motel wires. Instead,
it captured footage as wind damage
stretched the ceiling into the living room.
While left behind in aftermath,
rain boots disrupted quiet
found among standing water.
By afternoon, mold could better eavesdrop
on front porch voices. And mud that seeped
under the door, or mildew that found warm
top corners
—the knocking began.

In weeks, we’ll return. Find ENTER
AT YOUR OWN RISK taped to the front door.
Turn the knob to press play with a gentle push.

Some notes behind this:

I was sixteen years old when Hurricane Katrina hit my hometown, New Orleans. I didn’t fully  realize the devastation that this life-changing hurricane had caused until I went with my oldest sister to assess the damage to her home (which was unfortunately damaged and lost due to flooding and a possible tornado). There were two things that stood out to me the most when we went to her house: first, a sign on the door left by a landlord or rescue workers that read “Enter at your own risk”. Second, the green and black mold and mildew that covered her living room wall from floor to ceiling.

This is also a response to the  lyrics from Rasputina’s Dig Ophelia. There are lot of references to water, flooding, and (what I’m assuming) drowning in some of the lyrics. The lines, “Water spreads the small seed/ Water kills the tall weed,” and “Here’s the water, just ankle deep high” really stood out for me and reminds me of, well, every annual flood season in Louisiana. The inspiration from that helped to set the mood and writing style I was going for.

“Katrina Mold” was first published in 2016 in The New Guard, Volume 5

The First Song (A Rough Draft)

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I was home alone
after school. That
was the first time
I heard melancholy
through the radio.
I listened between the lines.
I listened until I, too, felt loss.

I couldn’t shake it off. Later
that night, I told my mom
what had happened.
She only shrugged.
“You’ll get used to it.
It took me years.
But keep it to yourself.”

(Photo by Viktor Hanacek)

Phantom Pain (the first published poem)

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Phantom Pain

I dodged mirrors after the surgery,
would even wrinkle my eyelids in a tight
squeeze near glass, not ready to view
the twisted limb, to know why the pinched
nerves pushed out cries and curses in darkness.
Months later,
skilled at sliding from bed to wheelchair,
I once forgot to shut my eyes, so caught a glimpse
of myself in the dresser mirror. My brain
observed, from eyes’ surprise,
how tissue and bone beneath the left
knee had vanished, was quickly replaced
by a stump with deep grooves and scars in the skin.
I blinked at mirrors all day; the remains never
returned. But–
sharp waves still dangled
over bed’s edge every morning. So,
for months,
I challenged reflections until finally,
what once seized the phantom bones
eventually
trailed behind the missing.

Literary Yard, 2013