Sunday, April 21, 2013


Here's day twenty-one's submission for NaPoWriMo (a poem a day for the month of April in honor of National Poetry Month). Earth Day is tomorrow.


I'm sleepy, and it's late.
I don't think I'm going to get a poem
on the page tonight.
At least, not one I'm happy with.

Ending the first stanza with 'with'
tastes like a cigarette butt
plucked out of a dirty ashtray.
Stale smoke and desperation,
too late to buy something better
or less dirty, so you do the unthinkable:
violate all the English teachers you ever had,
tilt your head to get your nose out of the way,
and light that fucker up, risking
setting your moustache on fire.

I can hear them now, thumbs clicking
their red pens, tensing their muscles,
ready to pounce. "Try that again, Dixon,"
they're threatening with clenched teeth,
"and you won't pass."

"But this is poetry," is my weak reply,
"and reading it again, I think it works..."

No use. That innocent four-letter word
will be circled in a red hangman's noose.

My doctor steps in and says, "Really?
A cigarette butt? You can do better than that."
And I suppose I can,
but like I said, it's late, I'm sleepy,
and that ashtray's a long way from empty.

When I get tired, I can be grumpy and defiant:
I look my teachers in the eye,
and light another one up. There it is... just for you.

A wisp of smoke curls from my upper lip.


Kali Orkin said...

I love poems about the creative process.

Patricia said...

Oh, this reminds me that even though I love to write perhaps I am not so writerly? I don't have proper grammar, I do have pretty good spelling, I better start to dwell on the positive, not the negative, don't you think?