Finally today, I catch up.  Here is the scoop from NaPoWriMo:

Day 13

on APRIL 13, 2013

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the 13th day of NaPoWriMo!

Our featured link for the day is Rhymezone. Mostly my poems don’t rhyme, but when they do, I often rely on Rhymezone to help me across those tricky lines!

Our featured participant’s blog is Frances McCue’s Blog, where the poem for Day 11 is vaguely threatening and alluring all at once. All I know is, I’m glad I’m not a fictional helpful raccoon.

And now our (totally optional) prompt. Yesterday’s prompt of saying what you’d never say was sort of a doozy — rather emotionally intense, I think, for a lot of you! So for today, let’s relax. Your prompt for today is simply to take a walk. Make notes — mental or otherwise — on what you see on your walk, and incorporate these notes into your poem. A bit more serene and observational than yesterday, and hopefully a nice, calming poem to begin your weekend with. Happy writing!



I dreamed this poem last night, scribbled it in the dark before returning to sleep–and it happens to fit with today’s prompt.




Dream Walk: 

For Thommy Wise


I walk into a bright restaurant in San Diego,

black and white tile floor, a ceiling fan whirling overhead.

I see you in a booth with friends.

Hard California sun sears past palms trees,

spotlights you.

I slide into the booth next to you,

air kiss your cheeks

but we’re in Pete’s Kitchen on Colfax.

We walk in a lemon orchard

surrounded by the scent of rind,

called to Runuculus madness,

more color than either of us wear.

We stroll past avocados and cheramoyas,

listen to the susurration of palm skirts.

We dance on the bar, sip champagne,

smoke a joint  in the alley behind Dudley’s.

We hold hands and walk north

along the beach, sea foam lace catching ankles.

I stop to gather seashells,

little cups of memories.

I wear sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat.

   The prayer wheel turns.

 Copyright 2013




From NaPoWriMo post for Day Twelve:

Day Twelve

on APRIL 12, 2013

Welcome to Day 12, everyone!

Our featured link for the day is to NPM Daily, where they are hosting a post by a new poet each day for the month of April.

Our featured participant’s blog for the day is realiction, which took on intellectuals as the target of the “unlovely” poem for the tenth. Hey, I resemble that remark!

And now, the prompt. (Again, the prompt is totally optional). Today’s offering comes to us from Charles Bernstein’s list of poetry experiments. In particular, today I challenge you to “write a poem consisting entirely of things you’d like to say, but never would, to a parent, lover, sibling, child, teacher, roommate, best friend, mayor, president, corporate CEO, etc.” Honesty is the best policy, after all, so get it off your chest! And if you’re interested in the complete list of experiments, you can find them all here.

Happy writing!



You burden each room with icons,

vapid images cluttering shelves,

counters, window sills.

Yet you are helpless in real time

where the Virgin of Guadalupe

cannot intervene on your behalf,

where Ganesh will not offer his trunk

to whisk you away from bad men.

Yet you burn candles to St. Jude

and fondle a statue of Kwan Yin

in hopes of finding salvation

where only the hopeless tread.

It is time to become your own santos.

Copyright 2013

C.J. Prince


As usual, here is the prompt from NaPoWriMo:

Day Eleven

on APRIL 11, 2013

Hello, all. We’re now more than one-third of the way through NaPoWriMo, and our we’re up to 1845 participants. Wow!

Our featured link for today is to UbuWeb, which hosts a vast archive of pdfs, sound, and visual files relating to avant-garde poetry. If you’ve never heard any of Christian Bok’s work, go do yourself a favor and check out poetry-as-music-as-beatboxing-as-poetry.

Our featured participant for the day is The Caged Murmurs. The poem for Day 9 wasn’t written in response to yesterday’s prompt, of course, but it really fits the theme! Overall, the poems here display great imagery and attention to emotional detail.

And now, our prompt! Today I challenge you to write a tanka. This, like the “American” cinquain, is a poem based on syllables, with the pattern being 5-7-5-7-7. They work best when those final two 7-syllable lines contain a sort of turn or surprise that the first three lines might not wholly anticipate. You can string a bunch of them together to make a multi-stanza poem, or just write one!

To get you going, here’s an anonymous example from the Japanese, translated by Kenneth Rexroth:

On Komochi Mountain,
from the time the young leaves sprout,
until they turn red,
I think I would like to sleep with you.
What do you think of that?

That one makes me laugh!


Okay, don’t count for I am only tanka-esque.  Trying to catch up with tidbits of notes scrunched hither and yon and a cold in my nose that knows no syllables.  Enjoy.




On snow swept Mt. Baker

from the time red leaves fall

until we walk the trail again,

I would like to feel your breath on my collar bone.

Will you watch the robin with me?

Copyright 2013

C.J. Prince


Apparently I got carried away with this prompt.  So there are two un-love poems for your consideration.  (This is a side of me you never see.  ;-o  



I see you coming

like a red bowling ball

down the gutter.

Your shrill laugh pierces my ears.

You want me like fly paper.


Once again, the prompt from NaPoWriMo which will help you see what inspired me:

And now, the (again, optional) prompt. Many of us have read and even written love poems. But have you written an un-love poem?

You Fit Into Me

You fit into me
like a hook into an eye

a fish hook
an open eye

–Margaret Atwood

An un-love poem isn’t a poem of hate, exactly — that might be a bit too shrill or boring. It’s more like a poem of sarcastic dislike. This is a good time to get in a good dig at people who chew with their mouth open, or always take the last oreo. If there’s no person you feel comfortable un-loving, maybe there’s a phenomenon? Like squirrels that eat your tomatoes. (I have many, many bitter feelings about tomato-eating squirrels). There’s lots of ways to go with this one, and lots of room for humor and surprise as well. Happy writing!






Unlove me now

for you cannot love me true.

Love does not possess,

yet you do

as if I am a new diamond ring.

I am no worthless object

To toss aside.

Your love smothers,

Unsought, unwanted,



Unlove me now

or there will be consequences.




The prompt line from NaPoWriMo for Day Nine is:

And now our (totally optional) prompt. I’m a sucker for a good mystery novel, especially the hard-boiled noir novels of the thirties and forties. There’s always a two-timing blonde, a city that keeps its secrets, and stuck in the middle, a man who just can’t help but rabbit after truth. Today I challenge you write a poem inspired by noir — it could be in the voice of a detective, or unravel a mystery, or just describe the long shadows of the skyscrapers in the ever-swirling smog. After all, “you know how to write a poem, don’t you, Steve? You just pick up a pen and you write.”




Black and white image, public domain



I look up, see her bleached halo first

as she pushes open the tavern door.

Sunlight caresses silhouetted curves.

She minces on spiked heels

to the empty bar.


Ol’ Sammy polishes bar glasses,

gives her a lazy glance, keeps rubbing.

She leans forward and I imagine her cleavage.

Ol’ Sammy jerks his thumb in my direction.

I watch those hips roll toward my eyeballs.


Yeah, babe.  What can I do ya’ for?

My motto:  never be too eager.

I toss down another Jim Beam,

Finger my last quarter on the table.

Then look right up into her baby blues.


Mr. Colavita?  Her voice is full of dandelions

and hummingbird wings.

I smell danger,

check my shoulder holster.

A job is a job.


She slides into the worn naugahyde booth

across from me, uninvited.

Buttons on her silk blouse

yearn for freedom.

I’m in trouble.  Big trouble.


What is it, kid?

She’s all class and cheap perfume.

I don’t get it.  I frown.

I didn’t do it, honest.

Her voice catches


like she’s gonna cry.

Cripes, I hate it when a dame cries.

I went to that gypsy fortune teller

down there on Holly and Commercial.

Her voice warbles like a nightingale.


She pulled these cards with daggers

but I didn’t kill him.  Please.

Ya’ gotta help me.

I feel my heels sink through holes

In my socks.


Gonna cost ya, Babe.

I nod to Ol’ Sammy and wait,

watching her.  Clomp slide,

Clomp slide, Sammy works

his way to our booth,


sets down two teaming shot glasses.

I got money, Mr. Colavita.  Please.

Blondie snaps open her beaded black purse.

See?  I got a deposit here.

She leans out of the booth,


nervous like, and checks the front door.

I think I’m being followed.

She’s a dish worth following

but murder’s another story.

I’m two months behind in rent


and no gas in my car.

Maybe this babe can save my cake.

She slides a white envelope across

the table.  I’m no eager beaver here,

so I take my time, pick up the shot,


let the pale window light

shine through before I shoot it down.

I nod to her to do the same

and take the envelope, easy now,

tear the end and run my thumb


along the seal.  Please.

She’s batting the baby blues again.

I’m no fuddy duddy but I gotta be careful.

Three big ones.  No five.

Five hundred buckeroos.


I do a little arithmetic, rent, gas,

a few meals and whatever the dame

needs.  I frown.

I can get ya more.  Here.  This is just a retainer.




Her fingernails are poppy red. 

She flicks out ten more notes,

more dough than I’ve seen this year.

I lift an eyebrow.


I count the moola slow like, slide it in my inside pocket.

Ah, thanks, Mr. C.  I knew you’d help me.

She smiles.   Red pouty lips

reveal a slight overbite.

Gonna be a good summer after all.