The Weather is dull, all Flora, withered—
Into Poetry’s ruins snakes have slithered;
Customs forgotten, sick mammals slain.
Now vampires infect me: porn on the brain…
While Disney exports multicultural trash
The vatos and thugs burn the barrio to ash.
Yet my lovely muse lifts me above the crisis:
Revealing conspiracy as rational analysis;
In her shimmering shroud, she defies the fates.
My hometown nostalgia out-bunkers Bill Gates;
I look out my window. Joy turns to mass death:
Old love-letters blown on Corona-breath.
I hide unicorn carcasses from my daughter.
Instead, we read Exodus: angels, plagues, slaughter.
She’s too young to know what is sold in the street
Or whether Hondurans arrive on their feet
And if what they carry is bitter or sweet . . .
Our online Amazon: jungle or obituary?
Webster just shrugs. It’s not in his dictionary.
fill out the following Almanac Questionnaire.
Use your responses as the basis for a poem.
Mammals/reptiles/fish: snakes and pangolins
Childhood dream: Dracula
Found on the Street: porn mags
Graffiti: Chicano gangs
Lover: my muse
Conspiracy: rational analysis
Hometown memory: nostalgia
Notable person: BIll Gates
Outside your window, you find: joy
Today’s news headline: mass death
Scrap from a letter: thrown out
Animal from a myth: unicorn
Story read to children at night: Exodus
Walk three minutes down an alley and find: heroin
You walk to the border and hear: scheming Hondurans
What you fear: consumerism
Picture on your city’s postcard: Noah Webster
Tropical dusky skin
a mysterious zone between purple and brown
conceals deep orange passion:
slimy seeds of dazzling tartness
fused with a subtle sweetness
which dances on the tongue
like pulsing cumbia
in equatorial sun.
Reserved New Englander:
modest, drawing scant attention
sweet, yet acid in her reflections,
just beneath her Yankee skin.
She reads Robert Frost in early autumn,
mottled in red and green
contemplating the round of seasons
and approaching gray days
of freezing death.
PROMPT #24: write about a particular fruit
(add your own):
First letter of the law
Cornerstone and capstone
Novus Ordo Unum Eye . . .
Have a nice conspiracy theory.
PROMPT #23: write a poem about a letter of the alphabet.