May 2015 NorthWest Poetry Update

May 7, 2015

“You must be careful not to deprive the poem of its wild origin.”
Stanley Kunitz

Let’s get right to some of the worthwhile readings happening around the Puget Sound.

First readings I’m directly connected to… and then a lot, lot , more to share.

Support poets and poetry by attending readings whenever you can.


MAY 13TH!!!!  7 p.m.  Kirkland, WA

Take a Poem From Your Heart Readings

@ ParkPlace Books in Kirkland

2nd Wednesdays  (except July & August)

Wednesday  May 13, 2015

7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  FREE

Two celebrated poets are travelling from

Bellingham, WA .

Our Featured Poets are

Robert Lashley 


Malcolm Kenyon

plus  Open Mic

free program….

Northwestern poet Robert Lashley has had poems published in

journals including Feminete, No Regrets, and Your Hands, Your Mouth.

His work was also featured in Many Trails To The Summit, an anthology

of Northwest form and lyric poetry. He has featured at the Kerouac

Institute for Performing Arts, Goddard, and Seattle Central College,

read and was a guest lecture at The University of Washington-Tacoma

and Western Washington University, and was invited to the IWPS

page/stage panel and showcase in 2013. A semi-finalist for the

PEN/Rosenthal fellowship, Lashley also holds the 2014 Cascadia Poetry

Festival’s beer slam title. His full length book, The Homeboy Songs,

was published by Small Doggies press in April 2014.

Malcolm H. Kenyon Retired. Now teaches English as a Second Language

for Whatcom Literacy Council. Chapbooks: If I Were a Cat, Recapitulation,

Nakedness, Swallows, US66, The Goat Island Battery, Pictures of the Dead,

Expeditions to the Golden Triangle, Zen Birds, Basic Persian, Love:Yvonne.

Published in Jeopardy 2007, Manzanita Quarterly, Padilla Bay Poets Anthology,

Bicycling Magazine, Research Center for the Arts Review.  He was a

Commissioned Officer, United States Navy. Combat service in Vietnam in

minesweepers.  Graduate studies, University of New Mexico,

Secondary-teaching certification, Industrial Arts Education, University of

New Mexico.  Assistant Professor of Technology at Western Washington

University, Bellingham, Washington.


Park Place Books is one of the few remaining

full sized new and used independent bookstores

on the East Side.Consider supporting their efforts

to stay in business in the near future.

They host many reading clubs and

community events.

This poetry reading series began

in 2007.

Park Place Books is  located in the

Park Place Mall off 85th Street  in

Kirkland at 348 Parkplace Ctr

Kirkland, WA 98033-6229

June 10:  Keith Moul

and Jeannine Hall Gailey

July/August  No readings

back in

September with feature

Matthew Brouwer

Parkplace Books Website


May 27th  C & P Coffee West Seattle 7 p.m.

Poetry Bridge at C & P Coffee

4th Wednesdays of the Month

May 27th features:

Dobbie Reese Norris


Christopher J. Jarmick

Plus open Mic.


7 to 9 p.m.

Dobbie Reese Norris is a poet, writer and raconteur. He is

a former Wordsworth curator, (Seattle City Council).

His works have been published in various anthologies including

Within Walking Distance, a collection of University District writers,

poets and visual artists, The Little Red Studio Anthology of Poets -2009,

and in the fall 2010 release of  Many Trails to the Summit, a Rose

Alley Publication of Seattle area poets.  He currently resides in Bellingham

and is on the board of  PoetryNite.

Christopher J. Jarmick is a writer/poet who has curated/hosted

regularly scheduled poetry nights, and special events in the

Northwest since 2001. His newest collection of poetry, Not

Aloud, is due out  September 2015 from MoonPath Press.

His last collection: IGNITION: Poem Starters, Septolets,

Statements and Double Dog Dares was published in 2010.

His frequently updated blog is PoetryIsEverything

(google it as one word).  His poems have appeared in

numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, journals and online.

7 to 9 p.m.

5612 California Ave. SW, Seattle  98136


May 7  Everett Poetry Nite  7 p.m.

Feature:  William Lindberg

Plus Open Mic

Thursday 7:00pm – 10:00pm

Cafe Zippy

2811 Wetmore Ave,

Everett, Washington 98201

From William Lindberg:

On Thursday May 7, at Everett Poetry Nite experiencing spoken word,

I will be the featured poet. I’ll be doing a reading from my new book,

FOUND ON BATHROOM WALLS. Brandon Pitts is responsible for

selecting most of the works in this book. It is really good. At least that

is the word on the street.

 I know it has been a while since I last was in the Seattle area,

if you’d care to see me or to hear a few of my poems, why don’t

you come up to Zippy’s in Everett. I hope to see you there!



May 7 and Beyond  Levertov Readings  Various

Breathing the Water is a Seattle celebration of

the work and life of poet Denise Levertov has

begun. Events include films, readings, recitals

and other gatherings.

Next events:

On Thursday, May 7, at 7:00pm, at St. Joseph Parish,

poet and Levertov friend Jan Wallace, pastor of St Joseph,

Fr. John D. Whitney, SJ, and writer and parishioner

Rebecca Brown will present a brief biography of Levertov,

then read and discuss several Levertov poems, with special

emphasis on her Catholic poems and those written during the

time she was a parishioner at St Joseph. A St Joseph middle

school student will read original poems written with Levertov

Festival visiting writers.

On Saturday, May 9, at 11:00am, at Lakeview Cemetery,

Fr. Glen Butterworth will offer a gravesite blessing, and

Levertov friends and poets Jan Wallace and Emily Warn will read

Levertov and original poems.

Thursday, May 14, at 7:00 pm, at The Elliott Bay Book Company,

there will be a celebration of Levertov’s writing by Rebecca Brown

and other friends and writers influenced by her work.

On Saturday, May 16 (City of Seattle’s Denise Levertov Day),

Choral Arts, a vocal ensemble in residence at St Joseph Church

, where Levertov was a parishioner, will present the world

premiere of a setting of Levertov’s poem “Making Peace,”

at 8:00pm at the St. Joseph’s Parish Hall. The evening starts with

a reception, at 6:15pm, and a pre-concert conversation at 7:30pm.


May 8   Distinguished Writers  7 p.m.  Tacoma

Distinguished Writer Series with

Donald Kentop

Plus open mic


7:00 pm

This monthly event features a Distinguished

Writer followed by an Open Mic for all poets,

sign-up is at 6:45 pm.

Donald Kentop. Born in New York City, he graduated from

NYU and Columbia with a Masters in teaching of history.

After retiring, he devoted himself to poetry and has appeared

in numerous Northwest anthologies. His first collection of poems

was published in 2004 and he has recently published, Frozen In

Fire: A Documentary in Verse of the Triangle Factory Fire of 1911.

Admission is free. The event occurs monthly

the second Friday of every month at King’s

Books Sponsored by the Puget Sound Poetry

Connection and the Tacoma Arts Commission.


King’s Books Website 

218 St Helens Ave  Tacoma, Washington 98402



Jerrry and Pam Libstaff are having another

evening of Memorable entertainment- music

and poetry at Their beautiful home overlooking

the Puget Sound. Program begins at 7 p.m.

Watch the sunset, the water, listen to a poet

And hear great music.

Poetry by   David D. Horowitz 

Music by  Leroy Bell

From Jerry Libstaff:

David D. Horowitz is a poet, writer, editor and publisher.

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and a Master’s in

English he has taught at Vanderbilt University, Seattle Central

and Shoreline. If you follow poetry in Washington, you know

David. As a publisher, has published several books by well-known

Northwest poets and in 2007, a collection of work by 26 Northwest

Poets. With six collections of his own poetry, the last four published

by Rose Alley Press.  A poetry icon, himself, we welcome David

Horowitz to the waterfront.

LeRoy Bell is a true star. His career has included international

hits that have reached the top ten. He has written for and his

music has been performed by people such as The Spinners,

The O’Jays, The Temptations, Gladys Knight and Freda Payne.

Two of his songs were recorded by Elton John and one reached

number one on the international Adult/Contemporary chart.

LeRoy appeared at Words and Music on the waterfront in 2011

then went directly to LA for the X Factor where he reached the

top 8 in the contest. With six current albums, the latest

Rock and Soul, LeRoy is a powerhouse writer and performer.

Call 253-778-6559 for reservations or information


 May 9  and . . . Poetry/Bus  1 p.m.  Bellevue

Poetry On Buses …On the Road….

Let’s explore “home” together – interrogating,

complicating and celebrating the question

“Where are you From?” Let’s do it with poetry –

at select libraries and at the Folklife Festival.

Join Michelle Peñaloza for poetry readings

from some of this year’s poets, plus poetry

writing workshops at the libraries, and music

by Love City Love on the Poetry Bus

at Folklife.


1111 110th Ave NE

Bellevue, 98004



Fisher Pavilion, Seattle Center

305 Harrison Street

Seattle, WA 98109

The next reading of Poetry on Buses  is Saturday, May 9 at

1:00 p.m. at the Bellevue Library, 1111 110th Ave. NE, Bellevue.

Then the next reading will be at Folk Life at Fisher Pavilion,

Seattle Center, 305 Harrison Street on May 23

starting at 12 noon to 6 p.m..

The poetry readings are followed by a facilitated poetry

writing workshop. It’s free and open to the public, and

especially recommended for ages 12 and up.

Poety on Buses Website here.


May 11th Wedgewood Ale  Seattle

Lyn Coffin – features

Plus Open Mic

Monday, 11 May 2015

Sign-up at 8.  Show begins at 8:30,

Lyn comes on around 9:20

Lyn Coffin has just published two new books, one of fiction

The First Honeymoon, was published by Iron Twine Press

and received 477 bids for a publisher’s giveaway on Goodreads.

It features a blurb by Joyce Carol Oates. The other is A Taste of

Cascadia, two plays published by Whale Road Books. Her

translation of the 12th century epic is forthcoming from Poezia

this September. Bedouin Books will publish five of her plays in

Russian and English (and five of Natalya Churlyaeva’s) this

summer. Her poetry and that of Givi Alkhazishvili will be published

this summer. She teaches Literary Fiction at UW’s Continuing and

Professional Education.

Wedgwood Ale House

8515 35th Ave NE

Seattle, WA 98115

206 527 2676

Easy Speak at Wedgewood Website Here!


May 13   Village Books  7 p.m.  Bellingham

Wednesday, May 13at 7:00pm

Matthew Brouwer reading!!!!

Village Books in Fairhaven

1200 11th St, Bellingham, Washington 98225

Matthew Brouwer writes:

My first reading in Bellingham from my new collection of poems,

Stories We Must Tell!  The first half recounts my journey of descent

after a backpacking injury in 2009 slowly stripped me of the ability to

walk. The second half is a bunch of newer poems on life, death, the

nature of suffering, societal tragedy, the cosmos, et al… Fun stuff!

“Part journal of an illness without diagnosis, part descent into and slow crawl out from the pit of despair, this fine collection disdains the simple journey of healing for an unblinking engagement with suffering and joy.” -Michael Schein, Director of LiTFUSE Poets’ Workshop



MAY 14   Good Shepherd   Seattle

From David D. Horowitz

Thursday, May 14th, 7:00 p.m.

Robinson Bolkum, Susan Casey,

Nancy Dahlberg, Victoria Ford,

Kristen McHenry, Raul Sanchez,

and David Thornbrugh


The Good Shepherd Center,

Room 202, 4649 Sunnyside Avenue N.,

Seattle  WA

FREE and open to the public.

Prizes; light refreshments.


May 14  It’s About Time  6 p.m.  Ballard

Thurs. May 14, 2015 #307

Cate O’Toole, Jeremy Pataky, BJ Neblett

& Lori A. May on the Writer’s Craft

It’s About Time Reading Series

Every Second Thursday

6:00 – 7:45 p.m.


Ballard Branch Seattle Public Library

5614 22nd Ave. N.W.

Seattle , WA 98107


Wheelchair accessible.  Free

for information or to schedule a reading

Peggy Sturdivant, Curator

Coming Soon !!!!

Thurs. June 11, 2015 #308

Carol Levin, Irfan Mirza,

Christopher J.  Jarmick  &

Suzanne Bottelli on the Writer’s Craft

Thurs. July 9, 2015 #309

Euphrates Moss, Shannon P. Laws,

Diane Aprile & Joannie Stangeland

on the Writer’s Craft

It’s About Time website here:


May 15-    Deep Waters South Sound Poetry  – Steilacoom

Deep Waters: South Sound Poetry

& Writers Venue

Poetry Reading May 15th, 7pm.

Featured Reader: Chris Dahl

Espresso at the Bay

1203 Rainier St

Steilacoom, WA

For more Check Website:

Chris Dahl has been writing poetry from an especially young age,                                                                               advancing from the school newspaper to publications such as Seattle

Review, Cascadia, and many others.  Her chapbook, Mrs. Dahl in the

Season of Cub Scouts, was published by Still Waters Press after

winning their Women in Words competition.  She received an MA from

the University of Washington “with emphasis on creative writing.”

A native of the state, she has lived most of her life at the edge of water

and, for the last fifteen years, has served on the board of the Olympia

Poetry Network as newsletter editor.  Years ago, she was praised for

being “metaphysical,” a charge which both surprised and disheartened

her—but which she has come to accept.


May 16  Free Workshop  University Place



Featuring: Michael Spence

May 16th

4601 Grandview Dr W University Place, WA

2:00 p.m to 4:00 p.m.

Register now at ckwalle@comcast.net


May 19  Summit Pierce Library 7 p.m.  Tacoma


Summit Pierce County Library

5107 112th St. E.

Tacoma 98446 • 253-548-3321

Tuesday, May 19, 7 p.m

Join us for a poetry reading by

Tacoma’s Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo.

He will read from his works, followed by Q&A


open mic.

He initiated the Laureate Listening Project, an audio anthology

celebrating the spirit of place in the Tacoma region. He is

collaborating on an opera about the Chinese expulsion from

Tacoma and efforts 100 years later to pursue reconciliation.

Available for purchase at the event:

  • “The Thing That Gathers” poetry collection – compassion, resilience and the gifted essence of everyday mysteries
  • “Voice of the Americas” CD – North America through multiple stories and personas accompanied by an original score


May 20 WordsWest 7 p.m. West Seattle

WordsWest Literary Series Presents

Encountering the Everyday Wild

with Allen Braden and

Lyanda Lynn Haupt”

Favorite Poem by Eric Jordan

of The Office Junction

7:00 pm, Wed., May 20th, 2015,

C & P Coffee Co.,

5612 California Ave. SW,

Seattle  98136

WordsWest is curated by West Seattle writers

Katy E. Ellis, Susan Rich, and Harold Taw.

For more information, WordsWest Website


May 21  SoulFood Books 7 p.m. Redmond

Soulfood Poetry Night

Every 3rd Thursday  at 7 p.m.

May 21 Features

Larry Crist


Christine Clarke

plus Open Mic


Larry Crist lives in Seattle and is originally from Humboldt

County in California. He has also lived in Chicago, Houston,

and London, as well as Philadelphia where he attended Temple

University and received an MFA in theatre. He’s been widely

published. Undertow Overtures is Larry’s first poetry collection,

published by ATOM and available through Amazon and select

Northwest bookstores. Larry was in the Jack Straw Writer’s

Program in 2013 and has received three Pushcart nominations.

Christine Clarke is a molecular biologist and poet who currently

resides in Seattle, Washington. Her award-winning poetry has

been published in DMQ Review, Clover, Randomly Accessed

Poetics, Highland Park Poetry, and Storm Cycle 2013: The Best

of Kind of a Hurricane Press. She lives with a collection of oddly

named cacti, has too many books on her nightstand, and enjoys

the antics of the crows, jays, and hummingbirds

on her deck.

SoulFood Coffee House in Redmond

is located at 15748 Redmond Way,

Redmond, Washington

Soulfood Poetry Night Website


May 22  RASP  7 P.M.   Redmond

Redmond Association of Spoken Word

Featured Reader:

Charles Finn

Plus Open Mic


Friday May 22 (special night)

7 p.m.

 Charles Finn is the editor of High Desert Journal and author

of Wild Delicate Seconds: 29 Wildlife Encounters (OSU

Press). His essays and poetry have appeared in a variety of

literary journals, anthologies, newspapers, and consumer

magazines, including The Sun, Northern Lights, Wild Earth,

Silk Road, Open Spaces , Whitefish Review, High Country News,

Writers on the Range, and many others. A self-taught woodworker,

he is a proponent of “living little” and owner of A Room of One’s

Own, where he builds furniture and “microhomes,” one-room wood

cabins constructed entirely out of reclaimed lumber and materials.

He lives in Federal Way with his wife Joyce and their two cats Pushkin

and Lutsa.


Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center

16600 NE 80th St, Redmond,

Washington 98052

Please join us! Come early to sign up for open mic.

Facebook Event page here


May 23  Jack McCarthy’s Birthday -Marysville, WA

Just got an email from Carol McCarthy

about what is being planned…

From Carol’s email:

 There will be a Showcase Slam at the Evergreen Unitarian

Church in Marysville on the 23rd, Jack’s birthday.

 Robert Huston will be MC.  Mike McGee is organizing it. 

Please let people know.

Details will be on Jack’s website in the next

few days.

Jack McCarthy Website here 


 Sat, May 30 at 3:00pm  Bainbridge

Eagle Harbor Book Company

157 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge Island,

Washington 98110

Join us on May 30th from 3 – 5 pm

for our first Fill Your Summer Bookbag Bookfest celebration

at Eagle Harbor Books on beautiful Bainbridge Island!

The event features book signings, author-baked sweets,

and drawings for free books and literary items. Perhaps

the best part of this popular event, though, is mingling

and conversing with this friendly group of award-winning

Northwest authors including:

Kelli Russell Agodon, Kathleen Alcala

Erica Bauermeister, Carol Cassella

Megan Chance, William Dietrich

Bridget Foley, Laurie Frankel

Elizabeth George, Thor Hanson

Adrianne Harun, Jennifer Louden

Kevin O’Brien, Suzanne Selfors

Rebecca Wells, Susan Wiggs


Welcome to one and all! An easy walk from the Seattle to

Bainbridge ferry too, so Seattle friends, so do feel free to join

us! Admission is free. Proceeds from the event will benefit KRL

,Kitsap Regional Libraries. We look forward to seeing you there!

Facebook Events Page here 


From Karen Bonaudi:




Applications are now being accepted for Washington State’s next Poet

Laureate. The new Laureate will serve from Feb. 1, 2016, to Jan. 31,


Current Laureate Elizabeth Austen is in the second year of her

two-year term and is presenting poetry workshops and readings across

Washington State in her quest to visit all 39 counties in Washington.

Former Laureates are Samuel Green and Kathleen Flenniken.

To be considered, applicants must meet all eligibility requirements and

submit an application online. Applications must be submitted electronically

by 5 p.m. on Friday, July 31.  The position is sponsored by ArtsWA and

Humanities Washington with the support of Gov. Jay Inslee.

More information and applications are available here  


From Raven Chronicles:

Submissions Wanted for Vol. 22, Fall 2015 Issue:

Submission Deadlines/Reading Period: April 1 through June 1, 2015

(postmarked)  U.S.A. Submissions: Submit all work via US mail.

International Submissions: Submit work via email attachments.

See the Raven Website Here


MAY AND beyond IN  Vaughn WA

From Jerry Libstaff

Words and Music Current Season began

on March 7th 2015

Melding  Authors, Poets, Singer/Songwriters and Artists

from around the country in an intimate waterfront setting.

The program includes hors d’oeuvres and beverages.

Meet and share with powerful entertainers in a beautiful setting

surrounded by nature.

Funding supports the entertainers. Additional donations provide for

Young Writers.

Watermark Writers is a 501(c)

3 Non Profit corporation.

Upcoming  Events

5/9   LeRoy Bell  with David D. Horowitz      

6/5  Ari Hest with Carl Palmer

July -Holley McCreary

August – Rodney Branigan

9/19 – Dave McGraw and Mandy Fer

with Christopher J. Jarmick

10/3  – Melissa Greener

To find out more email us at


or call  253-778-6559.


Jerry Libstaff


Worthwhile Website and Resource to
checkout is here:

Authors Publish

It is FREE and has a ton of
useful articles and suggestions of
where to send poetry to be published!


My Poetry on Buses Poem with audio is
here (Featured Poem of the Week-Feb. 9) 

Congrats to all the featured ‘bus poets’
whose work appears on bus stops, on
special rapid ride buses and/or the website
throughout 2015.


NaPoWriMo Day 32 – NaPoWriMo Wrap-up May 2, 2015

May 1, 2015

Welcome to the Wrap-up of NaPoWriMo  2015 Whew… that was intense and invigorating.  I hope you pushed yourself a bit this year and wrote some interesting things that you wouldn’t have attempted otherwise.  Perhaps with a little re-writing, revising and editing some of your NaPoWriMo writes will blossom into poems worth keeping, sharing and even publishing!    A few poems that are in my new poetry collection, Not Aloud (MoonPath Press) available in September of 2015, began as NaPoWrimo writes.  A couple of others have been published in print journals or anthologies.

To be honest, sometimes the prompt writes surprise me.  I approach NaPoWriMo prompts seriously, but I also look at prompt writing as writing exercises akin to a runner stretching and warming up before a race.  It is for me like an improvisation exercise.   I expect from my efforts there will be some good phrases, and groundwork that will lead me to writing a poem worth keeping, but when something better than that happens, I’m am appreciative and genuinely surprised.   When it happens a few times during the month, I chalk it up to being in good writing shape.  I write something nearly every day (not always poetry).  Some days I write thousands of words, others a few hundred.   So my challenge during NaPoWriMo is to… 1) come up with interesting and challenging prompt posts (that aren’t IMPOSSIBLE for newer writers and poets to take on) for each day of NaPoWriMo and to participate in someone else’s NaPoWriMo related prompt challenge. This year I also wrote a poem every day for the Writers Digest Poem a Day challenge.  I wrote a few extras no one saw (which are pretty terrible) and a few decent poems outside of the prompts that may wind up being ‘keepers’.

Thanks for checking in from time to time or every day.  I hope NaPoWriMo tuned up your writing habit and you had fun being creative along the way.  And if it drove you a bit nuts… well that’s good too . . . particularly if you pushed through it and reached a new goal for yourself.

A few times per month on this blog, I post the NorthWest Poetry Update which compiles mostly free poetry readings and open mics that are happening in the Western Washington State Area (mostly).  You might also notice there’s a POETRY DAY OF THE WEEK page on this blog (telling you about many regularly scheduled poetry readings in Western Washington and a couple in the Portland OR area.

Sometimes I create other blog posts and my intention is to do a few more of those during the next few months.   Feel free to FOLLOW the blog and you’ll get an email when I post something.


Write an end Poem that ends with the words THIS IS THE END

This is a door

By Christopher J. Jarmick

This not the beginning

It has been here.

It was here previously.

It could have been here in another form

under a different guise or perhaps invisible.

Perspective tells us

we should not assume we know anything.

We are unreliable witnesses to everything.

We don’t know anything for certain.

Not even this.

So what is the point?

Is the point mere experience?

Or perhaps it is the sharing of the experience.

An experience as we decide to define it.

This is whatever I decide it is.


Marilyn Monroe’s picture

is above the eggs benedict

on the theme diner menu

waiting for Mark Doty to notice

and for his comment to be part

of the Poets and Writer article

I read a couple of days ago.

It needs to be part of a poem

even if I don’t understand why.

Did the people who drew things

on cave walls in the dark

believe doing so

freed them?

It is everything you need to know.

It is absolutely nothing.

It is only one part of a bigger story.

It is the door closing behind you.

You are not here. It is the end.

Teresa’s Prompt 30 poem


By Teresa Jarmick

Five or six, peeking through screen

Just high enough to see smell and talk

To the bedded person that loved me.

First row bleachers, back in kindergarten

I had something to share with the class.

Teacher redirected me.

Time repeats silent story

Soundless interstate travel

This is the end.

Writers Digest Poem-a-Day Prompt 30

Suggests writing a poem that includes the phrase  ‘bury the …..  (you complete it).

Parasite or Not a Poem About My Muse.

By Christopher J. Jarmick

It should be clear by now

I intend to grab hold

arouse your interest

scream, yell, shout,

scratch, kick, bite

even expose myself

it that’s what it takes.

If you are like me

you’ll resist it

refuse to be taken in

and on principle

not continue to encourage

such blatant attention-seeking

desperation by a hack

poseur or worse a trickster.

There is all around us

uncensored streams

of over the top

exaggerated sensory overloads

employed to market and sell

products, proposals and ideas.

You know there is no place for it

In the realms of respectable,

proper literature

and never in your

most sacrosanct of work;


Bury the beast

Bury temptation

Bury the madness

But we both know

quest of knowledge and

curiousity compels

you to bear witness.

You’ll comfort yourself

that it was inevitable

and the slight betrayal

of your principals

can remain a kept secret

a comfortable shame.

But like the deadliest

of parasites, now that I am in

I will grow inside of you,

feast myself first on


work myself up to

occasional nibbles in

places that will produce

nearly imperceptible discomfort

and just as you realize

you can not keep the secret inside

any longer, perhaps when you

begin to reveal your shame,

that is when I will strike at

your most vital of organs

and bring you to your knees.

Your appetite for the unsavory

will be impossible to conceal

and everything that you feared

will curse your daily existence

and the more you protest

the more you blame

the more you try to conceal

the louder will you

scream, yell, shout.

Lock yourself in a room

scratch, kick, bite

the only cure for this

is to expose yourself,

embrace and own your greatest fears

Suffer both ridicule

and puerile curses

along with

undeserved praise

in plain view

and realize

your ravenous appetite

insures you will do it  all again


Teresa’s Prompt 29 Poem

Make up a word and use it in a poem


By Teresa Jarmick

Complicated tubes connecting

Engines powered by whispered

Sly tongues alternating

Misery, comfort, misery

Engaging names dropped

Butter on breadless crumbs.

Don’t trust her, the evagrou.


Combine two previous prompts to write your poem.  I combined at least three: the Septolet, political and make up your own word prompt to come up with.

Wires from Baltimore

By  Christopher J. Jarmick



did the

FOX folks say?

Baltimore is

our third world




25 year old Freddie Gray

from the birthplace of Thurgood Marshall

and Cab Calloway

was told to stop by the cops,

but tried to run away.

“Apprehended without incident’

on April twelve, they say.

then Freddie had a ‘massive spinal injury’

on his ride to the station, anyway.

He complained he was in pain

and definitely not okay

but didn’t see the docs

until much later that day.

Something wrong happened here

you can logically say

and it should be made crystal clear

April 19th ,is the day

they said;

Freddie’s dead.


Last Saturday,

The  Baltimoristan police chief

called peaceful protests

a ‘lynch mob,’

Doesn’t take a poet or editor

to spot the bad word choice here.


Last Saturday and Sunday

on Facebook

a few dozen high school kids

posted they should meet at

the mall after school on Monday

and have a ‘purge night’ of

reckless looting—like ‘in those

recent movies.’

So public transportation

was restricted meaning

hundred of teenagers

would be stranded at the mall.

But not to worry,

dozens of cops in riot gear

were on the scene demonstrating

just what a police state looks like.

‘Life isn’t at all like ‘The Purge’, kids,

it’s more like ‘Hunger Games’.’


When the police told the media

gang members made threats

about killing some officers,

The Nation of Islam

invited rival gang members

to a church where they

held hands and pledged

to help stop any violent protests.

Imagine Fox correspondents trying to

explain that an organization called Islam

Is NOT a terrorist group.

Don’t worry.  Didn’t happen.

Cable news folks were too busy covering

each other having fun

at a fancy news correspondent dinner

with politicians, 40 miles away.

Who says there’s no such thing as a

free lunch?


When the riots began

CNN and FOX news anchors

proclaimed they had not seen

such mayhem in decades

as if they weren’t around

a few news cycles ago

in Ferguson.


“Doesn’t look like any America

I know,” said one well dressed

middle-aged white news anchor.

I wish I could be so myopic

I don’t see neighborhoods in cities like Detroit

and Baltimore where tens of thousands

live below the poverty line in places

where rat infested abandoned buildings

are turned into shooting galleries for

heroin addicts?

Maybe you believe that was all made up

to publicize HBO’s The Wire ?

Maybe the Baltimore you know is the

Inner Harbor of million dollar condos and luxury tourist

hotels and not the neighborhoods east and west

where you’ll find the highest concentration of AIDS

cases anywhere in the U.S.

AIDS?  Is that still a thing?


Thugs thugs thugs

tHugs thugs thugs

thUgs  thugs thugs

thuGs thugs thugs

thugS thugs thugs

“They aren’t protestors – they are thugs.”

orange is the new black  and

The T word is the new N word.

No wait, thug is okay, President Obama

called the looters in Baltimore, thugs.

Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman

and Baltimore looters

are thugs

from gangs like the

Black Guerillas.

I heard it on the news today

. . . oh boy…


As the riots turned to looting, and violence,

windows were smashed, cars and buildings

lit on fire.

We saw footage from a helicopter

of angry protestors throwing rocks

at police in riot gear.

“The thugs are throwing boulders at the police. . .”

said the reporter.

“There are gangs involved in this. . .” said another.

Crips, Blood and BGF to name the names… only

Fox folks delighted in making sure they said

‘Black Guerillas,’ which sounds just like ‘Black Gorillas’

rather then saying BGF or the more generic


“Gangs like the Black Guerillas,” they said.

some of these thugs are Black Guerillas…” they said.

Over and over again, Black Guerillas this and Black Guerillas that

and they weren’t reciting an anaphoric poem

but suddenly had regressed into 11 year-olds

on a playground daring each other to say, “Pussy”.

Only worse. . . Black Guerillas. . .


And oh how they carried on. . .

even laughing and joking at the footage

of the black mother slapping and punching what we

presume is her son.

“if there were more folks like her

there wouldn’t be any riots in Baltimore…”

Problem solved.

Thanks FOX.

I should have had more faith

that you would figure this out for us

while giving us thrilling visuals

and your usual brand of entertaining

R. C. commentary

(Racist Colored commentary).


There is a silver lining on

these clouds of Gray.

The Fox lead in should be:

Donald Trump publicly admits Obama

is a great president.

Can’t make this up.

Trumps Tweet:

Our great African American President

hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs

who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore!”

Now join hands with me and sing:

‘We shall comb over.’


The not completely unexpected Baltimore riots have given us a barrage of irresponsible reporting from the usual sources.  This sequence begins with a syllable Septolet (a lesser known French poetry form).

Sources and references include the following:








Keep Writing


NaPoWriMo Day 31 – Prompt for April 31, 2015 aka May 1, 2015

April 30, 2015

Welcome to Day 31  of NaPoWriMo.  HEY….  WAIT A MINUTE!!!!  Tomorrow I’ll have wrap up with my Prompt 30 and 31 poem and post a catch-up, hopefully, of Teresa poems….maybe I’ll even plug my upcoming poetry collection Not Aloud due out this September from MoonPath Press. . . HEY!  Wait a minute….!!!

DAY 31  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  April 31, 2015 

Xtra….  Yep… an extra.  Write your extra poem.   Look at any of the 30 prompts I posted this year for NaPoWriMo and write another poem using that prompt or combine a couple of prompts to write your poem.   C’mon one more…


Creating a new word or two and make it the focus of your poem


By Christopher J. Jarmick

Poets in passionate vocabulation

flourishing vocabularments,

vocalaJuggling with feats of

vocabuleeze until readers are

in an oversatiated vocabuloric stupor

Declaring war on poetics.

No more….

Die.. die… die

We can’t process anything if your


put us into a brain dead vocabuloma


you insistent too hip, too smart, too profound

too depressed, too heartbroken for the room


Take a deep breath,

Give us a moment to catch up

with your empathyisms

If you insist on a three ring circus

create your show

one ring at a time,

and give us copies of the program

so we can sort of keep up

with what’s going on.

Writers Digest Poem a Day Prompt 29

Write a what you don’t know poem

Church Key

By Christopher J. Jarmick

Is it subtle reference to Ovid

or obscure Greek poet,

I don’t know.

It may be the code of the poem

but it remains unbroken.

The patterns on the dishes

in the sink,

could mean many things,

the things we purposefully collect

even more.

Pieces of childhood we enjoy holding onto

I understand.

But the antique church key?

She gave it to me, saying

it meant her heart was in my hands.

“If you tire of me return it.”

She said her grandmother gave it to her

just before she died.

Months after she left me,

I realized I still had the key.

I don’t know why I’ve kept it.

Perhaps you think the answer clear;

she stole something precious from me,

leaving like she did,

so I kept the key to her heart

so that she’ll never truly be able

to give her heart to anyone else

as long as I possess this key.

But I don’t believe in spells, or magic

or literal keys to anyone’s heart.

People might convince themselves

someone has them under a spell

or possesses them,

but it is not ever true.

And now that I write this,

I like the idea of putting the key

in a box of books or bag of clothes

that I’ll donate to Goodwill.

But I haven’t,

and won’t do it next time either.

I’ve kept it for years.

I don’t know why.


Keep Writing


NaPoWriMo Day 30 – Prompt for April 30, 2015

April 29, 2015

Welcome to Day 30  of NaPoWriMo.  And here we are with the prompt for the last day of the month.  Did you challenge yourself to write every day? Did you challenge yourself to get outside of the box and write something completely different than what you normally write? Did you exercise your muse and take on some prompts?  Did you sometimes say to yourself. . . I DO NOT LIKE THAT PROMPT….I won’t do that prompt, not in a house, not with a mouse. . . . and did you discover that taking on the challenge you wrote something that either turned out better than you expected or opened up something that will lead to something even better in the near future?  I sincerely wish you have that sort of experience.  Continue to write every day, create your own prompts, take on prompts already posted you haven’t tried before, find sites LIKE THIS ONE that post weekly posts.

Tomorrow, I’ll have another post.. so stay tuned.

DAY 30  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  April 30, 2015 

This is the End, sang Jim Morrison.  Write an end poem.   It can be an end of the month poem, a last poem for your next collection of poetry, an end of a era, relationship, or world poem.  The last four words of the poem should be:  this is the end.


Prompt 28 suggested you read an excerpt from How To Read a Poem and then write you poem.

Becoming the Poem

By Christopher J. Jarmick

Thank you for the precious moments you spend

with these words.

I imagine them not simply gravel, or twigs

you travel upon

but unique birdsongs, and even loud noises

that stop you in your tracks

rudely interrupt your own thoughts and

swarm around you like thousands of gnats

that you must swat away.

It is the something you take notice of

because it is out of place

perhaps it is of such breathtaking beauty

or such incredible coincidence

that you feel that sensation of new love.

It fills your eyes, it captures your breath,

it softly touches your skin and purrs in your ear

which in the next moment

scares you with its nearly instant naked intimacy.

Your guard goes up, tense and defensive

But then,


you realize there is no danger,

you are safer in this place

than anywhere else you could be.

No one will harm you here

You can open your mind and have thoughts

that no one will judge or criticize.

They will be completely understood

by a stranger you will never meet.

And you know this, absolutely.

You can reach out and find exactly the sort

of touch you need in this moment,

and if you’d like

you can even close your eyes

drift into the deep and restful slumber

that will recharge your soul

for the rest of your journey ahead.

Writers Digest Poem a Day Prompt 28

Two for Tuesday prompt write a matter or anti-matter poem

Whatsa’ Matter You – An E = mc2 Poem.

By Christopher J. Jarmick

If for every particle of matter

there is an anti-matter particle

but gravity affects both equally

and their meeting in mass

created the Big Bang that begat

our Universe, then why is

the Universe made up of matter particles.

How did one particle matter more than another

and survive annihilation?

And what of discovered particles that may

contain both matter and anti-matter

that aren’t affected by gravity or

magnetic fields?

Concentrations of energy

created by matter and anti-matter

make cosmic rays

which one of Buck Rogers

of was it Flash Gordon’s nemesis

threatened to destroy earth with

and in a 50s creature feature or two

created giant insects.

Rays (cosmic, gamma) also made a super-hero or two,

and become a doomsday machine

in a lousy Dan Brown novel.

It’s hard to make anti-matter

since it vanishes when it touches anything.

All of this is for scientists only perhaps

but in a poets’ perspective. . .

I think we’ve all had a few relationships

where after touching someone, they seem to vanish.

Never call, don’t answer their phone… aren’t

ever seen or heard from again.

Doesn’t usually happen instantaneously, I realize,

but the delayed reaction might open up a

whole new field of study.

No matter?

Isn’t matter as much an illusion as

truth in advertising, you say?

That’s quantum physics

worthy perhaps of another poem,

–when I have the energy.


By Christopher J. Jarmick


I know the earth is not flat,

the sun doesn’t revolve around the earth

and poetry is not dead.


Contrary to popular belief,

poetry isn’t anti-prose that vanishes

when it touches anything other

than another poet.


Mathematics and Science

are bedfellows

as are Poetry and Mathematics.

(Need I explain iambic pentameter?)

Politicians have long feared both

science and poetry.

Both have survived.


There is hope for poetry’s future.

Carl Sagan became famous in the 1970s

and recently so has Neil deGrasse Tyson.

There is hope for poetry’s future.

If every 40 years (or so) an Astro-physicist

can become a media darling,

there is hope for poetry’s future.


Keep Writing


NaPoWriMo Day 29 – Prompt for April 29, 2015

April 28, 2015

Welcome to Day 29  of NaPoWriMo.  And then there were TWO… can you believe IT!?!

I forgot all about the million line poem project that Tupelo Press began until yesterday when just for fun I submitted a couplet for it…. AND it was accepted.  What fun!   A few months ago I submitted a poem called Hummingbird I wrote (and almost completely forgot about) for consideration to a new anthology called Poeming Pigeons.  Yep.. it got accepted and that book is about to come out.  They’re kicking off an event in Portland, Oregon for the book (I can’t make it… but if you’re nearby consider going).  They will doing another anthology soon and are about to open submissions for it.  Click on the links to read more about either or both.

The folks in Auburn, Washington are ending Poetry Month with a (wi-CKED) bang at the Auburn Theatre April 30th and a reading that features past Auburn Poet Laureate Dick Brugger, present Auburn Poet Laureate Marjorie Rommel and Washington State Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen. 7 pm (doors open at 6) Thursday, April 30th in the Auburn Avenue Theater, 10 Auburn Ave, Auburn, WA 98002.  It’s FREE and there’ll be light refreshments too!!!

DAY 29  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  April 29, 2015 

Make up a word.  Make up a couple of words if you want.   Create a poem about and using this new word or couple of words.


Suggested writing a ‘color-full’ poem.

Love Colored

By Christopher J. Jarmick

As the sun set outside

the periwinkle sky was streaked

with mauve and mazarine

from a saffron and magenta horizon

and inside the Red Lights Casino Castaneous Lounge,

polka-dotted notions filled the blues singers

previously nigrine thoughts with rose-colored hope.

Her filemot outlook metamorphosing

into a fluorescent hyacinthine

bursting into bright ponceau.

She was in love.

Her monochrome life

with its sepia tinged memories

now pavonated with puniceous

porphyrous, vitellary.

Her blues now azure

with notes of nacarat and meline.


azure     light or sky blue

castaneous         chestnut-coloured

filemot               dead-leaf colour; dull brown

hyacinthine        of a blue or purple colour

magenta              reddish purple

mauve                light bluish purple

mazarine             rich blue or reddish-blue colour

meline                canary-yellow

nacarat               bright orange-red

nigrine                black

pavonated          peacock-blu

periwinkle           a bluish or azure colour

ponceau              poppy red

porphyrous        purple

puniceous           bright or purplish red

saffron                orange-yellow

sepia                    fine brown

vitellary                bright yellow

Teresa’s Prompt 27 poem

Color Me

By  Teresa Jarmick

Salmon meringue consistently

Not white.

Freckled red oak

Gravel halo.



Slightly Sunburned in Sequim

By Christopher J. Jarmick

Not satisfied with getting slightly sunburned

in Sequim, by sitting outside too long.

My wife ,has picked her super-hero name:

Pink Flippers.

Perhaps a member of the Fantastic Five Footwear team:

Puma, Air, Dunks, The Clog, and P.F.

whose secret lair

is underneath Nike Town.

Writers Digest  Prompt 27 Poem

the prompt was to write a  ‘looking back’ poem.

When NOT to look back

By  Christopher J. Jarmick

If you are running away

through the woods

or in Venice


Look back

Look at where you are going

focus on moving fast

and not falling down.

If you are running away

from betrayal, violence


Look back

You won’t see what’s left

of your heart

beating on the ground.

If you are running away

from a misunderstanding,

age or out of boredom

Stop.  Sit down.

You need a plan, a purpose

or you’ll run right into regret

which will absorb into your skin

and take its slow sadistic revenge.


Keep Writing


NaPoWriMo Day 28 – Prompt for April 28, 2015

April 27, 2015

Welcome to Day 28  of NaPoWriMo.  And then there were 3. . . we’re on the homestretch with the finish line in view. . .   One of my favorite books about poetry remains How to Read a Poem by Edward Hirsch.  I’ve read the entire book at least 3 times and the first 30 pages more than a half dozen.  It has encouraged many interesting discussions about poetry—perhaps too many – but that’s still a good thing.   Hirsch wrote an essay worth reading called How to Read a Poem for Poets.org.  But for an even better read. . .look at today’s prompt. . .

DAY 28  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  April 28, 2015

Read this generous excerpt from  How To Read a Poem (and fall in love with poetry) by Edward Hirsch.  It is from the book and very different than the essay located at poetry.org. Become the ‘scholar with one candle’ (Wallace Stevens)  Click on my link, read for a while and then write for 15 or 20 minutes.  From your writing create your poem.


Prompt 26  suggested you use a random first line generator as the first line of your poem


by Christopher J. Jarmick

The pen hadn’t been worth stealing.

On impulse I quickly slipped the thing

inside my pocket while the proprietor

was distracted with another customer.

I felt awful the moment after I did it.

Thief, thief, imaginary voices yelled in my head.

“Cut off his bleedin’ hand” a heavy English accented

Victorian era voice grumbled.

My prize might have been worth tens of thousands

but later when I examined it

I realized it was a fake,

It could never have belonged to Charles Dickens.

Now if someone had bought the thing

the shop-owner would have been the scoundrel

cheating a gullible customer out of his money.

But I didn’t know as I refused to resist temptation

that the pen wasn’t worth stealing.

Teresa’s Prompt 26 Poem

Read It

By Teresa Jarmick

“Read it over,” he said, “and see if you want to sign it.”

Not a start or an end, somewhere in the middle.

Years into the voyage, neither blank line nor ink will

Veer course.  I can see the horizon & my help

Comes from the hills.

He pushes papers, understands I’m not

Standing at a crossroads and waits

For me to toss the message overboard.

Writers Digest Poem A Day Prompt 26

Use some of Shakespeare’s ‘invented’ words in a poem.  (he created about 1700 new words, many original, many combinations or new derivations and many changing usages such as verbs into nouns etc).

The Game’s Afoot

By Christopher J. Jarmick

Shakesmouth has attask’d me

to convive ‘pon my NaPoWrimo addiction

leaving nary a moment for vizaments.

I’ll potch my gnarling discontent

risk besmichment from countless critics,

(including grammarian swashers) and submerge

compromise even if in my swaggering excitement

my premediated hurried efforts creates

a monumentally,obsequiously flawed

(or worse- a laughable, utterly worthless lackluster)


Your fracted oppugancy to my rant

be futile, an immoment of invis’d discontent.

My propugnation to relume poetic art

through this suppliance of Sir Shakesword’s words

will not be impeded by your renounciations.

In amazement you’ll hear the gossip hobnobbers

proclaim that fashionable Shakesheathe enthusiasts

generously championed my efforts proclaiming:

“Mirable! Mirable!”


Renounciations, ‘pon and besmirchments are of my invention.

I’m pretty sure NaPoWriMo was never used by Shakespeare.

Title is from Henry V  Act 3 Scene 1.

I mangle Shakespeare’s name in affectionate homage to his wonderful and sometimes playful mangling of verbs and nouns to create new words.  Speare turned to mouth(e), sheath(e) and sword.)


Keep Writing


NaPoWriMo Day 27 – Prompt for April 27, 2015

April 26, 2015

Welcome to Day 27  of NaPoWriMo.   And then there were 4. . .   One of the most vitally important things a writer (part-time, full-time, published or not) absolutely must be doing is reading.  In fact, I believe if you are writing regularly and often feeling you are overflowing with ideas and inspiration you are likely reading a variety of things that are feeding your muse well.  And it goes to reason if you are having trouble finding things to write about, if you experience that mysterious malady called writer’s block it may be due to the fact you are not reading enough and certainly not diversifying what you are reading enough.   I should probably provide a link at this point to some poetry that is worth reading.  Although most of the Ten Poems Everyone Needs To Read are pretty obvious and are likely very familiar to you . . .most of these are indeed must reads.  So enjoy for them again for the thousandth time or for the first.   (And yes, for the record I certainly strongly considered not choosing to link to this particular because of how annoying their hyped up title is).

DAY 27  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  April 27, 2015 

Create a color-full poem.  One that uses a myriad of colors with a touch perhaps of something unexpected.


Prompt 25 suggested writing a poem using several Acronyms. . .


By Christopher J. Jarmick

The WASPS , JAPS and HUD renters march together against

the frackers shouting  NIMBY  NIMBY

Oklahoma shakes. (BOBs have nothing to do with this.)

Get data from EOS, ESPRI, NASA geeks.

You say FISHDO,  BOHICA, it’s just another SNAFU?  Go FO!

We say NIMBY, hell no!

Before our world is FUBAR!


Definitions: (12 Acronyms- 52 Words!)

WASP -White Anglo Saxon Protestant

JAP Jewish American Princesses

HUD- US Department of Housing and Urban Development

NIMBY- Not in My Back Yard

ESPRI -Earth Surface Processes Research Institute

EOS-      Earth Observing System

BOB-  Battery Operated Boyfriend

FISHDO – F* *k It, Shit Happens, Drive On

BOHICA – Bend Over Here It Comes Again (US Military Slang)

SNAFU – Situation Normal: All F* *cked Up

FO – Foxtrot Oscar (i.e. F**k Off) (US/UK Forces)

FUBAR – F* *cked Up Beyond All Recognition

Teresa’s Prompt 25 Poem

Language Love

By Teresa Jarmick

UNESCO, ANSI waiting outside MOMA couldn’t

Help but see the HEPA, NATO, HIPAA threesome

Linked by arms, laughing.  Obviously a LASER JAMA of

a day for them and he was ANSI, jealous, WISHA he was

mid the two FIFA ladies, ASORN he was

without AAMI.  Head hung low, NSAID, it was a QAPI

start to a DEVL day.

Writers Digest Poem a Day Prompt 25 poem

Write an across the sea perhaps travel poem.

Accinents  (tried to combine Accents and Accidents)

By  Christopher J. Jarmick

Hands across the water

You’re feet don’t get wet.

No one likes water in their ear.

Take a plane, but chew gum

or your ears might pop and

nobody likes that either.

Well, there’s probably some

masochist or perv that likes it

but I shouldn’t judge folks whose

oddball quirks aren’t hurting anyone.

I sound just like any other rude,

American tourist In France or Italy.

The ones who talk slow and loud

because that somehow helps people who

don’t speak English understand what they are saying.

Could have something to do with why

you think French Waiters are rude.

Nobody likes being yelled at or treated like their idiots.

I miss hearing accents.

Use to hear them a lot when I was younger

and living on the East Coast.

Regional accents,

foreign accents,

they make you listen a little closer

appreciate how the habits of the tongue

influence tone, volume, accent

even the meter of sentences spoken.

When I hear a thick accent

I sometimes think about poetry,

think about what a poem might sound like

recited with an accent like the one I’m hearing

or if there’s a way to capture on the page

the nuance of accents.

Some voices were made to read poetry.

You’re not from around here…

And I’m glad to hear it.

Makes things a little more interesting

makes me pay a little closer attention.

Might even learn something.


Keep Writing


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