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.
NAPOWRIMO PROMPT 30
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
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
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,
and never in your
most sacrosanct of work;
Bury the beast
Bury the madness
But we both know
quest of knowledge and
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
in plain view
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
FOX folks say?
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
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
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
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
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
“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
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
from gangs like the
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…”
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.
“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: