“How can the world be so / like a spine” – Magnetic Poem and ExquisiteCorpse from Printers Row Lit Fest 2015

We had such great time at Printers Row this year! Our magnetic poetry board was a hit and so was our exquisite corpse, rendered for eternity below!

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I’ve made everything ready for the poetry apocalypse,

and I’m wearing black leather shoes.

 

Five book bags, ten hats. So I can tell the story

of whomever I choose.

 

So much to carry, each with its own epistle of homage;

so much to fear with shadows tall

 

as the skyline. How can the world be so

like a spine? Stand tall and be

 

proud of who you are.

The bouncer named Rome has returned to his hometown

 

of Akron

where the girls don’t need to tuck it in. Where that’s a sin.

 

But where untucking might unleash even more

when consequences are in store. I knew the baby would be cold,

 

but we needed to go.

So I left him and bought a one-way

 

ticket to Barcelona. The sky

tasted like almonds. And everywhere I went,

 

the moment seemed to follow. As I wrote,

the sun passed, leaving only my shadow

 

and a breeze of words I could never write down,

on my tongue, swallowed.

 

Things I’ve always wanted to feel and record onto a page.

We do not really need pictures

 

to tell a story; words are masterful. Glide me a drink,

I said, seeking, if nothing else,

 

simple refreshment. But sometimes images can bolster

the poetry: story luck, storyland.

 

You can’t judge a rhino by its horns; there’s more

to evolution than protrusions in threes.

 

But the Rhino had friends on the way; they’d soon arrive

and take everyone

 

to Botswana, Barcelona, Berlin. Ineffable as a chalk drawing,

whose concepts weep

 

at the onset of rain. And the White Sox lost

6-4 after leading 4-0. Turns out

 

the secret to evolution is things in fours. You see me

as your easy beast,

 

feeling sad and unhappy as you hope me to be. But control

this piece of meat and use her for your

 

fleshy feast. I may not be your typical

model size, but God said I’m

 

his prize. Pardon me if I’m not sociable to your feet;

I’ll keep being me

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Check out more of our Printers Row #PRLF15 photos here - and see you next year!

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“Choose Beauty” – the poem made during the Printers Row Literary Festival

Exquisite Corpse is a collaborative poetry game that traces its roots to the Parisian Surrealist Movement. ~ Academy of American Poets. For the full text, click here.

The surreal – and dare we say, eerie in a lovely way – poem below was written June 7-8, 2014, at the RHINO Poetry table at Printers Row Literary Fest.

 

It was her birthday and

the rain had ceased for a few minutes.

and then the clapping of thunder

and then the distant rattling of chains

confronted the turgid trailing troglodytes

small droplets on lily pads & misted eyes

swell with each surge, each passing storm

each wave of blue and sad surf

for when it abates you will know you’re alone

and you have to go live your life alone

In a balloon in Paris.

Or a mouse in London.

As people wander listlessly in circles

through the desert of grief.

He held the horizon.

 

I like the sun when

plays peekaboo with the clouds…

warming my soul and illuminating my path

until everyone tells me to stop:”stop”.

Stop thinking sooooo much. “Be” “Just be” be

Climb sheep live yellow.

As the wind blows through the trees

The yellow leaves rustle & drop.

October on the calendar stops.

Woo! Pig Suie!

The chicken nods knowingly.

The building towers above me.

Silver and reflecting the sky.

The Silver Towers were a block

down from the Everleigh Sisters.

I lost my husband.

I know this should be sad, but

there isa poetry in decay – see ex. 1 of the peach.

 

Listen: a school of birds presenting

half-rippled hearts.

Their song is no ordinary song.

For musicians are a poet’s heart surgeon

Working hard we speedily purge on

pursuing the scent of strawberries and ocean

working my way to the lakefront.

Across the city people are rising like stars on a summer night

with staggering hooves;

Imagine the moon stretched across the the

belly, sprawled across the pavement.

There’s math in listening to stars. The light

of there and theirs of light.

But, as Boethius says, “Music is

math made audible,” so starlight

must mini slices of inner thoughts.

And I shall dance the night away

under the moonlight sky.

 

Choose beauty

She says, flipping the switch and casting

strange shadows

And the shadows wave back, copy

cats and acrobats.

She was alert and solid not like

the sand beneath my feet.

animals make more sense than

humans and angels don’t exist.

until they do – then even stones

learn to be silent.

`