Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Monday, January 31, 2022

Word Garden Word List #11 ("A Ted Hughes Bestiary")


Hello everyone, it's me with your weekly word list poetry prompt. This time our words are all taken from the volume "A Ted Hughes Bestiary", a collection of poems in which animals, birds, and even fish are used to illustrate our own human nature. 

Hughes was married to the poet Sylvia Plath (featured here earlier) until her death in 1963. He served as Poet Laureate of England from 1984 until his own death.

Returning to our source book, these are no fluffy bunny poems. They are bloody, unsentimental, and some of them are hard to take. Hughes spares us nothing and shows us ourselves in a manner that is shockingly accurate but definitely uncomfortable. 

What we do here is simple: use at least 3 of the 20 listed words in a new poem of any length or style. It need not have anything to do with animals--in fact I have deliberately included only one animal--the otter--on this list. Then link, visit, and enjoy. This list is "live' through Friday. 

I didn't think this was necessary, but it seems that it is. Don't link to this prompt if you're not DOING the prompt. And please make sure your link works. 

And now, your list:

vapor  (or "vapour" as Hughes writes it)

Essential Oils For The Damned

 Idiot child of broken clocks, you once again brandish your prop razor
and my pretense skin curls away in shavings of apple peel red.

Glitter-eyed goblin, my adopted doppelganger monster,
here is your furious holiday for inmates.
I wave my frayed pennant and slide soggy sophistry down the coin slot
of the arcade game called Ouroboros Hoola-Hoop Boomerang For Dummies.

I like to think that my heart is not an unsafe toy.

I like to think that my blood is made of milk, my fingertips of cotton swabs.

Idiot child with the air raid stuck in your throat, fire-bug goblin,
do not call me sister, or mother, or twin.
There is an oven filled with cakes and loaves,
another with needles and broken glass.
Why scribble my name in static on the sunspot glass of the door?
Why not go die somewhere,
dissolve into tiny scrubbing bubbles of amnesia,
or while away the empty hours on the locked ward birthing lexicons for lunatics?

Why stand in the sudden mirror like immolated Jaycees
wearing Hello My Name Is Me stickers on your smoldering shoulders?
Why pen me inside an iron zodiac
with my temper and PTSD that rips me rising, screaming from my sleep?

The medical term for all this is Spiritual Infucktion
with features of Recurring Ordinariness,
and Impotent Fury.

Idiot child, horror goblin, my teachers and punishers,
the term I am searching for is
is failure,
is not again not again not again.
The word on the tip of my tongue where it is so badly burned is


and it binds me like a bandage made of water vapor and shrapnel.

Thursday, January 27, 2022



(dedicated to Howie Mooney)

it figures the bus would be late
fabulous, great
turn on some tunes
hope it comes soon

big meeting, big project today
I'm on my way
I'm prospering
mind wandering

oops, dropped transfer into the street
step off, dead meat
driver slow braker
meet my Maker.

a minute poem for Dverse form poetry.

Impossible Riddles

 " After last night's storm, the tulip petals are strewn across the patio where they mortally fluttered" --Church, Jim Harrison

I woke around 3am again this morning. 
Someone had been talking to me
pushing pebble words through cotton teeth, 
posing impossible riddles,
I was in love with someone already vanishing,
something important was expected of me that I could not do.

At 7am I set out seed and peanuts
for the birds and whomever may appear,
maybe even myself, in a new body
not made of seed and feathers.
Everything hurts and I am always tired.
I am as soft and ridiculous as snow, 
holding winter's hand by instinct, leery of warmth, gray as January.

Here come the jays and starlings,
crows and cardinals,
like clockwork.
I watch them from the window and remember a day years ago.
I am both there and not,
here and not.
Dear eager raucous birds, 
will you be here again tomorrow?
Will I?

for Dverse Poetics: "Songs of Unreason"

Monday, January 24, 2022

Song of the Chimera


The blackbirds are dying and sing their death
from stump and steeple, barrel and rail.
The police are called every time it snows
and they maunder in the fields, dithery and pale.
I have seen the Chimera
and your barn is burning down.
She is lion, goat and snake
and your barn is burning down. 

Morning appears and suffers a scalding dew.
There is a killer hiding where the lilacs grew
beside the porch of the rectory he burns and claims 
the Chimera is you, and you, and you.
I have smelt the Chimera.
Her skin is fragrant with misery and death.
In the ashes, I have smelt the Chimera.
Her skin is fragrant with misery and death.

In the field stands the papier-mache president.
His is the pomp of smoke house and sty.
The postman delivers catastrophes ill-sent
as the blackbirds call, and falter, and die.
There was love, some say
kept in jars on an old woman's counter.
The gloomy blackbirds beg her for rest,
rest in jars, there on her counter.

There is no more clattering, no good book held high.
There are weeds in the window box, crackling dry.
The killer is hiding where the lilacs grew
telling fools their fortunes from a blackbird's eye.
I have seen the Chimera
coming fast through the dawn
with seven devils to drive her
the Chimera drives on.

Word Garden Word List #10 (Wallace Stevens)


Hello everyone, it's me with your weekly word list poetry prompt! This time our list is derived from the poems of Wallace Stevens, who has been called "the best and most representative poet of our time." Or the recent past, perhaps.

Stevens has been called difficult, and i found him so until recently, when the light went on for me and i discovered that I love his work now. (The same thing happened to me with Billie Holiday. I never got what the fuss was about; then, listening to her one Sunday night, I got it.)

I would be remiss if I failed to mention that, seeing Ernest Hemingway in the street, Stevens is supposed to have said, "You think you're Ernest Hemingway," and promptly punched Hemingway in the face, breaking his hand in doing so. Afterward, Hemingway helped Stevens to bed to recover. 

What we do here is simple: use at least 3 of the 20 words provided to write a new poem of your own--any length, any style. Then link up, visit others, and enjoy. Prompt remains "live" thru Friday.


Saturday, January 22, 2022

"The Meaning of Life" a poem by Gladys Schlump (CosmicUnicornPoet)


O candle of life, smoking grayly,
in life we give light, even if palely
til the snuffer snuffs us and we smoke away daily
then croak and leave our life that was fail-y.

Animated wax that our bodies are
cannot be kept, nor thrown very far
to live in bliss on a faraway star
something something John Agar.

Realms of bliss realms of light
some are born in Cleveland Heights
some are born in Cleveland Heights
some are born to see I'm right.

So, return to Him who barfed us forth
be He Rumpelstiltskin or Nanook of the North
scooped up in the dust pan of life and fate
something something pomegranate. 

Shared with Sunday Muse #195. Be worthy, rabble.

This beautiful arrangement created by Penelope "Pippie" Zugronski. 

Notes: My entire life has led up to this poem. It is a form called Intestin Bloque, which means Interesting Stanzas. This poem is included in my collection The Very Interesting Poems of Gladys Schlump and also appears in the November 1956 issue of Detached Retina: A Compendium of Torpid, Impenetrable Verse. Finally, this poem won the prestigious Itchy Rash Award for Poetry, given annually by the Debilitating Head Injury Guild of Stockholm, Sweden. Enjoy! (but not TOO much. It's unseemly.)

Actor John Agar with his collection of irrelevant booshwah.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

A 7 Line Poem

There was a wall made entirely of glass, and a bird with a tether on its leg. 

There was you, in your olive raincoat, and a sky of grandfathers, complaining.

There were lilacs, dogwood blossoms, a wrought iron screen hung from a fence peg.

It was April in the finest chill of dusk, a Wednesday with an hour's light remaining.

There were angles to the gables, to the downspout, and the feeling beyond naming

That I carried in a Gladstone bag kept hidden with the gewgaws

Preserved and cared for like that bird, to rise toward home when he does.

linked to dverse oln.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022


 "Here I am back home again
I'm here to rest
All they ask is where I've been
knowing I've been west " --Tim Hardin 

One wrong move away from a coffin, I came back
glissading hell-for-breakfast down a ribbon road called Interstice 95.
I am become a Gypsy, I said. 
I am become a radio, broadcasting myself at some higher frequency.
I am a skull singing starlings out into the Void.
This is our tree, stay the fuck off it we say
with our

Sometimes dead is better, someone said. 
All I want is my Hudson Bay blanket.
All I want is a mother, not my  mother, but one like the ones in storybooks,
and not Grimm's.
All I want is some chocolate, and a Secret Garden to sit in.
There should be a glider.
I could cry there and let the salt make me a sailor.
I want to be kissed in a way I have not been kissed in years. 
I want to be anesthetized.
I want to feel good, reconfigured without the anchors and anvils.
I want to ask Jesus some things.

I would like to thank the cosmic shillelagh that thumped me here.
I would like to be stitched up and sent home with a note explaining 
me to myself.
None of that is in the works, and a carny appears and loads me into a clock
as if I were boarding the Kingda Ka at Six Flags back in Texas, USA. 
"You little feral Pick-Me Girl," says the carny,
serving up big happy helpings of easy scorn.
"Enjoy the ride!" he says, showing his teeth in a billboard grin.


My dog is glad to see me. 
There is lazy winter light in the window
and someone has left a casserole on the doorstep.
I am tempted to call someone but who? God?
She's a right canny doozy,
but my monkey body remembers warm flesh like rolls from the oven
and I don't think I can get up.
My heart is smashed
and the junk drawer offers no Gorilla Glue,
no note that can penetrate when hope goes deaf.
I sit and stutter and start to tell the dog 
all about this strange accident, this whole misadventure escapade
and, as it gets dark,
what I think it means.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Word Garden Word List #9 (Joan Colby)


Hello everyone, it's me with your weekly word list poetry prompt. Today our list is taken from the poems of Joan Colby, and specifically from her collection Joyriding to Nightfall. 

Colby writes about nature, animals, aging, and the angels and devils in everything around us. 

What we do here is simple: use at least 3 of the 20 words on the list in a poem of any length or style. Then link up and visit others. The prompt stays "live" through Friday.

And now, without further booshwah, your list!


Saturday, January 15, 2022

If God Had Meant Us To See The Sky, He'd Have Given Us Eyes On Stalks

Imagine my surprise, my perplexity,
groping around the living room while seeing the bedroom before me. 

Wherever I leave my glasses, I see what they see. They have abducted my vision.
Beware, junior. 
I can actually have eyes in the back of my head now.
Never mind the way I blunder into things.

Hello? Hi dear.
Oh, you say i forgot my glasses on your secretary's desk? 
Silly me! 
(That man-stealing harlot.)

Enjoy your meatloaf.
I made it by feel and it may have some unusual ingredients. 
Two forks? Pick one.
I always use the dog's dish as a salad bowl, don't I? 
Well, it makes a nice change anyway.

Ah! Thank you for bringing home my eyeglasses.
Now I can read your report card, junior.
And sign these divorce papers, dear.
Just give the meatloaf to Rover.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

We Are Not A Muse

 Muse on this, motherfucker.
We, down in the poetic trenches with our wet feet,
sniping critic-rats,
and The Angry Jealous with their ridiculous trebuchets lobbing 
plague corpses of crappy fauxku at our ducked heads
don't want to hear about it. 


a quadrille for Dverse

Monday, January 10, 2022

Violent Gingerbread Assassins Lead Singer Dead At 47.


The lead singer for the Violent Gingerbread Assassins reports for his autopsy.

Electric bone saw in hand, the medical examiner for Los Angeles County tips up his protective face shield and speaks:

"Mr. ..."

"Lo Bo To Me," says the rock star. The medical examiner seems confused, so he adds, "I used to be George Binker, but changed it to Lo Bo To Me back in '97. You can call me Lo."

They then spend several minutes discussing the fact that the rock star isn't yet dead, to which he points out that VGA's radio exposure is down to almost nil, and years of various drugs, questionable sexual practices and a love of In-N-Out Burger has him as good as, so why procrastinate?

They begin.

"How did you get this scar just here, on your shoulder?" The medical examiner touches it with his finger as if summoning an elevator from inside the rock star's body.

"A groupie with a hatchet freaked out and thought I was a ghost trying to suck out her soul through a twisty straw. She thought my strawberry shake was the essence of a previous victim, her stupid friend Pamela. So she tried to off me, but only cut me a little. I threw the shake in her face and then she thought she was an ice sculpture. She was catatonic for ten years after that, and when she woke up she screamed 'Where is that bastard?' and then fell over on the floor. A roadie told me all that. I guess he married her or something."

The medical examiner suggests that the autopsy be postponed. George Binker a.k.a. Lo Bo To Me responds with a non sequitur, asking the M.E. if he's ever heard VGA's song "Clogged Synapse Fantasia."  

"It changed my life," he admits sheepishly.

"A fan! I knew it! Hey doc, what's that thing?"

"Why, a twisty straw, of course. I use it in my work."

The singer for the Violent Gingerbread Assassins sings:

Bay-beh do me do you!
Like a reptile crawling inside my heart,
layin' eggs of love that 'splode apart
in crazy fractals like La Jolla ocean blue!
Bay-beh do me do you!"

Later that day, reports of the passing of Lo Bo To Me, lead singer for the Violent Gingerbread Assassins, dubbed "Lo, the Noble Savage" in an old Rolling Stone article, spread across social media. Fans hold candlelight vigils and sales of their songs on digital platforms exceed all previous markers. The medical examiner for Los Angeles County holds a press conference, expressing, between sips of a strawberry milkshake, the exact circumstances of the singer's death. "The main cause was tooth decay, exacerbated by poor posture."

Why would he lie?


A (sort of) Edson-ish prose poem for Word List #8 (Russell Edson).

Word Garden Word list #8 (Russell Edson)


Hello friends, it's me with your weekly word list poetry prompt. This time our list is from the very strange, very amazing Russell Edson.

"Called the “godfather of the prose poem in America,” Russell Edson’s idiosyncratic body of work is populated with strange and intriguing figures: a woman fights a tree, a mother serves ape; in the poem “ Let Us Consider,” there’s a “farmer who makes his straw hat his sweetheart” and an “old woman who makes a floor lamp her son.”

Just use at least 3 of the 20 words provided to write a poem of any style or length, then link up, visit others, and have fun! (I see you, you couple of people who link but never visit anyone.)

Your list:


Sunday, January 9, 2022

Between Miami And Havana

 It is hot.
a young man, affected and
slightly drunk,
is playing a conga drum in the heat.

I should shoot you right now, 
says the captain of the boat.
What if you cause a fire  playing that conga drum
on the deck in the hot sun?

Firemen swim out to the boat.
They climb nets
in time to the conga drum being played in the heat 
by a tuna fish disguised as an actor.

I am a tuna fish, says the affected young man.
I should shoot you right now, says the captain of the boat.
It is hot on deck in the sun. 
The firemen turn into seahorses wearing suspenders made from sugar cane.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Medea Visits Phaedra On The Ninth Floor


Hey Phaedra, what gives?
I came as soon as I could.
Creepy how they lock the door like that.
Hey Phaedra, shh now, don't cry.
You're emotional and it's late in the day.

They said something happened with the kids.
When they call like that, it's never good.
Acamas will be all right, he's in his room with his cat.
Demophon told me it's all a lie
and Hippy himself won't exactly say.

Did they give you those little cups with lids
for pills to take with their shitty food?
God, Phaedra, it's so hot, why do they lock the thermostat?
Theseus will be all right as long as his martini's dry
and I'm sure he doesn't think you're cray.

So, Phaedra honey, just tell me this,
was it Hippy who put you in this mood?
You've been just like a mom to him. No one's denying that.
I know it's cringey but what happened? Tell me. Try.
You know I'll listen. I'm here. I'll stay.

This all got Theseus where he lives.
He's gone to Poseidon's to bitch and brood.
Phaedra baby, Hippy's just talking trash.
He's confused or maybe even high.
Aw honey, who can figure brats today anyway?

Rimas Dissolutas for Dverse Poetics

Monday, January 3, 2022

The Landlord of the Moon


The landlord of the moon 
likes a little respect with her coffee,
a rose on her pillow 
                                  and all the rest.
She knows she's not loved 
but that's not the point hardly.
She keeps rum on her wrist
                                                and salt on her breast.

It's nothing personal.
No weary argument moves her much,
and it's best to remember
                                             her bird can't sing
except when it's raining
inside suitcases, outside train stations, and such.
Better bow to the east
                                        and kiss the ring.

Still, the landlord of the moon
falters while the factory turns 
and the sun, her master
                                          lounges and leans,
casual and careless
mocking her with jazz hands and money to burn
til she lays, each noon
                                        her heart at his feet.

for Word Garden Word List #7 (Langston Hughes)                                       
and your bird can sing ^^

Word Garden Word List #7 (Langston Hughes)

 Hello everyone, it's me with your weekly word list poetry prompt! This time our source is the great American poet Langston Hughes. Known for incorporating informal mid-century black parlance into his poems, Hughes gave us a rich portrait of the reality of life in Harlem, both the joys and the sorrows. 

I have intentionally left out some of the parlance I just mentioned, because our goal here is not to copy Hughes's own style, but to use these list words to create our own original poetry. If we can manage to include an homage to Hughes in the process, so much the better.

What we do here is to include at least three of the twenty listed words in an original poem of any length or style. Please link back to this post, sign the linky so we can read what you've created, and remember to visit others cos we all love knowing that others are reading what we write. And, as always, have fun!