Litkicks Message Board Archive

The Contest--please help, deadlines approaching fast

Posted to Action Poetry

In post 667 I mentioned a contest I am trying to enter. Here are the pieces I am entering, probably in this order. I am also working on a thing where I can submit 5 poems, so please tell me which five you think I should submit for this. Any suggestions as to order (this order was a suggested by a friend) or anything else are welcome. (Oh, and "A Declaration of Beauty" is a type of acrostic, where the spelled-out thing is the first letter of the first line, second letter of second line, etc. and it is formatted wrong here because I don't know html)--violet9ish

For My Parents

They have too many years to get this far
And I feel like I'm weighting them
Feel like I'm breaking them
Tearing them
And carrying them too far
They won't let go
Won't let me drop them
*the long and winding road that leads...*
Won't let me take a separate road
And there's the diseases and the deadend job
And the damn factory with its anti-unionism and
His aching leg with the plate
And his artistry and his mind not given enough
Room to play
His attic filled with books, his bedside table spilling them
*Hey Jack Kerouac, I think of your mother...*
His mind breathing them
And Her elegant taste
And wide-eyed dreams
reading me countless stories so that I might dream
Her fabulous designs reduced from high fashion
To Halloween costumes
*we're so pretty, oh so pretty, pretty vacant...*
Floating fairies, sparkling bats, grinning clowns, small soldiers
And beautiful encouragements
Trapped by the money
*the best things in life are free, but you can save them...*
And the cancer
And then kids who couldn't leave school
And were afraid to leave
And no job to go to
And no where
And no where
The small town with its thousands of isms
suffocating all of us
as you try not to talk too loud
work too hard not to laugh out loud
*if I could turn back time...*
and I never could do enough to make it up
and I'm sorry
and I'm sorry
*brokenhearted jubilee...*
To you for every day you substitute taught in that sick building syndrome school
And to you for every day you came home tired
And I wouldn't be quiet
when you had to go in at midnight
because I didn't know what it's like
To fix machinery in 110 Fahrenheit
*what else should I be....all apologies...*
And I'm sorry.

Lilacs at My Door

Sitting alone on the floor
Waiting to see what would happen,
but darkness came with
a lilac fog that rolled into the door
and spilled into my mind.

What should I say?
He's delicate. Maybe I should say nothing at all,
or peel back layers of ripe red flesh
to reveal something pulsing
and watch his skin begin to crawl.

Those delicate layers of pretense.
He hides inside a little ivory box,
hoping it will suck the darkness away.
His delicacy makes no sense
and his roughness is a front.

I cannot know him.
My mind raced crazily to catch at his hand
or was it my hand racing
to hold his mind?
He failed to understand.

Moving lightly to the left again
a careless glance pulled my eye.
He caught me staring emptily
and snared me, knowing he'd win
the poor prize from inside my chest.

Crumpling onto a pristine
tiled floor, I watched lilac steam
rise above the shower head
and spill over the room. I sobbed
and began a thick daydream.

Beautiful eyes roamed over my
face and landed on the tip of
my tongue, one honey-coated word
caught in my throat. I asked why
he stared; I was lovely.

The receiver hung heavy in
my curled fingers as I reached to
find an expression in words,
but I could not scream
out what he thought I knew.

I wondered deliberately if he saw
what I wanted so desperately and sent
me out to be destroyed by idle words
that he flung out to beat me raw
and leave me wondering lamely in lilac

What should I do? He left them here, the lilacs
at the door, the card said love, and my name,
but will he crush me if he can? Leave me lying
in the truth of the matter to find out
why he sent something, it's not the same.


How many wild nights we wasted
Eating slices of sweetend reality pie
Chewing on bites between words and gulps of coffee
Trying to drink ourselves alive
For an instant we were able to change the world
And the red carpet rolled out
So rather than bleary-eyed students at 3 a.m.,
We were premature heroes
Who given the slightest opportunity would change the world
Armed with our youth and our passion
We might have marched against
Those armies of ignorance who seemed
To inflict all the world's pain.

The Favor

strip away the
Technicolor daydream of life
and lie me naked on the sand.
strip away the neon
paint and the
bottomless dreams
and open up my
mind for one
marblee instant
where the lines blur to rainbows.
pull away the scaffolding
they've built up in my
mind and
burn the stakes
that hold my rigid spine.
strip away the
illusion of peace and
beauty and let us
lie naked like emotions,
raw and clean and pure.
strip away all the
thought for one
unending breath
and let me realize
all I want from life
is someone to hold my hand.

Good Girl

Paint me gray and
I will make it through tomorrow.
I cannot survive the life I really need.

Cover me with jewelry
and fill me full of your dream
I need to make it through tomorrow.

Burn me to ash to make me beautiful
Strip away who I am.
Mold me into a delicate thing
covered in spines,
and pull my hairs out one by one.

Striped with scars
I am an inelegant rainbow of contrivances,
the crushed powder residue of an aching mind.
I was always such a good girl.

Summer Skin

Skin with the soft chlorine sunburn sunscreen sweat smell of summer
Head squeezed with daydreams
Feet raw
Legs ache
Smile lurid, lucid
Too alive
Throat raw eyes sluggish
Roll back and forth in head
Almost dead
But alive. Very, very alive
And this is a stage
Only a stage
Suddenly aware
And you can't help but care
Knowing it will end
Too often you begin
By coming to conclusions
Like watching after death
Living as if preparing for the last breath
Knowing the next bend in the road
Leads somewhere away
But for now
Skin is sweet with the outdoors
Head is filled with the future
Muscles ache with hope


Cold air hangs lighter than hot
Yet more ominous
Perhaps it presses down harder,
Like a wizened grandmother who
Has an iron grip on your shoulder-
A bantamweight that refuses to relax.
I feel aged when the cold forces
Layers of clothing
And refuses me the freedom
And innocence of near nudity
Of tank tops, bare feet
The air feels clearer
As do my perceptions
Which cut like wind
Straight to the core of my brain.
Perhaps I would wander a while,
But the cold leaves no idleness
This is worktime, wintertime, coldtime
There are no winter beaches
And while I never relaxed enough
To wrestle half-naked in lush grass
With some half-grown boy, the fact remains:
In summer, I might have.

A Declaration of Beauty

My mother's generation, that crazy tomboy,
fuLl of
morNing with
hope Under the
quick True dawn, but
once heR mind
fled her Inner beauty
she found That
her one desIre
became only Obliteration.
She tried but Nothing

destroys realIty.
The numbers can Slip

only so small and Then your
whole body revolts. How is it to be
handed a three lettEr social death sentence?

My whole soul aches iMpossibly
for the lost beauty thAt
society treated as sacRilege,
and I know no matter what Kills me

I won't ever break myself fOr
those same bitter-hearted Fools

who tried so hard to make her Believe
that she would always be inadEquate
I will build in myself the same Authenticity that saved her.
I won't mask the truth, cover my soUl, or hide from myself,
But I will stand up to proclaim at the Top of my voice:
I am not and never will be anything You try to make me, and I will not apologize.

Song to Jack

I wish I could reach across time
To touch your face
And perhaps you try to pull me down
Into the glowing decay of urbania
And use me
But I am so sure that I would let you
Maybe all the madness you absorbed
From chasing down the highways
Would rub off on me
And suddenly
Something outside myself
Would matter.
But you had to go
And drink yourself to death
Like so many others I'm in love with
So you've left me here
This little girl
In a tearless shell
To find her own way
There are no greats
To lead me down paths
To coddle me
To burn for me
I must burn myself
And when I pop
Like a roman candle's blue centerlight spark
Maybe I will burst into that realm of existance left to you
And you will say to yourself
"Now she is one of the mad ones"


jumble words
tangle thoughts
look for truth
tying nots
the average age
comes to soon
wearing pink again
this June
or ice blue, lilac
perhaps goldenrod
they drag me home in second rate silk,
cheap lace, bouquets
of captured flowers
that last only hours
before I'm picking up
paper plates and
unstringing lights
sickly sweet frosting
stuck to my tongue.
I feel alive,
I feel young.
Already she's sung
her climax, her chord,
oh help me Lord,
I don't know how to be
married, how to be good
perhaps I should
be happy, that was her dream,
no one's trying to make it mine
but there's so much time
too much to find
blessed be the ties
but don't make me bind
my hands so soon
I hate June.