Tuesday, April 6, 2010

National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month has arrived like a racehorse banging through the gates at the Kentucky Derby! This month, I challenge you to write a poem-a-day. Say goodbye to the winter blah blahs and get to it! No more excuses (that’s me talking to myself) short, long, prose, form or formless, start those pens (or typewriters & computers) and GO. Feel free to email me your poems, and I will post some of my favorite poems and other poetry challenges throughout the month.

To start, here is a fantastic poem from Kim Addonizio. It is taken from her new collection, Lucifer at the Starlite, which came out last year from Norton. This poem takes the lines of quite a few famous poems and rewrites them into a new poem. Can you pick out the lines that have rewritten?

Let me know your rants and raves: ingrid_keir@yahoo.com

The First Line is the Deepest

By Kim Addonizio

I have been one acquainted with the spatula,

the slotted, scuffed, Teflon-coated spatula

that lifts a solitary hamburger from pan to plate,

acquainted with the vibrator known as the Pocket Rocket

and the dildo that goes by Tex,

and I have gone out, a drunken bitch,

in order to ruin

what love I was given,

and also I have measured out

my life in little pills—Zoloft,

Restoril, Celexa,


I have. For I am a poet. And it is my job, my duty

to know wherein lies the beauty

of this degraded body,

or maybe

it's the degradation in the beautiful body,

the ugly me

groping back to my desk to piss

on perfection, to lay my kiss

of mortal confusion

upon the mouth of infinite wisdom.

My kiss says razors and pain, my kiss says

America is charged with the madness

of God. Sundays, too,

the soldiers get up early, and put on their fatigues in the blue-

black day. Black milk. Black gold. Texas tea.

Into the valley of Halliburton rides the infantry—

Why does one month have to be the cruelest,

can't they all be equally cruel? I have seen the best

gamers of your generation, joysticking their M1 tanks through

the sewage-filled streets. Whose

world this is I think I know.

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