Posts for June 5, 2024

Registration photo of Jerielle for the LexPoMo 2024 Writing Challenge.

XII – A Hanged Man

Nobler poses have we
In strawberry bugglegum slacks,
retracting immensity
-tangential Ichthyosaur logic
Tumbling step,
A clang in the rain
recalling former fiddle string ballets
Riddle buffets
All Drake and Hash
washed in Shampoo by Ashby
sopping the fish skins
from oily cans.

Looping and noosing
comes train wake
The rattles shake by
-with sirens to mullify
The sound of reaping in the rain
The clanging track
far as only tracks know
Tickling my toes
Keeping the beat
For crying shoals
Our Queen knows
The edge of quitting
Isn’t sitting


Modern St. Joseph

To whichever God I still believe in
Or whoever is in charge
If you’re listening
And you’re still taking requests
I want to make one,
with all due respect
Due to all of the situations you have placed me in,
In such a short amount of time
I have to ask for the same amount of

that you give to Bandit
every single episode
that dude is a saint

Registration photo of l. jōnz for the LexPoMo 2024 Writing Challenge.

Rock Bottom

Committed to the comfort
she found in her own 

even unto

Right in the middle
of her tracks

She stopped

Not one more
poor me

Became some-
thing new

Ice cubes fell
into nothing


Cemented… she stood
stopped then

Fragments slowly
on the floor.



Registration photo of Kathleen Bauer for the LexPoMo 2024 Writing Challenge.

My grandmother asks my age

and for three seconds I am seventeen, focusing my attention on waltzing and not falling on the same wooden planks of the restaurant floor that’s never given way beneath my feet, no matter how much they grow. I am sixteen, waltz turning on the wrinkled marley, feeling my breath cycle through each rotation, up and in, down and out. I am fifteen and my feet flick against the creaky floorboards I’ve always trusted most while another round of dominoes rolls out in the noises I only listen to once a year on the kitchen table. I am fourteen and my hair is still short, the weight of it that had legged down the aching curls left behind on the ever-swept salon tile. I am thirteen and my hair is long again, too long that it makes my sweat fall onto the sandy Arizona dirt. Then I am nineteen, I am older, and I do not know what ground I stand upon but somehow I am upright. Somehow I am standing, I am hugging my grandparents as they step onto the woven rug, the hardwood oak beneath us admiring the annual reunion as it holds us up above the ground. I am five foot two now; I stand up on my tiptoes when I reach; yes, I am older. You’re so big! But no, I am six, sandals kicking up the Southwest farm soil. I am five, rolling on the comfort-scented carpet with my bare feet to catch me. I am two, stepping off my second cross-country flight and running on the walk-a-lator, uncaring, unbothered. I am zero, I am not yet an age, I am weeks old and I have no ground but the arms my grandparents hold me in, safe enough to sleep. My grandmother’s hand taps my back and I wake back to be as tall as her. How old are you, now? she is asking – how old are you? how much have you grown, child, how much has your baby face changed to be called beautiful? how many shoe sizes have you scaled up to wear these graduation heels? how many of your numbers have you learned to come back giddy from your first day of kindergarten? how many years have lived through you since you were too young to keep your eyes open and heart closed? “Eighteen,” I say, and it feels too wrong off my tongue at the same time that I finally fix out of suspension, heels landing firm on the floor.

Registration photo of K. Nicole Wilson for the LexPoMo 2024 Writing Challenge.


rainstorm quick drumroll
screen door coffee cornbread breeze 
fireflies cicadas


Old Habits Don’t Die, They Crumble

“The bed is for sleep and sex only,”
the professionals say. 
Occasionally, an old habit
(a sharp popcorn kernel,
a stale pretzel,
a cracker)
crumbles in my bed.



Lately, I’ve come to the realization that I may be in love with a ghost.
But, honestly, I don’t care, which should be what scares me most.
“I noticed you still look for his truck.”
I wish I could explain just how much that statement sucked.
Because yes, I still look for him in parking lots, at stores, and all over town.
I wish I could stop searching for his stupid, white Chevy when we drive around.
It’s hopeless and irrational, and I don’t even mean to do it.
But maybe I haven’t fully let go, and a part of me always knew it.
I’ll always have love for that boy, even when it hurts.
I don’t think I can ever fully let go because, to me, that’d be worse. 
Keeping the remainder of any connection I still invisibly have with him.
Is so much better than letting the memories die by cutting them off on a whim.
Because those memories mean something. Those memories of both him and I
That’s why it bugs me when people ask me questions that begin with, “Why?”
“Why do you still pray for him? That seems a little desperate.”
“Why won’t you just let him go? He clearly doesn’t respect it.”
“Why do you still think about him? I mean, he clearly doesn’t want you. He chose another girl.”
“You’re constantly pining over this boy, and honestly, it makes me want to hurl.”
But they just don’t understand. They don’t know him like I do.
“It’s been two whole years. You don’t even know him like you used to.”
They have a point. Maybe I don’t know exactly who he is now, on this very day.
But I don’t care how much he may change. I will always have love for him.
What else can I possibly say?
Maybe people think my emotions are shallow, and that I obsess over an empty character from my past.
So over time, we’ll just test out that theory by seeing how long these feelings last.
2 years in counting… I’m sorry, I guess I shouldn’t boast.
It might just be easier for everyone else if I say I’m in love with a ghost.

Registration photo of Frankie A. for the LexPoMo 2024 Writing Challenge.


there is a problem in my brain

fragmented, defective

the diagnosis is something

to the effect of schizoaffective

but i like to call it by how it happened:

a disorder called “psychiatrist

tosses up words with an infective

idea of who i never thought i was

but maybe am”. I have to be

recollective otherwise lost memories

fuel the accessories

to diagnoses and vertices;

the intersectional points of being


and getting totally lost.


Things My Tom Tom Will Never See

He’s two
My baby boy
A child
Born and raised
In the 21st century
I lament 
Things of old
He’ll never see

Faded blue jeans
Squeezed tight
In a wringer
Water trickling down
Into the battered tub
Clean shirts
Bleached white
Swaying lazily
In the warm
Summer breeze
Work-worn hands 
Dried and cracked
In and out of water
All washday long

Green tobacco plants
Plucked gently
From the rich earth
To be planted again
In long straight rows
In fields
That never end
A bare light bulb
Hanging from the ceiling
In a drafty shed
A wood stove
In the corner
Barely chasing away
Winter’s harsh chill
The smooth aroma
Of cured tobacco
Linger long after
It’s hauled to market

Registration photo of Katrina Rolfsen for the LexPoMo 2024 Writing Challenge.

The Wild

If one of my three cats could survive
the wild, it would be her.  
Twinkle is thirteen this year.  He’s forgotten
how to hunt.  Now, bowls of kibble and scraps of chicken
satisfy him.  He wouldn’t make it past the threshold.
Olaf would spook
the second he stepped on a leaf.  There are no beds to hide
under in the great outdoors.  He’s thought of himself as prey 
so long he’s forgotten
what it’s like to be a predator.  
But Jasmine remembers her foremothers were tigresses.

I can see the wildness that lurks in her when she sprints
down the hall after things I cannot see,
when she stares out the window at the squirrels she cannot chase,
when she cheats death and chews phone cords still plugged into the wall, daring
the outlets to electrocute her. 
Maybe she does it for the high, just to prove she can outlive
anything manmade.  Maybe she does it to prove that her sharp teeth can still rip flesh.

I once brought her outside on an Autumn day to admire the leaves.
You might expect a blank look from a cat, but she took in everything,
rapt, enthralled by that untouchable feeling of being truly alive.
If it weren’t for her loyalty to 1212, she would have leapt
from my arms, onto the driveway,
and into the wilderness.
I couldn’t stop her if I tried.

Yes, Jasmine could survive the wild–she is the wild.