Monday, April 29, 2013

Edo Ergo Sum

Day 29 of NaPoWriMo - it is getting down to the wire but I am really trying to write everyday, even if I do not "publish" what I write.  Some things need more than ten revisions :)

Yesterday, the Day 28 prompt was a "color poem", write using a color, your favorite color, synonyms for your chosen color...

I didn't do it.

My favorite color is orange.  In addition to nothing rhyming with this poor word/color/citrus delight, there are not many good synonyms for orange.  The thing I like about orange?  It is vibrant, happy, strong.  A strong color.  Ever notice traffic cones, pill bottles, safety vests, and pencils are a variation of orange?   That is one workhorse of a color.  Anywho, couldn't really come up with a poem so I skipped.

Today's prompt is to use at least five non-English words in a poem.  Fairly straightforward.

Did you stop and think about how many "foreign" words we use every day in our speech?  Not just words that are derived from other languages, Americans using these phrases in their entirety.  (and not always lawyers and doctors)

"Prima donna".  "Status quo".  "Bon voyage".  "Khaki".  "Kudos".  "Deja vu".  "Bona fide".

Words and languages have always interested me deeply.  To communicate is innately human.  I have taken Latin, Italian, German, Spanish for Medical Professionals (okay the last one may not be helpful when ordering food but I can tell you what hurts after I eat it.)  The teaching of foreign languages in the typical school district is usually the first thing to be cut.   English is the language of the world, it seems, but for how much longer?  Colleges are cutting the typical Romance Languages while adding Chinese and Arabic classes to capacity.

Are Business (with a capital "B") and global terror threats (real and imagined) our driving force to learn a second language?  Why did we all take Italian and French in high school and college?  We all weren't planning on moving abroad but it impressed our dates when ordering food or reading articles in "The New Yorkers" with it French Word Dropping For No Reason in the Middle of an Article.

I enjoyed Latin.  Not just for SAT prep, it helped in life.  When I was studying any other subject I had a glimmer of a clue what was going on.  Latin is like a secret handshake and is on the serious decline.  If you caught Pope Fever earlier this year, all the news outlets learned one phrase and were very proud of themselves.  And that is how many people view the importance of languages we don't use every day.  Pope Electing, What Body Part is my Doctor Going to Fix, What Meat is in the Cassoulet, Is that German Angry or Asking Me to Hug...

Anyway, long ass entry for me today.  End result = no poem (good for you), long diatribe on why I believe language is important.  Challenge yourself today, go read some poetry in the language you took in school.  See how much comes back to you.  See the beauty in the rhythm of words.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Of Crowds and Crocodiles

I wonder how I am going to write when NaPoWriMo Month is over.  The daily prompts have been super helpful in getting the gears moving.  Anyone have good writing prompt sites?  Not necessarily, preferably not, poetry.  Day 27 finds us using The Google to write a completion poem of sorts.  The challenge was to take a popular quote or phrase, pop into The Google and collect bits that interest you.

A lot of work for a gorgeous Saturday.

I chose, instead, to take a bit from the Serenity Prayer and see where it led.  The bold bits below are what I typed into the search bar, the italicized words are the results.

grant me...

the serenity
your bacon
the wisdom foundation
the courage...

ous heart of Irena Sendler
to heal
to teach
to be
the wisdom...

of insecurity
of psychopaths
of crowds
of crocodiles

-Jenn Mossholder, 31 and 3 Productions

From the seinfeldtv.tumblr site

Friday, April 26, 2013

We Are All Stardust

26th Day of NaPoWriMo: Prompt is "erasure poetry".  (no, nothing to do with Andy Bell)  Basically, the idea is take a poem and systematically erase parts of the poem to create a new work. Maybe some poems have "sub-poems" hidden within them or can be altered to convey an entirely different message.

I did not work with a poem for the erasure challenge, opting to take a prose passage from an author whose prose is poetry to my eyes and ears:  Neil Gaiman.  I chose a random passage from his book "Stardust". (pp 122-123)

Here are the altered pages:

Here is the poem I extracted:

Grass can speak but it shall not profit you,
even if another wide with fright, cut to form, silver flashes.

The lady in the scarlet kirtle shall vex and irritate you,
with more grace and respect in the future.

The long grass exclaimed aloud "I'm getting old.  Getting old.
And there's no doing anything about that."

-Jenn Mossholder, 31 and 3 Productions

"So Old, It's New"

Ballads.  This is the prompt for NaPoWriMo Day 25.  The word ballad brings up a lot of images in my mind but none stronger than the 1980s Power Rock Ballads.  Remember the hair on those falsely sincere metal-lite bands singing (usually in a black and white music video) about love and loss?

My teen aged daughter had her first slow dance with a boy recently.  What song was playing?  "Every Rose Has a Thorn" by Poison.  Seriously?  25 years later this snivel is helping 13 year old boys to sway close to a girl.  Mr. Bret Michaels of Rock of Love, Celebrity Apprentice, and creator of his own doggie fashion line (available at PetSmart) has created a song that spans generations?

Am I becoming a cranky, almost-40 year old woman?  Probably.

Same daughter came home last week to show me "an old type dance we learned in music class."  What was it?

The Hustle.

Le sigh.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ragtag Beets Thy

Busy day, no real time to write.  Held my first book club meeting tonight and it went well.  Seven people came, so I deem that a success, plus we will be reading "The Great Gatsby".

NaPoWriMo's Day 24 Prompt is "words within words" and using your name to find some anagrams.  I tried to do this earlier in the day when I had more time and energy.  I used my first and last names, excluded and included my middle name, my confirmation name, my maiden name - all in all you get some pretty cool results.

Maybe I will revisit this in the future.  Here is the site NaPoWriMo linked to for anagramming (a verb, no?) fun, at WordSmith.

Over at Fun With Words, they list some pretty cool and funny examples.  Enjoy! 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Trying Triptych Triolet

Welcome to Day 23 of NaPoWriMo!  Today's prompt is a technically difficult poem to write: a trioletA triolet is an eight-line poem, following an ABaAabAB rhyming scheme.  All the lines are in iambic tetramenter (for a total of eight syllables per line), and the first, fourth, and seventh lines are identical, as are the second and final lines. This means that the poem begins and ends with the same couplet.

This is a BIG challenge for me since: I don't like rules; I don't like writing rules; I have to perform math.

Here is my effort for today, and perhaps some insight on my blog's name:

Doctor said there's one, there's two more,
In thirty one weeks and three days,
I will grow like never before.
Doctor said there's one, there's two more.
Three daughters I will soon adore,
Now we're entering a new phase.
Doctor said there's one! there's two more!
In thirty one weeks and three days.

- Jenn Mossholder, 31 and 3 Productions

Monday, April 22, 2013

Quick Post

Today is Day 22 of NaPoWriMo but I have no poem in me today, perhaps tomorrow.

I started a kick boxing class tonight and I am hurt and exhausted.

The poetry in my heart and soul today comes from Richie Havens, who sadly passed away today.  I remember as a kid my parents three record set of the Woodstock Concert.  Records are those big, black disc thingies.  Anywho, one of the most haunting songs that was at the same uplifting was Richie Haven's rendition of "Motherless Child."

For today, here he is (after a 4 second commercial you can skip):

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Column A, Column B

Day 21 of NaPoWriMo, last week of poetry torture.  In general, I think poetry gets a bad rap.  Either people find it too "high falutin", with nightmares of Lit Classes past or trite and corny, as if everything needs to rhyme or be written by Hallmark.

Today's prompt is inspired from Frank O'Hara's piece "Line For The Fortune Cookie."  People have different ways of celebrating the wise cookies, from not reading the slip of paper until the cookie has been eaten, to adding the words "in bed" at the end of their fortune.   I like the "new" fortunes; the lucky numbers do me no good but the "Learn Chinese" portion is fun. Even if my vocabulary consists of "dog", "milk", and "bus" I feel like I am getting more than a slightly stale, almond cookie.

For a concise history of our famous dessert, look no further than from our friends at Wikipedia.

Another thing I like to read are bumper stickers.  Old political campaigns, religious causes, school athletics, advertisements - I like them all.  I abu.., er, adorn my car with various stickers and well, it struck me today while I was running errands that they are nice and short, like fortune cookies.  I compiled new ones I saw today, with some others from the past, and tried today's prompt.  I see this as some diverse advice from our fellow drivers and citizens.

Lines on the Road - Jenn Mossholder, 31 and 3 Productions

Jesus Loves You
Support Local Strip Clubs
I'm a Friend of Bill W.
Procrastino Ergo Sum
Heavily Armed, Easily Pissed
I have the body of a god - Buddha
Save the Earth
got jesus?
got milk?
Bad Decisions Make Good Stories
Obama '08
Pray for Our Troops
Don't Believe Everything You Think
Built Fjord Tough
Somewhere in Kenya a Village is Missing their Idiot
Somewhere in Texas a Village is Missing their Idiot

Lines For The Fortune Cookies - Frank O'Hara

I think you're wonderful and so does everyone else.
Just as Jackie Kennedy has a baby boy, so will you--even bigger.
You will meet a tall beautiful blonde stranger, and you will not say hello.
You will take a long trip and you will be very happy, though alone.
You will marry the first person who tells you your eyes are like scrambled eggs.
In the beginning there was YOU--there will always be YOU, I guess.
You will write a great play and it will run for three performances.
Please phone The Village Voice immediately: they want to interview you.
Roger L. Stevens and Kermit Bloomgarden have their eyes on you.
Relax a little; one of your most celebrated nervous tics will be your undoing.
Your first volume of poetry will be published as soon as you finish it.
You may be a hit uptown, but downtown you're legendary!
Your walk has a musical quality which will bring you fame and fortune.
You will eat cake.
Who do you think you are, anyway? Jo Van Fleet?
You think your life is like Pirandello, but it's really like O'Neill.
A few dance lessons with James Waring and who knows? Maybe something will happen.
That's not a run in your stocking, it's a hand on your leg.
I realize you've lived in France, but that doesn't mean you know EVERYTHING!
You should wear white more often--it becomes you.
The next person to speak to you will have a very intriguing proposal to make.
A lot of people in this room wish they were you.
Have you been to Mike Goldberg's show? Al Leslie's? Lee Krasner's?
At times, your disinterestedness may seem insincere, to strangers.
Now that the election's over, what are you going to do with yourself?
You are a prisoner in a croissant factory and you love it.
You eat meat. Why do you eat meat?
Beyond the horizon there is a vale of gloom.
You too could be Premier of France, if only ... if only...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Quahog Cheese

Today's poem prompt from NaPoWriMo came as an (seemingly) unrelated list of words.  The challenge was to write a poem using at least 5 of the words from the list.  The list can be found HERE.

I wanted to try and write a more "together" poem today and I fell down the Internet Research Rabbit Hole simply by typing "non-pareil" into Google.  One of the entries it came back with is the former town of Nonpareil, Oregon.  Since I had never heard of it and I love old maps and history I read all I could about the subject.

One of the more useful sites I came across was Western Mining History.  It has a wealth of information from mine and town locations to geological studies to letters about the towns.  I especially liked the article on what makes a ghost town a ghost town.  You can view it HERE.

Four words I pulled from a US Geological Study paper, basaltic, andesitic, rhyolitic, dioritic, rhymed in situ, if you will.  Lined up like soldiers in the report, they gave a nice rhythm to an otherwise dry report.  I wanted to use them very badly in the poem but couldn't work them in.

The 10 words I used from the list are in italics.  I hesitated to highlight them thinking it would interrupt the flow of reading but it looks okay to me.

"Upstream from the salty, icy waters of the Pacific, the Umpqua River flows,
Carving a thin ribbon of blue through the gutter like canyons of Oregon.
Owls and cowbirds roost upon the ghost town of Nonpareil,
Mines of mercury and gold, elusive to the naked eye sit below the surface.
Fortunes made from cinnabar rocks, egos did squander,
Leaving this place desolate and barren."

- Jenn Mossholder, 31 and 3 Productions

Friday, April 19, 2013


NaPoWriMo is going strong at Day 19.  Today's prompt, which is totally awesomesauce, is: "Write a poem in the form of a personal ad!  Or, if you like, try any kind of want ad. Personal ads, though, do have a kind of poetry to them."

I used to read City Paper's and Philadelphia Weekly's personals with great glee.  These days, Craigslist ads are de rigueur, but are usually so obscene, it isn't fun.  I have heard some OK Cupid horror stories, from friends and Jezebel.  I wish you could read OKC without an account.

While those are fun (and shudder worthy) I decided to do something a little more topical.

Here are my efforts for Day 19:

"Secular Humanist ISO a god/goddess/idol to explain this week's events.  At a loss to continue rationalizing the actions of others.  Looking for comfort in blind faith/trust in an immortal being. Gender unimportant.  Must be a non-smiter.  No fatties."

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Rain Day

DAY 18 - I am losing more readers as this experiment continues.  I think I am the Ambassador for "Why You Should Hate Poorly Written Poetry Month."

Today's prompt is to start and end a poem with same word.  I wrote a couple different ones, being inspired by the Spring rain we have today.  (Inspired/aka "being rained on while arguing with husband unit at Lowe's". I truly wonder how many partnerships dissolve in home improvement stores.  They should do a study.)

watching the rain drops tumble and drip
in slow motion along the windowpane
i see the cat in the garden watching

* * *

sing, as you have never sung before
loudly to the birds in the trees
watching you as they sing

* * *

waiting by the door for my love to return
she tossed me a bone before locking the house
and here i on the rug waiting

-Jenn Mossholder, 31 and 3 Productions

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Spring Has Sprung

I am too tired to torture you with a "poem" tonight (you're welcome) but will share some other stuff.

The theme for today's poem was "a poem of greeting".  It being the 17th day of April in Southeastern Pennsylvania, the weather is catching up with what the calendar calls "Spring."  It has been a long shout out to Spring to arrive here, but she is mostly here.  The weather has been mostly sunny and warm, but still we have the cool winds, the occasional pop-up shower and the one-off days of grey clouds.

Growing up, I loved mythology.  One of my favorite books, which I have passed onto my daughters, is Edith Wharton's "Mythology".  My favorite Greek myth is that of Persephone and Hades.  A quasi-love story for Greek myths (hey no swan fucking) it tells the tale of how Hades, God of the Underworld, kidnapped Persephone while she was picking flowers.  Demeter, her mother and the Goddess of Fertility (among other things), was so sad, the Earth became barren.  Hades and Demeter strike a deal (in some versions of the myth Hades had tricked Persephone into eating fruit from the Underworld thereby chaining her to him).  One half of the year Persephone will live below the Earth with Hades, and Demeter in her grief will lay the soil sterile.  The other half of the year Persephone will return to the terrestrial world and in rejoicing, Demeter once again starts the cycle of growth.

So, welcome Persephone, welcome Spring, welcome Proserpina, welcome robins, welcome warn breezes and welcome many sneezes.  (Hey, a poem!)  ;)

"The Rape of Persephone"

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bread for Hearts

Today, and barely under the wire, the prompt for NaPoWriMo Day 16, is to take a poem in a language you do not speak (mine is Spanish) and do a "translation" to see how the "foreign words" seem to be expressed in English (or your native tongue of choice.)

My Spanish knowledge is limited to episodes of "Dora the Explorer" and my class in medical Spanish so I am not expecting to know many words.

After you do a first pass, you are supposed to see what the poem was really saying and modify what you have written in English.  Again, 15 minutes to "deadline" after a trying day of one child shaving her eyebrows off and a phone call from the principal, this is what you get to read from me tonight ;)

Amor, Amor

Amor, amor, un hábito vestí
el cual de vuestro paño fue cortado;
al vestir ancho fue, más apretado
y estrecho cuando estuvo sobre mí.

Gracilaso de la Vega

* * *

Love, Love

Love, Love, one habit I wear
the call of views bread for hearts;
living again fuel, but apprehend
and stretch because you are serious.

First Pass Translation

* * *

Love, Love

Love, love, dressed habit
which of your cloth was cut;
the width dress was tighter
and narrow when he was on me.

Google Translate's Translation

Interesting experiment.  Kind of surprised to see I wasn't entirely in left field.  Sleep tight, more Vogon Poetry tomorrow.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Patriots' Day

Today is, well, many things.  Simply enough, it started out as Tax Day in the States and Day 15 of NaPoWriMo.  How today developed and ultimately ended is quite different.

The tragedy in Boston is incomprehensible to me.  I have tried to limit my diet of MSNBC and KYW today, getting the barest of details.  Do not mistake this for a lack of interest or concern; these 24 hour news cycles do little to improve my emotional psyche.  I am not tuned out, just selectively tuned in.

The writing prompt today was to write a pantun.  By its nature, a pantun is supposed to be light-hearted and sometimes love poems.  I am unable to write much on that topic today.

I hope this isn't terrible hokey, as it does rhyme.

Running quickly to keep the pace,
Feet fly and fumble across the race.
In Boston, the streets are set ablaze,
Patriots' Day today, Patriots now always.

-Jenn Mossholder, 31 and 3 Productions


Sunday, April 14, 2013


It is Day 14 of NaPoWriMo and the challenge issued today was to write a persona poem in the voice of a hero or villain.  I stopped and started many times today, struggling to find ideas.

Reading through my news feed (sniff, sniff Google Reader, don't leave me!)  I saw that "this day in history" was "the day before the day the Titanic sunk".  Maybe not as exciting as tomorrow, but it was an idea enough to think of Molly Brown.


Sailing across the sea on my white star
enjoying her maiden voyage
stopping with a jerk
slamming into a mountain of ice
panicking ensues
directing, aiding, assisting,
deposited in lifeboat number six
the rescue of more frigid souls.

Watching my white star that burned so bright,
diving into the breach.
what was one is now two,
what was many is now too few.

-Jenn Mossholder, 31 and 3 Productions

Saturday, April 13, 2013

"April Is..."

For the 13th Day of NaPoWriMo, I am using one of the prompts/suggestions from Charles Bernstein’s list of poetry experiments.  The one I found interesting was number 77: "Use the Googlism engine to create a poem based on a name or word."

What is "Googlism"?  You can read, in depth here, but essentially it uses Google (but is not affiliated with Google) to perform searches based on your keyword or phrase and give you a list of phrases associated with your query.  They were ordered to stop performing new searches of Google's data in 2004, but there is a lot to still read.

I decided to input "April" into Googlism and have a little fun.  Remember, these are experiments and poetry should be fun!

"April Is..."

my religion,
a band,
national humor month,
earthquake and tsunami awareness month,
the cruelest month,
the kindest month,
a beautiful time of the year,
high season for practical jokers in labs,
disaster preparedness month,
national std awareness month,
national poetry month,
the cruelest month for poetry.

-Jenn Mossholder, 31 and 3 Productions

Friday, April 12, 2013

NSFW: "I don’t have pet peeves...

...I have major psychotic fucking hatreds! - George Carlin

The writing prompt for Day 12 of NaPoWriMo at first glace to me, seemed like cake.  The prompt from the site reads, “write a poem consisting entirely of things you’d like to say, but never would, to a parent, lover, sibling, child, teacher, roommate, best friend, mayor, president, corporate CEO, etc.”

I can rant better than anyone about just about anything.  I am one of those people who has lists of pet peeves and collected enemies.  But, probably why I have so many enemies, is I have few things I am unwilling to verbalize.  As a woman in her 30s (hey, I will claim this every chance I get for the final 3 months), I am verging on "Andy Rooney Syndrome".  I am not confident in my ability, however, to put these rantings into any poetic form; prescribed or free form without it coming out manifesto in tone.

So, a cop out for Day 12.  I will leave you with these videos of Mr. George Carlin – his rants and tangents are pure, lyrical poetry:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tanka Trucks

An armada of steel
Marches along the quiet streets
Screeching brakes break silence
Closing my windows on them
Peace is once again restored.

-Jenn Mossholder, 31 and 3 Productions

NaPoWriMo's Eleventh Day Prompt:  Write a "tanka" style poem.

The history of tanka style is quite interesting. According to our friends at Wikipedia, tanka (tankas?), in Ancient Japan, were a communication between lovers, in place of prose or Shoebox greeting cards and follow a 5-7-5-7-7 syllable stanza pattern.

The Academy of American Poets has a much more eloquent history of the style.  They also explain the arrangement of the "upper poem" (the first two stanzas), the third verse, which is the "turn", and the "lower poem" (the last two stanzas).

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Vexing Verses

The tenth day of NaPoWriMo's writing prompt is "un-love poetry".  There are many, many things I un-love with all my heart, but none so much as:

A giggle.
A smirk.
A shared secret.
A message between intimate beings.

Furrowed concentration upon your brow,
as you stare deeply into her face for answers.
Hour upon waking hour.

The glow which she shines upon your face,
hour after relenting hour 
she is the object of your ministrations.

She slim and thin and always eager to answer your call.

-Jenn Mossholder, 31 and 3 Productions

"Child of the House of Commons" versus "The Iron Lady"

Fair Use Image from

From the TV Show "Spitting Image"

This week the most (in my opinion) contemptible British PM, Margaret Thatcher, died this week.

In reading all the news feeds, in particular from the UK, I came across an article about Winston Churchill and how one of his poems, the only one penned by him as an adult, is going to the auction block.  In the spirit of NaPoWri Month, and learning new things, and focusing on a much nobler PM, here are some links about the poem that is up for auction and about Churchill's poetry in general.  Enjoy!

The BBC article I first came across is linked here.

The listing on the Auction House's Website, Bonhams, can be looked at here.

Finally, The Churchill Centre and Museum at the Churchill War Rooms, London, London, provides a website with a lot of free content, including his collected poetry.

* * *

"I am a child of the House of Commons. I was brought up in my father's house to believe in democracy. 'Trust the people'—that was his message....I owe my advancement entirely to the House of Commons, whose servant I am. In my country, as in yours, public men are proud to be the servants of the State and would be ashamed to be its masters. Therefore I have been in full harmony all my life with the tides which have flowed on both sides of the Atlantic against privilege and monopoly..."

       —From a speech to a Joint Session of the States Congress, 
after Pearl Harbor, delivered 26 December 1941.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Small Victories

One of my daughters is rather short in stature and has about eleventy specialists at CHOP. Poor thing is on a diet of enviable items such as fat, ice cream, fat, nuts, nut butters, whole milk, fat, real butter, and quite possibly, Crisco.

She has been reporting some "sensations" after she eats nuts. Like, "my lips are tingling, now my tongue, my throat feels weird", kind of reporting that no parent wants to hear. A lot of her fat and calories come from nuts. So today we spent a good portion of our morning at CHOP Allergy for skin testing.

This child, while short, is strong and recently afraid of needles. (Shout out to the oral surgeon who terrified her beyond all comprehension!) Last week we were at CHOP Genetics and she was with my husband and two phlebotomists getting a small vial of blood drawn while I was across the hospital (same floor, possibly 3 blocks away though) and could hear her resisting and fighting and crying. I had promised her today was going to be "something like a popsicle stick with stuff you may be allergic to, but no needles, I swear, when have I lied to you, don't you trust me?"

After we met with nice doctor, serious nurse comes in and lays down her set up of about 40 vials of allergens, alcohol swabs and a sharp metal jabbing looking item. Let the screaming and jumping off the table begin!

Telling the nurse I had promised there would be candy and unicorns at this appointment the nurse turns from my child and informs me maybe I shouldn't talk to my daughter about things I know nothing about. After pinning down the wriggling mass of an 52 pound-11 year old, the nurse mapped out some marks on her forearm with pen, dropped the scary potions on her, then (gently) jabbed each drop into her skin. Struggling stops, tissues offered, nurse glaring at me.

Fast forward 30 minutes and we are done and cleared to eat anything she wants again. No true allergies, just "sensitivities". Big sigh of relief.

What to do with the rest of the day? I should be a "good" mom and take her into school but it was 77° in Philadelphia in April so we played hooky. I took her for a tour of my college alma mater; went for a walk in a sculpture garden; ate ice cream while walking on cobblestones; and ended the day with simply throwing rocks into a creek. Bliss.

Tomorrow the PSSAs start back up (Pennsylvania's crazy standardized testing for NCLB). (Wish I had read Punky Mama's post from yesterday first.) Today was a small victory in my on going battle with the school, and the education system, and finding time to spend with my daughters one on one, and against stupid medical crap, and just having a really great day with a really great kid.

To continue the NaPoWriMo Thread, here is my gift to you today from Publius Ovidius Naso (aka Ovid):

"O lente, lente currite noctis equi!"

O, run slowly, slowly, horses of the night!

Originally from Ovid's "Amore" (Liber I, XIII, Line 40: Lente currite noctis equi)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

On the 8th Day of "NaPoWriMo"

You know those people who claim one of their favorite authors is Shakespeare? When you know them to be avid readers of James Patterson or say, People Magazine?

I really am a FOWS. (copyright 2013, Jenn)

Here is one of my favorite sonnets, he did write more than Romeo and Juliet folks:


My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;

Coral is far more red than her lips' red;

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;

If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,

But no such roses see I in her cheeks;

And in some perfumes is there more delight

Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

I love to hear her speak, yet well I know

That music hath a far more pleasing sound;

I grant I never saw a goddess go;

My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:

And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare

As any she belied with false compare.

NaPoWriMo (or "NAMBLA")

According to my friend Julie over at WordNerdGirl, it is "National Poetry Writing Month". She is a good poet. She understands how it works, how to take it apart and how to put it back together. She like, studied English or Writing or something.

 I am not good with poetry. I have written some. Not particularly good ones. Think "Vogon" and you'd think "Jenn".

 So, on this Holy Seventh Day of NaPoWriMo, here is a pithy number I scribbled in a Fathers' Day card years ago:

"Way back in October 1972,

You and my mother decided to screw.

If it hadn't been for that fateful lay,

You wouldn't be a father today."

You're Welcome.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Mrs. G's Box

My teenager has Alzheimer's – I swear it. She has been super forgetful as of late, especially with her gym clothes. Yesterday she finally brought home her “uniform” for washing; I don't think I have seen these items since September (it is April). I inform her it is now her problem and she has to wash them (and finish the load I have kept running in the dryer for three days because I am too lazy to fold.)

Well today came and she didn't wash her clothes. She flies around the house making a new-within-dress-code-gym-outfit and stuffs it in her bag. And promptly leaves it in the foyer by the front door. No clothes. Do I take them to school? I am driving past it later. I could be nice. But I won't. She needs to learn there are consequences for forgetting things. Let the gym teacher deal.

 She comes home after school and sees her gym bag on her kitchen chair. I asked, casually, and all cool-mom like, so, how was gym? Did you get in trouble for not having your clothes? Nope. Mrs. G lent me clothes. Groan. So another set of school clothes I have to wash and return (we are always getting “loaner clothes” from the nurse for her younger sisters.) Nope. She went into Mrs. G's office, picked clothes out of a box of other assorted clothes and returned them to said box after class. I asked her what she thinks happens to those clothes. Are they ever washed? Do they look new? A dawning look of horror creeps across her face.

Let's just say her shower was 15 minutes longer than usual. Today's poem is in honor of the horror that is her:

 -    Shel Silverstein, 1974

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would not take the garbage out!  

She'd scour the pots and scrape the pans,
Candy the yams and spice the hams, 
And though her daddy would scream and shout, 
She simply would not take the garbage out. 

And so it piled up to the ceilings:
Coffee grounds, potato peelings,
Brown bananas, rotten peas, 
Chunks of sour cottage cheese. 

It filled the can, it covered the floor,
It cracked the window and blocked the door
With bacon rinds and chicken bones,
Drippy ends of ice cream cones,
Prune pits, peach pits, orange peel,
Gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal,

Pizza crusts and withered greens,
Soggy beans and tangerines,
Crusts of black burned buttered toast,
Gristly bits of beefy roasts. . .

The garbage rolled on down the hall,
It raised the roof, it broke the wall. . .
Greasy napkins, cookie crumbs,
Globs of gooey bubble gum,

Cellophane from green baloney, 
Rubbery blubbery macaroni,
Peanut butter, caked and dry,
Curdled milk and crusts of pie,
Moldy melons, dried-up mustard,
Eggshells mixed with lemon custard,
Cold french fried and rancid meat,
Yellow lumps of Cream of Wheat.

At last the garbage reached so high
That it finally touched the sky.
And all the neighbors moved away,
And none of her friends would come to play.
And finally Sarah Cynthia Stout said, "OK, I'll take the garbage out!"

But then, of course, it was too late. . .
The garbage reached across the state, 
From New York to the Golden Gate.

And there, in the garbage she did hate,
Poor Sarah met an awful fate,
That I cannot now relate
Because the hour is much too late.
But children, remember Sarah Stout
And always take the garbage out!   

Mrs. Mom

I was THAT parent today. The sitcom parent. You know, the one who is doing everything in their power to maximize embarrassment for herself and her children. The one who has hundreds of people pissed off at her all before 8:30 am.

Today was Grandparents' Day at school. Loosely translated, it is the day where the kids' grandparents come in for a class or two, eat cookies, have milk and get their picture taken with one another. I volunteered to donate milk. Go me!

The girls usually ride the bus but since two of them would be carrying a gallon of milk, I threw on a bra AND socks and drove them to school. Now, some of you know that my mom-mobile/mini-van is very recognizable. Weird color, dents, bumper stickers and the vanity license plate. Blind people would have no problem picking my car out of a line-up.

We get to school and there is no one in car line. I look at the clock and it displays 8:17, too early, by all the email, flyer and newsletter appeals to parents to leave their kids and run. I pull into the orange traffic cone cattle chute and sit and wait. I am first in line.

As the minutes tick by, the girls start to ask me why other kids are out of their cars and walking by us. And looking. And laughing. And pointing. Meanwhile I am fuming over the parents who are driving in front of me and dropping their kids off. I look behind me and see a stream of mini vans and SUVs and angry, angry drivers wondering why I have not moved or dropped off my children.

Um, I ask the girls. Doesn't a teacher come out and greet the cars to tell us it is time to let you out? No. No. No. I manage to get three kids out of the car and peel out of the parking lot and drown my shame in a bag of Mickey D's.

I guess next time I go to school I will be driving the incognito “dad sedan”. Sigh.