Day5: Another Spider in the Wall

Another Spider in the Wall


We are spiders spinning our silk, busy building

these taut silver links from within


when Lily in her flat in Beijing has her first sneeze

and fears she is sick, my heart hears her panic

a shadowy thing – my mouth is a vintage sink

and tastes of iron – my throat a rusty pipe of blistering bumps

“but there is no Lily of Beijing” I feel

trying to set my mind at ease

the mind still tries to steal

all reason from the heart who should beat it

to death with its own ego


another day inside filled with wtfs

wtf memes, wtf texts, wtf videos

are we all as ducked as Peking?

the virus rose high in the East

so it should settle, setting in the West


“tiddeh fi mi, tomorra fi yu”


the false construction of our system:

to remove the visible bricks of inequity, you must

first seek its base

there is a wave weakening these walls


and Pipsk is on the pulpit today with a fury

blowing off steam and lightning to all

who would listen, we will again rise as one

“when we the people believe in our power

when we unite in sickness

in health we will conquer!”


today is a masked day

it is gagging with the stench of its indoor breath

on vit entre espoir et inquiétude

the spiders occupy

their homes spinning, sometimes silk

until they can once again step outside and touch

pulling each other back into skeins


there are many bricks missing from the base

and the gaps in the wall

are gaping in many places


Saffron – April 2020


Our (optional) prompt for today is one that we have used in past years, but which I love to come back to, because it so often takes me to new and unusual places, and results in fantastic poems. It’s called the “Twenty Little Poetry Projects,” and was originally developed by Jim Simmerman. The challenge is to use/do all of the following in the same poem. Of course,  if you can’t fit all twenty projects into your poem, or a few of them get your poem going, that is just fine too!

  1. Begin the poem with a metaphor.
  2. Say something specific but utterly preposterous.
  3. Use at least one image for each of the five senses, either in succession or scattered randomly throughout the poem.
  4. Use one example of synesthesia (mixing the senses).
  5. Use the proper name of a person and the proper name of a place.
  6. Contradict something you said earlier in the poem.
  7. Change direction or digress from the last thing you said.
  8. Use a word (slang?) you’ve never seen in a poem.
  9. Use an example of false cause-effect logic.
  10. Use a piece of talk you’ve actually heard (preferably in dialect and/or which you don’t understand).
  11. Create a metaphor using the following construction: “The (adjective) (concrete noun) of (abstract noun) . . .”
  12. Use an image in such a way as to reverse its usual associative qualities.
  13. Make the persona or character in the poem do something he or she could not do in “real life.”
  14. Refer to yourself by nickname and in the third person.
  15. Write in the future tense, such that part of the poem seems to be a prediction.
  16. Modify a noun with an unlikely adjective.
  17. Make a declarative assertion that sounds convincing but that finally makes no sense.
  18. Use a phrase from a language other than English.
  19. Make a non-human object say or do something human (personification).
  20. Close the poem with a vivid image that makes no statement, but that “echoes” an image from earlier in the poem.

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