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