Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Normal Poem

Carter Neumann


My mother says I have to write a normal poem

but I ask her, what’s normal?

She will not tell me. She says, that’s a great start

But, what’s normal?

I know I know it, but I just can’t say it

maybe I don’t know it because I never am. normal.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Two NORMAL poems


My Cabin

I don’t normally send texts
about my vagina.
I don’t even remember why I did it
this day.I remember only the bait-and-switch
of autocorrect, reassuring me at first with v-a-g- then
amending my ‘vagina’ to ‘cabins’
as if the word had never
How I raged at first! Feminism
brimming. Humans, I sizzled,
have forgotten
their origin.

Then I read it again
And again.

Something, perhaps,About having my cabins examined,
Or maybe what I wanted so-and-so to do
To my cabins after work.
And I realized.
The vagina is
A cabin.

A winter womb,
clenched doors sealing in
the balm of fizzing fires,
unfreezing even the iciest
A summer stopover,
How they rejoice, after hiking miles,
when they spot it
airing campers in
and out with fluid
and even at its oldest,
mossy boards clutching
a last rusted nail,
it makes men shiver with a wild ache
to bang at the door
just one more time.



Is it the prim and proper, white picket fence, blonde hair, blue eyes and creamy white skin?

Is it good grades, bike helmets, elbow pads and cowboys and Indians?

Is it, speak when spoken to, legible penmanship and perfect attendance?

Is it movies with catty girls, dates with zit faced geeks and mall shopping with a vengeance?

Is it the power suit, the MBA and the stock portfolio?

Is it the 2.5 kids, the daughter’s wedding and trips to the Pochonos?

Is it from my father’s house to the sorority house to my husband’s house?

Is it the porch swing, 20 cats and a shrine to the dearly departed spouse?


What is it really???

It's… hula hoops, bellydance and marching band madness

It's blue hair, stripy sox and coffee shop badass

It is playing with fire, and Thriller parades

It is saying, HELL NO, to drama and hate…

It's screaming some lyrics at the top of your lungs

It's slammin poetry when scared shitless its bein’ done wrong

It is letting go and holding on and joining the circus

It is feathers and clay and leather panel skirts

It's cryin loud and lovin hard, With. No. Exceptions

It's standing tall, head held high and lacking perfection

It is living alone, having no kids, with NO apology

It is quiet time, stretching the limbs and learning to see

It's finding yourself, loving yourself and accepting what comes

It's generosity and patience and another trip around the sun

It is losing the folk that made you feel less than.

It is having a purpose you can believe in.

IT …is what YOUR eyes want to see

This is how it is… so. mote. it. be.

A Yield poem



No more will I yield
give forth or produce.
I am tired of being obedient
sick of giving up
refuse to relinquish one more inch!
This yielding has got to stop!
Not only is it dangerous for the body
But, surely unhealthy for the mind.

Everywhere in this damn town
Yield here relent there
defer to the ignorant
Whose motto is bliss

I want to:
Onto Versailles Road
from New Circle
and visa versa
unite with my husband
be one with the horse
and land I tend.
I want to combine all that is good
and wallow in what arises from
the MERGE.
To hell with yielding!

May's Prompt

Hey all, we had a great April English B with Rae Goodwin and Theo Edmonds. May 17, is this season's LAST English B Tuesday. We'll be taking a short break during the summer.

The prompt is: WATER.

May's English B will also serve as a fundraiser for Parkour! Media and Design's film version of the poem, "Waterbody" by Bianca Spriggs. Suggested donation is $5.

Until next month!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Yield Poem


Traffic Light

She says she does not know which way to turn, even though she’s been at this intersection before.
His frustration mounts as he yearns to reach across and smack her,
as if a physical blow would restore her memories.
Instead he kisses her
until her lips bruise.
He refuses
to tell her which way to turn, so she yields to her fury and drives
through the traffic light, brushing her hair away from her face
the wind blows through the car
his anger at her indecision as he knows they will have to turn around,
knows he should have just told her which way to turn.
She accelerates and reaches for the knob of the radio, searching for static, which she turns up.
He merely grimaces, withholding the anger she seeks; he will not listen.
She would not ask.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

April's Prompt

Hey everyone, we really enjoyed the YIELD poems! Next month's prompt is: NORMAL

The next English B Tuesday is on April 19th and guest-hosted by multi-disciplinary artists Theo Edmonds and Rae Goodwin!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Whistle Poems



native peoples
of East Africa,
of the Amazons,
once pursed their lips
with strapping intensity.

nurturing warm air in their larynx,
relaxing their tongues on the tip of their incisors,
forming minuscule tunnels with their vestibulum oris,

they liberated
steady streams
of sound
to ascend,
through the wind
from tribe
to tribe.

lacking vocabulary,
unbound by articulation,
demonstrating the unnecessary nature
of contractions
or the future-perfect tense,

these tones carried true definition
among thousands
of beautiful societies.

…but i have never been able to whistle

in hushed moments
i long for the
embraced by these cultures

i examine these languages,
these histories,
through the lens of a voyeur
with genuine admiration,
severe jealousy

my “ancestors” shared,
through countless generations,
their own restricted codes:

“Always cough into your napkin, darling”
“Place your knife on the edge of the plate when you are finished, child”
“That fork is for salad, only, sweetheart”

i have never been able to whistle.

i was instructed
in what was proper,
void of substance
or emotion.

years of escape
have taught me
to forget disciplines of my past
have allowed me
to think
to sing
to feel
to dance
have inspired me
to speak my mind

still, i am still mercilessly imprisoned
by my grammar
MLA formats
major and minor scales.

it is time
that i
absolute sovereignty.

it is time
that i
to whistle.



I hear it... and I see Sharks and think Jets
I am not an animal... don't talk to me like that
It's the end of the day... the factory closes
I pray that the dog's owner gets responses
traffic is thick, an officer directs you
on majestic wings, toward the blind she flew
the ship is away... the train pulls in
the puck is in play... he has fumbled again


Whistle Pigs

The Whistle Pigs played a gig at Al’s Bar 

on Thursday, January 20, 2011, 10pm. 

They were the opening act 

for The Downtown County Band.
I had never heard of either band before seeing

their poster on the wall at Al’s.

I didn’t see it until after their concert. 

So I missed it.
I guess The Whistle Pigs are a country

rock band-- maybe Wilco wannabes.

Maybe they have a whistling pig mascot

painted on their magic bus. 

The bus is electric blue and the whistle pig 

is day glo orange.
Maybe they have a light show with Disney-like

pink animated pigs on a jumbotron
whistling while they work, 

whistling past a graveyard at midnight,

whistling at Dixie chicks and gettin’ slapped,

whistling for the dogs,

whistling while they walk.
The colors are psychedelic, man,

the images high definition. 

And let me tell you, these Whistle Pigs 

know how to get down and wail

in front of their light show.

They are one hard rockin’ country band.
Hell yeah!
Whistle, pigs, whistle. Put a front hoof 

between your piggy lips 

and blow. Blow, man, blow. 

Whistle. Say it again with a hiss.



Whistle through my memories
that nostalgic maple yawn
when the sound stops me
from remembering
I find comfort in its sound
the rustle of the train tracks

My son taught me to stop for trains
for his delight and my nostalgia
even as I experience the moment
when time stands still
as the train roars past
its echo whistles through my mind
that melancholy maple yawn
whistles through my memories.
The sound stops me
from remembering
I find comfort in its sound
the rustle of the train tracks.