The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Tag: poetry

Winter

Frozen fields unfettered
blowing ice
breath short
wandering, pondering
The day stretches long and lean
Possibilities peak out
between gnarled tree branches
and frosted grass
lonely birds fly
with weak songs their
promises of warmer days.

For now, the sun is wanting
and the journey long
Swirls of smoke from a chimney
and my breath
call me back to the fireside
to wait
another step forward
another day closer
to spring

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Coming Clean

I need to get something off my chest. It’s been bothering me for decades now, and that’s not good. But I have decided coming clean will free me up to be guilty about other aspects of my life.

I have a degree in English. It’s actually an English Lit degree with a minor in writing, based on what I studied. Sounds impressive, huh? I wanted a degree in creative writing, but couldn’t afford any of the colleges that offered that degree. Specifically Emerson. Oh how I wanted to go to Emerson.

So I spent four years at a private Catholic college deep in the heart of Connecticut, studying prose and poetry. I have the paperwork that proves I did.

However, I know nothing about literature. I know what I like to read, but I don’t know why I like it. I don’t know anything. I can’t believe I faked my way through college like that. I couldn’t tell you why the Great Novels are great. I don’t even like most of Shakespeare. I suck at English Lit.

Because I have this degree and I feel like certain things are expected of me, especially when I write. That’s the part that throws me into a panic. I keep thinking that having this degree should make me a better writer, but I don’t think it does. I fear it doesn’t. I don’t even like to talk with people who are actually good at this stuff because it’s so intimidating to me. How did I get through four years of college learning to analyze literature and not like good literature? I don’t even have drugs to blame this on, as I am clean as a whistle. I mean, I’m betting the Pope has smoked more pot than I have (which is none).

So the funny thing about this is that I used to write a lot of poetry. I edited my college’s literary magazine my junior and senior years. And get this! I have actually had a poetry reading (with a professor of mine and a friend of his) in a real live bookstore in Hartford. My parents even drove down for that one, which was fun because it was an “alternative lifestyle” bookstore run by some ex-nuns. This was 1987 or so, and I think my parents were shell-shocked, but maybe not.

So even as I’m being asked to participate in a public reading of my poetry, I’m convinced it’s absolute shit, because I cannot tell if it is or not. I like what I’ve written, but I like a lot of things that aren’t good. I enjoy crappy romance novels like there is no tomorrow. I find slogging through most of Dickens a chore (I enjoy the movie versions, though). I have no idea if my poetry is any good, and I’m afraid to find out. One of the other poets had written stuff that sounded completely alien to me. Where his poems good? I have no freaking idea. I didn’t think so, but I think he’d had books published, and I was selling computers, so who was I to judge with my unjustly-earned lit degree?

15 years ago, I actually had my own e-zine called “Block Lines”. Remember those? I was so cool. I published poetry I liked (and some of my own, but other people’s poetry as well.) I don’t know if I was a good editor (I didn’t really edit, I just selected what to publish) but it seemed like a hip, happening way to get some of my work out there. I had a lot of fun with it until I got pregnant and exhausted and put it on hiatus. For 15 years.

Every year as my birthday gets closer, I get a burst of inspiration to write, and this year, for the first time in a decade, I’ve been writing poetry again. I’m not going to share it here because I’m still too terrified that it’s crap. Well, I’m not terrified that it’s crap, I’m terrified that YOU will find out it’s crap.

So that’s what I wanted to come clean about. I’m a possibly crappy writer who can’t use the skills her degree should have given her to validate one way or the other the quality of her writing. There. I’ll start to feel better any minute now.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go write a crappy poem about how this makes me feel.

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Ode to the Wrong Shoes

Ode to the Wrong Shoes

I wore the wrong shoes today
Right color, wrong brand
My eyes were tired and blurred
when I reached into the closet
hoping for the best
I found them by touch
and at first glance
saw brown shoes and ended my search.
The cuffs of my pants hang lovingly
against the top
But Wait!
These are the Wrong Shoes
They are not my really comfy Merrills
They are tight
and my big toe feels crushed
defeated
stupid brown shoes
you will pay for your sneakiness and
your harm to my toe
with your life.

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The Mother’s Day Poem

This is the poem I got for Mother’s day this year. I did not expect a poem, but I was very happy to get it. It was written on a piece of foamy stuff with a magnet on the back so I can keep it on the fridge.

I started to write my mom a poem but it was not as good as this one so I just gave up altogether. I can honestly say that nobody has ever, ever, written me a better poem than this one, and I doubt they ever will.

My Mother’s Day Poem, by Junior

My mom appreciates Mike Lowell
But I hope I make her complete
Without me there could be a hole
My mom appreciates Mike Lowell

We work together like some moles
But she also makes my heart beat
My mom appreciates Mike Lowell
But I hope I make her complete.

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Longing for the Warmth of January

You know, usually this time of year, we bitch and moan and crab about how sick we are of winter, and how we wish it was April or May already. Me, I’m fondly remembering the warm, lush days of January. Whoda thunk it. Well me. I remember thunking to myself “Boy, we’re going to be really sorry when all this ends and we get real winter temperatures.”

My nasal passages are so angry with me, we aren’t on speaking terms. I need to swing by the Hallmark Store to buy them a card.

“When you’re blue
And you don’t know
Where to go to
Why don’t you go where saline sits
I’ll give you a spritz.”

I hope it doesn’t have a picture of a flower on the front. My sinuses really hate flowers.

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