Day 18 — a whispered love letter + piles of books

Pretty self-explanatory: a pseudo-letterpome.


dearest love : though : you : cannot hear me : nor feel me neither : (i fear) : i’m only a little : behind you : close enough to reach : out : to clasp your hand : if i could : (if i was allowed) : if the sensation : of my white hand : passing through yours : did not eerie me out : so i silently : wait : stepping softly : behind you : (waiting, hoping ) : for day light : to appear : (perhaps) : for you : not to despair

Day 18 – TIL about my relationship with books


the joyful gleeful wonderful
act of acquiring books 
& not reading them

           … yet …

i’m a tsundoku sensei
believing there’s always tomorrow
& failing that — next life

Day 17 — Orpheus’s last song + Grandmother Fact #1

The poetry volume I read today had several Mirror Cinquains in it. This is a mix of a standard Cinquain & a Reverse Cinquain. So, using the usual syllable counting convention, a mirror cinquain = 2,4,6,8,2 blank line 2,8,6,4,2 syllables. I’m not usually a big fan of form poems, they feel too forced unless you’ve got a lot of time to tweak them (which you don’t get in a NaPoWriMo when you’re working). Nonetheless I thought I’d give it a bash. There are lines I wish I could alter (ignore the scansion) which might happen in a future version.

Orpheus’s last song

sad bobbing head
song sung sans vocal chords
always singing his beloved’s name

death could not prevent him from it
despite decapitation
sings as it floats
to sea

Day 17 – TIR my gran

It’s the anniversary of my gran’s birthday today. To remember her, I looked for some Facts About Grandmothers & found a variety of sites ranging from dry statistics “78% read the newspaper” type thing to wildly subjective. However the one I have chosen appeared on several pages & is without doubt, true. (I have not chosen the most obvious fact: No love is as special as grandmother’s: it truly is unconditional.)

Grandmother Fact #1: 
they cook the best food

christmas lunches
tuna mournays
corned beef swimming 
   in white sauce
thick pea & ham soup
egg sandwiches, taken 
   from the freezer, then toasted
even just Continental Hearty Beef soup 
   straight outta the packet tasted 
   ambrosial from her kitchen

what would this vego grandson give
for the chance of one more meal
with his gran

Day 16 — nightingale + a trilogy of flamingo fun facts

Just playing round with a passage from Book IV of Virgil’s The Georgics where he describes an incident surrounding the Big O following his failed attempt to restore Eurydice to life (he claims he that O lamented for seven whole months).


a nightingale nightly cries
amongst the shadowy poplars

lamenting the loss of her chicks
stolen as i saw by some hard-

hearted ploughman (what need 
has he of three featherless chicks

callously snatched from their nest).
the mourning songstress weeps 

her song throughout the night
all night, every night, repeating 

her miserable notes relentlessly
pierces all peace with her pain

wails all night, fills air all around 
with melancholy protestations.

unlike Orpheus, she has not forgotten 
how to sing

Day 16 – TIL a lot of flamingo related fun facts. (In point of fact I have lots & lots of bird facts, that I almost put a dozen of them into one megapoem, but this flamingo triptych seems to work quite well…)

flamingo triptych

there are more fake flamingos 
on Earth than real ones

flamingos pair for life
some stay mated
for 50 years or more

nice that flamingos
are 12.5x better at 
partnering than i am 

you probably know 
a crowd of crows is called 
   a murder

& an assembly of owls
  is a parliament 
  (or wisdom, or study)

but life gets really joyful
the day you discover a flock of flamingoes
   is a flamboyance

Day 15 — Day 2 of the Festival of Grief: dream + &

With Big O & Eurydice being the theme this year, it feels a little like every day/poem explores the issue of grief so at times I’m not sure whose writing what about whom or when. The only thing I am sure of is why.


always know when you dream 
of me — it’s why i never sleep.

abandon the rasping light of day 
to pretend you’re calling my name.

the hazy lamps murky blue 
dragging me from the road.

walk on without knowing the way
repeating thought eternally fast, faster.

tracing back black stone steps
down again into echoing caves.

the dog by the great gates 
barks three times, or once each.

the blood river creases & curdles
with endless ponderous energy.

always knowing i’ll never find you
— we exist in incompatible worlds.

Day 15 – NTBLAIL about more than a forgotten letter of the alphabet

In Celebration of &

the ampersand’s formed 
from the ligature 
of the letters ET — 
the Latin word for “and

… & the term “ampersand
is a corruption of
and (&) per se and
which literally means 
“(the character) & by itself 
(is the word) and”

… & this small odd looking
character was actually once 
(kind of) the 27th member 
of the English alphabet* 

… & when reciting the alphabet in the 1800s
long-suffering schoolchildren would 
sing-song-say, “X, Y, Z, and per se and” 
so the students were essentially chanting
X, Y, Z, and by itself and” 

… & being lazy children this was 
routinely slurred to the mondegreen
ampersand & thus entered common usage

… & there’s a graffiti & in Pompeii from 79 CE

… & when it appears as &c
where it means etc
(the ampersand time travels
back into its E & T bones)

… & in screenplays, an & 
denotes a writing team 
[the word and designates 
the writers wrote separately, 
read: someone rewrote, 
& if there’s more than three 
ands on a credit, it’s a good sign 
you should probably stay 
the hell away from that movie]

… & when creating new type
faces the & character 
allows designers to inject 
a little joie de vivre & artistic 
flair into proceedings

… not to mention some quite nice 
poets really love it & if that’s not
a cause for celebration — then there isn’t one

*the thorn and the wynn are also members of the Former Members Of The Alphabet Club
but sadly we don’t have time (in this pome) to learn what led to their demises

2 Bob’s worth: a bonus poem

i. Jerk Bob
that old bundle of chuckles 
the joy-killing chump
Robert Hartwell Fiske 
in his dreary, dull AND utterly unreadable 
Dictionary of Unendurable English: 
A Compendium of Mistakes in Grammar, 
Usage, and Spelling with Commentary 
on Lexicographers and Linguists 

believes ampersands should only exist 
in proper names, business names, 
book titles, and the like
never in place of the word and

he further opines:
aside from the hurried, the only 
people inclined to use & in place of and 
are those who have scant sense of self 
and scant sense of style, 
and believe using & 
somehow swells them both.

ii. Lovely Bob
Robert Nares in his far more charming
highly erudite & intellectual work
A Glossary; or, Collection of words, 
phrases, names, and allusions to customs, 
proverbs, etc., which have been thought 
to require illustration in the works 
of English authors, particularly Shakespeare 
and his contemporaries. Vol. I. A new ed., 
with considerable additions 
both of words and examples 

believes the ampersand’s calligraphic qualities 
make it a compelling design element 
that can add visual appeal & personality to any page.

So go suck on them eggs Mr Hartwell Fiske

Day 14 — double loss

For someone who loves this myth, I’m really struggling for quality content. Wondering if I should abandon it for something different for last half of the month. The Poetic Factoids, however, remain a treat to create.

lost with, out haven

since : losing, you twice : in, two worlds : one green, light : one shadow, mist : find myself : lost : always, wandering : looking for a, home : that, never approaches : heart : out, of land : out of, hope : out, of, tune : every moment : miss you : more, than human heart : should : or can : this side, madness

Day 14 – TIL how deeply brain & body are connected


when your “inner voice” 
whispers wisdom deep within
the wetness of your brain
tiny muscle motions 
trigger in your larynx

no wonder i suffer
so many sore throats
after my multiple personalities
have had their say on
every conceivable topic

the muscular cacophony 
leaves my chords, exhausted

Day 26 — stream of consciousness poem

I wrote this (well the first draft of it) dictating it into my phone as I lay in bed about 3am this morning, unable to sleep. I was just trying to record some ideas that have been roiling round in me for much of the past fortnight (possibly longer). Sure, I’ll be glad when April is over, but I gotta say it’s been hella good therapy. 

When I looked at it again around 7am, I realised it made a dreamy kind of poetic sense so instead of ripping phrases out & assembling them, I thought I’d try a different poetic technique & go with the flow. This consisted mainly of tidying up the times I had to repeat myself cos it didn’t understand what I was saying & deciphering some of the VRS’s quirkier interpretations. Adding a phrase or two here & there, but really very little.

When I read it again at 11pm in preparation to post it, I cried. (But then I always have been a bit of a sook!)


dream of consciousness

we spoke with such softness and hope … of a life we might live together … we felt like everything was coming together the way it was meant … the way it should’ve done years ago … years and years ago … where all those missed opportunities finally reached fruition … like flowers being born … after long years in dry ground … waiting for the rains … of being fully awake … fully alive … at last … we discussed living together … we discussed weddings … we discussed babies … we discussed beliefs … talk of souls and eternities … re-discussed lives together … loves together … lives passed … lives present … we really did wonder if we’d known each other before … been together before … as if some web connected us through time … and space … the dark matter mattered … and for a few months it felt like everything we did … tapped into that magic stream … we appreciated everything … it was all wondrous and wonder full … the connection … the constant need to be in contact … the thousands and thousands of text messages … over 7000 last time you counted … sure about 6500 were from me to you … but still … along with hundreds of photos and videos … little snippets of where we were … what we were doing … random thoughts … random things … tiny silly things … things that made us smile … made us happy … things we thought we’d do together one-day … road trips that we go on … places we’d visit … things we’d write … plays we’d be remembered for … play time 

the hardest thing is … you took away the fear in my heart … filled it with joy and laughter and hope … and now going back to what it was … is worse than it never filling in the first place … but I think I get it … seems now you only were ever half-present half-engaged half-involved half-accepting half-believing half-wanting … half of where I was … I know that’s a lot of halves

you say you don’t believe in fairytales … that life isn’t a fairytale … but it could’ve been … and more … could’ve been better than that … we had all the ingredients … we had the potential the promise the prospect … the energy of fire … the connection (again with that word) … the buzz … the celestial bees buzzed right through us … through me anyhow … when I’m brave enough … to look back through some of the photos … or god forbid … read some of the messages … we sent to each other … I still can’t understand why … why you didn’t want this

why … you didn’t at least want to try