Fat News

Na PoWriMo DAY SEVEN 7 April 2020


I wonder: could this story be true?

Cocaine hippos (a late drug lord

ordered a twosome imported to his estate)

through their progeny, it seems,

might in time change Colombia’s fate,

(ruled by drug trade, besieged by crime)

redeem the country’s ecosystem.


I once strolled through Medellin,

cocaine capital of the world. Met

no hippopotamus, but a woman, fat,

silver-haired, her dress night-blue,

stopped me, whispered:

“quitate el reloj, hijita”,

take off your watch and bracelet too,

or they’ll chop off your hand–

saving grace in a foreign

land from a random, corpulent stranger,

without a prayer to Santa Rita.


Caesar Augustus knew it, said:

(if I remember right) “Let me have fat men,

round-headed and that sleep o’night”.

His pious wish, not trite, too late,

lean Brutus murdered him.


Botero knows it: his sculptured women

flashing luscious hips, fleshy thighs,

his mighty, massively soft-muscled men

carved from alabaster or black stone,

turned crime-riddled Medellin

into a cultural, peaceable town. 


Clearly there’s kinship with cocaine hippos,

humongous, free-ranging, meaty chunks,

akin to preextinction species, claimed

to bring unnamed paleoecological change.


The people of Tonga demanded

their king’s worthiness weighed–

an exorbitant number of pounds

round evidence of royalty.


What is it about fat bodies

that dubs them a saving grace?

Skin hugging bones rhymes

with scant health, advancing age,


plumpness is reassuring,

adipose tissue a sign of wealth,

palpable, breathing, alive,

solid corporality, sign of abundance,

imparts power of physical presence.


Presently, tonight, a royal full moon,

fat, rose-colored, round,

invites to contemplate, revere–

I’ll go outside, soon it won’t be there.



Garden of Earthly Delights?

NaPoWriMo DAY SIX  6 April 2020


Garden of Earthly Delights?

A horror movie, a whole batch, sync failed,

spewed out helter-skelter

over several channels at once

multiple commercials, no glass sponge,

eyes assailed by mass of nude bodies.

Frolicking? Writhing! Crude, pallid flesh

stench of rot, despair, decay,

a mesh of figures just emerged from

bizarre sarcophagi

after multiple variants of death


threats from a TV screen in a

doctor’s waiting room touting drugs

of ills tailgated by more ailments

inherently provoked, astounding

innovative trick modeled after interest

compounding potentials of sickness

best fed to trusting eyes and ears

one more variety of leviathan

human imagination engineers


how to withstand the onslaught

like more passengers perforce pushed

 into a rush-hour Tokyo metro train

wrought by others’ close bodily presence

though not naked yet impinges on the senses

touch, smell, try to shut off in vain,   

repulsion, overwhelm, fatigue fraught

with anger, anguish, calling to mind how

Earth must feel about us humans

spilling all over her with drills and ploughs

pouring concrete, storing trash, burying weapons,

poison in her entrails, pillaging  

her treasures, gems, silver, gold

we slice her open, dig, tunnel, rape


Earth begged for an ally, one to break

the news: enough is enough!

Earth found a way to snuff us out easy

fast, efficient, indiscriminate

now we’re all equal, chance one last

dance before the menace of dread

meanwhile chaos, struggle to survive

forget to thrive, merely breathe, breathe,

hope friends will bring water, bread


survive like a tree forever rooted

unable to escape from its single place

exposed, vulnerable, powerless, muted

kept alive how? by earth and sky’s

rain-showers, snow, sunlight, grace


no living green trees in the

teeming garden of earthly delights

mere masses of nudes scheming

multiple composite freaks


one exception: a gizmo, oblique

birds line up, flutter, perch there


swarm together, rise into the sky

show how to apply earthly living

swallows of soul build a nest of joy

sparrows remind of daily giving

robins sing of kindness, love

owls of philosophy see in the dark

eagle’s wings carry spirit’s sparks


all are delighted to visit a solitary tree










Fairytale State of the Union

Living Lives

April 11, 2018
Good morning, everyone! I hope you’re ready for another fine day of poetry writing.

Our (optional, as always) prompt for the day is taken from one of the prompts that Kwoya Fagin Maples suggests in here interview: a poem that addresses the future, answering the questions “What does y(our) future provide? What is your future state of mind? If you are a citizen of the “union” that is your body, what is your future “state of the union” address?”
Happy writing!

Fairytale State of the Union

my State of the Union?
oh, it’s a story
about an apple-tree a goose

a sapling once a blossom
white pink-rimmed
innocent silken radiant
cheers angst-ridden
air-raid shelter crowd

petals fall to the ground
or squashed in greedy hand
pressed for keeps yellowed pages
some old book
“A battle for…” Rome?

refugee kid learns
be attentive danger

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Sound Salesmen

Living Lives

On April 23, 2018
Hello, everyone! It’s hard to believe, but there’s just one week left to go in this year’s Na/GloPoWriMo.

And now for today’s (optional) prompt! Kate Greenstreet’s poetry is spare, but gives a very palpable sense of being spoken aloud – it reads like spoken language sounds. In our interview with her, she underscores this, stating that “when you hear it, you write it down.” Today, we challenge you to honor this idea with a poem based in sound. The poem, for example, could incorporate overheard language. Perhaps it could incorporate a song lyric in some way, or language from something often heard spoken aloud (a prayer, a pledge, the Girl Scout motto). Or you could use a regional or local phrase from your hometown that you don’t hear elsewhere, e.g. “that boy won’t amount to a pinch.”
Happy writing!

Sound Salesmen

solo salesman

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