Archive for: ‘April 2009’

I’m Trapped In Iambic Pentameter

April 30, 2009

So both 13 and 15 are studying Shakespeare in school; 13 is watching a production of Romeo & Juliet on Friday, and 15 had to write her own sonnet. 

As a result, two things: the feverish Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo has overtaken my house, and all my thinking is currently done exclusively in iambic pentameter. I don't know if you've had this experience, but iambic pentameter, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and onion dip, is hard to shake. 

So, as part of my farewell to this, the last day of National Poetry Month, I give you my ode to iambic pentameter, with the correct syllabic count (10) & lines (14) and rhyme scheme (ababcdcdefefgg) but with plenty of cheating on my syllable stress… 

I’m trapped in iambic pentameter,

in the fourteen line sonnet my jail.

It all sounds just the same when I pratter,

when I speak sigh laugh cry whisper or wail.

It’s kind of like being a teenager,

so curfewed in my labs papers and school;

to think that I could find a new meter,

when all that I now have fits this one rule.

But when syllabic prison is the past

for me and every word and thought is free,

there’s only one sentence I want to last:

iamb iamb iamb iamb I’m me.

Sonnets and parents and rhyming and rules,

have little meaning when spoken by fools.

Now you know what the inside of my head looks like. Or at least,the syllabic parameters lining my brain like grocery aisles…

I'd love to see yours!  

Rebel Yell, 19th Century Style

April 29, 2009



I'm ceded–I've stopped being Theirs–
The name They dropped upon my face
With water, in the country church
Is finished using, now,
And They can put it with my Dolls,
My childhood, and the string of spools,
I've finished threading–too–

Baptized, before, without the choice,
But this time, consciously, of Grace–
Unto supremest name–
Called to my full–The Crescent dropped–
Existence's whole Arc, filled up,
With one small Diadem.

My second Rank–too small the first–
Crowned–Crowning–on my Father's breast–
A half unconscious Queen–
But this time–Adequate–Erect,
With Will to choose, or to reject,
And I choose–just a Crown–


Emily Dickinson's poetry doesn't have titles, was largely unpublished in her lifetime, and barely used punctuation. The dating is approximate. She was a wild, crazy, truly weird modernist in her day, and I have come to think of her as one of the original YA poets.

Here's my take: 

I'm done with the name you dropped on my face yo, so you can stick it with my dolls, and hey, while you're at it, that baptism you didn't consult me about, either. And now that you mention it, I'm done with the rank you've given me, and I'm giving myself a new one. And I choose oh yeah a crown, so whatevs you had planned for me, drop it on your own face suckas…

Anyways. I memorized that poem at Amherst, when I was somehow studying Dickinson, whose house was on campus, while in my army pants and batik shirt phase. It meant something at the time, and it still does. 

So long, National Poetry Month. In the immortal words of some guy I can't recall: 

There's no money in poetry. But there's no poetry in money, either…

Check out the Emily Dickinson House for more kicks. here


<photo credits: Amherst College Archives & Special Collections, go Lord Jeffs!>

Library Day

April 28, 2009

Kam and I have been trading the draft back and forth, and I have been the indentured slave of the last few days. This is what my day looked like:


That's the view out one side of my little library cubicle. Here's the view out the other:


Most of the day I had my enormous dj earphones on. That is how the process works. This place. These windows. Those earphones. This laptop I am typing on right now. The Diet Coke I halfway finished. The smelly guy around the corner. 

There you have it. No magic. Just caffeine, sweat, and the Santa Monica Library. And time. Which is why this is the only post you'll get from me today. 

Back to work!

Haunting, Another Poem Unpublished – by 7 (my youngest daughter)

April 26, 2009



Laugh a haunting laugh,
Smile a haunting smile,
Use a wherewolf 
To calculate a mile.

And if you do so now,
Be sure to go to Juvenile,
For if you did that years ago 
You'd be there for a while.

I think she's got a future writing supernatural, what do you think?

In a furious burst of creative energy, she wrote and illustrated 19 poems today and so I made her a blog of her own. <"What about my profile? I've always wanted to write my About Me profile!"> 

So, I've linked it to my site, as I promised I would, and here is 7's brush with fame and glory; without further ado, I give you her blog: BLUE SUN POETRY

"Will I be famous?"
"Of course." :)