Cumulonimbus (18 of 30)

(dedicated to Prince Roger Nelson)

I could give 23 reasons
why I long for one-night stands
and the purple sky exonerates
as the world is malevolent,
scattering a dandelion far-off
from the ground in which it grew,
latching onto soil and rooftops,
hope and inspiration;
becoming a delicate, unique being
becoming something amazing
becoming a relevant little thing
waiting for precise temperatures,
with the right clouds
sacrificing its purple rain
to saturate a soul,
Enough sun to evolve
as the doves cry no more.

[This is #18 of 30 poems written by Stephen Earley Jordan II  for a National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo). The object is to write one poem per day.]

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Personal Space (17 of 30)

The forest conceals truths.
The canopy blocks sun from intruding
personal space;
and the air from freedom.
I soak with sweat
stinging my sliced arms
from razor grass.
My Army Navy Surplus canteen
is almost empty
but I continue
along trails
and off trails
and finding other trails
slipping on moss-covered rocks,
regaining balance after
stutter steps.
I walk for hours
considering
if I should really take my life.

But I can’t get my mind off of you.

[This is #16 of 30 poems written by Stephen Earley Jordan II  for a National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo). The object is to write one poem per day.]

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Muerto (16 of 30)

(SIDEBAR: Yes, I fell behind with writing one per day. . . )

The water is a Swarovski,
and intolerably exquisite.
I choose not to touch it.
I’d rather watch it.
I’d rather sit close to it,
feel the spritz of it
on my arms and face;
pull back my head,
close my eyes
and smile
toward the marshmallow clouds
as the exhaustive sun
puts me to sleep
with a forehead kiss,
only to nudge me awake
when I become too red or too brown;
and too parched
and too thankful for you
and for life.

 

 

 

[This is #16 of 30 poems written by Stephen Earley Jordan II  for a National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo). The object is to write one poem per day.]

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A Night Out [I and II] (14/15 of 30)

I.
Dance beats,
pour some rhythm
down my throat,
Intoxicate my mind
with forbidden melodies
that gyrate remedies
for my loneliness that never leaves
and I’m left thinking of you
and I loved you–
We masturbated with opposite hands
like monkeys to unbalance
our minds and bodies;
while mouths and hands attempted to please
but could not.
I was never right for you.

II.
Yellowcab,
bring the morning,
the sun rays, the busy streets,
and a stranger for a one-night stand.
I run from the night,
so please carry me
like a bag of groceries
in an overstuffed plastic bag,
smothering.
Suffocate me
in your home
because mine is so unpleasant
and life must begin somewhere else
other than here;
lull me to sleep
with a firm grip
and wake me
with headlights and a cabfare
when we are there.
I will remember nothing
but your name.

 

[This is #14 and #15 of 30 poems written by Stephen Earley Jordan II  for a National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo). The object is to write one poem per day.]

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El Yunque Hike (13 of 30)

I saw nothing
and nothing happened.

I anticipated seeing chimpanzees
swinging from trees,
rhythmically as they belched
indistinguishable and intimidating grunts;
I assumed I would see multicolored parrots
swooping high over our heads
as hard, refreshing rain massaged our bodies,
keeping us composed
and soon run for shelter
under a canopy of palm trees.

El Yunque was still,
and the sun mocked us
as we hiked.
“No one can know,” he demanded.
“Know what?” I asked.
  “You know why you are here.”
His Levis 511 unzipped.
He leaned against the moss-covered tree
with teeny snails climbing the moist bark.
          “You know what to do or you won’t make it back down the mountain.”

We made it back down the mountain.
We stopped for dinner in Luquillo
along the beach
waiting for the food to digest
and for words to come
as nothing became nothingness and
the ocean air disturbed no more.

 

[This is #13 of 30 poems written by Stephen Earley Jordan II  for a National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo). The object is to write one poem per day.]

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Loose Ends (12 of 30)

Winter sucks away this life from me.
You draw me closer, just to try to fuck with me.
Stop correcting my words, when you’re worse than me.
Let me walk away because things are not what they seem.
Let me pinch you to prove I’m in your dreams.

Everything feels real when you have no control.
I’ll put you in stirrups and open your hole.
I’ll call my friends, and my other friends’ friends
To come over to tie up loose ends.
And you won’t forget me!

Summer is never good, because you make me sweat.
You want me to stay, but I’m still dead set
I have to leave you, even if you forbid
and lock the door, but it’s you with regrets
when you open your eyelids.
Don’t forget my name, I’m like a bad debt
Building up a list of your useless threats.
Everything feels real when you have no control.
I’ll put you in stirrups and open your hole
I’ll call my friends, and my friends’ friends
To come over to tie up loose ends.
And you won’t forget me!

 

 

 

[This is #12 of 30 poems written by Stephen Earley Jordan II  for a National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo). The object is to write one poem per day.]

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Mixed Media (11 of 30)

(forgot to press the Publish button yesterday. So this one is a day late)

I used
acrylic paint,
two small mirrors
adhered to the 12×12 canvas
and pubic hair
embedded in cadmium yellow
and raw umber and burn sienna.
She touched the artwork.
Can I touch it?  What is this? It feels weird.
It’s pubic hair.
You’re weird. Fucking weird.
She asked, What does it mean?
What does it mean? she asked.
You’re still fucking weird,
why would you create this, she asked?
I don’t get it, she said.
I mean, are those your pubic hairs?
Did you cut them off yourself?
So what does it mean?
I just don’t get it.
You can tell me.
I need to go wash my hands
this is disgusting.

 

[This is #11 of 30 poems written by Stephen Earley Jordan II  for a National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo). The object is to write one poem per day.]

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You Should Have Been a Serial Killer (10 of 30)

You should have been
a serial killer
with the ways you stalked me
like herpes at prom,
disappearing like Houdini,
reappearing from nothingness.
I was never impressed.
I needed you to go. Get gone.

You should have been
a doctor
with your callous demeanor
and frigid hands,
diagnosing me as mad
when my marbles never spilled.
I kept quiet to remain sane.
I needed you to go. Get gone.

You should have been a fireman,
always late coming,
if at all,
trying to stop my fire,
when the neighbor already extinguished it.
I needed you to go. Get gone.

[This is #10 of 30 poems written by Stephen Earley Jordan II  for a National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo). The object is to write one poem per day.]

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Anschluss (8 of 30)

Fanatical man–
Blood on concrete remains here.
Raise your flag. Fly high.

 

[This is #8 of 30 poems written by Stephen Earley Jordan II  for a National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo). The object is to write one poem per day.]

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Poetry and That Dark Place

My old license plate read: POET.

Driving around was always a pleasure–everyone would speak with me at traffic lights and say they were supposedly a poet, too; or, could I recite a poem to them (as if I always had one prepared to recite). It was quite humorous and a great conversation starter.

I’ve always considered myself a poet before anything else. Poetry came to me with ease. By the time I graduated from high school, I lost count of how many times I had a poem published. But I estimate it at 30+.  Poetry was my therapy. I could emote. I could manipulate words in such a way that something normally disturbing would turn beautiful. Writing poetry was like completing a jigsaw puzzle–it took time, yet brought a sense of pride once completed.

As many young poets, my poetry started as cryptic confessionals, seeking acknowledgement or to fulfill a void from my childhood angst.

It was my voice and just as obscure as I was at the time. But it was good. I was good. Writing was the only thing that I was confident about. There were many other friends I associated with at the time who were poets, good poets, probably as good or better than I was at the time. But I had the drive. It was a hobby for them. And, for me, I saw it as a vehicle for a career and it was simply a way to have cheap therapy.

Everything I learned, I learned from Sylvia Plath.

Plath, too, was confessional and raw with her words. She was refreshingly unapologetic. She made it okay to say “fuck” in a poem if it were needed; and she made it okay to damn those around you, even supposed loved ones. She made it okay for me to be me and give zero fucks. She made it okay to reflect on my life and express it with twisted art. And, many years later, I’m remembering this.

Yes. I forgot how she caused me to reflect and take myself to this dark place that, at times, I couldn’t get out of. Poetry was therapy, but I also needed therapy from poetry.

It’s been a while since I’ve written a poem. However, I’ve written tons of short stories, also poetic in their own way–but not really poems. Poetry is different. During National Poetry Writing Month, I’ve attempted to write one poem per day for 30 days. As such, it’s been difficult; not difficult because I forgot how to write poetry or because I simply have nothing to say, but rather because I can’t write happy or general poems. Poetry to me is reminiscent of something personal, something attached, and something not pleasing. I have a process for poetry writing that I dare not share. But I will mention, I have to bring myself to that dark place–the place we try to avoid. And I forgot how difficult it is to get out of that place–the doors lock on me and I work for days or weeks to get out. I forgot how lonely it is there. I forgot that it’s a place that gave me solace and gave me fear, alike. It’s a place from which I’ve grown away, yet I can still appreciate. It’s a place that was dedicated to me and helped me grow in so many ways.

So as a writer I, too, must dedicate time in this dark place to grow and to express. I should not let it be years that pass before I write a poem. It should be on a regular basis. I must also appreciate this dark place; this place in which my thoughts are examined and creatively immortalized onto a page.

 

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