Day 5 Postcard Poem: FAIL

Alright, I admit it, I didn’t sent out a postcard today.  I’m still working on the poem, which was going to be based on Donato Creti’s The Education of Achilles by Chiron, but it just wasn’t coming.  

I think the problem is I don’t really dig Achilles.   He had a bad attitude and a bum heel, big whoop.   Chiron is much more interesting, being a tender but strong Centaur whose interests include medicine and astrology.  So I mostly wrote about him, but the poem has too many abstract words in it.  It’s just not gelling.  

And I would just choose another image and try to throw a new poem together, but I’ve already written the name and address of the person I was to send it to, plus stamped it.  So I’m a little bit stuck.  Chris is at his club this evening, so I plan to work on the poem some more.  Perhaps the silence will help.

So I had been thinking that no one was sending me poems for APPF.  But today when I checked the mail, not only were there 4 postcards, there were about 400 bills, magazines, and ads.  Clearly, the USPS just hadn’t been in the mood to deliver my mail.  

These are the authors and titles of the poems I’ve received:

  • Josie Emmons Turner, “Ella vive”
  • Andrea Bates, “Last Chair of Summer”
  • Russ Golata, “Ambient”
  • Someone who didn’t put her name, “I am 3 years now past you” (which was really the first line of the poem)

I tried doing some detective work on the anonymous poem, by looking at the master list and counting back several days, but of course the postmark on the card (which was kind of fun because she handmade by gluing pictures from a magazine on an index card) is blurred.

You can’t beat 4 pieces of personal mail in one day, but I think I’d rather have it spread out over 4 days just the same.  It’s hard to take it all in.

In other news, I sent off a chapbook today (not the one I mentioned the other day where I wanted to put together “left over” poems)–this is the sixth press I’m sending it to.   What was really nice about this press was that it only had a $10 fee–which is practically a gift.   We’ll see.  I also sent a submission out to a couple of journals.  Hopefully, something good will happen.

Alright, I’ve put off writing my poem long enough.  I didn’t forget you, Chiron, I promise.  I was just temporarily avoiding you.


For better or for worse, I’ve finished it.  “Horse Sense” still has a lot of abstract language in it, which I hope can be improved when I bring it to the DYPS (my writing group), but the postcard will go out in tomorrow’s mail as is.  I don’t think the poem is terrible, and as I said, the last line is very good.  The one thing I couldn’t do on the postcard was space the lines in couplets–I can only fit 16 lines on a postcard printing in teeny-tiny handwriting, so the spacing had to go. 

On Prose Poems

I was reading Christine Swint’s blog; she had posted her Day 6 Poem of the APPF, and I marvel at how she responds both to a poem she read by Lucia Perillo and takes ideas and creates a wonderful new prose poem about, as she says, “crows, sort of about women and what they wear.”  

In the poem, the blackness of crows comes in “black jeans and a sooty vest” and in “shoe-polish” hued hair.  Black is fashion and danger; crows themselves are often considered harbingers of death in mythology, and they eat carrion.

And twice the word “murder” appears in Christine’s poem,  which is interesting because it highlights the connection between death and crows, but it is also characterized as belonging to “her,” the female “crow” on the poem.  Is this crow a victim, or has she committed murder?   But she is not dead–indeed this crow “dances the Merengue with the others.”  

Christine’s poem is wonderful and strange, which to me is always the hallmark of a strong prose poem–a form that is completely mysterious to me.   I’ve tried writing prose poems.  They are, like my attempts at fiction, not to be borne.  And yet I am drawn to them–prose poems will usually quickly find a home in Chickenpinata (although we haven’t received many of them).  I probably ought to read some books about them as a form and educate myself. 

I’m not really sure why I like them–except, I wonder if it has to do with the fact that they are generally chock full of things–it’s a little bit harder to be abstract, I think, when you are writing a kind of paragraph of words that all have to be poetic.  I really admire those, like Christine, who can write them well.  You should all check her blog and read “This Crow is Not a Fashion Model.”

Speaking of the APPF, I sent off my Day 3.  I realize, when I mentioned in an early blog post about a “starter poem,” that was really Day 1.  So instead of having written 4 poems by today, I’ve only written 3.  That’s ok, as long as I come up with something for tomorrow.

I bought this postcard book called Hidden Love:  Art and Homosexuality, which has some really amazing art prints in it, and which I’ve decided will comprise the majority of the postcards I send.  (Some pictures are basically crotch shots of male genitalia, which is less impressive, and actually I worry that I could even send them in the mail–with my luck, they’d be flagged for pornography.)

But the poem I want to write for tomorrow is based on the painting Apollo and Cyparissus by Claude -Marie Dubufe (1790-1864).  If I’d been thinking, I would have written down the titles of the art on the two other postcards I’ve already sent, but alas and alack.  Anyway, I’ll keep up with it now.

I still haven’t received any postcards yet, but then when it comes to the USPS, I am cursed, so I won’t start worrying that I’ve been forgotten by other Poetry Postcard people until Friday.

So far, here are the titles of the poems I’ve sent:

8/1  “Folk Tale”

8/2  “Garden Variety”

8/3  “Competition”