National Poetry Writing Month, Day #10

Today’s prompt is to write a ‘book spine’ poem. This involves writing a poem using the titles of books on your bookshelf. My poem neatly divided itself into sections, based on where my books are shelved. Instead of numbering these sections, I have labelled them according to their approximate (relative) compass points. The book titles I used are listed in the tags.

Hailstones and halibut bones
become trophies
lost in the spaces between thought and expression

or a fire in the forest

Through a quiet window
the endless talking drones on and on…

Now and then, fragments of an hourglass museum
poke out from the accumulated sand
a detail overlooked in The Book of David

as is the rise and fall of plastics

Hypergraphia is the disorder

the 25 paintings are but symptoms

The Curfew Tower is many things
17, 45, even 100

glowing enigmas, the lot of them—
or fond affexions, depending on who you ask

or ragworts
growing out of control

Wayward stains
coffee stains

Rip it up and start again
falling in love with picking myself up

But a poet’s glossary
explains none of these things

nor does the life-changing magic
of not giving a fuck

and a poem a day
cannot help

colorless Tsukuru Tazaki
and his years of pilgrimage

The girl in a band
still asks: are you serious?

Up front
an ember glance
from the passionate eye

Sons of pioneers
scream against the sky

this ain’t no disco
so there are reasons to be cheerful

Through the looking glass
come perspectives
and the wisdom of insecurity

The imperfect document

is a by-product of journalism

My refusal to remain invisible
helps alleviate the separation anxiety

because quiet on the outside
does not necessarily mean quiet on the inside

(9 April 2016—posted April 10th)



  1. “Hailstones and halibut bones” is just a fantastic poetical phrase, in and of itself.
    Love this.

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