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Impromptu

IMPROMPTU

 

By A. Jarrell Hayes

 

 

Shakespir Edition. Copyright © 2009 by A. Jarrell Hayes

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

Written during a poem-a-day challenge for National Poetry Month in April 2009. Prompts are in parenthesis.

 

 

April 1 (Origin Poem)

THE ORIGIN OF ORIGIN

 

O decided to make a word, so he called

R and told her to bring a friend. She chose

I, but I couldn’t go. So I let

G know about the event, and he said

I should ditch any other engagement with

N; but I decided to bring them both along instead.

 

And that’s how we got the word ORIGIN.

 

April 2 (Outsider Poem)

SUMMER OF 17

 

I hope I didn’t look too suspicious

Standing in line with eyes pacing

Like a panther caged in a zoo.

It didn’t matter; by the time I got

To the front of the line

And handed my I.D.

To the bouncer,

I knew I was finished.

He took one swift look

At the plastic card,

And then me, and sent me

Scattering to the four winds

With a series of curse words.

Seventeen is such a useless age.

 

April 3 (“The Problem with [Blank]”)

 

THE PROBLEM WITH PROBLEMS

 

I had a problem,

I tried to solve

Knowing it’ll never dissolve.

I could have study Holmes,

And if I did so long enough

I could have discovered the solution

Was elementary.

However, I don’t have the patience

For that. I’m pretty much lazy.

Yup, that’s it.

Whoever said

“Knowing is half the battle”

Needs to divulge

The nature of the other half.

 

April 4 (Animal)

ODE TO HAPPY FEET

 

Keep on dancing,

Because you can’t sing.

Keep on dancing,

Because joy is what you’ll bring,

With those happy feet.

 

April 5 (Poem About a Landmark)

FORT MCHENRY

 

I sit on the cannon

That sits on the hill

Overlooking a bay

With water as dirty

As history,

Polluted with industry.

Then I close my eyes

And my poetic mind

Leaves me

To travel onto the sea

And stand aboard

The deck of the

Nearest clipper.

I open my eyes

And stare back at

The other me.

Only, I’m not looking at me,

But behind me

At the flag that still stands.

 

April 6 (Something Missing)

THE MISSING PART

 

I never knew it was missing

Until I held it in my hands,

Like vodka in my mouth,

For that brief moment.

Then . . . it was gone,

As if I had swallowed

The vodka with no chaser.

Memories of our

Joining are like

Rusty knives:

Stabbing and lacerating;

Leaving trails of rust outside,

While infecting with disease inside.

 

April 7 (Clean or Dirty Poem)

 

UNTITLED

What the hell is this?

That comma is out of place;

And you call yourself a writer?

You are such a disgrace.

 

Your spelling is a joke,

Your grammar even worse.

Your imagination is lacking.

You are simply a curse!

 

Out of my sight,

Until you clean up your act.

You will never get far

With writing like that!

 

April 8 (Poem About Routines)

PUTTING ON PANTS

 

Smell pants for freshness.

Left leg in, left foot comes out.

Repeat for the right.

 

April 9 (Poem About a Memory)

 

COMMENCEMENT DAY

 

My final chance

To make myself known.

A jig and a dance

To call my own.

I’ll take the plaque,

But I won’t shake your hand.

I sat too long in the back:

Now as a graduate I stand.

 

April 10 (Poem About Friday)

RETAIL WORKER

 

Most people love Fridays,

But I hate them.

That’s the day

When the most jerks

Decide they want

To try on dresses.

Sure, the commission is great,

But those stuck-up bitches,

With their husbands’

Platinum cards,

Carrying filthy

Diamond-collared dogs

And fancy cell phones,

Don’t realize how difficult

It is to bite ones tongue

When being berated

By someone without talent

And whose only skill

Is her ability to spend

Other people’s money.

Doesn’t that heifer realize

The store is closing,

And I, too, have a life

To attend to?

Maybe I have plans

For tonight

Beyond peddling

Evening gowns

Until 10 p.m.

 

April 11 (Poem About an Object or Objects)

CUP HAIKU

 

There’s nothing special

About the cup, until it

Is filled with liquid.

 

April 12 (Poem with the Title: “So We Decided to [Blank]”)

SO WE DECIDED TO KEEP IT

 

The ragged thing kept staring

At me with blank, beady eyes.

My boyfriend turned his head away

In disgust, and I cried.

I cried because it looked

So pitiful and helpless;

As if its existence depended

Upon our acceptance.

But how could we appreciate

This . . . thing that appeared

One day, as if by magic,

Upon our doorstep?

We didn’t plan for this,

And we could easily toss

It back out into the world.

But that would make us heartless.

We didn’t want to be heartless.

In order to sooth

Our guilty conscious,

We decided to keep it.

 

April 13 (Poems About Hobbies)

DISCIPLINE

 

The discipline required

To master the art

Of waking at 5 a.m.

Is part of the training.

 

The other part is forcing

Your mind to suck it up,

Endure the burning calves

And sore ankles.

 

The final part is telling the body

That the mind was right.

 

April 14 (Love or Anti-Love Poem)

THE DEAD SIDE OF LOVE

 

I carefully lay you down

On the table,

Not wanting to damage

Your delicate flesh.

I caress the curves

Of your body,

Tracing your story

And how you came to me.

Your smile is written

On every inch;

The DNA of your happiness.

Allow me to return you

To your former glory

When you lay,

Beautifully and loved,

Amidst the tears

Of family and friends.

 

April 15 (Rename Title of Favorite Poem)

THE RAP SONG OF J. ALFRED PRUFROCK

 

Get down on it!

I spit that hot shit.

I’m the man

Your lady wants to get wit’.

I’ve been doing this

For way too long

To come out

With a weak ass song.

Forget Michelangelo;

I’m the big Mandingo!

But I digress.

Let me get up

In your dress

And show you why

Prufrock is the best!

 

Peace, and I’m out!

(Original title “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot)

 

April 16 (Poem About Your Favorite Color)

 

BLACK

 

You’re not even a color:

Just a shade,

A shadow of hue.

You absorb all the light

From the world

Into your being,

And defecate

What cannot

Be digested.

 

April 17 (Poem with the title “All I Want Is [Blank]”)

ALL I WANT IS . . .

 

All I want is . . .

Because . . . will bring

The best out of me.

 

. . . will cause my sorrows

To dissipate, because . . .

Is what I dreamed I would be

When I was a child.

 

Or maybe . . . is what

I thought I’d find.

How ironic that I don’t

Even know what . . . is.

 

April 18 (Poem with an Interaction)

UNTITLED

 

The journey never ends,

Because the wind never dies.

Feathers and wings pretend

Not to hear its cries.

 

Song of wild tornadoes

Echoes from beaked mouth:

“The land of Barbados

Lies warmly to the south.”

 

“Climb aboard my back

And I shall be your guide,”

Answered the wind to the black

Crow sitting at its side.

 

The unilateral partnership

Between nature and bird,

Reminds me of the friendship

Between poet and word.

 

April 19 (Angry Poem)

UNTITLED

 

I sit in the Halls of Congress,

My glass trembling in my hand.

I sip it slowly, hoping the cool

Crisp liquid will calm

The bubbling lake of brimstone

That once was my stomach.

 

The mere thought of the purpose

Of my presence before

Mighty lawmakers,

Who wear suits made

From the Constitution

Tailored by the founding fathers,

Causes me to lose sight

Of my speech.

 

The words I use to address

This gathering of patriots

Are not the ones I’ve written,

But are the grumbling

Of the earth they tread upon.

 

April 20 (Rebirth Poem)

 

RELEASE

 

The dead shall rise again

And the captive set free.

That Bible verse

Kept him hungry

With an appetite

The mess hall scraps

Could never sate.

Manacles and bars

Reminded him everyday

Of his mistakes.

The outside world

Doesn’t laugh at him,

Nor does it scorn him;

He is simply forgotten.

Ever since he vanished

From public life,

From their rose-tinted eyes,

He’s been less than

A Nobody,

Becoming a Never Was.

But when he reemerges

Back onto the perfume field

He’ll transform one more time,

And embrace his new life

As an ex-con.

 

April 21 (Haiku)

 

UNTITLED

 

dead leaves of autumn

lovingly drift down to earth

covering corpses

 

April 22 (Work)

 

HABITAT FOR MANKIND

 

The plane ride

Was the longest

Of my life.

Maybe because

I could barely contain

Lightning bugs

In this little jar.

And when the plane landed,

I knew I was in for hard work.

The wreckage provided

Enough lumber for the task,

But we required fresh trees,

Newly separated from life,

To rebuild with.

It only seemed right.

It only seemed just

To tear down one habitat

To build another.

 

April 23 (Regret)

 

MATING DANCE

 

One misspoken word:

Insert foot into mouth.

Lost chance;

First impression

Left lazily

Dancing on the floor.

Not very graceful

In movement

Or in sound.

Keep dancing,

Far away,

Sloppy drink in hand,

Towards your next victim.

 

April 24: (Travel)

KILOS

 

long windowless seat

boxed in conditions

plastic shield

tumbling joys

shifting sorrows

hidden, sought,

persecuted

sold = use

found = death

hand over hand,

abuser to abuser

pink boats sailing

on yellow seas.

 

April 25 (Event)

LABOR DAY

 

First Monday in September,

Last day of summer;

Nighttime awakens

Incubated soul.

Pain, sobering

And divine,

Gives strength

To the unborn,

Saps strength

Of onlookers,

But strengthens

The one who toils.

She siphons courage

From the power of

Eve’s lineage;

And gives birth

To a little Adam

Or a tiny Lilith.

 

April 26 (Miscommunication)

CLOSED SET

 

The event itself wasn’t bad;

Though there was violence

And screaming

And blood flying.

But it was a film,

And what was bad

Was when the cops arrived

And broke up the shot.

 

April 27 (Longing)

 

KITTY BLUES

 

Sitting on the desk,

After sneaking passed

A giant to get inside.

The reward was well worth

The risk of

Being lifted from the ground

And carried to the exit.

Eyes and ears perky,

Full of life,

Straining to sense

What lies beyond

The glass shield.

Paws claw at birds

That fly by,

But only scratches air.

The seasons go by

From cold to warmth

And back to cold;

I still sit on the desk

Waiting for my chance

To prance amongst

The trees,

Snatching birds in my jaws.

 

April 28 (Sestina)

THE ALCHEMIST

 

I did all this while practicing alchemy:

My sins borne and carried, for the love

Of the gods in heaven.

Write my fable down in history,

Before our time here is lost,

And eternity is but a death note.

 

Please, I beg you, to note

My craftiness as an alchemist;

Blending science and magic and love

To defy the gods in heaven.

My trade is rich in history;

Forgotten but not lost.

 

It is mankind’s loss

To change alchemy

To the science of loveless

Chemistry; please note

The somewhat heavenly

Aspects of the former’s history.

 

To hell with wicked historians,

Brought by money’s love,

Eternally noted

As having lost

The pride of an alchemist,

Opting to bow at the throne of heaven.

 

Gaze upon the heavens

And tell me what paradise is lost?

Stars and planets, too numerous to note,

Await the wrath of history

And the intellect of an alchemist

To show them true love.

 

Now, tell me of your love:

Of the propaganda of heaven,

Altering man’s history

Until the final note

Containing the art of alchemy

Is squeezed dry and lost.

 

And what is love, but a fond note

Written in a lost script, ripped by history,

For heaven’s sake; only to be reassembled by an alchemist.

 

April 29 (Never “Blank”)

 

NEVER LAUGH DURING A FUNERAL

 

Though it seems common sense

Not to chuckle at a funeral,

It could be difficult

When your sense of humor

Finds pleasure in the darker

Crevices of human nature.

 

“He was a good man . . .”

No, he was a thief

Who cheated and beat

His wife, who happens

To be a grieving widow now.

 

“Who loved his children . . .”

Nope, sorry, wrong again!

This is the first time

I’ve seen him in years,

And he’s dead!

I can’t even remember the last

Time we talked.

 

I find this all very amusing:

Paying a priest

To come before family,

Friends, and God

To bear witness to the life

Of a jackass

He never had the displeasure

Of meeting.

 

And all you “mourners”

Are just as phony:

How many times have I heard

You proclaim you couldn’t wait

Until he’s dead.

Well, you got your wish!

Not unless your tears

Are tears of joy,

Save the waterworks

For a martyr or a saint.

 

I won’t ask for forgiveness

For my laughter;

I just find it amusing

That nobody mourned him

When he was alive,

As he burned his life away

With anger and alcohol

Long before the cancer

Finished the deed.

 

April 30 (Farewell)

SAY FAREWELL TO FAREWELL

 

Eyes closed,

Thoughts open,

Mind resting.

 

Notice nothing,

Savor everything.

Twilight’s kiss.

 

Mornings welcome

Evening’s goodbye.

Say hello.

 

Open eyes,

Close thoughts;

Mind: awake!

 

Tomorrow shall

Say farewell

To farewell.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A. Jarrell Hayes is the author of over a dozen books of fiction, fantasy and poetry (as A. J. Hayes). His work has appeared in over 20 publications online and in print. He designs t-shirts, buttons and other merchandise for writers & readers. For more info, visit his website at www.ajhayes.com.

 

Subscribe to his free eNewsletter here for updates on new book releases & events. Members receive two eBooks for joining.

 

Follow him on Twitter: @ajh_books.

 

This eBook is free. If you enjoyed it, please support the author by donating here.

 

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Impromptu

  • Author: A. Jarrell Hayes
  • Published: 2016-04-13 23:35:07
  • Words: 2432
Impromptu Impromptu