Wordle #184


Brenda Warren

Blue poppies neither dissuade

My visions nor furnish them.

How frivolous these inklings

When abridged for the sake

Of speedy conversation

And how brief the spark

When the audience

Cannot derive the epilogue

From its gnarled beginnings.

Strange are the idols of man

And stranger still his renderings.

The number thirteen hangs

Over my head like a cat’s grin

Scathing in its serial regard.

I will never forget the lay of my body

Its apocalyptic roots compressing

My vocal chords that the screams

Within register only as sighs.

I want to be audible

Even in silence,

To be relevant, however,

Uncompromising my muse

To exceed those expectations

Which have condemned

All venture literary or otherwise.

I want to be, without

Feeling myself unwelcome,

An indisputable part

Of the life that I’ve been given.


Forgive Me

Have I ever composed an apology

That did not gesture for sympathy?

I have always sought to avoid blame

And those violations which can not be

Rectified will likely destroy me.

What is an apology without amends?

And can one ever be sufficiently

Reformed to qualify for forgiveness?

I am selfish and generous

But the former, though essential

To survival, is impermissible.

How do I become a god?

That I should not want,

That I should be limitless,

Without exception and always ready.

How can I commit to promises

That do not permit my imperfections?

I understand the need

To confess plainly

But when I am the mistake

How do I avoid repetition?

I am, at least in my own mind,

More criminal than crime.

An accusation comes seemingly

At the expense of my life.

I am a coward.

I can think of no explanation for love

Only that I will never admire the portrait.

How can I see beyond my own self-loathing?

How much guilt can I ingest before

Living becomes itself taboo?

I want others to think well of me,

I am scared to acknowledge

My faults without clarification,

Clarifications inevitably beget justifications,

If I do not justify does it imply

That I do not care?

Do my justifications seek

Eradication of self?

I do not know.

I feel compelled to recommend myself

Because I cannot shake the notion

That I must earn love anymore

Than I can shake the notion

That I am undeserving of its reception.

I cannot bring myself to give you

A reason to leave.

I do not want you to leave

But experience has proven

That I am intolerable.

How can I apologize for your feelings

When they bear no semblance to my intentions

And come from insecurities furnished before

I was even born? I was not born a devil

Even if I fell directly into enemy hands.

You did not love me from the first

And perhaps not for a long time after.

There is no law against hate

Only what follows so often in its course.

I have wanted for love ever since

But those initial absences cannot be filled.

Though I have forgiven you,

I still find you prickly and take offense

Where none may have been intended.

How often you cite my short-comings

And some days I find it hard to initiate

Knowing that my failings have already arrived.

3 Prompts

A Red Shoes Adventure by Zvaella


She moves like winter

With kisses that burn as an open flame

And eyes like untempered strips of lighting.

She pauses to adjust the strap

Of her red Mary Janes, a cloud tucked

Into her right back pocket like a memo.

Her cold escapes me whenever she smiles.

The sun riven over a cup of tea

I watch her rise up on her toes

Drawing sparks from my grey eyes,

Sparks governed by rain,

Sparks that slash without remorse

My faltering pretensions of joy.

She stood a long time

On my shoulders, jaded

Self-satisfying, demolishing

Passageways and intersections

My beloved and besieged

My uncompromising mistress

Delilah or Evangeline

Whatever her name

The dilemma remains.







Wordle #61 “Sonder”

Week 61

When did you drop from your perch?

And from what sinister heights

That I should come upon you

Bespoke for love,

Parts everywhere and sharp enough

To stitch into my woolen hide?

Spindly limbs choke the air,

More weaver than painter,

More executioner than poet.

What was your first encounter

With freedom and under which

Pseudonym did she court you?

Do your glib songs sound wooden

Without the reverberations of gangways

To disperse their ambling echoes?

Even morass invokes an audience

The shrinkage of a heart only

Fourteen centimeters to start instates

Its own curious following.

How good women crave persecution,

A tyrant that ravishes his calling.

A sonder falls upon

My neck like an umbilicus.

Cement slabs sprout upward

As if searching for the sun

Yes even the dead had lives

More prevalent and less dismissive

Than my own. One day my shell

Will fall away and I’ll worm

My way deep into the feculent folds

Of my only living mother.

I am a womb full of bleeding gums

And mesh-draped particulars.

I swallow only the splinters

Never the hatchet itself.

I will not rest until I’ve seen

The face behind the mask,

The child whose suffering

Has not yet been extinguished

And can never be extinguished

So long as his heart is a forge.



Wordle #186 “Photons”


Brenda Warren

I arrange roses in a Mason jar

That smells of strawberry jam.

A throat full of birds seizing

The songs caged in my heart.

I will always remember

My first suicide and how I failed

Even to summon death.

I wipe the mud from my boots.

The crocuses jitter in the breeze

A shamanic fervor, a crossroads

Whenever I see the color blue

I unravel my girth and head south.

The shine of one derelict star

Promising to encompass everything.

Owls skulk in the dead of night

Soundless, invasive, their talons

Set like thorns into a spastic frame.

I thread moonlight

Through my xenophobic veins

An inferential lobotomy

A triumph of photons over provisionals.

Wordle #187 “Crime Scene”


Brenda Warren

Your sex yields against my palate,

Soul subtly transposed underneath the skin.

However, carefully we tend our scars

Anguish still mixes in and all that

Was sacred becomes taboo

When voiced by another man.

I scrape a fire from the toasted ashes

The screams within coagulating

At your freshly applied visage

Your eyes are the only hint I need,

Tomorrow will come but not for me.

In each chamber a hole just big enough

For a man’s fingers to slip inside.

A dribble of poison, a white dress

Liaison-red after applications lingers

In the nuances of my ruined flesh.

Wordle #188


Brenda Warren

What miserable children we were!

Forgotten are the stains of miscreance

The nimble pirouettes and cloudy days

Pressed against a decisive pane of glass.

How we waited hearts resolute

Eyelashes palpitate, lips aflutter,

Neglected fingernails hammering

A nocturne composed explicitly

To punctuate our impatience.

These are not the moments

That plague us in maturation

An inconvenience seldom spills over.

I remember most that which was

Unspeakable and that which in passing

Might seem ordinary if not for joy.

I do not remember boredom

Though it must have preoccupied me once

And in occupation abducted

Many precious opportunities for fun.

Wordle #189


Brenda Warren

The breeze harvests and scatters.

Contours gather in the periphery,

Summaries and juxtapositions,

Entire colonies of angular limbs

Partitioning and prevaricating,

An insolent and imbecilic palate

Trellised but insurmountable

And I on the ground looking up.


My bent gaze perforates the splendor

Of a seldom populated dimension

These parsimonious shadows

That move without so much as a rattle,

The able-bodied dusk weeps

Secular and sanctimonious

My nose extends plainly

From my illogical face

And I just might be a scarecrow.


I love when the shadows are gathering and the sun is low but bright, it is the best time to talk a walk

Wordle #190 “Sty”


Words by Brenda Warren

Your cape curls at the edges,

Whipping froth from a lingering haze.

I fillet you from grin to scrotum,

Exchanging one cave for another.

Our symmetry is incompatible

I retract my claws, the strain of blood

Traipsing over my favorite blouse.

If only a sculptor then perhaps

My love wouldn’t be so deranged.


The chains sustaining my ancestry

Dig in another quarter inch

Cutting off all access routes.

The circus is still in progress

Inflamed clowns feign

Behind a barbwire sty.

We are the people our wounds dictate

And nothing offends more than comparison.

Photo Challenge #60, Still, May 12, 2015 “Expulsion”

Catching the Rain by Vampire Zombie

Vampire Zombie

The echo of your currents

Heart like a sieve, finely-spaced

Scalpel-edged, chewing the husk

Of your tentative intimations.

I line up seashells on the seafloor,

Mosaics of evicted mollusks

Shattered, opalescent shingles,

A room with proliferating margins.

White as the neck of a clam,

An origami fetus suckling

The briny nectar of her own

Mandatory expulsions.