NaPoWriMo Poem #9: Untitled Cleave, 4/14/10

it’s the way you blame me
your breath like regret
smells like broken whiskey and overdue bills
poor white trash dropping from the smokestacks
that makes me suck in draw in
mine my belly like an empty church
Marlboro wind full of the God that left us
magazine cowboys that I still look for
I know that your arms angels rescued from Greek tragedies
are made of barbed wire Cassandra’s lips runneth over

so that my fingers

can give you apologies in unspent paychecks
can dance with pencils burn everything that we’ve crucified
and charcoal but they cannot make the magic
you tried to make this our home that we so desperately need
I make mine out of the imprint of your daddy’s shadow
inside sketch paper and the shed skin of erasers
that is made out of mirrors where his last name should be
the creek knows you consult
that polluted goddess full of stink and junk the Oracle of Steelville
she told me to find
that there are steel screams the crooked remains of a life gone to seed
rippling in sine waves prayers
under your skin where blueprints for our exodus
muscle should be I look in the mirror
this is the poison I see Agamemnon
fabulous and modern as a woman
I’m sorry I still smell the smoke in your hair
if you don’t like my mirror – I build pyramids
just reflect how the sun will never see
what’s around me our escape

Written 4/14/10
© 2010 Nicole Nicholson. All Rights Reserved.
This poem, a cleave, was written for NaPoWriMo #14: You Want Me to Write a What? over at Read Write Poem. Yes, it’s my prompt. I figured it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t write for it.

This is in the same vein of some small town poems I’ve already written, for example “Litany to a Melancholic” and “The Creek”. The speaker in “The Creek” is a teenaged girl growing up in a “white trash” area of the same town and is raised by a single mother. She has aspirations of being an artist, and is very talented at illustration. She appears again in this poem — she is speaking in the left hand poem, and her mother is speaking in the right hand poem.

I hope you enjoyed this poem (or shall we say, 3-in-1 poem).

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About ravenswingpoetry

I am a 38 year old writer from Columbus, OH and the creator of Raven's Wing Poetry. I am a poet, seeker, fellow traveler, and autistic.
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5 Responses to NaPoWriMo Poem #9: Untitled Cleave, 4/14/10

  1. Pingback: NaPoWriMo Poem #10: Bones « Raven's Wing Poetry

  2. pieceofpie says:

    reading each one separately and then together… weighty words of a life gone by… love can be so very beautiful and then so terribly gone bad trying to recapture… thanks again for sharing the cleave nicole… there was another form you introduced a while back that had three separate poems side by side and then read together now that was incredible do you remember that one and the what the form was called??? small portions cleave

  3. Wow you certainly can write a cleave! You go girl! Again thanks for the prompt.

  4. Irene says:

    Love how you give the daughter and mother’s point of view and then the third – amazing work Nicole. Thanks for introducing us to the form.

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