Pillow

In the hallway I heard him tell her
he didn’t like the pillows on their hotel bed.
“They’re all too hard. You know I like
one softer I can smush they way I want.”
I can understand how someone could be
so picky about their most intimate companion
with whom they share their bed.

Your pillow, will cradle your sleepy head,
catch your sobs and dry your tears
like a mother’s lap does for its child.
You can hug it as you would someone
you wish was there with you,
accepting and returning your warmth.

It can be the launchpad of dreams,
whether you’re asleep or awake,
soaring above you, maybe just out of reach,
or just floating there all night keeping
you awake like a dripping faucet.
It’s probably no coincidence I sleep
with two pillows. One for my head,
while I hold the other in my arms.
They console, accept and embrace me.

We’ve come to fit each other, though not
because I smushed them. Gently, like muses,
they’ve helped shape lofty thoughts,
often of you, that I might write tomorrow.
Or they support me while I push and lift
those thoughts almost all night long,
so you and I can wake next to them come morning.

For Day 21 of NaPoWriMo, A poem inspired by an overheard conversation and also with a one-word title about its subject.

So Why’d I Ask?

So what if I could one day rein
thoughts I have crowding ’round my brain,
these images I see of You-Know-Who
to as few as let’s say one or two?
Do I really think my life’d be that much better
if I never wrote another cryptic letter
to a universal someone who’ll never end
being the adult version of my imaginary friend?
Question’s moot, dear Know-Who, since never was just one You.

On Day 9 of my NaPoWriMo poem-a-day quest, I combined prompts again. Robert Lee Brewer asked for a poem titled “So (something),” while NaPoWriMo.net suggested a nine-line poem. Nailed the former, but really folded, spindled and mutilated the rules of the latter. Meter and rhyme have never been my friends, imaginary or otherwise.

But NaPoWriMo’s supposed to be all in fun.
Even if all those muse You’s might really be one.

Blue on White

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen – Torn Notebook

“Fill your paper with the breathings
of your heart.” ~ William Wordsworth

I’ve hidden some dog-eared
notebooks on the bottoms of
my desk drawers into which
I’ve opened a vein and gushed
the contents of my heart
to you like a mooning teen
would in his spiral-bound journal,
his unrequited sighs tearing
at the pages, making a break
for it over the wire.
Hands smudged bloody with ink,
we each pen our own
Twenty Love Poems
and a Song of Despair
.
The pages pulse with heartfelt
exhalations and exultations
to someone we never could outright
tell how they make our hearts quicken,
criss-crossing white dreamscapes
with blue blood trails.

This week’s first-draft poem in response to Annie Fuller’s Writing Outside the Lines Challenge prompt. It’s that quote from William Wordsworth at the top of the poem. It filled my paper with poetic panting in quick order. The short story to go along with the prompt, however, might take a little more time.

Another Spoonful of Dreams

spooning

I dreamt you allowed me
to hold you, and I did, as
I dreamt you’d want me to.
And I recall wishing
my skin was soft as yours,
my embrace strong,
yet tender, too.
My chest I pressed
against your back,
your breast
my hand caressed.
I needed to know
if heartbeats echo
or mirror-beat as one.
But this was only a dream,
one many nights I’ve lived,
in which I’m not the me
by dawn’s light I see,
but one you’d wish hold you
how you’d want enfold you
on those nights
it’s your dream to be held.

Sat down late this afternoon and along came this 100-word piece of free-written, stream-of-consciousness run mushily amok. Must be the approaching celebration of mirror-beating hearts and mated souls . Oh, and the imagined dreams of my dreamy imagination.

Reaching Out for the Out of Reach

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I would think of her whenever I heard that song or even the singer. I’d recall the pain of obsessing over that which I could not have, yet still I dreamt of the possibility of it all. There was no way she could be more than she was, or really, what I was to her. But still my heart would leap when I saw her name on my ringing phone, feel the heat rise through my body and the flip-flop of something leap inside me as I held what I could of her in my hand. The distance between us would always exist because we each placed boundaries around one another, defenses against another broken heart. But mine was already shattered by the disappointment I realized whenever I stopped to think what might happen if… If we did breach my fear of our finally being together. How long before the joy waned and she discovered the secret I hide even from myself? I’ve yearned for so many, so much, so often, and the truth burns more than the longing. See, it’s really the yearning I love more than the yearned.

I wanted to dash off a quick something this morning, so I went to the dictionary and opened it to any random word. Up came YEARNING. I know, I know. Rather than wing it and just write, I decided to use an old process of mine I learned from Ray Bradbury. You take the theme of your potential work and then list ten nouns you free associate with it, each preceded by the word the. They’re all up in that block of prose poem above. A free written piece of semi-fiction, semi-confessional by a character who yearned to be expressed, I guess.

Nights Covered in Dreams

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My dreams have stopped again, which shouldn’t surprise me because dreams were ever in short supply on the shelves of my mind. They’ve always been scant and what lies on this pillow isn’t some 24-hour emporium of packages filled with images and sensations I once felt, or never will feel again. I like to sleep in total darkness, but enjoyed the light and lightning dreams brought to my nights. Perhaps that’s why, once I awaken now from the dark within darkness, I find dreams in a song, or the kiss, smell and taste of wind and water upon my face, the tracks my pen leaves upon a sheet of paper. Such dreams once were high-flying aspirations, but now bring rest to my mind before it lies dormant, in darkness, whether I’m alone or covered warm beneath other sheets. These woven of percale and reverie, scribbled seam-to-seam with dreams of you.

Her Heart

piece of my heart

piece of my heart

It’s her heart that’ll get you.
It is a soft heart, warm heart,
hard heart, cold heart.
It’s a caged heart,
a free-flying heart,
a heart of flesh
that rests in her chest
and pumps the blood a’simmmer
that warms her touch
upon your skin, setting
your own heart ablaze.
It’s a heart made of thoughts
and emotions, with tiny
bricks of empathy and anger.
Her heart is covered
with notches for each
of her loves and a
near-matching number of scars
for all the times they broke it.
Yes, her heart gets you
in so many ways you don’t know
where to look, except maybe
within your own, where you’ll
know it by her flaming-arrow glow.
That’s because her aim isn’t only
to be so sure,but always
to be true.

Written in bed over the last 15 minutes before lights-out. I used to think of this as my creative hour, as I would lie there, waiting for sleep to come in sand tuck me in. In the near-sleep, with its breath and breath,  ideas and images fly into my pillow-framed head, where they’ll roost for the night and fly off by morning. That is, unless I catch ’em first and hold them for you until dawn.