Zoom Bomb

Zoom Bomb

In these pandemic times
our poetry events are virtual,
Hollywood Square boxes
with smiling faces waiting
for feature poets, open mic,
a chance to chat at the end.

Last night, I was a feature,
wore a sparkly purple top,
matching eyeliner and shadow,
mascara and a hint of violet
on my lips, gold dangle earrings
and I was ready for my close-up.

Not long after assembling
in our Zoom Room, we were bombed.
I had heard of it happening but this
was my first raid. It was horrid,
fuzzy video but enough seen,
depraved audio that flushed my cheeks,
turned my stomach, made me gasp on mic.
How could he, such debase verbiage,
taunting to shut down our meeting,
and then he was joined by another guy
and then, a female.

Our host was remarkable, cool and
calm efficient, muting the diatribes,
ushering them out, zooming to slam
the virtual door – she was our hero;
we resumed our poetry event, which was
an amazing assemblage of poets from
around the world, over 40 participants
with the open mic.

Perhaps the raiders would be disappointed
to learn that they didn’t stop our event,
didn’t crush our spirit, didn’t destroy
our human sense of ethics with their trash talk.
I do wonder how empty their lives must be
that bombing a Zoom poetry event
is how they get their kicks.

~ J R Turek
June 27, 2020
Hour 4



are gone.
I know this
accept this
but sometimes
when I wake up
at 3 in the morning
I think it is noon
and that it was all
a dream
a nightmare
a Hollywood script
read line by line
the knife gun chainsaw
just a prop
the pool of blood
watered-down ketchup
the closing notes
a familiar top 10 hit.

Still awake at 4
I realize
there was no blood
no weapon
no music
no dream
just the nightmare truth
that you are gone.

~ J R Turek
June 27, 2020
Hour 3



Irresistible – how could I not
buy those purple snakeskin pumps
with the black patent leather platform
and 5-inch stiletto heel. Stunning,
and a divine sign – one pair left
and my size, discounted, clearance,
whatever. I had to have them.

I strolled through the shoe department
wearing them, admonished to
please stay on the carpet
by the male clerk who seemed to have a tad
too much interest in shoes, or was it just
this pair, fondling the round peep-toe,
sliding his fingers up and down the heel shaft
before slipping it so gracefully on my foot,
me feeling like Cinderella until I noticed
that odd look clouding his bourbon brown eyes.

I walked, pranced, sauntered past floor mirrors
admiring the curves that hugged my heel,
supple leather on my instep, so bold, so brazen
a towering stiletto. I swooned, he raced over,
his hands firm on my forearm as though I might
topple. He guided me back to my seat, slow
and sensuous slipping off my foot, I was
unCinderelled, felt naked without those pumps.
He smiled, or was it a leer.

I nearly broke a nail slapping my credit card
on the counter, hugged the bag through the mall
to my car, raced home, walked half a mile
from kitchen to living room to dining room,
avoiding the steps, just a little too soon
to climb in these sumptuous creations.

Now, a month later, I pull the bag from
the closet floor, open the box, put them on
and runway through my bedroom, hallway,
but not venturing downstairs, still too soon.
Someday, I will wear them outside, scratch
the soles on concrete, see sunlight sparkle
snakeskin, but for now, this is enough.

~ J R Turek
June 27, 2020
Hour 2



Today is my new day, a me day,
a starting over renewal to improve
myself, remake my internal image
from the outside in, inside out.

After a sprinting 4 or 5 mile ride
on my bedroom bike, I’ll shower,
slather coconut-scented conditioner
on my long hair, leave it pinned up
while I give myself a facial, slices
of cucumber for my eyes, reclining
in a tv-less room.

I’ll spend the day in a bathing suit
though the forecast is for all-day rain.
My face scrubbed clean, I’ll read –
an old best-seller cover to cover,
and I’ll flip through a delicious stack
of friends’ poetry books and read
random selections, savoring images
and metaphors I wish I’d written myself.

In between, I’ll write poetry of course.
An entire day to empty my head of
reminders to make appointments and
phone calls, emails to send, cards
to pen, laundry to do – but I won’t do
any of that today.

It’s a me day. I’ll give myself a pedicure,
polish with a new glow-in-the-dark purple
so I can see my summer toes when sleep
defeats my need for it. I’ll paint my nails
with pictures on each one, summer scenes
at the beach, a sailboat, lighthouse, ocean.

I’ll drink coffee all day, stay up all night
and not worry that caffeine is the culprit.
Maybe I’ll raid my emergency stash
of dark chocolates, imbibe with just one
glass of wine. Perhaps two if I need to.

Today, I’ll cater to me, purge out the old
doubts and fears that I can’t do something
anything, begin again fresh, fill my head
with glimmering new-year’s-new possibilities.
So tomorrow, tell me, what can I do for you?

~ J R Turek
June 27, 2020
Hour 1

I’m going to do this!

I am looking forward to challenging myself and my muse to write a poem-an-hour for 24 hours.  I’ve written a poem-a-day for over 16 years so I hope the dedication to the craft, the practice of poetry, and pure determination will help get me to the finish line… and proud of what I created.  In the past few weeks, I have challenged other poets to give it a try.  I hope they do!  Good luck, everyone!