Clichés – 6 of 24

a penny saved is a penny earned
so put your money where your
mouth is unless
the cat’s got your tongue,
and he does, until he cries over spilled milk—
you run for the hills.

time heals all wounds
except yours
because all is fair
in love and war
so you’re back to the drawing board
and all bent out of shape
but at least—
curiosity killed the cat.

good things come to those who wait
so you better hold your horses,
and you do, until they take off
at the speed of light. it’s the same old story—
let the sleeping dogs lie.

you only live once,
that’s the silver lining. soon, you’ll be
dead as doornail and
opportunity doesn’t knock twice.
knock knock! who’s there?

look what the cat dragged in!
that cat looks like death warmed over!
and he’s got your tongue again!

Motley – 5 of 24

the libertine cracks some
marsupials into the frying pan
the noise they make
as the sear makes him wince
and beg for deafness

he is malcontent and ambidextrous,
with his other hand, he shuffles
for a round of rummy,
which he will play with a motley.

the rest of the scoundrels,
inelegant as they are, lined the bases
in the back lot
and hit a homerun each time.

they are discontinued and abbreviated
charred at the edges, ganged up
a synecdoche for their specific sins
would be the crimes

the cynosure practices his pitching
and trades out his aces
for an empty hand, the winner,
sniffling praise up through a straw.

he is frosted and bombastic,
with his monologue in every building,
his dishonor sheds off in pellets,
these men, microcosms of murderers
yet unborn

Ingredients – 4 of 24

Is your woman made of glass?
If you put your hand through her,
do you bleed out with shards of her
in your wrist? Perhaps a window
to look out and see your luxury,
or a decanter from which
you drink your death.

Is your woman made of wood?
If you slice her and peel off the bark,
do you have a set of stools
for all of your drunk friends?
Perhaps best paired with a table
made out of your first wife.

Is your woman made of silver?
Is she the world’s best conduit,
making a socket or a locket
equally dangerous for your hands?
A thoughtful gift if boxed
and included with a portrait
in a matching silver frame.

Is your woman made of mint?
Does she pair with mojitos
and lamb? Does she freshen
the back of your throat?
Green in this life,
the mild astringent.

Appetency – 3 of 24

summer’s hungry is different
in the may of my sixteen
I took a few bites
that’s all, just a few, my
hands replaced by
a knife and an axe
somedays, my thinning
was a violence
you’d have to testify to
if you bared witness but
other days, my thinning
was an artform.
whittle, whittle. this was all for love
and all in vain.
summer’s hungry is still different
I always hope I will wake up
some June afternoon
and be unbelievably skinny again
despite the decade that separates me
from that vehemence
I think the sun fools me into
thinking that I will meet every
autumn with something
to show for summer
no more first-days-of-school
but I still pack for them
my thinner body laying out
with my backpack and gum

Simulacrum – 2 of 24

my kite’s been situated
I am at mercy of the sky
saturnine thing
ribbon-tailed, playing sting-ray
above, nearer to clouds,
but still paltry yet
you are amused
just because I am at such a height
that wind would argue your strength
if you tug on my anchor
does not mean I am that God
you seek, I am just
unfortunately bright
and regrettably aerial
so you see me first but do not pray
to me—
Impressive for a breezy day above saltwater
Impressive for any five year old
but I would be a meager God
if you pray to me with gales a’looming
I am not the symbol you seek,
you would notice anything
as tall and as misplaced as me.

Quandary – 1 of 24

all I can say is that
cruelty was leaking out of you
but I had no empty buckets
within arms’ reach so I
had to swallow all of it
mouth agape, taking in
hundreds of ounces of
such loathsome stuff
turning myself inside out
to scrub at intervals
hoping I could sleep
underneath your ceiling
without it caving in
waking up with
polystyrene between my teeth
your mistake was believing
that I was the one
making the mess
simply because I could not
house all of it
you were spitting so much
and I met my body’s limits
so by Sunday, I was swollen
with your nonsense and
I had to purge my hope
to make room for it.

Testing Twenty-Twenty-One

Testing post for 2021!
My name is Angel.
This is my 6th full Marathon and I've done one half Marathon.
Tuning in from Pennsylvania. Excited for this challenge!

24! A poem about high school

Red lockers, yellow lockers
The library hallway smells like spaghetti.
Stolen art supplies.
Wasted ink and glue.
The crunching of the guillotine cardboard cutter.
The stairs.
A painted quote above them.
I loved those stairs, I loved those red lockers.
A precious locket of memories in a locked brick building.

You can’t graduate from memories


I can’t promise that I’m not a thunderstorm
but I was the best part of the rain.
The sleep weather.
The gentle roars.
The Friday nights in.
The cool flicker.
The grey.


Every poet is a little closer to
God than a surgeon but
only one of us makes our readers believe
Worship the scalpel or the scale?

He digs out the bullet,
Pumps an empty stomach of pills,
And I wrote the truth
That put them there.