June’s Job: Distraction

As the pandemic continues and as I contend with waves of fear and doubt and frustration, I am relying on words and word play to distract, delight and deliver me to better worlds. Last month, I was inspired by Rita Dove to experiment with excessive alliteration. This month, I went even further, using the alphabet to create a poem about my imaginary/imagined neighbors.

My Neighbors

Anxious Alice always asks Agatha about Aunt Anne’s asthma.
Bob better buy butter before Betty bakes brown bread.
Cautious Claudia cuts Chris’s cuticles carefully.
Dickhead Derek doesn’t do dishes.
Evelyn eats eggplant, Evan eats eggs, Ethan eats everything.
Fred fretted fervently for fourteen fortnights following Faith’s ferocious fight.
Generous Gretel gifts gazebos, gaudy gold gizmos.
Harold’s hats hang handsomely.
Isabel ignores irksome idiots.
Jackie jigs jauntily.
Kate keeps keying Keith’s Kia.
Lecherous Lonnie’s lascivious laughter lingers loudly.
Millie mutters malevolent mantras, mails murderous missives.
No nonsense Nancy needs normal neighbors.
Oliver organizes outrageous outings.
Please plant Patty’s precious petunias promptly!
Quit questioning quarantines Quinton!
Rosie recognizes rude Ricks readily.
Susan sits sulkily.
Terrible Todd taunts timid toddlers.
Ursula’s urges unsettle us.
Veronica Vaughn’s voluminous vests vanished.
Walt Whitman wanders west.
Xavier xeroxes xylophones.
Yolanda’s yurt yellowed yesterday.
Zach’s zippy zebra? Zero zen.

Keeping with the theme of the alphabet, I decided to pick out lines from the poems I have memorized this year, one for each letter. I did this from memory and only struggled with the z. At first I couldn’t remember one, but hours later I did. Maybe I’ll try to turn this into something more at some point.

it’s All I have to bring today
this, and my heart, and all the Bees
which in the Clover dwell.
an open Door says, “come in.”
Easy enough to say it’s dark now.
Fair-weather forecaster, fickle friend
it’s all Green really, even the red is anti-green
I dwell in possibility–a fairer House than prose
It is a serious thing
Just to be alive on this fresh morning
Kindly keep kicking
I Labor, I lumber, I fumble forward through the valley
it’s like a dream when a voice whispers, open your Mouth
Not for your sake, and not for mine, and not for the sake of winning
Oh obstreperous one
she has the quiet ribs of a salamander crossing the old Pony post road
someone once said there are no answers, just interesting Questions
i beg of you, do not walk by without pausing to attend to this Rather ridiculous performance
tell all the truth but tell it Slant
the Trees are coming into leaf
the birds will keep singing Until they wake up
Dark boat in the dark night, pure Velocity
green as Water, the willow’s motion
its shadow meaningless eXcept to those who want for shade
You do not have to be good.
the truth must daZzle gradually or every man be blind.