The night is an ocean.
In my garden the bats swim through thick pea soup,
as dense as my brother Billy when his belly is full of fermented gooseberries.

Gooseberries, snoozeberries —
Ribes uva-crispa —
full of potassium and vitamin see.
Billy capers on the sea in gooseberry pyjamas,
kicking the sizzling stars of passion back to Reno.

Reno, we know
the sharp, sour tang of a freshly minted coin on the tongue
sets all the slots singing a chorus of  “Hallelujah!
Praise the lord of luck and gooseberries.”
Billy tosses handfuls of change into the velvety blackness of the daylight breeze.

Breeze, knees,
bumpy like Braille.
Billy reads your idolo like a sangoma reads chicken bones.
Ubeka embizeni phezu komlilo.
A whopping wind will whang wafers and wine into next Wednesday
and we’ll have tea with a boer.

Boer, Lore
baked gooseberry muffins for Brother Billy
enticing him away from the moon’s embrace.
Billy came back with the bats, plunging into the mud-clot night
and swimming slowly upstream.






Day 29

Today’s assignment was fun and daunting at the same time. 

The prompt is called the “Twenty Little Poetry Projects,” and was originally developed by Jim Simmerman. Here are the twenty little projects themselves — the challenge is to use them all in one poem:

1. Begin the poem with a metaphor.
2. Say something specific but utterly preposterous.
3. Use at least one image for each of the five senses, either in succession or scattered randomly throughout the poem.
4. Use one example of synesthesia (mixing the senses).
5. Use the proper name of a person and the proper name of a place.
6. Contradict something you said earlier in the poem.
7. Change direction or digress from the last thing you said.
8. Use a word (slang?) you’ve never seen in a poem.
9. Use an example of false cause-effect logic.
10. Use a piece of talk you’ve actually heard (preferably in dialect and/or which you don’t understand).
11. Create a metaphor using the following construction: “The (adjective) (concrete noun) of (abstract noun) . . .”
12. Use an image in such a way as to reverse its usual associative qualities.
13. Make the persona or character in the poem do something he or she could not do in “real life.”
14. Refer to yourself by nickname and in the third person.
15. Write in the future tense, such that part of the poem seems to be a prediction.
16. Modify a noun with an unlikely adjective.
17. Make a declarative assertion that sounds convincing but that finally makes no sense.
18. Use a phrase from a language other than English.
19. Make a non-human object say or do something human (personification).
20. Close the poem with a vivid image that makes no statement, but that “echoes” an image from earlier in the poem.