Write Us A Poem

Because it’s the first day of November, because it’s the first day of a new LitKicks format, because big things are at stake, because the Red Sox won the World Series …

These are just a few reasons why we hope you will write us a poem about what you are doing or thinking about today.

44 Responses

  1. Ozymandias AwaitsOzymandias,
    Ozymandias Awaits

    Ozymandias, once high and mighty
    lurks in purgatory
    watches Fox News
    dreams about the book deal
    contemplates starting a blog

    a weary world wakes up and goes to work
    in the desert expanse, jet planes rocket
    something is not right
    and Ozymandias can’t even get a call-in
    on the Howard Stern show anymore
    fire the guns
    taxi to the runway
    roll out the red carpet
    somebody is important today
    but Ozymandias needs a new agent

  2. Trick or TreatTrick or
    Trick or Treat

    Trick or treat
    What did you get for Halloween?
    I got a trick
    My father told me he has inoperable pancreatic cancer.

    He has six months to live.

    My father’s father didn’t live to the age of sixty.
    My father won’t live to the age of seventy.
    So is half of my life over?

    How do I tell my three year-old?
    Shouldn’t a child have a grandfather?
    I’m too young to plan a funeral.
    My father is too young to die.

    Trick or treat.
    What did you get for Halloween?

  3. Cool. This got me on a
    Cool. This got me on a tangent of looking up Ozymandias on the internet and I found all kinds of interesting things. I like the way you juxtapose the modern & the ancient in this poem.

  4. Dave — sorry to hear your
    Dave — sorry to hear your news.

    I hope writing helps you get through it. Whatever helps …

    — Levi

  5. Exhaustion SpanMy day is all
    Exhaustion Span

    My day is all so silent, heavy lead —
    no touch or humor though with colors bright
    of leaves from which our summer’s hope has fled
    and promise that escaped the trance of night.
    These tired eyes and memory they turn
    and try to spell the language that they tore
    since once so eager we were here to learn
    with open minds and senses yearning for
    their righteous food and song. Now still
    is what I long for and in dazzled dance
    I follow, drift to work and on, to power’s will
    so far from care and tender air, romance:
    It’s on such days of gray I think that freedom hidden
    can’t either lie in elections or they’d be forbidden.

  6. Not that this helps, but I
    Not that this helps, but I can relate to your situation. I’m so sorry to hear the news.

  7. Not that this might help: but
    Not that this might help: but i got distracted from answering by a phone call from my daughter’s girlfriend (11) who just learned about her father having cancer.
    It’s a mad world – and we all should turn to each other in such tunnels. Try to hold yourself from drowning: look, but drink and eat.
    Time will help.

  8. Mondayofficial days(they say

    official days
    (they say dead ones and saints are around)
    jazmins in the living room
    memory tricks,
    how long an experience is?

  9. LotusI close my eyesinhaleand

    my eyes

    I exhale

    I am lotus

  10. Walter, that’s a righteous
    Walter, that’s a righteous poem, man! I especially like the lines

    “try to spell the language that they tore
    since once so eager we were here to learn
    with open minds and senses yearning for”

    and, at the risk of trivializing the poem, I’ll say this: It’s like a mixture of Robert Frost and Edgar Allan Poe. But it’s really much more than that as well.

  11. Nothing NewWhat’s to say
    Nothing New

    What’s to say today?
    Wet leafy membrane day of the week
    A day away from who knows what

    What’s to say today?
    That Fernando Valenzuela hasn’t said
    A million times before?

    What’s to say today?
    Two streaks ended in Boston
    The Sox Win! The Pats Lose!

    What’s to say today?
    A red car drives slowly down the hill
    Trailing exhaust smoke in the dewy air

    What’s to say today?
    I care little about death and even less about life
    They’re different sides of the same coin

    What’s to say today?
    From around the globe our brothers and sisters die
    And I’m not talking about Americans

    What’s to say today?
    A good friend of mine signed a giant contract with the Vikings
    Then blew his knee out the next week

    What’s to say today?
    Everyone’s lip-synching through life
    Some are just better than others

    What’s to say today?
    It’s been raining all day
    And there seems to be no end in sight

    What’s to say today?
    Bomb the grassy patches of land!
    Burn the lovely puffy clouds!
    Break the serene lake!

    What’s to say today?
    The same thing as every other day
    Vast kalpas and timeless eternity

    What’s to say today?
    That hasn’t been said another way
    And much better by someone other than me?

  12. Nice poem, but exactly what
    Nice poem, but exactly what did Fernando Valenzuela say? That reference went over my head, got the rest …

  13. sameysame on this rainy
    sameysame on this rainy day

    dizzy drops flip-flop, falling
    from an overcast shadow:

    a man, soaked &
    annoyed,walks alone
    wet soles pound the pavment,
    sameysame on this rainy day

    the scene is mundane,
    GoodYears slash in the street
    a roaring stampede rustling bye

    Away they sail,
    over the hilly horizon to points he
    cannot see. Blackbird’s cawcaws are
    drowned by CryingWind as his sobs carry brisk chills down
    the man’s back, pimpling his flesh.

  14. The Inadequacy of LanguageTo
    The Inadequacy of Language

    To say the world is dying slow
    Is understatement, speed of thought
    Assures us that the things we know
    And the loves we care to grow
    Will one day all still come to nought

    But caution to the winds we throw
    Just stand there and accept your lot
    And regard the steady river flow
    And note the darkness of the crow
    Because, my friend, it’s all we’ve got

  15. my brother – i’m very sorry
    my brother – i’m very sorry to hear this. i went through something similiar a little while back, so i have a good idea what it’s like. cold comfort, i know, but you know i’m here if you want to talk.

    stay strong,

  16. The smearing of newsprint as
    The smearing of newsprint as you eat

    A serious man had become tired,
    his eye lashes feathered beneath him
    as the sun rose and harshened his face.
    There are holes in his clothes
    that came to him as friends,
    and he’s convinced himself
    that bee wings smell of whiskey,
    while the cracked slime on the window sill
    fertilised the eggplant.

    Sunlight in his face,
    reminder of when he killed himself
    as a girl in the quarry;
    he left the house for the paper,
    muttered the word of God,
    buttered toast, contemplated cable television…

    The ink of the newspaper
    depress his finger prints,
    it’s like a science of ‘Couch’,
    or watching vinyl sink and cough.

    And he had the idea of work
    before they evicted him, “the corridors
    of London lightly rape the country”,
    he’d said under quasi-religious tone,
    and that was the time he was arrested.

  17. it didn’t really mean
    it didn’t really mean anything except for today’s his birthday. you would have KNOWN that if you have visited lit-fuse this morning!


  18. Je Deteste Le Monde
    Je Deteste Le Monde Aujourd’hui

    I RAGE!
    Forgot my key,
    Broke into my own home,
    Burn the past away.

    I HATE!
    So tired,
    For want of sleep.
    Tomorrow is Election Day.

  19. Rattlesnake PorchAcross this
    Rattlesnake Porch

    Across this broken porch,
    in simple mind-altering midday heat,
    I watch reality and imagination
    pass thru the same front door;
    come in out of the sun for awhile.
    The desert never noticed,
    never could tell the two apart;
    shape shifting vehicles in the flow,
    out across cracked hot earth planes,
    boiling reflection, motion.

    Seen from a rattlesnake porch,
    they’re equal parts motion and myth,
    those spaces, filmy horizons;
    fluid abstractions, all of them,
    if they could only be penetrated,
    reality held at arm’s length.

    Later I’ll claim a piece of it,
    drink six shots of whiskey,
    scribble thoughts about a woman,
    to be thrown away at the next motel.
    I’ll wander into a parched gale,
    note its incongruent warm welcome,
    generate erratic orbits,
    recite an entire Sergio Leone flick,
    until the orbits converge toward
    another shot of enlightenment.

    Scene over

  20. smithI am anvilawaiting

    I am anvil
    awaiting hammer

    steel forged
    on my back

    iron rods
    become swords

    become men

  21. Average Duro-SwitchDayEnd of
    Average Duro-SwitchDay

    End of a long day
    I learn try, try
    Bench poured low,
    Absorbed as she called out.

    Stimulate the hours,
    Heard on first year so far,
    The voice sounded hellish
    For so many distances I slowly lifted my films.

    New away tunnel, she saw new
    Written things — habits, letters, teachers
    It out-named the Horror Picture Show,
    Perception made an appearance.

    Live WhiteHouse feed, during seek help,
    Into reality by the rocky meditations
    Remained what heard I would not differ
    A million days following, and soon.

    The inaugurations who renew full
    Holds upon life, rumbling sound of performers,
    Which time casts, sounding the finest thing,
    Almost footsteps approaching elapsed 24 hours.

  22. murderPart of being hardcore

    Part of being hardcore is not to fear death.
    After having a gun pointed at your head you almost feel blessed.
    So don’t be so surprised in I stand in front of you while I undress.
    I’m not that shy to not let myself confess.

    Like I told you I don’t fear death.
    If you haven’t figured it out I don’t want to be caressed.
    Come or go point a gun to my head.

    This morning my neighbor who teaches at the college I go to;
    was murdered dead. Poor Morgan, one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met.

    Professor of foreign languages at this tiny South Dakota school, the month of November has always been cruel.

    Part of being hardcore is not to fear death.
    What can you say after you have a gun pointed to your head?

    Rainy November 1, this is the second dead one I’ve met in the town of South Dakota
    where the winter begins.

    Lived downstairs, drove a late model Alfa Romeo. Nice Guy, Lakota blood.

    Campus police tell us “Walk in pairs” I’m not scared of death. I’m scared of the dreams to come.

  23. Thanks all.A pretty crappy
    Thanks all.

    A pretty crappy time. But I’ve got a strong family and friends. Death is a part of life. But that doesn’t make it any easier. Thanks again.

  24. Well Vinny i was thinking
    Well Vinny i was thinking this would have been about derrida or husserl or something like that…a bit of an understatement and i’m not sure if it is understated or not…

    the dreams we play

    you stare lightly at me

    from the other side of the room

    you seem pretty sweet

    but aren’t you that whore that started around town at age 14?

    now trying saying that to someone

  25. HalloweenDarkness deals the

    Darkness deals the deathblow to light
    and the flame begins to dwindle,
    heralding the approach of the winter solstice.
    Soon the snows will come
    and all of these autumnal colours
    will leave but the skeletal tips of icy trees.

    Yes, this is the season for wisdom —
    where what we have sown is harvested
    where we digest the things we have learned.
    Such wisdom is born out of the fruits of labour.

    The moon is bright tonight and beams
    out across the city’s astral plane –
    A silence, a stillness, an emptiness
    promises to consume past pleasures and pains.

  26. -[braedon]-I stood on

    I stood on cracking streets,
    palms slick and waiting for your hand;
    you, child, who I’d met once
    with hushed lips and shy eyes.

    Wearing tinted sunglasses
    your eyes never leave mine,
    giddy smiles, four drinks in to the evening,
    checkered hat hanging low on your forehead.
    We skip introductions, stand a bit too close,
    kick our feet up at broken lamps,
    watch city lights explode.

    Stumbling haplessly into dark alleys,
    lost somewhere in the womb of the city
    I make light, impose myself into your space
    ask you to dance.

    Six am, car resting in that tired parking garage
    of your fiftydollaranight hotel room
    I turned a goodbye hug into a waltz.

  27. Euler’s WaveWe can surf e to
    Euler’s Wave

    We can surf e to the iPi
    And add 1
    To get 0
    So e to the iPi
    Equals -1
    Where e is the natural log
    Maybe an Oak
    And i is a figment of the Imagination
    That is the square root of -1
    And Pi is pie in the sky
    So it works, beautiful as a blue tube
    And we live in the infinite realm of all
    Calculated possibles, while pollsters poll
    And the undecided squirm in their sleep
    Like spineless jelly on the beach
    Waiting for the next wave on which to float.

  28. nothing extraordinaryhow
    nothing extraordinary

    how waking up to the rain and cold made my ankle hurt where it was once cracked.

    but still, my ass got out of bed to listen to lectures about post world war II.

    then to let the day randomize itself with meetings of people i don’t really consider my friends.

    except the one person who wasn’t in class. he’s sick, like diarrhea and vomit sick.

    walking alone in between the trees of the campus and the heavy rain drops that mimic my attitude.

    only to come home to the emptiness of waiting, while the answering machine plays the same old messages.

    …please pick up… i love you… maybe we can do something this weekend… coffee…a movie… please.. call me… let me know…

    then i think about the past, faces that murmur in the rain and smear their likeness onto the window, staring.

    mom said it isn’t nice to stare.

    i think school is becoming too much, that i need more time to think about my own problems.

    not get caught in barbie’s playhouse while everyone around me pretends to be grown up.

    and then the door opens, and he’s home, and i am not stuck in the claustrophobia of a day, waiting…

  29. Orange Always RhymesStep
    Orange Always Rhymes

    Step barefoot into reality.
    Dig your toes into the wet cement
    of a foam smoothed shore.
    Try to leave permanent marks.
    Carve your name into a cloud.
    Draw pictures with the star clusters.
    Color outside the lines
    of the ancient Zodiac.
    Invent new constellations
    with names like Spider Web
    And Pinwheel and Prance.
    Lick the wind as it passes by.
    Touch the tree tops from afar
    as they drop their skins,
    scales of a roaring dragon.
    Sing about Little Jackie Paper
    at the top of your lungs.
    Smell the new pumpkins
    in the brusselsprout fields.
    Imagine the texture of fall
    when orange always rhymes.

  30. Cold RainMy face is dripping
    Cold Rain

    My face is dripping as I run
    From the television glow-
    The day is ending, tomorrow as Well, and I am living beyond
    The locked in lies of Them:
    I will let the bitter breezes of
    November consume my empty

  31. Definitely styled like
    Definitely styled like William Carlos, although th subject matter brings about sentiments much more archaic than his work.
    I like concise things like that.

  32. I like this piece very much
    I like this piece very much !: it’s one rumbling “rocky meditation”, a swirl of (Joycean, he ..) associations which copy differently in different readers’ brains (and states) – and which still present a blend of a personal message.

  33. Balletcrouching on a rainy

    crouching on a rainy wire fence, barbs betweent he toes
    rain coming down, drops of flaking ash smouldering and hissing in the daylight
    nothing keeps it together and both sides are inevitable doors into the same old nightmare
    so familiar now that the armour begins to creak
    numbness is reality … I order another beer
    the street comes in through the door and nose to nose with the television flickering above the bar
    Stromin’ Mormon picking his nose in his suit and tie
    wipes it on his trousers outside the news-camera’s gaze
    smell of wet cement, vomit and burnt plastic holds me to the wire
    I’ve drawn another blank.

  34. Sleep well, Mr. PresidentI
    Sleep well, Mr. President

    I wonder if the new president
    will let me keep my books and
    my thoughts. Do you think he
    might attempt to tamper with my
    rampant irresponsibility? I hope so
    sometimes, and sometimes I hope not.

    I sometimes wish I were President.
    I think I could rile up a crowd, and stand firm
    when necessary, but I imagine I would
    have no time for poetry, and what is life
    without a little poetry.

    If you were President, could you look me in the eye
    and tell me you tried your best to be fair?
    Think about it for a second, because I’ll believe you
    if you let me. Can’t you see that
    I want to believe?

    I don’t sleep well, Mr. President, I never have.
    It’s not your fault, I’m not blaming you.
    I just thought you might like to know.
    I’ll be staying up nights, watching you sir.
    Good luck Mr. President. Sleep well.

  35. Good sense of mood, feeling,
    Good sense of mood, feeling, texture of the mind or something; elusive and present at the same time? Hard for me to put into words – I could read this more than once, that’s for sure.

  36. balderdash and blasphemynot
    balderdash and blasphemy

    not enough infamy
    these exploded semi-revolutions
    not enough guts
    fat lips with minds crucial

    too much hope, wish and balderdash
    too much blasphemy and abuse
    too much service paid to blah blah
    while hearts seep through the streets

    carousels spin off their axes
    too much grease
    too much spit and wild fire

    while truth lies

  37. cause there’s too muchsqueaky
    cause there’s too much
    squeaky wheel….pushin’
    too hard on me…too hard
    don’t ya know it’s all a
    crazy scene…..soundin’
    feelin’s too tight…pushin’
    …..pushin’ too hard on me
    …too hard!!!!!!………

  38. MonotonyIs our standard of
    Is our standard of living
    Xerox copies of yesterday
    Cut and pasted
    Into today
    Creating our repetitive future

  39. rogue moonlighti dream of the
    rogue moonlight

    i dream of the rogue moonlight
    creeping upon the final riddle
    of our lost drama, as white as
    a virgin thigh, drunk on the
    liquor of betrayed sky, in this,
    a rare vesuvius moment, where
    cameo appearences drift softly
    through the resonance of our
    lost & wandering luck, oh, one
    day i will deny you the truth of
    our vetting, bring to to the brink
    of disaster, call to you across
    the fading of each brittle morning

  40. my judih fix, verbal needles
    my judih fix, verbal needles stabbed into ripe veins, they say when the last
    vein goes, it’s like drowning in warm water, the way my shirt fell into the
    willamette river, the way george bush steals the souls of inner city kids, but
    no time for pessimism now, the sun
    has a sweet perfume, & judih paints
    it on the skin of someone’s back
    & nighttime is always too short



  41. bullfighterwhen i weep i weep

    when i weep i weep blood,
    i wipe it with a handkerchief,
    the handkerchief turns red
    and attracts charging bulls

    that’s how i became a bullfighter.

  42. Cities at NightCities, they
    Cities at Night

    Cities, they come alive at night.

    The stench of decay is driven away
    Replaced by the fruitful fumes of the gay

    Curtailing the Sun’s natural light, neon flames set it alight
    Cities, they come alive at night

    The dreaded order of employment’s conformity
    Is shunned by our flirtatious yelps of glee

    Such boisterous motion, bustling and flexed makes me want to grope and bite
    Cities, they come alive at night

    Anything is possible now, anything you wish
    Oh how I’d love it to stay, darkened, like this

    Canals of synthetic luminosity make morsels of our misery and plight
    Cities, they come alive at night

    Bars and pubs wrestle in drunken flux
    A sensual Beastress fondles and sucks

    No one is lonely now and nothing is holy to our sight
    Cities, they come alive at night

    Ahh, but as the joyous nocturne ends slowly,
    We sing together, aloud in unison-poetry:


  43. Loneliness is too kind and
    Loneliness is too kind and succinct

    Loneliness is too kind and succinct a word
    To convey a feeling so randomly absurd

    To portray thoughts vindictive, virulent and cruel
    That makes me feel like the gasping offspring of a drunken fool

    An impenetrable murk does clog my mind
    Mocking and deriding in cold, cerebral bind

    But what of me? Yes, I am the joke
    Of the merry, laughing, mirthful folk

    If these words have a purpose at least. It is to portray my thickness
    Which I enthusiastically mistook for…richness

    The meter here is infantile, disorganised and heavy
    But then, such bitterness can never be steady

    Am I ignorant to dwell so deep in misery?
    It only seems ‘what could be, won’t be!’

    Ach, but this mood is a vigorous foe
    It screams, bites and kicks in tumults of woe

    Yesterday, happiness seemed attainable, within my grasp
    Now it seems so distant and far, it makes me gasp

    ‘To be a great poet, you must speak of experiences’
    I only mutter, morbid mumblings drenched in dreariness

    Am I ugly? Well perhaps at best
    But this dread mind, tears me from the rest

    Oh, that women, well she came and past
    Our love was never quite mutual-it didn’t last

    So then, I remain alone, ruminating over the joyful ghosts of old
    My life-force drains, such world-weariness and depression turn my flesh cold

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Litkicks will turn 30 years old in the summer of 2024! We can’t believe it ourselves. We don’t run as many blog posts about books and writers as we used to, but founder Marc Eliot Stein aka Levi Asher is busy running two podcasts. Please check out our latest work!