"Dig my grave with a bloody spade/ make damn sure that the digger gets paid." --Dave Van Ronk

Make a platter from my bones and place it upright 
on a stand 
in a hutch,
that I might shine in captivity like a noble urge.
Take the space where I wasn't and the absence that I'll be
and fill a lamp globe 
with my spirit aflame.

Can I count on you to do these things?

My sweetness, the bloom and nectar of my orchard self
is fed by the soot and smear of my failures
like counterweights,
engines of animation brief as the folding of a fan.
Set me like bone china,
an after-image,
glinting like a peineta in the hair of summer's widow.

Under my skin
between my breasts,
the lemon, in its nest of oleanders.

On the edges of my dreams
beyond the gray flags of melancholy,
dahlias, in colorful profusion.

In my hair
where folded telegrams posture in warning,
rooster feathers fall in crescents.

In my voice
the seductive softness of candle wax,
and the sharpness of cane leaves.

In my past
the anvil and the broken wheel.
In my mornings, dogs across the sunlit bed.

In my hope chest
accordion-legged spiders, gypsy crickets
and carnations to heal my eyes with kindness, like silent nuns.

This list is taken from "Gypsy Ballads" by Federico Garcia Lorca. The words are from translations from the original Spanish. Please use at least three of the list words in an original poem 

THIS EXERCISE IS MEANT FOR SERIOUS POETS. If you write as a hobby, as therapy, for journaling, for social interaction, or are new to poetry, there are other venues for your work. No fauxku, no haibun, no prose. Any form or style except those just mentioned. The aim here is for quality, not quantity. Please do NOT link back here on your post. 

Your list:

Please leave your links in the comments. 


Posted: 04/24/2022 in house of blues
like a cleric, an intermediary
between sky and earth--
born of branch,
air's visitor,
your feathers made of poems
clothe you and lift you
further from me,
and from my hand,
that stanza's end, closing on nothing--
spread like spilled sacrament
before the bright tray
of the sun.

Coal Black is a fictional character, written as such. Please visit my main blog–written ham-handedly by me–HERE.


“why the drama?” you said, and all gf eyes turned my way. “we can be friends with you both.”

oh god!

i shouldn’t laugh so hard with pins in my mouth.


for November Themes. I used “drama.”

you said that dragonflies only live a day.

that’s bullshit.

they just can’t remember

who they were yesterday

or what they had for breakfast.

when you’ve got legs that long

life is an hour by hour thing–

when you’ve got wings that wide

here comes everybody, with nets and pins.

you said that dragonflies only live a day.

that’s bullshit.

it’s just

they can’t for the life of them remember how they got here,

how to act,

who they can trust,

or what the fuck to do now.

for quickly. dumpster dive.


she listens to the dead men sing

under the dryer

in the salon

reading cosmo.

(if those articles really worked, oh the

glaze-eyed goofy-grinned guys there’d be,

wandering in droves down university street.)

she’s listening to dead men sing

in her head

when i lower my face slowly in front of hers and

fake smile a hi, with a finger twirl.

look up from the huddle, helmet girl.

here comes trouble.

i have come to dig up jeremy

out of your stupid little cemetery of luv.

hang on j, imma comin’.

i bet those cops had never been in judy’s salon before.

they really do put their hands on your head

when they toss you in the cruiser.

lookit, evidence, stupid blond hair in my hot little hand.

jeremy, i have avenged thee,

and taken scalps.


(man that’s a lot of damage. one word–conditioner.)


“oooh, have another hit….of sweet air”–quicksilver messenger service

have another hit
of me,
you said.
tilt back your head
and breathe deep.

there are
different kinds of
flashing lights.
both make your heart
beat faster.

now I know
that you were just
neighborhood stuff,
and that the buzz
was me.

if the cops stop you,
breathe deep and chill, baby powder girl.
they’ll catch on that they’re just
chasing tail
and wasting daylight on an empty dress.

i’m sweet tea and hemlock,

a little bit of three in the afternoon in my house full of

dust bunnies and dylan cranked to crack the china,


i might take a book out to my queenly throne

in the suicide rose garden,

with its au-gust reception line of neighborhood cats

mer-rowing views your type can never quite work out.

i’m an emerald isle

shanty irish

corned beef and semtex kind of girl,

sun dappled, dozing, day late and dollar short diva

too cool for school,

too old for bullshit,

an old molly you’ll never notice enough to describe later to those nice young men

with their notepads and a 5-minute o.k. from the intern who saved your life.


for this one’s for you.