Poetry Information

My Final Defeat - Fixed Competition


She probably can't remember
and I know I can never forget...
the first time I saw her like that
I was only nine years-old
not naive by any stretch
having seen my share of tragedy-
my parent's bitter battles in my first five years of life
then the inevitable end of their marriage
but not before 700 days of devastation called divorce
that destroyed dreams and deeply damaged hearts
I had no idea life could get worse...

But it did -

The day I found her passed out cold on the living room floor
I thought she was sleeping at first
In fact I swore she was just sound asleep
to my petrified little sister
whose big brown eyes screamed with fear
at the site of the lifeless body of our mommy
slobber dribbling out of the corner of her mouth
soaking her cheek below the dirt of her eye makeup
that trickled down her sallow skin on a face
devoid of any expression...

Is mommy dead?
a little voice whimpered
my sister weeped

My gut said Yeah she's dead as a doornail

Thankfully my words said No No she's not dead
as I carried my trembling, tiny sibling upstairs
and tucked her in bed with my promise
that Mommy would wake up in the morning...
as I wondered What if she didn't?

Little did I know I would wonder again and again
for the next 20 years
who I would see when I came home from school...
my real mom - you know her - the sober, sophisticated lady -
or would I find that ugly, evil spirit
lurking within my mommy's body again?

I loathed that demon who called me nasty names
and didn't cook dinner or do laundry
I wanted to murder the monster that growled at me
slurring words, throwing things and
staggering through our house...

So confused, embarassed, shocked, and dazed
by how my mommy would really be two people

But I learned early -

Never ask questions...
about anything at all
Never tell...
anyone - not a soul
Never complain about the awful monster
for fear that it would take my real mommy away forever
Never trust anyone or even my tomorrows...
since nobody ever knew if the evil demon would be back
Never feel anything...
because it was easier to become completely numb
than to endure the endless pain and loss day after day...

When I got older, I thought I could deal better
but looking back now I know I was wrong...
It didn't get easier, I just became paralyzed
behind the protective wall I built to be safe from her...

Nobody ever met the first boy I went on a date with
neither parent even knew his name
much less what kind of car I hopped into
or where we were supposed to be going...
Because my dad wasn't around and she was drunk
and I was ashamed, so I stood by the front door
waiting for Tommy's car to come down my street
and as soon as I saw it, I barged out the door
raced across the front porch, skipped the steps,
barely letting my feet touch the curb before
I bounced into his Chevy with my gleaming smile
that everyone knew me for -

The radiant face with the perpetually beaming smile
that I faked so often, it almost felt real...
My cheerful facade created to disguise
my actual agony and untold twisted torture

Today at 30 years-old, I have perfected my mysterious mask
as I cower behind my forced, dazzling smile
and feigned nature of blissful peace and normalcy

Nobody ever gets even a glimpse
of the real me - tormented by childhood memories
tossing and turning in my bed every night,
haunted by frantic flashes of bad dreams,
reeling in faithless feelings, lingering self-doubt, desolate disbelief, hopelessly

searching...
for explanations, answers
to my questions that haven't changed in 20 years...

But anything close to understanding
seems to escape my emotional grasp
eternally eluding my ravished, raging mind
and sense of reason and logic...

I surrended myself to a continual, compulsive scramble
through a menacing maze of misconceptions
that I perpetuate with my naive expectations
for a miracle to magically reveal a meaningful response
to my endlessly, impossible questions...

If I could just find...
A solitary reason why
my mother has continued to choose alcohol over me
for more than 25 years...
Or a single clue to explain how
I can compete for her love when
my opponent is a lifeless, speechless, emotionless
loyal bottle of vodka...

Resource Box - Danielle Hollister (2004) is the Publisher of BellaOnline Quotations Zine - A free newsletter for quote lovers featuring more than 10,000 quotations in dozens of categories like - love, friendship, children, inspiration, success, wisdom, family, life, and many more. Read it online at - http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art8364.asp


MORE RESOURCES:
Celebrate National Poetry Month With the New Yorker Poetry Bot  The New Yorker

Just in time for National Poetry Month, the New Yorker Poetry Bot is back! Launched in 2017, to celebrate the magazine's ninety-second anniversary, the bot ...


In ‘Swift,’ David Baker’s Poetry Stitches the Fractured World Into Art  The New York Times

For almost 40 years, in the extreme suburbs and the diminishing countryside, Baker has worked to see and describe things as though for the first time.


Poetry from Independent Voices  JSTOR Daily

Reveal Digital's open access "Independent Voices" collection includes many digitized literary magazines. Those interested in poetry should take note.


“Poetry,” by Greg Jackson  The New Yorker

Fiction by Greg Jackson: “The volcano was there, and so we had to climb it. That was how things shook out for me.”


These Queer Poets Expand on Black Life Through Their Work  The Root

Editor's note: For National Poetry Month, we're featuring 37 up-and-coming black poets this week who we expect to do amazing work over the next decade.


Greg Jackson Reads “Poetry”  The New Yorker

Deborah Treisman hosts the author Greg Jackson, who reads his short story “Poetry,” from the April 29, 2019, issue of The New Yorker.


Langston’s Legacy: These Young Black Poets Rep Their Cultures to the Fullest  The Root

While in his early 20s and a student at Lincoln University, Langston Hughes published his first book of poetry, The Weary Blues, and penned his landmark essay ...


Off the Shelf: Celebrate Poetry Month | News, Sports, Jobs  NUjournal

April is National Poetry Month and it's not too late to celebrate. If you're looking to join a book group, all are invited to the library's Poetry Readi.


The Joys of Yiddish Poetry  Tablet Magazine

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of attending the concert and release party for my friend Alex Weiser's gorgeous new CD, called … and all the days were ...


Klara du Plessis gets two short list nods for Canada’s top poetry prizes  Toronto Star

League of Canadian poets releases prize short lists for Gerald Lampert, Pat Lowther and Raymond Souster awards, each worth $2000.


Graveside poetry: Xiao Hong, Dai Wangshu, and the dead among us  SupChina

April is National Poetry Month, and we're celebrating with a series of articles that looks at Chinese poetry, both past and present. Drawing from her experiences ...


Throwing Weight Into Sound: Kaveh Akbar on Poetry and Power  The New Yorker

Kevin Young interviews the poet Kaveh Akbar about politics, poetry, and his poem “The Palace,” which appears on newyorker.com.


'They deserve to be heard’: Poetry project gives a voice to English language learners  Hawaii News Now

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Farrington High School student Jalen Espejo wrote a poem about leaving the Philippines to live in Hawaii. It's a happy and sad ...


Poetry and Prose Project presents classic poetry revue | Kudos AZ  Camp Verde Bugle

Friday, April 26, 5 p.m.. the Poetry and Prose Project will present their annual classic poetry revue. A variety of voices read a variety of great words from many ...


Theater Piece combines Emily Dickinson poetry with music  Biddeford Journal Tribune

KENNEBUNK — Emily Dickinson's poetry expresses loneliness, delight, passion, despair and hope, and Patricia Mulholland of Arundel has written a chamber ...


Victorian women poets of WW1: capturing the reverberations of loss  The Conversation AU

An anthology of Victorian women poets is a window into their thoughts and feelings during the first world war.


'It's not my poetry that matters, it's poetry that matters'  Oregon ArtsWatch

Here are two ways to know a poet: One is to read the work, which in the case of José Angel Araguz, offers an astonishingly intimate window into his journals ...


Perspective: Poetry Is The Thing With Feathers | WNIJ and WNIU  WNIJ and WNIU

Occasionally, Perspectives regular Elsa Glover hands the mic over to a fellow teacher in the Kaneland School District and they record a guest Perspective.


"Poetry on the Porch" will host two poets to discuss poetry in the South  The Daily Tar Heel

The Love House, the headquarters for the Center for the Study of the American South, which is hosting the Poetry on the Porch event with Southern Culture ...


Lydia Sigourney’s poetry  Hartford Courant

The commentary about Connecticut poet Lydia Sigourney unfortunately repeats tired old cliches regarding Sigourney and women authors in general.


Logan searches for new poet laureate | Government  The Herald Journal

It's been almost five years since Logan's first poet laureate was selected, and as Star Coulbrooke's term comes to a close, the search for a new poet laureate has ...


Houston Poet: We’re All Like Tequila  Houston Public Media

Poet Lupe Mendez talks about his new collection, Why I Am Like Tequila.


For the Country’s Most Promising Teen Poets, Poetry Is Activism  Vulture

The National Student Poets Program had its main sponsor cut by Donald Trump. The 2019 honorees — Heather Laurel Jensen, Darius Atefat-Peckham, Ariana ...


Upon Waking: Healing Through Poetry  The Southerner

Although many students and staff members alike may be unaware, one of South's social studies teacher, namely Ms. Lanik, recently published a collection of ...


'We have more poets for the people' says Nottingham Poetry Festival 2019 creative director Georgina Wilding  Nottinghamshire Live

'We are opening doors to people who think differently and want to have a go'


Tucson Poetry Festival returns for four-day celebration  Arizona Daily Star

The four-day 2019 Tucson Poetry Festival will kick off Thursday, April 25, celebrating contemporary poetry through events, readings, performances and more.


Poetry That Bears Witness to a Changing Natural World  The New Yorker

Dan Chiasson on David Baker, a poet of American anti-pastoral who renders both the landscape and the forces that imperil it.


Easthampton students learn about Caribbean culture through poetry, history  GazetteNET

EASTHAMPTON – At the start of a lesson on African Caribbean history, Jodi Alatalo asked students, “How many of you have heard of the Caribbean?” Hands ...


8 More of the Best Poetry Podcasts for Your Ears  Book Riot

For your listening pleasure, we've rounded up some of the best poetry podcasts out there, from classics to five-minute poems.


'Don't Be Late for Poetry'  Afro American

Baltimore has some of the most talented, raw, award-winning poets in the nation. In acknowledgement of National Poetry Month. The AFRO kicked off our ...


April brings spring, Paris and poetry. But no hugs  The Gazette

Somewhere along the line well-meaning members of American society decided that hugging one another when greeting or saying goodbye was an appropriate ...


Transforming Data Into Poetry  KLRU-TV

We are experiencing technical difficulties that are preventing us from playing the video at this time. Please check back again soon. Sorry, the video player failed ...


How to Write Poetry About Conflict  The Atlantic

In the late '70s, Carolyn Forché traveled to El Salvador on the eve of its civil war, knowing little about the country. Crucially, she understood how little she knew.


Off topic: Amazing animals, moon plans, poetry from Mueller report, percent styles  The Mercury News

Happy Monday. It's Levi, driving the GMSV bus again for the week. Behold the axolotis, sea sapphire, horror frog and other “real animals that shouldn't exist.


Linda Gregg, award-winning poet of lines like ‘chiseled marble,’ dies at 76  Washington Post

Linda Gregg, an award-winning poet whose muse followed her in her wanderings from the wilds of California to the rugged hills of Greece, from the Texas desert ...


A Poetic Body of Work Grapples With the Physical Body at Risk  The New York Times

In “The Tradition,” Jericho Brown witnesses and celebrates vulnerability and resilience in a country that too often scorns or condemns them.


Abington library holds student poetry reading focused on diverse poetic voices  Penn State News

ABINGTON, Pa. — The Penn State Abington Library held its second annual student poetry reading recently to promote a greater understanding of and ...


These New Orleans students are poets. Order pizza this Friday and you’ll know it  The Advocate

When you order your next pizza, try extra cheese and a rhyming stanza.


Poets Salon: Pink Moon  coloradoboulevard.net

Poets Salon: Pink Moon, with Peggy Castro, Renee Cassese, Vessislava Savova, and Lori Kiefer. The Poets Salon is hosted by Kath Abela Wilson.


Stanley Plumly, Lyrical Poet Influenced by Keats, Dies at 79  The New York Times

Stanley Plumly, an award-winning poet whose poignant narratives were inspired by the beauty and transcendence of John Keats's lyrical verse, died on April 11 ...


A Conversation With U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy Smith  NPR

To kick off National Poetry Month, NPR's Korva Coleman talks with the nation's two-term poet laureate about the importance of poetry during divisive times.


National Poetry Month: Talking With An Educator  Human Rights Campaign

HRC is celebrating National Poetry Month by asking young people nationwide to write poems about what equality means to them and share them with us.


8 excellent Latino poetry books for National Poetry Month  NBCNews.com

April is National Poetry Month, and we look at the diversity and breadth of the Latino experience through books and anthologies by acclaimed poets like Richard ...


Poet-Tea at Madelyn Helling Library this afternoon – YubaNet  YubaNet

April 23, 2019 – The Madelyn Helling Library will be hosting a Poetry Teatime with local poets on Tuesday, April 23rd at 4:00 p.m. in the Gene Albaugh ...


'Shake' it up: Celebrate the Bard's birthday with poetry  Brooklyn Paper

Happy birthday, Bill! A Kings County theater troupe will transform Ditmas Park's Stratford Road into a free, public celebration of the 455th birthday of William ...


Linda Gregg, award-winning poet who explored love and loss, dies at 76  Los Angeles Times

Linda Gregg, an award-winning poet whose muse followed her in her wanderings from the wilds of Northern California to the rugged hills of Greece, from the ...


Robots and poetry come alive at Black Imagination conference  The Architect's Newspaper

The Architect's Newspaper is the most authoritative voice on architecture and design in the United States.


Poetry at work  strategy+business Today

The brilliant poet Wallace Stevens spent his career in the insurance industry. To what extent did these two aspects of his life nourish one another?


Review: Kelly Fordon's new poetry is an unsentimental look at marriage and motherhood  Michigan Radio

In her new collection of poems, Goodbye Toothless House, Michigan writer Kelly Fordon takes aim at the idealized facade of marriage and motherhood. Ann.


Metaphors, Medicine, And The Poetry Of Science  Science Friday

April is National Poetry Month, a time of readings, outreach programs, and enthusiastic celebration of the craft. And for a special Science Friday celebration, we'll ...


Features of Allama Iqbals poetry highlighted  The News International

LAHORE: The thoughts of Allama Muhammad Iqbal not only changed the history but also the geography of the Sub-continent, said experts at an international ...


Award-winning poet performs, honoring Asian heritage | News  Standard Online

Snaps filled Carrington Hall's auditorium as award-winning poet, Terisa Siagatonu, performed spoken word poetry in honor of Asian Heritage Month.


A Night Of Exploring Caribbean Narratives Through Food And Poetry  WJCT NEWS

Miami is the backyard of the Caribbean and it's National Poetry Month, so naturally there's a convening that will blend South Florida's Caribbean roots over food ...


Shaping the world through poetry  Sentinel & Enterprise

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Leominster Public Library is hosting a poetry reading event featuring U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo, author of "Soul ...


Maria Carillo sophomore wins top prize in statewide poetry contest  Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Zoya Ahmed, a sophomore at Maria Carrillo High, was awarded the top prize for a poem blending sound and spice.


A maudlin poet in ‘Huckleberry Finn’  Hartford Courant

After reading Norma Buchanan's piece about the poet Lydia Sigourney, I had a sudden revelation. Her poetry bears a striking resemblance to that of the ...


San Jose students give new meaning to ‘trashy poetry’  The Mercury News

Inspirational verses written by the 20 student winners of the "Litter-ature" competition are being installed on 500 trash cans in the city.


Coffeehouse Poets: If Walter Mitty Were a Cat  Yakima Herald-Republic

The Yakima Coffeehouse Poets, a nonprofit formed in 2014 to represent the interests of poets and poetry lovers in Central Washington, is the organization ...


In age of fast Twitter fame, these poets work in slow obscurity. They're on to something.  NorthJersey.com

In Rutherford, in a building named for William Carlos Williams, group members meet in obscurity to argue and perfect their work.


Library adds music to poetry - SHINE News  Shine News

Live performers attract a packed audience to listen to ancient texts set to operatic melodies in a s.


The life and death of Chinese poetry’s mystical martyr  SupChina

Obscure during his lifetime, Zha Haisheng has — since killing himself in 1989 — become one of the most popular and influential poets of contemporary China, ...


How poetry can help kids get to college  Detroit Free Press

Poetry has tangible benefits for kids who read and write it, the executive director of Detroit nonprofit InsideOut Literary Arts writes.


Kate Clanchy: ‘Poetry makes children feel important, that they’re heard’  The Guardian

The writer and schoolteacher on poetry's power to inspire the young.


In turbulent times, Richard Blanco creates 'bridges of empathy' in new poetry book  NBCNews.com

Richard Blanco builds on his role as a civic poet in his new book, “How to Love a Country," tackling national issues such as gun violence, immigration, gay ...


Let us make poetry a 'Feast of April' in our classrooms: Ramnath Subramanian  El Paso Times

In El Paso, February fools nature into thinking that spring has arrived, so that by the time April rolls around, the birds, the flowers, and the butterflies are in the full ...


A young poet shaped by religious language  The Christian Century

Nate Marshall is a poet and rapper whose work about growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Wild Hundreds, was awarded the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry ...


The return of Michael Redhill, and two other books to celebrate poetry month  The Globe and Mail

Twitch Force is Michael Redhill's first book of poetry in 18 years. But he's been busy. Already well known as a literary novelist, playwright and editor, and as the ...


Deaf poet Raymond Antrobus wins Ted Hughes award  BBC News

London poet Raymond Antrobus, who was thought to be dyslexic with severe learning disabilities until his deafness was discovered at the age of six, has won ...


As a doctor in the ICU, I sometimes feel helpless. Poetry provides solace  STAT

The first time I was in an intensive care unit as a medical student, I wondered if I should pray. The patient was unconscious. A tube secured in his mouth ...


Sportswriting on Deadline: The Underappreciated Art  The Atlantic

A new anthology of sportswriting celebrates the poetry written in the press box.


Lady Brion: Power Through Poetry  Afro American

Brion Gill, known on poetry stages internationally as “Lady Brion” wields her gift like a cudgel, or waves it like silk depending on the occasion. Yet, she ...


Framingham High Seniors To Battle at 16th Annual Poetry Slam Thursday  framinghamsource.com

FRAMINGHAM – Amazing Things Arts Center will host the final round of the 16th Annual Framingham High Poetry Slam on Thursday, April 25. A “slam” is a ...


Poetry Festival to feature Kansas poets laureate and others  Salina Journal

The Heart of the Heartland Small Press Poetry Fest is a three-day poetry festival from Friday through Sunday that will feature poets representing independent ...


Poetry round-up: McCarthy delights with second collection in two years  The Irish Times

Plus new poetry from Julia Copus.


Ann Cannon: Poetry recommendations for the kids in your life  Salt Lake Tribune

Dear Readers • Here's the deal. Little kids like poetry. No, really. They do! Especially if it has a good beat and you can dance to it. It's only after we send them off ...


The best recent poetry – review roundup  The Guardian

Witch by Rebecca Tamás; Near Future by Suzannah Evans; O Positive by Joe Dunthorne; Discipline by Jane Yeh. Ben Wilkinson. Sat 6 Apr 2019 06.00 EDT.


Hanif Abdurraqib and Morgan Parker Chat Poetry and Blackness in America  VICE

By now, you should know about Morgan Parker—she's a tour de force in the world of poetry, author of the collections Other People's Comfort Keeps Me Up at ...


Poetry celebration underway  Waupaca County News

People may create blackout poems at the Waupaca Area Public Library this month. Angie Landsverk Photo. TagsNational Poetry Month WaupacaWaupaca ...


A Poet and Essayist Meditates on the Deep Roots Binding Humans and Trees  The New York Times

C.D. Wright's posthumous book “Casting Deep Shade” offers a guided walk through beech forests and her own wide-ranging mind.


Project CommUNITY: 'Poetry and Chill' after school workshops  KOCO Oklahoma City

Maggie Carlo talks to the founder of "Poetry and Chill," Gregory II, as well as Douglass High School 8th grade student, Zinari Reginald Waldrup, about the ...


Poetry: For National Poetry Month, Notable Maine Poets Discuss Their Work and The Role of Poetry  Maine Public

April is National Poetry Month. With the release of new books by a number of prominent Maine poets, we'll discuss the role of poetry in today's culture and.


Stanley Plumly, Md. poet laureate who wrote of nature and memory, dies at 79  Washington Post

Stanley Plumly, a poet and University of Maryland professor who served as the state's poet laureate for nine years and also published well-regarded nonfiction ...


On poetry, tradition, risk-taking, and colonial barbarians  Al Jazeera English

A conversation between Indian poet Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee and Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish.


In David Baker’s nature poetry, devastation lurks always in the background  The Washington Post

David Baker published his first book of poetry, “Haunts,” in 1985. That title, both noun and verb, says a lot about the tone and tenor of the poetry Baker has ...


5 New Books on Poetry Pulitzer Winner Forrest Gander’s Reading List  Vulture

Poet Forrest Gander, who earned the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, on five books on his reading list: C.D. Wright's Casting Deep Shade, Arthur Sze's Sight Lines, ...


Running on Coffee: And the Pulitzer for poetry goes to...  Reading Eagle

Earlier this week the Pulitzer Prizes for the arts and journalism were announced, which included the prize for poetry, awarded to Forrest Gander for.


Poet Hanif Abdurraqib Discusses His Writing Process  NPR

For National Poetry Month, poet, essayist, and cultural critic Hanif Abdurraqib shares a poem and his writing process. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Sometimes the ...


Portland's Café Review marks 30 years of curating poetry from around the world  Press Herald

The Café Review began humbly, as 16 mimeographed sheets of paper stapled together. The poets who gathered regularly at Woodfords Café in Portland ...


The Poetry Of An X-Ray  Science Friday

Rafael Campo, a doctor and a poet, turns his experiences in the operating room into poetry.


Linda Gregg, Poet of Taut, Vivid Verse, Is Dead at 76  The New York Times

Linda Gregg, who explored beauty, loss, struggle and desire in award-winning poetry that was spare but intense and deeply evocative, died on March 20 in ...


Valley Verses: Conway resident to release first poetry collection, “Kairos”  The Recorder

A first glance at the elevated diction and usage of the sonnet form in Conway resident Libby Maxey's poetry might make readers believe it's inaccessible. But to ...


Local poet remembers Donald Hall, Jane Kenyon at event  Concord Monitor

In honor of National Poetry Month, poet Wesley McNair will offer a recollection of his literary friendship with Donald Hall and Jane Kenyon, which began in the ...


#NaPoWriMo: 10 poets from India who are embracing (and excelling at) National Poetry Writing Month  Scroll.in

This April, like every year since 2003, is bringing us some fantastic daily poetry. Here are 10 poets worth following.


Fourth graders dig into pop music and poetry at CU Boulder  CU Boulder Today

As they learn how writers revise their work and use literary devices, the students gear up for a school assembly led by an Australian rap star.


The Poet Family Who Were Icons of Spanish Nationalism  The New York Times

The Age of Disenchantments,” by Aaron Shulman, chronicles the turbulent lives of Leopoldo Panero, the unofficial poet laureate of Francoism, and his wife and ...


Poetry at McLeod returns on Sun. April 28 with activist poet Glenis Redmond  Charleston City Paper

The latest installment in the Poetry at McLeod series will feature “Imagination Activist” poet Glenis Redmond. The reception and reading will be held at McLeod ...


Chrome extension replaces Google’s canned replies with poetry  The Verge

Google traditionally plagues the internet with its own April Fools' gags on April 1st, but developer Chris Zubak-Skees has beaten the internet giant at its own ...


These students found rhythm, art and joy through poetry  Miami Herald

Listening to poems in English and Spanish from Shel Siliverstein, Francisco Xavier Alarcón and E.E. Cummings, students at the Brucie Ball Education Center ...


Local nomadic songwriter, musician featured at Wednesday Night Poetry  Hot Springs Sentinel

Nomadic songwriter, musician and poet Kate Trice will be this week's featured poet for Wednesday Night Poetry at Kollective Coffee+Tea, 110 Central Ave.


National Poetry Month: Library to host celebration Thursday  The Ridgefield Press

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Ridgefield Library will present, Poetry Celebration: An Intergenerational Performance and Reading on Thursday,


home | site map | Art of the Ocean
© 2006