It’s been a while since we last hosted a poetry party on Twitter, but it finally happened. Nine poets participated in our most recent Twitter party, responding to prompts by @tspoetry taken from Dave Malone’s (that’s @dzmalone in the vernacular of Twitter) most recent poetry collection, O: Love Songs from the Ozarks. Our review of the collection was posted here at Tweetspeak Poetry back in February.
Tweetspeak Poetry was born as a result of series of poetry parties on Twitter. For a while we posted the resulting poems on my personal blog, but finally created a site just for that purpose. Over time, the site grew, additional features like Poetry at Work Day and Take Your Poet to Work Day, literary tours, poetry reviews, poetry prompts and so much more.
Like every previous poetry party, the lines for poems developed on a number of different levels, some people following the prompt and others responding to each other; while some kept closely to the timing of prompt as others were more considered in their responses. It’s great fun, but it takes some detective work on the part of the editor (me) to identify which lines belong with which poem. But I think you’ll like the resulting 10 poems.
Slivers of Plum at Midnight
What you know
What you know, or think you know,
might not be in me
and in you, the known loses itself.
Must you know the self to clutch it?
Must you know the language
of the moon, the plum? Perhaps a plum
in you, a moon, the whole south, searching.
And if the whole south searched,
could it speak your tongue?
I love the unknown in you, Midnight,
or maybe the midnight of your unknown.
Midnight grows late with stalks of wheat,
bending me into your great unknown.
Days dissolve into lemonade
Days dissolve into lemonade.
Lemonade. Ice cream.
Would the south eat the ice cream of you?
I stir you with a sliver of moon
crescent of plum, silver sliver of moon.
Sliver, sliver, stir.
The crescent of silver calls Midnight, Come O Loved One
The sliver of moon, crescendo of plum.
Why only a sliver? I wish for more
of the moon.
Ice cream always dreams, always knows,
day into midnight. Does ice cream dream
of dripping down your chin?
A song of ice cream, stifled, stuck in the throat
while I slurp in the sun.
My love dreams midnight. And wheat,
my love dreams. Midnight plums melt
What more can be known?
I know the unloved in you.
What we become we lose in dreams.
And so I will never sleep again.
Copper sheets of sleep
My love dreams copper.
Between copper sheets I’d hardly sleep.
I pull the copper sheet of sleep over the plum
of me and you. Let’s be round under the stalk of night.
You would bend the copper, the stalks,
wheat and pennies falling from the sheets.
We all wish. Wheat, plum, copper.
And, most elusive, the sheet of sleep.
Sugared wheat, a copper glaze,
the wheat dreams of becoming a plum.
The brilliance of the copper glow,
the dulled flesh of the plum,
copper fingers weaving sleep: A song of wheat.
A hum of moon. A midnight plum.
Crescent me, love. I’ll be your sweet sliver,
Sleep sifts like copper grain. Midnight’s rain
of plum, of dreams spins your wheat
into copper, your straw into gold.
Tell my hand, tell my wheat-gold dreams.
Spin me, love.
Not the drum
I’d prefer a hum, not the drum,
but the sum of the song.
The drum, the drum. Did you feel
its purple beat beneath your palm.
Drumming beats crack the sky
Plums at midnight, a haze
through the wheat waving trees.
Humming silver, melting copper,
turning gears spin gold. The haze
and the hum, would the sky crack
so soon, waving, beating, cracking.
I split into crescents you can carry
in your stalk of dreams.
Lightning crackles your copper mind.
The stalk of your dreams bends
under the weight of the copper hum,
not the drum, not the drum.
The gears spinning
Watch my hand, the gears spinning, splitting,
cracking and at the crack I cannot tell. Then
lightning! The midnight sheet of copper
flung at the crack of dawn? Such are the secrets
midnight cannot tell.
I watch with sleep-held silver eyes, as the gears
of my hands spin lightning.
Is the sky filling or draining?
Spin lightning into plum! Midnight grows
young in the gears of your palm.
Drain the lightning. What is left?
A mere sheet of copper you.
Spin like gears of a hand watch.
Midnight, tell my hand, all dreams
in my palm.
I feel electric water trickle through my fingers,
and look to the crying sky. The tiny gears,
the tiny machine, crush the plum in your palm.
Tell, do tell. It won’t do to hold plum secrets.
A grace of pinwheels, rainbows rolling over
in the night. And in the palm of midnight,
the tiniest of secrets slips through gears of sheets.
Love palms a plum, copper flesh within skin.
And the pinwheel? Will you crush that too?
Skin the plum, you find silver. Unfold the sheet,
you find plum. Nothing is known, nothing done.
Plum secrets take time to ripen. The pinwheel turns
on its own, no stopping its spin, its copper plum.
Rusted gold automaton, I watch through glass eyes
at turning gears inside me. Lay me near the locomotive.
I feel lightning in its hum. The roar of the locomotive
drowns out all the blue, the plum moon
Inside me glass, inside you plum. Together,
we are an amethyst pinwheel turning.
Lightning and bread
Lightning saw stalks of wheat twining in sheets of rain.
I harvest the lightning into sheaves.
I bake the lightning into bread; I knead the lightning
into dough. Under the bread, a blue glass.
Under the glass, a plum. And copper, quiet, quiet.
I thrash the lightning into flour. Crack! The bread
of lightning breaks your palm and flour rains.
Wheat leans to moon as flower follows sun.
And here the moon, she comes. To sliver plums.
The wheat cracks, the flour rains, the bread rises
to a sliver of light. Thread me too with wheat.
And all things plum at midnight, heaps of plum butter
blue upon the bread.
The dough dreams, all aquiver with night.
Roll the dreams like dough and watch them rise.
Beads of blue
The twine a twist of glass. Thinnest of turning,
thinner than turning is sitting and yearning.
Heaps and heaps of blue, blue upon the beads.
Beads of heaps of blue of white of plum,
just a sliver between the beads turns me
into beads and threads me with lightning.
Emerge the copper lightning with the blue glass
of love. Rise, rise. Can you hear the copper sheeting?
Tempting me to rise! Or ride that locomotive
thread me through with hum of being known
you sleep on pillows with sheets of rain.
New moon, new moon. Where is your blade of silver?
Tempting the lightning with your copper blade.
Under the plum moon, Midnight trains.
The tiniest of secrets. Wheat cracks
and I sleep on beds of wheat. Why don’t you come?
There is no never anymore,
Is there any nevermore?
There is no nevermore,
no more no waiting for.
An equation of bees
What equation could possibly express you?
Still looking for the unknown letters, Love.
And anymore. And more of any in my palm.
Let’s go in reverse and make time for the duration.
But evermore, any and so many, I never say it’s done.
Let’s take time, yes. Let’s take a tiny blade
of moon moments. Spread them— wheat across the night,
a plum cupped in a copper palm.
What’s done is waiting. What’s known is glass.
I lift to you, we drink. Plum blushes under tiny blade
of moon and seeds the wheat field. You wait
with bated breath as I lift the knife to glass.
What we can’t say to each other is bread, is glass,
is plum. Eat anyway, Love. It’s part of the equation,
like hushed whispers on the belly of a bumble bee.
The glass, the seeds. Make your cut! I am ready
for the tiny machine of your unknown.
We are all bees here; but no, we do not sting.
Can you bait a bumble?
What we can’t say to each other is lightning!
The plum flavored ice cream lives
in the copper dish, now and evermore.
But if perchance the bee would sing
Bread, glass plum quiet. It all adds up.
The bees’ humming song would light the sky,
bait the other side to find that it is you.
You shatter the night and it falls like rain.
What we can’t? Say to each other.
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