The Next Big Thing

Think I’ll pass on 
self-driving cars
and wait till
someone invents
a self-driving
me so I can
surpass myself
doing a hundred
and ninety
and eat my dust.

First published in NewMyths.com Issue #43 https://sites.google.com/a/newmyths.com/nmwebsite/poems/the-next-big-thing

Alimentary Proof

 

 

 

 

Snoop and Snort pounded all day
on a rusty Remington typewriter
missing the letter “e,”
writing stories for Metro Daily News
about mythical creatures called humans—
smart as dragons, some say—
but no one believed them.
They needed proof.

So off they set to find a human,
a hard thing to do, since none
existed in all the dragon world.
As they passed through an alleyway,
all at once the air around them
began to shimmer and squiggle,
like something struggling to be.
Then out popped a tiny creature,
wearing striped shirt and baseball cap,
chasing a ball.
Snoop and Snort stared in wonder
at the human-shaped creature,
which did not seem fierce at all
and not half as big
as the beings they wrote about.

The creature froze, as Snoop and Snort
sniffed it from head to foot.
Grinning with sharp teeth,
they licked their chops
as their bellies growled.
It was nearly lunchtime.
The creature screamed and ran,
but not nearly fast enough
to outrun a fiery breath.

Snoop and Snort searched in vain
for more delicious creatures.
Tired and still hungry, they returned to the office
where they pounded all day
on a rusty Remington typewriter
missing the letter “e,”
writing stories for Metro Dragon News
about mythical creatures called humans.

First published in Lowestoft Chronicle Spring 2018   http://lowestoftchronicle.com/issues/issue33/genetwaronite/

Sestina: Rape and Shell Collecting

My first sestina was just published by Tipton Poetry Journal, Winter 2018.  According to Poetry Foundation, “a sestina is a complex French verse form, usually unrhymed, consisting of six stanzas of six lines each and a three-line envoy. The end words of the first stanza are repeated in a different order as end words in each of the subsequent five stanzas; the closing envoy contains all six words, two per line, placed in the middle and at the end of the three lines.” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/learn/glossary-terms/sestina

Whew! It’s enough to make your head spin. But a recent poem I had written in free verse that didn’t sound quite right to me. It just lay there on the page. So, despite my trepidation, I decided to see if I could rewrite it as a sestina. I even used a famous sestina poem (“A Miracle for Breakfast”) by one of my favorite poets, Elizabeth Bishop as a model.

The result is my poem “Rape and Shell Collecting.” You can read the poem here (turn to page 40). https://issuu.com/tiptonpoetryjournal/docs/tpj36

 

Whenever I See Empty

I seek to fill it
whether it needs filling or not
inserting my vanity into space
undefiled by actuality
as if I could fill the vacuum
between the stars and electrons
as if I could fill the gulf between us
no matter how close you seem
as if I could fill your vacant stare
so you don’t have to be there alone
as if I could fill all the holes
and lonely places within me
as if I could fill the blank slate I embrace each day
with words enough to keep the void at bay.

First published by The Ravens Perch. It’s a great new literary blog which allows readers to rate published pieces. You can find this poem as well as three more of my poems at this link  http://www.theravensperch.com/whenever-i-see-empty-by-gene-twaronite/

The Museum of Unwearable Shoes

The mall has many wonders
and most amazing of all is
the Museum of Unwearable Shoes
where perched on glass
pedestal displays of torture
you’ll find multi-strapped
leather sculptures adorned
in beads and buckles
that bind and pinch
with exquisite agony
and six-inch gravity
defying dagger stilettoes
guaranteed to make
a woman look sexy—
except for bunions
and the moment her
face meets the earth.

Originally published in Lowestoft Chronicle Issue 32  http://lowestoftchronicle.com/issue32/genetwaronite/

Trash Picker on Mars Winner of 2017 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award

My first poetry collection Trash Picker on Mars has just won the 2017 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award in the category of Arizona poetry. I would like to thank my publisher and editor Karen Kelsay (Kelsay Books) and freelance editor Kate Robinson for their help and support. Mostly I wish to thank my readers over the years who have enjoyed my poems and encouraged me to keep on writing.

Stay tuned for exciting news of the next poetry book.

Meanwhile, if you wish to purchase a signed copy of Trash Picker on Mars, you can do so here. It is also available on Amazon.

 

Timepiece and Other Poems Published in The Ravens Perch

Timepiece as well as four other of my new poems have just been published in The Ravens Perch the ravens perch.com/timepiece-by-gene-twaronite/  

The Ravens Perch is an independent online literary magazine considered by Feedspot to be one of the top 100 literary blogs.

 

A Blank Page

If I put a word here, say
for instance, extravagance,
how would that look? Or
if I gave it a whole line
extravagance
like something that fills
the sad space in your life
by pumping itself up
to seem important.

What if I put in a long pause….?
not because I need to,
but to make you stop and listen
for whatever comes next as if
the words held sacred truth.

What about all that space
along either side of this page?
I could
pull it in
like so
or take it all the way out to the farthest reaches of space
just because it is there and I can.

Does it matter what I say here or how?
Do words depend on me to give them life
or do they possess lives of their own?
Do they rise and go to work each day,
and come home again to sleep at night?
Do they aspire to perform great things,
to come together with other words
in poems and speeches for the ages?

Maybe in the meantime I should
give them something to do,
some little task around this page
to make them feel useful.

And if I don’t write something
to fill this void today,
would it be a tragedy
if I left it empty?

1st Prize Winner of Arizona State Poetry Society 2016 Legacy Award. First Published in Sandcutters 2016  http://azpoetry.webs.com/2016-annual-contest-info

All That Was Needed

All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory.
~George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

Keep telling yourself
it never happened
wage relentless
assault on all
evidence to
the contrary
vanquish doubt
as you double down
on the message
memorize
then swallow
fix it firmly
like a favorite song
in the jukebox memory
of your hippocampus
play it again and again
as you reimagine the past.

First published In Tipton Poetry Journal Summer 2017 (see page 54)

 

The Stuff of Poetry

Give them circles of Hell
the stench of battlefields
and young lives lost
love’s passionate embrace
a young mother’s grief
at her stillborn child
the vanity and futility
of all endeavor
despair that falls
like acid rain
doubt and faith
the ways we meet death
and off they go
writing verse that matters.

But give them something
like a hangnail
or the place you
always stub your toe
the fit of your new sneakers
that little lift you get
when your favorite tune
plays on the radio
or the cute way
you still pull in your gut
when a young girl passes by
the quiet sigh you make
every morning
for no particular reason …
and their voices go mute
as if there’s nothing
sacred or profound
no truth or beauty
in life’s detritus.

First published in Wilderness House Literary Review Summer 2017. Read this and two other poems here  http://www.whlreview.com/no-12.2/poetry/GeneTwaronite.pdf