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Monthly Archives: September 2009

“Whopper Haiku”

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……………………….WHOPPER HAIKU
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…………………………Black hole
…………………………Tadpole Galaxy falls in.
…………………………You should have seen the one that got away…
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…………………………by Therese L. Broderick
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Writer’s Statement — This poem was composed in response to prompt #93 on ReadWritePoem: write a whopper. This whopper is a parody of Basho’s famous “furu ike ya” haiku (1686), one translation of which appears on Wikipedia. In that haiku, a frog jumps into a pond. In my poem here, “Tadpole” is the name of a real galaxy. Before posting this poem, I reviewed these copyright guidelines about writing parody.
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“On the Spectrum”

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…………………………ON THE SPECTRUM
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…………………………Someday he hopes to get a job at the station
…………………………serving buttered hard rolls and coffee
…………………………to all the jaywalkers who wander in,
…………………………unable to look him straight in the eye;
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…………………………and selling lottery tickets to the high school
…………………………hall monitor before she drives to work,
…………………………knowing that her odds of winning are as slim
…………………………as any chance he’d ever be promoted;
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…………………………and stocking store shelves with emergency
…………………………supplies of cat and dog food. Once a week
…………………………at least, the local poet who lives alone
…………………………shuffles in to buy a box, or two, or three.
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…………………………Not to mention the unknown multitudes
…………………………who stop outside to pump their gas, tracking
.………………………..those rolling numbers. Oh! what a spectrum
…………………………he’d be a part of, if only he worked at the station.
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…………………………by Therese L. Broderick
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Writer’s Statement — This piece is an invented fiction-in-verse, composed in response to prompt #92 on ReadWritePoem. The prompt was a list of words, only one of which appears explicitly in the text below: “multitudes.”  Other prompt words implicit in the text are “conform,” “remedy,” “pittance,” and “scofflaw.” This version of the poem benefited from the feedback of local first readers MM, JG, and JH. (A longer artist’s statement appears as the first comment below.)
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“Former Site Of”

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………………………….FORMER SITE OF
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………………………….Measured in one way, my reedless lakeline
………………………….reaches twenty miles and a few more fractals;
………………………….but on any evening in late October, edges
………………………….shrink and shirk their definitions. Length
………………………….weakens, looking as much like width as
………………………….a sorry memory mimics a contrition. Mind you:
………………………….it is not a true lake, only my leveling reservoir
………………………….that submerged a former hamlet — evacuated
………………………….houses, barns, lots and yards — of which the name
………………………….is known, if at all, as words on a metal sign
………………………….posted by a county bridge.  If you think of
………………………….the name as your own, it is. And whenever
………………………….spring comes, jonquils moist with two
………………………….wheeling colors, you can walk to the bridge’s
………………………….middle girder, bow to the drawdown. You are,
………………………….it must be said, not any of the newcomers
………………………….filling the surrogate town raised upon a hill.
………………………….Nor are you the reader here. You are that day
………………………….which I most regret. No — that hour, one of
………………………….better thousands with him, which should have
………………………….by now plumbed the deepest,  falsest bottom.
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………………………….by Therese L. Broderick
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Writer’s Statement — This poem was composed in response to prompt #91 on ReadWritePoem. The poem is based upon notes I took last year while driving past a reservoir. This version  benefited from the feedback of local first readers MM and JG. The tone and imagery may be influenced by Robert Frost’s poem “Directive.”
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“But For”

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BUT FOR

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…………….millions of unvisited stars above us,

one forest fire flickering eleven miles away,

the pale glow of one last flashlight aimed

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by hikers wending back to camp,

and a few low-lit lamps placed yards apart

here along the southern rim —

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………………………………………..but for that,

this entire Grand Canyon vista would be wholly

invisible, as black tonight as a buzzard,

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descending with the most impervious silence

upon our late-hour tentatives, our bat-winged

exceptions:  however…even so…and yet…still…

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by Therese L. Broderick

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Writer’s Statement — This poem was composed in response to prompt #90 on ReadWritePoem. The prompt was a night photograph of a street performer balancing an apparatus holding eight flames. The  photo reminded me of a scene from my August 2009 visit to the Grand Canyon.

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