National Poetry Writing Month 2022 April 2nd 2022


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History of National Poetry Writing Month

National Poetry Writing Month (also known as NaPoWriMo) is a creative writing project held annually in April in which participants attempt to write a poem each day for one month. NaPoWriMo coincides with the National Poetry Month in the United States of America and Canada.

NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month, is an annual project in which participating poets attempt to write a poem a day for the month of April.

This website is owned and operated by Maureen Thorson, a poet living in Washington, DC. Inspired by NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month), she started writing a poem a day for the month of April back in 2003, posting the poems on her blog. When other people started writing poems for April, and posting them on their own blogs, Maureen linked to them. After a few years, so many people were doing NaPoWriMo that Maureen decided to launch an independent website for the project.

My History with National Poetry Writing Month

I started writing poetry in 1988 after I had been exposed to T.S. Elliot in my honors English class in high school. In 1992 I started reading my poetry publicly at Espesso Europia Coffee Shop in Abilene Tx while I was in the United States Air Force. This continued for many years when I ran my own poetry reading at Cannova’s in Loves Park Illinois and attended the poetry slams at The green Mill in Chicago Illinois. While living in Rockford Illinois I published my first book of poetry Throwing Yourself at the Ground and Missing in 2007 followed by Postcards From Someone You Don’t Know in 2008 Wisdom From the Sack in 2010 and Shaving Crop Circles In My Chest Hair in 2017. You can get copies of all of these books in my merch section. In 2009 I started participating in National Poetry Writing Month which became the basis for my book Wisdom From the Sack and Shaving Crop Circles in My Chest Hair. In 2020 I started publishing my podcast version of the challenge and those can be viewed here for 2020 and here for 2021.

April 2nd Poetry Prompt

And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem based on a word featured in a tweet from Haggard Hawks, an account devoted to obscure and interesting English words. Will you choose a word like “aprosexia,” which means “an inability to concentrate”? Or maybe something like “greenout,” which is “the relief a person who has worked or lived in a snowy area for a long time feels on seeing something fresh and green for the first time”? Whatever you choose, happy writing!

April 2nd Poem

Peel The Bones 

2 April 2022 

*Peel The Bones is the phrase I chose. PEEL-THE-BONES was a 19th century term for bitterly cold or windy weather—so to PEEL was to go out in unsuitable or insufficient clothing given the conditions.

I had spent the hottest summer of my life up until then in San Antonio 

With a man snarling at me for 6 weeks 

Telling me bad things about my Mama 

And threatening me with 6 more weeks of hell 

If I didn’t finish a mile and a half run 

He had our squadron up at 0400 every morning 

Because he loved to run 

And now I was running for my life 

His breath on my neck 

His threats 

I’d never run so hard and so fast 

And just like that I was headed back to Illinois 

For the comfort of the snow and ice 

Only to be told that I would be headed back to Texas in February 

When I arrived in my death machine from the 70’s 

It was Mid-Texas 

Abilene, prettiest town I have ever seen 

People there don’t treat you mean 

But damn the weather was nothing I’d ever seen 

In sweet Abilene, my Abilene 

It was there that I began my fascination with working all night 

It prepped me for grad school 

It prepped me to be a dad of twins 

But nothing prepped me for the wind 

From big sky country 

Nothing stopped the oppressive blowing 

The howling, the strange noises from what I hoped were animals 

I climbed on the expeditor truck that held 8 men 

Each had black coffee steaming up to the dim light 

Some were snoring 

Others were playing cards 

While we waited for the call 

That would drop us off to fix the metal birds 

That would become my reason for being there 

We pulled up to tail number 1666, the little gremlin 

SGT Couter called out Electrics 

My trainer and I stood up 

I grabbed the toolbox that almost froze to my bare hands 

It was a liquid oxygen leak 

And we would spend the next hour in the front wheel well 

Two men, in the dark and cold 

Our lower halves being pummeled  

My field jacket was still packed away 

My thermals were probably left at my home of record 

That was the first night of my mistake 

Being from Chicago 

I thought I knew what freezing was 

I thought I knew how ruthless mother nature could be 

Seeing snowfall in June made me think I could endure anything 

And that all Texans wore cowboy hats and died  

When it got below freezing 

But whatever deity was on call that night 

Was more than determined  

To give me the worst possible welcome 

I considered peeing on myself to warm my legs 

When my trainer told me 

Next time dress for success 

Don’t think that piss will warm you up 

Because you’ll get frostbitten 

And the expeditor won’t let you back on his truck 

So, I stood in the cold that night 

Thinking I’d never be warm again 

Thinking that the frozen demons from home followed me here 

Thinking it was too damn cold to think 

My trainer took pity on me 

He offered a drink of his coffee 

Warned not to backwash 

No sugar, no cream, just the blackness 

The heat that kept me awake 

That kept me alive 

When we finished two hours later  

It seemed like forever 

He taught me how to make mud 

And now every time I drink it 

I shiver for a few moments 

Then I drain the cup and pour another 

Reaching Out

To reach out to me, email timothy@createartpodcast.com I would love to hear about your journey and what you are working on. If you would like to be on the show or have me discuss a topic that is giving you trouble write in and let’s start that conversation.

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