Just So You Know…

CONFESSION:

I’m a poetess-in-progress who has a hard time committing to projects, like completing a journal (I just keep receiving them as gifts or buying them for some odd reason) or blogging on a regular basis.

This is the space where I’m trying to change that.

Every poem, story, whatever comes to mind will be posted here and everything will be my material (read the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 here). If I post anything else, I’ll give credit when it’s due.

UPDATE (April 1, 2016): I came to terms with the fact that this website is the most active during National Poetry Month, so this will be my venue to post my creations during April and whenever I decide to give myself more writing challenges to conquer. As much as I want to post ALL of my poems on here, you know how first North American serial rights go, right…? Thanks for understanding and for following my blog! Wish me luck!

All the best,

Michelle D. Hooks

Lost Poem: IMPROMPTU 2016 – Day 17

To start off my Lost Poem series, here’s my Lost & Found in Translation poem for IMPROMPTU. It’s one of my favorite ones that I wrote all month and it’s inspired by one of my favorite poets, Sonia Sanchez.

Lost & Found in Translation

from Sonia Sanchez’s Home Coming

Before the Translation:

once after college i returned tourist hide and seek faces peeling with freudian dreams no magical bewitching hour i walked two miles in my sleep i know i am black beautiful with meaning turning my body into a thousand smiles this is a poem for the world for the slow suicides in seclusion violet like castanets will echo me we are black beautiful and our blackness sings out amid all this noise

After Translating above into French, Japanese, Arabic, Filipino, Yoruba, and back to English again:

Once the University i return tourism skin, seeking the release of the dream Freud sometimes enthralling magic, and i do not have to walk two miles in my sleep i know that black is beautiful and the way my body turned into a smile A. That is, for the orphaned castanet is slow and sad echo to me is an Ode to life* (<<< my favorite line translated) and all quite dark singer in all the noise.

My Edited Poem: Dark Skin

Dark Skin,

I return seeking

the release of

enthralling magic

and I do not have

to walk two miles in

my sleep. I know that

Black is beautiful and

my body turned into

a smile for the

slow and sad singer and

an orphaned castanet.

In all the noise,

an ode to life

is an echo to me.

– Michelle D. Hooks

April 19, 2016

Copyright © Michelle D. Hooks 2016

napomo-16-fprheader

Poems for April 12, 2016

I wrote these poems yesterday, and I was hesitant to post them last night… but I’m posting them anyway. Here you go!


NaPoWriMo 2016: Day 12 – Found Index Poem

You would think that I would have tons of books with indexes… but I don’t in my house, so I had to Google indexes and I found an index called something like “Poems of Affections.” It’s an index listing Japanese poems.

Poetic Affections

The maid and the dog lounging feeling the comfort of flowers. The boatman’s song is a popular love song, the only one. No news of the unaccompanied maiden wearing the Pearls of Susu. The Evening Oracle love(s) secrets and faithful thoughts, but feels forgetfulness of the jealous wife, an elegy of lost eternal love.

– Michelle D. Hooks

April 12, 2016

Copyright © Michelle D. Hooks 2016

napo2016button2


IMPROMPTU 2016: Day 12 – Robert Fitterman

Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan of this poem but I’m posting it here anyway…

Now that I posted this on here, I actually like it!

A Little Ditty about Stress

You leave me

breathless and

restless, but

not in a

good way.

Sleepless and

nervous for

more than a

day.

Day to day

situations

feel like a

burden.

Important

things in life

tend to be

neglected.

You make me

sick, it’s time

to quit

unraveling

due to stress.

– Michelle D. Hooks

April 12, 2016

Copyright © Michelle D. Hooks 2016

napomo-16-fprheader

NaPoWriMo 2016: Day 11 – Surprise Poem

Sorry my posting schedule is so sporadic, here’s my NaPoWriMo poem from yesterday. I’m  putting the IMPROMPTU poem on hold (for now) because it’s a challenging one to do. You’ll see more work from me soon…


Working on a Sunday in Michigan

For four hours,

my fingers tap danced

across the keyboard.

Clickety-clack they go,

and my eyes are

counting how many

routines they’ve done

until they peeked

outside the window…

I’m living in a snowglobe.

Again.

– Michelle D. Hooks

April 11, 2016

Copyright © Michelle D. Hooks 2016

napo2016button2

IMPROMPTU 2016: Day 10 – Kristina Marie Darling

I typically have fun with erasures, but I had a tough time finding a source text to sift through for this IMPROMPTU prompt. At the end of the day, I made a semblance of an erasure motivational speech from an old Ambassador article titled, “Getting Lippy.” I don’t wear make-up (not in a “I’m holier than thou” attitude), but if I did I would try out The Lip Bar brand (not an ad, not a sponsored post) because I like the founder’s style and supporting Black women’s businesses. This Ambassador write-up was inspiring and I pieced together the following words…


“I’m the one to talk, but…”

Go against the grain

with your lippy spirit,

firestarter personality

and vibrant individuality.

Drink that confidence

“straight-up” on the rocks.

Be sky blue bold in

this traditional

pink, red and nudes world.

– Michelle D. Hooks

April 10, 2016

Copyright © Michelle D. Hooks 2016

napomo-16-fprheader

NaPoWriMo 2016: Day 10 – Book Spine Poetry

We finally made it to the double digits in April, time waits for no one!

This was the first time I did a book spine poem for NaPoWriMo and it was fun! I incorporated the book titles into a text poem so I could fill in the gaps. Here are the books I used…

20160410_154306

I love all of these books! “I’ve Been a Woman” by Sonia Sanchez is on top. Fun fact: the last book glows in the dark! Copyright © Michelle D. Hooks 2016

… And here’s my poem!


Lost & Found

I’ve been a woman

with nappy edges,

floating in the wind

like an urban tumbleweed

going somewhere fast,

yet I’m indexed under

Hyperbole and a Half

in the Recyclopedia

found in Mr. Penumbra’s

24-Hr Bookstore

Where am I?

– Michelle D. Hooks

April 10, 2016

Copyright © Michelle D. Hooks 2016

napo2016button2

IMPROMPTU 2016: Day 9 – Frank Montesonti

My reaction to yesterday’s IMPROMPTU & today’s NaPoWriMo prompts:

QuickMemo+_2016-04-09-14-25-25

I’m still feeling this way! Copyright © Michelle D. Hooks 2016

So my NaPoWriMo poem won’t be posted here, but I wrote it and I’m not falling behind on my writing challenges!

This IMPROMPTU poem is an erasure conversation between two people inspired by Alice Walker’s poetry and it was a much needed, calming write after the two emotionally charged poems I wrote back-to-back. 18 down, 42 more to go…


These Poems Weaved Around My Heart

inspired by Alice Walker’s A Poem Traveled Down My Arm

shine

the earth is smiling

take a risk – grow old

your hand in mine, a promise

lack of balance staggers us

in this cradle of civilization

keep a finger on

your fleeting thoughts

its pulse

is not engulfed by evil

believe in you, believe in us.

our way out of the grave is hope.

– Michelle D. Hooks

April 9, 2016

Copyright © Michelle D. Hooks 2016

napomo-16-fprheader

Special Delivery!

Sorry for more missed posts! I wrote them, but I haven’t updated my blog. Just so you know: I wrote today’s #IMPROMPTU poem, but I won’t post it here. It’s a very personal poem that should be kept off the web.

Since I won’t be working tomorrow, I assure you that my poems will be here MUCH earlier.

Okay, here are my three poems…


NaPoWriMo 2016: Day 7 – Tritina

Kindness Radiates Dearly Around You

to my dear friend K.R.D.

We spent our college years together

without a camera in sight.

How was that possible?

Meeting a lifelong friend is also possible.

Remember when we had JPN 101 together?

Friendship at first sight.

You aren’t physically in my sight,

but with technology these days, anything is possible.

We catch up occasionally and then get our lives together.

So the next time we’re together, let’s make a photo op happen, let’s make it possible.

– Michelle D. Hooks

April 8, 2016

Copyright © Michelle D. Hooks 2016

napo2016button2


IMPROMPTU 2016: Day 7 – Simone Muench

Me, Myself & I: A Cento of Poems by M.D.H.

When the sunrays pull me out of the house,

I like to take long walks alone

with a book at hand,

people watching

differing people

with reasoning brains

wondering through real harmony,

and steep inside my thoughts.

I’m shameless to admit that

every time I write,

my hands commit beautiful subtlety,

wearing undone hearts on my wrists.

– Michelle D. Hooks

April 8, 2016

Copyright © Michelle D. Hooks 2016

napomo-16-fprheader


NaPoWriMo 2016: Day 8 – Flowers

I saw my favorite flower for the first time in Sydney, Australia

I saw a lovely

nest of birds-of-paradise

with their beaks open,

waiting to be fed, quenched and

showered by the winter rain.

– Michelle D. Hooks

April 8, 2016

Copyright © Michelle D. Hooks 2016

Bird-of-Paradise

One of my favorite flowers, the bird-of-paradise, taken in Sydney, Australia. (Copyright © Michelle D. Hooks 2011)

napo2016button2

Poems from Yesterday

Sorry for the post delay! I wrote a couple of poems last night, but I didn’t post them because they needed a lot of editing so here they are!


NaPoWriMo 2016: Day 6 – Food

Fast-Food Ads from Back in the Day

I never figured

out why fast-food commercials

always poke fun at

the guy who brings a sandwich

to work. Riddle me that, please…

– Michelle D. Hooks

April 6, 2016

Copyright © Michelle D. Hooks 2016

napo2016button2


IMPROMPTU 2016: Noah Eli Gordon

A Prose Poem about Street Harassment

[This unfortunately happened to me a couple of weeks ago. See my Twitter thread here.]

A man intentionally crossed the street. A woman hastily walked down the street. This woman constantly bobweaves street harassers in the city. It’s like a boy crying wolf for attention. The woman left him crying in the wilderness.

– Michelle D. Hooks

April 6, 2016

Copyright © Michelle D. Hooks 2016

napomo-16-fprheader

 

NaPoWriMo 2016: Day 5 – Heirloom Seeds

This was an interesting NaPoWriMo prompt to me and it shows that poets can create poems from anything. I wrote a poem about an heirloom vegetable and it was short and sweet. All comments are appreciated (except for spam), and thanks for reading!


Oh Missouri, why

are your apples so pink and

lovely? All the more

you can eat with your

eyes, my precious child; but don’t

let the name fool you…

It’s a Tomato! [wt]

– Michelle D. Hooks

April 5, 2016

Copyright © Michelle D. Hooks 2016

napo2016button2

IMPROMPTU 2016: Day 5 – Sarah Blake

The recurring themes to these IMPROMPTU prompts are to experiment and take in what ever inspiration hurls at you. This cadence poem is no exception.

This was a tough one for me, but it was a success as well. My favorite band MUTEMATH was my muse, my poem is in the rhythm of their lovely song “Cavalries,” and this is one of my favorite prompts I did so far. Listen to the song while you read this piece. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


 

Cosmic Cavalries

Inspired by MUTEMATH

La, la, la, la, la! (4x)

Broken heart lanterns are scattered at night.

Celestial fireflies orbit around them, so high!

We’re not alone, alone.

The bright stars will guide us home,

us home,

us home,

us home!

La, la, la, la, la! (2x)

Do you feel so lost right now without a place to go?

We’re not alone.

We’re not alone.

The bright stars will guide us home,

us home!

La, la, la, la, la! (4x)

– Michelle D. Hooks

April 5, 2016

Copyright © Michelle D. Hooks 2016

napomo-16-fprheader