English #frapalymo: Play Suspended

yellow tennis ball lying on clay court by net

Tennis paused—players
exit heavy clay. Rain falls in
northern France—again.

© 2016 Nortina Simmons


frapalymo

Written for Frau Paulchen’s Lyrik Monat, which translates from German to Mrs. Paulchen’s Poetry Month. Today’s prompt is: “write an acrostic with ten”

I write this haiku as I wait for tennis to resume from yet another rain delay at the French Open.

English #frapalymo: Southern Cooking

He calls me weird because I like cheese
on my hotdog, slaw on my burger.
When the fire dies down, I pour lighter
fluid on the charcoal pyramid, blacken
my chicken. He tells me I burn all the
flavor, but he’s never had salmon coated
in butter, a mix of paprika, cayenne pepper,
salt, onion and garlic powder sprinkled on
both sides, charred in a cast iron skillet.

I take him down South where the Spanish
moss grows heavy. We dip our toes in the
bayou, and he says I’m crazy not to fear
the gators, but we catch them and fry them
like chicken, dip in buttermilk ranch and
pop them in our mouths. In the morning,
I’ll show him how to sauté Cajun shrimp,
garnish it over sharp cheddar grits. He’ll
learn cheese goes on everything, and
nothing he’s eaten before ever tasted better.

© 2016 Nortina Simmons


frapalymo

Written for Frau Paulchen’s Lyrik Monat, which translates from German to Mrs. Paulchen’s Poetry Month. The double prompt for yesterday & today is: “normal” and “crazy.”

English #frapalymo: Deflowered

It Follows me like a shadow,
clings to me like my own skin,
rides my back until I break in
two—I’m a mule to the shame.

In the shower, I scrub off the
film of his semen in scalding
water until my inner thighs
blister. I feel like Jell-O. Police

will know I orgasmed. He’ll say
I wanted it—maybe I did. I see
why tribal cultures circumcise
girls—to keep us from being

whores. Carve out my clitoris
with non-sterile obsidian blade.
Wrap me in gauze, loose enough
to conceal the curve of my hips.

© 2016 Nortina Simmons


frapalymo

Written for Frau Paulchen’s Lyrik Monat, which translates from German to Mrs. Paulchen’s Poetry Month. Today’s prompt is: “film title.”

English #frapalymo: Birthstone Lover

We share the month of March. I want
to make love to my birthstone. Ghostly
reflection of my masculine self. Your eyes
are like pools of aquamarine. Turquoise
tears pour from your irises into my mouth,
cool my throat when you lie on top of me.
Love or lust—I drown in the mist of you.

© 2016 Nortina Simmons


frapalymo

Written for Frau Paulchen’s Lyrik Monat, which translates from German to Mrs. Paulchen’s Poetry Month. Today’s prompt is: “turquoise.”

English #frapalymo: Drought

Our water is manmade.
They dig mile-wide
ditches with shovels,
fill it with rain.

Land-locked town
sinks in torrential
downpour. Porous
soil, water flow in

and out, floods
surrounding rivers
that quench thirsty
cities nearby.

© 2016 Nortina Simmons


frapalymo

Written for Frau Paulchen’s Lyrik Monat, which translates from German to Mrs. Paulchen’s Poetry Month. Catching up on yesterday’s prompt, which was: “a river poem.”

English #frapalymo: Fading Memory

I remember when
you first closed your fingers
around my throat. And
my heart bled in my mouth, crushed
against my larynx.

I remember because
it was on the Sabbath—though
you work—and I fell
dead—though you lie with me now,
breathing roses in my nose.

© 2016 Nortina Simmons


frapalymo

Written for Frau Paulchen’s Lyrik Monat, which translates from German to Mrs. Paulchen’s Poetry Month. Today’s prompt is: “a ten-line text.”

English #frapalymo: Vessel

I climb a low-hanging branch, scrap wet moss
across my thigh. Bark peels under my fingernails,
embeds in my skin, and I bite out each splinter,
blood dribbling on my tastebuds, smeared across
my bottom lip, around my mouth. I extend my
tongue to the tip of my nose—war paint for
the angels—climbing higher to the floor of the
clouds. The crows call to black wings that slice
open my shoulder blades, enclose around sun
in solar eclipse, casting shadows on earth below.

© 2016 Nortina Simmons


frapalymo

Written for Frau Paulchen’s Lyrik Monat, which translates from German to Mrs. Paulchen’s Poetry Month. Today’s prompt is the first line from Tomas Transtromer’s poem, Alcaic“This forest in May. It haunts my whole life.”

English #frapalymo: Missed in Season

While I await your return,
I crush ripe strawberries
against my face. Red
sweet purée of seeds, nectar
glides down my flushed cheeks,

cools me now that the ice is
melted, air conditioning
unit rattles. At
night, I toss in bed, kick back
thin sheets, fan myself

with open fingers. The heat
makes me tired. Sleep evades
when you’re not here. Come
push my idle heart from my
chest, pound it to life with your
frozen knuckles. I

hear the woodpecker knocking
on brick walls, dash for the door
to greet you, and my
ankles break underneath me—
The sun burns my skin.

© 2016 Nortina Simmons


frapalymo

Written for Frau Paulchen’s Lyrik Monat, which translates from German to Mrs. Paulchen’s Poetry Month. Today’s prompt is a tweet from @einsilbig“so much tiredness made my face move inside”

This poem is also in response to Amina’s tanka, with a little artistic leeway. It’s more of an inverted tanka, as the syllable count is 7-7-5-7-5.