#ThrowbackThursday Poetry: Moonlit Madness

It still amazes me that I have 150 poems archived on this blog (give or take 5 poems that might have been revisions). Despite being able to write and post so many, 62% of those poems (don’t ask why I used such a specific number — you get the point) I never want to see again. Especially the ones I shared when I first started this blog. They’re just so bad! They don’t even get views anymore . . . if they ever got views to start with.

Maybe one of these days, I’ll muster up enough courage to share those older poems for a Throwback Thursday post . . . but today is not one of those days, so here’s a poems originally published July 3, 2015 for the Write or Die Wednesday challenge. Please note, in order to get the full eerie effect of this poem, you have to play the music with it! 


Moonlit Madness

It was 1:37 when she heard music.
Awakened in a glowing room,
moonlight seeping through blinds.
Down the hall, ascending,
descending notes echoed off
walls, a hauntingly beautiful
melody— like swimming
in the night; head under
water pouring into ears,
saturating her in silence.
More frightening than a
mysterious pianist in her home—
she owned no piano.

—Nortina

Charlottesville, 2017

“The light of the righteous shines brightly,
but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.”
Proverbs 13:9

Jesus tells me I am the light of this world;
so let my light shine.
There’s a glow outside my dorm room window.
I dare not go to it—
won’t be a moth to the flame.
The spirit of fear consumes me.
I cower in a corner, wedged between bed—
sheets damp with sweat—
and wall—cool to the touch.
I hear their voices rising — “White Lives Matter” —
demons behind them chanting, White is Power.
These are not lights of salvation;
theses torches seek to light crosses in front lawns,
to set ablaze nooses that string up bodies,
bodies broken like my Christ’s, and I pray—
God, why have you forsaken us?
Sealed us in a world so consumed with sin and hate
that even at high twelve noon all I see is darkness;
my own hand, extended in front of my eyes, becomes invisible.
A lake of fire flows outside my window.
Skin white as alabaster turns blacker than my own.
Hearts hardened like stone.
There’s no pumping of blood, no echo of life.
A flat beat, a solid stomp, a marching in unison,
like the rigid motions of a rusted metal machine,
like the recurring lashes of the whip.
In my corner I hide, like a lamp doused by shade.
Tested by fire, my works amount to nothing
and my world will be encased in a blackness more
cursed than the skin I wish to shed to the knocking
at my door. The devil and his angels wait for me,
beckoning with their false light
too dim to pass the crack in the threshold.
Today is the day I decide whose shame I will bear;
if I will pick up my cross and
deny my life for light’s sake.
Planted on the top floor where all can see,
I lift my covering off my Head and release
a brightness so incorruptible it expels the darkness
from my door, my window, my campus, my town—
miles away. Blinding like sun reflected
in glass, even from space.
Let it shine, I hear my Jesus whisper,
Let is shine.

—Nortina


Some words I strung together in response to the horrific scenes coming out of Charlottesville, VA this week.

#ThrowbackThursday Poetry: Ode to My [Former] Crush

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for another blast from the past. This poem was part of my No Holds Barred Poetry Writing Challenge back in 2015. Originally posted January 27, 2015, it’s a bit of an embarrassing love poem with my iconic sinister twist, back when aggressive, possessive, borderline abusive love was the kind of love I craved (or at least wrote about—don’t judge me).

The guy I originally wrote this poem for is actually getting married . . . and not to me . . . not that I care—I don’t even like him like that anymore. I even deleted him as a friend on Facebook—not in a vindictive, love-scorned crazy lady kind of way; he just rarely posted anything. Oh, the fickleness of teenage love. (Yes, I still feel like a teenager when it comes to love and crushes and finding Mr. Right. See the original post to get the joke.)

I’ve gotten better at love poems since then. In fact, I spent the whole second half of February writing black love poems (some tainted with our darker histories), and the last few love poems I’ve written are actually quite beautiful. They’re not as twisted as my earlier ones (like that one about the woman who strangles her cheating husband while he eats a raw steak . . . Sorry guys, never posted that one).

This poem was originally untitled, but I thought to give it a catchy title that’s a bit of a throwback itself. I hope you enjoy the poem, and please don’t try to figure out who the guy is. Trust me when I say any feelings I had for him are loooong gone!


Ode to My [Former] Crush

You make my legs weak
my palms sweat
my feet tingle
my nipples harden at night
when I lay in bed
dreaming of you—
these are the clichés you search
for to describe a crush
infatuation
first love.
I feel none of these things—
only you
and the indescribable desire
to be near you.
Tell me how I should feel—
snatch me up in your arms
thrust me into your love poem
discard the clichés
show me the reality of passion
how it relates to pain
take control of my heart—
sweet nothings don’t affect me—
squeeze my heart in your fist
whisper commands
how should I love
where should I touch
Don’t just kiss me
take my lips in your mouth
suck them blue.
Give me a reason to
succumb to you.

—Nortina

Your Eyes

It’s your eyes that I remember.
Thick lashes that curl toward heaven,
that kiss the delicate skin
of your cheeks—like a breeze—
when you blink. Your eyes that hold
sadness and light. Loneliness and
hope unconfined. Gaze into mine
and see the lifetimes forgotten, see
our souls swaying together on stage
to the low rumbling threads on the
string bass. Your eyes are a defiant
love poem; they wince at visions
of settling. One man cannot possess
them—they shift with the tides
of the sea, patterned to the moon
phase. Break these chains of idolized
attachment. Open your eyes. Illuminate
my deathlike night. I can never claim
ownership, only the desire to see
your eyes smile one last time.

—Nortina


Today is the last Wednesday in June, which means this Saturday I will begin my journey to completing my novella, Love Poetry, for Camp NaNoWriMo!

Every Wednesday, I’ve been posting a poem that will serve as an introduction to a new chapter. Seeing that we’ve come to the end of my planning sessions, this poem will open the final chapter of Love Poetry, in which Jessica and . . . well, I won’t ruin it for you, just know that it is quite different from how my A to Z Challenge ended in 2015.

If you haven’t noticed, every poem is written by a character in the story— Jessica, Whitmore, and Bruce, the three parts to our love triangle. Can you guess who the poet is for this one?

If you missed the previous poems, check them out below:

Chivalry is Dead

Your Love is Like Jazz

Procession

Stay tuned for a post explaining what will happen with the blog next month while I’m away camping. I promise you’ll be in for a treat!

Procession

Ashes to ashes,
dust to dust—flutter in the
wind blown by my lust.

—Nortina


Every Wednesday in June, I’ve been writing love poetry for my Camp NaNoWriMo novella, Love Poetry. Each poem will serve as an epigraph to the chapter it introduces.

If you read my 2015 A to Z Challenge, you already know what happens to Whitmore. However, looking back at those posts, I don’t think Jessica really had enough time to process the events before she was back with Bruce. Yoga may help relieve some tension, but let’s be serious, one session is not going to help you get over that kind of guilt that fast.

So I’ve added a new chapter in which Jessica goes to Whitmore’s funeral to try to deal with her grief over his death and her guilt for wanting to be with Bruce.

This poem was initially longer, much longer, but then I found myself trying to rhyme and stick to a meter, and it just got really cheesy reeeally fast. Then I realized the only part I felt strongly about was the repetition of ashes, dust, and lust. And wouldn’t you know, those stanzas were seventeen syllables! The perfect haiku!

So I cut everything else out, which was basically meaningless babble, and kept the lines that conveyed the most emotion with the strongest imagery.

Sometimes shorter is better.

So what do you think? Should I keep it like this, or do you want to see the longer, cornier (and still unfinished) version? Personally, I think it says all it needs to say in just three lines.

 

Rumbling Thunder

Love Haiku #9

Thunderclap wakes me
in bed, void of your body
heat. I remember

a time when your eyes
lit my room as lightning, your
love gushed like driving

rain. In the distant
shower outside my window,
I think of you. How

you smashed into me
like hurricane winds and kissed
me with tempest force.

You are my storm, Dear
Lust. When darkness descends, I
burn for your fire.

—Nortina

#ThrowbackThursday Poetry: Fog

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today, I’m revisiting this ghostly poem written for the ironically named “Write or Die Wednesday” challenge, originally posted on May 13, 2015. 

I’ve occasionally thought about collecting some of my favorite poems from this blog into a chapbook of poetry. If I decide to pursue that option, this would definitely be one of the poems chosen. So what do you think? I’d love to hear your feedback!  


Fog

I see ghosts in the fog—
pale-faced shadows floating
above the surface, drifting into
what was, what used to be.
One dives down to kiss me—
grazes his frozen lips against
my cheek. He moans; I remind
him of a love long forgotten—
his only memory: her curly,
chestnut hair, how it wrapped
around his fingers like tiny
serpents, his blood flow halted—
stiff as stone. He tries to lay
me down, reincarnate his
devotion between the cracks of
a wooden bench— his limbs
disintegrate the higher he hikes
my skirt until only water
droplets lick my exposed skin.
Another fires cotton bullets
toward my head; shouts,
Who is your master?
Where are your papers?
I hear the crash of braided raw
cowhide behind me—  the tip
of a feather quickly brushing
down my spine. The halo overhead
descends, tightens around my neck.
Dark outlines of limp bodies
dangle from willows.
I swing with them
behind the veil of weeping leaves
until the wind blows, the fog lifts, and
the spirits of my nightmare
wander into slumber
before the morning rooster crows.

—Nortina


I recently came across Write or Die Wednesday, which is a biweekly writing challenge that provides you with a prompt and lets you run with it. This week’s prompt was:

img_2184

Read other fog writings, and have a go at it yourself!

Your Love is Like Jazz

Your love is like jazz music,
like the sultry Eartha Kitt
fitted in leather cat suit,
stretched across the piano,
purring into the mic.

Peel back my dress like the
delicate skin of a grape,
off my shoulders, slipping
down my waist and over my
hips; reveal succulent flesh
underneath, supple, ready to
burst under your prodding.

My hips wind against you
like a ticking clock to the
rhythm of your tongue rolling
off the roof of your mouth,
so close behind my ear naked.
Oooh . . . don’t kiss me—
Yes . . . please kiss me—
My neck elongated,
graceful, like a gazelle;
your lips right there.

No—Yes. Make up my mind.
You over him. Whisper me
sweet wine to flood my
trepidation in red. Spontaneity
over consistency. A fluttered
heartbeat bounces to the
spinning trumpet, and
I wanna be evil with you,
I’m sick of being his angel,
I wanna be your devil—
Oooh . . . Bruce—let’s do it.

—Nortina 


So, I think Wednesdays in June will be dedicated to love poetry from Love Poetry, my Camp NaNoWriMo novella I’ll be writing next month! This poem introduces the chapter where Jessica and Bruce reeeally get to know each other… 😉

If you want to learn more about Love Poetry, check out my 2015 A to Z Challenge. Eventually I’ll have all these posts together in one location.

I Prefer My Body in the Morning

I prefer my body in the morning,
when there’s a faint taste of
last night’s dinner on my tongue,
when my stomach is leveled flat
like measured baking flour, and
growling from the calories
it burned in sleep.

I prefer my body in the morning,
when my thighs haven’t swollen
from too much salt, and my panties
glide over my hips like silk,
when the water that hugs my
waistline has receded, and the
stretch marks aren’t taut from
menstrual bloat or Mexican gas.

I prefer my body in the morning,
when I can turn to the side and
half see a figure in the full
length mirror, when I can breathe
in my gut and it not appear
too obvious, when I can squat
and a round buttocks starts to
take form, when I can tuck the
fat with the tails of my blouse
into my pants and not morph
into the shape of a pear.

I prefer my body in the morning,
when I can strut with confidence,
when men turn their heads, when
caking makeup becomes an
accessory instead of a mask,
when I’m three pounds lighter
than I will be after lunch,
before I skipped breakfast,
and binge ate dinner.

In the morning when I wake,
when I stare at my naked
reflection, cup my breasts
in my hands and push them up,
it feels almost enough—I feel
like I could be . . . enough—

—Nortina

Chivalry is Dead

Chivalry is dead.
Chivalry is an excuse
for men to treat women
as objects. And objects
are breakable— Like
this dish; like this
crystal Princess House
mug, and that one and
that one; like this
picture frame; like
this mahogany armchair,
an heirloom passed down
the generations, an
antique no more when
split in two. Objects
are replaceable. Swipe
a card and buy five
more. Women are fickle.
Men are here to stay.
Leave he won’t; give
up for another’s claim—
never. Inadequacy will
drive a nice guy bad.
And he’s sick of
running, wants to
finish this race on top.

—Nortina


I’m bringing back my 2015 A-Z Challenge novella this July! In my June Agenda post, I announced that I will be rewriting Love Poetry for Camp NaNoWriMo. Now it’s time to plan! I’ve sketched out a plot; some things are the same, but a lot has changed. I still plan on incorporating poetry in the novella, most likely in the form of an epigraph before each chapter.

This poem is a revision of my poem, “Last in the Race,” posted for N is for Nice Guys. In this particular chapter, Whitmore throws a hissy fit in Jessica’s apartment when he suspects her of cheating. A bit different from what I wrote in the A to Z Challenge, but a scene I have explored in the past. So are you ready for Camp NaNoWriMo? I know I am! Looking forward to finally finishing this story. 🙂