I Can’t Escape My Past

“[T]ell the story of your most recent negative experience related to … addiction.”

– Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”


Addiction to a person

is probably the most dangerous

Life threatening kind

They spin like tops

Around and around

Break the thirteenth step

Thou shalt not…

But it’s too late

How did we get like this?


Alone in our togetherness

I feed off you

And only ache with hunger

Satisfaction does not exist

As my soul collapses

in on itself – A star into a black hole

I know I am drowning

But I refuse any air


Pseudo Poverty

“Go through a day without spending any money and write about how it feels.”

-Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”


I currently work at Walmart, so today I was surrounded by merchandise and people wanting and buying. It’s really hard to keep your head of that mentality when it is all around you.


I can’t

makes wanting


Relative Numbers

“Do you feel slightly ashamed of some possession because it cost so much money? Write a poem persuading a reader that you were totally justified in spending this much. Then write another poem in which you challenge your extravagance.”

-Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”

Pretty Penny

Amount of money is not an issue as much as need versus want for me. Price doesn’t matter if I need an item. A cheap product can still cause me to feel guilt for purchasing it if I don’t need it.

Poem One

It was only $5

And it’s Christmastime,

And Anchorman is funny,

And I thought someone

Would bid higher.

The money went.

To the employee Christmas party.

I have money.

It’s a nice treat.

Poem Two

As soon as I saw my name

Regret rose in my stomach

Impulse bidding

In a silent auction

I don’t need this movie

I need to pay tuition

I need to buy textbooks

I need gas in my car

So guilt fills my mouth with bile

as I fish a crumpled bill from my pocket.

Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/83346641@N00/8609444344/”>JD Hancock</a> via <a href=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

I’m Back!

It’s been forever! Essentially, school started and owned my life for the past few months. My goal while on winter break is to get back into the habit of posting every day. Get ready for two weeks of poetry!


“Write about someone who does work you would never do.”

-Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”


Are mocked for their mistakes

Blamed when things go wrong

I could be a leader

I’m to smart to be president

Photo by Justin Brown

I Guess Slaves Don’t Get Paid


“Write a poem about the worst job you ever had.”

-Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”

Chewed gum on the shelf

rugs unfolded on the floor

Nobody in sight

People wind their way

on amigos

– wheeled shopping tanks –

Bump into a display




Drive away!

Inch by slow inch

The store will never know

Who did it

Why pick up?

That’s why the store

has employees.


I am not your mom

Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/68845396@N00/83253641/”>Malingering</a&gt; via <a href=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Want My Job?



“Write a poetic ‘résumé,’ describing several jobs you had. In each case, give us an image that helps us experience what the job was like for you.”

-Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”



Minimum wage

First job

So young


Ice cream


A line out the door

Whose order?

His order?

One more drink



In through the garage

Sleep on the couch

Girl wakes first

Boy sleeps in



Water fun



Paid to play



No money

Wander Chicago

Take in the sights

Catch good audio

Camera on the El

Lugging through the streets



Fresh food

Hot food

ABC food




Making friends

Catapult tomatoes

Dining Hall


Busy days

Slow days

Oh so boring days

Bring a book

Scoop and serve

Ice cream


And candy


Thank you for shopping



Repeated Music

Repeated Task

Carve my brain out

With a spoon

ABC gum

Messy shoppers

No money

No time

No freedom




Thirty new faces

Thirty new names


Fall behind

Love the kids

Hate goodbye



Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/36106576@N05/9799076564/”>Don Moyer</a> via <a href=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a&gt; <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147″>cc</a&gt;

Cowardly Byrnes


“Where did your parents originate? Your grandparents? Imagine you are one of your relatives from that place. This relative is thinking about the old ways of doing things and observing your life as it is now. Is that person approving, disapproving? What does that person want to tell you?”

-Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”

I wrote this at 6am when I couldn’t sleep. It’s definitely not my best work but this prompt did not speak to me.

It’s okay to be afraid

Just look at us

We ran away

Bravery is fine

But Canada is better



Just keep your back door open



 Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/30595068@N06/7501044636/”>Photosightfaces</a&gt; via <a href=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;