I Know How to Fall

I know how to fall
out of love in a flash,
without skinning my heart

or breaking
my hubris’ bone.

I make list after list
(five days prior to the arrival of now)
and for each item, I create ‘What ifs…’

What if my lips are cracked and bloodied,
and I can’t wake the princess with a kiss?

What if exhaustion makes me thoughtless,
and I break the crystal coffin
without seeing what lies within?

What if gut and backbone turn against me,
and I can’t take three steps
without crying twelve howls and one shriek?

Unknowns must be roused properly,
coffins are too valuable to lose.
If my nerve leaves me,
I’ll run into the woods
and reclaim it.

I know how to fall
out of love
with what’s expected—

I practice.


About the Image: the artwork is part of “a sort-of Snow White and an almost Sleeping Beauty” story. I chose it because Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell took the traditionally expected “happily ever after”, and reshaped it into a tale in which a lot more characters can do some real living.

for NaPoWriMo with Magaly Guerrero 2015, Day 25 – Anticipating Mayhem: Write a poem that lets us glimpse into how you ready yourself before facing known troubles, and what you do to cope once mayhem has done its thing.

The Sleeper and the Spindle“…detail from The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell. Photograph: Chris Riddell/Bloomsbury”


Kitten archbishop,
maintain your weight—amputate.
I’ve got a 12 inch rabbi.

Make a quick buck with
Penelope and Fungus
Crotch Chronicle;

of starting that fire with murder,
share nothing.

for the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads

Process Note: talented and clever Susie Clevenger asked us to use subject lines found in the gutters of our inboxes to craft a spoem. I’m obsessive about deleting my spam mail. So I had nothing to work with. A quick search took me to Cracked’s “100 Unintentionally Hilarious Spam Subject Lines”. I borrowed seven, did some tweaking, and you just read the result. These are the original subject lines:

Maintain your weight. amputate
Kitten archbishop
I’ve got a 12 inch rabbi
share – Nothing
Make a quick buck with – of starting that fire with murder
Crotch chronicle
Penelope and fungus

Spam Mailvia Glasbergen Cartoon Service