2/1/22 Workshop – A Poem by Catherine Imbriglio

Catherine Imbriglio

the poet admits to a history of malfeasance

A woman and a duck walk into a bar.
The bartender says, “Where’d you get the pig?”
The woman says, “That’s not a pig, it’s a duck.”
The bartender says, “I was talking to the duck.”
            – Anon.

Is this funny, is this an aliquot part.
            G.C. Waldrep

 Forgive me gatekeeper for I have cringed; it is 40 years since my last confession; during that time, I winced at other people semi-automatically; hung onto resentments I concealed and carried; didn’t give a ghost; was too lazy to do comparison shopping; was late for my water bill; was late for my father’s funeral; laughed at the pig joke; had several free-floating infernal toad intervals; was petty; was cowardly; didn’t behave as if many problems should be considered trivial; in arguments large and small, cultivated a multitude of excuses and defenses, refused graciousness, refused toconcede I wasn’t right; in the same way, failed to take my medicine, failed at abnormality, didn’t suspect algorithms could be programmed white; disliked trigonometry; disliked queuing; minimized unknowns in the hunger equations; mocked at the undead, the half-dead, the retreating graylights; misfired at the heckler; blew away housework; hated folding; stole wildflowers; stole subtexts; stole sweetheart tokens; read the gun numbers on the wall; blew off the numbers, kept on going.


Free writing prompt:

An admission….


1/18/22 Workshop – A Poem by Jim Harrison

Broom – Jim Harrison

To remember that you’re alive
visit the cemetery of your father
at noon after you’ve made love
and are still wrapped in a mammalian
odor that you are forced to cherish.
Under each stone is someone’s inevitable
surprise, the unexpected death
of their biology that struggled hard as it must.
Now go home without looking back
at the fading cemetery, enough is enough,
but stop on the way to buy the best wine
you can afford and a dozen stiff brooms.
Have a few swallows then throw the furniture
out the window and then begin sweeping.
Sweep until you’ve swept the walls
bare of paint and at your feet sweep
the floor until it disappears. Finish the wine
in this field of air, go back to the cemetery
in the dark and weave through the stones
a slow dance of your name visible only to birds.

Free writing prompt:

Write about remembering you’re alive

1/4/22 Workshop – A Poem by Jimmy Santiago Baca

[It would be neat if with the New Year]

for Miguel

It would be neat if with the New Year

I could leave my loneliness behind with the old year.

My leathery loneliness an old pair of work boots

my dog vigorously head-shakes back and forth in its jaws,

chews on for hours every day in my front yard—

rain, sun, snow, or wind

in bare feet, pondering my poem,

I’d look out my window and see that dirty pair of boots in the yard.


But my happiness depends so much on wearing those boots.


At the end of my day

while I’m in a chair listening to a Mexican corrido

I stare at my boots appreciating:

all the wrong roads we’ve taken, all the drug and whiskey houses

we’ve visited, and as the Mexican singer wails his pain,

I smile at my boots, understanding every note in his voice,

and strangers, when they see my boots rocking back and forth on my


keeping beat to the song, see how

my boots are scuffed, tooth-marked, worn-soled.


I keep wearing them because they fit so good

and I need them, especially when I love so hard,

where I go up those boulder strewn trails,

where flowers crack rocks in their defiant love for the light.

Free Writing prompt:

All the roads taken.