.NaPoWriMo 2015 Day 17.

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National Poetry Month is on day 17! Today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo is to write a social media poem. Not so much about social media and more so using words from your friends on various social media platforms. This was an interesting challenge and one that made me look closer into what the poems and work I’ve been reading from these talented people are saying, or at least what they are saying to me.

What’s also interesting is what one gravitates towards with regards to their reading and how it speaks about them. I suggest you give the writers I used for my prompt a read. You wont be disappointed. Of course, there were so many more that I wanted to add on to the challenge but I would have painted myself into an impossible corner.

Urayoán Noel is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico. He earned his BA from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, his MA from Stanford, and his PhD from New York University. He is the author of a number of collections of poetry, including Los días porosos(2012); Hi-Density Politics(2010); Boringkén (2008);Kool Logic/La lógica kool(2005), named one of the Books of 2006 by the Puerto Rican newspaper El nuevo día.The accompanying spoken word and performance DVD to Kool Logic/La lógica kool,Kool Logic Sessions, was produced in 2005 as a collaboration with composer Monxo López. Noel has also translated the chapbook ILUSOS by Edwin Torres (2010).

Noel’s honors and awards include fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Bronx Council on the Arts, and New York University. In 2013, he was named a CantoMundo fellow. He is a contributing editor at Mandorla, and his scholarly and creative writing have appeared in journals such as Latino Studies, Contemporary Literature, Bomb,and Fence. He is an assistant professor at the State University of New York-Albany.



In the Faraway Suburbs


                                   Listen to the creepy proclamation,                        
                                   Blown through the lairs of the forest-nation
—Vachel Lindsay


Who knows why my baby left me?
Who knows where she could have gone?
Is she hiding in the center
Of some little-known downtown?
Has she been seduced by villains?
Have they got her gagged and bound?
Vanished from the lost and found
With no trace and no reminder . . . ?
Yeah, she’s lost, but I will find her
Down in the faraway suburbs.


2                        Puerto Rico

In Guaynabo and Tao Baja
The theorists and professors
Are playing rhetorical poker
With their identity cards,
They are shooting wads of wisdom
To impress the senile deans;
Meanwhile, the good citizens
Are all working for the government,
Cheating on taxes and spouses
Down in the faraway suburbs.


3                        New York

The Greyhound wheezes its way
From New York up to Poughkeepsie;
I pass the time singing “Gypsy”
By Fleetwood Mac, a cappella;
And the watercolor landscape
Falls apart on the gray planes;
The diners and the dead-ends,
The deserted factories,
And the doors creak noisily
Down in the faraway suburbs.



The are prehistoric skeletons
At the beach on Staten Island
And the jellyfish are dancing
Slow, hydrochloric waltzes:
There are Doric-style chalets
With South American servants
Where the little brothers play;
Sniffing underarms and solvents
While the dog shows off its teeth
Down in the faraway suburbs.



Here the end of the expressway
Gives way to medieval forests
And correctional facilities
And McDonald’s without tourists;
I’m overwhelmed by the view
Of the mansions on the plains,
The housing projects, the flames
Creeping through the dead of winter
As the landfill burns tonight
Down in the faraway suburbs.


6                        California


In the righteous neighborhoods,
Atherton, West Palo Alto,
They’re paving over the asphalt
With the gravel of privilege—
All ones hears are the arpeggios
Of the pre-recorded pianos,
And the trembling of the hands
That are serving themselves gin
And the shot glass shattering
Down in the faraway suburbs.



Far from all the shantytowns,
In Millbrae and Redwood City,
One more neighborhood committee
Is creating civic centers
And more monumental malls
Catering to healthy pleasures:
Peewee softball in the summers,
Window-shopping, Cineplex,
And those fruity Tex-Mex shakes
Down in the faraway suburbs.



A distant, majestic Sun
Licks the cliffs and the embankments,
I search for your embalmed eye
On the coast of the Pacific.
Marin County  in particular
Has its share of urban ghosts,
Like those midget saxophonists
Who long for their days of glory
And are now telling their story
Down in the faraway suburbs.



I’ve searched for you in each corner of
This innocuous continent—
Could it be you’re facing me?
Could it be that you’re my neighbor?
That the downtown and the eye balm
And the grime that coats your hands
Are all arcane holograms?
That your epileptic smile
Died that antiseptic night
Down in the faraway suburbs.

Urayoán Noel, “In the Faraway Suburbs” from Kool Logic. Copyright © 2005 by Urayoán Noel. Reprinted by permission of Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe.

Source: Kool Logic (Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 2005)



One thought on “.NaPoWriMo 2015 Day 17.

  1. You chose great poet friends from varied social media outlets, and your poem you created with their words flowed perfectly!

    Love your featured poet also, especially the fact that he is Puerto Rican so there’s that tie-in to your heritage.

    today was a breather wasn’t it? I’m so glad they issued this prompt today. I needed a break from writing haha.


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