Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sonnet - Every Day Hot Dogs

I just put together my writing schedule for the rest of the month and it ... it scary. So here's a sonnet about hot dogs.


Every Day Hot Dogs

While one school screams, “No ketchup!” the other
insists, “No mercy! Give us what you got!”
Let us begin to pile it on, rather:
the first, just mustard. Next, some chili: dot
on top sour cream. And relish tangy
yet spicy sauces! Bring it on until
the wieners bathe in graves of umami,
and delicately stroke on the refill
of sauerkraut and pickled affection.
Prepare yourself, imbued deceit lurks in
the promised treat within the toasted bun.
It’s baseball, it is summer, it hides when
we need it most. It’s just a feeling, pray,
but it is all I want to feel today.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Free form - On Moving On, On Remembering

This is more or less a drafty draft--I'll be doing a slew of editing this month and this one will be included in that batch!


On Moving On, On Remembering

The house, gutted, stands in its quiet ruin
pushing itself to write letters to its past lovers.

Time to move on, the house says to itself
maybe now I can move past this

but when it bothers to fail,
it becomes unstable in every way.

Each day the bulldozer comes in,
carries a piece to bed, and leaves.

The home is gone, a shallow foundation
remains, unbothered.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Prose poem - Olive Buffet

Here's a very short prose poem for you today.


Olive Buffet

He hates them but is unwilling to be brought down in such an easy manner, so he buys them all and picnics by the lovely water with the lovely tree and eats the disgusting olives one by one.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sonnet - How to Prepare a Pie Crust

How to Prepare a Pie Crust

There comes a time in any woman’s life:
the moment for pie is born. Take cherry
for lipstick, pucker tight, the perfect wife.
Time to sully bereft hands. Plunge cheery
into powder, wring the quivering dough.
Place dirty hands to face, pause with each squeeze,
knead and need, sculpt to cover holes. Although
the sticky gum is used to hold, unease
sickens the throat; will it flake? Will it burst?
Crimp edges with tortured precision, lick
cinnamon stick fingers. Keep self immersed
in blocks of pastry cities, in the thick
nest of lattice work. The opus, the now,
the bent-over-knee-spasm of spousal clout.

Justine Bienkowski

Friday, March 30, 2012

Found Poem, After Frank O'Hara

Here's sort of a "found" poem I wrote after reading a bunch of Frank O'Hara books all in one go. I am not the biggest O'Hara fan, I don't totally get on board with poetry written specifically and only for certain people. I hate that kind of mindset! Much of his writing was like this, but on the other hand, he had such a talent for these incredible moments in his poems. He wrote so many wonderful lines that I feel got a little lost in the exclusive nature of his poetry--writing a "found" poem like this allowed me to bring those lines out in a new way.

I don’t think I think
After Frank O’Hara

and I am naked as a table cloth, my nerves humming.
and gusts of water spray over the basins of leaves
the spinning wheel still turns,
to murder minutely and ponder
Oh say can you see Alma. The darling

Against the winter I must get a samovar
I enter my new home full
The stars blink like a hairnet that was dropped
the moon growls at each blinking window
the apartment houses climb deafeningly into the purple

She is very old and dirty

the bars are for rabbits
in wooden clogs so hard on the muscles
as I poke along

“Ah daddy, I wanna stay drunk many days”
Is this love, now that the first love
In the deeps there is a little bird
Oh to be an angel (if there were any!), and go

I don’t think

and you take a lot of dirt off someone
you don’t refuse to breathe do you

Wouldn’t it be funny
while everyone’s in church
we don’t do much ourselves
who wears hats anyway
the only thing to do is simply continue

what of Hart Crane
what of “what of”
the snow will go away, but nobody will be there
as a pig’s tongue on a platter, and storms break over
shade shade shill spade agony freak
I’m not naturally so detached but I think

Justine Bienkowski

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Free Verse

A Cross to Bear

The river will always remind me of my mother,
Turbulent, constantly surging,
Carrying all the debris from her life
Along her banks, always moving along,
Never stopping, always flowing,
Shifting to swallow all in her path.
Rushing, meandering, curvy, beautiful,
She sweeps the rocks along the bed,
Rolls pebbles between the lengths of her palms.

She will always remind me of the things within,
Of the rocks falling inside my chest.
She is part of my avalanche.

Justine Bienkowski

Free Verse

Let in No Light

The art of numbing one’s self is very precise;
There is a science to the disconnect
Between fingers
And hands
And moldy pages.
Grab your cutlery, it is time to dissect and

The time for leaving is upon us,
When darkness becomes us like a little black dress,
A glove around our soft parts,
Holding us in so we may not spill our guts from seams.
A call to arms for hemming disgrace
Take up your needles and head in towards battle.
Shut out

The art of missing someone is very precise;
There is a science to shutting eyes tight
Let in

Justine Bienkowski

Free Verse // Quatrains

Morning Coffee

The cereal bowl
is empty
because I have already

I have taken
all of the coffee;
don’t be mad.

that I will think of you
when I smell
the hazelnut.

Justine Bienkowski

Monday, September 6, 2010

Free verse

It's not actually in ode form so I'm using the term 'ode' loosely.

An Ode to the Gin and Tonic

All hail glory manifest in rocks glasses!
Let us toast to warm sugary smiles
Shared beneath sweltering sun.
We don’t care if we sweat ourselves away to nothing;
We drink and sing,
Crushing mosquitoes and doubts.
I suck down lime pulp and yell
Into the wind, grabbing fistfuls of grass,
Planting myself in sweet-smelling earth
To grow up into the sun and into embraces.
We’ll link arms around the candle,
Brandishing fiery hearts
And close-knit thoughts.
This summer, my friends, is for you.

Justine Bienkowski

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Spenserian Sonnet

It's not quite iambic through and through, but it is certainly pentameter.

The Termite

An infestation comes in many forms,
But mine is lone, a stagnant presence here.
The termite infiltrates our home and storms
The ramparts, chewing cud, a mix of fear
And choking hazards. Chowing down on tears,
He slowly dissolves bedrock, acid words
Abundant in his mouth. A buccaneer,
He commandeers our house, the ship, stewards
Our lives with glancing blows, quickly forwards
Hearts to knots in throats. At night I hear him,
A soft chewing beneath my bed. Coward
I am, I fix the floorboards and I dim
The lights. Each day is the same, Each night reeks
Of self-medication; I remain meek.

Justine Bienkowski