Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ponderings for a particular Artist

(Dedicated to Daniel Varga, Hungarian Olympic water polo forward
and contemporary painter in 2012)
-Martina D. Robinson

I wonder
what sort of scenes
you opt to paint
out of the pool,
removed from the athletically permitted violence
that marks water polo
to my novice eyes.

Did you cover canvas after canvas
in pool blue as you recovered from
“at least one shoulder surgery in recent years”
according to nbcolympics.com.

Or did you shun
every shade from cerulean to azure,
choosing to invoke aridity instead
until you could return to familiar wet.

In Time...

(theme: Sweep Secondhand)

The hand keeps sweeping
through weddings, births, deaths…
jobs, graduations, sex, losing…
finding, discovering.

Always moving,
without a pause.
No matter how much
we’d love to pause clock
in question.

Until one day,
you find yourself
out of seconds;
unable to restart.


(Theme: This what she sent back to me)

Thank you for your email regarding
your experience with the Holiday Inn Philadelphia - Historic District, PA.
We apologize for any inconvenience
this situation may have caused you.

I have forwarded your comments
to the General Manager and ownership
of this hotel. We are committed
to guest satisfaction
and appreciate the opportunity
to address your concerns.

As our hotels are in the best position to assist,
I have requested they contact you directly
to discuss the situation further.
They will be contacting you directly
via email within 48 hours.
If you still require assistance
after this time frame,
please contact Guest Relations again.

I almost laughed
at non-specificity of reply.
But frown when I remember
my deflating pride,
pain of impact
with bathroom floor
and embarrassment of needing
multiple unknown men to hoist
me back into safety of wheelchair
after formerly trusted grab bar
fell from restroom wall.

Holiday Inn doesn’t realize
I wasn’t taught to be the kind of
woman easily ignored.

Singular, Plural, or Of…

(theme: bundle)

options, colors, chocolates
annually carried by Santa
wires or joy
offered by my cable company

The Devil in Brooks Brothers

(based on the word mammonism \MAM-uh-niz-uhm\ , noun:
The greedy pursuit of riches)

or at least I-
occupy because
the forces that pretend
climate change is some sort
of liberal lie while portions of
Coloradan grass catches fire
without cause are motivated

by similar reasons as those
who would rather incarcerate people
in need of services in nursing homes
rather than living free in our communities,

as are supposed Wall Street experts
that seem to be more into following
the latest bubble than lasting realities.

To them,
we are all
a means to increase
profit margins.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


It was 22 years ago today
when I was barely
into my teenage temper tantrums

Powers that be passed
law designed to equalize
the always unequal-

building lifts into buses
for those who cannot walk,
requiring raised text maps
for those who cannot see,
and many other things.

I was so naïve,
thinking legislation would/could
grant anyone anything as precious
as rights.

I’ve learned
that laws – while vital-
are only a single point
on the journey-
not the mountain peak
I imagined.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


(Theme: There could be rabbits)

Near tears, I confessed
ivory hare’s diarrhea due to
uninformed six-year-old owner.

How was I know any
bunny begging for bacon
should be ignored?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


(theme: How precious my life)

Twisted people
do not find the beauty
in my bent frame.

They rebuke the lovely
in my interdependent existence.

I attempt
not to despise their idiocy
as I remember to praise the Creator
for the miracle represented
in the act of my body
continuing to breathe.

Monday, July 23, 2012


(Theme: These symbols represent)

Students with whom I shared
my love of all things gimp
wrote me the following acrostic poem
as a thank you.

Really funny

Although I think they violated
their own form choices
in the third line,
I put it atop my television
to combat my bouts
of self-devaluing.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Quick and Rough in Stanzas

The draft
written hours, minutes, moments
before a due date
via e-mail or in person
and rewarded with the quick,
adequate b minus.

The shot
to appease
the addiction
if only for an hour.

The perfect triple pirouette
is only a moment on stage,
but perfected by hours of instruction,
calluses, and discipline.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Gypsy vs. Monarch

(Theme: The difference between a moth and a butterfly)

Moths seek light
from my lamps;
come nights,
whereas butterflies
breathe out/in during the time
of sun.

Friday, July 20, 2012


(theme: Mixing paint)

I want a child
over 3 and under 12
preferred, although negotiation
is possible if I fall in love
with the right face.

Innermost desires are for a minivan full
hues from every continent
where ancestors and God made
humans wander.

In North America,
they can carry any color
from soft peach to mahogany,
being as we are the melting pot.

My South American
will most resemble person
I could’ve born and hopefully be
the daughter whose hair I can
watch someone braid
into pigtails like mom used to.

My African will most likely come
from the Ugandan school my friend
runs that serves disabled students.
At least I can rescue one,
I think.

My European child
likely to be palest
being ivory or at darkest peach
with hair of ginger or gold.

My Asian child
sporting skin from Dijon to chocolate
plus obsidian locks,
will be the envy
of every boy/girl/ both
if that’s their fancy.

My Australian
owns the sun kissed locks
as I don’t intend to remove
an aborigine from their culture
and turn them in
an American teenager,
even a socially aware one,
via transnational adoption
unless I find them languishing
in an orphanage with no
to claim them.

Me, my co-parent, and our
rainbow colored adoptees marching
to make the world a bit better
on a multitude of fronts.
Some of mine and some of theirs.

We will agree by mutual respect,
to be there in service each other’s causes,
even if it’s not our main issue.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Washingtons, Lincolns, and Jacksons

(Theme: Use as Indicated)

Cable to cover the Olympics
Organic Fruit
Hormone free, grass-fed chicken
Buses or paratransit
birthday card
Monthly audio book club
Gift for Santa in July Stranger
Eating out too often
New work pants
batteries, batteries, batteries
Postcard stamps
because the difference
between those and first class
equal one roundtrip, one zone
paratransit trip when combined
with a single 50 cent each way.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Fryer’s Lack of Words

(Theme: It has yet to occur to the chickens that they can't talk)

Chickens’ bawk or cock,
depending on gender,
both often loudly
awakening/irritating keepers at
an hour of thirty
some call dark.

Would we be less
inclined to consume
their fowl flesh
if they spoke the Queen’s English

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Find

One Dallas Cowboy
dancing to Hank Williams
will make my mother’s Christmas
and cost me $5,
plus a bit of glue.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Organizer's Credo

Single room apartment
shared by multiple bodies
who plan revolutions
and donate all there extra
cents to charity.

They serve
each other
and their hearts

Wanting more from
the world than materialism
can provide.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

What Must be Released is not Lost

(theme: Don't forget to let yesterday go)

I’ll never again be
the little girl
crawling around
on callused knees
searching for lost change
under her grandparents couch.

I’ll never again be
the fourth grader
who learned to love
books by means of a teacher
who made words seem
like magic.

I’ll never again be
the thirteen year old
who feel into puppy love
and relished her first morsel
of independence at adolescent summer camp.

I’ll never again be
the newly minted drinker
who capped off who capped
off her legalization
with a double feature,
and of both orgasms
and alcohol than normally permissible.

I’ll never again be
the woman so eager
to prove her employability
to those who don’t
quite grasp why
a 30-something someone
with a college degree
and literary talent doesn’t hold
a 9 to 5 and pay her own way
or at least find a man to pay it for her.
Those in power never made
the ludicrous choice between
financial self-sufficiency and bodily survival
I’m willing to wager.

I will never again
be any previous version
as much as I might
wish I could return to her

But I will carry the lessons
learned by all of these incarnations
forward into my future.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Froggie Poem

(Theme: What will you do to save the frogs? or bees?)

Advocate for water quality.
Make sure others know waterways
are not anyone’s personal
garbage dump.
Encourage all- from Ph.D’s
to school children- to care
about creatures that go ribbit
other than Kemit.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Come Over

(inspired by this awesome Kenny Chesney song of the same name)

You were
the wrong sort person
for me to adore.

Knew that from day,
if not hour,

Think we both
made the correct choice
when we decided not
to reengage in the on again
off again behavior that’s been
us for longer than we care to admit,
even to ourselves.

Sometimes, however, I miss
you exquisiteness,
even though it came
with almost unbearable agony.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Second Thrsdays

(dedicated to the members of the Florence Poets' Society)

At my monthly poet party
We debate line length
and exact meaning,
over and over again,
frequently changing opinions.

We decipher
the difference between
floe and flow.

Someone teaches us
about the Sopwith Camel
another disseminates knowledge of
the autonomous character.

Although we laugh
like inebriated midshipmen
on the last night of shore leave,
we depart with minds expanded
rather than pickled.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


(The theme was "It was not an emotion I knew by heart". Sadly, this one still isn’t.)

Survivor’s guilt for accepting money
and not simply doing what needs done,
even if someone else tells me
it’s no real strain to their budget
and my mom reminds me often
I need to start paying more bills,

Every moment aware of others' sacrifices
that allow me to have the life I adore.
Eat, sleep, and breathe Spiderman’s cliché.
and feel much shame for deciding I deserve
even one day off, every 21.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Various Ignitions

When I was just 13
I sat around my first fire
holding hands with my first-
and at the time I thought only ever- boy.
Feeling this strange new thing called found.

No one here mistook my always
seated posture for stupidity,
thought that my no make up policy made me
any less the typical teenage girl ,
or glared at me when even I Knew I
was eating too many s’mores.

I would value that
come to be considered holy
to me space,
until I turned 17
and opted to attend elite, auditioned for
arts camp after acceptance.

But my essence
would ache for its return
until I turned 19
and found a new place to belong.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

This Writer's Mistakes

Consistently wrong
to process pretty journals,
but never write in them
because I deem spastic penmanship

Consistently wrong
to buy pictures
representing minor characters
in a story I’ve planned
to write for upwards
of a month and a half.
In fact,
after searching the computer-
methodically and repeatedly-
I can’t find the scene
my mind remembers the rhythm
of the typing, though exact
words of story escape.

Consistently wrong
to write columns
in my head,
but never actually
transfer words into required website
even after I’ve attended the event
and taken the pictures.

Consistently wrong
not to edit either
3-Day novels, half-finished poetry manuscripts,
or grad school applications.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The sickness in recovery

Formerly wayward
rumbly in my tumbly
has resided at my waking
and the breeze flowing
into bedroom
soft and cool
lifts the thing
I refer to as soul.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Not Physical, But..

Become overly familiar with no
Squash dreams, on purpose
Deny brilliance
Say “It’s not possible!”
Become renowned for your non-listening skills
Assume you now best always
Fall to acknowledge the consequences of your actions
Doubt love, loyalty, or both
Act like effort makes no difference,
if the outcome is not a victory.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Allergy Awakening

From January 22, 2002
until nearly April of that year
I bruised, blistered, and bled.

The price of speaking truth to power
or in this precise case the World Economic Forum.
I brushed off the goo, they sprayed
and kept on shouting.

Later that day severe sudden attack
of the hives medicine almost
always kept hidden
caused me to request someone inject
me with the epinephrine I always carried,
for the first time, ever.

I didn’t know that
that would become
what I would see
as an easy day
in the following weeks
when my skin fell off
in horrible burning, itching chunks.

No matter what they pumped me
full of in crazier and crazier doses
beyond body weight recommendations,
it was unrelenting, unblinking
until a kindly Indian doctor
who didn’t even have citizenship,
told me to drink one glass of water per hour
after taking enough prednisone
to choke a goat.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Meditations on Independence Day

Never being anyone’s idea

of a chemistry maven

my brain misfires

when I attempt to discern

what morphs fireworks

from some prepubescent mad scientist’s

experimental wet dream

into burning stars.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sought Not Located

This house my body;

this house my house-

both had needs unmet/goals unfulfilled

this Sabbath.

After night that ran late

in search of muse that

was continually absent

and has been so for more

weeks than I’d like to remember.

I slept after the day,

missing brunch the body/tongue

planned to enjoy in hopes

of stimulating palate

and imagination.

But pointless 4:30

in the morning waiting,

leads me to nothing gained.

Instead this day

is spent housebound

with no illness to blame

my new found laze on.

This body waits for my soul

to find new inspiration

inside these walls,

with this machine,

to make new worlds

to share with others

I value.

Instead of pointless

cable TV staring

without feeding


Not me...

(July Poem a day, based around the word hircine)

I’m not hircine.

One of my friends can’t

help, but giggle

practically to the point

of guffawing

when I tell her,

most times I’d

prefer strawberries and cream

to a pointless one night stand.

She apparently

feels the need to have

upwards of three orgasms

a week, all via masturbation

as far as I can tell.

She doesn’t comprehend

when I tell her that

just doesn’t work

for me

and I wouldn’t want it to.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Cat, Observed

(July Poem a Day #2 Theme: That's when I gave him/her my________)

My housemate’s tiny Calico cat

named, unfortunately, after

Trademarked brand of fastening type,

steps between the fruit my assistant

absently placed in the window without

recognizing how often duo of kitty roommates

seek that window in search of uncirculated air.

She walks with grace

that any en pointe prima ballerina

would envy; careful not

to place filthy feline feet

on my food.

That’s when I gave her my praise

via poetry and plan on

buying her a new toy.