Tag Archives: Charles Simic

NaPoWriMo – Day 5



The prompt for Day 5 confused me for a while and I found the poem the hardest I have had to write, mainly because I was trying to write my poem and make the other poem fit the end words, as opposed to looking at the poem and seeking inspiration from the words. Something I tried the second time.

Day Five

On April 5, 2014

Welcome back, all, for Day Five of NaPoWriMo!

Today’s prompt is a little complicated, which is why I saved it for a Saturday, in the hopes that you might have a little more time today than during a weekday. I think this is a very rewarding form, though, so I hope you’ll enjoy it! Today I challenge you to write a “golden shovel.” This form was invented by Terrance Hayes in his poem, The Golden Shovel. The last word of each line of Hayes’ poem is a word from Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem We Real Cool. You can read Brooks’ poem by reading the last word of each line of Hayes’ poem! (In fact, you can do so twice, because Hayes, being ultra-ambitious, wrote a two-part golden shovel, repeating Brooks’ poem). Now, the golden shovel is a tricky form, but you can help keep it manageable by picking a short poem to shovel-ize. And there’s no need to double-up the poem you pick, like Hayes did.


And here is the poem I chose:


Green Buddhas
On the fruit stand.
We eat the smile
And spit out the teeth.

-Charles Simic

I like both versions and as a special treat for you I am going to post both on here for now, I was struggling to choose an extract to share.



The Air is Black


We stand in the garden and talk about watermelons.

Planting seeds in green

trays, sitting like Buddhas

huddled up against the rain in garden chairs, music on

the ipod playing the

tracks we usually listen to on a Friday night, and still we talk fruit,

I stand,

move inside the shed, we

look up, rain can eat the smile

right out of the sky, town covered in smog and

pollution. Spit

my disappointment of the grey sheen out

at the sky from the

shed door – seed packet held between my teeth.








I hide the cake behind a slice of Watermelon,

bowl looks a healthy on one side. I carry the desert past the green buddhas

and on

up the

garden path, fruit

leading the way. I stand

and smile, remember how we

used to dance nights like this away. I eat.

I think of the

memories and smile.

Biting cold mouthfuls and

swallowing the pips I should spit out, the teeth

of the melon stuck in mine.