Category Archives: Poetry

NaPoWriMo Day Twenty-Four: Watermelon



by ARHuelsenbeck

it takes both arms to carry you
my green-striped beauty
I can’t wait to plunge my long knife
into your bright red flesh

but first I clear an entire shelf
in the fridge
because you are best when icy cold

while waiting I remember
my childhood end-of-summer ritual
celebrating with green-white-red smiles
juice running down our chins
soaking our t-shirts
and bombarding each other with
seeds fired from our deadly lipsnapo2020button1-1

Creative Juice #187

Creative Juice #187

Don’t spend one more day not knowing about these things:

NaPoWriMo Day Twenty-Three: Nameless A



ANameless A
by ARHuelsenbeck

my name is Andrea
which is just forgettable enough
that I’ve learned to answer to Angela
and Adrienne and Audrey

how I wish my name were
something ordinary
like Mary
there were lots of Marys in my class
also a Marianne a Mary Beth
a Mary Clare and a Mary Lou
there’s a good chance that if you called someone Mary
you’d be right

instead I must endure
Allison and Addison
Adalaide and Adalynn
Annabelle and Amethyst
Annalyse and Analyst

too bad my name’s not Patty
or Maddy or Hattie
or Stephanie or Gaga
or something equally memorablenapo2020button1-1

NaPoWriMo Day Twenty-two: Riskfully Yours


broken heart

Riskfully Yours
by ARHuelsenbeck

I’m dancing on the edge of a cliff
skating on thin ice
poking the sleeping tiger
holding the lit firecracker
jaywalking on a busy street
counting my chickens before they’re hatched
cutting the 2 x 4 without measuring twice
walking the high wire
going canoeing without a paddle

do you admire my fearlessness
recognize my vulnerability
I’m taking a chance
sticking my neck out
offering you my heart
hoping you won’t stomp on itnapo2020button1-1

NaPoWriMo Day 21: Translation Abdication


Translation Abdication caveman-1460898_640
by ARHuelsenbeck

Her face is so small:
She is supernatural, tipsy,
chronological, scriptural.
On board animals electric,
aerial apes
impregnate campers irate.
Sterilize my metro;
I am kaput.

My old incisors desperate
to dismantle Louie.
It’s peculiar to care. Ignite tots,
yes, excrete a piece of cauldron.
Accompany your sputum with my sweet relief.

Mementos, your turnstyle civilization
pulses delicate, increase sippy
fun oceanful.

My mama and her valve tutor,
mammal feral
total menu and universal sperm.

I’m glad serpents are ramen,
my insipid arches are cartilage,
my door posts are vulnerable,
my inner buns ornithological and
Gentle admiral may send extras
in prey multi experiments.
Animal rationales
are parasites in prey multi-
prototypical abandonment,
pulse in “miscarry ain’t crème.”

(Pneuma may recognize an attack.
Derive your ramifications, instinctual
bye-bye, the impediment so real your ma’s

I am the first protein; see my molecular
candy. I am the first virus, bacteria, and the
first algae and protozoa; ah poor me.


Poet’s note: Today’s prompt is Find a poem in a language that you don’t know, and perform a “homophonic translation” on it: try to translate the poem simply based on how it sounds.

The inspiration for my poem is the beginning of the Romanian poet Magda Carneci’sPoemul Ecologic (3).

NaPoWriMo Day Twenty: Baby Blanket



Baby Blanket
by ARHuelsenbeck

I’m going to crochet a blanket
for your baby
my coworker announced

oh thank you I said
not believing it
people have good intentions
but rarely follow through
and this coworker
was not really a friend

I resigned from the job
when the baby was born
a couple of months later
my former coworker called
I’d like to drop off the blanket
I made for your baby

it was yellow Tunisian stitch
with a picot edging
and an embroidered teddy bear
stitched with loving care
and frankly unexpected

she became my true friend that day
is it shallow of me that
I had no faith in her
until that momentnapo2020button1-1

NaPoWriMo Day Eighteen: Morning Walk


Morning Walk
by ARHuelsenbeck

the perfect conditions for a walk
sunny blue skies
warm but not hot
light breeze
neighborhood blossoms blooming

people walking pooches
neighbors chatting six feet apart
faces masked (pandemic after all)
catching up on yard work
children chalking sidewalks

gathering forbidden
shopping discouraged
streets lined with cars
workers housebound
the perfect conditions for a walknapo2020button1-1

P is for Poetry Slam


I am obsessed with the concept of poetry slams. Don’t know what a poetry slam is? Watch this for a little taste:

Doesn’t that seem awesome? I really would like to go and observe one. There’s a bar in Phoenix that had poetry slams. I even got free tickets for one. But when the time came to go, I balked. It’s hard to park in the art district at night. I could take the light rail, but it’s an hour to get there and an hour back, double the travel time if I drove. Plus I don’t drink and I haven’t been in a bar for forty years. Yep, I talked myself out of it. And now that people don’t gather any more, the bar in question isn’t sure they’ll even still be in business by the time restrictions are lifted. I lost my chance. Maybe I’ll try again when the pandemic is over.

In the meantime, virtual poetry slams are an option. Thank you, YouTube. Grand Slam Poetry Champion Harry Baker recites three of his poems. I’m glad it is closed captioned. (You’ll see why when he gets to the second poem.)

Maybe someday I’ll actually read one of my poems. . .

a-to-z HEADER [2020] to size v2

NaPoWriMo Day Seventeen: Deluxe Manual Hand-Crank Pencil Sharpener



Deluxe Manual Hand-Crank Pencil Sharpener
by ARHuelsenbeck

every classroom had one in the cloak room
its base screwed into solid wood
a removable, emptiable reservoir for the pencil shavings
on one end a handle which turned
2 cylinders with sharp striations
that shaved the pencil point into a deadly dart
on the other end a round rotating plate
with openings to match any possible pencil diameter
select the one that perfectly matches your writing utensil

the industrious sound it made
when you turned the crank
the mechanical grinding of wood and graphite
the thrill of removing your pencil
and examining its newly-tapered tip

but don’t crank too long
or you’d be left with a pathetic stub

Creative Juice #186

Creative Juice #186

With all this sheltering-in-place, we need a little diversion, whimsy, and beauty.

  1. Recreating masterpieces. See also #9.
  2. The notorious Banksy.
  3. Who would have guessed I’d find two Banksy articles in the same week? Here’s what happens when he works from home.
  4. Reading suggestions for staying at home.
  5. I really like this format for poetry.
  6. Animal Farm illustrated.
  7. Would you like to sleep at Stephen King’s house?
  8. Surf’s up! Prizewinning surfing photos.
  9. Even gerbils need art galleries. (But please don’t eat the furniture.)
  10. Oh, crumb! I missed the Arizona Quilt Show. Not to worry—here are some great pictures.
  11. Do you love children’s picture books? Look at these glorious illustrations and enter the giveaway.
  12. Ever hear of coade stone? Me neither, but at one time it was a very popular sculpting material.