Warning label

I am a bunch of self imposed rules
that make me worry
that make me fret

I am an antenna
that turns signals into static

Don’t make me think
I’ll start

but I won’t stop

The prompt for  #NaPoWriMo day 25 was warning label about yourself.

Today I want to feature Big sleep by Christopher Perry and Barbara Turney Wieland, alias Johnny and Woody. I love poems with an unexpected ending. When you’re there, also visit Terminus, about the times when everything ran on parallel lines.

Warning label Pensive


Revoke access

I did not agree
to third party applications
so when I found out
he cheated on me
I deleted him

I slept really badly tonight, so I’m in energy saving mode. I wrote this one during #NaPoWriMo day two, when the muse hit me on the head and I wrote several poems in one go. This one was written after Hard reset and Proposition. Computer jargon was the inspiration for all three. Todays prompt was to write a hopeful poem about loss. If I had chosen that, I would’ve written about loos of sleep and having a great day anyway 😉

Yesterday, as soon as I read Fossil, I knew I wanted to feature it. Sangbad Mitra wrote a sound poem very different from mine. He incorporated sound to tell a story and make it not only visible (which the words do) but also audible. It’s concrete, rich, particular and yet universal. Go and have a look!


Ode to orca

oh orca oh orca oh orca oh
ho orca ho orca ho orca ho
ca rohor ca rohor ca rohor ca
orca ho orca ho orca ho or
r c-a r c-a r c-a r
c a-r c a-r c a-r c

or ca c
or ca do

oh orca
I wish I was m
like you

This is a sound poem, and it only works when you try to read it out loud (either in your head or when no one’s around 😉

I’ve never written a sound poem in my life. But yesterday (which means before our prompt was up!) this poem happened. I was in a train, trying to write a poem using the prompts from Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides. I had rather randomly chosen the orca as a subject to write about, but the muse kept quiet. I wanted to stick with my choice (I’m pigheaded sometimes) so picking up on the O of orca I wrote down Ode to orca as a title. Noting came… Then I decided to just stick with the sounds and write something from there. #NaPoWriMo has done a great job in helping me write waaaayyyy outside my comfort zone 🙂

You can imagine my surprise when I read the prompt today: a sound poem. It’s no coincidence that I wrote this one after the last few days. When I struggled with the breaking-the-rules prompt, I though about the weirdest poem I know of: Kurt Schwitters Ursonate. A famous dadaist sound poem, consisting only of incomprehensible sounds.

Funny thing: I had only read about the Ursonate, and I believed it was the type of nonsense I don’t like (sorry Herr Schwitters). But when I looked it up on YouTube, and listened to it whilst writing this post, I really enjoyed listening to it!

I’ll link up to a radio recording of Schwitters himself in 1932 and a video of Michael Schmid performing the piece in 2011. If you first listen to Schwitters and then watch the performance, you can only imagine what it must be like to learn a poem like this by heart…



Eccentricity 0

She was sick of all her degrees
She had so many
She felt shallow
She really wanted to be more square
More like the others
Stop shaping herself to perfection
A never ending story
360 was just too much
The constant distance to her centre bothered her
She longed to be more square
Euclid had given her a straight jacket
No way to be straight
Regular she was
But square she couldn’t be
So she started scratching herself
Little by little
Piece by piece
Until one day
She managed to round a corner

Here’s one (of many) that I really liked from yesterday’s prompt: A Mirrors Reflection by Soulstructuredlines.



Attention seeker
peace of mind

Keeping it extremely short for today’s prompt, Narcissus or narcissism. One reason is that I’m still tired from breaking my brain on yesterday’s prompt. A second one is that I thought there was a different prompt, and I already worked on that one. I’m not sure whether I dreamt that prompt or if I read it somewhere. A third reason is that I’m a bit in awe of being the featured participant for today – with the weirdest poem I’ve ever written. I’m grateful and flabbergasted 🙂

I’d like to featured a fellow participant today, whose poem couldn’t have been more different from mine yesterday: Sam Allen’s Rebel with a cause, about a rebellious ventriloquist’s doll…

Bosch in Den Bosch


Silly Illustrations Of Animals And Their Little Adventures By Shanghai Tango

I need to reblog this simply so I’ll always know where to find it.Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. I totally agree with the description this blog gives: “Gao Youjun, aka Tango, is a popular Shanghai cartoonist on the Chinese social network Weibo. The artist draws brilliantly witty cartoons that are made all the more clever because of their incredible simplicity. By looking at the world in a different way, Tango’s work also encourages us, the audience, to look at things with a fresh perspective.”

Flow Art Station

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Silly Illustrations Of Animals And Their Little Adventures By Shanghai Tango

Artist on Tumblr

Gao Youjun, aka Tango, is a popular Shanghai cartoonist on the Chinese social network Weibo. The artist draws brilliantly witty cartoons that are made all the more clever because of their incredible simplicity. By looking at the world in a different way, Tango’s work also encourages us, the audience, to look at things with a fresh perspective.

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From my skin

I would like to get out of my skin skin yours out of mine It’s so tight tight so it is You see the narrow edges edges narrow, they see yoU-
Printed on my soul

: soulprinted I have no shortage, I do not have dreams

dreams I have not yours

Your shortage no have I
It’s just that – that just it

My skin is too tight


I would like to get out of my skin

skin my of out get to like would I

like a bucket that overflows

overflows that bucket a like

small rays

rays small
space space

more air

air more

informed informed

Really, I will not miss anything anything miss not will you, reallY

Really, I do not have dreams dreams have not you I reallY I would like to do it – it do to – like would you

for an instant -instant an for
I want to burst through my skin skin through your burst

Today brought the most annoying prompt EVER! It was called breaking the rules, and that a lot harder than it sounds. Every mathematician knows that true randomness is really hard to provide.  Before you know it, there’s a pattern. Breaking the rules was a discovery rich exercise.

I’ve been breaking a number of rules ever since I wrote my first poem – in English. I’m Dutch you see, and if there’s one thing I didn’t believe in it was writing poetry in a foreign language you don’t master completely.

NaPoWriMo has invited much breaking of my rules, in different was, just by providing prompts and inviting me to step out of my comfort zone. So I thought breaking the rules might be ‘too easy’.  Turned out it wasn’t at all.

You don’t even know what rules you have, until you try to break them – which is probably why the inspirator for the prompt, Alice Notley, started doing it. Or at least one of her reasons.

Some of my rules I discovered

  1. The poem has to make sense to me, one way or another. Silly, scary, serious, sexy… there’s much that’s okay. But total nonsense? Nooooo…….
  2. No different lay-out for the sake of being different, it has to serve a purpose. There’s a part of me that believes that playing too much with the lay-out is either a burden on the reader, or a way to veil a lack of writing skills, or both.
  3. The reader has to be able to understand what I’ve created, one way or another. Otherwise: what’s the use?
  4. I may not be boring. Chuckle, that closed a lot of roads down.
  5. I have to like what I put online, one way or another. I’ve tried to break this one, but I admit working on this poem until I liked it enough. Ironically, the criteria to decide on that were that I broke The Rules enough (the prompt), I broke My Own Rules enough (otherwise I’d still have felt off prompt), and I dislike this one enough to have broken rule #5 (which in the end means I’m sticking to a rule -> the prompt. Arghhh!!!! I’ve broken my brain enough now, I’ll stop here..

One thing I realised straight away is that these are MY hangups, and other people will have their own individual sets of rules and taboos. I would love to get more insights in those (yours). We each create or own barriers. All of us get stuck on writing in our own ways. I think that’s fascinating 🙂

Not even a real painting yet