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October 2021
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December 2021

Girl Scout Badges


I found Chloe Martinez's work through the Of Poetry podcast, hosted by Han VanderHart. On the episode I heard, Martinez read the poem "Not-Yet-Official Girl Scout Badges," and I just loved it, remembering my grown son's Cub Scout adventures and my own Girl Scout days. The list poem offers a touching portrait of a young girl and her mother's love for her, and I look forward to reading more of Martinez's work.

Her poem begins,

Forgetting to Eat Breakfast While Reading Badge
Luxuriating in Bed on Sunday Morning Badge
Catching Lizards by the Tail and Releasing Them in Safer Places Badge

You can read the rest at Moist Poetry Journal, which VanderHart edits. Check out Of Poetry, "kitchen table conversations with poets," too!


The November 26th Poetry Friday roundup takes place at the blog  There is no such place as a God-forsaken town.

Photo by ST. One of the murals at the Jackie Robinson Alternative Education Complex, Madison Avenue, East Harlem, NYC.

Ours Poetica

I just recently found out about Ours Poetica, a video series produced by the Poetry Foundation and Complexly and hosted by the poet Paige Lewis, but it has been around a couple of years. (Complexly is Hank and John Green's company.) These are poetry videos from a reader's point of view: take a look at this one, in which the poet Jenny Xie reads Frank O'Hara's "My Heart," and you'll see what I mean. It takes about a minute and a half.

The Poetry Friday roundup is at Beyond LiteracyLink today.

Where the sidewalk reads, in which I make a poem out of trash

Chapter 101 erasure poem 1
Chapter 101

The only possibility was

buzzing and festive.

Before,  it was

unfathomable shadows.

A tiny voice

inside the street noise

wouldn't stop—


Spooky, right?  Above is a blackout poem, also called an erasure. I learned how to make this kind of thing from Austin Kleon's blog, and here, my source is a page of a paperback that had fallen apart; it was blowing around a sidewalk in New York. Before I made the "new" work, I had no idea which book Chapter 101 had come from, but after googling a chunk of the original text, I discovered it was a novel by James Patterson. It's either Black Market (1986) or a slightly rewritten version, Black Friday (2000). I vote for Black Market because the pages look old and foxed. The original Kirkus review said it's an "abysmally dumb terrorist novel whose plot would embarrass a Superman movie." Ouch. "Chapter 101" makes a fine title, though.

The Poetry Friday roundup is over at Matt Forrest Esenwine’s site, Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme.

Updated to add: the Guardian just looked at erasure poetry, too. "Especially when challenging dust-thick prejudice and received opinion, it has the potential to be transformative." See "Blanked verse: the power of erasure poetry," by Carol Rumens.

November Lost & Found

November Woods

November is national what month

November is what month

November is what awareness month

November is Spanish.


November is not Christmas

Sweet November is not goodbye

Why is November not the 9th month?

Does Christmas start in November?


November is which sign

November election who is running

November when does it get dark

November please be nice to me.


Over on Twitter, I saw Mary Lee say that it was almost Poetry Friday, and I had forgotten. Oh, dear. There were decisions to make. I could either send readers to Robert Frost or I could do a Google search and see what happens when the autofill starts to roll. Voila! Found poetry saves the day.

The Poetry Friday roundup is at A(nother) Year of Reading.

Photo by ST. November 2021.