November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 29

Wow! I can’t believe tomorrow is actually the last day of this challenge. Isn’t that crazy?!? I haven’t even really been keeping too close of an eye on the poems I’ve been crafting each day, so I’ll be really interested in seeing what I have during December.

For today’s prompt, I want you to write an outsider poem. That is, write a poem from the perspective of someone or something outside of your theme looking in. For instance, if you’re writing a bunch of punk rock poems, have a country western fan look in on punk rock. If you’re writing a series of vegan poems, have a big game hunter interact with veganism. You get the idea, right?

Here’s my attempt for the day:


We always seem to be gone for the weekend
when these things happen. A man in a mask
with a sharp knife or a meathook terrorizing
the quiet town where nothing ever happens
until we leave. On our cruise, we shuffle along
the shuffleboard; we buy souvenirs when we
make port. Our lives are so perfect that coming
back sometimes leaves our minds, but we always
do, and that’s when we learn what happens
when we leave: The world quickly falls apart.
Five dead, one traumatized–killer still at large.


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65 thoughts on “November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 29

  1. Juanita Snyder

    NW Invasion
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    When the Aliens decided to invade earth,
    they chose Idaho because their Spuds were
    bigger and better than all the other continental
    State’s combined …. well that plus
    Craters Of the Moon Nat’l Monument
    (between Boise and Yellowstone)
    kinda reminded them of home with all it’s harsh
    volcanic features and open rifts in the ground.
    Besides, their Lieutenant liked the name of one
    of the counties the preserve lied in, and practiced
    daily pronouncing it — “Minidoka….Minidoka…”
    — which wasn’t easy for a being with a tentacled mouth.
    Sure, there were plenty of other spatter cones
    elsewhere in the pacific northwest regions, but
    none with the allure of 15,000 year old lava fields
    surrounded by potato starch.

    The Captain of the Alien spaceship chose Idaho
    because it was where his favorite episode of Star Trek
    was filmed, where Kirk battled fierce reptilians in
    the hot arid rock formations of the Preserve. And
    besides, according to his calculations, it would only
    take a total of 136 packets of ramen noodles in order
    for his troops to cross the constant dry-winds and
    heat-absorbing black soil and infiltrate — an adapation
    felt necessary to make for his species’ survival.
    The rugged landscape’s remoteness and undeveloped
    areas would serve well as Alien Headquarters,
    a formidable fortress 5,900 feet above sea level.

    Paleo-Indians visited the area some 12,000 years
    ago but did not leave much archaeological evidence
    other than old trails and stone windbreaks during
    their Summer migrations from the Snake River west
    to Camas Prairie. By the time the National Park Service
    and BLM arrived on the scene, those old rock trails
    and stone windbreaks had become asphalt jungles and
    enviro-condos, leaving the translucent-skinned Alien
    Gov’t back home to debate the wisdom in continuing
    to let human groupies manage the new territories.

    Sedating the local population, at least in the pacific
    northwest sector, would be easy as most scarce
    rainfall in the area was already lost in the cracks of
    the basalt, only to emerge later in springs and wall
    seepage of the great Snake River Canyon.
    And oh how humans valued their water supply,
    eagerly pitting environmentalists against agriculturists,
    ranchers against sports fishermen & boating industry,
    and townships against big corporate America
    in courts around the country! And now Species 125.9
    was about to throw their hat into the ring.

    © 2008 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. k weber

    and when will you be free

    to run
    with me, wild
    as dogs
    across a suburb
    linked in fence-

    you come
    at the mouth
    at the head
    of the family

    where are you
    and why aren’t
    your secrets
    their teeth?

    i want to be
    as me
    with you
    as you
    are not
    with me

    glue this
    mess: desperate,
    spirits; untatter
    this flattered

  3. Vanessa O'Dwyer

    Strange Visitations

    I came to Earth one day
    I found the peoples wanting
    I have but one thing to say:
    How they treat each other’s haunting

    They handle their upsets
    With anger, force and hate
    They think not of the regrets
    Or unhappiness of their state

    I wondered with amazing awe
    Where was their use of reason?
    For astounding backlashes I sure saw
    At all times for invented treason

    Repairs are really easy
    To disagreements that is sure
    So why do people get uneasy
    To learn tolerating is the cure?

    So when I asked this of them
    To grant each other rights
    You’d have thought I did condemn
    And they set me in their sights!

    So I left that planet Earth
    With haste and toward the Sun
    I wondered how they gap the dearth
    Of saneness in everyone?

    I made a visit to Earth one day
    But found the peoples wanting
    I have but one thing to say:
    How they treat each other’s haunting

    Vanessa O’Dwyer

  4. Peggy Goetz

    The Ultimate Inside Outsider

    I am all there is
    All there ever was
    All there ever will be
    I am the only one outside
    It all, outside change
    Some won’t utter my name
    Some call me power
    Some call me eternity
    Some say I don’t exist
    Some call me God
    No one person understands me
    Or ever will. So give it up.

  5. Monica Martin

    I’ve never seen what a warm
    and loving home looks like.
    My parents were never home;
    when they were, they would
    fight and break things. These
    two seem quiet, yet happy.
    I wonder what that feels like.

  6. Steve LaVoie

    Princess of Nowhere, U.S.A.

    I still don’t believe
    What happened that night!
    He was such a nice guy,
    Would have made a lovely doormat.
    But no, he had to ruin it all!
    Talking about how we are so mean.
    Like, it’s not my fault he looks hideous.
    So we told him to follow us around,
    Because we owned him, or so we thought!
    He just flipped out and started to throw
    Claire’s cellphone against the wall
    And called us pretentious as he
    Threw some soda cans at our heads.
    Now my friends all turn to look at me.
    They think I’m a total scumbag now.
    I am so ashamed of myself.
    I just am speechless the whole time.
    Like, I didn’t know that he would
    Show some spine! As we tryed to squeeze
    The Dr. Pepper out of our hair, he yelled
    Out some of the most awful things!
    Oh no no no, I wouldn’t dare repeat them!

  7. SaraV


    That bowl is so messy
    And is that poo?
    I might get it on
    My shoe
    Eek! that goose
    Is going to attack!
    And they’re so loud
    How can you stand it?
    All those ducks, they’re
    Probably bringing disease
    And squirrels are
    Known to have rabies
    Look what they’ve done
    To your lawn
    Iguanas! Oh my god
    I hate lizards
    They are sooo ugly!
    How can you possibly
    Find pleasure in
    These icky things?

  8. Jolanta Laurinaitis

    The Stars be Talking

    The darkness swirls
    Around her body
    Englufing her entirely
    The glistening wings
    Occasionally shine through
    As they fruitlessly
    Endeavour to save
    Her sealed fate

    We stars watch over
    Gaia as she sleep
    And as she die
    We can no be understandin
    Bout them peoples
    Who she be harbourin
    And doin thems no wrong
    And yet they slay her
    And she loves them
    Without resentment
    It be remindin us
    Of one man whos
    Once walked with them

    Them peoples will never
    About thems undoings.

  9. Shann Palmer


    Aunt Wynter taught me to do dishes;
    glasses, flatware, plates, pots and pans
    As I scrubbed, she examined each piece.
    I am eight and fifty-eight at the sink.

    The mundane transports me to clarity:
    how could she see a speck and ignore
    her husband hurting a child in the dark?

    All I know is my hands in warm water,
    whispers, sackcloth, scraps of memory.
    I long for someone to pay attention,
    hear my cry in this strange land.

    Thalia, with your mask and wreathe,
    forgive my fear, I seek the company
    of men who laugh and do not need me.

  10. Kate Berne Miller

    Outside of the Outsider

    If these poems speak of boundaries of all kinds, the distance between us, the point where one thing ends and becomes something else altogether, the outer limits, the margins and those who inhabit them, the borderlands, disputed territories between two or more countries, the frontier, the outer limits, and all the spaces between, the in-between, the fractions not the whole numbers, the substance between cells, deep space that separates stars, that faint diffuse light of dusk or dawn, those who are not pure: mixed race, mulattos, half-breeds, the butch women and nelly men, the trans-gendered, those who speak in tongues, who are multilingual, sing in Spanglish, trade in Chinook Jargon, the loners and the outsiders, the ones that move on the periphery, always skirting the edges of things, the transitory and the ephemeral, the orphans and the abandoned, the unclaimed and the unnamed, what then would be the antonym of all this?

    Kate Berne Miller

  11. S.E.Ingraham

    It’s All a Bunch Of Hooey

    So, her mother called me late last night
    Says she’s back in the nuthouse – not the old lady
    My kid – this must, what – the tenth or eleventh time?
    I don’t know, who keeps track, not me, that’s for sure
    Don’t know why Lois thinks I want to know
    I think she does it just to annoy me
    Not the kid, although that’s always a possibility
    I’ve often thought she did that crazy act
    Just to break her mother and me up
    But that’s not what I meant – no, I think Lois
    Likes ringing me up in the middle of the damn night
    Just to scare the hell out of me – you know what it’s like
    You hear your phone ringing in the dark, you figure
    Somebody’s croaked for sure – I should be used to it
    By now; the kid never pulls one of her stunts
    At a normal hour, no, no, – that’d be too easy
    What am I sayin’ is, that kid never made anybody’s life easy
    Except hers…every time things weren’t going her way
    She’d just shut down, climb into bed,
    And stay there, wouldn’t get up for anything
    And if we tried to make her – well shit,
    She tried to off herself
    Not really – at least I don’t think she meant it ‘cause
    One of us always found her in time and got her to
    The hospital, but it got her a reputation you know?
    As a sicko, some kind of a nut-case or something
    Not for a minute was I buying that load of crap
    There was nothing like that in my family – well
    My mother got a little strange in her later years
    But hey, she was old alright? That happens to old people
    Lots of them. Didn’t mean she was nuts, right?
    And look at me – perfectly fine – nothing wrong with my head
    And Lois, she has her ways – grant it – but nothing whack-o
    Nothing you could point at and say, well – that’s insane
    No wonder your kid is nuts, it figures
    No, there’s no way in hell that kid is really crazy
    I can tell you that; and now her mother is telling me
    They want to commit her indefinitely? I say good, let them
    Maybe it’ll teach her a lesson – it’s like that story
    The watchamacallit ‘boy who cried wolf’ story?
    Remember that one? Yeah – like maybe if she’s locked up
    For a good bit, she won’t be so quick to take
    too many pills again
    Although her mother says it wasn’t an overdose this time,
    She says this time, she cut herself pretty bad – I stop listening
    As soon as she starts talking about blood
    but I did hear her say something
    About the slashes being vertical and that didn’t sound too good
    Even I know vertical wrist slashes are harder
    to stop from bleeding
    Hey – I watch ER and stuff – I’m not a complete moron, you know
    But sheesh – it’s not like it’s her first time;
    she knew what she was doing
    Probably has it worked out to the second
    how long it takes the emergency
    Guys to get there – be too bad the day she estimates wrong, huh?
    Or maybe not – she’s sure a pain in the ass
    with all this drama all the time
    She’s driving me nuts, I can tell you that much,
    and I don’t even live with her.

  12. Don Swearingen

    An enemy so implacable, it sends its own
    Children with bombs
    To strew carnage, blown
    Apart by hate, with innocents, moms
    And children who know nothing of
    The other children learning
    About hate for any who love
    Any kind of freedom any yearning
    For something other than to submit
    Or die. A thing like that must be fought.
    For life of all kinds must fit
    Together, not be murdered, or all is naught.
    And the unborn must be saved,
    Even in a world so depraved.

  13. Paul W.Hankins


    We’re all on the outside
    from the waiting room
    to the wake.

    From the waking hour
    to the sun’s setting
    a bit earlier this time of year:


    From the moon:
    a smile to the people of earth,
    but I am:


    From the darkness
    that conceals
    hidden agendas, we are:


    From the phone call
    to the arrival of a sitter—
    to the departure—
    to the arrival—
    to the words
    that do not come:

    from inside.

    There are words
    being spoken
    that you understand;
    they are foreign to me—


    There are feelings
    neither of us can understand
    they are foreign to us


    We sit in vinyl chairs—
    we must share these with others,
    there are stories
    not told in this room
    everyone kept inside;
    everyone in the room
    to everyone in the room:


    So this is life—
    reduced to its paradoxical terms:
    outside in
    inside out
    from the waiting room
    to the wake.


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