2011 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 3

Just a quick note before the poeming today, but if for any reason your poem/comment says it’s awaiting moderation, don’t worry, I’ll get to it and approve it. I’m not sure what triggers the moderation system, but I’ve been jumping in a few times each day to moderate (approve) comments. Just don’t want anyone to stress out over it.

For today’s prompt, I want you to take the phrase “Sort of (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Example titles could be: “Sort of cool,” “Sort of strange,” “Sort of not into getting out of bed in the morning,” or whatever! It should be sort of fun to read all the poems today!

Here’s my attempt:

“Sort of like kids playing with harmonicas”

I start, then stop, and start. Each sound a lie
against intent. What I think should happen
versus what does. There’s what comes natural–
blue eyes and big hands–and everything
else. This slow tongue that trips over itself
just wants a chance to play around with you
and, perhaps, create some sort of music.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

And tweet your progress on there and communicate with other poets using the #novpad hashtag.

Also, I’ve “sort of” been growing a moustache this month for Movember. Click here to check out my progress.


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435 thoughts on “2011 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 3

  1. Pags


    the pond skater
    skimming over the puddle
    cannot understand wetness
    in her world where water has skin

    hands rinsed without soap
    shake dry in a jiffy.
    Clothes washed
    need a wetting agent
    to become clean
    in water. Only dry cleaning
    wets without help.

    To be truthful
    maybe it’d be better
    to say water is runny
    and sort of wet?

    (Paganini Jones)

  2. tlums112

    Sort of Participating in No Shave November

    Millimeter by millimeter,
    Fuzz sprouts under the chin
    of the pasty teenager;
    creeping outward
    like a slow smile to a lousy joke.

    Thirty days without shaving.
    Today is only the eighth day;
    the teen has gotten a head start.

    Early summer and the razor gone;
    But today
    the teen only has fuzz.
    And this saddens the teen.

    Friends embrace the challenge!
    Eight days in
    and there are
    rugs on their mugs
    like homeless men on a city street

    And as the teen sits there,
    sad with the fuzz
    sprouting slowly under the chin.
    Only sort of participating in
    “No Shave November,”

    She wonders why
    she couldn’t be like the rest of the teens?

  3. JujYFru1T

    Sort of the Last

    Thing I thought I’d be doing
    Word I said (or was it words)
    Book I read
    Song I heard
    Game I played
    Thing I touched
    Picture I saw
    Time I thought of you
    Lie I told
    Of course you’re not in my head all the time

  4. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    drifting, sort of
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    everyone should have
    a voice of reason in their lives,
    someone who can calm their ass down
    with a single word, look, touch
    when bullets are flying
    vehicles exploding
    bodies in impact mode all around.
    my saving grace is my husband,
    my ground wire when i short out.
    he’s good at what he does,
    keeping me in long suspended animation
    between panic mode and pure euphoria
    -a little like “drifting” in motor sports,
    that very moment when your car is going
    sideways around a corner sharp at high speed,
    front wheels polar opposite of the turn,
    control and traction duking it out
    with gravity and asphalt,
    and you feel this close to flying apart.
    but then a warm touch on your arm
    happens and he’s suddenly there,
    smiling, reassuring, asking
    how you’d like to take your tea today.
    and all that smoking, burning
    uniroyal squealing
    edge of your seat foolishness
    matters no longer.
    everyone should have
    a voice of reason in their lives,
    someone who can calm their ass down
    with a single word, look, touch
    when bullets are flying
    vehicles exploding
    bodies in impact mode.

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  5. Jay Sizemore

    Sort of beautiful

    The way the edges of clouds turn pink
    just as the sun drops out of sight,
    their centers gaining weighty purples
    and grays, gaining extra dimensions
    like the world just slipped on 3D glasses
    waving good-bye to that shimmering yolk
    sliding down the blue albumen of sky.

    The way she bites on her tongue
    when she’s bored and sucks in air
    between her teeth, filling the silence
    with the whistling noise of concentration,
    working a Sudoku with a blue pen,
    feet tucked beneath her on the couch
    so her toes stay warm.

    How it rains every day in the Caribbean,
    just long enough to rinse the heat off the breeze,
    clouds marching like white and purple freight cars
    in an endless train whose engine has vanished
    beyond the horizon, where the rainfall darkens
    like a bruise on the arm, leaving a humidity
    that fogs up windows with a lover’s passion.

    When her smile pulls one from my own face,
    turning all the lights on in my head,
    those twinkling spots of brightness in her eyes
    the place where my sadness goes to die,
    hooking her pinky finger around my own
    in a moment of quiet tenderness that needs no words
    to describe the perfection of perfection.

  6. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Sort of…but not quite

    It’s like that,
    well, not like that,
    but it’s like that.
    Not that.
    I mean, not actually that…
    …but like that.
    It’s sort of, well…
    …you know what I mean
    It’s like that,
    well, not that.
    But like that…
    …sort of!


  7. Linda Neas

    Sort of Magic

    The way the cardinal calls each morn
    The way the flowers turn to face noon
    The way the mountain melts each eve

    Sort of magic, the way your kiss
    transports me to a place
    only the two of us can find

  8. PSC in CT

    OK… jumping over day 2 (for now) and hopping into day 3 with this one:

    Sort of Blank

    Multi-colored pens linger at my fingertips.
    Pads of empty pages loiter close at hand.
    I tarry, awaiting some hint of a whisper,
    wisp of a notion, vision, image, idea
    my mind,
    the paper),

  9. Slusher Brian


    It’s such a beautiful day, they’re
    washing the hearse, it’s sleek black
    skin getting polished to perfection
    while I drive past whistling the
    theme from Star Wars, admiring
    (in abstract) the commitment of the
    Death Star, the massive labor and
    expense just to make the universe
    stand to and shout Yes, SIR! or
    else. Lately I’ve been feeling that
    cocky, like a bird perched on a
    strand of barbed wire fence
    I keeping landing in between the
    points, singing while the cattle
    all get herded towards the
    slaughterhouse. Everything is
    on sale for me, 50% off the
    markdown price, and I got my
    golden ticket tucked safe in
    my pocket. Yet I can’t stop thinking
    of those passengers in pressed
    suits, awed with the excess of
    chrome and comfort, taking their
    seat on the dirigible, thinking This
    is the life, while a pretty little spark
    prepares to do its work, to remind
    us every floating moment is some
    sort of Hindenburg

  10. Kim King

    Grrr. Keep getting a “posting too quickly” error message. I’ll try again. 2 down, 2 to go, working backwards.

    Sort Of Works

    Autumn squeezes the last light of the day
    over ochre and amber-tipped trees
    that shiver along route 81 North. Eighteen
    wheelers, commuters, and tourists roll
    with the last rays seeping through rear-view
    windows. Shadows stretch and the couple
    eyes the horizon, she feigning deep sleep,
    he avoiding conversation. She closes her eyes
    behind sunglasses, craving night. He grips
    the wheel, watches the fading foliage, craving her

  11. rachelhyde

    Wrote poems on the previous days, but only used the prompt on Day 2. ‘Thought I would catch up by writing some on days 3-5 today.

    Sort of Bliss
    by Rachel Hyde

    I am sure this is some sort of bliss,
    this thing we have that is not misery—
    a wrapping and unwrapping,
    chiming years at each rotation.

    I am sure this is some sort of life,
    our gentle turns and trades:
    who is the beloved one today?
    Peace comes with ablation.

    I am sure this is some of love,
    the training of a heart to care
    too much, of an eye to slowly soften,
    the mutuality of youth’s cessation.

  12. Karen H. Phillips

    Running late tonight–been enjoying my next-to-last day at the beach!

    Day 4 11-4-2011
    Write about finding something unexpected.


    I’d given up.
    Resigned myself
    to life as a single,
    though my heart’s desire was to marry,
    to raise a family with a man I loved and who loved me.

    A chance photo in the paper,
    my mom recognizing the young pharmacist
    from the neighborhood drugstore,
    my taking it to show him–at her prompting–
    led to our first date.

    I’d never met someone so easy to be with.
    Our conversations never lagged.
    We survived my craziness over a previous
    broken engagement,
    and his kind, good-humored, intelligent ways
    convinced me he was a gift from God.

    One evening eight months past our first date,
    we chatted on the phone into the wee hours.
    He’d given me a standing invitation, so I said,
    “Let’s do what you suggested.”
    Unexpectedly, we became engaged over the phone.

    Thirty-two years later,
    life is as stable and predictable as is safe,
    yet every day we find greater joy and more surprises
    than we ever expected.

  13. Dyson McIllwain

    Sort of Sanguine

    Ruddy, bloody,
    cheerful and bright.
    We’ll paint the town
    quite red tonight.
    A pint for you,
    and I’ll take two,
    the last man standing
    gets the loo. Before
    you fall they yell “Last Call”
    Everybody hit the bricks,
    it’s a quarter hour past two.

  14. Raina Masters

    Sort of a trend

    Open eyes and find a couple
    sitting on a sofa,
    too lazy to eat dinner at
    the dining room table that has now
    become cluttered with circulars
    and political mailers.

    Blink, and then move into a room
    with the sound of television
    and heat pushing through ducts,
    they sit on opposite ends with
    their backs to each other.

    Blink again and find them
    motionless, under layers of blankets,
    a wide gap separates and keeps them cold.

  15. cstewart

    I’m Sort of Pissed

    I’m sort of pissed.
    It is hard enough for artists
    To receive any understanding
    In a capitalistic society
    Where praised names like
    The Redskins and the Yankees
    Are more popular than it’s
    Cultural institutions like, say;
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art or
    The Women’s Museum.
    But when all our money
    Goes to the rich it becomes
    Impossible to even see any
    Future for our children who
    Would be the future artists.
    I’m just saying.

    I’m sort of pissed.

  16. Marian O'Brien Paul

    Sort of Khaki-colored

    Each day I look at a Great Lake
    (Michigan, to be exact) just five
    crow-flown blocks from the pane
    of my sixth floor window. Never
    the same, some days it’s sky-blue
    as we’d expect a lake to be: some
    variation of that shade. Not true.
    As elusive as hand-held water, is
    this water’s color. Some mornings
    I open the blinds to silver plate. I
    shut them at dusk on petals of rose
    ranging from purple to pale pink.
    On occasion, the lake looks like
    someone spilled buckets of milk.
    An autumn chill can turn the lake
    pied, floating light green patches
    atop steel-blue surface. I scarcely
    know the color to expect. Today
    for example, the water is sort of
    a strange khaki-color, I suppose,
    from yesterday’s churning waves.

    Marian O’Brien Paul

  17. pblacksaw


    It is sort of like fishing
    you gather bait.. set the hook
    Then you reel them …..
    wait where did I leave my pole?

    Pole cats.. Pole ax.. Pole vault too..
    that was my second carreer choice
    Ballet was my first…. but..
    Daddy said I needed to be a writer.

    Writers.. My brother Jimmy said
    were everyone single one.. a liar!
    I was paid a few times for my lies..
    and I am proud to have given it a shot..

    A shot.. that’s what I was about to do
    get a shot.. That flue shot is a nasty thing..
    but a tequila shot is another ballgame
    Now.. Bar tender… where did I put the lime?

  18. foodpoet

    Sort of middling
    Just a middling sort of day
    Where you are happy to see the end
    Watch the sun set into darkness
    And catch the A train to sleep

    Happy to see an end
    Where memories are fused
    Catch the A train to sleep
    And dream of you clear sharp focused

    Where memories are fused
    I watch the fading
    Dream of you clear sharp focused
    And wait the good days

    I watch the fading
    When sun sets into darkness
    Wait the good days
    But know it’s just a middling sort of day


  19. annell

    Northern Lights
    I have wished to see
    The Northern Lights
    All my life

    The crimson
    Just above the mountains
    Was sort of like
    What I think
    The Northern lights
    Look like

    The Northern Lights
    Colors dance in the sky
    Seen in Northern climes

    This morning
    The crimson
    Above the mountains
    Completes my desire
    I will call them
    The Eastern Lights

  20. Tracy Davidson

    Sort of Loving Me

    in spite of my looks,
    my plainness, my short fat legs
    and sad saggy bum

    in spite of the lines
    that criss-cross my face like some
    giant chequerboard

    in spite of my chest
    where certain things have flown south
    for a long winter

    in spite of the moods
    and hot flushes as hormones
    drive us both crazy

    in spite of all this
    you’re still here, holding my hand
    loving me – sort of


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