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Day 15 Highlights

Wow! On Day 15, I offered two prompts for Tuesday. And an overwhelming number of you wrote a poem for each prompt. Some of you even went well beyond that. I'm guessing it's because of the prompts themselves: one prompt was to write about taxes (it was Tax Day here in the U.S.); the other prompt was to write an insult poem.

In addition to writing about taxes, I also gave the option of writing about deadlines in general. And as the insult poems came in, a subgenre of Joker-Harley Quinn insults developed (thanks to Kateri Woody). I'm not going to pick favorites, but I have to admit that Bruce Niedt's ROBOT INSULTS had me rolling, especially since I can imagine the synthesized voice of a robot delivering the insults. Very, very funny.

As usual, I'm blown away by the level of participation--both in terms of quantity and quality. After only 15 days of highlighting, I've highlighted more than 100 poets at least once already. My head is spinning at that stat alone. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for making my month by participating in this challenge.

And now, I'll just shut up and provide the day's highlights.


One Sided

You call me to see how I am doing

Or so you say

But then I hear about not only how you’re doing

But how your children are doing

What they’re doing

Why they’re doing it

And how many problems they deal with

And I hear about their children

Your neighbors and their children

The problems with their health

And your health and your medicine

The top twenty reasons why

You’re too busy to see me

On and on it goes

I’m tempted to put the phone down

And finish what I was doing

To see if you’d notice I was missing

If this conversation was a tennis game

I’d be pummeled by all the balls

I’d be a mass of little round bruises

Do you really care how I’m doing?

Connie |CoFun77AT NOSPAMyahoo dot com


A Smart Remark

Don't you give me no lip,

Not that you don't have

some to spare.

A clown's got nothing

on you.

Next time you make

a smart-ass remark,

try to live up to

the "smart" part,

since you've got the

"ass " covered.

Something you do best.

Joe |joemackinnonAT NOSPAMhotmail dot com



Hello Belly in my lap

What are you doing here

At first you looked so big,

I mistook you for my rear

Carol -Amherst, Mass |cboudreauAT NOSPAMhampshire dot edu


A Love Letter

This is not meant

as insult, not a smear,

a sneer or a kick,

just the truth

in the way that I see it.

Don't get all bent,

I'll make it unsent,

with any luck

you won't see it.

Your mouth, though cute,

runs off like a shot,

obnoxious and hot,

and your voice

it does grind

an impossible shrill,

it's a wonder to me

I've not reached my fill

of the noise that you spill.

And I've said it before,

I'll say it again,

it's not an insult

but a quaint little truth,

those eyes that you have,

they're as crooked as sin,

I once thought them effectionate,

but that was the gin,

I believe if I look

in just the right light,

I can see how they turn

and cross with each other,

but that's not vanity,

your sorry attempts

to look at yourself,

I call it frustration.

With a nose like a tuba,

there's no way you'll spot

yourself in a crowd

with eyes that won't meet.

But let's not be hasty,

you know I prefer pasty

when searching complexions

you get my affections.

Oh, you know that I'm kind,

and quite crazy for you,

with that little mind,

there's not much you can do

so forgive me my insults

and love me complete,

you're lucky to have me

I'm terribly sweet.

Kevin |kevintcraigAT NOSPAMhotmail dot com


Insult Poem

I love your gown by Vera Wang

But did it only come in blue?

I think your color’s clearly red

The teal looks much too dark on you.

And that new hairstyle’s all the rage

Although it makes your face so thin

The way it curves around your cheeks

It plays up your receding chin.

The shoes are sexy on your feet

I’m glad you didn’t go for flats,

Except the cutouts at the toes

Do make them look so very fat.

The flab that hangs down from your arms

Is really only slightly there,

A jacket would have hidden it,

But never mind, leave your arms bare.

The tan you have, is it for real

Or is it from a tube, or spray?

It really doesn’t matter much,

It’s sort of orangey either way.

You look the height of elegance

No one would guess you’re in your prime

Your party sounds quite lovely, dear

Do go and have a lovely time.

Linda Brown |llbrownAT NOSPAMembarqmail dot com


Insult Poem

Wow, an insult poem

that’s just not my style

when someone offends me

I just look at them with a face of stone

then I simply smile

I usually try not to let negativity

control what I have to say

anger clearly has no relativity

to what’s happening in my day

I am sure it’s well known

that when one lets anger in control

even just for a poem

one loses sight of the picture as a whole

and focuses instead on the fury

often by doing things in a hurry

Who to insult

well, I just don’t know

there are many I would not mind to offend

it seems as the world turns, the list will grow

would be nice to put an end

to some of them, and their meaningless show

guess that sounds violent

certainly that’s not how it’s meant

I just want some to learn the err of their ways

so that perhaps we can all have better days. . .

©Rodney C. Walmer 4/15/08

Rodney C. Walmer |wasitchuAT NOSPAMoptonline dot net


"Mad Love"

It's not that I don't love the way

that your nasally, high pitched

caterwauling of 'Puddin'

greets me everytime you see me.

It's not that I don't love the way

you throw yourself at me at speeds

the freaking Flash would appreciate

whenever I'm not looking.

It's not that I don't love the way

you interrupt my work with propositions

in unflattering nightwear, complete

with 'Harley' sound effects to boot.

It's not that I don't love the way

you hang off of my every last word,

or how easily convinced you are

to do what any peon says.

It's not that I don't love the way,

you so desperately, needily, want me

to love you back - even though

you know that I'm just using you.

It's not that I don't love you,

I just can't.

Kateri Woody |kwoody66AT NOSPAMutica dot edu


Settling the Matter

I think you'll agree that it's useless

to argue about who is the rubber

and who is the glue.

People often point out

my resilient qualities

and my springy disposition.

And your handshake

that one time, if you recall,

was quite sticky.

I know you had just been

kneading fresh bread dough,

but that is beside the point.

Sarah |MusicToKnitToAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com


My insult poem (for the youngest among us):

An overcoat spoke to a coat of paint.

He said with conviction and little restraint:

"I cover a woman who wears a nice blouse."

"So what?" cried the paint, "I cover her house!"

(Toad Pizza poem #246 of 1,567)

Bill Toad of Toad Pizza |infoAT NOSPAMtoonutsproductions dot com



make me panic

make me freeze

make me want

to do my laundry

run my dishwasher

count the ceiling tiles

anything but write

deadline pressure

delay and fret

until the




and then submit

then there’s

the whole

word count issue

don’t even

get me

started on that

TaunaLen |taunalenAT NOSPAMgmail dot com



your face is a dry river bed

with furrows wide and deep

your nose is warty and hairy

you snort while others sleep

your hair is sharp and wiry

with barbs made out of nits

your arms are big and saggy

we won’t even mention your …


your intestines growl and grunt

you surely don’t have a heart

your back is pimply and rounded

and your hips are metres apart

your stomach reaches your toes

and your thighs could never part

your bottom’s as big as two mountains

you’re a very ugly old …


Maureen |sajwriter06AT NOSPAMyahoo dot com dot au


Insulting Sylvia Plath

We teenage girls all loved

a good suicide story. Belt noose,

waterlogged lungs, gas ovens,

The Bell Jar was our how-to

if we should want to push through

and blast a grand exit, though we never

did. We didn’t have to. What counted

was knowing we could have, if we dared,

this one small bit

of self-defeating agency.

But Plath was a poetic copout,

my teacher insisted, playing cheap, the tired

old trope of the lovely girl longing

for daddylove. Enough

with the depression, the pitymongering,

he said, look at Diane Wakowski

who showed us that at least

the world still has oranges in it.

But what teenage girl doesn’t feel

she’s got too little, or worse, too much

from Daddy? He’s an unreachable

shore, and we’re swimming till we drown,

either way. I like oranges, too, but

their sweetness is immaterial

when what you really want is not

daddy’s love so much as his power,

to grasp your tender life in your own hands.



freshman deadline

date circled

topic chosen

followed by

late nights


at the library

(insert panic attacks here)

piles pile up

notes piled between books

piled between more books

(insert lack of sleep here)

rough draft drafted

revised and cut

then final finalized

tuned in to wait





hours of second guesses)

for a grade

(and wishing

I had used

spell check)

satia |satia62AT NOSPAMyahoo dot com



He’s as dumb as an Atari 2600.

You couldn’t find your parallel port with both appendages.

She has a sensory receptor panel that could stop a chronometer at 6.75 meters.

The LED’s are on but there’s nothing contained in the housing.

He’s not operating with a full hard drive.

I wouldn’t network with you if you were the last compatible modular unit on the planet.

Go interface yourself.

Bruce Niedt |jackbugsAT NOSPAMcomcast dot net


To the Joker, Love Harley

Yes, I hang on your every word,

laugh at your antics, throw myself

at you every chance I get.

And you think it’s all for the

nonexistent promise of your love,

your affection.

You fool.

While you spend your time trying

unsuccessfully to get rid of your worst

nightmare, the dark one, the one who

haunts your world, both waking and

dreaming, I take it all in. I watch and

learn. I know, one day, my chance

will come. What you think is a kiss

of passion, will be a kiss of death. The

death of your world, your mind, you.

I will take over.

It will all be mine.

And I will be so much better,

than you could ever hope to be.

Susan M. Bell |maylandwritersAT NOSPAMgmail dot com


Tax Relief, Tax Return

I'm an accountant's daughter,

so April 15th was always a holiday at my house.

My dad would re-materialize -

he'd stop staying out 'til six in the morning;

he'd stop spending so much time

with those overflowing piles of clients' files

and start challenging me

to Scrabble scrimmages and Monopoly matches,

he'd sit down to read the stories

I typed out for him on our old IBM 386,

and our miniature golf season

would at long last have its opening night.

But even now I'm grown and a hundred miles away,

I still think of Tax Relief as Father's Freedom Day.

Callan Bignoli-Zale |shehadausernameAT NOSPAMgmail dot com



Two poets met at a pub

and after a ‘few’, their words began to rub

#1: I don’t like your assonance

#2: Well your misuse of tropes is quite flagrant

#1: Why don’t you take your iambic foot out of your mouth

#2: No wonder you can’t make a rhyme, your brain went south

The barkeep slammed down his fist and said, “I’ve heard quite enough”

Then the poets parted wondering why he had to be so gruff

Emily Blakely |ecblakelyAT NOSPAMmsn dot com


Mad Love, Part Deux

It's not that I don't feel the pain

when your cackling laughter

goes on and on and on

every time you *think* you’re funny.

It's not that I don't feel the pain

at your pathetic double-crosses

as if green hair and a whoopee cushion

makes you the boss o’ me or somethin’.

It's not that I don't feel the pain

when you ignore all my propositions

to think about how to defeat Bats

without killin’ yourself.

It's not that I don't feel the pain

of you ignorin’ every smart thing I say,

or how stupid you are to think

I’ll come back to feed the hyenas.

It's not that I don't feel the pain

that you can’t stand,

like every other typical guy,

that I can be good as you.

It's not that you don’t love me,


but bein’ great on my own’s the

worst insult I could give.

Rox |babayagaAT NOSPAMbaymoon dot com



These days no one asks for a daily report

to tally my accomplishments,

and I have no targets to hit, no papers due, no deadlines to meet.

There are no diners waiting for eggs-over-easy,

no coffee to pour,

no fish to fry,

no melons on the brink of spoiling in the truck I don’t drive.

There are no toddlers to lead through circle time, no envelopes to stuff,

I don’t have to chair the meetings I don’t attend, and

I am strategically planning for nothing in the coming six months.

I can spend the morning scouting nearby neighborhoods

for blossoming dogwoods and the first of the iris,

or lose an afternoon watching herons return to

their awkward roosts in the tops of tall trees.

Whenever I want, I can learn Italian, read those books piled by the bed,

practice the violin or take up Tai Chi.

And I will.

Just as soon as someone comes along and gives me a deadline.

Devon Brenner |devonAT NOSPAMra dot msstate dot edu


Taxing, 1985

It must have been unseasonably warm

in my small midtown room, a year

before I met Howie on Third Street

who wore thick glasses and didn't blink

at last minute taxes. Instead, I spread

numbers out on my bed until they swam

like fish, skittered like the cockroaches

cha-cha-ing in the kitchen. I inflicted

upon myself long division, multiple

multiplications, decimal places proliferating,

always adding up to something different,

always the same: not enough. Hours

after sunset, I came to some truce

of sums, carefully wrote in the boxes,

on the lines, and signed. Then I entered

the evening, went down to the thirties

where the big main branch of the Post Office

bloomed in the darkness, gold light spilling

from its windows and doors like exotic petals,

like portals to some ancient paradise,

and people streamed toward them

from all directions. Swept along in that current,

invited into that bright inside, I handed

over my envelope. Released,

I walked back down the wide stone stairs,

lifting ever lighter with relief, the city

opening into the April night.

Joannie Stangeland |joannieksAT NOSPAMmsn dot com

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