Ink Spots

Suffering in silence is second nature
for people wrapped in hated skin;
your life under constant siege because
you are a scourge on sight;

a blight in expensive sneakers,
a member of a caste unworthy
of empathy but if you can
somehow Dinesh D’Souza
your way through existence,
everything will be fine.

The Stanford Prison Experiment
was a glimpse of human savagery
put into a uniform;
now state sanctioned violence
continuously batters black bodies
recording at 30 frames per second;

blood sacrifices in HD.

No wonder we have to Frantz Fanon
and Diane Nash our way in these streets;
there’s no polite way to take freedom,
especially when the playbook is rigged.

We must be born with King Herod’s
proclamation coursing through our veins,
the cursed sons of Ham
onto which all the ills of
Western society can be blamed.

Athleticism & entertainment value
makes us palatable and appalling;
phallic and hyper-sexual provenance
sparking unmuted rage.

No matter what continent,
confident we will remain,
walking targets
for those with perfect aim;
our eradication, chess moves
in an ongoing Endgame.

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly

Mear One Painting



(30/30) Aswad (After Nina)

The Prompt for day 30: write a poem about something that returns.

I am remembering a photo,
I could smell its blackness;

Duke, Raven and Cocoa Butter.

They coil together without apology,
courageous and thundering.

They were the shape of the universe;
Afro blue suspended in tangerine and
cotton candy nebula

voices like pineapple syrup
over pound cake.

I turn the volume up on
their beauty

tasting each note

touching their sound;

the want for this type
of love is

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly

Fortune Cookie


(29/30) Repose

The Prompt for day 29: write a paean poem.

I pull your lever,
you stretch my limbs,
my body reclines
butter soft material
massages my skin.

You’re a High Priestess
of posterior cradling,
a Duchess of comforting
the derrière;

your cushions, my concubine,
relaxing bones and my tired behind.

My pet name for you...
catcher’s mitt;

I sink into you,
you memorize my fit.

I can’t easily count
the nights we’ve shared,
the pain you’ve relieved;

you’re a throne of
calculating coziness,
when we’re separated,
I grieve

wishing death to
that morning alarm,
the countdown beginning
for returning back to your
welcoming arms.

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly


(28/30) Boarding House

The Prompt for day 28: describe a bedroom from your past in a series of descriptive paragraphs or a poem.

The first real bedroom
I had all to myself was

a 13 X 10 shanty town on the third floor
of a drab Federal style row house.

The walls were wood panels which
absorbed all natural light making

its way thru the keyhole of a window;
dull white faux stucco squares

masqueraded as a ceiling;
the wood floor showed its age

with each step, squeaking like
an elderly bathtub toy.

My bed was a queen-sized life raft
keeping me afloat in this ocean of dullness;

the spring time air greeting
this space, my aroma therapy.


© 2020 Abruvanamedsly



(27/30) Adulthood ★☆☆☆☆

The Prompt for day 27: write a poem in the form of a review.

The creative adult is the child who has survived.
― Ursula K. Le Guin

Adulthood is one of the worst
constructs ever created.

There are way too many responsibilities,
rules and regrets; cereal is not considered
a food group and there’s always more
month than money.

There’s no management to complain
to unless you’re married; you can’t
just randomly hug folks unless you
want to go to jail;

your muscles and bones betray you
just about every morning and you
become fluent in the language
of procrastination.

If I could, I’d give it zero stars…
definitely would not recommend.

2020 Abruvanamedsly 



(26/30) South East DC

The Prompt for day 26: create a poem based on the Almanac Questionnaire writing exercise.

Almanac Questionnaire

Weather: overcast and breezy
Flora: false indigo
Architecture: post modern
Customs: courting and marriage
Mammals/reptiles/fish: Eastern Gray Squirrels/catfish
Childhood dream: to be an astronaut
Found on the Street: broken flip phone
Export: Hip-Hop
Graffiti: Cool Disco Dan
Lover: 3AM
Conspiracy: cashless society, microchip vaccinations
Dress: t-shirt and sweats
Hometown memory: Go-go Live at the Capital Center
Notable person: Petey Greene
Outside your window you find: chirping birds
Today’s news headline: 1-eyed squirrel with Instagram account is returned to nature
Scrap from a letter: te quiero mucho
Animal from a myth: Minotaur
Story read to children at night: llama llama red pajama
You walk three minutes down an alley and you find: broken windshield glass
You walk to the border and hear: sirens
What you fear: stray bullets
Picture on your city’s postcard: Ben’s Chili Bowl


(26/30) South East DC 

Overcast and breezy wrestles with false indigo
invading the feet of postmodern structures.

Eastern Gray Squirrels catfish red maple trees,
their tiny legs exploring the space in between

decaying bark like curious astronauts.
Colorful foliage starts courting then

decides on marriage to the wind.
A broken flip phone beat-boxes asphalt

as Hip-Hop music from a passing car’s
speakers causes it to jump.

I glance up at a Cool Disco Dan tag adorning a broken lamp post; it sparks memories

of a graffiti mural being spotlighted at 3AM.
Cashless society echoes and whispers

of microchip vaccinations dominate the
Twitter feed on my phone.

I think I made a mistake coming
outside in just a t-shirt and sweats;

Go-go Live at the Capital Center blares through
my headphones; I wander my neighborhood with

chest out like Petey Greene on a Sunday morning.
Chirping birds sing songs of the 1-eyed squirrel

with an Instagram account who is returned to nature; zephyrs do background vocals.

I continue surveying my surroundings
mouthing te quiero mucho to the sky;

a leashed pitbull strolls past me;
its stature is akin to a four-legged Minotaur 

I llama llama red pajama myself pass its menacing gaze; broken windshield glass eats glints of sunlight.

Distant police sirens wail like a mass choir,
stray bullets have made another ghost;

damn, I want a half-smoke from Ben’s Chili Bowl.

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly 


(25/30) Grumpiness

The Prompt for day 25: create a poem based on a prompt developed by poet & teacher Hoa Nguyen

I fell asleep again with the laptop on my legs
the low heat of its battery
warming and waking skin;
the screen displays incoherent
ramblings in Times New Roman;
temporal travel done in secret,
weaponized 5G bats starting a new pandemic,
neo Hitler ramblings finding an audience.

My eyes try and focus
they are stuck on a shadow
crawling across a yellow ceiling
the vibrating of my phone
refocuses my attention
to the day
the hour
the minute.
I read a text message alert
it tells me to get my punk ass up
I refuse the command.
My stomach yells for pancakes and eggs
my energy level settles for a bowl of CoCoa Puffs.
I’m trying to decide what I like most,
the taste of these bites or watching
the milk become chocolate. 

While reading the back of the cereal box,
I contemplate the future;
the vision is crimson red with splashes of Nutella.
I wonder if I put out
a do not disturb sign on my window sill,
will these loud ass birds read it
and shut the hell up.
Why is the sunrise so loud?
Getting older is really ghetto
I’m over having to pee all the damn time
and maintaining a 700 or above credit score.
My co-workers are so eager
for things to get back to normal,
but they seem to have taken to
temperature checks and wearing PPE
like it was second nature;
this is not the normal I envision.
Words from Noam Chomsky’s
Manufacturing Consent flood my head,
thoughts swim in that ocean.
I check out the NaPoWriMo 

prompt for the day,
A thirty-four-minute poem????
Fuck that.
See the way my attention span is set up
I’m just playing,
I listen and read anyway.
James Schuyler’s voice is putting me in a trance,
I learn something new today;
I start my poem with
I fell asleep again with the laptop on my legs…

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly




(24/30) Shape Shifter

The Prompt for day 24: write about a particular fruit.

This shape-shifter
hides in plain sight;

it can be either 

a bread

a pudding

a muffin

or smoothie.

It comes with its own
carrying case and changes

color like a month
changes days;

a true burlesque dancer,
always anxious to get

out of its skin. 

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly



(23/30) Pathogen

The Prompt for day 23: write a poem about a particular letter of the alphabet or perhaps the letters that form a short word.

V; wings that cannot fly

I, unflinching and immovable

R, rotund leadership without a plan

U; an arch stuck in the upside down

S, an albino yin and yang symbol broken beyond repair.

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly



(22/30) Seeds

soil envelopes seeds
they bloom into blood orchids 
petals choke the sky


© 2020 Abruvanamedsly



(21/30) Liner Notes

Our love was an acetate affair,
we long played evenings

sensual blues on purpose
you, the vinyl

I, the needle riding your groove
warmth of ecstasy’s sound

coloring the mood;
plush on caramel indigo

purple velvet
crushing red corvette

pops and creaks mimicking
a slow roaring fireplace

body heat on repeat
melting into each other.

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly



(20/30) Dope

I’m funkier than
wide open ass cheeks;

liquid joie de vivre,
ask your folks about me,

go tell em’ to roll up their sleeves.
Arms got more tracks

than the Penn Relays;
Unc in front of the liquor store said,

maaaaanye I took a hit,
shyt had me high for

a hundred days.”
Auntie said, “that blast

had me so gone, went to church
with a house coat and slippers on,

started to scream and shout,
while jumping around and hollering,

both my tiddies came poppin’ out!"

© 2017, 2020 Abruvanamedsly



(19/30) Gust

The Prompt for day 19: write a poem based on a walking archive.

my balcony played host

to stray leaves and pieces

of decaying tree bark;

gust of well-dressed wind

came thru and

crashed the party.

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly



(18/30) Ode To Typing

The Prompt for day 18: write an ode to one of life’s small pleasures.

sliced sunlight
illuminating my laptop
gave it an angelic glow

its warmth
wrapping fingers
in a morning haze

continuous tapping
of QWERTY keys sounding
like safe tumblers

unlocking a portal
to another dimension;
cursor masons thought

brick by brick,
words erector set ideas
into Courier font skyscrapers.

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly



(17/30) Plunge

heart first
into each

one of us

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly


(16/30) (We)ave

love into 

skin locking 
away from 




bodies slick
with stolen

a living

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly



(15/30) Riffs

The Prompt for day 15: write a poem inspired by your favorite kind of music.

blow / blowing / blow
each note, a gilded lily
improvising serenity

melodic hypnotic
percussive jihad
airborne narcotic

horns and piano
sway walls like

shards of heaven
shooting from
tickled ivory

pace rushes,
give the drummer
some        more

temporal lobe Charlestons,
blood thumping like
a packed hardwood dance floor

I turn up the volume;
sax makes love to eardrums
at 33⅓ RPM.

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly



(14/30) Octave

The Prompt for day 14: create a poem that deals with the poems, poets or other people who inspired you to write poems. The italicized lines are some of the people who inspired me…

The first poets
to inspire me thought
of master plans with
nuthin’ but sweat inside their hands

unafraid to mix
love and revolution
on the same color palette;

creating snake charmer stanzas
while doing what spring does with cherry trees

asking a thesaurus to become a machete
the moment a ball point pen touches
a fresh piece of cotton twill
stationery paper.

I can feel the city breathing, chest heaving, against the flesh of the evening

night resting like a ball of fur on my tongue.

Knowing in the end,
anything outside of poetry
I’ll only have, if it’s sweeter than my solitude.

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly



(13/30) Inamorata

The Prompt for Day 13: write a non-apology poem for things you have stolen.

I stole stars
and hung them
in your hair

heisted the moonlight
growing against the
shadows of your skin

grifted every gaze,

pilfered kisses
one hundred
different ways;

unapologetic for
becoming your


© 2020 Abruvanamedsly



(12/30) The Calling

The Prompt for Day 12: create a triolet.

I dig myself a pauper’s grave,

flesh begging for its appointed fate

weaponized inequality creates a neo slave,

I dig myself a pauper’s grave.

Bones tired from trying to be brave,

back and spirit on the verge of break;

I dig myself a pauper’s grave,

flesh begging for its appointed fate.


© 2020 Abruvanamedsly



(11/30) The Wishing Flower

The Prompt for day 11: write a poem in which one or more flowers take on specific meanings.

I was 

a child,
my backyard 

was home
to a field of 

wishing flowers.

grab one,
close my eyes,
quietly mouth a wish
then gently 

blow the words
onto it hoping 

the propelled seeds
would parachute
their way
to fruition.

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly


(10/30) Puny

The Prompt for day ten: write a hay(na)(ku)


seems small

to a giant;


seems infinitesimal

compared to universe.

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly



(9/30) Wine

The Prompt For Day 9: create a concrete poem.




© 2020 Abruvanamedsly


(8/30) Emerald Grey

The Prompt for Day 8: create a poem using a line or two from a Twitter bot poetry account. I chose this Tweet generated by Sylvia Plath bot’s Twitter ---> In sullen light of the inauspicious day

In sullen light of
the inauspicious day

I bone glide across
a plateau of pain

architect arterial

tie my stomach in
reef knots

tear the sound from
butterfly wings

watch Spring commit suicide;
eat stale rainbows

let each rain drop stab me
turn into a wound sea

wash ashore on a desolate
beach of emerald grey sand

tides picket fence rocks;
birds hum King of Sorrow.

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly



(7/30) On Any Given Sunday

any given 
I'll write a poem
that is not a poem;
more like a love letter
to all the summers I've wasted;
an apology to all the moments
I've hesitated to live in.

It turns into a private sermon
preached from an empty pulpit;
a soliloquy of solitude written by
an open window, framing Springtime
and Armageddon like van Gogh.

It will be riddled with
anxiety and sweetness;
a broken syrupy pancake
too close to touching
scrambled eggs sitting
on a square plate
at a 90 degree angle.

It will become the
ghost of lips haunting
the nape of my neck;

a graveyard full of zombie
goosebumps searching for
follicles that no 

longer exist.

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly



(6/30) Everything Burns

The Prompt for Day 6: create an ekphrastic poem utilizing any image contained within Hieronymous Bosch’s painting, The Garden of Earthly Delights

Cities become
fiery dominoes
when peace is toppled;

everything burns…





Armies of men,
scorched earth sharpies
marking the land
with blood and soot;

war is a love language,
carnage is currency


ashes of fallen Valkyrie
rain down like quiet
charred snow.

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly



(5/30) Mon Petit Paradis

The Prompt for Day 5: create a poem utilizing the Twenty Little Poetry Projects exercise.

Her lips are velvet rose petals
kisses strong enough to solve
world hunger

eyes radiating like private cosmos
skin, scented strawberry baby oil
Oshun echoes in the background;
I taste every word being uttered.

She is Tammi Terrell reincarnated,
beauty putting Saint Lucia to shame.

she starves me
while keeping me fed;

highkey hotness
making the sun rise with her smile
wheelhousing the inside of my chest,

the alluring priestess of bliss
turning wind into wine
making pitch black sky shine,
to say Sly is smitten, an
She is my Queen to be
sung with Oha’s enthusiasm;
a sacred breath
playing my heartstrings in A minor,

magnifiques en comparaison
the clouds sing her name;
famine no more.

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly

Tammi Terrell


(4/30) Soaring

The Prompt for Day 4: write a poem based on an image from a dream.


Swing chains squeak
like unoiled screen door hinges

with each push, I get closer
to touching clouds.

Once I’ve achieved maximum
momentum, I prepare to launch

into the stratosphere
everything slows down;

I feel the heaviness of each heartbeat;
the impending weightlessness of my body

I catch a glimpse of the proud smile
decorating your face;

your mouth wording inaudible sounds,
I close my eyes and take flight.

Cool breezes engulf me like a 50-degree inferno;
an aerodynamic adolescent worthy of a comic book cover.

Once comfortable soaring, I open my eyes
my face is about to Double Dare a tree;

I wake up and my nose starts bleeding.

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly

Playground Swing


(3/30) Shudder

The Prompt for Day 3: Assemble a list of ten words then their similar-sounding/rhyming words and create a poem.

My list of ten words:
insane, noir, occidental, tempestuous, respite, accrues, agrarian, soirée, historians, hearts

love was insane
chocolate cocaine;
the color of champagne 

and noir.

Occidental hearts
searching for an 

agrarian existence
desperate to find 

an exit from  

no respite 

for the restless;
bodies tremble,
skin accrues sin;
we soirée bed sheets
savoring each moment
like historians.

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly


(2/30) Inside My Head

The Prompt for Day 2: write a poem about a specific place.

Vaulted ceilings
rub up against the

and achievements are
locked away in a
rustic steamer trunk
constructed of Scots Pine
and loathing;

walls are void
of adornments;

the floor creaks
like old bones
at sunrise.

Furniture is painstakingly
crafted with exquisite
fabric made from eons
of overthinking and anxiety.

The center piece
of this hallowed space
resembles the angelic stillness
of Trinity College’s Long Room,

each shelf stacked with
mummified words interred
in hand stitched leather

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly

Long Room


(1/30) I’ll Do It Tomorrow

The Prompt for Day 1: write a self-portrait poem in which you make a specific action a metaphor for your life.

The day to day
of living can
sometimes be a bore;
a never-ending list of chores,
a whore whose pimp
always wants his money.

To be lazy is divine
so, I prefer to be an
accomplice to the thief of time
letting procrastination
become my now religion,

kneeling and praying for an
extension to goals residing
in some distant future
unreachable by DeLorean.

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly

Fortune Cookie



will be a flapper
dressed in drag,

a .44 auto mag
full of black talon hollow points
with a filed-off serial number.

It will be a cup of
Jim Jones kool-aid with
the perfect amount of sugar;

AI’s Quinceañera
as the ghost in machines
graft themselves onto our DNA; 

a T-1000 doing Vaganova ballet.

It will be romance’s last stand,
a quest for love by hearts
believing in happenstance;

a crusade led by creatives
and empaths who’ll laugh in the face
of inevitable slaughter.

It will be securing a bag
that will leave you empty;
an ice cream truck with no brakes;
a heroin addict on broken roller skates
sliding into oncoming traffic.

It will be the part of the scary movie
where you cover your eyes;
an order of cold, soggy 

McDonald’s fries that 
you don’t discover 
until you get home.

© 2020 Abruvanamedsly