Secret Shame – A Poem For Day One of NaPoWriMo

It’s national poetry writing month. (NaPoWriMo – or this year Na/GloPoWriMo because it’s become a global event.)  The idea is to write thirty poems, one a day, for the month of April.  Prompts are provided to write from if you so choose.  Last year I joined a local online group where a second set of prompts is provided so there is more choice.  Last year I think I managed to write nine poems, of varying quality, in the month.  I was already sinking into the mental health problems that came to dominate the latter half of the year.

This year I’m in the group again.  I don’t promise to write thirty poems.  But that’s okay.  It’s not compulsory.  But I’m going to have a go.

Today I’ve chosen to use the official Na/GloPoWriMo prompt.  A poem based on a secret pleasure or a secret shame.  I’m sure I could have written something happy.  I can write happy.  Sometimes.


Secret Shame

Overplayed, pick worn, strum beaten,
Rolled over flamenco crescendos.
My guitar is out of tune.

Her harmony bears the ugliness of strings
Unwashed since their birth. Too stained
To sit in comfort at mahogany tables.

Three flattened, fretting, lost in bass thoughts.
Three sharper, tighter, crisis confused impossibilities
Wound without mercy by masochistic musicianship.

Stretched, horse-torn punished, limb from limb,
Their low song rises beyond screech screams
Until every listener hears only silence.

I stretch too far, intentionally, to string snap finality.
The inevitable surprise of one final musical twang.
Or, by rapid relief key turns, I let songs breathe again.

Nails across my over-wound flesh leave blood marks not scars.
I am sole witness as pleasure keys turn. I sing again, satisfied.
A little light wound music, no tolling bells, no death note.

(In those final lines it’s wound to rhyme with crowned, then wound to rhyme with crooned.  It’s also worth pointing out that I currently have no blood marks on my skin, no scratches at all.)

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