Machine Dreams


I came here whole, one fine body. Bringing laughter, my ancestors’ hearts, all the time and knowing. And on that day, you began breaking me. Used me as plow, cotton gin, incubator. You defined me. Beat, slapped, raped me into siren, into mammy. My body — not fine — too big, too brown, too free. Unbroken by your hammers, your tongs, your definitions. I am not a tool, not a brood sow, not parts like cogs in a mangled wheel. Still whole, tongue still honeyed. And you, still fearful, still dreaming a master’s dreams, an overseer’s whip. Wake up. I’ve arrived.

Okay, I think we have a thing now, that it’s going to be prose poems this month. I have a long way to go. The “what” of them does and doesn’t make sense to me, and I haven’t quite found my footing. So we’ll run with these for a month and see if I get my sea legs by May. Having the prompt from the Poetic Asides blog every day helps some. I was sure I wouldn’t do anything with today’s prompt, but then I did.

It’s been good to discover that so many people take on this 30/30 poetry challenge. I imagine that many of them are actually poets, but no matter. I may be wandering in the dark, but it’s nice knowing I’m not out here alone.


Are you writing poems this month? Where can I see them? Let’s share this craziness!

As I did last year, I’ll be following along with the Poem-A-Day challenge at Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides Blog. Today’s prompt is to write a machine poem. You can post your daily poems on Brewer’s page. The top poem from each day will be included in an anthology later this year!


2 thoughts on “Machine Dreams

  1. i like this a lot. it feels like an antidote to the “silence” poem, especially going from “stilled tongue” to “Still whole, tongue still honeyed.”


  2. I think that “tongue still honeyed” is giving a good southern old fashioned “bless your heart” with all it implies. I so feel this. A little Maya Angelou still rising feel to this.


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