#NaPoWriMo – Day 30: “Leitmotif”




Leitmotif // by Jennifer Patino


Trying to break through your own

branching out like tree saplings,

a new brand of someone else’s

The streets have different names
but they’re all the same

The barbed wire body cage loves its

a masochistic prison sentence, living
is demanding

an end to misery, alone and on
your own

The songs have different titles,
but they’re of the same symphony

How to escape without leaving,
or permanence?

Abandonment accompaniment,
you’re still standing

in familiarity of self, and a semblance
of safety

Stay here, rejection is torturous, damp with
nuanced nervousness

It is better to be truthful and dying,
than to be a falsity, popular and flying




Well, another #NaPoWriMo has come & gone. I’m pretty happy with the work I’ve done this month considering I had a lot of days where I really didn’t feel like writing or doing much of anything. Now it’s vacation time! I may post a few older pieces this week but I won’t be focusing on any new writing for another week or so. I’ll be going on some adventures this week so I’m sure to gather some new inspiration. I have enjoyed participating in National Poetry Writing Month & plan to join in on the #OctPoWriMo fun again later this year. I am so happy to have found new poets to read here on WordPress, & have very much enjoyed all of the #NaPo poems from others that I have been honored to read. I’ll be sharing a new post within the next couple of days as well. I have some publishing news, & it’s been awhile since I’ve written a personal update. Happy reading & writing, everyone! I hope your week is lovely. ❤



#NaPoWriMo – Day 29: “Fatigue”





Fatigue // by Jennifer Patino


The last of the soul escapes through a cold foot

It will stay this way,
evidence of a body underneath the blanket

Extreme tranquility,
overactive nerve paralysis,
ocular snapshots taken
in slow, heavy blinks

Lace birds on wires,
overly concerned faces,
the rain looks like sparklers on film

There is thick lava in the bloodstream,
the skin is too tender to touch,
the veins are lined in shards of glass

The last of the strength holds the spoon

The empty, raging belly
demands to be fed,
hunger is stasis

Floating, suspended between sleep and awake
is functioning

Slipping through lost time,
through fog-filled hazes,

still feeling the air,
still aware,
pretending to be there





#NaPoWriMo – Day 28: “Olivia”





Olivia // by Jennifer Patino


At first sight,
a pale baby bird,
eyes tearing up
with empathy,
hands grasping
for empty air
in interrogation rooms
where there’s
never enough room
to breathe


20 years later,
a mother hawk,
a shining matron badge,
a hard edge to your voice,
its tone matching eyes
that have now seen
too much,
hands steady,
gripping a bad man’s neck,
but only inside a mind
that’s running out of room
to care too much




* Author’s Note : It took me a few months, but I’ve finally seen every single episode of Law & Order: SVU. I could probably write a hundred poems about Olivia Benson, but this one’s a start.



#NaPoWriMo – Day 27: “Showered”





Showered // by Jennifer Patino


On a cusp of summer morning
where even the air aches with warning,
the sprightly girls sunbathe on the roof,
proof of youth in this dilapidated, decrepit town.

Down below, their mothers pick flowers
for centerpieces for the wedding shower
of a long lost sister. Their silks
billowing, they glow like rainbow refractions
in the garden mister.

This whole place braces for afternoon
rain. By nightfall the terrace
doesn’t look the same. Party lights
twinkle & the girls dance in
a sprinkling of fairy dust & desert rose rust.

The blushing bride hides so no one
sees her cry, & the mothers hold
hope in their plastered smiles for
their own ideas about what can turn
a charge into their very own child.

The flowers are wilting in the moon-
light & everything appears to be going alright,
but all the nails in the house are bitten clean.
The orchestra slows down the tempo
to reflect the new scene.

The cicadas sing like alarm bells,
& no one is sure what they mean,
but the show goes on through
the surf swells, the dry spells,
& the unsurety of the in-between.

The bride-to-be descends the stairs,
finally. Champagne is poured, the young ones
appear bored. Heat lightning spreads through
the sky like SOS flares as the mothers
secretly choose new daughters for their sons.

Those who couldn’t stay
learned it was all for naught
the next day. The prodigal sister
disappeared around midnight.
She wanted a party in her honor
once more before running far, far away.





#NaPoWriMo – Day 26: “A Dark Day”




A Dark Day // by Jennifer Patino


The darkness of the day
runs rampant

It feels like sanity
is slipping away with the light


Here I am, once again,
self-medicating with nostalgia,

thinking about that dank porch
where we slung soliloquies for sale


I reach out to underwater arms,
but I find nothing, only

a blank page staring me in the face,
& I’m always stretching for something


The truth, the glass figures I
drop onto dirt glossed floors

because the sunbursts in my fingers
won’t let me grip anymore        Fleeting


These moments come & go & I’m pretty steady
with my patience                 Waiting it out

I’m always waiting for something, waiting
on something, weighing pros, cons,

& waiting, waiting for someone
who can teach me how to swim through acid


I’m counting all the ways I can milk time
for all it thinks I’m worth

Time & I don’t acknowledge each other directly
anymore, we question each others’ existence

I have my erratic heartbeat, &
Time keeps up its pressuring cadence


When the summer night symphony cues up,
I know it’s you from afar, alive & reminding me

The chairs in our separate corners may be empty now,
but we’ll see each other in them once we’re tired enough


I close the curtains on the invading dawn
It’s cooler in the shade, easier to come down

from a flashback of your face       You flicker still,
a loose flame        I snuff out all traces        I sleep during the day





#NaPoWriMo – Day 25: “He Just Drifted”






He Just Drifted // by Jennifer Patino
For D.D.


The burden on his back finally leaped off,
so he hit the road after decades of ignoring its call to him.

He rolled into the folds of a marigold which was really a setting sun
and he walked across polluted air to get to it.

Liberation has left him with an undertaste in his mouth.
It reminds him of all the pennies he counted with his granddad.

All those mounds of copper collected for a rainy day,
and still, respect wasn’t earned. No one was saved.

He keeps walking a salt line tightrope. He keeps his
best thoughts to himself. However, the stars can read his mind.

He had a sister once. She ran to the ocean, maybe.
It’s been four years. Those who get lost on purpose are hard to find.

A scrap of paper skips by like tumbleweed. He remembers
he used to write poetry. He remembers

all the bronze faces gathered around him during his last
time of need. He remembers. He remembers. He regrets.

His back is turned away from haunting memories, but they rage
inside his head. He is lonely. He pictures himself dead.

Up ahead, a mirage angel tells him it’s okay to go back.
She tells him he left important pieces behind.

He pays no mind. He races with himself to achieve
that ethereal, heavenly brilliance. He craves that stillness.

Darkness descends like a vicious attack. He takes reprieve.
He tells his sister, the moon, he’ll find her soon.

Scars form a layer between him & the ground. He breathes
without a sound. Soon, he falls into dream.

A hawk watches him tiptoe toward his little sister, a sea goddess
twirling to a twinkling music box behind indigo veils,

and she cannot hear him as he screams and wails her name.
No two escapes from a recurring nightmare are ever the same.





#NaPoWriMo – Day 24: “Turning”





Turning // by Jennifer Patino


She sits at the same window
and watches the wild world
turning, turning

Her hair is coarse, flecked with ash grey,
snowflake obsidian,
it’s turning, turning

Inner youth cries for loss,
a girl in her prime, unloved,
yearning, yearning

Every day that passes
is a plethora of honest mistakes,
she’s learning, learning

Her heart never had a chance
to break, mend, or grow cold,
it’s burning, burning

Her hands have become like dried wood,
hollow, stained with newspaper ink,
from ages of turning, turning