#NaPoWriMo – Day 23: “How Sudden, the Change of Seasons”




How Sudden, the Change of Seasons // by Jennifer Patino


Summer crept in
when I was just
getting used to it
feeling like Autumn

I fade into the heat,
become like mist,
a cloud drift
struggling to keep form

I will withstand it,
as I always do,
relying on ice cubes
& limited cool air

I will savor the night,
a reprieve from the swelter,
from the relentless day star
beating me into submission

I mentally separate
from my scalded skin,
get lost in my freezing thoughts,
take shelter from fire by hiding within

How quickly I must adapt,
my body reacts, & gets defensive,
forcing me into its own dark bunker
where rays of laser razors can’t penetrate,

cocooned in a cool room until Winter returns




* Author’s Note : Ugh, it’s getting warmer here in Vegas. 😦 I am not a fan of high temperatures at all. I’m comfortable in the 40-60 degree F range. Something happens to me during the warm seasons. My body fails to keep up with my spirit. My mind becomes mush. It reached 87 degrees today & this is where my pen went. I call the hot months here, “The Summer Swell” since my cyst covered kidneys also tend to inflate like little alien balloons & cause me more discomfort than usual. (This is normal for me, I have Polycystic Kidney Disease, it’s just something I have to deal with.)

On a personal note, I’ll be looking forward to my vacation coming up beginning of May. My dear friend is coming to visit & it’s going to be a good time for sure. My husband has vacation time that week too so he’ll be able to enjoy a nice & much needed break.

I hope everyone has a good week. Thanks so much to all who read & support my writing. Your comments are much appreciated, truly. ❤



#NaPoWriMo – Day 22: “Fly-by”





Fly-by // by Jennifer Patino



“Because I know things…”




The way the groom handles this boat of a limo
may be indicative of how he will handle his bride

Her face is lace, her smile looks unnatural

She’s familiar, yeah,
we’ve seen her look sleepless like that,
make-up does wonders

All the white that surrounds her
doesn’t look very pure



dirty cotton / the woods / tight squeeze / hands grip the bouquet //

hands grip the wheel / forced laughter / we’re late / it doesn’t matter



The room holds its breath
as slate blue mother rises
to this glorious occasion
mumbling passive aggression
in the guise of a congratulatory toast


Fools, I have no words left!
I don’t belong here
at this delicate table,
with your white china
and your suede seating!


Later, the bride is found sucking her thumb,
tights torn, wedding heels dangling
over the edge of a stack of extra chairs
because more people were expected
to witness this gross spectacle




Sisters beat horses,
try yoga,
try truth,
try horse racing,
try talking,
try planet gazing,
try moon-bathing,
try looking at what they don’t want to,
try remembering,
try forgetting,
try soothing,
try staring into horses’ eyes,
try listening,
try breathing,
try researching,
try breathing,
try compartmentalizing,
try breathing,
try to feign interest,
try to wear each others’ star studded skin




In act III
the scientist takes the coward’s way out
& no one saw it coming

This is an opera of bad decisions,
of fuck-all,
because the end is nigh

Denial dialogue
skirts the edges of every scene
& if you listen closely you’ll hear

all of the under-the-breath whispers
we know we’re guilty of when we can’t
look anyone in the eye when they ask us things


“Sometimes, I hate you Justine…”


Justine honors the Earth & doesn’t care about anyone’s feelings,
including her own

Justine has accepted,
& Justine probably knows she’s shit,
but speaks with a holy glow in her voice

Justine can’t believe
her sister isn’t thinking
about her son

Justine always believed
that she was the bad
& selfish one


(Charlotte’s Inner Monologue)


I want to go peacefully,
sitting on the ground,
surrendering to the big blue,
the great green

I glance at your eyes
that swirl with a mixture
of what they see,
wide open turquoise

I keep mine shut tight,
I don’t want to look,
I don’t want to see
the end of everything




In the final frame
Justine is statuesque

while Charlotte appears
as a shaking silhouette







* Author’s Note :  This piece is inspired by one of my favorite films, “Melancholia” (2011).



#NaPoWriMo – Day 21: “All Is Good”




All Is Good // by Jennifer Patino


When strangers become friends
through conversations that seem to have no end,
& broken hearts begin to mend,
all is good

When spontaneity seizes the day
to show stagnancy another way,
& brilliant blue outshines the grey,
all is good

When tears turn to laughter ringing
through a house filled with happy singing,
& its occupants are waltzing & swinging,
all is good

When waking up is refreshing after a blissful sleep,
& limbs are free & nimble enough to swim through the deep,
& there are no immediate reasons left to weep,
all is good

Yes, all is good
as you knew it would
be once the clouds disappeared
& after being patient for awhile

So now you should
bask in all this good
while it’s right here
& enjoy it with a smile






#NaPoWriMo – Day 20: “Transitions”




Transitions // by Jennifer Patino


you have to slip under
the murky water
to see what emerges
once the floods dry up

scatter across the sky,
searching, and the moon shines
like an open eye
unable to look away

bleed in to each other,
ink blots in olive oil,
and your throat is a
sponge absorbing reactive tears

a new surface approaches–
a place to rise to,
a soft spot to land on,
a home for a lost survivor

fill with a flow of blood
and leave footprints
beneath your skin
while the helicopters circle overhead

means you’ll cling to this mud
and wait for the vertigo,
for waves of paranoia nausea,
and for feelings of wounded exposure to pass





#NaPoWriMo – Day 19: “Kindred: A Sequence of Dreams”

kindredPhoto by Me



Kindred: A Sequence of Dreams // by Jennifer Patino




there is no end to this tunnel

I’m calling it a tunnel because that’s how I see here


when I last saw my grandmother I swore she was smaller than me

she’s a giant here

she towers over me


in her hand is a scepter made of bee stings

she tells me she tried to pass it off to my mother but she couldn’t hold it

my mother is allergic to bees


my mother is washing dishes in the kitchen in the Florida house

she is 35 years old

my youngest sister rests on her hip,

my other younger sister has surely run away again,

and 15-year-old me watches from the table


it’s littered with history homework and I’ll never understand

why people can’t learn from their horrid mistakes


I look around for my little brother and I know I’m losing him

I look around the kitchen again and I think that everything,

including the peeling wallpaper, is a horrid mistake




when I wake up I’m nearly 35


I start to worry about where the kids are but then I remember

that my mother and I are not the same

she bore and bears what I’m deemed unable to


my skin is covered in puncture wounds

queen bee venom courses through my tiny veins





father hoards all his memories in a tool shed in the backyard

we are not allowed in there and he scares us away from even trying to enter

by horror stories of the vermin that lurk in the tall grass leading to it,

and the creeping and crawling things that will surely fall on our heads

the moment we open the rusted door


he hides dreams in there too


behind the coffee cans filled with bolts, nuts, screws, nails that are near dust,
mason jars of milk teeth, filthy empty boxes of appliances from the early 80s
with faded pictures on the outside of what they once stored–


I only saw them in boxes during moves
and Christmases
so maybe they’re filled with something else no one but he can understand


–treasured within all that,
there’s a pile of shed snakeskin
he swears he’ll make a belt out of one day

there are so many mixed CDs he’s made to put in his future recording studio

there are odds and ends, car parts, wooden shutters, things that probably can’t be fixed anymore
but my father believes

he believes he’ll get to it all some day


someday someone will have to go through all of that
but no one wants to think about it





my mother and I have the same dreams sometimes

I wonder if we see each other in the same one but don’t remember


I also wonder if too much time has passed between the last time I saw my loved ones

and the next time I will see them so if I wave to them

on whatever celestial plane we end up together on

would they even recognize me?


I hear my mother and grandmother in the same voice telling me

that the soul always knows





my sister just got home from work and I’m laying on her couch

the room looks different

this house looks different


this is how I know this dream hasn’t happened yet


she’s telling me about a raffle

she says the prizes are lame


I’m nodding over paperwork


in dreams and in waking life

I am always drowning in paperwork

that I can’t read


a curly haired girl who I swear is my youngest sister

played by a famous Hollywood child

whose name I can’t place

toddles into the room

and wants to know what I’m doing


I call her by my youngest sister’s name and she responds


my other sister rolls her eyes in the background

while she rifles through junk mail


I can hear my mother calling offstage

that the macaroni is done


my father is ringing the old gold dinner bell

and my brother may or may not be in the emergency room


if shared dreams are to be trusted
then we’ll never need phone calls
to tell us what happens and we’ll
never need a book to tell us that
addiction is a kind of infection


my mother and my grandmother say in the same voice:

“we already know”





I stand in the middle of a room full of mirrors
grabbing fistfuls of ravens

somewhere a phone is ringing
like an angry hive

this isn’t a nightmare anymore
so I should definitely fear answering it


I have been anointed with a crown of honey–
the blood, sweat, and tears of my family

I am the last to hang up
and let go of the line

the last to be told
that I woke up a long time ago





#NaPoWriMo – Day 18: “You’re the Only One I’ve Told This To”




You’re the Only One I’ve Told This To // by Jennifer Patino


You told me my every day voice sounds different,
and it’s because it’s actually mine

For once, I took a shoulda and
made a “would you look at that”

I was heard this time, not just
background music,   or a surface scene track

So when you decided to write off my sophomoric soliloquies,
you crumbled the last best year of my life

to the dust and dirt,          where my Gram went
that summer when I returned barely speaking

I wrote barely skimming my grief,   and my
escape routes, my admitted defeat

I wrote constantly with you in mind,   I sang
all the songs you requested

I took all of your recommendations to heart,
so now is not the time to start aiming

suggestions scaled to fit you at me;
We live in a world where comments are over-encouraged,

sour honey sentiments
and poisonous passive aggressive barbs

No blockade can make you un-see,
and no dull blade will make you un-feel

No, you are not going to un-hear me
here in this pixelated Paradise,

in this high-speed Hell            You will
make sure I spill it all like rose oil,

You will sniff toxic LA air in so deeply
to try and cover up the sickly, sweet smell
of my decaying truth





#NaPoWriMo – Day 17: “Storm Signal”




Storm Signal // by Jennifer Patino


I am impaired
by a newcomer’s eyes, sunken emerald treasures.

I clutch a choked bubble
of fresh air, a pearl-lined pocket of life,

in the center of my throat.
Clarions blare in my heart,

but I choose not to run.
You are both angelic & terrifying.

Clouds circle overhead & I
think of the meaning of ‘uncanny’.


                                   They are lions,
these storm clouds.  I feel hunted.


You start to speak,
& there is no thunder in your voice.

My knees feel the ground give way.
My stomach turns to raindrops,

but I am shocked to be so soothed.
I cave in.  My head wraps

around your words
that you spill with such ease.

Yes, I’d like shelter.
Yes, I’m alright with taking your hand.

You make me feel human.
I can taste the puddles

cooling on the pave in the sunlight
already.  If there is a rainbow

spanning the fickle sky after
this spastic storm, then I will be sure

that this is the moment I fell in love.
If not, we will drift apart, & this day will be buried.

I hear a pearl drop.  A bubble
pops, & pride retreats as you lead me safely away.