Confessions Of A Laundry Goddess

"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Somewhere in The Chorus

"To write a blues song is to regiment riots and pluck gems from graves."
     ~ Etheridge Knight

She’s pouring pain into blue notes
and bleeding it through a microphone.

It doesn’t matter about a name.
We all look alike when we’re crying.

She’s pulling diamonds from bones,
digging her heels into survival.

It doesn’t matter about a name.
We all look alike when the valley
gets shorter.

She’s singing to the choir
and collecting amens.

It doesn’t matter about a name.
We all look alike when the blues
writes us into the chorus.

©Susie Clevenger 2018

I'm sorry I disappeared for a while. I started out strong with a commitment to write 30 poems in 30 days, but life hit hard and I just couldn't write. My favorite uncle died April 5th. It's a long story, but basically because of the failure of the medical community to diagnosis his illness soon enough, he starved to death. The week of his death he was finally diagnosed with Achalasia. It was too late. What part of a man can't eat, can't even get water through his esophagus makes it imperative you find a reason for it?  I have been plagued with "if only." The biggest one being, if only I had lived closer.  

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Friday, April 6, 2018

Where Silk Binds to Rib

Stones are blind
but every bruise
formed from
sharp edges
holds a prayer
of freedom.

I walk so you can stand.
I cry so you can smile.

Look for me in the lotus
where silk binds to rib,
in thread where the butterfly
guides you to wings.

©Susie Clevenger 2018

Real Toads ~ Speaking In the Voice of Another
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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Winter Weather

The frostbite from his lips
was only a word away from scarring.

She wrapped her arms
around his neck hoping
she had enough heart
to melt the winter between them.

Grabbing at snowflakes she sang
her revision of their favorite
Christmas song quietly in his ear,

“Oh the weather inside is frightful,
but a fire would be so delightful,
and if this is the end I’ll go.
Let me know…Let me know…Let me know…”

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

But I Won't Drown

Wind keeps tearin’ my memory,
lightenin’ keeps burnin’ my wish.
He’s a thousand miles distant
preachin’ in thunder claps.

Oh no,
I won’t think smaller,
won’t walk in his shadow,
won’t dance to his tune.

He’s buildin’ a mountain.
I’m tearin’ it down.
I’m wadin’ through anger,
but I won’t drown.

I’m gonna grow stronger
where I can’t be found.
He’s diggin’ his tomorrow
six feet in the ground.

Oh no,
I won’t think smaller,
won’t walk in his shadow,
won’t dance to his tune.

©Susie Clevenger 2018

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Monday, April 2, 2018

Second Daughter

I am the second daughter
of iron apron strings.
I was taught by spoon
and bone broth,
kettle and glass,
hunger and blessing.

My mother stood
as tall as her strength,
as angry as her pain,
as kind as her heartbreak.

I am her.
I am me.
I am grateful.

I am the second daughter
of iron apron strings
taught to speak my truth,
resist when oppressed,
have vision when others are blind.

©Susie Clevenger 2018

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Sunday, April 1, 2018


I’m trying to run a marathon
without taking a step.
I want the win
without walking
through the pain.

There’s a lot of wrong
in failure, a lot of tears
in success.

Freedom takes endurance
when chains whisper,
“We’re your only escape.”

Night terrors taunt
with the length of the race.
while faith speaks winning
comes one step at a time.

©Susie Clevenger 2018

NaPoWriMo 2018

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018


I have a journal full
of infants, silly poems
too weak to stand
on their own verse.

I should remove them,
but their missing teeth
remind me how bold grows
in the jawbone of stumbles.

©Susie Clevenger 2018

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