Day Sixteen, Tupelo Press 30/30 Project, August 2016


My poem “A Herd of Watermelon” has been posted among today’s offerings of the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project (9 poets have agreed to write 30 poems apiece in 30 days, to raise funds for Tupelo Press, a non-profit literary publisher). I am grateful to Plain Jane, who sponsored and provided the title.

A Herd of Watermelon

My work tools include rubber boots, a hydraulic
jack and snake tongs. Prevention over cure, always.

A helicopter’s shadow crosses the yard.
I sweat in cold weather; today even the shade burns…

Click here to see the rest of the poem.

Tomorrow’s poem, “Cleaning Out Closets in Anticipation of Moving Closer to Children,” was sponsored by Darryl Williams who provided the title, and also sponsored last year’s “Something Lost, Something Trivial.”

I still need title sponsors for the 22nd and 23rd, and don’t forget about the 3-word sponsorships. Remember, you can combine the two (as in today’s poem) to force me to use not only your title, but also three words that I’d likely not use on my own. And can anyone challenge last year’s co-winners of Worst Title in the History of the 30/30 Project, Ron, Plain Jane and Mek?*

The  sponsored poems are a blast to write, and the titles lead me to poems I’d not otherwise conceive. If you’re inclined to sponsor a poem, Donate to Tupelo, and please let me know as soon as possible what your title is or which three words you’ve foisted upon me.

If you need something to read, Think Dink! A $30 donation will get you my 2015 chapbook If Your Matter Could Reform, Barton Smock’s Infant Cinema, Jamie Hunyor’s A New Sea, and Tim Kahl’s full length work, The String of Islands, thanks to the generosity of Dink Press founder and editor Kristopher Taylor!  A limited quantity is available, so order earlier rather than later.

For information on sponsorships (and my other incentives), click here.

Thank you for supporting poetry! Only 14 poems to go!

* The titles are, respectively, “Calvin Coolidge: Live or Memorex,” “Your Armpits Smell Like Heaven,” and “Reduce Heat and Simmer Gently Without Cloud Cover, Till Sundown. Serves 2 – 7 Billion.” “Nose-Picking Reese’s Hider” is definitely a strong contender for this honor.

27 thoughts on “Day Sixteen, Tupelo Press 30/30 Project, August 2016

  1. Pingback: Day Sixteen, Tupelo Press 30/30 Project, August 2016 — O at the Edges |

  2. You know, Robert, I have done a bit of reading on the names of animal congregations. I think watermelons grow in a patch, so it would seem to me that personified, it would be a clutch if them heading for the crick ☺.
    Great piece.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Pingback: Robert Okaji’s 30/30 | rivrvlogr

  4. Reblogged this on richwrapper and commented:
    OK – doing this right…this is the way to Robert Okaji’s A Herd of Watermelon (title courtesy of Plain Jane). It is worth the read. The site 30/30 project is worth a longer visit than I was able to give, and worth the funding if you are able.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Having been a lifelong patch-hoer – and I watched a cotton-mouth skitter in the air and take a swipe at my dad’s overalls pant leg from its hoe-sent flight, I loved the imagery, and then digesting a second and third reading – and for this still poorly practiced semi-Luddite, finding the whole poem was a bit of a chore – trying mostly my patience – I am sworn now to visit again and read more stuff, all the while my own “children” go searching for a clacking keyboard with their names thereon. I blame you, sir! And, Thank You for it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The link doesn’t go directly to my poem, but instead takes you to the 30/30 page, which is as close as I can get. If you scroll down a bit you should see the day’s poems, by poet, in alphabetical order. To see the rest of the poems, keep scrolling. If this doesn’t work, let me know.


  7. Beautiful, Robert. Enjoyed this piece very much. The deer dancing beyond the software update in particular, for some reason. Reasons not necessary when a turn of phrase evokes a human feeling none of us can name… So we keep writing these poems…

    Stay Cool!

    Liked by 2 people

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