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The New Place

13 April, 2021: The New Place

Read a Poem

The New Place

By Arya F. Jenkins

Is raw with potential
Were it not for
Wallpaper peeling
Dark paint swirls caked upon a bedroom wall
One cracked window
Another barely opening
Wind slivers wrap around your ankles
Emptiness creaks everywhere
Signs of madness linger in the kitchen
Where someone tried to build a small
Fire on linoleum
God only knows what the piles of
Rolled salamander rugs hold
Among their crumbs and
Residues of long-abandoned hopes and hungers
The chipped black-painted bathroom wall tiles
Collapse at the touch
The pipes in the gap behind the old bathtub
Hum and caw
No magical TV crew here to turn
People’s lives around in an hour
Just human hands brushing
Cobwebs aside from the ceiling and walls
Closets and shelves
Scrubbing away window clouds
Painting the ugliness out
Outside the room with broken crooked blinds
You can hear branches agitating against the clapboard 
And beyond a stream not yet frozen calling
When spring comes I will sing for you--
So you close your eyes
Fitting yourself kindly into nooks
Filling in the blanks like a ghost
Eager to be tucked into
That promise.
“The New Place” by Arya F. Jenkins from Love & Poison. Prolific Press. 2019. Used by permission of the author.
Arya F. Jenkins is a Colombian-American poet and writer whose poems have been published in numerous journals and zines such as Agave Magazine, Blue Heron Review, Cider Press Review, The Ekphrastic Review, The Feminist Wire, IO Literary Journal, Otis Nebula, Poetica Review, and Rag-Queen Periodical and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her poetry chapbooks are: Jewel Fire (AllBook Books, 2011), Silence Has A Name (Finishing Line Press, 2016), and Love & Poison (Prolific Press, 2019). Her short story collection is Blue Songs in an Open Key (Fomite Press, 2018). Her novel, Punk Disco Bohemian, is due out from NineStar Press in fall 2021. Her website is at  and her blog at Find her also on Twitter @aryafj

Write a Poem

Write for 10 minutes while a TV program or movie is on, even during pauses or music. Use overheard speech. Then see if you can edit your draft into a poem.


RE: The New Place
Loved very descriptive!
4/13/2021 2:29:04 PM

A Ten-Minute Haibun

Poem Day 13—prompt: 10 minutes writing

Sometime last year in the middle of the pandemic, I decided to avoid poets who write about flowers. It’s pretentious of them to walk across bridges before governmental architects have their final say. And, that’s what they do. They admire flowers all day long, before it’s necessary. They refuse to wear masks. They dodge winters that promote an over-abundance of words. Once, during a storm, I looked outside, beyond the pile of book-spines that made me think some dead animal’s rib cage had imprisoned us all. It took time, but eventually I ventured out. A little journey never hurts. Spring was about to run for office, but there were no takers, no platform to get excited over. Too many winter words had made our bodies drip over our edges. No poet has a right to color outside the borders of her own chap-book. We all know this. It was just another spring day versus snow cover-ups. There’s something to be said about a soft, icy blanket strewn across the landscape meant to camouflage soft, unfertile dirt. Of course, there was not one poet in sight. No writer wanted to admit to anything as trite as conciliatory-defensiveness. Besides that, I was stunned to comprehend every flower had forgotten its identity. Their fat, full faces were pulled back in their soil-beds as if the earth was a universal turtle shell. It was, as I admitted the following week, a lonely journey. In fact, it would have been a good idea to abandon the entire day and chuck any green deal heading for Wall-Street or somebody’s fragile 401. But who does that? Instead of stopping it all, I remembered all the bridges I might eventually walk across. Someday, I’ll have permission. Someday, I’ll be the poet everyone avoids—

Little girl singing…

Flowers, blue-skies and all that…

Next week? Fingers snap.

© Tovli 2021
4/13/2021 2:24:51 PM

Your words painted a picture in my mind. Favorite line: You can hear branches agitating against the clapboard
4/13/2021 2:04:05 PM

Laurie K
@Arya, thank YOU for your haunting poem and being part of the library's celebration of National Poetry Month!
4/13/2021 1:35:27 PM

Bill Ritz
Led Zepplin and “The Young and the Restless” collide:

A Floating Soft-Sound Place

There’s a floating soft-sound place
And I know its no disgrace
That I’ve failed so many times in my efforts.

So you traveled here and there
And you never gave a care
But to manage for the time quickly slipping.

And alone, I stayed here
While I watched in the mirror
All the signs of the past overlapping.

No, I know not what to do
And I haven’t got a clue,
But I know I’ll see the answer in a dream.

See the rock within my face?
There’s a floating soft-sound place,
And I’ll watch you from a reflection on the mirror.
4/13/2021 11:28:16 AM

Mary M Chadbourne
Arya, what a moving piece you have written. It reminds me that home starts always inside of us. My late husband, Joe, used to say--after so many moves as a child and adult, he'd lost count--home was where his typewriter was.
4/13/2021 11:16:17 AM

Sierra Polsinelli
10 Minutes of Words
You are mine
Can we forgive
the sins of the catchers
casting their nets of dissention
purge this wickedness
turn away from destruction.

It sounded more clever in my head
you cannot get blood from a stone
You are crazy! -- No just desperate.

We are colorful and fun
you are stoic
I like being stoic

Why must I perform?

What if we’re not seeing the whole picture?
What if things are
more beautiful and
more strange
than we could ever

He said
That’s not for you
Leave me alone! Who are you?

I am he who formed you
I have redeemed you
I have called you by name
You are Mine.
4/13/2021 10:46:18 AM

Arya F. Jenkins
Thanks for featuring my poem. I've been reading your wonderful picks every day this month.
4/13/2021 9:59:59 AM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.