NaPoWriMo#3 The Scribbler’s Moon

Today’s prompt asks writers to play with a new poetic form, a Glosa, which is a Spanish poem that starts with a stanza from a poem you admire and then requires the writer to create a stanza that ends with each of these lines (the lines becoming the refrains). Challenge accepted! I chose a treasured poem by a favorite artist: “The Injured Moon” by Charles Baudelaire, translated by Robert Lowell. A challenge, indeed.

The Scribbler’s Moon

The lovers sleep openmouthed! When they breathe
they show the white enamel of their teeth
the writer breaks his teeth on his worksheets.
the vipers couple under the hot hill

Kisses snake the writer’s skin,
a fuse winding across his body
towards explosion,
and while the words that
lit his flame where penned
perhaps a century past,
the writer grits his teeth
when he dreams, while
the lovers sleep openmouthed. When they breathe

their lusts are all relieved.
But, not the writer
grumbling in golem-like hunger,
a growl that awakens his scribbling,
sloppy as the drool saturating his
pillow, which he enters like a cave,
in search of a cool, quiet dip.
But writers froth fiction, in rabid REM,
they show the white enamel of their teeth,

incisors every writer needs
to cut a new tale,
carve their research into trees,
inspect each shoot and leaf
to determine which form
of verse to dip in ink, conceive.
His poetry leaves puncture wounds;
the writer breaks his teeth on his worksheets,

pencils, now, with no tips.
In the face of new moon blindness,
the writer’s instrument goes limp,
and he swaddles sheets over his head,
a ghost in his own bed,
creativity gone cold by open window.
He fumbles in the nightstand for the right pill, as
the vipers couple under the hot hill.

Cover Art: Joelartaccount

The Injured Moon Charles Baudelaire

Oh Moon, discreetly worshipped by our sires,
still riding through your high blue countries, still
trailed by the shining harem of your stars,
old Cynthia, the lamp of our retreats…

the lovers sleep open-mouthed! When they breathe,
they show the white enamel of their teeth.
The writer breaks his teeth on his worksheets,
the vipers couple under the hot hill.

Dressed in your yellow hood, do you pursue
your boy from night to dawn, till the sun climbs
skyward, where dim Endymion disappears?

“I see your mother, Child of these poor times,
crushed to her mirror by the heavy years.
She cunningly powders the breast that nourished you.”
Translated by – Robert Lowell


  1. Amazing, K! Just amazing! I took one look at that prompt and the coward in me veered away. But your incredible grasp of it makes me want to try. This is a beautiful work. Amazing! (did I say that already?)


  2. K this is wonderful! Love how you have made this poem your own – fabulous images of the writer.


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