#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? Day 100 There’s Still Work To Do

This poem, like our status quo, is a work in progress. I’m certain this draft will change as time and space and wisdom allow. As for the bigger picture, it’s only been 100 days, and there is still work to do. We will always be asking What’s Next!?, and will continue do the necessary work , until we get it right. Thank you for joining us for these past 100 days. Stay tuned for more poetry.

What’s Next!?

“America is on the move again.
Turning peril into possibility.
Crises into opportunity.
Setback into strength.” -- Joe Biden

And this, then, is the ever-repeating goal
broken record-like to the ear
but a mantra to the soul.
When it’s asked

What’s Next!?

we must always be on the move.
Until we get it right.

Until we get it right
there will be another Vegas
and another Pulse;
another Sandy Hook & King Soopers.
There will be more Atlantas
and Indianapolises.
Until we get it right.

Until we get it right
there will be more Floyds and Taylors,
Wrights and Toledos.

What’s Next!?

We must seek
dignity over dereliction of duty
justice over knee-jerk incompetence.
We must turn the peril
of traffic stops & grocery shops
into the possibility
of going on green
and making it home
to cook a new recipe.

What’s Next!?

We must
feed brainstorms over superstorms
and contain our rising coastal tides.
We must flood our borders with compassion
and climb out of the climate crisis--
invent and innovate the opportunities
to meet tomorrow 
and the next
and the next tomorrow
and the next.
Until we get it right.

Until we get it right
there will be more Sandys & Katrinas & Harveys
more fire warnings & wildfires
more tornado breakouts & droughts & t-storm washouts.

What’s Next!?

Algebra and calculus. 
We must flip the fractions
that have long divided us.
Now is the time for the new maths
of people over profits
and workers over CEOs
healthcare over wealthcare.
Let us place the 99
over the 1
the greatest good for the greatest number
above the greediest plunder.
Until we get it right.

Until we get it right
we must undo the brainwashing
and whitewashing.
Decriminalize homelessness
and stigmatize heartlessness.
We must take wrenches to the systems
that set us back
as if clocks or calendars
to the 1950s
or the 1850s
or the 1750s.

We must disassemble the machinations,
bring down the termite-ridden timbers
of bygone eras;
strip the shackles and salve the wounds.
Until we get it right.

Until we get it right
we must 
burn it all down
tear it all apart
blow it all up
raze the rotted corrupted hole
and build the stronger better whole
until we get it right.

What’s Next!?
We must keep reinventing language
and learning new pronouns and names for 
peoples, places, and things.
We must keep rewriting language
until truths are out and the full
(our)story is told,
even, but especially,
the bleakest and darkest chapters.
Until we get it right.

What’s Next!?
We must keep reinventing ourselves
until we get it right
until we mean united and not contiguous.

©David Siller – 2021


For the first 100 days of the Biden administration, this website will feature a new poem of What’s Next!? These pieces can be calls to action, calls to attention, or calls to anger. They will light the way and guide the fight. They will get us moving and keep our momentum. They will be filled with hope, with anger, with sorrow. They will get us into good trouble and point out the trouble we need to stop. They will be polished gems, or rough-cut drafts of rage, or in-process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered.

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? wants your poems, your prose, your visual art (photos, drawings, sculptures), your music, your short films and animations. Interpret the theme as broadly as you’d like.

If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with your visual art (as .jpg or .pdf) or your poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. Include a short bio (2-3 sentences) and social media/website information. All rights remain with the author. Please address any formatting preferences in your email. Waxyandpoetic.com will post submissions time permitting, with at least one per day beginning 20 January 2021. Read, follow, share, submit, live, love, spread light! Don’t forget to use #100Days100Poems !

“It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you”

After a much too lengthy hiatus from the Waxy&Poetic blog, I’m back to continue with regular posts. Since I was AWOL during National Poetry Month, feast your eyes on the collected haiku that were daily posted on Twitter during April.


Until next week, enjoy!




After one drink, I’m
honest with others. After
a few, with myself.



my original:

Au bord de la Seine:
bouteilles de rouge vides,
trop de lumières.


and my own translation:

On the banks of the
Seine: empty bottles of red
and too many lights.



I know for whom the
Bell tolls: Zack, Kelly, Jessie,
Screech, Slater, Belding.

Lisa discovers
her Twitter snub. She reaches
for the bathtub gin.


Absence of haikus
does not denote haikus of
absence, but silence.


in the pine box: one
hand-scribbled obit, Miles on
vinyl, one corkscrew.


Alone in bed and
smelling your pillow. My hand
feels nothing like you.


rope hanging above
the desk: dusty. noosed. strong. still.
long stretch, deed long done.



a tanka:

Elevation: six-
teen hundred nine meters. The
air’s thin and cool, but
not the reason I cannot
breathe. Denver. Pop. minus one.



Billets doux, sonnets—
stuffed to closet-box-bottom
for want of a match.



This is a test of
the emergency haiku
system. Don’t panic!


In event of real
poetic emergency:
Sound the Bard aloud.


In event of real
poetic emergency:
Eat that violin.


In event of real
poetic emergency:
Seek out Big Mamma.


In event of real
poetic emergency:
Mimic Whitman’s breath.

In event of real
poetic emergency:
Get hysterical.

In event of real
poetic emergency:
Starving minds should feed.

In event of real
poetic emergency:
yawp naked, tromp clothed.


In event of real
poetic emergency:
Risk absurdity.

In event of real
poetic emergency:
Address the reader.

In event of real
theatrical emergency:
Shatter the fourth wall.

In event of real
artistic emergency:
Collage with newsprint.

In event of real
poetic emergency:
Read Ferlinghetti.



[this is not my time]

America, present day

[this is not my place]



Mountains echo the
wailing; beached sands dry the tears.
Earth is unhappied.



I’ve cultivated
a discerning palate,
but no taste for your loss.



Democracy speaks:
Receive your voice when you make
fat contributions.


I’m not an object
of desire, just an object
not for collecting.



Hello. Hello. What
do you do for a living?
Read novels & dreams.

& you? What do you do?
Nothing so noble. I
rouse disappointment.



a final tanka:


sitting on bus bench
my eyes alert, Canon in
hand. Kid next to me asks
“What’s with the camera?”
“I write poems the hard way.”

NPM–And afterwards, the villain wrote a villanelle!

Upon Discovering that the Only Thing in a Briefcase I Stole
Was a Bunch of Damn Poems
for robert phillips
What really pisses me off more than anything
(I mean, after the scraped and bloody hands)
is that some of these poems are rather interesting.

Most times I bring home CDs or something
I can sell easily, (like textbooks, nothing too grand).
What really pisses me off more than anything

is the absolute worthlessness of these stupid things,
no reward for a crime so perfectly planned,
though some of these poems are rather interesting.

It was late one afternoon, not a single
person walking in the lot, a literal no man’s land.
What really pisses me off more than anything

is not the broken glass tinkling
onto the ground, but the money I should have in my hand.
Though some of these poems are rather interesting

I can’t get a dime for their rambling,
(or the poet I’m sure), but damn
what really pisses me off more than anything
is that some of these poems are rather interesting.

Another NPM installment!

Making the Love Scene


you slamming the door is
(…a beautiful place to be born into
if you don’t mind some people dying all the time…)*
a smack of arrival.  I hear

squeak of Nike on linoleum, accented
by the rain outside.

it’s hard to pull myself off the couch
my butt lazily glued there during the

rainy day.  I do, to glue
my lips on your face before you

set down your bags.  Close your eyes
while my tongue dances on your

tongue, your lips.  My eyes close because
(Oh the world is a beautiful place to be born into
if you don’t much mind a few dead minds in the higher places)
your feel is a memory of my taste.

(Pictures of the Gone World can wait;
but then right in the middle of it comes the smiling mortician.)

And open—

Your skin smells of peppermint (that’s odd)
I never knew your tongue to be so sharp, nor your lips
to be so
                open.  Your mouth
     seems hollow.  Your eyes don’t follow mine
                                           as they dance from the nape of your neck
                                to your breast.

No bra?  Your nipples erect, a deep brown I
don’t know.  Your neck tastes like
candy.  Take hold of my hand
to the places I should know.

                                         I feel your left breast for the first time
                                         the white wet shirt a tease
                       I don’t know this panting
                       the heave that matches the pinch.
                                       Your hair breathes Herbal Essences, I thought
                                                    you used Pantene.

What happened to the cinnamon
that used to dance on your exhale?
The honey that used to drip from
your thighs?
                                                It’s all peppermint and crème,
                   it’s all liqueur and chocolate.  I don’t remember
                                              the join of your legs.  Wasn’t it
                               smoother?  Take
       my hand.  Do you know it?
Put it where I can remember.
Not between your legs, or at the sweat that
                                tingles between your breasts,
                                          but at the curve of your ear
                                                         or the slope of your navel,
                                                                take my hands
teach me.

I’ve never known you.

*all quotes, L. Ferlinghetti

Meanwhile at the Poetry Reading

Explaining the Poem



This first began percolating on the day I came across the corpse of a bird that flew into my sliding glass door, his head twisted like the bottom of a semi-colon, his wings brackets around the parenthetical body; of course it immediately drew recollections of Amelia Earhart, Kitty Hawk and the story of Daedalus and Icarus.  Interestingly enough, I had recently spilled melted wax near the spot where the bird lay, a souvenir or stain of a certain physical interlude involving, yes, candles, handcuffs and two…  Picking up the bird gave way to the Karate Kid movies, though I don’t really consider the third because it seemed so out of place.  The 80s reference is for me, and should be for the reader, a call to a simpler time in American cinema where stories were told, events shown and a special effect was added to drive a point home or try something new.  It is also a salute to The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet with which I have identified and immersed myself in my surfing on the net late at night, a cup of decaf in one hand, cordless mouse in the other.  As you can imagine the glories of 21st Century technology are dominant in the poem, foremost because it is typed.  The final line is a surrender, a sort of poetic salute to those who have braved death in the hopes of furthering some cause.  The final line is also a reference to the letter Ω which indeed means end, but can also be argued to be a representation of a U-turn thus turning the reader around to begin the poem again, a new journey with a new experience and perhaps, hopefully, a new end.

The Poem

freedom buzzing incessantly around my head,
a Zen moment, trapped in chopsticks
then clipped wings
on the table shuddering.  I recalled singing in a
musical called
Don’t You Wanna Be Free?
I nodded in unison with the seizing abstraction below me

National Poetry Month is here! Let’s celebrate with, well, a few poems.

In honor of NPM (not to be confused with NPH), every few days I’ll be posting a poem to the blog. Look for some things old, some things new, no things borrowed and maybe, just maybe, something purple.  I invite questions, comments, dialogue; let’s talk of poetry.

For our inaugural installment, I offer

First Words


I will wake quietly, only a hmmph to red-hued digits;
I will read aloud books, worderfalls flooding from tongue;
I will greet strangers and friends, poke fun at politicians and passers-by;
I will rise early to greet the sun, and join her as she puts herself to bed;
I will make phone calls and write letters, being careful to scratch out mistakes just so;
I will travel, getting lost in blank white spaces;
I will have cancellations, and be late due to my travels;
I will set giraffes on fire, a low flame that only barely begs attention;
I will drip water from my fingertips, and catch the drops in coffee cups;
I will drive late, jazz wafting from speakers, slow lolling French echoing in my ears;
I will beat the drum different, confusing marchers;
I will hope for mermaids with fish-heads and peach-flesh ripe for eating;
I will drink red wine and have my head spin burgundy thoughts;
I will make appointments, and arrive dressed in upside-down fedoras and corduroy pants;
I will scribble dribble and fall in love, not necessarily in that order;

I will ride zebras, sing incomprehensibly, walk rapidly and wear boxers; I will laugh out loud at
jokes in my head; I will cry when I read novels and see commercials;

I will have brief moments of silence,

and you will not know.