Julianne Palumbo

On Writing

Am I different
simply because
I sense poetry in things?

Because I hear words
in the ping of the rain,
in the clicking of heels
against the pavement,
in the crackling of the radiator?

Am I different
because sometimes the words
haunt me?
They overload my mind,
threatening to rupture my brain
until I free them,
their only means of escape,
to be written down on paper.

The words come
when they come,
but they never come
around my classmates.
They come only
when I don't need them
like when I'm alone,
in the shower,
doing homework,
or saying my prayers.

But mostly the words come

Maybe it's the darkness
that makes them stream so clear
or the knowing
they can flow

I slip from my bed,
turn on my lamp
and unlock my diary,
hurrying to get them all down
before they merge into one.
Not sure if I'm hearing them
or making them up
and whether they'll still make sense
in the morning.

Sometimes the golden-edged pages
of my journal
stick together,
taunting me.
Other times they fall apart,
almost as if they know
how much I need to write.

“Stuffing Lockers” The Passed Note

“18” in Eunoia Review

“Oh, Christmas Tree” Ancient Paths in December 2016

“The Afterimage” in Red Bird Chapbooks November 2016

“On Turning Fifty” in the First Literary Review East March 2017

“The Blues” in The First Literary Review East May 2017

“Cleaning Day” in Mom Egg Review vol. 15 April 2017

“Fifty Something” in Crack the Spine Anthology

“Curating Words” and “Word Envy” in Minute Magazine Issue 2 2017

“Writer’s Block” and “Making Alfredo” Sunlight Press

“On the Day You Got Tattooed” in The Folded Word July 25, 2018

The Voices Project June 4, 2018 “How to Be Grateful in Middle Age” and “Tangled” June 14, 2018

"If I Tell You About Motherhood. . .," Mamalode, August 1, 2016

"Fifty Something," Crack the Spine, Issue 183

"Knowing Prayer," Ancient Paths

"Stuffing Lockers," The Passed Note

"Your Poem Sings to Me," Ibbetson Street, #33

"Funny How," Kindred Magazine Winter, 2014

"Silence," Poetry East

"Like Old Men in Musty Grey Overcoats," Wild Goose Poetry Review, November 15, 2013

"Stuffing Bears," YARN, June 10, 2013

"One by One," Mamalode

"Sunset," Rust & Moth, Summer 2015

"The Kitchen Doesn't Answer Me," Kindred Magazine, Winter 2014

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