#GPoem Week 13: A Selection of “Mask” Poems

December 5th, 2010

I write gogyohka. It’s a simple five-line form of poetry created by Enta Kusakabe. As I started to dig deeper and deeper into the form, I decided to offer up a weekly prompt on Twitter to encourage people to write gogyohka. #Gpoem was born.

Why #Gpoem? Two things: I hope to see new people learning about and trying to write gogyohka. I also hope to see new and creative uses of words.

My thirteenth week of #Gpoem was October 25-31, 2010: during Halloween here in the U.S. As a nod to the holiday, I picked “mask” for the word of the week. During that week, things really took off. I found many new poets twisting the word, taking the mask on and off.

These two poems stood out and made me think this was a special week for #Gpoem.

A face in repose
smoothly neutral
stripped of any mask
eyes gaze within


Then, a response:

I never knew
if a sleeping face
was truly unmasked
or is sleep instead
the perfect disguise?


I decided to gather a few of my favorite mask poems, and I invited @marousia to join me. Here are my picks:

a runny nose
all hidden
behind the mask

@chicoconutty (Chico)

of the heart
for the mask
of love

@beezknez (Beez)

he found
his mask
in between
his parent’s

@Merlacky (Radler Zpheitor)

hidden in black
feeling protected
behind a mask
of glass
as I drive on empty streets…


With each mask
ever more elaborate
we think ourselves learned
yet only the naked face
reaches enlightenment.

@JGChesney (Jennifer G. Chesney)

The arsonist
donned his mask
of propriety
and watched in the firelight
of his handiwork

@marcosarroyos (Marcos Arroyos)

And to close, here’s one of my own:

the mask
may be on
I still come here
as me

@TinaNguyen (Christina Nguyen)

More? I asked @marousia to gather her favorite mask poems. You can find her selections here.

2 Responses to “#GPoem Week 13: A Selection of “Mask” Poems”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tina Nguyen, Heather and Tina Nguyen, Tina Nguyen. Tina Nguyen said: What's under the mask? A special selection from #Gpoem week 13 on my blog at http://bit.ly/GpoemMask. […]

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