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Category: Blogging & Poems

The purpose of this category is sort-of implied, but this is meant for the day-to-day, more general literary thoughts and reactions in life that do not specifically “fit” into the other categories. This is life at its “roundest,” where writing and literature finds their way into the daily.

What Growing Up Tastes Like

 
                —A poem today after a long hiatus

                —Happy International Day of the Girl

 
WHAT GROWING UP TASTES LIKE

 
I sit with my windows open, drink of the air
as if it were the gumdrop from childhood

that never melted, that never tasted
quite like the color coating implied:

daffodil yellow, all-of-your-dreams-come-true-
blue, make-a-wish-like-it-matters-white

cotton. Now, I chew on gum only until
the flavor is out, long before it can turn

gray skeleton, harlequin moon, empty lake
by an extinguished fire.

 
 

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My Reading with Write Night! Next Up: Dinosaurs.

 

Last night, I had the extremely great opportunity to perform as one of the five Selected Readers for Lit Literary Collective’s Write Night in May, organized by Krista Cox and Ultreia, Inc.

Thank you, to Krista and Lit Literary and everyone, for having me. I haven’t read in over a year, and I needed it; the company was great; and my fellow readers were excellent.

Here are a few photos from my little sliver of the night, taken by my wonderful friend, Jenn Adams. Thank you, Jenn, for being there, and for taking these and a video.

And thank you to my friends, Jonathan Adams and Joe Eggleston, for also being there and supporting me. You all make me laugh, and you make me feel more deeply, which is what this whole big artistic world is all about.

Next up in my little world of reading: dinosaur poems in Chicago. Stay tuned!!

 

 

 

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Reading at LangLab Tonight! & Poem Featured as Creative Writing Prompt

 

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying your week. Two pieces of fun news for this afternoon—

I’ll be reading tonight among friends at LangLab in South Bend at 7pm as a part of Lit Literary Collective‘s WRITE NIGHT with Ultreia, Inc. You can find more about it here; I hope you’ll join us!

And I also found out yesterday that my poem, “Timetable,” previously published by the beautiful Rogue Agent (and featured partially above), was used as a creative writing prompt online! I am so pleased and flattered. You can check it out, and the other writing prompts, over here.

Have a wonderful night, all! If I don’t see you, I hope you enjoy the sunshine and get some writing done. If I do see you, I hope you enjoy the poetry!

Until Later, Best ~ from me

 

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A Walk in the Snow

 

When we were younger, we leveled
footprints in the woods—off

the path, of course, down deep
where the sun could barely

find us, where we blended
with the trees and hid behind

the shrubbery. I found a deer,

small, its eyes glazed and wide, still hiding
from the storm the night before.

Left berries. Made scarce. We could barely
make our way back up that track,

so steep, the rock, the roots.
We made it. We told no one. We

did not say why. We did not
say why.

 

 

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My Dumb Heart

 

                —To my fellow Benders, I threw on my grief.

 

MY DUMB HEART

 

is open wide and overflows with water. How I manage
to stay alive is beyond me. I like to think that I am more

than a wallflower, that others see something in me, that the love
I feel swells out in swarms, but sometimes I wonder what good

that will do—after the apocalypse, what will be left but a swarm
of beetles—what but exit signs, laundry, and dirt,

my sadness like a cloth underneath—still present and wet
with earth and never clean again, never reflecting

sun or moon or teeth quite like the first time. My sadness goes
with me like a cloud. My sadness rides around with me

in the backseat. It wears a black cape and snakeskin boots
that click down afternoon hallways. It trades, sometimes, for

feather-duster wings when it is a she and she
is in the mood for forgiveness. She eats chocolates by the handful

and offers them over silently. Every time
they taste like tears, because they were not meant

for someone like me, and yet
I try them, because there is a persistence

to them. They bring out the hope in me. I look up, like moon, and I think
that is what I love most about her. Every time she trades

for her wings, she keeps those snakeskin boots.

 

 

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Dear Emily—

 

Hope is the thing with feathers.

 

Here is a truth: I thrive
on hope. But yet, here is another: if you fill

a pillow with feathers, I cannot sleep—
I wake in the middle of the night,

heavy-chested and warm, throwing off the dark
as if it were a spare blanket meant

for the shadow sleeping
in the spare room. I will not lie to you,

I am lonely; I am restless; I dream
that others will recognize

the potential in me like a cloud. You prod
at that hope in me like a swarm of bees.

But when the winter comes, let me throw on my grief
like gloves because my hands will be frozen anyway—

without them, I will not be able to write you letters,
and how sad would that be, how sad your grave

would be without all these folded sheets
of paper—but really, how sad

I would be without you. Dear Emily, how I
have turned back to you

in the fog—

 

—for Kelcey Parker Ervick’s Letter to Dead Authors exercise at her reading yesterday at LangLab

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My 24-hour Crash-and-Burn and My 30/30 Project

Hi friends!

April is only a few short days away, and I want to share a little about what I’m committing to in my own writing life.

First of all, yes, I am going to complete the 30/30 challenge: aka, 30 poems in 30 days, or, write daily.

BUT, to also raise money for my organization Write around the Bend, I’m going to write for 24 hours straight on Friday, April 1, through Saturday, April 2, 6pm to 6pm! If you would like to pledge an amount per poem or per hour, or offer a flat-rate donation, ALL proceeds will go to the needs of Write around the Bend. Let’s make something happen.

Thank you all so much for your support, and I’ll see you back here on Friday!

Until Later, Best ~ from me.

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National Poetry Month Goals!!

 

Hi everyone!

I hope everyone was able to get out and enjoy the first day of spring a little bit yesterday. It was about 40 degrees here, with beautifully crisp air. We wound up barbecuing out with some friends, so it was a great time. It gave me a chance to pause, and to think about my writing life a little bit, too.

I haven’t really had the chance—or given myself the time—in the past to plan for National Poetry Month, but since I have ten more days, I thought now would be a good time to make some commitments!

First, I’m going to get back into the swing of posting a poem each day. That has been a really fun venture and one that I haven’t stuck with as well as I had originally hoped. So April will be a great time to recommit!

Second, I’m going to do NaPoWriMo and write one poem per day, BUT I’m putting a special twist on it—I have started a blog called “April and May” to invite writers to attempt to write one poem per day throughout April… but if they can only write every other day, or every few days, they’ll have May to make up for it. So I’m hoping to write a poem per day, or every other day, throughout the months of April and May, and I am inviting other writers to do the same.

And third, my largest plan is to review one book of poetry per day. It’s a big venture, and my reviews may not be QUITE as long as usual, but they will be as detailed. If any writers would like to take this challenge up with me, or if anyone would REALLY like to see their book reviewed during April, please be in touch with me (this would also be a great opportunity to get some author interviews in!).

Thank you all for your support! I can’t wait to hear from some of you, and to see your writing popping up around the web! Until Later, All Best ~ from me.

 

 

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A Poem with a Gun Inside

 

It beats. It hums. My heart—

what else could beat so cold and low

as this : make me a list. give me

a kiss : Kalamazoo, I love you. Paris,

Baghdad, and Beruit, I love you. What more harm

can we inflict than gunfire

on a summer’s day, a winter walk, what life

can we take but ours : for every trigger

that’s pulled, down falls another mother,

another son, and I don’t think you’re ready

for that, I don’t think you’re ready

for what that calls up

in the hearts around the world—but take it.

Pull the trigger. There’s nothing more

I can hide from you, no secret,

no immortality spell, just me

and my skin and my heart

and what’s inside it : I believe

you have the power to stop. So stop.

So choose. Because darling, I love you too.

 

 

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Black & White Poetry Jam This Weekend!

Black and White Poetry Jam

Hi everyone! I have a great event to share with you! This Saturday, right before the Bowl, is the Black and White Poetry Jam at the Potawatomi Greenhouse Conservatory, right across the street from Indiana University South Bend, backed up against Kids’ Kingdom.

 
Here is all of the information I have on the event, as it is distributed on Facebook:

“The subtlest and most pervasive of all influences are those which create and maintain the repertory of stereotypes. We are told about the world before we see it. We imagine most things before we experience them.” -Walter Lippman

Do you find yourself questioning why some things are dubbed as ok while others are not? Do you ask yourself “who cares” or “why is no one addressing this” when seeing the news? Are you one of the few who is not afraid to speak out or simply listen about the many injustices happening in our world? If you answered yes to any of these, then the first ever South Bend Black and White Poetry Jam is where you need to be at. On February 6th, 2016 from 8:00pm to 10:30pm at the Potawatomi Conservatories, 15 local poets will perform poetic pieces on injustice. We will gather to change opinions, broaden minds, push boundaries, and overall escape the herd of sheeple so many of us have been sucked into. It’s time to paint a Black and White picture and address the elephant in the room.

– Free Admission
– Ages 21+ only (*ID’s will be checked at the door*)
– Open Bar (Please be prepared to tip the bartender)
– Dress to Impress: Semi Formal, Black and White colored attire
– On-site photography
– Donations towards the event and preceding events accepted (Please contact Jamelle Beavers or Allison LaPlace)
– Sponsorship opportunities available (Please contact Jamelle Beavers or Allison LaPlace)

 
If you’re looking for someone to hang out with for the evening, look for this girl with thick, wavy brown/blonde hair and a black dress. Hope to see you there!

 

 

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