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Tag: writing

“Sleepwalker” & The Inspiration Behind It

 
Happy Thursday, everyone! I’m arriving a tad late to the party again today, but I hope you each had a wonderful day, and I appreciate, again, you joining me in my writing journey. I’ve been doing things a little differently this week, writing every day, with a combination of free-style pieces and prompt-driven work.

Here is my poem for today, and the prompt/inspiration behind it. I hope you enjoy it, and thanks for the read! I hope you’ll share your own inspiration, and work.

 
SLEEPWALKER

My husband asks me why I leave the bed to sleep somewhere else        why
I don’t come when he calls, &—I have no answer for this. This scares me more

than the image of my nighttime body lurking elsewhere in the house, what I could be
getting myself into, what wall or street, or what small matter, finger sliding

on small screen, clicking ‘like’ on items my mind renders anonymous in its present
state, perhaps awake, perhaps now a part of the dreamscape that follows me

in the dark, has me rolling & begging for what little rest
That my aching joints & migraine temples can get. My daughter rests down

the hall, her snores floating & locked like little clouds out there. I imagine
waiting there for comfort, never opening the door, never looking, but some part of me

always listening—for her snores, her rustle in the night, for some other sign
that she will be more like me than I want her to be, & me always wondering

if there’s some other way for me to quiet that part of her down.

 
 
 
 
Prompt: Today’s prompt comes in the form of inspiration from my daily life, as a reminder that sometimes you don’t NEED an exact prompt in your life to do some writing! Think about something mundane and recurring in your life, exaggerate its features, and bring it into a piece.
 
 

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“I Remember Her Hair” & The Prompt That Led Me Here

 
Happy Wednesday, everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying your week. I’m doing things a little differently this week, writing poems every day, but in a mix of free-writing and prompted writing.

Here is my poem for today, and the prompt that inspired it. Thanks for being here, and thanks for the read. I hope that the prompt inspires you, and that you’ll share your poem in the comments!

 
I REMEMBER HER HAIR

I remember the crack in the ceiling by the front door, still creeping. I remember
the chair in the room, gone now, where I used to look out on our sycamore tree,

our neighbors, our fence that leaned a little bit with snow. I remember the hallway full
of her footfalls, her own small herd. I remember her hair, draped down

the length of the couch, our laps, on her pillow. I remember how it felt
in our fingers as we separated the strands, sunflower from gold

from chestnut and mouse. I remember its length, how soft,
the curls. I remember how the rain hit—our windows, the fog, the fingerprints,

pawprints, the dust. I remember planting flowers in the backyard.
I remember loving you late in the night.

How far off it all looks now. Bursting open.
I remember.

 
 
Prompt: “I Remember” by Joe Brainard, found here.
 
 

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“Where It’s Gone” & The Prompt Behind It

 
Hi everyone! Happy Tuesday! I’m doing things a little differently starting this week, sharing a poem and the writing prompt behind it (I’m back to writing poems each day, some written free-style, and some by prompt).

I know I’m a little late to the party today, but I still wanted to check in. Here is my poem, and its prompt. Thanks for being here, and thanks for reading! I hope you will share your work in the comments!

 
WHERE IT’S GONE

My room disappears one item
at a time: becoming less like the place I go

to rest my weary body, and more
like a place where strangers crawl, searching

the corners for stray marks. I’ve already
mourned this city once and didn’t plan

to do it again. The windows, the trees,
were mine. But now as the suitcase fills

and I see the items creeping up the sides,
I see bare walls, bare windows, until

the trees outside seem to bare themselves, too,
whiting themselves out.

 
 
Prompt: “Will Wonders Never Cease?”, from The Time Is Now via National Geographic, found here.
 
 

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“All My Things Are Empty Now” & The Prompt That Wrote It

 
Hello, everyone! I hope you had a nice weekend and are enjoying your Monday. Starting this week, I’m going to do something a little different. I’m back to writing every day, with a mixture of free-writing and prompt-driven writing.

I’m going to share a poem each day that is driven by a prompt, followed by the prompt that “wrote” the poem. I’d love it if you’d tackle the prompt, as well, to see what you come up with, or to share another prompt that you enjoy.

Here’s my poem and prompt for today. Thanks for being here, and thanks for reading.

 
ALL MY THINGS ARE EMPTY NOW

the kitchen and its table
                dark corners and wax        the bathroom        cabinets
extra items            stored     up     and     away
                wide     open     rooms                   quieter now
the walls and their hangings            my daughter            ’s friends
                cats gone missing               somewhere deep
the dust                the shelves
                the curtain            what white is left hanging
off of it                scarves thrown
over the back        of a chair
                (my suitcase        is full)     what moon
is left in the sky            what stars        what dreams
what        what
 
 

Today’s prompt: “Elegant Things,” drawn from Ivan Morris’s The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, prompt found here. I hope you’ll share your work in the comments!
 
 

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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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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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Hey!! A New Feature is Coming to My Blog Very, Very Soon!!

 

Yesterday evening, I wrote a sort of long-time-no-see post, followed by a post that very well may have opened a huge door for me. I shared how a poem from my earlier writing life had hugely intersected with a specific incident from my day yesterday, and I came to a realization after sharing that post: I had known before that being pregnant and becoming a mother were changing me as a writer… but I had failed to realize that I also have something to say about that process. Something that may be entirely worthwhile to write about and, ultimately, for you to read about.

11751772_10153427067727118_1443220781355402859_nThere are many secrets involved in being and becoming a mother—many misconceptions, many questions left unanswered (until experienced), many details left unnoticed, despite how beautiful and raw they can be. Becoming a writer first and a mother later in life gave me the opportunity to re-explore what it means to be sentimental, what it means to write about passion, joy, and what it means to be gentle or angry or vulnerable. I wanted to push the limits on what it meant to write about these experiences, and write about them well, and honestly. I wanted to thoroughly explore what it meant to be pregnant, and a new mother, and many of the resulting poems made their way into my circulating poetry manuscript.

These are the sorts of things I want to talk about, and how they became involved in the writing process. Not only how we write about these things, but the ways in which they change how we write. How I’ve changed as a writer in becoming a mother… and perhaps even ways in which being a writer has challenged my thinking as a mother.

Now don’t worry, if these subjects aren’t your “thing,” because you won’t see these posts all the time. Rather, every once in a while, in-between the rough draft poems and the book reviews, I might post something like, “Hey, here is something I just learned as a mother, and here’s what it’s got me thinking about as a writer.” I’m tentatively thinking of titling these posts “First She Was a Poem” or “Cadence on the Swings” (both of which feel fitting, to me). I hope this interests some of you as much as it interests me.

Until Later, Best ~ from me.

 

 

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A Letter to the Candidate

 

                                                           —in response to the 2012 presidential election

 

It is winter, and you become separated,
disconnected, resumed—it is winter, and
you become a child. It is as if you are—
as if you always were—one body within
a much larger body, one window within
another. There is furniture where
the organs should have been, except for the eyes.
The eyes move, the eyes see, the eyes change color
with the weather. There are posters everywhere,
of children—of children eating, of children
eating goats, goat eyes, goat legs, goat kidneys.
The lack of donors.
A car careens into the intersection,
a truck merges into traffic as if reading
the definition to altruism.
It is winter, and it is a moment, and
it is a car and a truck, colliding.
The lack of legs, the eating of goat legs,
the donation of other parts, the taking.
The taking of children, their removal.
In a dream, I remember you stole my child.
You swallowed her hair over and over.
Your fingers never stopped touching her shoes.
The posters cluster together as if attracted,
making room for other posters, covering every surface—
the floor, the ceiling, the heart, the left kidney—
except the eyes that continue to look out
through the larger body, the body in the world,
the body that exists in the satellites,
that was made somewhere in the stars and
delivered through other larger bodies,
with smaller bodies watching.
It is winter, and it is the election.
Your smaller body turns and collides
with poster after poster, your smaller body turns
black and blue with its lack of water,
its lack of experience on the West coast.
There are words, and there are colors,
inside and outside the larger body, and
the color of your smaller body changes,
bleeding, corroded, dead.
And yet it is not quite dead.
It lasts until the final stretch, when your larger body
places itself on the stage, giving a speech and then—
you realize blue does not turn red with wind.
Red and blue combine.

 

 

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A Poem About Writing Better Poems

 

The next time you write about a man speaking
to an object, consider whether the object

should speak back. Particularly
if it is an animal.

Particularly if it is a red mongoose who
has just defeated two King cobras who learned how

to dovetail in the dark. Particularly if it is a woman:
try to portray me, she says, as if I were not

naked or in a painting or somehow filled
with red leaves.

You turn the page and continue to write, so
continue to write as if nothing has happened.

The sky overflows with intermingling clouds;
the apples in your kitchen begin to rot;

your cat’s food dish empties, and yet,
you do not care. You fill another page

as if it were only the world passing.
A painter says, try to include an object

that is otherwise out of place,
that is somehow…disembodied.

You write about a woman
without her clothes.

You write about an eye that washed up
somewhere in southern Florida, all blue.

From a swordfish, they say.
You write the disembodied object into her hands.

You can see the reflection
of her face in the surface,

looking off.

 

 

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Reading e.e.cummings (a found poem)

 

In lieu of e.e.cummings’ birthday—October 14, 1894—I have been reading his poems and wanted to create a found poem of some of his work. I hope you enjoy it.

Happy Birthday, e.e.cummings. You were one of my first poetic loves.

 

a found poem, a lost poem

 

into the strenuous briefness:

look, my fingers, which
touched you

and your warm and crisp
littleness
—see? do not resemble my fingers

that move

into the hair-thin tints of yellow dawn

into the women-coloured twilight

the other day

i was passing a certain

gate

i looked up and thought to myself: if day has to become night
this is a beautiful way

rain fell (as it will in spring)

ropes of silver gliding from sunny thunder

into freshness

as if god’s flowers were
pulling upon bells of
gold

 

*

 

all lines in my poem, “a found poem, a lost poem,” are pulled from E.E.Cummings, Selected Poems, edited by Richard S. Kennedy. New York: Liveright, 1994.

 

 

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