Jul 17

Song Decoder

We usually appreciate music for it’s rhythm, melody, or beat. However, most writers (and others) would agree that the best music also has capturing, complex, even symbolic lyrics. Similar to literature, these lyrics are interpreted differently by every listener.

What do you hear? Take the lyrics from a favorite song (or any song) and write a poetic or prose  translation. What do these lyrics mean to you? Do you draw from personal experiences in your appreciation of them? What mental images do the lyrics invoke? How does the instrumental portion of the song influence your interpretation of the lyrics?

Remember to list the song title, album, if applicable, and credit the artist. 
Jul 16

Behind the Title

Titles are important - they should catch a reader’s interest, introduce the piece, and describe it in just a few words. Therefore, the process for deciding on a title can be complex. 

Tell us your process. Pick a title from one of your pieces, and tell us about it in a poem or story. What do you associate with this title? How does it relate to the piece it introduces? Is there a separate story about the title itself?
Jul 09

The Swineherds Tale: A Rebellious Epic

An apology: I just realized that a word in the second stanza was mistyped as a word relating to an individual of a certain religous group, which can sometimes be viewed as disrespectful. I sincerely apoligize for any discomfort or offense this accident may have caused, none was intended. If you as a reader ever find something in my writing offensive, please let me know, as that is far from my intentions. It is important to me to respect all those who respect others. 

Crowned with olive branches,
the tangy scent of oil still clinging to their leaves,
the elders, cloud robed and faced,
gathered in meeting.

One rose,
as if to appoint himself
the central jewel in a tarnished crown,
but was intercepted by a hurled pig’s tail

Which lodged itself
between the twisted ruddy lip framing his mouth.
The storm clouds of Zeus himself
Jul 04

Bloody Freedom

Dear America,
What would have happened if we never stole this land?
Never polluted it with our cold superiority,
our ships swarming with sickly death,
our flashing bullets thirsting for blood.

If the people native to this land,
who tended it as a arboreous, continental garden,
were allowed to remain, 
in entirety?

Rather than as the scattered splinters
of the last tree standing
in a sacred forest,
burned to the ground
by the unquenchable flames of greed.

Dear Europe,
how do you feel that your reckless descendants
have polluted The New World
worse than the old?

That they have crushed it beneath 
hundreds, thousands, 6.5 million pairs
of heeled boots and polished dress shoes,
stilettos and Nikes,

Toppling the refuge of ancient forests,
Soiling the clear waters with the mud caking their soles,
Jun 30

Painting with Explosives

I don't know what I'm writing anymore,
I used to build poems like carefully layered paintings,
each brushstroke of the perfect hue,
placed just so.

Now each timeI pick up the brush,
my feelings and thoughts come toppling down 
in a cascade of experiences,
building like a crescendo
resonating through the fibres of my being
shaking the core of my consciousness
the air thrumming with ideas
radioactive particles
all invisible.

Notebook paper is poor armor in a flood.

I've never been able to rationalize my emotions in that way,
abstractify yes,
but not distill into simple,
straight forward language.

You can't right instructions for life.
People have tried,
they always sound at least mildly ridiculous.

Take Self-Help books:
some one else is vicariously showing you how to help yourself.
It's an oxymoron.

May 27

Orange Flower Water

As usual, I used the awkward screen-shot-in-Photos-with-black-border-to-avoid-being-cropped method, but as always, if someone knows a better way, please tell me. Happy Spring!
May 23

Artisan Textiles

I’m obsessed with words,
scratching mental letters into threaded blue jeans,
squeaky wooden table tops,
barren midnight swaths of bed sheets soaked in ink:

A cloth woven on a mental loom,
frameworks of English threaded with fine threads of phrases,
each spun of intertwining tufts of verbage
dyed to minute vibrancy by the arrangement of 26 simple shapes.

The cloth often likens to a photograph, 
broken down to pixels,
numbered quantities of red, green, and blue.
The visual cloth of
symmetrical water or geometric fire:
Language of paradoxical symbolism,
existing in the Duat of expression at once
sliding in and out of focus with the earth.
A conceptualization of a pinch of the world.

Music is woven of many materials,
of flowing vibrations which conjure
engraved images of sparotic movement;
a soaring dance of invisible energy.
Apr 29

First Lines

1. I felt I didn't like him as soon as he walked in the room, that was part of it; the way he walked, like he owned the building, all shoving shoulders and confident smirk.

2: I've always  been the perfect one. The smiling one. The one who gets all her homework done, aces every test, gets perfect scores, the best, the one who makes all her peers jeleous. But no one knows why. 

3: the screams were the beginning, they always were. Then that heavy weight of fear. Of what the hell should I do this time? 

4: I like 158. Can barely swallow 34. Love to eat 289. Not that I get to choose the...what's the word? Oh, right: food. See that's the problem: words - or rather, the lack of. 
Mar 29

Grains of Midnight

I've hidden from the darkness,
twisting, pulsing,
sifting terrifying grains of 
demonic color,
overlaying something deeper than black.

Glowing dust-shadows,
screaming stairs.
Throbbing sounds,
mental sand paper on my sanity:

Apocolyptic chaos in a handryer.
Screams of fury from the mouth of the vacume.

World falling from it's axis,
a golf ball knocked of it's tee,
two inches.

Yank out the cord,
cover the ears.
Shut your eyes.

I've embraced the darkness,
twisting, pulsing,
sifting fascinating grains of 
exsquisite color,
overlaying something deeper than black.

Stars, pin point-notes
of an unfathomable concerto.

Hand-melting snow,
a raw passion of thawing life.
Feb 24
poem 2 comments challenge: Love

Charging My Heart

Something is clogging up
the writing part of my brain,

the part with twists and grooves
like my willowy, grainy cursive,

with my experiences carved in,
and emotions painted like a mural.

The blue magnetic electricity which whizzes between letters,
down through my veins,
and into my key-clicking hands,

dropping words of air and water,
earth and fire, onto the screen.

This lightning is weakened,
building slowly for weeks,

to release one small poem.

For the electricity now takes a different path,
through the arteries,
to the heart.

I know it's there when you look at me,
and I have to bite my lips to keep from smiling.

Or when you say hello,
and I have to sweep over the surface of your eyes,
to avoid getting lost.

I've only used your name once,
almost yelled it,
almost running.

To me,
Feb 07
poem 0 comments challenge: Love

Wild Weather

Please don't cry, 
I don't want those tears
to freeze on your face.

I wish I could protect you better,
If I was fully in this place,
If I wasn't so scared
to challenge fury to a race.

But some cloud has taught me 
to drown myself before I cry,
and I've forgotten how not to
look away while saying goodbye. 

I'm sorry if my hugs
come with fists clentched in pain,
and I want you to know,
some day I'll shut off the rain.

I promised I wouldn't leave you,
when I held your hand in the car,
though somedays I run astray,
I promise it isn't far.

I know you'll have some memories
I wish I could erase,
but I hope time will filter through,
and replace.

Jan 18

My Star is Dust

I'm not the type of person who overtly shows their emotions,
crying, even in front of family,
is intensely humiliating.

I feel vulnerable,
thrown on the pavement and scraped to the bone,
I fear anyone who sees my wound 
will stab me right in it 
preventing me from healing.

Even with those I trust the most.

I do feel,
Often very strongly,
it's just not always in the way people expect.

But I don't like reveling in my emtotions,
I hide them too often,
and sometimes they become too intense;

They flare like a dying star
(though almost silently, of course)
and collapse into a black hole within me,
seeming to suck all thoughts, ideas, feelings
Into one charged speck of space,

Til every movement feels like a chemical reaction,
and I have to do something
or explode
(literally and metaphorically)
Jan 18


 Representing childhood dreams, in day and night. The swirling specks show the playful worlds existing within a child's mind, the feathery clothing mirrors the freedom and innocence of children.

Jan 10

Holding Back the Sea with a Piece of Paper

I smile through a the wall of tears behind my face,
holding the fragments of composure
across a a river of sadness.
Why does it have to be this way?

A portion my life has been shredded, 
I can't see them that way ever again.
This is what they were hiding?
Is this what they are?
How could they?

They tore you apart 

You were forced to piece yourself together,
pull your fragments up while the floor fell away.
I hold mine to comfort,
your efforts were self protection,
and all you ever got was dismissal and shame.

How did you come out the other side,
without terrible bruises?

They were there,
they blossomed from anger and misunderstanding,
but the purple has long faded.

The only traces are left on your heart,
but when they're nudged,
the pain comes leaping back.

So I keep my face calm,
taking this bitter gift,