Sep 05

Line Break, Episode 20 Part 2: A Celebration of Writing


Hi everyone! This week I talked about the words and worlds that have shaped me as a writer, including several poems and books. I wanted this episode to be a chance for you all to learn more about my writing and what inspires it, as well as a reflection of what Line Break really is: a celebration of writing. 
I hope you enjoy!

Audio download:
Podcast20Part2_Edited!!.mp3
Aug 22

Line Break, Episode 20: Part 1

Aug 08

Line Break, Episode 19

Aug 03

to the immortal jellyfish

somedays, i wish i were you.
 
i’m stunned, again and again,
by the way you defy death-
by your ability to sense danger, to sense the
predator slinking closer and closer,
his nose slowly approaching,
his mouth smirking and his claws reaching out,
and then return to
your juvenile state.
by the ability to stick out a tentacle
and grab time by its collar,
to whisper your command in its ear,
to watch as the moments of your life
fall in reverse. in a split second,
the danger has retreated,
your body has shrunk,
your eyes have closed,
and you are once more
the creature that cannot be broken,
that cannot be harmed by the harsh world that
pulls the end of the rope too sharply.
 
i wonder if you know your own power.
i wonder if you smile as you escape
death time and time again,
as your body molds to the soft ocean floor
and you return to childhood.
 
Aug 03

Billy Collins

I read a book of your poetry last night,
as the world around me grew dim.
I slowly turned the pages and smiled at the windows
in your words, the way they took me to a room
with vases of flowers, and to a place
where all the versions of myself exist at once.
I saw bits of myself in every stanza,
in every metaphor that draws you in
then carefully sets you back next to a bowl of pears.
I saw my strong self and my fragile self
in your poetry-
I saw the part of me that aches
to write everything, to somehow capture
all the words that are alive, to feel
the solid weight of them in my hand.
Sometimes when I’m writing I feel desperate,
like I’m not moving fast enough,
like all these phrases will drift away
if I don’t lift my hand out fast enough to catch them.
It’s like walking in reverse,
or falling down Alice’s rabbit hole.
The unbreakable darkness that surrounds me,
Jul 25

Line Break, Episode 18: Dialogue Edition

Hi everyone! Dialogue, the special edition of Line Break, is a group discussion about philosophical writing topics. This week I spoke with LadyMidnight and irishjayne about metaphorical authorship, when a writer's poem no longer belongs to them, using YWP as a virtual notebook, and the line between offering feedback and taking over someone else's writing. I hope you enjoy this new format!
-Iris 
 
Audio download:
Podcast18edited!!!.mp3
Jul 11

Line Break, Episode 17

Jul 08

Persona

I feel like I’ve been given this
ginormous responsibility to
be alive in the world-
I’m forced by gravity and                                     
nature to be true to who I am
 
but I don’t know what that means.
 
Who am I as a human,
who am I as a teenager,
who am I as a student?
Who am I when the moonlight refuses to
shine on my window and my lamp dims out,
leaving me in absolute darkness
with faint scratches from the
staticky radio?
 
I don’t know who I am.
 
Sometimes I sit and wait,
and wait,
and look out at the birds on the lawn,
and wait,
and cross my fingers behind my back,
thinking that maybe I’ll have an epiphany
and suddenly I’ll know exactly who I am.
 
Then again,
 
I’m never the same person.
I’m constantly growing and evolving
and there shouldn’t be a paper box
surrounding me,
telling me my name,
Jul 08

dimensions

i’m trying to write in three dimensions
so that every word is echoed
in your ear-
every syllable is resting on your tongue,
every metaphor is tugging on your sleeve
i’m trying to write because
i feel so desperate to make
this poem heard-
i feel like
i’m trying to take out all
my organs at once so that you
know i’m not trying to conceal
anything.
i’ve been in your place before.
i’ve sat slightly beyond your
shoulder and cringed as you
read my title wrong,
left the audience feeling shaky and
unsettled, skipped right over my metaphors
and final words,
made me feel homesick for a better time
when you didn’t maul my poem into being yours,
when my poetry was just my poetry
and i didn’t feel like i was
walking in reverse at every open mic
and letting the stiff plastic chairs
have more presence than me.
i remember a time
when i didn’t call poetry

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