Tag: poetry

Here comes the sun

Poetry Month always comes at this time of year: April, when I’m weighed down with school work and coming out of (hopefully) the stark sad of winter.

I must admit, I haven’t been so inspired.

This winter has been long and cold and snow-filled. I think we’ve all taken a beating, you know? Amidst all the funk of below-zero temps and incapacitating snow, my job shifted a bit and granted me more freedom to feel… that loneliness.

I’m not trying to complain here, maybe just reminisce about the winter behind (because I’m only going on and up), but after last year’s loss, I think there is a hole that I still haven’t learned to fill completely.

The good things have been monumental really: poetry readings with amazing friends and colleagues, a lovely partner who supports and understands, selling art and feeling proud for it, connecting with photography, beautiful skies and concrete, all of it. So much of it.

The hope is in the weather breaking, the renewal of life and love and getting something back from the world. Always.

So this note is just to breathe and digest. I hope you are all doing the same. Especially all my local peeps… We’ve earned it after this winter. Be solid. Hang tight. The sun is coming…

 

Ain’t nobody got time for pain

This is what I do know:

It’s nearly 5:00 p.m. on Friday, payday Friday, that is.

Binging on Halloween treats makes me feel like a trash bag.
My life feels a lot like Tetris.
It’s November. Bring it on, November. Can you believe that?

The only super exciting thing about November, besides the true death of everything colorful outside (I kid), is the November PAD Chapbook Challenge 2013. If you don’t know, it’s a little poetry challenge. You’re given a prompt every day for a poem. SO YOU WRITE ONE POEM A DAY FOR A WHOLE MONTH. You can do it; I dare you.

It’s inspired by the more well-known, NaNoWriMo. This challenge is actually where you attempt to write a WHOLE NOVEL in a month, since November is apparently National Novel Writing Month. (Get the acronym-ish title now?) But I don’t know about writing 50,000 words in a month—unless I was suffering from verbal Dysentery.

Anyway.

Ain’t nobody got time for that [pain].

I had this very serious post in mind. It was about pain. The kinds of pain, reaction/action… etc. I sat in my car before class on Tuesday, before I even went to the hospital to see my mom, writing about it. “Pain is subjective.” “No pain, no gain!” “You’re a pain in the ass!”  “I haven’t got time for the pain…”

Wait. That last one is a Carly Simon song.

I guess what I’m getting at, or what I was attempting to get at, is that we accumulate pain, maybe, like scratches on a wall. But it’s not just one type of pain; there are so many shapes that pain can take. Some are more triangular, some round and heavy like an oversized marble. And each pain, then, elicits both a reaction and an action. The reaction being more of the “involuntary” sort—auto-spat. The action seemingly becomes a way to cope.

Example:

John’s dog dies.

Reaction: He cries and loses his appetite.

Action: He doesn’t tell anyone, and he never gets another pet.

See what I mean? For me, this helps me to look at my pain. It’s good to find the source, of course, but also define it in my terms—the “subjective” part. I like to examine what has changed because of it. Perhaps, I am doing this because so much of me has changed—not just my living sitch, my relationships, my creative endeavors, but my core. For the better, I hope. In ways. It’s just been a dynamic (geez, that’s being kind) two years. YES, TWO. It’s like an obstacle course. Maybe, just maybe, making it to the other side is what has changed me and not the events specifically. Maybe this will show me that, not matter what, I can do obstacle courses.

Except for rope climb activities. I suck at that.

Happy Friday/Weekend/November, everyone!
Oh, and don’t forget to write your poem!

mt

Feeling lightning

You ever just look at something, a scene or an object, or maybe just the colors of light crawling through your window and get a feeling? A big feeling?

I can’t really explain it, but in an attempt to capture what it is I’m feeling, I write poetry. Sometimes poetry doesn’t make sense, people may think. It’s “obscure,” or “cryptic,” or “hard to follow.” For me, though, poetry is a way to conjure a feeling in me and in others… And sometimes those feelings are neither logical nor linear.

A good part of my academic writing career was spent trying to untangle it all, to make phrases and terms more everyday, to put a story or narrative to it (the feelings), but what I have allowed myself (post-college) is to just… write. I have silenced the committee, somewhat, and learned to trust what I write. But this isn’t just poems.

A couple years ago, a barista friend of mine from Starbucks asked to use my friend and I as her thesis project. She came over, made us doodle or color or paint, all the while allowing us to just be, just emote. Before that moment, I had rarely given myself the chance to draw or paint from me—instead I copied and mimicked the world around me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have loads of respect for those who can paint as detailed and realistic as a photograph, but this is the very thing that kept me from painting and doodling more. I wasn’t pressured to create an exact replica, but permitted to explore my own creativity. Wow!

I can only assume this is what happened with my writing. Once I was able to transcend the lines of reality (along with my own version of it) words became completely unfettered for me. It seemed boundless.

Today as I left my office, that 8 to 5 home-away-from-home, I caught a feeling. It was something in the way the sun, lower than usual, hit the glass door, the golden-orange of it. I don’t know how to explain the feeling. A cup of nostalgia. It took me somewhere. It reminded me that the world isn’t so linear, isn’t so black and white.

I can trace the world around me with a sharp pencil, memorize inches and hues, or I can take all that lightning in my chest and use it to shake the world, make it my own.

I hope you do too. I hope you wrangle your own storms and stop trying to chase everyone else’s.

mt

National Poetry Month Loser

http://meghantutolo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/zombies_honey_badgers_slacker_mug1.jpg

SLACKER!

Ah, I must say, I’ve been slacking on keeping up with so many poems. I’d like to blame it on the barrage of death, illness and the end of the term. Also, my newly rabid ukulele addiction. Any down time seems to be devoted to strumming and singing and pretending I know what I’m doing. Still, I’m not giving up on the poems. I think this bout of “Writer’s Block” has come at a lame time, but I continue to push on.

Bukowski said: “Writing about writer’s block is better than not writing at all.”

Not sure if I agree… but I thought in honor of the month, I’d share a poem I’ve written during this mission. This was Day 12: A Broken Poem.

THE BILLIONTH BREAK-UP POEM
Clicking copy/paste
back-brain replaying how
she left me, left
the zipper down on us             too much
this deep-space kind of silence. Maybe
we didn’t need the finale, or
sitcom-grief of all those years
not-saying        counts, maybe,
for something. The same curtains
hang neon in windows where we
don’t sleep now. I don’t know
why I drive by, but some nights
it’s easier than trying to get
around it.

In the meantime, my assignment to all y’all poets and writers: write a poem today. Even if you aren’t doing the challenge. My prompt to you, if you care to play…

Write a sonnet, or simply a 14-line poem, with the theme of “something you love too much.” We all have one of those things—whether it’s a person or a video game or a imported red wine. Go!

mt

The sky might, indeed, be falling…

Yesterday, I told D: “I think the world is trying to kill me.”

It’s nearly the end of March and besides meeting someone lovely, 2013 hasn’t been so kind. I have come to realize, perhaps just admit aloud, that this year is just the lame sequel of 2012—and it’s getting old. An extension of the shit storm, as it stands.

I could depress myself with the tally, the list of nasties I’ve encountered thus far, but I’ll spare us all. But first, not without dump-trucking on you poor folk a brief synopsis of my weekend:

It began Friday with my work computer crashing, finding out that all is lost hard-drive-wise, and then my Gram’s passing. The weekend ended with me pulling something in my back and becoming a near-invalid, twinging on the floor.

Loss isn’t something I yet know how to process. I thought… maybe since I was hit with it early on that I’d have learned the ropes or something. But I haven’t. I wish I could describe the way it feels in a way that makes it tangible, easier to choke down in the night when it hovers above me like a wet memory. But I don’t have anything to strangle. Not yet.

There are bright things to look for—one of which being April, National Poetry Month. And guess what time it is again? Poem-a-Day Contest. I’m gearing up to get busy.

I thought it might be cool to share some poems on my blog, each day. We’ll see! Maybe form poems [not mine.]

Anyone else doing anything for National Poetry Month? If not, try it out? It’d be a great way to start writing something. Even if they’re haikus!

Wednesdays feel like hope,
sweltering and nondescript—
get over the hump.

There’s my Wednesday poem. Enjoy! hahah.. feel free to share your haiku!
mt

Verse-fil & “Things”

Ever since the dawning, or near-dawning of Livejournal [y’all remember that one?] I’ve been following a Poem-A-Day blogger by the name of exceptindreams. While I don’t check-in every day, I catch myself going there for inspiration often. It’s always good to get a mix of words—words you might not find sifting through your typical venues. Get outside of your little world, you know?

What I love about this particular poetry blog is that most posted poems seem more modern than not, which, for a hep cat like myself, is sort of a breath of fresh air. It’s not that I don’t dig the classics, but it’s like music, you know? You want someone to show you something fresh, new. After you’ve had the same song on repeat for lifetimes, you want a new beat to dance to.

What prompted this post is my coming across a poem there. For my love of Mars and this simple, yet stunning, idea of looking from the outside in—I’m posting this nugget by Wyn Cooper. I’ve been fascinated with space for forever, but only within the last 5 years have I been so… consumed? Mars is one of my favorites. I fell in-love with Mars after happening upon a National Geographic photo: a tiny white sun setting in blue hues. How small the sun was! I promptly taped it to my wall, rising and falling near it for years.

But those aren’t the only reasons for this post. That poem stirred something in me for other reasons. About a week or more ago, I was having quite the conversation with a friend’s husband. We were all out to dinner waiting to stuff our yaps at Max & Erma’s when I asked:

“So, let’s say you didn’t have any kids or anyone dependent on you that way… would you travel the world’s first mission to Mars, knowing that you wouldn’t be coming back? You would be—hopefully—gleaning tons of insight about space and helping advance our knowledge and technology, but… it’s a suicide mission. You can’t come back when it’s all over.”

I got quite the look for this one.

“What, am I stupid?” he blasted from across the table. “What a stupid question! Why in the hell would I want to do that?!”

I tried to explain that it would probably be incredible, even just the experience: sites and sounds and feelings. Still, he had a pretty cross look on his face.

“Well, would you?” he asked, turning it around on me.

“Yes.” And then I mumbled something sarcastic about having a football field named after me or something.

This isn’t the only fight we’ve had over a dinnertime discussion. In fact, we spent days arguing, stopping then picking back up at our next encounter, about why “I don’t want to be rich.” Once more, I got the what-are-you-stupid? face.

“The only people you ever hear saying that they don’t want money are poor people!” he spat.

“Not true. There is more to life than money. Yeah, it would be nice to be more comfortable and less stressed come bill time, but I know myself well enough to know that kind of excess would depress me.”

“Then you buy drugs to make you happy! You can afford it!” was his answer.

I’ve got a whole diatribe in me. Trust me. And I want so badly to calm this indignant heat in me over his stereotypical “male” response, but just explaining it here has me all fiery again. Spare me the lecture about being an ignorant and sexist ass for blaming it on his “maleness,” because there are reasons that stereotypes are stereotypes, as my roommate would say.

Cliche as it is: there’s more to life than things. This isn’t to say I don’t enjoy “things”; however, I know my limits. I know that my want of things—whether they are gadgets, careers or personal goals—keeps me determined and pushing. I need to have “want.”

That said, anyone who’d like to help pay for my mountain-sized debt from school, please find me on PayPal. I’ll repay in doodles and kisses.

Best,
mt

“Mars Poetica”
Wyn Cooper

Imagine you’re on Mars, looking at earth,
a swirl of colors in the distance.
Tell us what you miss most, or least.

Let your feelings rise to the surface.
Skim that surface with a tiny net.
Now you’re getting the hang of it.

Tell us your story slantwise,
streetwise, in the disguise
of an astronaut in his suit.

Tell us something we didn’t know
before: how words mean things
we didn’t know we knew.

Auto-Bio | Your Homework

One of the most difficult feats I have yet to really master as a writer is the bio. For most journals, both online and in-print, it’s typical to be asked for a “brief bio.” Shit, even if you aren’t a writer, how many social media sites these days are speckled with an array of text boxes that require some condensed verbiage of yourself. Likes and dislikes. Authors. Movies. Books. Music. Television show. Ice cream flavor. C’mon. Technology has not only allowed us to connect with the world, but in a way, define ourselves for the world. In words. Scary!

And so when people scoff at writing, in particular, English Composition, I have to wonder what in the hell world they live in. The Internet, smartphones included, has made life more interesting, certainly, and to the surprise of many: language both more important and somehow… it’s gotten worse, skill-wise?

I’m sure it began with the short snippets of text messages. U no txts r quick n make room 4 errors & short sloppy spellings 2. But when did we become so lax as to allow for this? I mean, I’m not sure I could even consider dating someone with a horrible vocabulary, much less a lazy language of text-speak and misspellings. LMAO! (;

I’m off topic.

What I wanted to speak to is the laborious task of summing up oneself. When was the last time you had to do this? Have you ever? What did you say?

For writing submissions, it’s easier. Really, any specialized venue in this way, at least, gives you some focus. But, for example, what does one do with the small info box at the top of his or her Pinterest page? Twitter? Facebook? I usually go about it randomly. Whatever pops into my head—which usually ends up being completely inane, you know?

My homework for you, those who dare attempt: write a general bio for yourself. Three to four sentences. Pretend your audience needs to really KNOW you. Not only is this a study in using language in a concise way, but really picking yourself apart to extract what you think it most important about you.

I want to know you! Go!

mt

Poem-a-Day: Letting go

Lunch break poem for today’s prompt: a “gathering” AND a “letting go” poem. Here’s a little guy…

LETTING GO
Liftoff; loose change drops
in copper [remains]; last squeeze to
splatter gritty brown mustard from
its plastic container; shrug of each
November elm on its hilltop steed
[dismount]; lollipop crunch
between raspberry-blue teeth [relief];
deliberate as the delete key without
rerun or epiphany; your dull ghosts in
a razor-rip of my bones in this
bed; [pillowcased] your quiet promises
asleep with iron eyelids; a sneeze;
not soft enough.

streaky-sky drive into work this AM. [Instagram]

Lions, Warriors & Poetry—OH MY!

I received this in my inbox today (via Poets.org) and promptly made me pee my pants.

Iscariot Rising Sutra
by Ben Kopel

Someone went away / but once they were here / so I don’t die / instead I see a movie / the one about a boy / falling into / the green screen / sky lit up / phosphorescent / spiders and chandeliers / like that one time / near an island / out on the lash / I fell out of you / you laughed / your eyes closed / spread wide / standing open / I asked you / who are you / pretending I am / I did / you said / I’m pretending you / are you / drawing a jacked up heart / across my hand / in every airport / rocking this depression electric / I dry swallow / a video pill / we smoke glitter / until my suit sounds good / I long to be alive / when the world ends / so in love / with someone / I end up / ending everyone

Did you know that you can sign up to get a poem a day in your e-mail? Well. Let me tell you—somedays it hits me just right. Shiiiiittttt.

Still toiling with the Poem-a-Day November Challenge via Writer’s Digest, headed up by Mr. Robert Lee Brewer and his blog. I’ll finally share one with ye peeps. Makes me nervous—sharing in such an open forum—but mostly it makes me laugh. Can one get more dramatic than an Instagram-ed photo of a poem? I believe Shakespeare would find this hilarious, himself.

Thanks to Instagram for this one.
Look at him get that guy! (mbostrom2/wordpress)

I think it’s great, also, that I can find a way to turn a “veteran poem” into something celestial. Always. And Orion seems to make many appearances in my work. In my pics I found online, he’s killing a lion. Coincidence? It just so happens I’m a Leo. RAWR!

Are you into mythology? Personally, I never got into it as a young one; in fact, I believe it was my 12th-grade English teach who had to jam mythology down my throat. Well, then, I just coughed it back up. Ick. She was waaayyyy into it, too. Sorry, Ms. Schank. I didn’t understand before. Now, as it relates to the sky, I love it. I love making a connection between myth/sky/underlying meaning. Hm. Big metaphor, yo. It’s a beautiful thing.

On that note, time to go finish up a few things and lunch. In my car. Grading papers, I’m sure. Yay!

Happy Thursday, y’all!
mt

Saving the bright

Overwhelmed with school (grading, lessons, research), I feel like fall is slipping through my fingers so quickly. October is soon pushing into November and before you know it—winter and then… (dun, dun, dun) 2013. This is, of course, if the world doesn’t end. Funny, I heard more about that at the beginning of the year than now; though, I’m sure December will bring a new wave of media induced fright. In recognition of this supposed apocalypse, I have a long document o poems titled, “End of the World Poem.” To a poet, I think, it’s always te end of the world, some world, anyhow.

Already I’ve been reflecting on the year and mapping out some 2013 goals no don’t feel I accomplished as much as last year, 2011. I mean, maybe I have. It just doesn’t feel as positive. I’m in a whole different place, and upon an unfortunate stumble with my previous journal, I realize there is a girl I don’t remember.

Maybe it’s too early to begin reflecting, but do you ever feel that way? That you’ve changed so much that it is almost scary? Bad? Good?

See, if you haven’t noticed, I tend to let things overtake me. Fixate on projects or people or places or, hell, sometimes even cereal. I just keep doin’ it until I overdo it. I can’t be the only one. But somehow I get to a place where it’s too much, and maybe I’m slow, but I get it. Then, I have to figure out how to move on. Maybe today, I’ll buy Cheerios instead, you know?

And on that note, I think it’s time to share a poem, since it’s been a while. Something fall-worthy. This guy got published, so I’ll link him:

http://arseniclobster.magere.com/archive/issuetwentysix/260401.html

Be well, all. Share with me.
mt