Monday, January 26, 2015

A Quick Monday Pick Me Up

And boy, do I mean quick!  I'm responding to a visual writing prompt with my own version of the six word memoir.  Here's the quick background: Hemingway was famously challenged to write a story using just six words.  The famous six words? "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."  I know, right?

I chose to put a more comical spin on it.

"Multiple Warnings Apply; See Attached Booklet"

What would YOUR warning label say?  Could you fit it into six words?  Less?  

Friday, January 23, 2015

Selena Gomez "The Heart Wants What It Wants" response poem: Friday Free For All

I've seen several poets in recent weeks who were writing response poems to popular American poets of the last century.  I've been wanting to do something like that, but I just happened to turn on the radio the other day and heard this song.  It's by Selena Gomez and it's called "The Heart Wants What It Wants."  Frankly, I think it's rather foolish.  You have a heart and a brain, and they should both be consulted.  Mind you, this is my opinion.  Feel free to make your choices however you want!

Anywho.... this song was stuck in my head and I figured I'd work on getting it out by writing a response poem.  Well, the song is still stuck, rattling around in my brain, but the poem's here!  I'm including the lyrics to the song for comparison.  Enjoy, and happy Friday!

Selena Gomez "Heart Wants What It Wants" lyrics

You got me sippin' on something
I can't compare to nothing
I've ever known, I'm hoping
That after this fever I'll survive
I know I'm acting a bit crazy
Strung out, a little bit hazy
Hand over heart, I'm praying
That I'm gonna make it out alive

The bed's getting cold and you're not here
The future that we hold is so unclear
But I'm not alive until you call
And I'll bet the odds against it all
Save your advice 'cause I won't hear
You might be right but I don't care
There's a million reasons why I should give you up
But the heart wants what it wants

You got me scattered in pieces
Shining like stars and screaming
Lightening me up like Venus
But then you disappear and make me wait
And every second's like torture
Hell over trip, no more so
Finding a way to let go
Baby baby no I can't escape

The bed's getting cold and you're not here
The future that we hold is so unclear
But I'm not alive until you call
And I'll bet the odds against it all
Save your advice 'cause I won't hear
You might be right but I don't care
There's a million reasons why I should give you up
But the heart wants what it wants (x4)

This is a modern fairytale
No happy endings
No wind in our sails
But I can't imagine a life without
Breathless moments
Breaking me down down down

The bed's getting cold and you're not here
The future that we hold is so unclear
But I'm not alive until you call
And I'll bet the odds against it all
Save your advice 'cause I won't hear
You might be right but I don't care
There's a million reasons why I should give you up
But the heart wants what it wants (x4)

The heart wants what it wants baby

In Response to “The Heart Wants What It Wants”

The heart wants what it wants
But so does the mind
It takes time to think
And then it declines

Saying, “please think about it
Please don’t just feel
I’m not over analyzing
Intuition is real
So don’t listen to me
But how ‘bout the gut?
You know something is there
You feel it—you must
The gut listens to me
And also the heart
Thinks and feels all at once
And knows from the start
What’s right and what’s wrong
Every should and should not
It’s usually spot on
In fact, quite a lot.”

So the you that is you
And must listen to all
Goes ahead with the gut
And avoids a great fall

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday Pick Me Up: It's going Swimmingly!

"Take a Dip"

Take a dip
in my pool of thought
or a long
leisurely swim
do a lap or two
or ten
get a full work out
in the deep end
of my mind
I gladly share
the waters
and the company
as we swirl
some thoughts around

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Poem from the Train Ride

I just did some editing on an old poem that I wrote while riding the train a while ago.  It felt a little odd then, using borrowed emotions, but I've edited it into something that comes across more naturally than the first version.

“Lovers Separating”

Click clack
Click clack
Chuff chuff chuff
Chug chug chug chug

Each low rumble speaks
Ominously declaring
The widening separation
Parting body from body
And parting me
From that portion of my heart
That I left tucked in with yours
Laced between your fingers
Held in your embrace.

And I carry you with me
That tiny piece you gave me
Bundled up
Against my breast
Warming the heart that remains

My body remembers yours
Slow sensual scratches
Up my calves
Along the small of my back
In the palm of my hand
The chills reverberate
Within the depths of me
Rippling to my most
Sensuous core.

I bump and sway
Side to side
As I slide away
A slow dance of separation
Speeding up
As the distance grows
Picking up pace
As the miles stretch behind me

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Free For All: "Somewhere in America" as performed on the Queen Latifah Show

Happy happy Friday!  Sorry I missed Wednesday’s post this week, next week I’ll make it twice as helpful (but not twice as long… unless you’d like that).  I am delighted that it is a new day and that this particular new day is a Friday.  They’re fun! 

It’s been up for a while, but this week I stumbled across a video of an amazing video of a very moving poetry performance.  Several aspects of this performance caught my attention.  This was a poetry performance on national TV!  That frickin’ rocks!!  Teenage girls performed it (and they OWNED it), and the poem itself was very moving.   I’ve watched it several times now, and I still tear up a bit each time. 

The girls sat down with Queen Latifah after their performance for a short interview as well:

Monday, January 12, 2015

Take a Monday Afternoon Happiness Break!

Read the poem, enjoy the poem, and listen to the poem.  It's a shorty, but it's good advice!


Close your eyes
Take a breath
Breathe love in
Let loose the rest

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Friday Free For All: Finally some new writing!

No, I haven't stopped writing poetry over the past week, I'm trying to mix things up.  I don't forget, however, that this blog was originally dedicated to my creative writing, and my poetry in particular.  So this Friday I give you a brand new piece.

I don't know what it's like where you live, but us northeastern states are positively frozen right now.  Most of us only venture outside when absolutely necessary, and even then for the shortest amount of time possible.  I'd be able to get to and from the car a lot faster if there wasn't ice all over the place, but I do the "frozen ground shuffle" at a pretty nice clip, if I do say so myself.

Given these circumstances, it's unsurprising that the cold has seeped into my poetry as well as my bones.  Therefore, this week's Friday posting is my latest work exploring how to make a breath of nearly subzero sound poetic.  Let me know what you think!

"A Frigid Breath"

One sharp, shallow breath
A single sip
Of freezing air
Shocks the warm, moist airway
With immediate
Crystalline constriction
Breath halts
And only the faintest wisp
Is visible
Hanging slender
In the night air
Before dissipating
In a slight swirl of a breeze
The tongue does not escape
Metallic crystals form
As the frigid air
Sweeps down the throat

A sputtering, raspy cough
Expels the fiendish freeze

As the sanctuary of warmth is sought

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Writing Wednesday: Writing Prompts to Get You Started

Happy Writing Wednesday!  Last week I went over my first useful tip for getting started: free writing.  This week’s tip can be used in conjunction with free writing or you can apply it all on its own.  This week I want you to try out writing prompts.

These aren’t hard to find.  At all.  The easiest way to find them is Pinterest.  They’re all over the place there.  Just do a search for “writing prompts” and you’ll find pins, boards, and entire accounts dedicated to them. Don’t go search now.  You’ll get sucked in and emerge 3 hours from now thinking you’ve gone through a worm hole and lost all that time.  Which you kinda did.

If you want to find some writing prompts that won’t drag you down the rabbit hole of “ooo, look at that! And that!  And THAT!!” I’ve gathered a few links to stand alone sites that provide you with easy ideas to get started writing without stealing your soul a few hours at a time.

Daily Prompts:

These sites give you a prompt a day. 

This site has multiple daily prompts, different genres to choose from, and an extensive archive of previous prompts if none of today’s prompts strike your fancy.  The plethora of choices at this site can be a bit overwhelming and distracting, but not quite on Pinterest’s level.

These are user-generated prompts, and the site isn’t updated daily, but there are still some very good choices here.  If you include this site in your rotation of sources without relying on it daily, you’ll still get a good, steady stream of ideas.  This site swings to the opposite end of the spectrum from the first!

Right in the middle lies this site, which is truly a site for daily prompts.  One day, one prompt.  The ideas are archived, so you can look back if you’d like, but you’ll still find just one prompt each day.  It’s the perfect balance, in my opinion: a steady stream with one new idea every day.  It’s not a here and there publication, and it’s not overwhelming you with tons of ideas every day.

Here’s an option if you want to check out one place, then go off the grid for a while.  It’s a .pdf of daily writing prompts to last you for a year.  No extra links.  No ads.  Just 365 prompts.

Like I said before, these prompts can be used as a jumping off point for a free write or they can launch you right into a writing session, if you find one that really sparks your interest. 

If you’re trying to get into the habit of writing on a regular basis, which I would advise, don’t wait for “the one” to appear.  If you spend too long looking through tons and tons of potential prompts you’re likely to become overwhelmed and miss a good one.  Don’t be afraid to settle down and just start writing.  You can always go a different direction later, or you can go back and start all over again.   The idea is to get writing, you can fill in the details along the way down the line.

Did I miss any of your favorite prompting sources?  If you have any others, I’d love to hear about them!  Let me know in the comments section and I’ll be sure to check them out for myself and add them for other readers too!