G is for grig- Poem: The Horror Show

martin-brosy-758535-unsplash

Photo by Martin Brosy on Unsplash

Today’s new word:

grig n. 1. a cricket or grasshopper. 2. a small or young eel. 3. a lively person.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Think about the argot of a particular job or profession, and see how you can incorporate it into a metaphor that governs or drives your poem. The provided list of Professional slang is full of inspiration.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Write a lucky number poem. Some people have lucky numbers, some don’t. Wherever you fall on the lucky number spectrum, you can still write a poem about the phenomenon of lucky numbers and/or luck in general.

My poem

The Horror Show

The horror show began after
the baby catcher handed me the grig
I couldn’t find any joy
in the things that I previously did

The baby catcher said I had
pneumoencephalopathy that would clear up in time
but the grig stopped its bubbling
And I couldn’t stop its crying, so

I was sent to the Freud Squad, but
they made things worse
acted caring at first, but
were pill pushers all, and

The pills made me dizzy which
led to a fall and by trip number four
to the slashers and gassers they cured
my Acute Thespian Syndrome, but
replaced it with Mysterious Internal Spongeitis

 

The Planner Pages

Sorry I didn’t get these out yesterday, but life. One of the lessons I’m learning from this experiment is that an important part of successful planning is being flexible. Missing a deadline isn’t the end, it’s the opportunity to create a new deadline.

2019 April Week Two

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Deep Well by Dan Bellm. I’m really enjoying this small collection about a man facing his mother’s death. It’s beautiful in form and format.

Happy Reading and Writing!

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F is for fainéant- Poem: After the Rain

cut wood between trees

Today’s new word:

fainéant n. an idler. adj. idle; indolent.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that emphasizes the power of “if,” of the woulds and coulds and shoulds of the world.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

“After (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “After Dinner,” “After You,” “After Hours,” and/or “After I Finish Writing This Poem.”

My poem

After the Rain

if the clouds break and spread
releasing blue sky, the sun bursting,
glistening droplets on glass and bush
the blue-green waves pumping rhythmically
then saws and motors fill the air as if
men and women held them still
as long as they could, but the first ray of sun
set them free

if the sun breaks free and turns
the glistening raindrops to steam
rising up to join the receding clouds
let the growling, whining, revving, gnarling
inform the fainéants of their indolence
there is no rest against nature’s encroachment
no peace for those who live
among the virulent trees

if the rain ceases and the droplets are greeted
by the warm sun, spring has sprung
and there is growth, nature encroaches
and the peace of winter, the silent void of winter
is filled with revving and whining and gnarling and growling
if the fainéant sit, their heads soon split

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong

Happy Reading and Writing!

E is for eleemosynary- Poem:Donations Eaten by Bureaucracy

iStock_000013284658_Small burning money

Today’s new word:

eleemosynary adj. 1. of or relating to alms, charity, or charitable donations; charitable.
2. derived from or provided by charity. 3. dependent on or supported by charity.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

“Write a poem that incorporates at least one of the following: (1) the villanelle form, (2) lines taken from an outside text, and/or (3) phrases that oppose each other in some way.”

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

“For today’s prompt, write a stolen poem. And no, don’t steal anyone’s poem! But you can write about doing such a thing. Or stealing hearts, stealing time, stealing minds. Or steeling your mind (remember: I don’t care if you play on my original prompt). Steal away into a comfortable place to write and break some lines today.”

My poem

Donations Eaten by Bureaucracy

Your altruism is in the mail
to eleemosynary systems of dilution,
stirring the cycle of hopelessness

You try to bypass through donated time, but
bureaucracy can ruin every good intention
Your altruism is in the mail

Regulations, rules–there must be control–change
behavior through punishment or reward,
stirring the cycle of hopelessness

You try to circumvent: offering temporary shelter;
donating clothes; preparing meals: inconvenience
Your altruism is in the mail

No one wants your eleemosynary roofs
if they mean invasive monitoring and checks
your altruism is in the mail
stirring the cycle of hopelessness

 

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Native Guard: Poems by Natasha Trethewey

Happy Reading and Writing!

D is for dysphemism- Poem: Pollock in the Playhouse

Today’s new word:

dysphemism n. 1. the substitution of a harsh, disparaging, or unpleasant expression for a more neutral one. 2. an expression so substituted, as “cancer stick” for “cigarette.”

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write your own sad poem, but one that achieves sadness through simplicity.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Pick a painter, make him or her the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.

My poem

Pollock in the Playhouse

Stop crying! Why won’t you stop
crying? Get up! Get to work
Make phone calls. Find your stuff.
Stop crying.

Do you have to do that?
You’re killing a path through
the grass. I smell it on you
I can smell that

This isn’t working You
aren’t working. We’re only trying
to help you help yourself
Try this. You’ll like it if you only
try. Try that.

Better to leave her alone
To wallow, to swallow her pain
The pain that is all in her mind
Since she can’t leave the past behind
We don’t have time for this

All the whispers, so unkind
They find time to diss
the dysphoric with dysphemisms:
couch potato, cry baby, killjoy
negative Nancy in a black mood

I’m trying

 

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Poems: Maya Angelou

Happy Reading and Writing!

C is for cathect- Poem:Call of the King Fisher

800px-Houghton_MS_Am_21_(50)_-_John_James_Audubon,_belted_kingfisher

Today’s new word:

cathect vt. to invest with mental or emotional energy

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write something that involves a story or action that unfolds over an appreciable length of time.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Write an animal poem. The poem could be about an animal. Or it could just mention an animal in passing. Or include an animal in your title and fail to mention the animal once in your poem.

My poem

Call of the King Fisher

Surrounded by tall fir and cedar,
wizened rhododendron and cherry plum
She chooses a plastic pole (for securing a boat)
Perched atop, only room for one

Squat, blue and white, protruding needle
Her song, unique among the chatter,
cathected call commands my attention
She used to fly off when I came to the window

Day after day
The pole closer to the house
Not the other one
Year after year
Beak parallel to the windows
Not pointing in at me

This spring there is another
They chase each other
flirting through the skies
The farther pole stays vacant

 

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Wade in the Water: Poems by Tracy K. Smith.

Happy Reading and Writing!

B is for Brobdingnagian-Poem: Before Work

Today’s new word:

Brobdingnagian adj. of huge size; gigantic; tremendous  n. 1. a giant; a being of tremendous size 2. an inhabitant of Brobdingnag

I came across this word in a book by Roy Peter Clark. It was fun to find out it comes from the fictional land of Brobdingnag from Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. It’s funny how you don’t recognize things sometimes, when they are out of context.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that resists closure by ending in a question.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Today is Two for Tuesday. Choose one or both prompts.

  1. Write a worst case poem. What’s the worst that could happen?
  2. Write a best case poem. Take the worst and reverse it!

My poem

Before Work

I could not return to dreaming of lovers
And so the day has begun, I roll over
and push my legs from under the covers
Aches, stiff joints and pulsing veins
A few tempered steps before toe meets metal frame
Ignore the shooting pain
Tell me that’s the end

Drag that heavy ass up the stairs
There’s coffee to be made, but I glare
into an empty bag. I start the tea pot
In the haze of brainless morning I gulp,
The boiling liquid sears my tongue and throat
burning in my chest as if singeing my lungs
How will I know the end when it comes?

I relax in my chair and flip on the tube
I can’t seem to stop myself and turn to the news
Another shooting and so many lies
scandals, celebrities, murder and suicides
A Brobdingnagian pile of hubris and greed
putrid stupidity repackaged as need
I do not know when the end is coming

The shower runs cold, the water won’t heat
My clothes from the dryer smell bitter-sweet
I rush to the car, my hair worse than bad
The key does nothing, the damned thing is dead
I look up at the sky, all cloudless and blue
And instead of why? ask
Is the end coming soon?

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is When My Brother Was an Aztec by Natalie Diaz.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Happy May! A recap of my April adventures and what’s next

galluping purple flowersI want to start by saying thank you to all of the organizers of NaPoWriMo and A to Z Challenge and the poets of dVerse. And the poets that included my poems in their lists, especially David Ellis at Too Full To Write.

I also want to thank everyone who read my poems and left such lovely comments. Everyone was encouraging and made me feel my efforts are worthwhile.

This was a long month for me  with some very high points and some low points.Signed by Anne Lamott

The high points were: my birthday evening seeing Anne Lamott at Benroya Hall; scrolling up some of my poems for Poem in your pocket day and having them on the counter at A Good Book Bookstore; and, of course, completing the challenges while learning so many interesting new words and facts.

The low points all had to do with short story rejections, but I think my very negative feelings had to do with a bout of the flu, so actually, the low points should have been seen as high points, as in, “I have new stories to shop around.”

This month hit some milestones for Experience Writing:

♦ Most views ever: April 30
♦ Most likes ever: April 16

Thank you for the comments, likes and follows!

Now to the recap.

NaPoWriMo

I found all of the different prompts inspiring. I learned so much from the resources and examples, the great interviews and unique ways to approach the page. This was a great experience and I’m glad I did it. To my readers who didn’t participate this year, I recommend giving it a try next year. And you can dive in sooner with OctPoWriMo this fall.

My favorite prompt: I think the haibun prompt was my favorite. First, because I had never heard of haibuns before. Second, it adds another element to haiku that I really enjoy, and third, because it opened up participation in dVerse’s Haibun Monday. I wrote three haibuns during the month:Contemplating the Other

Summer Comes Too Soon

The Lingering, Long Spring Day

Self and Setting

My favorite poems I wrote:

Why Stand By? This poem, inspired by a forensic psychology course I’m taking online, really seemed to resonate with readers and spur discussion.

Contemplating The Other This poem, inspired by the Polish poems from Here by Wislawa Szymborska, is one of my favorites and my sister liked it and wants a copy for my nephew’s baby book which makes me very happy.

Then I think it’s a tie between the poems I did the most factual research for :

An Apple Is An Apple – noosphere

The Next Pasquinade – Pasquino

Flawed Reflection – Pulitzer winner Frank Bidart

The Reliquary for the Miraculous -Saint Sidonius

I really enjoy learning new and interesting things.

A to Z Challenge

I think doing the A to Z Challenge as part of my NaPoWriMo experience was a great idea. As I learned last fall, I like to use multiple prompts to enhance my creative efforts, and the word of the day often lead to more interesting poetry challenges.

My favorite words were: xanthic (xanthodont), wayzgoose, wazzock, and atresia. All of them really.

Flash! cover

Reading

Favorite poetry books: Here by Wislawa Szymborska

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Favorite writing book: FLASH!: Writing the Very Short Story by John Dufresne

May Plans

So what comes next? It’s time to turn my attention back to my novel. I have scenes to draft and then another full edit. While I work, I will hopefully find inspiration from:

Between the Lines: Master the Subtle Elements of Fiction Writing by Jessica Page Morrell

Writing 21st Century Fiction: High Impact Techniques for Exceptional Storytelling by Donald Maass

The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing by Evan Marshall

How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method (Advanced Fiction Writing) (Volume 1) by Randy Ingermanson

I also have a great stack of fiction and poetry to inspire me as well.

monster dancer

I’m hoping to continue to blog three posts weekly:

  1. a writing and editing post
  2. a poem
  3. a book review

Site stats tell me that my most popular day and time is Thursday at 1pm. What would you like to read most on a Thursday at 1pm: a poem, some insight on the craft of writing, or a book review?

Or is there something else you would like me to share this May?

I have decided that the photography focus for the next Gator McBumpypants picture book will be using filters. I’ll be studying an old KODAK Workshop Series book called Using Filters, so you may see some odd photos to illustrate my posts.

If you have a poem, a micro-story, a book review, or a guest-post you would like to share on Experience Writing let me know in the comments or head over to MBer Creations and write to me on the Contact page.

 

Happy Reading and Writing!

Here’s to an abundant and prolific May.

Z is for Zenography

zenography: noun – the study of the planet Jupiter

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt  was to write a poem that engages with a strange and fascinating fact. It says to take a cue from Borges. I tried to read Ficciones as part of Summer Reading Bingo last Summer, but had trouble getting into the stories. Maybe I’ll try again this Summer.

jupiter_giantredeye1-580x385

Image of Jupiter’s Giant Red Spot, taken on March 5th, 1979. Credit: NASA GSFC/NASA/JPL

 

The Reliquary for the Miraculous

Admiring your reliquary,
a hand in pose to bless,

I imagine the virgin hovering;
A congestion of moons encircling
the widened waist, if any more
dense, would grow smaller

I expect your holy death, your martyrdom
severe and righteous, but my work
becomes zenography; observing the untouchable;
coming to conclusions from afar

Your works are panegyrics to emperors
documentation of political events
You married the daughter of an emperor
and through sycophantic acclamations
rose in wealth and rank

Admiring your reliquary, I ponder
the moment a person recognizes her true nature
Its riveted repairs testify to eternal renewal
A hollow shell in saintly repose

 

This poem was inspired by:

Just Looking: Essays on Art by John Updike

Borges lectures from openculture.com

40 interesting Jupiter facts from factslegend.org

Saint Sidonius from Wikipedia

Want to read more? You may want to take a look at:

The Secrets of Jupiter (Planets) by Thomas K. Adamson

The Letters of Sidonius: [Oxford Library Of Translations]; Volume 2

The Trophies of the Martyrs: An Art Historical Study of Early Christian Silver Reliquaries (Oxford Studies in Byzantium) by Galit Noga-Banai

Happy Reading and Writing!

Extra W is for Wazzock

wazzock: noun (mildly pejorative, slang) – a stupid or annoying person (Britain, originally Northern England).

Today is not one of the days of the A to Z Challenge, but I finished Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman last night and the word “wazzock” used thusly, “Course I haven’t been drinking, you great wazzock. You can see the fish, can’t you?” inspired me to add it to my vocabulary and share it with you in hopes that its usage will spread throughout the world.

My feet in my inflatable kayak and an interesting stump in the lake

 
Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to find inspiration from the Sylvia Plath Poetry Project. I think I can see her calling philandering Ted Hughes a wazzock, but it could prove a challenge to fit into poetry.  The poem I chose as inspiration was Crossing the Water.

 
A Disturbed Crossing

His screech cleaves the oyster sky
The all seeing eye perches above
Carefully observing in anticipation of brunch

Ghosts musing on the surface
Are broken by the leap of a hungry bass
Echoing the circular chase of life

They tempt us to follow them
Further from assured asylum
Ever morphing into more frightening forms

The wazzock roars through
A shirtless xanthodont of excess
Leaving a shimmering, swirling rainbow trail

Riding the slowing saccade
You wipe the spray from your face
I take an oar and pull to turn the world

 

Want to read more Sylvia Plath? You may want to check out:

The Collected Poems

The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar (Modern Classics)

Crossing the Water

Happy Reading and Writing!

Y is for Yawping

yawping: noun – a strident utterance. strident: adjective – characterized by harsh, insistent, and discordant sound.

urban dictionary: verb – the act of bellowing at someone down the street, especially from a window.

yawp/yaup: verb – to make a raucous noise 2. clamor, complain: noun – yawper

yawp: noun – a raucous noise 2. something resembling a raucous noise like rough vigorous language

 

Cascade du Château

She turns back toward the rushing water and takes a step forward, letting its yawping fill her senses. The chorus falling, rushing and crashing out the many crises she would soon face and would also leave behind. She lets her worries of how little Aileen acquires trinkets and Liza’s new imaginary friend makes her cause mischief mingle with the water and drown in the pool. Her husband’s yawping from their window now falls on deaf ears, but she feels the grit of his complaints like gravel spitting on her back. She takes one last look at the pure azure sky mingling with the rose of the horizon and takes Liza’s hand. Vacation ends, as does the Summer, with the turning of the leaves.

 

Happy Reading and Writing!