Just wanted to write a little aside about how I have had this blog for 3 years with a total of 120 posts. I think the majority of those posts have been within the past five months, but who’s to say.
And also ask those in the internetverse to throw some creative juices and focus and strength my way. I have 10 pages of draft to write up by Monday and after that probably another 50 or so to punch out by August. It is my continued hope that the weekly 100s and the constant reading that I have been doing of late will aid towards these goals, but any support in words or caffeine is appreciated 🙂 I’ll be kind in returning!
The root cellar under the oak tree is where he told her to meet. She hated the smell of dirt and potatoes, but it was cooler, and hidden from the road. So she went.
The cellar was tucked into a barren field on a farm that was reclaimed in the 70s by Heinz™ Ketchup. They sent factory women who needed to convalesce here.
Crazy women, she thought, hysterical and desperate for attention—if psychology had anything to say about it. She brushed a cobweb off her shoulder, wondering how many women had found it in this hole.
“Fairfax, South Carolina”
Magnolia cones lie, red berries crushed against sidewalk, buried in overgrown lawn. The petals, long ago bruised and wilting, have blown into suburban gutters. He tries to make it up once a month to mow; air out the house; remember.
Fifteen years and by now he starts to feel nothing except a musky heaviness. Mildew has seeped into the cabinets and wrap-around polyester couch. He sees only the hospital bed in the living room, instead of the swivel armchairs he used to play in.
Looking out to the yard, ghosts of daughters run—swinging along tree branches, riding bikes up the block. He will find them at home, grown and smelling of flowers.
This is definitely a moment from a much larger whole and maybe you can discern that I have Carson McCullers on the brain today.
“Caught and Loose”
He’s been running the perimeter for five years now; trying to shed forcefields: family, girlfriends, leases. His feet jolt against gravel asphalt, always stopping short of the town limit. He pauses as his chest struggles to expand—wants to erupt and spread out across the border.
He hocks a loogie, right into the next county and turns back. He passes others riding out on their scholarships, jobs and military orders. They gleam hopeful from driver’s seats, but it’s its own settling; chained to their inevitable track. As bad as staying put. He wipes his face with his shirt and runs on.
For anyone who follows this blog, you will notice I sort of tapered off after day 22 of the PAD. For that I apologise. I actually did write poems for most of the days between 23 and 30, but I also got a little burned out and lost my motivation for the writing. I think that is probably the drawback of a month long challenge. Especially knowing that I wanted to do the May challenge as well. Originally, I thought April would be my warm up for some (hopefully) beneficial May writing towards my thesis. Well, I’m 6 days in and I haven’t physically or electronically written anything–which I think could have been implied by the burn out. That doesn’t mean my mind hasn’t been thinking, and writing. It’s weak flickers so far, but hopefully I’ll be fanning the fire soon and back in full swing.
In the meantime, I had a fun month of travelling, experiencing and seeing all sorts of things, and of course dealing with your run of the mill anxiety and break down. No worries though, I’m pushing through to the next bright morning (look at me with all of these metaphors). Step one was writing this post for the couple of you who are sticking with me through these silly, sometimes profound writing moments and all of the inbetweens.
The second step is uploading the poems I wrote for the missing days in April over the next couple of days. I’m missing in all 5 days from the 30 day challenge, and I feel like that is pretty exceptional and I can’t be mad at myself for it.
The third step is to try getting on paper a few of the May prompts and hopefully uploading some samples or maybe thoughts about those prompts as the weeks go on. I will still be posting my weekly 100 words, so keep an eye out for this week’s “Leaving” story.
In the meantime, I hope everyone is doing fabulous, and if you are having trouble, just keep looking for the small happy moments–It’s those that get me through the day! Or just laughing at the ill-luck, because most of it is pretty ridiculous and inevitable.
Until next post!
We never say we are going to Papa’s or Dad’s house. It has always been, will always be, Granny’s or Mama’s. Even though their patriarchal hands hammered the nails that shelters our visits, it is always the matronly warmth that caulks the gaps.
It clings to our clothes when we leave, a guiding sealant reminding us to eat, brush our teeth, be open to love.
Inherited, I hope, so that light may be blessed upon children and children’s children. Crafting the home with embraces and tears. So that even as we pass, the mothers of the past, the bond between boards only strengthen—the home that men built and women filled.
Today’s poem is supposed to be pastoral. Mine turned into an epiphany–perhaps poorly worded, maybe not conveying the full extent of my feelings, but it’s an attempt nonetheless. Also, I love the beach a lot. The end. 8 days left of the challenge!
is the word to use to describe as I pause outside myself
on Hunting Island, the North Beach.
the tide is out farther than my memory can recall and
it leaves remnants of the ocean in its wake.
children, dogs, older couples comb the sand,
inspecting what was living, what is still alive.
while we should smell death from the baking jellyfish,
the drying sand dollars, the waterlogged crustaceans,
the sea absorbs it, or perhaps it makes the smell new—
mixed with salt, fish and Coppertone.
seagulls alight and peck at hermit crabs.
dolphins and pelicans alike dive at fish along the waves.
humans collect shells,
they cast out lines and nets.
they build castles, dig moats—and watch them wash away.
Life, as we forget to see it,
in all of its cycles:
foul and wondrous,
superfluous and necessary,
impossible and real.
this is its own poetry.
I think the first poem I ever did for a poetry month challenge was an erasure poem, but I did it differently. Today I took a page out of the Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paolo Friere, and made something.
There it is. Probably means as much as the entire text.
You can probably blame this from a 3 hour walk along the beach…the title is abstract/obscure. Trying to see if it actually contains any nuance. Maybe not.
Over 200 jellyfish lay washed upon sand. Separated from their bloom, they lie like cement blocks incapable of grace. Once they were ballerinas, floating and trailing. A tidal dance woven amongst their brethren. Dreamlike, they captivated prey, drew them in, and lightly—with quiet shocks—devoured them.
No longer do these cnidaria pulse, the waves digging them deep, tentacles long detached, stinging aimlessly with the current. The seagulls taunt, flitting and diving with the breeze, in control of their path all the same.
Beachgoers jab them in disgust. Their majesty evaporated. They pray only for the treacherous tide to drag them away again.
NaPoWriMo’s prompt of the day is to write a fact poem. I think I could have made a epic-length poem about elephant facts instead I got waylaid by thinking of all of the facts we once knew for truth, all of the stories we had created to explain them, etc etc. I think this poem, at present is skeletal, half-formed, much like my understanding of the world. The subject matter requires a more verbose structure, but this is perhaps some seeds to plant within your mind until I can come back and really philosopher attack this.
The sun revolved around the world,
when it floated on a turtle’s back.
The gods resembled men,
or was it the other way around?
Everyone made bread, tools, fire.
And we all told stories.
Each sunrise was something like a miracle
while nightfall played mysterious.
With all our discoveries and growth,
with all our rationale and facts,
each sunrise is still a miracle.
Nightfall is still a glorious mystery.