Skip to content

On a Curve

one coffee below & we’re taught to know
my good dream’s a grace news whole
i’m glad I like them & i’m really well
kissing away what grave touch to give
you see where your news doesn’t go to live

good cowardly yearning, still we’re learning
& I’m looking for my touch to burn
if a tortoise cup has you settle well
i’m glad to come, your mother may sleep
good to need your oceans deep
hip hip hooray!

we’re turning so I have to run away
a tangled drop into this hell
go run a little, my saving grace
are you a shell to screen my face?

deliver demons free but don’t be a guarantee
too hip to me won’t show what favorite you see
the world that tears flow deeply swells
you may be kneeling for what i’m feeling
where heavy hearts know love is stealing
hooray hooray hooray!

if you guess i’ll stab this headache
with a smashing cup of coffee
you’re so far ahead of the other witches in this class
hip hip hooray!
you get an a!

Some Random Thoughts on Writing

  • I’ve always thought of writing fiction as creative play (even when it’s difficult and feels like work), but it’s been too long since I thought of writing stories as an act of mischief, something to disrupt the thoughts and feelings and cultural programming of myself and others. Time to get back to that sense of mischief.
  • (Poetry, however, always feels like making mischief to me. I wonder why I haven’t felt the same way about fiction?)
  • As an adult, my tabletop role-playing game play has always been done in regular sessions (or semi-regular, thanks to the various adulty things that get in the way of fun). But in middle school, my friends and I played RPGs and did collaborative storytelling whenever we had some free time–at school, after school, on weekends. There was a driving excitement in suddenly jumping into imaginary worlds and playfully creating stories wherever, whenever, as often as possible. I want to get back into that mindset when it comes to writing fiction.
  • Diving into imaginary worlds and playing with imaginary characters with jetpack enthusiasm and mischievous abandon–that’s what it’s all about, is what I’m saying.
  • Art is mischief. Mischief is magic. Magic is craft.

Mermaid’s Tresses

once upon a midnight
i wish i could be key asparagus!
when lemonade technology capital is capacity
your vision is madcap to optimize existing dungeons
remember steam operational is written down
in notebooks of service never considerations

so bleak & dreary!
i gasp as burnt i’m budgets
already remember icicle phantoms
i’m determining number sustainability
dynamic network clockwork ecosystems
breaking down for wombats whenever budgets
had amber coconut modernize

oh the pixies build network
determining never written budgets
& already i’m infrastructure
to always toast timeline staffing collection
in the dynamic order of piracy moonlight
phasing for funding prioritizing cinnamon
a last never always wish

i’ll never be key asparagus!

Ginger Angels

here comes the snow pitch tomb parade!
& they dare to call us lazy?
say what you will about grey tar mist
when we dance & you smile like a cherry-colored spoon
they laugh when we call tufts of fluffy inuit fins
in our red book of clown mass trips

the shadows glare at our curved whale bones
that leap into skies & reflect spine-chilling glare
frozen when they created your mausoleum
& scribbled on the covers of broken dictionaries
skritch! skritch! skritch!

calm your feels & take notes when we dance
throw the snowy songs when they say
we fluff back in the gaze of the labyrinth moon
i become a prince of falling for you
when trip you on the edge of midnight
& they mock our delight in distant days

The Palace Quickly

the hand that grasps the deep dark sea
singes your heart when filled with daylight
you know there’s something going on
behind the scenes of the indignant cinema
behind the screen
behind the night

we feel all the pain, all
the anger & despair
all the umbrellas painted with loneliness

the hand that grasps the deep dark sea
singes your heart when filled with daylight
& you
see eyes light a flame in the lantern of the moon
green & blue & silver
a goblin cathedral of stars in motion
slicing the moon in thirds

never ever forget the lost
dances we choreographed when
we last forgot our blood & sugar
you know there’s something going on
sweet slipping past
no finer carnival than
saying farewell
saying farewell to the rotten fruit of the heart

Experiments in Word Alchemy

Words, words, words. I love playing with words, mixing up words, mashing up words, making up words. Despite some persistent, pounding insecurities, I love sharing what I do with words. (Or maybe it’s that I don’t know how to not share what I do. I dream out loud.) For a change of pace, I’m going to share how I play with words when it comes to poetry. It seems like a good time for it, since I’ve been doing some different things behind the curtains lately.

IMG_0006For most of my life I’ve written poems the same way: I have some words and images and emotions bouncing around in my head, I grab some paper and a pen, I start writing, making it up as I go, until I feel like the poem is done. Then I make changes (some small, some big) before I write out the final version of the poem. Most of the changes come from reading it out loud and tweaking it so that it sounds better aloud. But the process has always started with writing by hand (as opposed to prose, which is almost always composed entirely through typing.)

After all these years, I’ve started feeling stuck in a rut and fearful of getting locked into repeating the same kind of poem over and over again. I’ve tried some different techniques in the past, but never came up with anything I felt comfortable sharing. For the past few weeks, though, I’ve been shaking my own things up and I’ve been happy with the results. Happy enough to post online and share with the world. It’s not just a fear of rut-trapped-ness that’s led me to do this. I’ve also had some particular social/political topics I’ve wanted to speak up on, but I didn’t want to write poems that were just me directly ranting about things that are upsetting me. That’s the kind of thing I leave for Twitter and Facebook.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m very influenced by the Dada and Surrealist movements. Thinking about how the Dadas used their techniques as well as the words in their works to criticize modern warfare and other social/political problems, I’ve been using the Cut-Up Machine app on the website Language Is a Virus, plugging in my own writing and other sources, taking the random cut-up results (which come out as one long, unbroken stream of words), breaking the results up into lines and stanzas, and finally applying some non-Dada tweaking until it became a poem that I felt sounded good aloud and satisfied me overall.

Por exemplo, “America, You Know Such Glory” was written my usual way, then plugged into the Cut-Up Machine, then tweaked a lot, adding the phrase “america, you know” to the beginning of every stanza. “Crow Masque Barbeque” was a bunch of clichés about the American Dream and various words I just like the sound of, plugged into the Cut-Up Machine, then tweaked (less than “America, You Know Such Glory”). “I Call Shotgun, Bernadette!” came from an anti-gun control article posted on the NRA website, copied and pasted into the Cut-Up Machine, pretty much taken as is (with only some repeated words dropped), broken into lines and stanzas, and then a few words changed on a whim. None of these poems were written by hand first, which was pushing myself out of my comfort zone and has taken some getting used to. On the other hand, “Hymn Autumnal” was written by hand first, tweaked a lot, then run through the Cut-Up Machine, then tweaked a lot more. It began as the lyrics from the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” but with the words altered for summer turning into autumn instead of winter turning into spring. I messed with it a lot to make it less of a straight rewrite of the song. But after typing it out, I found I was still not happy with it, so into the Cut-Up Machine it went. I took what came out and reworked it back into a song lyric-ish structure, but altered enough that it didn’t seem so blatant to me as to what it had started out as. (I do wonder if anyone who’s read it picked up on its original source. Is it still obvious? Or not so much?)

Despite feeling nervous about doing things differently, I’m very happy with how these poems turned out and I want to keep experimenting with techniques. Because ruts are no fun to be stuck in and always doing things the same way is boooooooring…and pretty much the opposite of creativity.

And there you go!