Poems and Slime

Slime is a thing. Slime mold can make maps.

As this is National Novel Writing Month I wanted to present you with some writing advice. It has to do with reading but you can apply it to writing.

Take the Time to Read Out Loud from The Write Nook 

And here’s Anne Lamott’s NaNoWriMo Pep Talk

Over the last few weeks/months I’ve been drawn to poems about places and poems about animals. This is what I want to turn into. Something that travels through and is traveled through. One day I hope to return to the ground. And the ocean.

The Rats by Keetje Kuipers

Gaman: Topaz Concentration Camp, Utah by Kenji C. Liu

East River and The Ghetto by Lola Ridge

The Belladonna of Sadness by Sally Wen Mao

Not Everybody’s Bestiary (Yet) by Rebecca Morgan Frank

If You’re Going to Look Like a Wolf They Have to Love You More Than They Fear You by Abigail Chabitnoy

Ghazal IV by Bojan Louis

Łčíčšeʔ by Heather Cahoon 

Quantum Foam by Elizabeth Jacobson

And I just LOVE the format of this poem. You will see poems like this from me in the future.

Countdown as Slow Kisses by Michael Wasson

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Photo by Krystal Ng on Unsplash

Gatekeeping in Anglo-Saxon Literature, Musical Traditions, and Lots and LOTS of Poems

Here’s a really captivating article about J.R.R. Tolkein’s scholarship on the Old English epic poem Beowulf and how the white gaze predominates medieval literature.

Book Recommendation: The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations by Toni Morrison. Includes her essay “Grendel and His Mother.”

Margaret Atwood on The Testaments, the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale.

And now…lots of poems…

The Gardner by Nancy Botta at Rusted Honey

Close Reading by Brandon Som

You Say You Said by Marianne Moore

“An Apocryphal History of the Discovery of Migration, or The Sacrifice of the Pfeilstörchen” by Alba Cid, translated by Jacob Rogers

Ideology by Aria Aber

Cloth Birds by Dorothy Tse

The Convert Wants Wounds, Not Scars by Melody S. Gee

River to River by Hai-Dang Phan

A gorgeous haiku from Lize Bard of Haiku out of Africa

Getting a little Biblical now: a poem to Noah’s wife by Maya C. Popa

And my poem for Noah’s wife…

After the Flood

While Noah’s sighs polluted the ruddy beach

littered with the bones of heretics,

their livestock and their predators;

while he thanked God for the early warning,

the strong timber, and exclusion

from the slaughtered multitude

his women walked around him like he was just another corpse,

bobbing and rooting around piles of driftwood and soggy cloth,

picking out the useful things.

I wrote this way back in 2009 after visiting an art exhibition depicting a life sized Noah, drawn in charcoal, assessing the damage of God’s Wrath while looking picturesquely helpless and out of sorts while women scavenged through the rubble behind him. I can’t remember who the artist was.

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Photo by Jessica Furtney on Unsplash

Dream #5

Last night I dreamed I stole a pair of mechanical wings from a tank/bunker that was covered with large slugs. They were black with neon purple and pink detailing and when I put them on I flew up higher than the buildings and when I dove down I was not afraid of falling.

The wings stayed with me. They didn’t break or disappear. I flew and I wasn’t afraid even when they started shooting at me.

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Usually when I dream about climbing or flying I fall and the falling is painful and I wake up with heart palpitations and panic. But not this time. It was a really awesome dream.

Dr. Death, Em dashes, and International Literacy Day

Happy International Literacy Day!

Visit literacyworldwide.org and check out their Literacy Today and Literacy Daily articles. There are some really heartwarming stories about teachers empowering students by encouraging creativity.

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In 2017 I became fascinated by the inner workings of the medical field. Not just because I made a MASSIVE career change but because the human body and how society moves around and interacts with the human body has always been extremely interesting.

I am also fascinated by true crime stories. So the Dr. Death Podcast by Wondery is an absolutely amazing and chilling listen. I won’t spoil anything for you and I strongly encourage you to give it a try but be sure to steel yourself; the subject matter is very heavy and not family friendly.

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For those of you who are interested in grammar drama, this article was published in the New York Times a few months ago and it made me shake my head in dismay. I had no idea there were so many people casing shade on the Em-dash.

Read The Em Dash Divides by Kate Mooney here.

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One of my grad school mentors, Bhanu Kapil, keeps a blog. This is an interview between Bhanu and her grandmother, who was a child in 1947 during the Partition of India in which 14 million people were displaced and between 200,000 and 2 million were killed (so says Wikipedia). This year is the 72nd anniversary.

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A poem about how hard girlhood is: The mother finds her own wild, lost beginnings deep within the body of her daughter by Mary Jean Chan

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Photo Credit: The New York Times, Leigh Wells

Liger Signal Boost, Old Rhymes, Boats, and a Girl

SIGNAL BOOST!!!!!

I’ve been a long-time supporter of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge and at the end of August, Brady Liger fell ill to a fungal infection. If you can donate something, anything at all, please consider supporting their efforts. Your donations can help pay for medical expenses, food, and bigger enclosures for the animals.

And here are two writerly things I’m going to try to take advantage of this September. The first is my local library’s Banned Books Writing Contest and the second is an international open call for submissions from the Black Library and the Warhammer 40K Universe.

Musings on coffee and other things from stoneronarollercoaster

Jamaica Kincaid’s Girl

“Farewell” is on my tongue by Paulus Silentarius, translated by William Roger Paton

A Play-by-Play of Queer Seduction by Marisa Crane on Chantarelle’s Notebook

The Past by Ralph Waldo Emerson

[we are] by Quentin Baker

Vesuvius by Noah Eli Gordon

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Photo source: turpentinecreek.org

Leopard Seals, Shiny Things, and Three Poems

I was using twitter for a while to keep track of all the videos and articles I wanted to refer back to or keep as reference material. That hasn’t really worked so I’m going to try posting stuff here. I don’t know if I want to call it a “weekly roundup” or make a “favorite things” list.

This might turn into a weekly thing…or a biweekly thing…or a one off thing. Hopefully not, I don’t know.

Firstly, anyone needing any kind of photograph or artwork for ANY REASON AT ALL needs to check out Unsplash. A writer friend turned me on to it and all I can say is THANK YOU! This site is the best!

Secondly, Leopard Seals are the shit. Leopard Seals are my new favorite.

Just in case you haven’t seen this yet: Wolf Totem by The Hu (Mongolian Folk Metal).

If you’re a writer and you love jewelry you need to check out LionessElise on Etsy. I have four of her pendants and I absolutely love her work.

I make jewelry and shiny things that make people want to write.–Lioness

Three Poems

Arsenal 4 by Cedar Sigo.

1915: The Trenches by Conrad Aiken.

Central Visayan Mountain Range, Philippines 1945 by Angela Peñaredondo.

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Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

A Few Things I Know For Sure (Part 1)

I want a drink. I want to drink until I die. (Not for dying’s sake but because drinking is the only thing I want to do. The. Only. Thing.) 10 bottles of bourbon lined up in a neat little row, a hotel room with a balcony that overlooks the river. In another version of reality I jump. In this one I don’t. And I have to live with that. The wanting and the not having.

The sun is a giant ball of fire that will kill us all if we don’t destroy ourselves (or something else happens) first. I’m okay with the sun. The sun and I are friends but not in a weird way (I don’t want to marry the sun).

Something (you don’t have to believe in god) out there has a plan for you. See, you’re not dead yet.

I love the ocean. The ocean is also terrifying.

Gravity works. For now.

Every morning my cats demand to be fed. Every morning their demands are met.

I know for sure that it might rain.

I know for sure that there are people out there who love you (even if you haven’t met them yet).

Things go. Whether or not they go the way you want them to is debatable.

Telling stories is the best thing in the world.

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This came out of watching Anne Lamott’s TED Talk, 12 truths I learned from life and writing, July 13, 2017.

Photo by Sime Basioli on Unsplash