A Poem

Technically I am a published author.

But having a poetry book self-published so you can avoid losing it again later in life probably doesn’t really count for much.  Having a collection of poems written by the students whom you taught poetry to published with the same self-publishing, print-on-demand company doesn’t really mean much either.

The thing is, poetry is not only about words.  It’s about baring some strong emotion you are feeling completely.  Leaving it all on the page.  Then a reader, someone feeling that same thing, will pick it up and connect in a way no one else will ever connect with it.  People who aren’t feeling it, haven’t felt it, or won’t ever feel it won’t get it.  It’s not an art everyone will appreciate.

Since publishing my last poetry book (the one with the kiddos) in 2011, I haven’t written much poetry.  I’ve focused my attention on stories, short or otherwise.  Yesterday I was working on something crazy with my fantasy story (trying it from another point of view because I couldn’t help myself) and I had the idea that one of the characters would probably write poetry.  I can’t shake this idea.  So I’m getting in his head and writing a poem.  Enjoy.

There is a Monster in my Realm.

He wants to feed on joy

until there is none remaining.

There is a Monster in my Home.

He wants me to see

the misery I have closed my eyes to.

He wants me to revenge

the wrongs that I have witnessed.

Destroy

the evil I find.

There is a Monster inside me.

His rage is becoming my rage,

his rants are making sense.

I am seeing the people around me for what they truly are.

The Monster may win

 

Idea Journals

Someone wise once told me that you should write down every idea you get, big or small.  Since then I have been given variants of that advice no less than three times.  It seems as though we writers have a large mental bank, if you make a deposit you can retrieve it later.  Seems obvious. Don’t know why I didn’t think of it.

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You grab the balloon strings of those ideas floating around in your brain, drag them into your vision, and record them.

The basic idea is that if you describe that character that came to you in a dream, even though you have no context for them now, you may be able to use them later.  The same could be said for a single scene that you can picture but have no context for.  You could also record awkward or crazy things you witness when you’re out-and-about in the real world for use later (like the lady in the park who was walking a cat!).

Just write it all down.  Let your muse work her magic.  You can make it useful later.

Anyway, along those same lines here is something that just came to me.  I like it, but it literally fits nothing I’m writing.  I’ll hang on to it.  Maybe someday I’ll write about what came next for this guy (or girl…in idea journals that kind of thing is fluid).  Until then, enjoy!

***

The first time I killed someone, it was an accident.  

I was seventeen and driving on my own at night for the first time.  The rain was coming down in heavy droplets, the kind that make you crank your windshield wipers up to max and still wish for one more speed.  I rolled through a green light, that odd shade of green bouncing off the water droplets on the windshield and illuminating the entire front seat of the car.  Another car was pulling out of the parking lot for the grocery store on the right.  I saw the car, tried to slam on my brakes, tried to wrench the wheel to the left.  Nothing helped.  I slammed into her car at practically full speeds.

The police officer who was called tried to reassure the sniveling mess that I had become that it was not my fault.  It was a traffic accident.  Accidents are called accidents because no one intended for them to happen.  I did the right thing by staying on scene.  It was going to be alright.

I never told him I stayed on scene because the sight of her blood sliding down her face was mesmerizing.  I never told anyone that.  

I watched this complete stranger take ragged breaths for five minutes after I dialed 9-1-1.  I watched the last one leave her in more of a single woosh, something she had no control over.  I knew then.  

I never expected to like death, it just sort of happened.

Dear 2016 Me,

If I would like to argue that there will be a best version of me in 2016, it implies that there will also be the opposite.  In other words, at some point this year, you have to expect you’ll find the worst version of me for the year.  Sure, we all go into the year hoping that the worst is still pretty darn good…but it still holds up as a worst.

This post is intended for THAT version of me.  For those days when I drag myself home from school with barely any energy.  For those days when I can feel my self-esteem has taken a few too many hits.  For those days when I just feel blah.  I will be able to find this post, read it again, and reset.  Maybe it helps you too, that would be cool.

  1. You are good enough for whatever it is you are striving to do.
  2. You are not allergic to hard work and you never have been.

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  1. Everything worth doing is hard.  It if was easy you’d never remember it.
  2. Trust your heart it has always lead you down the right path before.  It will again.
  3. Who really matters?  Do it for them and only them.