Monday, January 6, 2020

Before and After (Poem Revision Fail)

I wrote the rough draft of a poem during a difficult spot of chemotherapy.  In November, I tried to make it an actual, decent poem.  I failed the ideas that went into the creation of the piece both times.

In the "final version", the source material is reduced in such a way that it manifests as nonsense.  What are death's "staccato, blue words"?  Are clichés twisted into pain?  My favorite line of the draft (sadly) doesn't have a place in the finished piece.

If I didn't stick so close to the source material, this could've ended up fairly okay.  But, I did and it isn't.  *Shrugs*

TW:  Self-harm, Suicidal Ideation

Before:

My pen is like a needle, the point so fine, I want to jab it until it breaches me
ink the muted blue of my veins sprawled, a hooker primed for work.
I'm sad, so I hide behind metaphors—rain, oceans, darkness—cliché.
The first I can grab and its worn-out, my grandma's unraveled bra.
I'm sorry, so I stay silent. I don't want to hurt this way. Twist, and see new pain.
Each day my brain walks the mountain and plummets. This is not a slide.
I do it, anyway. Other people practice self-harm. I am the master.
This is my circus. Tigers are rabid, giving teeth-tear spots, flashing stripes.
Backwards fashionistas. I hate myself, so I want to die. I'm afraid of death.
I want things better... life better. Stitching blue words. My skin unmarred.

After:

Writing a Depressed Poem

My pen is like a needle. It breaches
ink veins sprawled and primed for work.
Rain, oceans, darkness—cliché.
Twist... and see new pain.

My brain practices self-harm.
Mental tigers leave teeth-tear spots.
Afraid of death's staccato, blue words.
My unmarred skin beside ruined pages.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Holiday Cards 2019 (With Pictures)

This year, I made approximately twenty holiday cards.

These four cards started out as plain, white cardstock.  The central images are stamps; unfortunately, my ink pads were running dry.  The strips of gems (the blue and gold) are floral wraps from The Dollar Tree. 

Two cards from the Anna Griffin card kit.  I really wanted to showcase the central images on these cards. 

These two cards are more white cardstock paired with blue construction paper.  The lettering is comprised of stickers.  They are very easy designs to make without a kit.

These six cards combine the card kit with random die-cuts and more floral wrap.  The older I get, the more I appreciate self-adhesive adornments. 

I hope, regardless of what holiday you celebrate, that it's the best one yet!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Omniscience (Christmas Flash Fiction)

Nahflegaz, the ancient God of night and winter, materialized on top of a snow
drift and looked upon his surroundings with disgust. Lights twinkled in every
window, doors were decorated with greenly life. It was sickening.

“Grazakradi,” the God called forth his first general, “tell the legions to fan
out. Find him.”

The hulking shade nodded and, with one elongated tendril, raised up every
shadow cast by moon and man. Within minutes, the darkness spread and cut itself into millions of stick-like figures.

Nahflegaz watched as his newly-recruited soldiers spread out while he sharpened his icy blade. He set off, covering miles with a single lurch. He followed the cold and drifted North, skirting over oceans and plains. He was going to the top of the world.
 ****
He spent hours searching for the earthly God, the one who stole his offerings and admirers... the fat, old man of the North. Long after the estimated time, Nahflegaz waited for any flash of red or sound of horrid bells.

"The people who worship him will pay,” Nahflegaz said, “as soon as I slay that
Santa Claus.”

Monday, November 25, 2019

"Diagnosis Prelude" in Bacopa Literary Review

In the middle of September, Bacopa Literary Review published a poem of mine. It's a more personal piece than the normal ones I send out. I was going through radiation for uterine cancer and trying to make sense of things in my life.  

I never thought I'd deal with cancer so young. I certainly couldn't imagine surviving two cancers (uterine and Hodgkin's) like I am now. It's a lot. Next month, I get another scan to see if I'm still in remission.


I wanted the end of the poem to be like my future, ambiguous... yet hopeful. Sometimes, it's all we can ask for.

Monday, November 11, 2019

November PAD

I'm participating in the Poem-a-Day Challenge this month, the first time in four years.  The rules of the challenge are different for me:  I allow myself mulligan days, partial pieces, and other things I normally don't.  At first, I rallied against my self-accommodations but, as time went on, I realized I couldn't participate without them.  Do I want to produce three poems following every stipulation, or thirty with tweaks to the process?

2019 is one of the hardest years of my life so far.  There is always an illness or emergency sucking away my sleep, time, and health.  Writing isn't a priority when the world is on fire, and all you wish for is that no one dies.

Nineteen full and partial poems—by day's end, that number should be a nice, round twenty.  I don't even know if I wrote nineteen poems this entire year prior to November.

The part I don't like about this challenge is how few poems are actually good.  Out of every piece I wrote so far, I might currently like two.  I keep mixing metaphors, covering the same ground, letting the middles sag, and producing endings that aren't endings at all. But, that's what editing is for... I guess.  I just wish there was more wheat within the mountain of chaff.

Are you doing a writing challenge this month?

Monday, October 28, 2019

Frankenstein (A Poem)

Flesh, patchwork quilt
Summer storm gave birth to you
(Reanimation)
Ground relinquished your body
You shall call me “God”

I toyed with switching the beginning of the last line from "you" to "they" because of Dr. Frankenstein's ego, but I left it to merely encompass the monster.  I do (and don't) like this poem.  

Extras (some horror microfiction):
Conjure

She hesitated
"It's okay... touch it."
"So warm," she said, smiling.
They watched the hellmouth grow.
*~*
Seamstress

"Girls die," sister said, "for dresses like these."
She twirled.  The patchwork, skin skirt flared outward.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Halloween Cards 2019 (With Pictures)

This is my messy workstation. What the picture doesn't show you are all the boxes and supplies laid out around my table and chair.

I tried a bat theme in monochrome. Some of the bats are 3D, and they are all glittery. I am not thrilled with the way it came out.

Green is a Halloween color, so I thought I would pair two shades together. It's a simple stamp card, which I think turned out kind of cute.

I adore witches and purple, so this card was really pretty in my head. In reality, it's kind of boring. I hate that you can see visible glue smears on the black. Keep in mind, I am not a professional. 

This card turned out to be my favorite. The three pumpkins on the bottom have glittery eyes and mouths to match the glitter on the main pumpkin. The gold stripes in the background are shiny. It ended up working very well. (I'm still not sure about the three pumpkins on the bottom, it might've worked better with just the big pumpkin as the focus).
*~*
What do you think? Which card is your favorite?