From Alice’s Ocean

From Alice’s Ocean

I didn’t want to write and so I wrote this I will always marvel at the beauty of the struggler Of the person, up til 4 in the morning trying to write and writing badly til, with a ping, their mind snaps and makes a poem out of their struggle to create

I will always be amazed at the muse who makes their writer go all around the mulberry bush looking for rabbits and rare worlds
only to have them craft a poem about the sea of tears they’re now standing in

I will always be thankful for the times my mind snaps and for the muse who bothers to bother with an obstinate struggler
I am thankful for salt stained gifts
I am thankful for hard-won sentences

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The Theory of Relativity

“Everything in this world is relative, my dear Watson.” – Sherlock Holmes

Everything is relative.
I wrote it on the board in big white letters,
went back to my desk and stared at it.
I was proud of my new discovery,
of my new eternal truth
like I had discovered the newest e=mc2
And I took it very seriously,
frowning at it as I considered
how very relative everything was.

Everything is relative.
It became my new mantra,
my answer for everything,
my tension killer.
Everything is relative.
It is the universal tool,
what more do you need?

Then I read the Sherlock quote
ten years later
and wondered why no one had told me.
Why someone along the line
hadn’t been good enough to say
it had been done before,
that I had other things to aspire to,
other thoughts to see to.

Holmes already has that covered,
What do you need me to do?

Haunted by the Cellar Door

Haunted by the cellar door
the most beautiful words to be spoken…
and I sit angry
cellar door?
After all you’ve taught us, forced us to understand
It’s “cellar door” you claim to hold the beauty of all English language
I have poured over poems and burnt my eyes in books
for the love of the beauty of the English language.
At your requirement, I have bent my mind around work
I would never lift myself because it contains the beauty of the English language.
I’ve read the struggles of authors to capture beauty in words
But here, all they had to say to is “cellar door”
Cellar door
The words laugh at me from the chalkboard, a blank declaration of superiority
to everything around it.
Cellar…door
Have you seen one? A cellar door? Touched it, stepped inside?
And you tell me the door to the hole where I store potatoes
Hides all the beauty in the world?
I hope I burn your cellar door
I hope it bends and splits, that destruction would be beautiful.
I hope it melts and you never see another cellar door.
I want nothing to do with your cellar door.
But every time I see one, I won’t be able to think of anything else but this anymore.

 

Under the Same Moon

For my Moon Woman…

“The funny part?”

The human asked as it stared through the canvas to the wall

“After all the paintings and the engravings and models,

after every effort to mimic and every facsimile made in paint and ink and wood,

after every poem written to its heavenly shape

lauding its purity, its beauty, its aphrodisiac effect,

after making of it a lover or a mother or a curse,

after all these versions and interpretations of its form,

We’ve all been born and died under the same moon.”

Giving Thanks

I have always written and always wanted to be read. The joy of WordPress is that I can write and I am usually, if not always, read. It’s a pleasure to know that what I wish to share with other people can be shared without a middleman eyeing it and claiming it unfit for the reading world. However, I would not be here if it was not for two (?) bloggers who, entirely unbeknownst to them, are the reason I came here to  share. Today, I wish to highlight and thank them.

First is Last Night’s Parties and Last Night’s Horrorshow. I stumbled across them one lonely night looking for answers and Tom Waits quotes. I have been a regular ever since. Their posts are (and I say they, because according to their About page, they’re a family of bloggers) are like a nightclub after hours. You can tell a thing or two about who was playing by the glitter on the floor, the notes written on napkins, and the looks on the faces of the after hours crew. You may even catch the end of the show, but you can never predict who or what will be playing. Their posts range from the historical to the paranormal, poetry to prose, silly to serious and when I’m not getting what I want from the rest of the world, when I’m blue, they satisfy much like Tom does. So I saunter in, take a seat, and listen to what they have to say about it all.

Second is The Regency Redingote, something I found when I began research into the fashion of the Regency Era. According to her About page, Kathryn has a passion for and a college education in English history with particular focus on the Regency. She writes in an effort to educate readers and writers of Regency fiction which, like all historical fiction, can sometimes fall prey to terrible anachronism and inaccuracy. Kathryn’s posts are always informative and interesting (one of my favorites is about the history of ketchup) and she ends them with a little nod to writers, asking what inspiration they might draw from the post (and we like inspiration).

I recommend both blogs to anybody looking for a little something to add to their “Following” list. You can’t go wrong with LNPALNHS (I claim credit as the first to abbreviate it, ha!) and as long as you have an interest in history and are open to learning about this often-overlooked era, you’ll find something on The Regency Redingote to please you.

In conclusion, thank you to Kathryn Kane at The Regency Redingote and, well, everybody at Last Night’s Parties and Last Night’s Horrorshow. I wouldn’t have found my way to this place without you.

 

Writing the Plot: When What You Want Doesn’t Matter

“When authors write best, or at least, when they wrote most fluently, an influence seems to waken in them which becomes their master, which will have its own way, putting  out of view all behests but its own, dictating words, and insisting on their being used, whether vehement or measured in their nature; new moulding characters, giving unthought- of turns to incidents, rejecting carefully elaborated old ideas, and suddenly creating and adopting new ones. Is this not so? And should we try to counteract this influence? Can we indeed counteract it?”- Charlotte Bronte

I write in my head. When there’s no pen or pencil around, no keyboard, I write in my head. My glassy eyes are unfocused and unblinking as I compose sentences in my mind, rearranging their placement, dreaming new dialogue, building new scenes and I generally don’t realize that I’ve fallen into the pit until Mum tilts her head to find my eyes and asks if I’m okay. And all this is fine until I sit down to type it out in a word processor and everything I built is blown away like ashes.

“Uh-uh,” someone says in my head, “start over.”

And I pout and say, “But-”

and they shake their head and say, “I don’t like it. It’s no good. Now write.”

And I say “But-”

And they calmly shake their head and say “Write. Put your fingers over the keys and start typing.”

and I say, “But what are we doing, what’s going to happen?”

and they press their lips together and stay silent, keeping all the content from me.

And when I fold my arms and stomp

they fold their arms and slowly lean back like Alice’s caterpillar and regard me coolly

And when I strain my ears for what I’m supposed to say

they arch their eyebrows in amusement

“You don’t get it yet, do you?” They say with a smile on their lips. “No type, no story. No write, no create. You don’t get any sneak previews. You don’t need to see where you’re going to get there. Your eyes have nothing to do with this trip, doll. No ears either. No maps, no compass, no flashlight, no plans. Now, walk your fingers across those keys, or we aren’t going anywhere.”

And we stare at each other.

And I start picking up pieces of what I constructed prior to their interruption and paste them crudely to the page, but they don’t stick. I get more frustrated as they fall, and they cross their legs and watch it all from their perch.

I throw it all on the floor in a wet messy heap and cry.

And they chew a straw and stare down at it and then ask if I’m finished yet. Because the train hasn’t left the station, but home is waiting and supper is cold.

And I stomp to my desk and stick my hands over they keys, shoot them a look meant to knock them off their mushroom, and then type. Blindly.

But instead up stumbling into marshes, I walk around ponds. Instead of falling off hills, I walk off them into trees and the scenery paints itself as I go along. And Someone fades into the back, legs crossed reading a book in the dark while I work and walk, not making  a sound but keeping out an eye for when I try to work out the plot.

Light Reading: Thoughts on When You’re Strange

This is a little snack. A little something from the kitchen of inspiration for those of you who aren’t in the mood for a full meal. Believe me, I understand. Sometimes it’s better to eat light.

Thoughts on When You’re Strange

When you’re strange

Pink women turn up their noses

And the men shake their heads

But I wouldn’t give up a minute of this bitter shake

To their shallow view

The copper taste of nighttime lights

Lines my mouth

And a thousand pleasures glimpsed through the round lights of the midway

Are worth more than their acceptance

Oh, people are strange when you’re a stranger

But they don’t know what nighttime fields I’ve wandered

What abandoned house I’ve plundered

For its midnight secrets

Leaving lines in the dust and nothing more

They don’t know what curls my copper lips into a crooked smile

And never will