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Poem #9, PAD Challenge 2009

Prompt #9 was to write about a memory. I had a good time with this one.

First Glance

Memory is a funny thing
It can be clear as a clean windowpane,
or as murky as Briny waters.

I remember your dark hair, how that one strand curled
just above your forehead above your deep blue eyes.
You t-shirt clung to those new muscles,
firm biceps and washboard stomach.
Jeans clinging to thin legs
that walked tentatively.

You remember walking around with bed-head,
“sleepies” clinging to the corner of your eyes.
A wrinkled, Swiss cheese shirt too small for your new body
and arms that felt like prosthetics.
Jeans too tight in the crotch,
making your stride stiff.

My hand disappeared in yours that first night
but it was comfortable even when your hand started to sweat
as we sat in the back of your friend’s mustang,
drove around downtown listening to rock and shouting to talk.
I leaned back to feel the wind in my hair
trying to keep it from striking you.

I slid closer to you on that leather seat,
the mustang cornering on two wheels just missing the curb.
Your arm curled around my shoulders to hold me close
When a seat belt wasn’t enough. You smelled of musk
and wood. At least that’s how I remember it.

What did you write today?

For more information about the challenge, go here.

***GIVEAWAY REMINDER***

I have 1 copy of Jill Mansell’s An Offer You Can’t Refuse; get two entries, comment on my review and my interview. Deadline is April 11 at Midnight.

Poem #8, PAD Challenge 2009

Today’s Prompt is to write about a specific routine or routines. This was another tough one for me, but here’s my attempt:

Exercise

Get up, get down
Step up, step down
Hike up, walk down
Moving in this motion
Just to get the heart pumping.
There must be a better way.
Aerobics for an anaerobe.
Dressed in sweats, ready for the afternoon
sweat pours down
as my feet hit the floor or the plastic mold.
Techno music with drum beats
in time with my steps:
Up, down, up, down, up.
Too bad the fat doesn’t sloth off with water.

What did you write today?

For more information about the challenge, go here.

***GIVEAWAY REMINDER***

I have 1 copy of Jill Mansell’s An Offer You Can’t Refuse; get two entries, comment on my review and my interview. Deadline is April 11 at Midnight.

Poem #7, PAD Challenge 2009

The prompt for Day 7 fell on Tuesday, April 7. Poetic Asides has two prompts on Tuesday–Two for Tuesday. I was tasked with writing a poem about clean or dirty. So here’s my rough draft for this prompt:

Shave

Swift horizontal swipe
cuts down dark trunks
fall quicker than the lead
in my pencil broken on the page.

A nail scratching up my chalkboard leg,
dry and cracked from winter kiss.
Clear-cut forest
with scattered stumps among cracked earth.
My hands run along
carrying water to the earth,
moisture covers skin seamlessly
absorbed deeply by pores
free of radicals
free of conservatives
free to be.

What did you write today?

For more information about the challenge, go here.

***GIVEAWAY REMINDER***

I have 1 copy of Jill Mansell’s An Offer You Can’t Refuse; get two entries, comment on my review and my interview. Deadline is April 11 at Midnight.

Poem #6, PAD Challenge 2009

Today’s poem prompt is to write about something that is missing, whether that is a physical object, a feeling, or an idea. Here’s my feeble attempt at this prompt:

Missing Something

There it is in your touch,
a slow burn on my skin
it trails down my neck and across my cheek.
It’s a love I cannot understand.
Slams into my supple cheek,
harsh as the morning light after a long night.
You say you love me,
caress me, press all the right buttons in bed.
But when I have things to do,
places to be, work to take care of,
it’s a different story.
A story that takes a deep, heated turn
like the argument we have over the coffee.
It’s too strong, too bitter, and too burnt.

What did you write today?

For more information about the challenge, go here.

Poem #5, PAD Challenge 2009

Today’s poem prompt was to write about a landmark, which could mean Mt. Rushmore or the Sphinx or something as mundane as a local water tower.

Ready for a really rough draft? OK, well you better get ready because here it is:

Asa Waters Mansion, Millbury, Mass.

In a small mill town of less than 1,000 people,
a gunsmith built his home with columns and white.
The large mansion stood atop a hill
in the center of town with wrought iron fence.
Beneath the house run tunnels
deep under the dirt and lawn
dank with musty smells.

Dark and huddled beneath the mansion,
waiting for an escape
along the Blackstone River bank
under cover of night.
There are no railroads here,
though the train has moved on the embankment
winding northward under starlit skies.

Today, next to the local post office
atop the river mount, it still stands.
Proud, pristine, and manicured
and the rail zooms on the opposite bank
between Providence and Worcester,
much more efficient than the canal and barge
and the roaming slaves under cover of night.

What did you write today?

For more information about the challenge, go here.

Poem #4, PAD Challenge 2009

Day 4, I’m on a roll. Here’s the prompt from today. You must choose an animal and write a poem about that animal or something to do with that animal. Another rough draft:

Walrus

Smooth, sharp tusk
makes my lisp more pronounced.
It’s harder to enunciate with a mouthful.
But my family and friends don’t mind
we get along well, travel and see the sights
when we can muster the strength
to drag ourselves across sheets of ice
with flippered feet and rolls of fat.
Don’t feel sad for me
I don’t need Jenny Craig
and I don’t need that thermal suit of yours.
I’ve got my own.
Besides have you seen me dance
below the ice, in the cold ocean, I’ve got
silky samba moves.

What did you write today?

For more information about the challenge, go here.

Poem #3, PAD Challenge 2009

Day 3 of the PAD Challenge and here’s Yesterday’s Prompt. The challenge is to fill in the blank of this title “The Problem With BLANK” and to make that the title of the poem. Ready to see my rough draft? Here it is:

The Problem With Blogging

To blog or not to blog?
That is a question.
I’ve heard the alarm,
buzzing in my ear all morning.
First a shower,
then get some clothes on
and head out the door for the 9-to-5

Here I sit,
hair sticking up and snarled,
fingers planted on cold keys.
Pjs wrinkled and damp with sweat.
The sun coming up behind me,
a shower forgotten.

Grammar and spelling checked,
images positioned where I want them,
an entry waiting to be published.
Just hit that orange button and
we can get on with the day
of checking comments and replying.

Stay tuned later today for the 4th poem. I’m a day behind. What did you write today?

For more information about the challenge, go here.

Poem #2, PAD Challenge 2009

OK, here it is. Today’s prompt was to write an outsider poem, whether its the narrator, an inanimate object, or someone else as the outsider. This is my rough draft:

Sisters

Cuddled on the recliner,
two halves of the coin–
Black on black
with white paws barely touching.
What’s it like
to be a feline sister.
Ready to curl up, bookends.
Strike and swipe claws in skin
at a pin drop.
Chunk of fur flies.

What did you write today?

For more information about the challenge, go here.

Poem #1, PAD Challenge 2009

OK, here it is. Today’s prompt was to write about an origin, whether its the origin of a word, an idea, a place, or anything. This is my rough draft:

Aging

Swirls in the primordial soup
Scooped up by my metal spoon
Wrap around the handle
Climb up my fingers
Bore into my skin
Entwine my joints.

Rigid
Calcified bone
Beneath gathered skin
Weathered like brown leather.

It started lucid
Like a sober man entering the bar after work,
But as the years passed,
Flexibility stretched to capacity
An elastic band that no longer holds,
But folds in on itself.

What did you write today?

For more information about the challenge, go here.

Poem-A-Day Challenge & Question

Ok, I’ve already warned you that this is the start of National Poetry Month! So Today is the day to decide whether you are crazy enough to join me in the Poem-A-Day challenge.

For a complete list of rules, go here to Poetic Asides.

Here’s the basics:

It runs from April 1 to April 30.

If you are interested in the eBook portion of the challenge, you must post your poems under the correct prompts at Poetic Asides, though poems can be written on days before or after the prompt day.

If you just want to complete the challenge, you must post a poem in the comments at Poetic Asides on the correct prompt for all 30 days to receive the “certificate and badge” for proud display on your blog, etc.

There is no special registration or fee for this challenge, though I’d love it if a bunch of you left your willingness to participate statement in my comments.


Also if you are interested in writing poems over a 30-day period for the month, you can check out NaPoWriMo.

Need some help with poetry writing, there is a great sale going on at Writer’s Digest for all the poetry writing books they have. 20% off. Check it out, here.

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On a side note, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

Do any of you bloggers read poetry books and review them?

How often do you review them?

Or do you want to review poetry collections?

I’ve been thinking about making a list and posting it somewhere on this blog to collect the site names and contact information of bloggers interested in reviewing poetry books.

If you want to be on this list, please email me your URL, name, and preferred contact information.

Writing Goal Week #13

The last writing goal was to write some newer poems for Marked issue of Blossombones or some new poems for any reason. Not feeling very inspired these days with all the bad economic news, the closure of newspapers across the country, and other personal events. However, the best month of the year is coming, and I feel the tide turning.

Writing Goal Week #13

The distractions continued this week, but I have a new motivator beginning in the middle of this week. I will be joining the Poem-A-Day Challenge on Poetic Asides to provide me with additional incentive to get some poetic verse written, especially since April is National Poetry Month. Check out the list of judges for the PAD Challenge, and you’ll notice a familiar name; I interviewed Mary Biddinger, here.


NATIONAL POETRY MONTH:

I couldn’t get away with not mentioning National Poetry Month, which starts April 1.

The American Academy of Poets has some great information on the festivities, including how to get kids interested in poetry and poetry readings. You can even download a copy of the poster image “Do I Dare Disturb the Universe,” which I think is a fantastic creation.

Check out the list of events the academy has embarked upon since 1998. There is a list of events for 2009 on the main page as well, including Poem-In-Your-Pocket Day on April 30, 2009, the Free Verse Photo Project, and the National Poetry Map, where you can look up your state and get a list of events, journals, and other poetic tools near you. Check it out, become active this month!

Here’s what’s going on for National Poetry Month here at Savvy Verse & Wit:

1. There will be a swath of contemporary poetry book reviews this month, though I do have some fiction tour dates already scheduled for the month, so it won’t be all poetry.

2. I will provide you updates on my PAD Challenge progress and other poetry events happening in the Washington, D.C./Maryland/Virginia area.

3. The poet interviews should continue this month as well in conjunction with 32 Poems. I urge you to subscribe to the magazine if you have enjoyed the poetry posted with this project and the interviews.

4. There will be updates about the upcoming Conversations and Connections Writer’s Conference in Washington, D.C. on April 11 and of course, the recap.

Our first Poetry related event, and its not even April:

Writer’s Center, Bethesda, MD, Event, Sunday, March 29 at 2PM:

Poets Richard Blanco, author of “Directions to the Beach of the Dead” and “City of a Hundred Fires,” and Jehanne Dubrow, author of “The Hardship Post”

I interviewed Jehanne Dubrow recently, here.

Conversations and Connections Writer’s Conference, D.C.

Remember that great recap post from last year’s Conversations & Connections writer’s conference in Washington, D.C.?

Well, you can expect another one this year. Anna and I have registered for this year’s conference, which is going to have many of the great features it had last year.

Where is it located?

Johns Hopkins University Advanced Writing Program campus
1717 Massachusetts Avenue, NW,
Washington, D.C. (Near DuPont Circle)

When do I need to be there?

April 11, 2009; Registration starts at 8:30 AM

Why do I need to be there?

Not only will you be exposed to some great writing advice from some of the authors and poets you love, but there will be time to buy books at the book fair, show your work to literary journal editors to solicit their advice, and network with great bloggers, like Anna and myself, and others in the industry. This may be the first time I get to meet Deborah Ager of 32 Poems in person; she and I have been working on poet interviews over the last several months.

What’s the line up?

Craft lectures are available as choices for each of the three sessions from writing sex scenes to fighting writer’s block with experimental prompts.

The three sessions also have a number of panel discussions to choose from, including juggling multiple points of view in a novel, creative nonfiction, and the inner workings of an agency.

Don’t forget speed dating with literary journal editors where they will provide feedback on your written work.

And of course, there is the featured speaker, Amy Hempel.
Check out the list of speakers, here.

What’s the cost? $55, which gives you a one-year subscription to a literary magazine, the conference sessions, featured speaker, one speed dating session with an editor, and one book.