Guest Post: Poet Megan Denese Mealor, author of Blatherskite

Today’s guest is poet Megan Denese Mealor, whose new book Blatherskite will be published by Clare Songbirds Publishing House and available for pre-order.

About the Book:

Blatherskite refers to “a person who talks at great length without making much sense.” Each of the 50 poems in this loose-lipped, violently verbose collection are filled with impossibly impossible imagery, juxtapositions, chaos, romance, frenzies, tornados, villains, frilly maidens, ravenous flowers, silk birds, and decaying schoolboy cars. In other words, it is an odyssey through the faceted hallways of language that you must read for yourself to absorb, deduce, and receive.

Please give Megan a warm welcome:

My passion for the written word was born shortly after I was; by age three, I was scribbling stories with crayons on colored paper.

As the years went by, my love affair with writing became more passionate. One of the greatest stepping stones I was offered was the chance to attend the prestigious Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, where I majored in–what else?–Creative Writing. While a student there, I learned to self-critique, edit my own emotions, to create unique but universal images and characters.

I graduated with the National Penwomen’s Association Literature Award under my belt, as well as a growing hunger to carve out a place for myself in today’s world of words. By twenty, I was well on my way to accomplishing that goal in college, earning a first-place award for a school-wide short story competition.

But then the bottom dropped out of everything: first, the fleeting twinges of bipolar disorder I had experienced since middle school became raging tunnels of wild, withering darkness, a psychotic torture device from which I could not escape. And then my father, my kind, supportive, endlessly loving father, suffered a blood clot to the brain and passed away overnight; I am still haunted by the good-byes and the gratitude I never got to show him.

For years, I pushed my writing, my family and friends, and even my own safety aside in order to hurt myself as deeply as I could. I wanted to bask in the wounds I felt I deserved; nothing could break my twisted spell–until I learned that I was pregnant with the child I never thought I wanted.

A fire began to work its way into my veins as my love and humanity returned to me, and for the first time in years the words came and came in waves of repressed sadness, rage, and love. I developed my own unique poetic style, which I like to describe as eclectic, wounded, intangible, abstract, heartbroken, even avante garde. I don’t try to make my ultimate messages clear for the reader; perhaps I don’t even know them myself, and that’s fine with me. I want my readers to find their own reflections in my words.

As more and more of my poems and short stories began to appear in amazing publications and magazines worldwide, I began to do something I hadn’t done in a very, very long time: believe in myself, and in my work. My first full-length poetry book, Bipolar Lexicon, was published by Unsolicited Press in 2018, and my second book, Blatherskite, followed in 2019, published by Clare Songbirds Publishing House. Two of my poems were even nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize by two separate publications in 2018, which still amazes and heartens me.

I have been asked by many editors and even readers why I don’t feature my work on social media, and I have no answer to give them other than the fact that I despise social media–no more, no less. I always have; social media, to me, is toxic and insidious. I personally felt like it would cheapen or dilute my work, and besides, I have always been the most private person I know.

My writing process is unusual in that I don’t have a designated time to sit down and let the words spill out; that only happens on its own–in Aisle 3 of Walmart while shopping for dinner, driving past a smashed-up cemetery, talking to the cashier at the pizza place. When this occurs, I must always rush home to unleash whatever whispers are screaming the loudest. Sometimes, you know, the poetry has to claw its way out.

Thank you, Megan, for sharing your writing with us today. She was also kind enough to share a sample poem with us:

Before the Beginning

God without Eve:
watercolor wanderlust
a blizzard stoked with stones

She smoothed in
vicious strokes of sea
lit reclusive hillsides
with bellflowers and begonias
etched herself at awestruck angles
tangled Adam's warring bones
slept forgotten in the mosses
climbed and climbed forbidden skies
slept forgotten in the mosses

Serpents sweetened and riddled
deafening star-stunned sparrows
left unfeathered, undefined

About the Poet:

Megan Denese Mealor is the author of three full-length poetry collections: Blatherskite (Clare Songbirds House Publishing, 2019), Bipolar Lexicon (Unsolicited Press, 2018), and A Mourning Dove’s Wishbone (still in the works). She was nominated twice for the 2018 Pushcart Prize by both Neologism Poetry Journal and Liquid Imagination, and was selected as the November 2018 Featured Poet for Neologism Poetry Journal. Her poetry and short stories have been featured in numerous publications since 2012, most notably Literally Stories, A Long Story Short, Digital Americana, Gone Lawn, The Furious Gazelle, Maudlin House, The Ministry of Poetic Affairs, and The Ekphrastic Review.

A quintessential Pisces daydream believer, Megan works as a full-time writer and mother in her hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. She employs writing, language, spirituality, yoga, photography, painting, and meditation to battle lifelong bipolar disorder and depression. Her son Jesse was diagnosed with autism at age three, and Megan has dedicated her life to enriching and understanding his locked, elusive world. She recently married Jesse’s father and her longtime love Tony, and together they populate a cavernous townhouse along with their sovereign cats Trigger and LuLu.