“This is Water”–guest blog post by m.nicole.r.wildhood

This mirrors so much of my life’s thought process and here I am still trying to find the GREAT GOOD THING but I am also trying to figure out how to do the good AND write (preferably about the great good thing).

Trish Hopkinson

I was the only first-grader to use plunge in my response to Ms. Hill-Rounds’ prompt: Write a story about a time you learned how to do something. I could swim almost as soon as I could walk – my dad says I should have been born a fish – but I wasn’t comfortable until I was in the water, so the summer my younger sister was old enough for swimming lessons, my mom took the opportunity to sign me up for diving lessons. My story for Ms. Hill-Rounds was five pages of fear and trembling and running away at the last second, and a paragraph of finally plunging heels first off the high dive into 12 feet of rec-center-pool water. Ms. Hill-Rounds gave me high praise for ‘being a writer’ but it would be another two decades before I’d be able to commit to jumping all the way in.

Since…

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ALL the Poetry Prompts

I have been deeply slacking in posting the prompts I have been working on so I am going to post them all here and then get back to posting the process later today. Thank you to all of you who have been following along! ^_^

Before I list ALL the prompts, just a reminder:

If you would like to read the poems that I have been writing from these prompts, they are in the book For Those Who OutlastTheir Pain. I will divide the profits between Rachel’s campaign The Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter. If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!Also, stay tuned for a Kickstarter campaign for pre-ordering! 

IF YOU ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE 30/30 THIS MONTH I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW ABOUT IT! LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS. IF YOU ARE SHARING YOUR POEMS, PLEASE PUT A LINK TO YOUR SITE OR BLOG! ^_^

And now for ALL the prompts!

  1. If your body is a church, what memory is its god?
  2. Write your mother as a forest and all that was lost in it.
  3. Write your childhood in 12 apologies.*(*the apologies do not have to be from you)
  4. Witches / water, vampires / wooden stakes. Anything can be destroyed. Drag a shame of yours into a room, then kill it.
  5. Write a murder ballad to the hands that wolf you.
  6. Write an obituary for your worst year.
  7. Ten lessons blood taught you.
  8. Write your father as a ghost town & the silences that inhabit it.
  9. In the museum of poverty
  10. write an angry letter to an ex in the voice of one of your body parts.
  11. Write the morning before the betrayal.
  12. Who was your coldest night?
  13. What ghosts flesh your body?
  14. praise the heavy ghosts of an unforgiven thing
  15. Write what has grown in place of her heart.
  16. A poem in two parts–describe safe as it was when you were small / what it is now.
  17. Describe them in five resurrections.
  18. NEW Write a small story about the women who live at the bottom of the river.
  19. NEW Write a two-part list poem. 1) All they mistook you for 2) All you mistook them for.
  20. A poem written from inside his body.
  21. Write the many translations of your skin.
  22. Your heart as a sideshow act—promote some of its tricks.
  23. Write a 25-line brag poem about what you OWN.
  24. Write someone you love a proper heaven.
  25. Fuck what you lost that night. Write what you gained.
  26. Write a list poem of forbidden things that bring you joy.
  27. Write the ten line biography for your teeth.
  28. in five small vignettes, write the legacy of your hair
  29. Write yourself mighty & naked, strolling through a town that does not deserve you.
  30. Write a thank you letter to your body. For all it has done. For all it has endured & driven out & welcomed in. Share the story of your bones. The unruly hairs and blood. Where in your body do you carry most your ancestors? Where does all that unspent love reside? Who hovers above that complex brain of yours? What beasts chase you? What beast(s) must you become to stay here? What beasts do you regularly drive down into the earth?

BONUS: Describe justice in ten objects
(I started this one before NaPoWriMo and will put it in micro book instead of including it in the main book)

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

Rachel posted a LOT of prompts. I only picked 30 for National Poetry Month 30/30 challenge. Here are the rest that I was able to find:

  • Open letter to your favorite letter in the alphabet. (Work on using that letter as much as possible.)
  • Write a poem that speaks of what it would rather be.
  • Write a dinner party where all the guests are those you’ve wronged.
  • Write a poem of unforgiveness.
  • Write what has grown in place of his mouth.
  • Write about a small boy standing alone in the middle of the road holding a photo of your _______
  • If you know it, start a poem with your birth weight. Account for each pound; imagine all you were carrying w/ you when you arrived.
  • Write a letter to whiteness in the voice of a bullet
  • Write a praise poem to your ugly ass feet.
  • Poem about the outfit or haircut that damn near ruined your life
  • Write a non-apology for what you’ve stolen. (I’m guessing this is after “This Is Just To Say” by William Carlos Williams)

So that is a total of 42 prompts! Happy poeming! ^_^

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I have to say that now that I am past the blatantly painful (for me) prompts, it almosts feels weird not to have to violently struggle to get the poem out. I’m not saying it’s easy per se, just not as gut wrenching. And on for today’s progress…

PROMPT SIXTEEN: A poem in two parts–describe safe as it was when you were small / what it is now.

It’s the 16th day of National Poetry Month and I am tired y’all. I really think the first three or four prompts ripped out my soul. I feel like the poems since have paled in comparison. Still OK… maybe even good… just not as great as I want them to be. May will be the time to review and edit once I have some distance from the subjects.

This poem is starting off abstract. It’s just places and situations. Maybe that is exactly how it should be. I think this will be a simpler poem. I don’t think creating a single place and weaving a narrative around that is what this poem needs. Plus, it has a bunch of small places instead of one big place… Maybe… I’m going to keep writing and see if I change my mind when I am done with what is basically ending up as a list poem.

One thing I am noticing as I list the “safe” of my childhood, that my safe now is not that different. The only thing really different is no treehouses and I stopped running to Mama for comfort at about 12. Interesting.

This is the list that I am going to attempt to make sound more poetic:
Safe as it was when you were small…
under the covers warm
top of the tree in summer sun
cuddle with the kitty
hidden by mother’s arms
in the notes of a song
in the pages of a book

What safe is now… The only changes are:
top of the building in the summer sun
hidden by lover’s arms

Going to see what I can build from this foundation. The poeming continues!

~~~~~~~

What is your process when you write? Is there anything that is your standard “go-to” method? Do you use prompts or just write from your own thoughts? I would love to hear your take on this in the comments!

Thanks for reading! ^_^

P.S.
If you would like to read these poems I’m writing, I plan on doing the annual chapbook as a perfect bound book and all profits will be divided evenly between Rachel McKibbens’ Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter in my area.  If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!

Also, stay tuned for the Kickstarter for the pre-order! 

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 Challenge – Prompt Sixteen

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I think I have finally gotten past the hardest part. I arranged the prompts from the harshest to the least harsh and today is the first day of what I consider the “transitional” prompts. If you haven’t realized by now, Rachel McKibbens is a BEAST with the prompts. So let’s get on with number sixteen, shall we?

PROMPT SIXTEEN: A poem in two parts–describe safe as it was when you were small / what it is now.

If you would like to read the poems that I have been writing from these prompts, I will be putting them into a book which I will divide the profits between Rachel’s campaign The Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter. If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!

Also, stay tuned for a Kickstarter campaign for pre-ordering! 

IF YOU ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE 30/30 THIS MONTH I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW ABOUT IT! LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS. IF YOU ARE SHARING YOUR POEMS, PLEASE PUT A LINK TO YOUR SITE OR BLOG! ^_^

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The Prompt and the Progress – Day Fifteen, Poem Fifteen

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I arranged the prompts by how harsh they felt and how much they would take me through my darkness to find my light. Did the “harder” ones first and now I am transitioning to the “easier” ones. Today’s work…

PROMPT: Write what has grown in place of her heart.

This time I am going to write about ALL of “us” as in what I know for myself and from hearing and reading the stories of other survivors of assault.

For some of us it is about being harmed by the trusted friend or lover, for others it is the stranger in the dark. For some of us it is sexual, some physical, some mental. We are a multitude of dark facets in a large gemstone. Some can fully heal and move on, most of us can only learn how not to fall apart.

THE “HER” WHOSE HEART HAS BEEN REPLACED…
In my mind’s eye I am seeing this composite woman/girl. My Euro-centric education makes me want her to be a princess/queen/mermaid/mythical, but I know that she is above and beyond all that. She started off in the form of a mere mortal and holds that form most of the time, but she is a towering goddess of flame and might (even if she may not know it about herself).

THE HEART…
It was blood and muscle and life… then it was crushed and broken… that last phrase makes me want to make a bionic heart but I know that the new heart is greater than that… something gorgeous and valuable and strong… The “grown” part of the prompt brings to mind the thorn forest in sleeping beauty… over grown and harsh and unapproachable… I think I may incorporate that…

so… on to the poeming…

~~~~~~~

What is your process when you write? Is there anything that is your standard “go-to” method? Do you use prompts or just write from your own thoughts? I would love to hear your take on this in the comments!

Thanks for reading! ^_^

P.S.
If you would like to read these poems I’m writing, I plan on doing the annual chapbook as a perfect bound book and all profits will be divided evenly between Rachel McKibbens’ Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter in my area.  If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!

PPS… I’m planning on doing a Kickstarter for the preorders soon so stay tuned for that! :-)

 

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The Progress – Day Fourteen, Poem Fourteen

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I hope that these posts about the back story and process of my poem writing have been entertaining and/or helpful. I would love your feedback in the comments! And now on to the story for today’s challenge prompt…

PROMPT: praise the heavy ghosts of an unforgiven thing

So… what is the unforgiven thing? Is it an action that I am still mad about? Or will I be abstract and build a creature to hold the unforgiveness… OR BOTH?? Metaphorically create this creature to represent the thing I do not forgive.

I don’t want to write another poem about THE ASSAULT… it has become too much… a big heavy thing that I thought I killed but like the classic horror killers beginning in the 80s and 90s, it just KEEPS. COMING. BACK. This subject keeps shuffle dragging it’s way back into all the prompts for me. I suppose the fact that The Outlast Project is about healing from the wounds of assault that this is just a part of this process. It’s like without having any actual contact with Rachel or going to one of the shows (yet), I am going through this process by proxy.

So let me build the creature and the place…

THE CREATURE…
Its eyes are dull and barely reflect the low lights that shine in the darkness of the night that surrounds it… the skin is grayish brown and slick and has a dim sheen to it, not a shine though, only a subtle sheen… It is short compared to me but thick and bulky… a wide roundish head to hold the big dull eyes… no hair anywere to speak of… not that can be seen anyway… the wide slit mouth cuts across its face like a bad clay sculpture… small nostrils are set close together in the center just above the slightly protruding slit lips… it is dull, so dull, almost unaware of its own existence… it has no voice only a scratchy croakish bark-like sound…

THE PLACE…
the whole world here is grayish brown like the creature… it is like a hazy fog of this brown mist… it is squishy suck step muck mud ground… there feel like there are plants here but I can’t see them… this is the world of the creature and I… our world

but there are supposed to be ghosts… so many ghosts for me in this series… I have a creature but what I really need are the wraiths that surround and fill it… AND they have to be PRAISED… I don’t know if I can PRAISE these ghosts…

THE GHOSTS…
The creatures breath is made of wraiths… when I look closer they dance and swim under its skin and in the eyes I first thought were so dull… they are white thin wisps of smoke… they are insubstantial… they are nearly nothing… multitudes and legions and yet so inconsequential…

but I must PRAISE THEM… I must find the good in the existence of these ghosts… I must find a way to say good things about the thing that I will never forgive… lets go back to real life for a minute… the assaut is not something I will ever forgive… how do I praise its ghosts???? I suppose the only praise I have is that in whatever harsh way, the experience has formed the me I am today and to be honest, I LOVE ME SOME ME! SO… HOW TO DO THIS???

THE PRAISE…???
These ghosts are points of light in the brown mist… They are reminders of every way that I died yet survived… examples of all the ways I have overcome…

SO the prompt says HEAVY ghosts… BUT… my ghosts are not heavy… they are nearly invisible most of the time… only in this series have they felt even remotely “heavy” and even then, not really… more an annoyance than a burden… I may take some creative license either with the theme of the prompt or with the weight of the ghosts… haven’t decided yet… so… yeah… working on the poem…

~~~~~~~

What is your process when you write? Is there anything that is your standard “go-to” method? Do you use prompts or just write from your own thoughts? I would love to hear your take on this in the comments!

Thanks for reading! ^_^

P.S.
If you would like to read these poems I’m writing, I plan on doing the annual chapbook as a perfect bound book and all profits will be divided evenly between Rachel McKibbens’ Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter in my area.  If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 Challenge – Prompt Fourteen

Aside

Every National Poetry Month is work for me but this year is REALLY work. I’m glad for the challenge though. I hope you are doing these or someone’s prompts! The prompt for day 14 now…

PROMPT FOURTEEN: praise the heavy ghosts of an unforgiven thing

If you would like to read the poems that I have been writing from these prompts, I will be writing the poems and putting them into a book which I will divide the profits between Rachel’s campaign The Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter. If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!

IF YOU ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE 30/30 THIS MONTH I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW ABOUT IT! LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS. IF YOU ARE SHARING YOUR POEMS, PLEASE PUT A LINK TO YOUR SITE OR BLOG! ^_^

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The Progress – Day Thirteen, Poem Thirteen

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Well lets get right to the process today!

PROMPT: What ghosts flesh your body?

So first I am trying to figure out what this cool sounding phrase even means… ghost and flesh seem opposites… how does a ghost “flesh” my body exactly? At first I took it as what are the things no one else can see that make up the you that no one can know, but in an even more poetic format.

So… I wrote a poem. I wasn’t broken down into tiny pain filled pieces by it and I am both relieved and disappointed by that.

~~~~~~~

What is your process when you write? Is there anything that is your standard “go-to” method? Do you use prompts or just write from your own thoughts? I would love to hear your take on this in the comments!

Thanks for reading! ^_^

P.S.
If you would like to read these poems I’m writing, I plan on doing the annual chapbook as a perfect bound book and all profits will be divided evenly between Rachel McKibbens’ Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter in my area.  If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!keep-calm-and-write-poetry-47-257x300

NaPoWriMo 30/30 Challenge – Prompt Thirteen

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Today we will get right to it:

PROMPT: What ghosts flesh your body?

If you would like to see the poems I am writing,  I will be putting them into a book which I will divide the profits between Rachel’s campaign The Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter in my area. If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!

IF YOU ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE 30/30 THIS MONTH I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW ABOUT IT! LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS. IF YOU ARE SHARING YOUR POEMS, PLEASE PUT A LINK TO YOUR SITE OR BLOG! ^_^

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13 Ways to Support Poetry – guest blog post by Dick Allen

This is great!

Trish Hopkinson

Great guest blog post up today from Dick Allen… the 13 ways to support poetry below include what to ask your local library, how to support poets you like, and quotes from others in the lit mag industry.

Dick Allen has published nine collections of poems including, The Zen Master Poems, which will be published by Wisdom, Inc., one of the world’s leading Buddhist publishing houses, in Summer, 2016.  I’ve been a Zen Buddhist for over 50 years.  I’ve been publishing Zen Master poems for the last twenty years.  My Buddhism leans toward “crazy Zen” and is quite consciously filled with American references and allusions, including some to bluegrass and others to railroad crossings and Johnny Cash and frisbees. http://zenpoemszenphotosdickallen.net

Read some of Dick Allen’s remarkable poems here on Verse-Virtual.

dickallen“It is difficult to get the news from poems yet men [and women] die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.”

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The Progress – Day Twelve, Poem Twelve

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Another day, another poem. Happy National Poetry Month! ^_^
On to the process for today’s prompt/poem…

PROMPT TWELVE: Who was your coldest night?

I really don’t want to write a whole book of poetry about THAT ONE GUY but he was the darkest day and the coldest night and the worst nightmare and the source of my greatest shame and regret and the hands that wolfed me and the light that gassed me and all the bad things that everyone hopes will never happen to them. So… Gonna write ANOTHER poem about something that I really thought I had written as many poems over the past 13 years that I would ever write (over 100 I bet although I have never actually sat down and counted them all).

So here we go… Wrote a very short poem. I am thinking it is because I am tired of the subject matter creeping into this work over and over again. I think when I rearrange the order of the poems, I will put this short poem towards the front as an introduction before I kill my shame and murder the hands that wolfed me.

~~~~~~~

What is your process when you write? Is there anything that is your standard “go-to” method? Do you use prompts or just write from your own thoughts? I would love to hear your take on this in the comments!

Thanks for reading! ^_^

P.S.
If you would like to read these poems I’m writing, I plan on doing the annual chapbook as a perfect bound book and all profits will be divided evenly between Rachel McKibbens’ Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter in my area.  If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!

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Poetry contest to help women in need–$500 prize value!/$8 fee, DEADLINE: May 7, 2016

The deadline on this is soon! Help single mothers get an education AND have a chance to have your work featured in an art piece!

Trish Hopkinson

12936634_10104503737989818_4586557971066600611_nThis is such an amazing prize package for a low $8 entry fee! $6.61 from each entry goes directly to a woman in need. All proceeds from the entry fees benefit the Live Your Dream Award, sponsored by SI of Rittenhouse Square, PA, typically given to a single mother who has experienced hardships, to help her pursue her education.

Poets can submit multiple times, but an $8 submission fee is required for each submission. Of the $8 submission, aside from a small portion to pay for submittable fees, the balance goes directly to a woman in need who wants to go back to school. The judges and artist are generously donating their time, labor, and materials.

The winner of The Brittany Noakes Poetry Award will receive 25 broadsides of the selected poem, for a prize package value of $500. Pew Fellowship awardee J.C. Todd will be final judge, and 

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 Challenge – Prompt Twelve

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So we are nearly half way through National Poetry Month!

I know most of you know this already but for the one new person in the room: I will be writing the poems and putting them into a book which I will divide the profits between Rachel’s campaign The Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter. If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!  And now for the prompt:

PROMPT NINE: Ten lessons blood taught you.

IF YOU ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE 30/30 THIS MONTH I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW ABOUT IT! LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS. IF YOU ARE SHARING YOUR POEMS, PLEASE PUT A LINK TO YOUR SITE OR BLOG! ^_^

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The Progress – Day Eleven, Poem Eleven

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It’s only 11 days in and I have to be honest… I think all this poeming is making me tired y’all. I will keep on keeping on though! So for today’s edition…

PROMPT ELEVEN: Who was your coldest night?

I really don’t want to write a whole book of poetry about THAT ONE GUY but he was the darkest day and the coldest night and the worst nightmare and the source of my greatest shame and regret and the hands that wolfed me and the light that gassed me and all the bad things that everyone hopes will never happen to them. So… Gonna write ANOTHER poem about something that I really thought I had written as many poems over the past 13 years that I would ever write (over 100 I bet although I have never actually sat down and counted them all).

So here we go… Wrote a very short poem. I am thinking it is because I am tired of the subject matter creeping into this work over and over again. I think when I rearrange the order of the poems, I will put this short poem towards the front as an introduction before I kill my shame and murder the hands that wolfed me.

~~~~~~~

What is your process when you write? Is there anything that is your standard “go-to” method? Do you use prompts or just write from your own thoughts? I would love to hear your take on this in the comments!

Thanks for reading! ^_^

P.S.
I plan on doing the annual chapbook as a perfect bound book and all profits will be divided evenly between Rachel McKibbens’ Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter.  If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 Challenge – Prompt Eleven

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Sorry for the late posting on this! Got distracted by the day and Facebook! >_<

Reminder: I will be writing the poems and putting them into a book which I will divide the profits between Rachel’s campaign The Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter. I can tell that when I am finished writing all of these poems, that I will most likely rearrange the order that I put them in the book. The poem I ended up with for Prompt Nine feels like it would be better further along in this poetic narrative that I am making.

FYI, If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!  And now for the prompt:

PROMPT ELEVEN: Who was your coldest night?

IF YOU ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE 30/30 THIS MONTH I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW ABOUT IT! LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS. IF YOU ARE SHARING YOUR POEMS, PLEASE PUT A LINK TO YOUR SITE OR BLOG! ^_^

 

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The Progress – Day Ten, Poem Ten

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(WARNING: THERE WILL BE EXTREME CURSING IN THIS POST)

So if you are following along with my process on all these prompts, you probably have already realized that you are getting to know a LOT about me! This series seems to be very much a month long therapy session! >_<   I guess that is a good thing in the long run. Anyhoo… to get on with it..

PROMPT TEN: write an angry letter to an ex in the voice of one of your body parts.

This sounds like a great idea for a prompt right?? Well…

OK so first to pick the body part… The first and most obvious body part that comes to mind is Vagina. Then the next random part is the left hand pinky. It’s so much easier to imagine Vagina being angry about something though. Disappointed, disgusted, disillusioned, displeased, just all around NOT happy.

And then, am I writing to a specific ex? For the cathartic purpose of the process, I feel like I should. BUT… most of my exes just sort of all run together into a long run on sentence of meh. Thinking in detail about each one I really don’t have any anger left. Yo, I think Imma hafta just make some isht up then! I think I will try to figure out how to pull up all the anger I have felt over the years for any of my exes that it applies to and write a general letter… hopefully. POEMS ARE HARD YO!

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LATER…

STILL trying to find the anger… I think the soothing music I listen to is not helping… so… going to youtube for an EFF THAT N***A mix or something. >_<
https://youtu.be/MTPFFQw9xfk?list=PLO9rL30JxO-mNIKCZMaDzLcrI42RoMVHF … NOPE
https://youtu.be/6n5SqwERoOc?list=PLNxoTZtIN0VuYbmgkKNCpryLkWeNzzqdq … NOPE

I guess I don’t want to keep writing the same poem over and over about the same old thing that I am already over. But angry break ups are so universal… and yet… I may have to pick a different poem to write today… We’ll see…

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EVEN LATER…

I KNOW WHAT’S MISSING!!! The *PLACE* is missing!!! I always do so much better with a setting even if I don’t necessarily use it in my poem… looking for the scene… closing my eyes… OH and I gave myself a soundtrack: https://youtu.be/6MyKEBsIdRo <– listen to this while you read the following and you’ll see where it came from…

It’s night on the streets of the city with this music and it’s time to remember all the loser mofos who did me wrong and effed me over… all the no good brothers who made the good guys seem invisible… finding them in that dark alley next to the dumpster… vengeance in my heart for all the things they’ve done… they may be a gang but I am a mighty seraph of doom… my black wings are like night will never end… my hands are like claws made of justice… THERE IS NO PLACE TO RUN OR HIDE BITCHES!!!…

on to the poem… starting with the typical angry ex letter and moving out from there… The following is NOT the poem but I think it’s entertaining in a way so I am sharing it…

FUCK YOU MOTHERFUCKER. YOU THINK YOU’RE SO SLICK WITH ALL YOUR LYING AND CHEATING ASSHOLE??? YOU AIN’T SHIT. THAT’S RIGHT BITCH! YOU ARE THE BIGGEST BITCH MADE NIGGA THAT EVER WAS AND I *HATE* YOUR ASS!!

  • Fuck that time when you lied about where you were and TO THIS DAY don’t admit that you were with HER.
  • Fuck you for saying we were getting back together and then after we had sex you acted like you never said that shit.
  • Fuck how you used to hang up on me and act like we were never even talking when I called back. FUCK THAT SHIT ASSHOLE.
  • Fuck the FUCK out of you buying a plane ticket with OUR rent money and then wondering why I didn’t want to be with you when you got back!!!!
  • Fuck you for getting back with that bitch ass ex who NONE of your friends liked and ALL of them hated her mean ass!
  • Fuck you for just liking that heffer across the street because she would let you hit and I wouldn’t. If I loved you I would??? IF YOU LOVED *ME* THEN YOU WOULDN’T PRESSURE ME INTO DOING THINGS I DON’T WANNA DO ASSHOLE.
  • Fuck you for not being all you said you were and being just a trifling ass nigga with no prospects.

FUCK ALL THIS WHOLE LIST OF THINGS ALL TO HELL GOD DAMMIT!!!

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EVEN LATER…

I KNOW WHAT’S MISSING!!! The *PLACE* is missing!!! I always do so much better with a setting even if I don’t necessarily use it in my poem… looking for the scene… closing my eyes… OH and I gave myself a soundtrack: https://youtu.be/6MyKEBsIdRo <– listen to this while you read the following and you’ll see where it came from…

It’s night on the streets of the city with this music and it’s time to remember all the loser mofos who did me wrong and effed me over… all the brothers who made the good guys seem invisible… finding them in that dark alley next to the dumpster… more vengeance in my heart for all the things they’ve done… they may be a gang but I am a mighty seraf of doom… my black wings are like night will never end… my hands are like claws made of justice… THERE IS NO PLACE TO RUN OR HIDE BITCHES!!!…

 

AAAAaaaand now to poem! >_<

~~~~~~~

What is your process when you write? Is there anything that is your standard “go-to” method? Do you use prompts or just write from your own thoughts? I would love to hear your take on this in the comments!

Thanks for reading! ^_^

P.S.
I plan on doing the annual chapbook as a perfect bound book and all profits will be divided evenly between Rachel McKibbens’ Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter.  If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 Challenge – Prompt Ten

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If you’ve been following along so far this month then you already know that I will be writing the poems and putting them into a book which I will divide the profits between Rachel’s campaign The Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter. I can tell that when I am finished writing all of these poems, that I will most likely rearrange the order that I put them in the book. The poem I ended up with for Prompt Nine feels like it would be better further along in this poetic narrative that I am making.

FYI, If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!  And now for the prompt:

PROMPT TEN: write an angry letter to an ex in the voice of one of your body parts.

IF YOU ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE 30/30 THIS MONTH I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW ABOUT IT! LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS. IF YOU ARE SHARING YOUR POEMS, PLEASE PUT A LINK TO YOUR SITE OR BLOG! ^_^

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The Progress – Day Nine, Poem Nine

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As usual, writing out the process of all this poetry writing. I always wonder about other people’s process so I decided to do my own in this blog. I hope it is helpful or at the very least somewhat entertaining. ^_^

Now to look at the process…

PROMPT: Ten lessons blood taught you.

1. I am made of iron
2. There is always more
3. I can and will rebuild
4. I am made of stardust
5. Because of #4, I am the whole universe
6. Pain is temporary
7. Sometimes you have to let it flow
8. I am amazing (see #4 & #5)
9. Inside, I am warm
10. (…)

Made the above list pretty easily until #10… then I felt like it should be THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.

I closed my eyes and felt my own heart beat. I could almost feel the blood in constant motion in my veins and arteries. I called out to the universe and in to the cosmos of my own body. I cried inside to the spirit of poetry to find that last MOST IMPORTANT THING. And then it came to me like a flash of light: LIFE… THE BLOOD IS THE *LIFE*!!! Now to figure out how to say this list in a more poetical way. Let the writing begin!

~~~~~~~

What is your process when you write? Is there anything that is your standard “go-to” method? Do you use prompts or just write from your own thoughts? I would love to hear your take on this in the comments!

Thanks for reading! ^_^

P.S.
I plan on doing the annual chapbook as a perfect bound book and all profits will be divided evenly between Rachel McKibbens’ Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter.  If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 Challenge – Prompt Nine

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Well hello there day #9 of National Poetry Month! Another glorious spring day to sit in a coffee shop looking at the sunshine out the window while I struggle to write a poem for 30/30! xD

Reminder, I will be writing the poems and putting them into a book which I will divide the profits between Rachel’s campaign The Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter. If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!  And now for the prompt:

PROMPT NINE: Ten lessons blood taught you.

IF YOU ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE 30/30 THIS MONTH I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW ABOUT IT! LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS. IF YOU ARE SHARING YOUR POEMS, PLEASE PUT A LINK TO YOUR SITE OR BLOG! ^_^

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The Progress – Day Eight, Poem Eight

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PROMPT EIGHT: In the museum of poverty

I made an acrostic of the prompt. It took about 10 minutes. I don’t know why I seem to thrive when given guide rails on my poetic bridge when others seem to find form as a leash upon which they get hung. *Shrugs*

I thought about doing a whole new poem written with the idea that the universe of the poem is a place where poverty is such a rare and novel thing that museums are required to even know what it is. Maybe I still will… Later. For now I wrote this as a metaphoric indictment of the current income disparity situation creating a ruling class that looks down its nose at those who are not living at the same level.

I still have a few ours of internet time so I may do the rewrite… We’ll see…

~~~~~~~

What is your process when you write? Is there anything that is your standard “go-to” method? Do you use prompts or just write from your own thoughts? I would love to hear your take on this in the comments!

Thanks for reading! ^_^

P.S.
I plan on doing the annual chapbook as a perfect bound book and all profits will be divided evenly between Rachel McKibbens’ Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter.  If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 Challenge – Prompt Eight

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We are up to number eight of our poem-a-day for April using prompts given by Rachel McKibbens over the past few weeks! ^_^

For those of you just joining in, I will be writing the poems and putting them into a book which I will divide the profits between Rachel’s campaign The Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter. If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!  And now for the prompt:

PROMPT EIGHT: In the museum of poverty

IF YOU ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE 30/30 THIS MONTH I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW ABOUT IT! LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS. IF YOU ARE SHARING YOUR POEMS, PLEASE PUT A LINK TO YOUR SITE OR BLOG! ^_^

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The Progress – Day Seven, Poem Seven

These prompts still strangle me. This is #7 and I am still weak with it. I took the time to highlight the more positive sounding prompts so hopefully you can hang in there with me until we get to them during the last part of the month. So, today’s process…

PROMPT SEVEN: Write your father as a ghost town & the silences that inhabit it.

THE PROCESS…

My father was definitely like a ghost since I didn’t grow up with him. But a ghost TOWN? Hmmmmm… Here I go again with the PLACE of this narrative…

THE GHOST TOWN…
The first thing I think is of those old westerns that used to play on Saturday afternoons when I was a kid. The single street with buildings on either side and the tumbleweed rolling across. Always with the tumbleweed.

The silences with my father are really just one big nearly life-long silence since the last time I saw him I was four and the last time I knew he was looking for me and my mom was when I was six (he sent a letter to my godmother and it got forwarded to our address since she was staying with us at the time, but by then he wasn’t at the address and the letter my mom sent got returned. :-/)… and… HOW THE HECK DOES ONE *WRITE* SILENCES??

So I think of the quiet things… the subtle non-human things… the wind and crickets and strong harsh sunlight… the whishing sound the tumbleweed makes as it rolls by… I think of the emptiness of it all and the lack of my father in my life and suddenly I have an image of opening my mouth and there being a fish in my throat.
We’ll see where this train of thought takes me. On with the poeming! ^_^

~~~~~~~

What is your process when you write? Is there anything that is your standard “go-to” method? Do you use prompts or just write from your own thoughts? I would love to hear your take on this in the comments!

Thanks for reading! ^_^

P.S.
I plan on doing the annual chapbook as a perfect bound book and all profits will be divided evenly between Rachel McKibbens’ Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter.  If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!

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Hey Thanks You Guys! ^_^

I would just like to say that I really appreciate those of you who are following along with me as I go through this process to write a poem a day this month! YOU ROCK!!!

I’ve just got off work so I will be posting today’s prompt shortly. Stay tuned!

If you are writing and posting too, I would love to know about it! Put a link to your blog in the comments. Looking forward to sharing the love of the written word with you! ^_^

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 Challenge – Prompt 7

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Well now we are on the seventh day of our poem-a-day for April using prompts given by Rachel McKibbens from over the past few weeks. I will be writing the poems and putting them into a book which I will divide the profits between Rachel’s campaign The Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter. If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!  And now for the prompt:

PROMPT SEVEN: Write your father as a ghost town & the silences that inhabit it.

IF YOU ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE 30/30 THIS MONTH I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW ABOUT IT! LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS. IF YOU ARE SHARING YOUR POEMS, PLEASE PUT A LINK TO YOUR SITE OR BLOG! ^_^

 

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The Progress – Day Six, BONUS POEM

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I started this one a few weeks ago so it is going to be an extra prompt for the month. I plan on making this poem into a micro book as a companion to the main book. I already had one through seven and now I need the last three. I decided to try to finish it today!

BONUS PROMPT: Describe justice in ten objects.

THE PROCESS…
The first seven items came very easily in one short sitting, but the last three escaped me for all these weeks. I decided to revisit it since I wanted this to be another project book. So I went to google and looked up things about justice other than the vengeance that I was originally writing about.

http://www.crimesurvivors.org/page/general/what-does-justice-mean-to-you/
Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity. It is also the act of being just and/or fair.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice
The concept of justice is based on numerous fields, and many differing viewpoints and perspectives including the concepts of moral correctness based on ethics, rationality, law, religion, equity and fairness.

This Google books excerpt about “natural justice” was interesting to me. Was it relavent? Maybe not, but it was definitely interesting.
https://books.google.com/books?id=cJENAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA4669&lpg=PA4669&dq=objects+of+natural+justice&source=bl&ots=xm0hD9QYFD&sig=Gy8eyG4ADecm3pn4IfaAlEF8MZo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiwy_2FtvrLAhUE32MKHVp6By4Q6AEIKzAC#v=onepage&q=objects%20of%20natural%20justice&f=false

Trying to do some word association of things that imply justice…
lightning (Zeus’ immediate retribution)
karma (the universe’s dispensation)

Aaaaaaand… I still need ONE more word!!! >_<

Because I am me, I like to end on a positive note if at all possible so I was trying to think of what would be a good strong word to end on… The drawing board, I am going back to it… I have not found a positive way to end this poem. Rocks fall, everyone dies. And so the poeming continues.

~~~~~~~

What is your process when you write? Is there anything that is your standard “go-to” method? Do you use prompts or just write from your own thoughts? I would love to hear your take on this in the comments!

Thanks for reading! ^_^

P.S.
I plan on doing the annual chapbook as a perfect bound book and all profits will be divided evenly between Rachel McKibbens’ Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter.  If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 Challenge – BONUS PROMPT

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So we have an EXTRA poem-a-day for April using prompts given by Rachel McKibbens over the past few weeks! I will be writing the poems and putting them into a book which I will divide the profits between Rachel’s campaign The Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter. If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!  And now for the prompt:

BONUS PROMPT: Describe justice in ten objects.

IF YOU ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE 30/30 THIS MONTH I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW ABOUT IT! LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS. IF YOU ARE SHARING YOUR POEMS, PLEASE PUT A LINK TO YOUR SITE OR BLOG! ^_^

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The Progress – Day Six, Poem Six

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PROMPT SIX: Write an obituary for your worst year.

THE PROCESS…

My worst year… This is going to sound so Pollyanna but I am so blessed that I can’t even think of what my worst year would be. Every year has bad and good, but the good so far outweighs the bad that this prompt is hard to start… so… going to go against my normal thought processes…

I’m trying to focus on the bad things for this… Horrible painful things… obviously the assault was bad and has tainted me for over a decade but frankly, I’m tired of writing about that. (It’s been over a decade after all.) The other bad thing was my mother dying last year. I wasn’t nearly as broken up about it as I have seen some of my friends go through. My mother was so matter of fact about life and death that to cry for more than a day or two didn’t even occur to me. Do I still cry sometimes? Sure, but it isn’t my focus most of the time. WHAT DO I FOCUS ON TO WRITE THIS???

Funny thing is, at first I thought this prompt wouldn’t be that hard. WHAT WAS I THINKING??? I guess the idea is that whatever was bad is DEAD AND GONE and an obituary is like a form of closure on that bad chapter. I think what I will have to do is just take all the bad of my past and just say goodbye to it.

The other thing… real obituaries are dry and plain with some super sentimental (or horribly cheesy) looking photo and say things like “Leaving behind a wife, three sons, and ten grandchildren” and they always focus on the positive.

Par Example:
http://obits.columbian.com/obituaries/columbian/obituary.aspx?n=marilyn-h-berry&pid=179515036#sthash.vwXSJUxY.dpuf
Marilyn H. Berry, 85, of Van Mall Senior Living in Vancouver, WA, passed away April 2, 2016. She was born in Portland, OR on Jan. 7, 1931. She played the cello in the Portland High School Symphony and graduated from Washington High School.
Marilyn was an airline stewardess for United Airlines until she married Richard Berry in 1954.
She was a talented singer and musician; singing or playing the organ or piano in church.
Marilyn is survived by her husband for 62 years, Richard; three daughters, Nancy, Karen, and Janet; 6 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Funeral services will be at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1309 Franklin St., Vancouver, WA at 1p.m on Sat., April 9, 2016.

It’s not like obits will say something like “Joe was an absolute jerk. He was mean to children and kicked dogs. Forget about anything good he did. THE MAN KICKED DOGS. He was a horrible human being and the world is better without him.” BUT PERHAPS THEY SHOULD… I think I need to write the HARSH obit. Aaaaaand HEEEERRRRRE WE GO!

~~~~~

MORE NOTES… (Hours later)

Drinking coffee to try to get my focus since I *still* have yet to START writing the first stanza of this poem… too much time on FB and not enough time on POEMING!

WHAT YEAR WAS THE WORST MOST AWFUL YEAR OF LOTS OF BAD THINGS???…. OH YEAH… 2007!!!!

I had a nervous breakdown in 2007. I was out of work for SIX WEEKS because I had a constant state of dizzy nausea from the moment I woke up until I went to bed to the point to where I couldn’t even sit up at my home computer for five minutes to check email or piddle about on social media. I dry heaved for at least 20 minutes at the beginning of every day for a whole six weeks. EVERYTHING FELL APART AT ONCE. My promotion at my job wasn’t working out and I was afraid I was going to be fired. My mother was bugging me about the $15k she loaned me for a real estate venture that wasn’t materializing (she went to her grave without me finishing paying her back for that). My ex who said he didn’t want to move from his momma’s basement to my home moved in with the woman he left me for. EVERYTHING WAS WRONG AND IT LITERALLY MADE ME SICK. On top of all that later in the year my back went out so bad that *AGAIN* I was down for the count debilitated for WEEKS.

2007 was a bear of a bitch cunt whore year. Fuck you and your misery 2007. You are dead and gone and good friggin’ riddance!

FINALLY! I think I can write this poem now!

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What is your process when you write? Is there anything that is your standard “go-to” method? Do you use prompts or just write from your own thoughts? I would love to hear your take on this in the comments!

Thanks for reading! ^_^

P.S.
I plan on doing the annual chapbook as a perfect bound book and all profits will be divided evenly between Rachel McKibbens’ Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter.  If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!

 

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 Challenge – Prompt 6

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Every year I look forward to National Poetry Month like little kids anticipate Christmas visits from Saint Nick. SO MUCH POETRY EVERYWHERE ON THE INTERWEBS! But on with it…

This will be our fifth poem-a-day for April using prompts given by Rachel McKibbens over the past few weeks. I will be writing the poems and putting them into a book which I will divide the profits between Rachel’s campaign The Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter. If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!  And now for the prompt:

PROMPT FIVE: Write an obituary for your worst year.

If you are participating in the 30/30 this month I would love to know about it! Let me know in the comments. If you are sharing your poems, please put a link to your site or blog! ^_^

 

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The Progress – Day Five, Poem Five

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Not sure how I got so confused with the posting of the things, but putting this here to go with the backdated Prompt 5 post.

PROMPT FIVE: Write a murder ballad to the hands that wolf you.

First of all to be sure my definition of ballad (a poem that tells a story) is the REAL definition. Off to http://www.poetryarchive.org glossary I go!


Strictly, a ballad is a form of poetry that alternates lines of four and three beats, often in quatrains, rhymed abab, and often telling a story – the anonymous poem ‘Sir Patrick Spens’ and Wordsworth’s “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal” demonstrate this well.

 

And from good old WIkipedia:


Murder ballads are a subgenre of the traditional ballad form, the lyrics of which form a narrative describing the events of a murder, often including the lead-up and/or aftermath.

OK. Got the technical. (I don’t know if I will rhyme here though. I can write in rhyme but don’t prefer it usually.) On to the poeming…

This feels like it is the prequel to the last one. “The hands that wolf” is still the assault. They are the only hands that wolf… and saying the phrase “The hands that wolf” sounds like disembodied hands like Thing on The Addams Family only not so benign. Like the horror film “The Hand” and all the damage it did. This is about killing the damager. Instead of killing my guilt at not speaking out and my shame at my part in my own harm, I am killing the hands that held me down in broad daylight.

In real life the hands that held me down were soft and seemed kind before they harmed me… but in this poetic rendition they are monsters big and hairy like spiders crawling about on their own. They are vile and subtle and unwanted.

Because I am me, I have to have a place in my head (as you know if you have read the other four posts about my process). Looks like we are still in the creepy darkness. The assault happened on a sunny May afternoon but the murder feels darker than that. Where am I?

The first place my mind takes me is the scene of the original crime: his bedroom. Following where my mind goes instead of trying to force something different… I see the room empty and the bed and it’s day like in real life, but darker as though the sky outside must be filled with dark ominous clouds of doom… I walk forward towards the bed… everything is gray and sepia in this weird out of focus way… I don’t want to be here or for it to look like this but sometimes I will just go with what I am given instead of giving myself a headache trying to force something else. Moving on…

Again I am trying to figure out how to kill a monster. How do I murder those hands? Shall I just stab them? I think that would be morbidly satisfying. I use knife a LOT in my writing. Would that be trite of me or just a part of my overall thematic arc? I’ll go with arc. I already started writing another prompt that the first thing I did was use a knife. It’s going to be a thing I think. Stabbing it is.

A ballad though? UUUUGGGGGGHHHH… I don’t know if I can like a poem that I do in strict ballad format. The first stanza makes me want to vom ALREADY. So… I had to just write it out in prose as a story and go from there.

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THE REVENGE

Part One: The Scene of the Crime
How did I get here? In the site that crushed my soul so many years ago? Why am I back in this setting? It is as though time stood still and the day is the same only different, darker. Something is missing. HE is missing. I am in this space alone and there is no one else here. This is not MY home. It is a place of woe and suffering and pain that I tried to rebuild to be something more palatable but it only wounded my soul more. Yet here I am.

Part Two: The Hands
I remember the hands. Their force. Their insistence. Their belligerent disregard. They seemed like such good hands. Until they hurt me. Until they held me down when I said “No”. Then they were monsters. They will now and forevermore be the monsters that broke me back then. They are ravenous wolves with claws and spiny fur. Emotionless enemies of my heart. I hate them now. Today I am filled with hate and vengeance.

Part Three: The Hunt
Where are they? I don’t see them even though this is the place that they have lived all this time hidden in the back corner of my subconscious. I want to see them now. I want to know that they are here. The hiding is unnerving. I am trying to be strong. Calling on every ounce of regret and shame I own to pull my the anger up from the bowels of my soul. Using the visceral disgust to push one foot in front of the other. I can’t see or hear them yet. I let the anger at their continued inconvenience build in my gut. I must find them.

Part Four: Laying in Wait
I stop my searching. I sit in the chair in the far end of the room next to the DVDs and CDs and wait. I am seethingly calm. It is a particularly strengthening type of obsessive insanity. I NEED THIS KILL. I need to END THIS. I look at the instrument of destruction while I wait. The dagger is perfect. Its shining metal looks nearly silken in its buffed finish. The blade is a whispered promise of relief. I accept its proposal of imminent death.

Part Five: The Kill
I see them! The hands! They are a two-member pack of five-legged spiders. They are a macabre shadow display forming bird flight on the wall. Eyeless yet all seeing they are nightmares and worries wrapped around the throat of my peace. They must die. I am lightening and wicked justice. I am a fevered jab of infinite purpose. I am covered in the red liquid warmth of their demise. They are not hands anymore. They are minced ruin. They are the chopped repetition of “fuck you” and “you can’t hurt me anymore” and “you’re dead” and “you’re gone” CHOP CHOP CHOP CHOP. GONE GONE GONE.

Part Six: Peace
The clouds break and in the sudden sunlight I am standing splattered crimson victory. I am free. Finally, I AM FREE.

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Now… to make the above into ballad format… wish me luck…

~~~~~~~

What is your process when you write? Is there anything that is your standard “go-to” method? Do you use prompts or just write from your own thoughts? I would love to hear your take on this in the comments!

Thanks for reading! ^_^

P.S.
I plan on doing the annual chapbook as a perfect bound book and all profits will be divided evenly between Rachel McKibbens’ Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter.  If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!

 

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 Challenge – Prompt FIVE

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I FORGOT TO POST PROMPT FIVE!!! >_<

Funny thing is, I actually did do all the work on April 5th! Backdating this post just to make my self feel better. :-P

And of course… I will be writing the poems and putting them into a book which I will divide the profits between Rachel’s campaign The Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter. If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!  And now for the prompt:

PROMPT FIVE: Write a murder ballad to the hands that wolf you.

IF YOU ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE 30/30 THIS MONTH I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW ABOUT IT! LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS. IF YOU ARE SHARING YOUR POEMS, PLEASE PUT A LINK TO YOUR SITE OR BLOG! ^_^

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The Progress – Day Four, Poem Four

I had decided on days two and three to put the process in with the prompt but then I decided I didn’t like that SO…  going back to putting the process in it’s own post.

PROMPT FOUR: Witches / water, vampires / wooden stakes. Anything can be destroyed. Drag a shame of yours into a room, then kill it.

THE PROCESS…

Drag a shame of yours into a room, then kill it.

Have I mentioned that poetry is HARD?? Well it is. I wish that things just flowed out of me like turning on a tap and poetry would just COME OUT, but that is not how it works for me these days. On to the poeming.

The first question: What is a shame of mine? What do I cringe at the thought of? What have I done that I wish I hadn’t? That I prefer people not know about? … I. Don’t. Know. I am one of those obnoxious people who is pretty near an open book. I hide very little and I feel like shame is kin to regret and even the unfortunate things that may not have gone the way I wanted I don’t hold as regret or shame. So I ask myself, what SHOULD I be ashamed of? Or maybe I could just make it up… but that is not how I write. I write my autobiography one poem at a time. SO… back to my shame… I have about 40 prompts to choose from and I am tempted to skip this one, but… I will not. I don’t want to write about the obvious horror of my assault. Even though I still deal with my part in my own harm… I think this is the one I need to kill… I don’t know if I can in this poem… but I think I should try… Maybe.

I must find the place.
If you have been reading my process up to now, then you know that I like to have a place or a scene in/on which to put the concept of the prompt. I am still in the dark with this one. I suppose that is reflective of Rachel’s style as well as of the relatively serious issue her project deals with (sexual assault). For those who missed it, I started in the dimly lit church of my body. Then in the shadowy forest of my mother. Yesterday I was in a candle lit room having a seance to deal with issues with my deceased parental trio.

Where is THIS poem?? … it’s definitely dark and filled with shadows… scraggy trees… I feel like maybe this should be in a cemetary… like the thing is something that should be dead but won’t lay down… or that it is being horrifyingly noisy in a place that should be silent… There is a wrongness here… a displacement… I feel like there should be fog laying low to the ground… classic black and white horror flick style… all the cliches with the eerie organ music and bats across the moon and all of that… a dark and gloomy house next to the cemetary… or perhaps a large tomb smack in the middle… I can’t decide… but I have an idea.

Now to figure out WHAT IS IT (and how to kill it… and where)…
I want to have a specific shame because the metaphor works better for me if I have something solid to work with as a foundation. I think I feel something coming on… a story of the creature “my shame”… I can see the creature even though I don’t know her name yet. she is shades of grey. She is darkness from her core. She is fangs and leathery skin with patchy hairs. She is ugly. Deeply, profoundly, nearly indescribably ugly, like hate, like SELF hate, like ruin, like the time you knew it was your fault and you stayed because you didn’t know what else to do kind of ugly. The horror of this creature rips into the soul and is debilitatingly frightening. Like medusa to where you’re afraid if you look at her the sheer awful of it will turn you to stone. She still doesn’t have a name, but at least there is a form.

Now for the plot… HOW WILL I KILL IT? (and where?)… the work begins…
I feel like the tomb is the best place… a mausoleum of cold gray stone… to drag her up the entrance stairs and then back down into the belly of the tomb to meet her demise… OK so got the where first… now the HOW… HOW??… What is the weakness of this shame? What is the Achilles heel weakness?…
For this I look to the internet… a list has been formed:
1. Blow Them Up (Jaws)
2. Decapitate Them (Zombie Movies)
3. Flamethrower (Aliens)
4. Befriend Them (Super 8) <— This one is a NO. NOPE.
5. Chase Them To The Top Of A Building (King Kong, Frankenstein)
6. Wait Until Daytime (Days of Night – vampires)
7. Let A Draft In (War of the Worlds)
8. Cricket Bats (Shaun of the Dead – zombies)
9. Lawnmower (Braindead – zombies)
10. Take Them Out From The Inside (Men In Black – giant ailien cockroach)
11. Gut ‘Em Like a Fish (Riddick)

I DON’T KNOW HOW TO KILL THIS BEAST… I will have to ruminate on this further… there is work to be done…

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To write this poem I had to pick the shame. At first I resisted writing about the assault. Perhaps because in the creative circle I frequent, it’s bordering on too obvious. I tried to write about my being a cheater and being the one someone cheated on someone else with… I have most of a poem from that exercise, BUT… it felt too weak. For infidelity I wrote the origin story and then more detail. I didn’t get to the part where I had to flesh out the plan to get it to the place to be killed and what its weakness is. That is where it got soft bellied to me. :-/

I’m not a dark writer normally, but I felt like this prompt (the whole series so far really) requires shadow, shadow, SHADOW. Plus, I really WANT to kill the shame from the assault. BUT… it is so hard to write abstractly about something that was so visceral in the moment. I did it anyway. It was not easy. 1st to walk around the shame but not name it… I may edit and name the shame, but I doubt it.

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After doing something else for a while and coming back to think about it, I am killing my guilt at not speaking out just as much as my shame at putting myself in the situation that led to my own injury. I feel some editing coming on! It feels like the work is always in progress… write on…

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What is your process when you write? Is there anything that is your standard “go-to” method? Do you use prompts or just write from your own thoughts? I would love to hear your take on this in the comments!

Thanks for reading! ^_^

P.S.
I plan on doing the annual chapbook as a perfect bound book and all profits will be divided evenly between Rachel McKibbens’ Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter.  If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 Challenge – Prompt 4

Here we go with another poem-a-day for April using prompts given by Rachel McKibbens over the past few weeks. I will be writing the poems and putting them into a book which I will divide the profits between Rachel’s campaign The Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter. If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!  And now for the prompt:

PROMPT FOUR: Witches / water, vampires / wooden stakes. Anything can be destroyed. Drag a shame of yours into a room, then kill it.

If you are participating in the 30/30 this month I would love to know about it! Let me know in the comments. If you are sharing your poems, please put a link to your site or blog! ^_^

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 Challenge – Prompt 3

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Day three of  this year’s poem-a-day for April using prompts given by Rachel McKibbens over the past few weeks. I will be writing the poems and putting them into a book which I will divide the profits between Rachel’s campaign The Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter. If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!  And now for the prompt:

PROMPT THREE: Write your childhood in 12 apologies.  (the apologies do not have to be from you)

If you are participating in the 30/30 this month I would love to know about it! Let me know in the comments. If you are sharing your poems, please put a link to your site or blog! ^_^

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And… for the process notes if your interested…

First thought: Writing a poem is WORK… this is NOT an easy thing no matter what other people may say! On to it…

12 apologies… what are 12 things I either want to get or give an “I’m sorry” for??? I was a child so I don’t hold myself responsible for much of my “wrongdoing”… trying to think though… who did I wrong when I was a kid? And also, for me “childhood” is elementary school. Some of the time before. Ages 4-12… what are the apologies?? I’m really trying to think of times that I ever did something in elementary school to make another kid cry or anything and nothing is coming to me. I was one of the outcast kids who got made fun of. I don’t remember ever lashing out or doing anything above and beyond… So…

Who needs to apologize to ME? How have *I* been wronged? I’m pretty much over everything from back then and even if I wasn’t my mother, father, and stepfather are all dead so they can’t give me any apologies. I suppose that makes this poem very important to write since they are the only ones who I would want or need apologies from. So here I go…

I want an “I’m sorry”…
from my father for leaving
from my mother for not keeping in touch with my father
from my mother for moving around so much that even when my father TRIED to keep in touch, he couldn’t
from my mother and stepfather for being left alone as a child (latch-key kid)
from my kindergarten friend Laurie for dumping me as a friend the next year because the new girl Teresa’s parents taught her not to like Black people
from my mother and stepfather for having to witness arguments
from my stepfather for calling my mother a nigger-lover in front of me when they were arguing
from my mother and stepfather for having to witness the damage from arguments (mom’s black eye, etc)
from my mother and stepfather for having to witness illicit drug use
from the system for my mother being able to put on make up and her work clothes and get me from foster care even though the home situation didn’t change
from my mother for not leaving my stepfather because she could only take me with her and not my brother
from my stepfather for basically being a non-entity in my upbringing and then expecting me to respect him

Making a list of complaints is the easy part though… I want to write a POEM. For me that means I need a room or a house to hold these ghosts that I have to call to conscious. I need a PLACE for me to feel that I have written something worth reading. Going in…

Trying to find the place where the ghosts live. Seems like this series keeps taking me to dimly lit spaces. I was in a shadowy church on day one. Then a forest with only a touch of sun barely sifting through the canopy for the second prompt. Now I am looking for what amounts to a haunted house. That nearly requires the sky to be gray or black. Where do they live? I only know that it’s cold, nearly bitterly so, unseasonably so. I know that everything is gray and dark. That is where the ghosts come to see this side of the void, to the dark shadowy places at the edges of woods and small towns and near tall corn fields filled with dead stalks with the dilapidated farmhouse hidden in the middle. But where are MY ghosts… I feel like my mother is still back in that dark forest… but I need a place where they can gather together. Where can these other two disparate souls come to meet me?

So I am having a seance… calling to me the hearts of those who were charged with my care… calling out to my trio of parents… the only ones I knew… I call to the forest and the desert and the seaside to retrieve the soul of my mother… I call to the Midwest farmland towns and the shared desert to invite the soul of my stepfather… I reach past golden gates and bays and around the blood stained southern soil of north american relocation for the soul of my father… but…

I still don’t have a place for them to gather… where will I call them to? What does this seance hall look like? There are candles of course… lots of dark colored silk somehow… a table for all this… a large chair where I pull the eastern European gypsy from my genetics and feel my great-grandmother’s dark hair and eyes taking over my own… I think I have found the place… now… for the poem…

In the writing of this I have to say that it was very hard to get it to come together the way I wanted. I am happy with the opening but the actual apologies are not so cohesive. I am not a huge fan of list poems so it seems super long to me. It probably is. I will have to see where else I can take it later after the series is complete.

Another personal note, this is one of those things where I thought I was over all of the things I listed, but when I called to the spirits of the people who had wronged me and then wrote each one out… it was VERY intense… somewhat painful, but overall not a bad experience.

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What is your process when you write? Is there anything that is your standard “go-to” method? Do you use prompts or just write from your own thoughts? I would love to hear your take on this in the comments!

Thanks for reading! ^_^

 

NaPoWriMo 30/30 Challenge – Prompt 2

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Continuing this year’s poem-a-day for April using prompts given by Rachel McKibbens over the past few weeks. I will be writing the poems and putting them into a book which I will divide the profits between Rachel’s campaign The Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter. If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!  And now for the prompt:

PROMPT TWO:
Write your mother as a forest and all that was lost in it.

If you are participating in the 30/30 this month I would love to know about it! Let me know in the comments. If you are sharing your poems, please put a link to your site or blog! ^_^

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Last time I did a separate post for the process… This time I decided to put the process here.

Write your mother as a forest and all that was lost in it…

Mother as a forest. OK. All that was lost? Hmmmm… What did I lose IN my mother? In her life she never gave me a full story of herself or her family so I feel that as a gap but I can’t really lose what I never had. What have I lost? In my life I have lost much but I don’t attribute the loss to her (thankfully). I lost my mother last year. But I don’t really want to write that out in this poem. What have I lost that can fit into this poem?

I want to walk through the forest the way I walked through the church in the last poem. I want to feel the cool earth under my bare feet and smell the pine and see the sunlight sifting through the tall trees. I want to touch the trunks of the trees to hear the voices of the symbiotic soul of the woods, the way the whole is made of many and all the things are continually humming in the harmony of life.
I think I have found what I am looking for… a poem has been born. <3

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What is your process when you write? Is there anything that is your standard “go-to” method? Do you use prompts or just write from your own thoughts? I would love to hear your take on this in the comments!

Thanks for reading! ^_^

The Progress – Day One, Poem One

What I used to do when I wrote from prompts or attempted to write a new form was to put down my process.  I did this because I really wish that famous poets had this kind of information to go with their poems sometimes.

Today I have been working on the first of my 30/30 poems and let me tell you it has been rough. What I did today was to type out my thoughts on the prompt and my mental process in trying to figure out where to even start. I think I am going to do this for all the poems this month since I am not posting the poems this year. This is from my notes on the poem I just finished…

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PROMPT ONE: If your body is a church, what memory is its god?

I could have SWORE that I had already started this one when Rachel posted it on Facebook weeks ago, but I can’t find the file. SO… starting over… here are my notes as I try to find the god of the church of my body…

What is the holiest? Most revered? What brings the most worship? To what do I bow in reverence – not for fire and brimstone, but the way that makes me raise hands and cry tears of overcome joy? Is it the most cherished or merely the most powerful? The negative fills my mind a lot. But those are demons, not gods. What is my god memory?

I picture a grand cathedral of European historic proportions. I imagine walking from the grand doors at the entrance, through the foyer, down the aisle touching the backs of each pew as I go. The interior is shadowed in the light from the giant stained glass windows. I am here searching for a god, for THE God. I look towards the alter as I walk but it is shaded and unclear. What reigns here? How shall I pray?

I think I am inside my chest. The tall arches are the inside of my ribs. I am walking from my bowels upwards to my throat. The church is empty. It is beautifully ornate and guilded, but I am the only soul there. It is rich reds and purples and blues and muted whites. Silk and velvet sashes and garlands and festoons hang everywhere. I don’t want to see a crucifix behind the pulpit, but that is what my mind puts there. I see to the sides halls and other rooms. They are my arms and legs. I still can’t see the god of this church body.

When I think of my actual body and what it most seems to worship, the first thing I think of is physical pleasure, sensual touch and sexual ecstasy. Is that memory the god of the church of my body? My mind is not cooperating right now to give me something that I feel like I can work with. I want an actual memory. A moment in time. Something concrete.

So I continue towards the alter in this church. I move closer to the head. What is beyond the veil? Who is the highest of the priests? Is there a sacrifice? Or is it the holiest of Holies? I still can’t see clearly.

There is a saying that the body is a temple, the ultimate meaning of which is that it should be treated with respect. The religious aspect of this saying is that it is where the Holy Spirit of God dwells, implying that we are conduits and homes of said Holiness. I am torn between the holy and the carnal. Part of me wants to delve into the memory (memories) of the pleasures of the flesh, and the another idea is to deal with the holiness of the body itself (even though that is not exactly what the prompt calls for).

I want to reach beyond the obvious darkness and call the light into this edifice. I want to know what moves me. Pressing on…

 

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What is your process when you write? Is there anything that is your standard “go-to” method? Do you use prompts or just write from your own thoughts? I would love to hear your take on this in the comments!

Thanks for reading! ^_^

P.S.
I plan on doing the annual chapbook as a perfect bound book and all profits will be divided evenly between Rachel McKibbens’ Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter.  If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!

 

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 Challenge – Prompt 1

NaPoWriMo = National Poetry Writing Month
The name “NaPoWriMo” is after NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month in November). It has been attributed to  Maureen Thorson, a poet from Washington, DC who started writing a poem a day in her blog back in 2003 and invited others to do the same. I found out about this 30/30 challenge in 2008 from the MySpace posts of the NYC Def poet Roger Bonair-Agard and through him found other well known NYC poets who were participating. I have done the challenge every year since.

Every year I have produced a limited edition chapbook from the poems I wrote during April. I have done as many as 90 and as few as 26 poems in the month. This year I am kicking it up a notch by not only participating, but using prompts from Rachel McKibbens. On top of this, I plan on doing the annual chapbook as a perfect bound book and all profits will be divided evenly between Rachel McKibbens’ Outlast Project and the local women’s shelter.
(If you would like to pre-order this book, you can do so for $15 via PayPal to nmnance@gmail.com and please be sure to include your shipping address. THANK YOU!)

But to get to the title of this post… THE PROMPT… Since I am publishing this work, I am not doing what I have done in the past which is to post the unedited poems. Instead I am posting the prompts as I received them (not necessarily in the order that Rachel posted them). And so we begin! :)

PROMPT ONE:
If your body is a church, what memory is its god?

 

I would love to know if you are participating as well! Let me know in the comments. :-)

 

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April Is National Poetry Month

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For those who are new to this blog and/or are not familiar with the concept, the Academy of American Poets established National Poetry Month in 1996 because they were inspired by the successful celebrations of Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March).

Today is the 1st of April and the start of National Poetry Month. I have decided to do the 30/30 (30 poems in 30 days) challenge AND the 30 poems I am going to write are from prompts given by the national poet Rachel McKibbens during her Indiegogo campaign for her Outlast Project to spread healing to sexual assault survivors through poetry and art. In May I will refine the poems (if I can) and then in June I will sell the poem as a collection “For Those Who Outlast Their Pain” and give the proceeds to The Outlast Project if it is still going on, and/or to the local battered women’s shelter. Send me some good vibes because Rachel’s prompts are absolute BEASTS.

There’s still 7 days left on the Indiegogo campaign so if you could give and/or share I’m sure there are women around the country who will be greatly appreciative. <3

Also if you would like this show to be in your area, email Rachel at theoutlastproject@gmail.com

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-outlast-project

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