Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Cenote

In Fiction, Travel on March 24, 2014 at 11:27 am

Cenote-NatGeo
Cenote

Glittering azure
Crystal-cool and comfortable
Bright fish swimming
Scales tickled with light

And below

Caverns, endless
Blue to green to inky black
Pressure and darkness
Pulling
Pulling
Down

Nameless mystery
Crushing truth

Dive Read the rest of this entry »

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Through Time

In Fiction on September 20, 2013 at 1:55 pm

time

Through Time

through

time

history

repeats

itself:

war

and

conquest

rise

and

fall Read the rest of this entry »

The Tether

In Fiction on September 6, 2013 at 10:59 am

rope

The Tether

I wore a crown

yet bore a tether

made of blood and flesh,

and though I’m grown,

by flesh and blood

we’re tethered nonetheless.

The choir loft

resounds, triumphant.

Untethered, now you rest. Read the rest of this entry »

Marceau

In Fiction on September 4, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Wall Assortment, by Rochelle

Marceau

 His body makes angles

obtuse and acute

suggesting walls here

and doors there.

He pinches at fireflies that give off no light

and chases them

down

flattened

stairs. Read the rest of this entry »

Apocalyptic Apoplexy

In Fiction on July 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm

spray painted doors and windows

Apocalyptic Apoplexy

We walk streets
replete with gargantuan gastropods,
gullies where gaseous argon
drifts like bygone clouds.

 Hypoxia thus induced,
we hallucinate colors,
smells—and feelings—now extinct.

This apocalyptic apoplexy
is its own panacea.


Yup: Things just got weird. This alliterative gem (note: sarcasm) is my response to this week’s Trifextra challenge, which was to write 33 words on anything that struck our fancy.

People are sure to be all over the place with this one, so check out all the great responses over at Trifecta.

Happy weekend everyone!

Summer

In Fiction on June 14, 2013 at 1:57 pm

orange sunlight

Summer

Responsibility

is the artifice of adulthood.

We are industrious

in our pursuit of complication—

of noble strife.

Promotions, office drama, coffee preferences,

scraping cents.

But summer

is the soul’s breath.

Sunlight.

Earth. Read the rest of this entry »

The Goodnight Song

In Fiction on May 30, 2013 at 10:01 pm

window-dressing-janet-webb

The Goodnight Song

Old,
I am.
I start to dream
and suddenly
I am
this passing thing.

Tall windows
light up the walls
and
the shadows cast
will guard my bed.

Snow
falls:
It’s gathering out
upon the street
as
a girl walks by.

Slow
rhythm.
An easy heart-
beat
is lulled to sleep
by a memory. Read the rest of this entry »

The Kingdom

In Fiction on April 26, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Bridge_over_lake_clara_meer

The Kingdom

In legend is a kingdom,
far-flung and rooted
in the perfect traditions of nature,

where trees,
heavy-hung with fruit,
line leafy walks (and there is time to walk them).

Are you there now?


For this Trifextra, since it’s such a nice day out and it’s almost the weekend, I thought I’d take a lighter approach (guess I’m just in that mood this week). The prompt was simple enough: Use at least one compound modifier and write a 33 word story.

I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with. Head on over to Trifecta to find out!

Silence

In Fiction on February 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm

shh

Silence

Why is silence so unsettling?

Why do breathless nights and the sterile sounds of morning

shrink us

like shadows in the sun at noon?

Do the soundless, empty echoes

echo to us the emptiness of time?

Do the vast, unimaginable depths,

sound deep and hollow in their chambers

whenever silence reigns?

Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Leave Out The Music: Writing For Sound

In Writing on July 10, 2012 at 9:09 am

When I was an undergraduate I took a poetry class and found it to be pretty tough going. Mind you, I’ve never found poetry easy, but when I was just starting out I was so frustrated by how bad my writing seemed that I almost gave up altogether. I understood the technical aspects — stresses and syllables and meter — but nothing I wrote ever really sang.

I went to meet with my professor and told him I had no problem writing song lyrics (I was in a pretty cool band called Funk Bus in high school), but I couldn’t get a handle on poetry. He asked me a pretty obvious question, then — one that I should have asked myself long before, and one that completely changed how I approached my writing from then on.

“What’s the difference between lyrics and poetry?” he asked.

The obvious answer: lyrics go along with music, poetry does not. In other words, with poetry, the music has to be built in. Nothing I wrote seemed to sing because, so far, I’d just been writing words (trying to make myself sound sophisticated and poetic, of course) but I’d been leaving out the music.

Woody Words and Tinny Words

It turns out that, in poetry, the way the words sound is almost as important as what the words are saying (some would say even more important), and though I never really kept up with the poetry, I’ve found the lesson of writing for sound is also useful when it comes to writing prose.

There’s a funny Monty Python sketch where they talk about Woody Words (“Carribou. Gone.”) and Tinny Words (“Antelope!”).  And even though it’s funny it also hits on a truth: words have tone, and timbre and character.

Some words are sharp and crisp, while others are soft and warm, and they conjure up these feelings just by virtue of how they vibrate in our chests, how they shape our mouths and make us work our teeth and lips and tongues (just read that sentence aloud to see what I mean).

If you want to describe a comforting fire in a cozy hovel, you should use warm (even woody) words; as a matter of fact, the words comfort, cozy, hovel and warm all fit into that category.

You might want to use some words that accentuate the action of the fire, too.  The embers crack and hiss, pop and snap.

While you’re at it, maybe the wind outside is cold and biting, sharp and stinging. The snow may be crisp and bright. Shards of clear crystal hang from the frosty eaves.

You get the idea.

Sound’s Good (Sounds Good)

If you’re looking for a general guide, words that sound in your chest and stomach, or pull your mouth into an ‘O’ shape, tend to have a warm, deep character. (Think M’s, long O’s, W’s, voiced G’s). Words that make you use your teeth and lips tend to feel sharp and hard. (P’s, T’s, C’s and K’s).

That’s just in general. The real lesson here is that you should read your sentences out loud — not just to see how they flow, but also to see how they actually sound. (Who knew, right?) Listen for how well the timbre and tone of the words you’re using fits with the feeling you’d like to convey.

It may not be immediately intuitive — it may not even seem important at first — but I promise if you pay attention to the sound of your words and not just the meaning, your writing will improve.