Week 1 Posts – November 21st

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    • #18582

      Introduce yourself and share your first piece for feedback HERE!

    • #18638

      Post ONE written work (no more than three pages, double-spaced) for which you would like to receive extensive feedback. Post a piece that makes you nervous, or one you think is almost finished, or the first draft of an idea with great potential. Don’t overthink it, just make sure it is work on which you would actually like detailed feedback.

      And when you post the poem, Introduce yourself by saying what we should call you, where you’re from, and a favorite random factoid. You know, like, “In Iceland, there are over 100 words for wind,” or, “A slug is the closest known land relative to the octopus.”

      Post your poems, dummies! Do not wait until the night before. I need plenty of alone time with’em. Please shut the door on your way out.

      Can’t wait to hang!

    • #18645

      I’m Lisa. You should call me Lisa. My people are from the UK & western Europe but I live in Guelph Ontario.

      Factoid: the river I live by, the Eramosa, used to be the town garbage dump, because throwing trash into the waterways seemed like a good idea at the time. The river keeps saying it’ll recover if we let it; it’s overgrown with willows and medicinal plants and there are frogs (good sign, right?). There are still many interesting bits of old glass and bits of metal embedded in the mud.

      • #18657

        Lisa!! Welcome back, duder. Thank you for being brave first post. I got you. See you Sunday.

        • #18680

          Good to be here! (And I’ll see you *next* Sunday, the 28th.)

        • #18720

          I love this piece, Lisa.

          So many great bits.

          Brought me back to my childhood.

          Thank you.

          • #18902

            Thanks Sean!

      • #18753

        I like the grips me like a haunting line!

      • #18777


        I love the detail in this piece. The video it plays in my mind as I’m reading. I want more.

      • #18813
        Nathan Deman

        Great stuff. Love the personalization, the details are tactile, very clearly deeply personal memories.

      • #18824
        Victoria Ruiz

        ” the scent of which makes wordless panic at 26 until my lover rewashes their hair with something else/”

        Could you flush this out a bit more? I feel a bit taken out of the poem. It feels like another poem perhaps?

        What I loved is that I am brought into the scene right away. I like the economy of words that describe the your father’s authority. And it is repeated in the line about broken toothbrushes. Or at least that’s how I read it.

        This piece moves like a treasure hunt. And I am here for it. It was universal in that it reminded me of me years ago as I explored my mom’s dresser drawers with inherited jewelry. Bravo.

        I like how using / worked. I’ve not explored that and always wondered the the device behind it, line breaks? But why not punctuation for that? I saw this and wanted to explore this in my own work/ line breaks. Can’t wait to see more of your work!

        • #18903

          Thanks Victoria, that is so helpful. I was attached to that line so didn’t see how much better the poem would be without it. You’re right, there’s another poem to be written containing that line.

      • #18837

        This picture you have painted feels so delicate and relatable unforced. I am so excited to read more.

      • #18876

        This piece was so clearly detailed, and brought back memories of my childhood as well.

        Hi Lisa – great to meet you!

      • #19034

        The tone in this piece was the first thing that struck me when I first read it and it has stuck with me every time after. It is perfectly matched not only to what you remember but also to discussing shame.

      • #19070

        really enjoyed your reading of this on sunday. buddy gave you great feedback. i’m a big fan of the tone, flow, and structure of this piece.

    • #18664
      Victoria Ruiz

      Victoria Ruiz {she/her}
      Minneapolis, MN

      Fact::the longest bridal veil was the length of 63 football fields.

      Also, I am excited to be here!


      • #18681

        The second draft is wow. I especially like what you do with colours in the first stanza. Plus it’s cool that it’s justified to the right.

      • #18754

        I love how you structured the Stanzas, lines and line breaks in the poem it makes me want to play around with my pieces like that

      • #18770
        Autumn Stenberg

        Amazing write Victoria. I love this piece so much. Second draft, WOW!!

      • #18778


        From, “We are dirty in the way we greed for what once was,” in the first draft to “Do the dirt work at the alter of greed” in the second? That line stole my breath. WOW!

      • #18808
        Nathan Deman


      • #18838

        Also a big fan of the way you played with the lines and stanzas, it was very effective in giving me space to experience the thought journey in your head.

      • #18877

        The first line sticks with me. Been there!

    • #18665

      Tracy Buchanan (she/her)
      Waynesboro, PA
      Fact: If you add up 1+2+3+4+5.. all the way up to 100, the result is 5050.

      I cannot wait for this experience to unfold. We are badasses for showing up!

      Submission – “Then < Now”

      • #18682

        “Now that you’re not so dick hard in my mind” <– great line

      • #18755

        That first line was so dope! I enjoyed reading this.

      • #18809
        Nathan Deman

        Love the humor!

      • #18823
        Victoria Ruiz

        “My soul bares the marks of Hellfire thrice worse than the DMV”

        Ugggh, the DMV IS hell. I recently sold my soul during a recent five hour wait to renew my license.

        How can you bring YOU into the poem? Specific details. How is this a story that only YOU can tell? Can you pull back the curtains to show us what’s for dinner? What’s
        cooking? Bring the heat!

        • #18829
          Victoria Ruiz

          Coincidently, For week two, I will be posting a poem I wrote about the DMV!!! Stay tuned, ahahhahahahah!

      • #18878

        “I’ve hauled myself out of this self-imposed hell for the last time”


    • #18667

      Hi, I am Thaina – like China but with a T (she/her/hers).
      Born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil
      Living in Rockville, MD.

      Fact: Sloths are amazing swimmers/ sloths only poop once a week.

      I am excited to share this experience with you all!


      • #18756

        That I’m Surprised. Motherfucker, line was so well crafted and placed in your piece

      • #18779


        The anxious part of me I’ve named, “Chicken Little”, adores this piece. She was hanging on every word. “Each question is repeated three times, not for a charm.” <– perfect!

      • #18801
        Victoria Ruiz

        “treading gracefully as if I haven’t been up
        for over eighteen hours. I face the Border Control, ”

        GORGEOUS LINE BREAK! or, rather devastating.

      • #18810
        Nathan Deman

        Love the line breaks.
        I was transported, you really captured an experience there.

      • #18879

        did you miss your anti-bias training?”

        Literally what I was thinking. Thanks for going deep and sharing your experience with us.

    • #18668

      Hi all, I’m Matthew (he/him). From Auckland, New Zealand.

      Fact: The tuatara (a national pride of New Zealand) is not a lizard; it is the only living member of the order Rhynchocephalia, which flourished around 200 million years ago. All other members of the order became extinct 60 million years ago, in the late Cretaceous period.

      Excited to be here.


      • #18683

        That poem reads like a delicate love poem that’s confident enough in its beauty and strength to be unafraid to also be deeply weird. I love weird poems that are also beautiful. There are so many lines that demanded to be reread.

        The one line that didn’t quite seem to me to fit is this one: “I have not yet been right about more of which I am wrong” I’m curious about what that line means to you.

      • #18781


        There were 3 lines which lovingly punched me right in the stomach.

        “You are a Sunday that has forgotten all process, a cathedral built on fresh presence.”
        “You tell me of nightmares and so I salt them, wrap them in silk and toss them into the graves where all living things go to find correction.”
        “I have not yet been right about more of which I am wrong…”

        That is some strong writing, powerful imagery. I look forward to more!

      • #18800

        My favorite submission this week. Love the graceful, compassionate light you shine in this piece. I will read this again and again

      • #18811
        Nathan Deman

        Reading this felt like music.

      • #18825
        Victoria Ruiz

        “You are a
        Sunday that has forgotten all process, a”

        This line is gorgeous. Can’t wait to rea see more!

      • #18834

        This is golden, Matthew, all of it. Thank you for this.

      • #18839

        This is is so beautiful. Much of me wants more details, such as wanting to know HOW the body responds. And omg LOVE the line “our hands make bold choices in kitchens and in dreams” can’t wait to read more of your writing.

      • #18880

        “You are a
        Sunday that has forgotten all process, a
        cathedral built on fresh presence.”


      • #18938

        Mathew, this is so beautiful. And delicate. And dreamy. In just the right ways.
        Our hands make
        bold choices in kitchens and in dreams. You tell me of
        nightmares and so I salt them, wrap them
        in silk and toss them into the graves where all living things
        go to find correction.

        Wow Thank you

      • #19074

        i really appreciate this piece, and i thoroughly enjoyed you reading it.

    • #18669

      Hi, I’m Sadie. Living in Israel, but grew up in the states, in Maine and Arizona.

      Really pleased to have gifted myself with y’all. Excited for what I don’t know is to come.

      The Beaver is the largest rodent in North America. While known for their impressive building skills, most are unable to operate a backhoe.

      • #18736

        Hello Sadie! I am living in Maine for the last 8 years, originally from the MidWest. I am loving Maine. <3

    • #18670

      Looks like the file didn’t upload, so here’s a link :)


      • #18684

        “Try walking backward into the room” is a phenomenal line. For me, it’s at that point that the poem hit its stride.

      • #18734
        Victoria Ruiz

        “And all the brand new things were once nothing
        I’m on my way to be nothing
        I’m on my way to be old”


      • #18786

        Hi Sadie,

        Thank you for this one. This piece was like the best therapy session I ever read. I agree with Lisa on the, “Try walking backward into a room” line. I sat back in wonderment at, “Try a soul chat, an aura hustle, a second-nervous-system singing circle…” This is damn good.

      • #18812
        Nathan Deman

        Beautiful and affirming… What a pleasure. I read it aloud and the way you’ve structured the lines flowed perfectly!

      • #18819

        This is brilliant, Sadie.

      • #18835

        really fresh voice and unique writing style. I feel like I am not smart enough to read this.

        Repetition never proved me right
        Or took me home
        Or bought me drinks
        All it’s good for
        Is stubbornness
        And last straws
        And chiseling away at something I know to be true until it shows through

        What are you talking about here?

        I’m trying to understand

        • #18851

          Hi Ryan! Thank you, it prob needs some work to be less opaque :)

          That chunk is about showing up to a practice, how there’s no instant or ego gratification in it. How it takes stubbornness to keep showing up to something you want to work on when you don’t see any change or results

          • #18852

            awesome. thank you for showing up to practice. thank you for helping me. I couldn’t agree more and I too struggle with giving up when things seems redundant. a great recipe for a half-baked project

      • #18881

        “Try holding your pregnant belly of incomplete, insistent whispers
        And rocking, keeping
        Shuffling their murmur and hush over your own teeth and lips
        mimick back and imagine
        they’re scheming your fortune and bliss”

        LOVE the imagery and emotion in this piece

    • #18675
      Patrick Szajner

      Hi everyone,

      I’m Patrick. I go by that, or Pat, or Patty or Patches depending on who’s asking. Then there was that time Buddy misheard “Patches” for “Peaches” when I got him to sign a book in 2014, so given the event I feel it’s only fair that “Peaches” is also on the table. I live in Toronto, Cananda.

      I’ve never had a favourite factoid, but I did get to lookin’ and learned that broken Kit Kats that are damaged during production actually get ground up and go back in between the wafers of the Kit Kat. Kit Kat-ception.

      I haven’t written anything in 7 years (the below, completely unfinished piece is the last thing) and I’m uncomfortable already. Lookin forward to hanging out with you all :)


      • #18685

        Well “shaped like a wishbone” in reference to some graffitti is a pretty arresting line for any poem, especially the first poem in 7 years so I’m glad you’re braving the discomfort.

      • #18814
        Nathan Deman

        A fun ride with a sentimental muse.

      • #18882

        “Whoever tagged it there
        missed Mikey a lot
        You could tell
        from the way the last letter of his name
        was shaped like a wishbone
        begging him to come back”

        That line hit me. Great poem!

      • #19075

        this piece made me think a lot. hearing you read it added exceptional value to the weight of the moment described in the piece. there was note buddy gave about the end, about tying it back to something more personal. it would be interesting to see you explore that, to explore your connection to this tagged memorial. i find this piece to be sentimental in a way that i find very endearing. i appreciate the capturing of small moments like this.

    • #18676

      Hi! I’m Matador (they/he). Ignore any other name… that’s the only one I use outside of $dayjob and immediate family :)

      Grew up in Louisiana and Florida. Lived in Florida for 21 years, and now I’m living in Louisiana again, just outside Lafayette.

      Factoid: Humans have stripes (called Blaschko’s lines), but they are invisible under most circumstances.

      • #18686

        Matador, this poem is an absolutely devastating container for tightly controlled emotion. It simmers.

      • #18815
        Nathan Deman

        Brutal and heart wrenching. Thank you for being honest.

      • #18833
        Patrick Szajner

        This one had me letting out a heavy exhale when it was over. Thank you.

      • #18883

        The entire poem had me gripped. So much nuance there. Thank you for sharing this profoundly personal moment with us.

      • #19077

        kudos to human stripes. they terrify me.

        this poem is devastating. putting the trauma and emotion of the poem aside for a moment, this piece gets so close to drawing a juxtaposition between the distortion of memory and what remains of the car. i wonder if you can explore that more, how our memories of things shift and contort with the passage of time. i also noticed that the only real hint of romance is when you use the word ‘kissed’ to describe a portion of the accident — curious if this is intentional. would be interested to see you explore that more.

        challenging to give notes on a piece this, appreciate you sharing.

    • #18678

      Grayson here (he/him/dad/sir pronouns). Currently located in California. Some lilies mean “I dare you to love me”.

      • #18687

        Grayson! I’m so glad you & your work are here. Your factoid is a poem on its own btw.

        I am curious about the last part where the poem seems to change direction and head into gratitude and some kind of homecoming. Which is to say: I loved this poem but don’t understand the ending.

        • #18692

          I totally get what you are saying now that I revisit it. I’m not sure what that is, I was moving with the words, and that’s where they took me. But this is good to know, I have to sit on this and maybe can hear more from you on Sunday.

          • #18816
            Nathan Deman

            Felt to me like it was the reinforcement of food as an ultimate, primal comfort. Even though everything that led the poem felt more about the tragedy of what certain meals meant in a social context, I felt like when you came around with all the gator symbolism, it almost felt like… You know, on this reptilian level, in the self that precedes all social context, there is still a comfort in the act of consumption, of persisting.

      • #18722

        Grayson, my man.

        Seems I put my comment for Matador in the wrong spot and I can’t seem to sort it.

        I do want to say, I love this piece and I’m over the moon that you’re here.

      • #18884

        Talk about packing heat. So much imagery comes up for me as I’m reading it. I agree that the poem could possibly be 2 pieces? Maybe from “one of the biggest things a human can feel is hunger” on. I found myself wanting to be left to sit with the haunting feelings of the first 2 pages.

      • #19085

        wow. okay, so you pulled me in with the title. fat kid at heart here. and then you handed me every lesson i’ve ever learned about expectation. i need more time to sit with this, there’s a lot of gold in here. the best note i can give off the top is to get rid of this line, “I’ve always been scared of food poems” — remove that idea from the top of the poem. this is a food poem but it absolutely is not a food poem, and so much as you might have been scared to write one, you wrote the hell out of this.

    • #18688

      Hi all, Bria here in Manhattan. She suite of pronouns.

      In order for a show to be considered a Broadway show, amongst other things, it has to be happening in one of about 40 theaters in a couple blocks radius here in NYC. Moreso, that theater has to have 500+ seats. 99-499 seats in the city is considered off-Broadway. 98 and fewer is considered off-off-Broadway.

      It’s tricky to carry generational worry
      In a rucksack filled with light
      Though not impossible
      She started with a cliche
      Couldn’t help it. Didn’t want to either
      Some moments were made with these words in mind
      She leaned into it
      Created sustenance fueled by those who thought nothing of her
      Saw their limitations in their pallor
      And kept on
      She knew good catfish is a hard catch in high rise cities
      Takes a bus ride and some humility to source
      Put on the combination of comfortable, form fitted
      Professional dancers have just *chef’s kiss*
      And slate for every time I kiss recklessly
      Now settle in
      Look up
      It’s a good rule of thumb when I’ve been lost
      Nico and I played rock paper scissors like that one day
      A good egg that one
      Read the telepathy I’d been puttin’ out all afternoon
      We work for fun. Might as well lean into the play
      It all becomes too serious otherwise
      I didn’t survive the worst of what you handed me
      Only to pick it apart and find more woe
      It’s not me
      It was what i needed to launch off of though
      I told you. Look up
      I’ve confounded teachers keeping me safe
      By climbing a little higher
      Check the fundamentals
      And plummet
      It’s not a synonym for death
      Rather exhilaration
      Once I was told I have the audacity to speak
      Those synapses catalyzed something
      I know mediocre white men take for granted
      I resolved to have it too

      • #18802

        Bria, you’re astounding. Glad to have you here.”She knew good catfish is a hard catch in high rise cities” Now that line is truly *chefs kiss*

        Looking forward to reading you every week <3

      • #18817
        Nathan Deman

        Fuck. Every line of this was grounded in personality and style.. Great stuff!

      • #18885

        “Once I was told I have the audacity to speak
        Those synapses catalyzed something
        I know mediocre white men take for granted
        I resolved to have it too”


    • #18693

      Hi. You can call me Codi. (He/His)

      From Kansas City, Missouri – Currently living in Mauritius.

      Fun Fact: A group of pandas is called an embarrassment.

      VERY EXCITED TO GET TO KNOW ALL OF YOU! Like for real. Very pumped for all of this.


      • #18733

        Codi, I am from KCMO! I now live in Maine. Excited to be in this group.

      • #18737
        Victoria Ruiz

        “you’re holding on to my top button, I never noticed that before”

        Love this detail so much.

      • #18818
        Nathan Deman

        Felt very personal and heartfelt. I should think whomever it was written for must be very flattered.

      • #18886

        “she naively thought I was the first, I just hoped I’d be the last”

        so. much. there.

      • #19090

        damn, this is tremendous. love the format. writing is crisp and clean.

    • #18718

      I like how Lisa, who went first, introduced herself.

      I’m following her lead [thanks Lisa].

      I’m Seth. You should call me Seth. Or London’s Dad.

      Glad to be here. Looking forward to learning.

      My ‘amazing facts’ are hidden within my poem. BW taught me that.

      • #18820
        Nathan Deman

        Deliberate and evocative language.. Felt like I had gone on a journey by the end with the way the sections evolved.

      • #18887

        Great piece. I found myself searching whether the poem was about you or someone you knew?

    • #18723

      Hello! I’m Danielle.

      From Seattle, WA but currently find myself in a farmhouse south of Munich in Germany.

      Fact: there are 6 ways to say “the” in German. So help me god.

      Very excited to be able to do this workshop and to see all the awesome work people do. I’m hoping to find my edge again.


      • #18735

        Hello Danielle! I am writing from Dusseldorf where I have been visiting for the last 10 days. I head back to the States tomorrow.

      • #18888

        “I notice the starfish we hung on the wall is off-center, but then realize it was never meant to be in balance.” Great line

    • #18724
      Lou Raio

      Hi, I’m Lou. You can call me The Louniverse or Lou.
      But, the Louniverse

      Factoid: “Being late is the same as being on time, only later.” ~ Me



      Today the buzzards hovered by the dozens in the mountains
      Something was laying dead in the morning sun
      Or was about to die
      I drove past wondering if a dead deer was about to be breakfast or if a rabbit had ventured out at the exact wrong time
      There was a dog walking loose on the road and then it disappeared into the woods
      First I was worried it could come back and attack me
      But it never did
      And before I left the area I found myself wondering what the dog might be up to
      All alone wandering the forest
      Was it just pissing and shitting around
      Marking territories and sniffing to see who else had been there?
      Was it happy to be alone and free to go and do as it pleased?
      I was jealous of the dog before I left
      And now many hours later sitting alone staring cross-eyed into the wash of a light bulb trying to get a good glimpse of the floaters and electric static squiggles in my sight
      I wonder if this visual damage will ever go away and if it’s even really damage at all
      Are these things supposed to be here?
      Or is every floating amoeba in my sight a burst of white light or magnesium incendiary from my past?
      How free is that dog from earlier today?
      Is he still out there?
      Am I free? Or more free than a loose dog?
      My belly is full
      My head has a roof over it
      My shit and piss is flushed away nicely,  for the benefit of all mankind I’m sure
      If I had a dog’s freedom what would I do with it if not this?
      The squiggles reappear and then I blink and they’re gone until my eyes dry up again and they’ll surely be back
      They always come back
      Did the dog just follow his nose or was he standing in the shadows of tall trees enjoying the sunrise?
      If given total and complete choice I feel like I’d still choose this level of freedom I currently sit in
      I wonder if I’ll see my buzzards when they’re hovering over head

      • #18889

        “The Louniverse” haha! love it. Great to meet you.

    • #18725

      Hi Folks,

      I’m Brenden, I go by Brenden or Bren and I use they/them/theirs pronouns. I am from Southern California, commuting between Riverside and San Diego. Fun factoid, in Northern California, in the town of Eureka, there’s a Sequoia Park Zoo and they’ve recently built a “Redwood Sky Walk” in which you can walk across bridges from tree to tree from 100 feet above the forest floor. I can’t wait to go!

      So excited for this workshop and to be witnessed by and witness everyone else.


    • #18726

      Hi Everyone
      Call me Kate. That’s who I am. I am obsessed with Siphonophorae. Large complex organisms that appear to be an individual but is actually a colony. It starts with one body, but then grows by asexuallly producing many more small bodies that all remain attached. Up to 40 meters long – thats longer than a blue whale. Mythical creatures of the deep that are real. Magic is possible. I think we humans are an air version. If only we’d notice. Darwin was a lier. Cooperation is the only route to survival. Looking forward to taking the Buddy ride together!

    • #18728

      Hey everyone! My name is Cami (pronounced like Amy but Kay-me…blame my Wisconsin family for the long “a”). I use she/her/hers pronouns. Called a lot of places home but am currently living in St. Louis, MO. Apologies for the delay in saying hello.

      Factoid: Otters hold hands while they sleep in the water so they don’t drift away from one another.

      Was scared to sign up so thought I should most definitely do it. Looking forward to being with you all.


      • #18732
        Victoria Ruiz

        Cami, that FACT! It’s so tender.

    • #18729

      Y’all are incredible. So excited about this crew. These submissions…

    • #18730

      Hi everyone :)

      I’m Chloë (She/her) and I live in Scotland. I’m so grateful to be here with you all.

      Fact: Dogs purposely sneeze when play-fighting to show it’s not a serious fight.


    • #18731

      Hello, I’m SallyAnn! I’m a (American) midwestern gal living in Maine. Not exactly a factoid, but multitasking is a myth – multitasking is actually task-shifting, and it reduces focus, production, and productivity.


      • #18738

        A note to Buddy: I am traveling all day on 11/21/21 so cannot participate on day 1 – not for lack of want! I almost didn’t sign up for this workshop bc of my travel plans but when I saw that everything will be recording I decided to take the LEAP OF FAITH! I look forward to catching up, participating, and being DEEPLY uncomfortable because THAT IS WHEN WE GROW. <3 <3 <3

    • #18739

      I love this, Kate.

      Grateful to take another BW ride with you!

    • #18744

      I’m Sean Cardinalli, living in Albuquerque and from Northern Cali, screenwriter/creative writer/life coach, knower of John Kim about 20 years, which is wild in hindsight. A few years before the pandemic, I was flown out to see Prince’s 2nd to last concert ever, in Oakland, CA and in that same weekend consummated an old college flame’s mutual crush. We luxuriated in the music, the conversations, the food, our bodies, giggling about our undergraduate memories, our younger selves, and also thrilled to be coming back together again as adults. It was purple-tinged joy for a weekend.
      Also, I fucking submitted an old piece of prose I dusted off. I’m sorry. I didn’t know if this was gonna be prose or poetry or both, and I literally have no poetry just “lying around.” I’ll see if some is entombed in the deeper caves of my hard drive. If this is poetry only, I’ll be sure to submit that form for next week’s review.

    • #18746

      I know… Im late, but something about a stumbling upon this so last minute makes it seem that much more important.
      My name is Kaden, I’m from Michigan but I have been bouncing around lately and somehow landed in Maryland.

      54% of Icelanders believe elves exist. I like those odd.

      Here is my “work” lol. it’s more like my soul letting off some steam. Hopefully this suffices. I’ll tidy up next week for you.

      excuses for divinity;

      Photographs from the other world
      Fairies call you under
      while you sleep
      submerged in a subconscious dissociation from the self

      your rotted crotch pleads for attention
      as the divine feminine lays dormant inside
      sending you playful dreams— about a childhood you don’t remember experiencing

      walk on dirt in the sky
      a mental breakthrough
      a clearing of the clog above the crown
      she dug some kind of hole to the center of the earth
      to her surprise found the soul lay bare
      call it striking gold
      as if it were worth anything outside of this casm below

      Tonight we feast like kings on the things we’ve left unseen
      Magic resides in the belly but swims all the way up out of the throat
      into something we that’s tangible—almost clean
      the beast on the table
      Resembles a new born baby
      before the pricks
      and the prods

      the universe slips this realization it into
      my morning coffee
      begging to be sweet and black and burnt
      all at once

    • #18751

      Hi my name is Justin, I’m a writer, author, poet from New Jersey! My stage name is Johnson Soldout, feel free to follow me on Insstagram or TikTok (@JohnsonSoldout) I would love to have more writer friends. I look forward to our time together!

      Random Fact: Humans are the only animals that blush.

      • #18826
        Victoria Ruiz

        “You are a
        Sunday that has forgotten all process, a”

        This line is gorgeous. Can’t wait to read more!

      • #18827
        Victoria Ruiz

        Justin, please ignore the above comment. I had a glitch while typing feedback for you. I’ll do my best to remember what I said.

        The stanza about the older gent was so well crafted! You provided enough detail that I am sure I know this man. What town doesn’t have the older gent leaning up against a brick wall offering loose wisdom at night under a buzzing light and 1000 mosquitos? The line about the library gave the man an added depth like, what has this man BEEN through/seen/learned from. This was so well-done!

    • #18757

      Hi all,

      My names Ahmed. Glad to be here again for another one of these. Even gladder to see some familiar faces.

      The worlds deadliest creature is a jellyfish that made up of nearly 98% water. At what point do you stop being death and start becoming the ocean. At what point do you become what you keep yourself around and stop being yourself. At what point does a jellyfish get existential about it’s own shit.

      I know I’m coming in under the wire so not expecting any feedback this week. That said I’ll still share something. This is an old piece I put together in the last workshop I did with Buddy.

      Buddy (or Kara) if you catch this, I won’t be able to attend the first two weeks due to some prior commitments but aim to catch up on the zoom recordings and be there for all the remaining.

      Thanks for having me

      • #18762
        Victoria Ruiz

        “Laughter is just the sound a smile makes”

        Indeed. These lines!

        “The ankle weights on your ribcage”

      • #18763

        Ahmed, my man! So glad you’re here.

        ‘There is a boy’ still slams.

    • #18764

      Hola everyone!
      I’m way too late to the party… but I’m excited for the workshop today :)

      I’m Charlotte, from Sweden but moved a little bit of everywhere and now I’m living between Berlin, Germany and Lagos, Portugal.
      Where I’m from in Sweden we get 3 hours of daylight during winter, so that’s fun.

      Not expecting any feedback on this since I’m LATE.

      • #18806

        Charlotte, I’m massively envious of your ability to write simply and clearly. The vulnerability is tangible in a way I want my writing to be. Excited to read you in the coming weeks. Glad to have you.


    • #18765

      Hello all I am Pete from Long Island NY, meditation doesn’t give you street cred. I have one piece that I’ve been working on since the last workshop from the prompt “what is the war that needs to end”.

      • #18788

        Addiction is a tricky bitch

        love this, reminded me a lot of conversations Ive had with myself for many years. You are better than you think

        stanza #2 packed the most heat for me, that being said “crimes in perpetuity” seemed a little out of place to my given the rest of the language in the poem.

        • #18895

          Thanks Ryan! yeah man I’m trying to open the piece up a little. I’m looking forward to working on it this coming sunday.

    • #18767
      Autumn Stenberg

      Hi everyone, my name is Autumn and I go by my birth name, Autumn. My body feels like an Autumnal season, full of emotional winds. I live in the U.S., a small town in NE Washington state.

      I have studied Compassionate Inquiry with Gabor Mate regarding reconnecting with our true self for over a year. My favorite quote from him is as follows:
      “Trauma is not what happens to you, it’s what happens inside you as a result of what happened to you. Trauma is that scarring that makes you less flexible, more rigid, less feeling and more defended.”

      I am excited to be here with you all, and to hear your powerful voices that are so needed in this world.


      You must be logged in to view attached files.
      • #18828
        Victoria Ruiz


        I am a fan of Gabor as am I a fan of your line, “Doubt is a distraction from love” I wonder what would happen if you were able to weave it near the top? and then list the examples of WHY this is true for YOU. Like the mother always said, cinnamon, line. What is YOUR truth when you aren’t busy protecting your mother/her feelings and or hiding behind big emotions?

        The thing I love so much about the editing process in my own work is that I get to overcome the superficial layers that present in anger or avoidance or whatever the emotion happens to be. Sometimes, anger IS the poem, (but then set that shit on FIRE) and if that is the poem you REALLY wanted to write here, how can you coax the vulnerability it takes to free it from it’s hiding place that you’ve been keeping safe in your body.

        Writing for me, is very similar to acupuncture in terms of the ladling of each layer that needs to be dispelled or held until i can give it back to the heart of the universe.

        You’ve got so much here, I cannot WAIT to see the trajectory!

    • #18769

      Name: Reed Jackson (He | him | his)
      Location: Crockett, TX
      Fact: The first canned good to arrive to Samoa was pea soup. Ever since, all canned goods are called “peasoupa”.

      I discovered Buddy in Austin in the fall of 2019. Going to see his show woke something up inside me. This urgent need to create something with words.I have not done a ton of writing since the last (first?) workshop in March 2020, but this is from a piece I wrote then.

      Loving you was like amnesia.
      An ex porcupine still grasping for quills.
      Just be kind.
      I loved you so much.
      Your tulips are starting to sprout.
      I wish you could see the ocean you opened after the levy finally broke.
      In each of us.
      Standing there.
      An American flag folded so tightly it ironed out every queer or messy piece of you.
      A hero.
      Their hero.
      Maybe next time.
      A nightmare ballet.

    • #18771
      erin feldman

      My name is erin and I, too, am excited to be here! I am from north Louisiana, but have lived in western Massachusetts for most of my life. Fun fact: somewhere in New Jersey there is a fire station with a lightbulb that has been alight for 120 years.
      See y’all soon,

    • #18773
      erin feldman

      Whoops– I deleted the piece instead of editing the post. Oy.

    • #18775

      Hello! Hella late to the sign up! I’m Jamie (she/her) and I live in Seattle. After writing obsessively for nearly a decade I abruptly stopped 5 years ago. I have no new work to submit for review, but I’ll include one of the last things I wrote. A piece about my father. I’m taking this class to reignite my ability to put all these ideas onto paper. Fun FACTOID….. 90% of the foods humans eat come from just 30 plants.

      Braving Goodbye

      On the day you say goodbye to him
      Your breath will catch high in the noose of your throat

      Your guillotine teeth chopping off the long neck of your moans
      Pushing back down to the sound proof chamber of your belly

      There you keep the memories and food you can no longer digest
      Stress can cause the body to reject what is good for it

      Bodies can confuse hearts

      I once confused fear with devotion convinced the sparrows to forgo migration
      Paid them to stay in seeds of yarrow

      Later, realized my fear of worms fueled my love for those birds
      One day the yarrow seeds sprouted in their bellies and flowers grew out their eyes roots from their beaks and their wings sprouted leaves

      They were grounded, tongue tied to the earth but this was not my intention
      The worms came anyway sustained from bird carcass
      Do not forget that there are some flowers that do not require soil to thrive

      If you find yourself indignant and starving
      Collect your tears
      Dry them to salt the ice road ahead

      It will lead you somewhere wonderful or miserable
      You will not know until you get there

      The edge of your new mountain view with it’s young sprouting seeds will remind you of his stubble chin
      Sharp and inviting

      Do not crumble pillar and base
      Look back and remember regret is a flavor stronger than vinegar

      It can also dissolve rust from iron
      Can be used to restore

      • #19025
        Victoria Ruiz

        I really felt this line…”I once confused fear with devotion convinced the sparrows to forgo migration” more lines like this. please! I love the ownership/growth that I feel in this line. a perspective, if you will.

        I would challenge you to put yourself in the poem via pronouns… ex

        “On the day you say goodbye to him
        Your breath will catch high in the noose of your throat”

        The day I said good-bye to him
        my breath catching/caught itself on the noose of my throat
        as guillotine teeth chop off the long neck of my moans….

        i am not sure what the line, “bodies can confuse hearts” mean so naturally, I am very curious to know! :) THank you!

        …..something along those lines. there are opportunities for this to have a second look throughout the poem.

    • #18776

      Hello, I’m Clarity. I’m from Long Island, NY but currently live in an old mining town in California known as Nevada City..

      Did you know that if you ignore the urge to poop you will eventually lose that urge all together?

      here is something I’ve been working on. It has no title.


      wonderful pentacles
      tentacles ache in the wake
      of evolution
      a blooming nothingness
      is splintering the sky
      drifting on a coffee buzz
      language, languid and lingering
      lost to steam then chips – now


      it is midnight
      in the house of defiance
      those taped wrists
      are no longer enough
      there is a hostage crisis on
      the evening news
      his mouth moves
      says nothing
      the call is coming from
      inside the house

      branches break as if to warn
      of a coming storm
      the wind sweeps like
      and with it
      the danger of hope
      a stranger approaches
      and says
      “we don’t use words
      like that”

      I was misinformed about
      your intentions
      the sharpened edge
      of the moment
      bleeds through
      pierces breath
      then flesh
      there is nothing
      until there is now

      get into it
      the night is not a eulogy
      for the day
      the day is not a spider
      in a cup
      or being circled
      by shadows fleeting
      as if every allegory
      were a ransom note
      set to detonate
      the very moment mysteries
      are revealed

      the hour is no different from
      the year
      in the same way
      the light is no different from
      the dark
      “so whatchu gonna do
      with it?” she asked
      and all I could think to say was
      baby, I’m gonna watch
      the water roll down

      • #18836

        exceptional work, clarity. the ending really found a home in me. the chaos of all the stanzas before melting into the peace of the final stanza- brilliant work. thank you

      • #18845
        Victoria Ruiz

        “get into it
        the night is not a eulogy”

        This line called for pause. I love the strength in this line.

    • #18780

      My name is Justin. I once was born right as the doctor arrived in the room. He commented just in time and I never really thought it til last year when living in LA I found myself unintentionally around the pseudo healer crystal plant medicine coke suger daddy healer tribe. I wasn’t there for long but they all had funny strange names they have named themselves because I guess its embarrassing to be a fake in your real name? Truth, Lucifer, Swan, Venus… I was thankful in the moment when the circle introducing themselves got to me, maniacal smiles and borderline engaged eyes… I don’t believe in pressure but thats because I’m always Justintime!

      Did you know that when you snap the sound made is actually your finger hitting your palm. Try it ;)

    • #18782

      Attached not to technology obviously 🙄

    • #18787

      Hi! I’m Ryan (He/Him) from Texas.

      several native amazonian tribes translate money as “sad leaves”


      The Deer

      The deer sharpened his horns all summer
      White points grew into ground
      Slowly at first
      Tip toe
      Tap root dug deep
      Thick fur buckled and cracked
      Horns twisted
      The changing tree watched
      The other deer as they danced and wondered
      Will they know me anymore?
      Me and my toughness
      My lack of run and hide from hunter
      How still he wept
      For what once was
      Watering what was becoming
      Aquifer roots
      Sharp horns split to proud branches
      wide shade
      legs growing tall and stout
      The wind
      Passed through
      The wood and whispered
      “What you were is gone already,
      Love what you’ve become”

      • #18846
        Victoria Ruiz

        “Sharp horns split to proud branches
        wide shade
        legs growing tall and stout
        The wind
        Passed through
        The wood …”

        Loved this part and the thought that shade could be described as wide.

    • #18789

      Hi, I’m Jamie (She/Her). Apologies for the last minute post. I’ll submit my first piece later this week.

      There are mountains in New Hampshire that are older than the existence of trees. I like how small that makes me feel.

    • #18790

      Hello! I’m Barb Matias Haynes. You can call me Barb.

      Random fact: the Philippines consists of 7,640 islands about 2000 are uninhabited. I’ve visited 3 of these islands.

    • #18791
      Nathan Deman

      Hi, I’m Nathan. I’m from Seattle, and in case you didn’t know, penguins have adapted to sacrifice sustainable, efficient flight in order to pursue the abundant prey items occurring at great depths. I’m sorry I’m late. It’s been a hell of a couple weeks but I’m so happy to be here! I don’t expect any kind extensive review due to my timing, but here is a song I wrote recently that my band is just starting to put into our rotation.


      A ghost hunts home, a rest to come after
      The soul spins bone from flesh thin woven

      Alive with a revenant pulse, cold and keen
      Sirens singing round your head
      Ringing bells in your sleep

      The ghoul roams long, its quest a cancer
      The road has spun portals to strange stars

      A life for the revenant cause, gaunt and bleak
      Anthem pounding in your head
      Drones dirges for your dreams

      Can’t quite shake the feeling
      Hives swarm beneath your being
      Skin mask pale and peeling
      You pick the scabs until we hear your

      Pitiful rebel roar
      Taunting the abyss to kick your teeth in
      All to feed this
      Gruesome sort of crucible
      Rhythmic palindrome tremors your voice with
      Promises poison

      Can’t hide from the reasons
      Scarecrows come a swinging
      Bright looms blooming deep with
      Conspiracies to keep you reeled in

      Can’t outrun the reaper
      Harvest is in season

      • #18847
        Victoria Ruiz

        “revenant pulse, cold and keen”

        I like how these words sounds together.

    • #18792

      Hi there, my name is Chris Cambell (He/They). I’m a non-binary, pansexual native American with ADHD who has been living as an immigrant in the UK for 10.5 years now. I’ve lived in 38 states in the USA (my parents were hippies and criminals so we were always drifting due to good vibes or bad ones) but always say I’m from Chicago because it’s where I lived the longest and the only place I’ve ever really felt home. I’m married and have 3 kids.

      FACTOID: Peeing on a jellyfish sting does not help. In fact, it will often make the pain worse.


      I love Chicago
      and when I say I love Chicago
      I don’t say it the way you do
      like all the fakers and phonies
      who have never seen the city
      at its worst, have never had
      a Holden Caulfield style spiral
      through the seediest disappointments
      on offer, have never felt the weight
      of being a catcher in the rye
      full of earnestness but speaking
      only in facsimiles so oft repeated
      that they’ve lost their definition
      yet remain on mission
      determined to catch
      every one of us
      that might fall

      or find themselves cutting through
      a high rise building site, on the south side
      after midnight, in a sweaty catering tux
      with a backpack full of foil wrapped filet
      mignon and chocolate ganache covered truffles
      only to stumble into trouble,
      six SUVS parked in a circle,
      facing inward, black on black
      paint, white headlights highlighting violence
      as two men fight with knives in a ring
      and suddenly you’re seen,
      shouts fly out for you to stop
      but your feet don’t listen
      until you’ve ran so far and hard
      you can’t hear anything over the
      beat of your heart, full of fear
      and adrenaline but somewhere,
      stuck to the lining of arteries
      there’s that love for this city.

      Hell, I even love Wrigleyville
      on game days with its endless
      waves of drunken douche canoes
      fist bumping, chest thumping
      not caring the Cubs always lose
      the points aren’t the point
      it’s the poetry of overpriced
      everything, of tourists getting sick
      in the stands, season ticket holders shouting
      about how terribly the other team’s gonna do
      or college students watching from
      neighbouring roofs just tall enough
      to offer a view over the walls
      of good old Wrigley Field.

      I learned to love
      the Gold Coast while
      grooming dogs owned
      by Oprah’s staff,
      women so rich they
      wear open silk robes
      to answer the door
      when you pick them up
      women so rich they
      don’t think of the
      young man in worn
      jeans and thrift store
      plaid as human enough
      to cover up for
      after all,
      he’ll soon be
      hand-mixing flax seed,
      bee pollen, and custom
      formulated dog feed
      before deftly emptying
      Chichi’s anal glands
      in the doggy daycare office.
      The one next to the mid-range stripclub
      where the dancers always wave
      hello to me on their way in for the early shift.

      And while the magnificent mile
      is mainly for tourists and sadists
      I have begrudgingly come to care
      for more there than just
      Ghirardelli’s chocolate,
      Garrett’s Popcorn,
      and Giordano’s Deep Dish.
      Have shared many a meal
      with the city’s pimple population,
      people hurting and homeless,
      used to be being ignored
      at best and abused as standard;
      A good day sees them sleeping
      on the el train squealing,
      spouting sparks that scuttle
      into the dark corners of side streets
      looking up admiring those few moments
      of peace painted on their faces
      as they pass on by.

      I love Chicago so much that
      some part of me never left,
      spent the last 11 years haunting
      me so that anytime I dare
      question whether I will ever
      see that stubborn place again,
      I will remember, that
      she’s not done with me yet.

      • #18798

        Here’s the word doc version for Buddy’s ease of access.

        • #18832
          Patrick Szajner

          This took me on a great ride, friend. Just an FYI I’m not sure that the word doc attachment actually worked out as intented (at least I don’t see an attachment).

          If I can make a suggestion:

          “six SUVS parked in a circle,
          facing inward, black on black
          paint, white headlights highlighting violence
          as two men fight with knives in a ring”

          Maybe consider removing the strikethrough’d part? For me those extra words just interrupted the rhythm a little bit.

          For the last part maybe even “headlights highlighting violence of two men fighting with knives”.

      • #18848
        Victoria Ruiz

        This opening!
        Also loved The Oprah’s staff, men so rich…to the line, the strippers always wave..

        In enjoyed so much about this piece.

    • #18793

      I’m Danni. I got nothing… which leaves a lot of room for growth.

      I’m a PA girl living in Jersey – which just means I know how to shoot deer and drink beer while wishing – as Buddy would say – I could hug the ocean.

      See you all in class.

      • #18794

        Oh – and about the factoid… my eight year old daughter gets a kick out of (which means I benefit from residual enjoyment) that babies have more bones than adults.

    • #18795

      Hello there! My name’s Jackson, but you can call me Jack. I’m from California, but my mother is an immigrant from Hyderabad, India!

      Fun fact: The difference between a us humans and a chimpanzee is merely 1% of our entire genome. Meditate upon that.

    • #18797

      Hi all,

      (Trying again? For some reason my posts don’t seem to show up from all yesterday, but maybe this’ll work if very belated…)

      Shalom here. Originally from Indonesia, but currently kicking it in NYC. Sorry for the late post. Also for some reason I’m having trouble replying in thread, so I’m trying here.

      One fun factoid: Mountain goats want your pee.

      Poem here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/17Dx6mH7bEWsnDJ1P6OpXj3Kpag1G9ZZBcKipjwKy1Ak/edit?usp=sharing

    • #18799

      When I first learned to ride a bike, I kept falling over with
      of the wheels
      As if the side of my body was pulled down by the cruel chains of a universe whose laws forbade my endeavors.
      Fall after fall, I grew impatient with myself.
      How could something with two wheels stand up on its own?
      “I’ll never ride a bicycle again,” I declared.
      Until I did.
      One day, I tried to ride down a shallow hill.
      I kept pedaling, and
      mysteriously kept moving forward.
      My heart felt light.
      I rode upon
      the wind itself that day.

      Once I was chained down
      by my own self-doubt the way astronauts are
      glued to their seats during takeoff
      as the hand of a god threatens to crush their chests for daring to enter their heavenly kingdom.
      But the hand eventually lifts.
      The chains break.
      I am weightless.

    • #18821
      Jessica Farrell

      Hey, everyone. MY name is Jess but my pen name is J. Andersen. I’m born in New York but Florida is the old home base. Now I’m in Colorado. One fact I absolutely love is that it is illegal to parallel park your elephant on the public streets in Florida. Because, obviously, it’s insanely popular to parallel park your large wild animal. Totally.

      You must be logged in to view attached files.
    • #18830

      Hi Everyone

      I’m Martin (He/Him), white British originally from London, now living in the mountains of North Wales.

      Fact – human technology cannot make a material as thin and strong as spider silk.

      Apologies for joining late. My work shift got changed last Sunday.

      I’m enjoying reading everyone’s work.

      Here is the poem I submitted –

      Sonnet for White Extermination 1*

      When John Coltrane and Nina Simone each lend
      me a voice I am immediately seasick. Ms Simone’s
      saliva excoriates my palate and Mr Coltrane’s tone
      gives me a nosebleed. I didn’t expect to get the bends.
      Should have asked for Sinatra or Brubeck – I spit
      between bouts of nausea kneeling over the toilet sink –
      bitterly tasting the realisation that at least this way the first
      song of my new repertoire is from the gut. Retched gurgles
      projectile scat authentically extempore my voice into birth.
      Burbling gagged gospel I gasp – desperately attempt to master
      it – write it down – but my lexicon can’t contain the scale
      of this humanity – even the vacant spaces between the words
      seem more meaningful than the words themselves until – at last –
      I am quelled – and in silence begin to sing as my final white breath fails.

      *After Terence Hayes

    • #18831

      It feels like you’ve written this from your heart. I admire that.

    • #18840

      Hi, I’m Dennis (he/him), and I am afraid.
      Your foot is the same size as your forearm.

      Lost my dad at the beginning of the year. He was a traumatized man and was very abusive to my siblings and I, but he was also very charming in his goofy way. I wrote this little song to eulogize his mysterious presence in the world, titled “Kimya Dawson and Wesley Willis”.

      Dad mixed and mastered
      On low fidelity tapedecks
      For his little bastards
      Who at the time couldn’t care less

      He went like summer
      Gone too soon, but don’t fret
      He fell asleep there
      Left in an instant

      I love when he plays with the dials
      But I don’t know where the sound comes from
      He can only play when his back is numb

      You’re probably wondering
      “Why’d he call this song that?”
      “Who’s Kimya Dawson? Who’s Wesley Willis?”

      • #18850
        Victoria Ruiz

        “He can only play when his back is numb”

        This line hit me in a good way.

        Sorry for the loss of your father.

    • #18890

      Hey all! Late to the party, but glad to be here. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s pieces from Week 1 and the factoids too!

      I’m Sarah (she/her) originally from Hawaii, now in Las Vegas.

      Factoid (about Hawaii): Prior to the arrival of Christian missionaries in 1820, Hawaii had no written language; births, deaths, genealogy, battles, history, stories, etc. were passed from generation to generation orally via songs, chants and poems.

      *Update: For some reason Word doc is not being taken here so sharing via Google docs https://docs.google.com/document/d/15JYJ2tlcVHpD_hh77aLLn3xe8RBzVCqns04pVKX-MOw/edit?usp=sharing

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