Week 4 Posts – December 12th

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    • #19210
    • #19212

      Hey y’all I got a piece I’ve been working on that I would love some feedback on! It’s Called Terrabull!

      • #19216
        erin feldman

        There are some astounding lines in here:
        I pick apart grammar like I’m feasting on shellfish
        I dropped drowning for flying and still getting use to the heights

        this whole section:
        Cause if death ain’t certain
        I’ll close the curtain
        And work on a new live performance

        As for helpful feedback…I’d focus on the logic and trimming the fat parts of Buddy’s editing “rules” (do you call them rules? or something cooler?) because while you are definitely saying cool shit, I’m not always clear what it “means” in that logic sort of way.

      • #19228

        This was fun to read! And I agree with Erin about the “Cause if death…” part being one of my favorites of the piece. The beginning made sense for me but I lost the thread a little in the middle and am not sure I ended up getting the whole poem because of it. Thanks for sharing!

      • #19259
        Kate Fenwick

        I pick apart grammar like I’m feasting on shellfish

        I dropped drowning for flying and still getting use to the heights

        I agree that I too lost the thread a bit..

        Thanks so much

    • #19214


      I remember waking from a dream to pee
      the heartburn a bonafide bonfire
      a brutal reminder
      that only hours before
      by the light of the refrigerator door
      I had gorged on an orgy of carbohydrates

      it started with the greek
      the skewered souvlaki with squeezed tzatziki
      now residing somewhere below my belly button
      maybe in what my family called my hollow leg
      all that was left of the leftovers
      a styrofoam of starch and the scent
      of lemon oregano and garlic

      I inhaled the cold pilaf and potato
      Half chewed becoming like glue
      binding my insides like a papier-mâché balloon
      I remember wondering:

      why do all greek restaurants employ the same font?
      why is solitude so difficult to sit with?

      I returned from the fridge and crumbled into bed with a bag of chips
      it’s hard to argue with the drawl of barbeque
      my red 40 dyed fingertips
      the crumbs at the bottom of the bag
      like sad silver dust from a stack of scratch tickets
      it’s the soul that gets sick first
      I rolled onto my left side
      and made love to the crumbs

      • #19217
        erin feldman

        and made love to the crumbs
        WHOA– that ending! It lacerated me, but also made me sure I’m not alone making out with hopelessness (I translated crumbs). There are some verbs in here that are lifting the heavy of feelings off the page and into me: crumbling, gorged, skewered

        That middle couplet (why do all greek restaurants employ the same font?/why is solitude so difficult to sit with?) could be the place to unpack for us. I’m really curious about that connection, but right now I don’t “get” it.

      • #19218
        Patrick Szajner

        Seth! This is so fuckin beautiful, man.

        gorged on an orgy of carbohydrates

        Absolutely love how this line jumps out of my mouth when I say it out loud.

        it started with the greek
        the skewered souvlaki with squeezed tzatziki
        now residing somewhere below my belly button
        maybe in what my family called my hollow leg
        all that was left of the leftovers
        a styrofoam of starch and the scent
        of lemon oregano and garlic

        Just some suggestions I think would make it a little punchier here.

        I remember wondering:

        I think Buddy was right when he shared feedback about wondering…us poets seem to like to wonder a lot. And we all say as much. “Find a new way to wonder” – Buddy Wakefield.

        Great stuff!

      • #19225

        Loving the amount of food poems this workshop has birthed. That solitude line hit me good. Now if you’ll excuse me all that reading made me hungry xp

      • #19229

        Yessss the ending! Ahhhh!! Love Patrick’s suggestions on taking out some of the smaller words and just rolling things together. Totally a suggestion but I’m curious if the poem has anything to say about what you were dreaming about before you woke up and this all occurred.

      • #19258
        Kate Fenwick

        it started with the greek
        the skewered souvlaki with squeezed tzatziki

        why do all greek restaurants employ the same font?
        why is solitude so difficult to sit with?

        I think I agree that this could pay dividends to be unpacked…

        I returned from the fridge and crumbled into bed with a bag of chips
        this has such a domestic sadness to it

        thanks, as always, Seth

      • #19304
        Lisa Baird

        Seth, I really like this piece. I’m going to controversial and say that these lines “why do all greek restaurants employ the same font?/ why is solitude so difficult to sit with?” are perfect as they are. To me they’re in communication about two kinds of restless dissatisfaction, one of which is kind of petty and banal, and the other which is one of the deepest most difficult things we face as humans.

    • #19219
      Patrick Szajner

      Hi everyone. Had an unplanned absence last week, followed by a planned absence this week and I’m totally bummed about not getting to hang. I will be there in week 5 though.

      This is the first poem I ever wrote for the stage, so like over 10 years ago now? Fun story: It was for an assignment I had to do for school, performance and all, so I YouTubed “spoken word poetry”. I found “Convenience Stores”. Then I found Anis, Andrea, Rives, etc… I didn’t sleep that night.


      Let’s talk dirty to each other

      Not the kind of dirty
      where you tell me
      how much you want to
      wrap your lips
      around my
      and I tell you
      how I want to slide
      my hand down your pants
      and play with your


      Let’s talk a different kind of dirty
      to each other
      let’s talk
      to each other

      I want you to read stories to me
      so I can watch each and every word
      dance out of your mouth
      and fall at your feet
      thanking you
      for giving it life

      I want to conduct
      symphonies of similies to
      keep in time
      with the sound of your heart
      beating against mine
      and then I want to look up synonyms with you to expand our vocabulary

      I want to hear you read
      so passionately
      that the sweat from your lips
      sets the world on fire
      every time you use a metaphor
      and then I want to read
      those same poems back to you
      and hope
      they make my voice
      a little softer

      I want to use words
      consisting of six or more syllables
      sipping sibilance out of silver cups
      as we discuss current events
      and wish the news
      was a bit more…


      And then I want to wrap you in sentences
      deprive you of your senses
      so that you can’t tell the difference
      between me

      and someone better

      So please

      speak a little louder

      let me appreciate your diction
      until my dick gets hard

      and then

      and then

      after we’ve said it to each other
      so many different ways
      that we run out of ways to say it


      we’ll just make up our own language

      • #19231

        I love this part…

        Let’s talk a different kind of dirty
        to each other
        let’s talk
        to each other

        Gets the nerd/lover or words in me going.

        Yes to the tenderness in these lines below:

        and then I want to read
        those same poems back to you
        and hope
        they make my voice
        a little softer

        Haha the rabbit hole of spoken word on YouTube is incredible.

      • #19260
        Kate Fenwick

        I want you to read stories to me
        so I can watch each and every word
        dance out of your mouth
        and fall at your feet
        thanking you
        for giving it life

        and then I want to read
        those same poems back to you
        and hope
        they make my voice
        a little softer

        And then I want to wrap you in sentences
        deprive you of your senses
        so that you can’t tell the difference
        between me

        and someone better

        There’s something very touching about the skilled writer’s undertow of lack of self esteem

        love than ultimately youll need to create your own non verbal language..
        thank you

    • #19220

      Hi everyone
      I hope I’m posting this in the right place for week 4.
      I’m not actually a poet but have written an introductory verse to the start of the first chapter of my latest novel. The verse is inspired by a line from, Hurling Crowbirds at Mockingbars. I’ve also included chapter 1 as it’s short enough to be included in the workshop. (I hope.) The new novel is about a serial killer with a difference, so if you’re squeamish, you might want to pass on it.
      See you all Sunday
      In the darkest, dankest corners of your fear,
      where you’re too petrified to venture
      way, way down in the deepest, blackest regions,
      so desolate, forbidden and overlooked,
      that’s where they’re shrouded,
      coiled like a snake, patiently alert, waiting,
      watching and always ready to strike.

      Chapter 1 Monday, June 19th 2017
      57-year old Brian Jones, somewhat mundane and boring life, was about to become more fucked up than anything he could ever have possibly imagined. Brian retired from the army’s special forces unit nine years previously, on a very good pension after serving for 30 years. He was still incredibly fit and healthy, built like a brick shithouse and tougher than hobnail boots. During his lengthy career, he had killed for Queen and country and seen some of his best friends blown to pieces, fighting by his side. He thought he’d seen the worst of what life can sometimes throw in peoples faces, but nothing could have prepared him for what he was about to discover. It would haunt his dreams, his every waking moment, and eventually lead him to commit suicide 11 months later, unable to live any longer with the terrifying nightmares the images instilled.

      Brian lived with his wife and dog in the secluded countryside of a quiet hamlet on the outskirts of York. He walked the same route with his dog, Bruce, every day and had done so since he retired. Today’s exercise would turn out to be very different from usual and lead to a series of events that would eventually shock the entire world. It had been sweltering weather for several days, and the forecast predicted even hotter for the coming week. The air outside was thick with insects busy ensuring the continuation of their species, while most of the rest of Gods creatures sought shade from the mid-morning sun. Brian loved the hot weather but always took great care that his faithful dog didn’t become over-heated. They would first walk along the quiet country lanes close to home before cutting across Jerry Thompson’s field alongside the river. After almost a mile, the pair passed by a small forest at the rear of Jerry’s camping site before returning home.

      Once on the fields, Brian would let Bruce off the leash to have a free run around. Bruce was a border collie, very well trained and highly inquisitive as all dogs are. He would tear off in front of Brian and usually return to his master with a branch he’d found. Bruce would lay the stick at Brian’s feet and patiently wait for him to throw it. After several successful throws and retrievals, Brian launched the heavy stick quite a distance towards the forest. He carried on walking, waiting for the dog to return. Instead, Bruce began barking from the depths of the woods and refused to come when called. This act of disobedience irritated Brian as Bruce always did as instructed. Thinking he must have become distracted by a squirrel or other animal, Brian begrudgingly turned and marched back to scold his dog. On entering the shadow of the trees, a stomach-churning smell began to permeate his nostrils. The shade beneath the canopy was swarming with thousands of flies angrily buzzing at being disturbed by the dog, and now his master.
      “What the fuck?” Brain uttered under his breath, anticipating finding a dead animal.
      Brian followed the dogs barking, continually wafting flies away from his face, unable to see properly, until he finally spotted the agitated hound through the swirling insects. Bruce was back on his haunches barking towards a tree as Brian approached. He quickly grabbed him by the collar and attached his lead without taking in the absolute nightmare before him. Brian spoke in his thick Yorkshire accent,
      “What’s tha’ barking at lad?” He demanded, seemingly fully expecting Bruce to answer.
      The dog jumped up tugging violently on his leash, leading Brian’s eyes to the most horrific sight he’d ever witnessed. The shock caused him to recoil and lose his balance on a tree stump. Falling flat on his arse with a thud, he instinctively used his free hand to soften the fall. More flies swarmed around him as he touched the ground, which felt slightly moist and seemed to move beneath his fingers. Brian stared wide-eyed and horrified through the flies as they gathered on his body and face. Several flew into his open mouth, and one went straight down his throat causing him to wretch. This instantly snapped him back to reality and, averting his eyes from the gore, spat out the insects in disgust. A few moments later, Brian scrambled to his feet and dragged Bruce, still barking, to the edge of the woods. Once at a safe distance back in the open air, the foul stench still curdled in his nose and forced him to regurgitate his breakfast. His faithful dog, now calmer, tilted his head sideways and looked at his master with concern.

      Struggling to regain his composure, Brian retrieved an ancient-looking mobile phone from his pocket and realised his hands were stained red. He also noticed that the dog’s feet and haunches were discoloured and maggots crawled in his fur. He wiped his hands on his trouser legs before continuing. He pressed the on-button and waited impatiently for a good minute before the small screen revealed it was ready to use. For nine year’s Brian had reluctantly carried that old Nokia with him everywhere, but never once used it. His good-hearted wife asked him jokingly every morning before he left the house if he had his, ’emergency thingy’ with him, just in case. Today, for once, he was glad that he did. He dialled 999.

      • #19232

        You’ve definitely piqued my interest…I definitely am left wondering what the hell he could have seen in the woods that would have been so much worse than what he’s already been through. Even before we get to that big event at the end I’m left wanting to know more of the intimate details about Brian to make it feel like I know him. It came to my attention when you mentioned his accent and his Nokia phone I started thinking about what he might be wearing or how he likes his tea. The small things that make up his “usual” day before we get to a very unusual event. :)

        • #19237

          Thank you for reading my piece Cami
          Brian only appears once more in chapter 3. I used him solely as an introduction to the discovery of the first body and to, as you say, pique the reader’s interest in what’s going to happen next. Thank you again for your feedback, very much appreciated.

    • #19221
      erin feldman

      Hello inspiring humans– look what I made from last week’s prompts! Does this even make sense? Help me trim the fat and make it pack heat, will ya? Thank you, all of you <3

      What I’ve Always Done

      is jump to the jaggedy edge. is react first, slithering
      risking softness, flown like a startled starling.

      I’m learning to hear the body’s signs
      before my stubborn, delusional mind
      finally hears her wailing.

      Have you ever looked in the mirror to prove
      your unassailable solidarity with yourself?

      I’ve done leaned away from the velocity
      because what I’ve always done
      is backflip like a diver
      splashing in for the reefs.

      I’ve always gotten what I need.
      It sounds more one-and-done that way
      because I wanted to learn the tools
      once, like Neo
      and be expert from then on.

      What I prefer to do
      is fuck all day and dance all night.

      I’ll kindle my cunt like a firefly
      shooting love beams into the wood.

      What I prefer to do gets me,
      here we go

      your lips, my thumb, cinnamon, green grass, frictions on warm skin

      waving together, delicate blades
      among drag queens or queen sheets
      in the eddies and pillows of hot breath
      glitter everywhere.
      You buck, hankering openly
      painting elaborate details on my intentions

      • #19233

        There are such good lines in here! I sat chuckling to myself in my dining room reading this!

        because what I’ve always done
        is backflip like a diver
        splashing in for the reefs.
        -I didn’t understand the line that came before this…and I think what you’re trying to say is probably pretty insightful but it didn’t connect for me.

        What I prefer to do
        is fuck all day and dance all night
        -oh hellllll yeah

        here we go

        your lips, my thumb, cinnamon, green grass, frictions on warm skin
        -I loved this part…I wonder if you did something like this multiple times at different parts in the poem to introduce different sections/ideas. I also just love a good list so maybe that’s just me.

        The last 5 lines were great- glitter and word play and all!

      • #19262
        Kate Fenwick

        risking softness

        What I prefer to do
        is fuck all day and dance all night.

        I’ll kindle my cunt like a firefly

        I love some of the phrasings but am wanting more narrative logic and arc overall.
        Thank you

    • #19224
      SallyAnn Gray

      This is the piece I have been working on for the past few weeks:

      Old KC Road
      by SallyAnn Gray

      black, moonless night
      familiar stretch of country mile
      or so I thought

      the whispered warning a promise
      my name on the wind
      I turned to see what wasn’t there
      just my breath, puffed in the chill

      my eyes back on the road
      wide, open
      catching sight
      as she made impact

      invisible hand flipped a coin
      deciding who would survive
      a mother & her baby, still nestled in her hide?
      or me, fresh acne and driver’s license?

      as she rolled off the hood
      time & my life restarted

      welcomed by the ditch
      a dark, shallow grave
      pain & horror—two screams into the void
      until sirens joined our chorus
      a white knight or a bastard?

      surrounded by nameless neighbors
      my sobs soak a strangers shoulder
      the solution was clear:
      permanent relief served by a bullet

      the only future was mine

      life & death & life & death

      the shot still echoing
      and I’m pierced by his question:
      “Do you want to keep the meat?”

      there’s nothing worth saving here
      let the scavengers take my kill
      and the ghosts of Old KC Road

      • #19226

        SallyAnn…Reading that was a journey. I’m still reeling from the ride. I feel like any notes I could give would detract from the fact, and I hope you know this, that there is something really powerful in what you wrote. I don’t know that I can put words to it but I hope that resonates.

        Thank you

        • #19230
          SallyAnn Gray

          Wow Ahmed, thanks! It’s been a bit intense reliving that night (which was 25 years ago!).

      • #19234

        WHOAAA I was going to say the same thing….that poem was a JOURNEY. That is how you unfold a story and build suspense.

      • #19263
        Kate Fenwick

        or me, fresh acne and driver’s license?

        as she rolled off the hood
        time & my life restarted

        the only future was mine

        Thank you

    • #19227
      Sadie Lynn

      So busy, not as present as I’d like to be here on the boards. But here’s a poem about it haha.

      I worked nonstop this week
      From waking to sleep
      From adrenaline to not enough
      Doubt to discharge, doing, done
      Churning like that bar on the train wheels
      Incidental and inevitable
      Or I don’t know
      I don’t know what that bar does
      But man, I was spinning heat
      Bleeding sweet circuitry
      But contained, like in veins
      Playing out lists like limericks— AABBA
      Bring me back around
      And at each line through
      Decisive dash
      Expecting to be burnt to the fingertips
      I returned, AABBA
      and found willingness waiting
      At the bottom of the box
      Adorably dormant
      I have no affection for this task
      But I’d like to enlist you
      And he’s like
      Skip the tantrums and the fanfare
      Let’s go

      • #19235

        I totally related to the line about adrenaline not being enough. Sounds like you’ve been working a lot and sometimes hyping yourself up only lasts for so long haha. What do you do for work?- I’m not sure I got it from the poem or if I was supposed to know from context.

    • #19236

      This is the poem I submitted for review this upcoming class. Sharing it here and welcome any feedback or thoughts! It’s unfinished and that’s why it just drops off at the end. I have some thoughts about where I want to go from there but am curious to get feedback before making that decision.

      wrong turn down the right questions

      I was all conscience and no chaos
      until I fell in love with a priest.
      Parka zipped so tight
      tiny kids waddled better than I performed
      follow the leader.

      After 17 years of Catholic education,
      I was used to carrying
      backpacks full of regret from cloaked men
      who have never been touched so tenderly
      they made their bodies home.

      Followed this one out of his vows
      and into promises we couldn’t keep,
      to conversations full of broken arrows,
      to two time zones of three day old socks,
      to rough edges and still no holding on,
      to blue stallion statue with burning red eyes that killed its creator. The Denver airport
      was the beginning of an end we’d also never see.

      That Christmas I tried to wrap a balloon-
      it popped.

      It was love,
      but it wasn’t right.

      Three months later, went looking for the bullet
      I was s’posed to dodge
      and asked if he wanted his books back.
      He didn’t,
      thank god.

      I started unhooking skin from spine and found
      a miniature version of myself
      stuck behind sternum
      scraping hair from inside my ribs.
      She used to scream in rage for the lives I hadn’t lived,
      bottled strands of light,
      threw them up my throat hoping
      they’d expel “should” from the cage it made of my mouth.

      Let’s call it existential
      reconsideration. There doesn’t
      always have to be a crisis for people to
      pay attention. I learned
      how to pay attention
      counting the freckles on your nose
      and the times you turned my ring while holding hands. But if I suppose
      nothing is supposed to be
      there’s a chance we can release
      all these memories from the burden of reason.

      Be reasonable,
      no one ever thought their way
      out of the dead end at the corner of caution and control.
      Let’s throw our certainties in reverse and take a
      wrong turn down the right questions. Don’t let the teachers fool you,
      there are stupid questions like
      why me?
      is it meant to be?
      how could this happen?
      where is this coming from?
      is this really happening?
      The answer to that last one:
      oh hell yeah,
      we are really happening.

      So buckle up and stop blowing
      birthday candles, dandelion fuzz, and fallen eyelashes expecting
      someone else to give you
      everything you’ve ever wanted.

      • #19306
        Lisa Baird

        Cami, this one really got my attention. It does feel unfinished but I definitely want to know where it goes. It starts off with lots of specificity and then gets broader—if you were writing just to please me I’d ask that you come full circle and focus in on the story you started.

    • #19239
      Victoria Ruiz

      This feels done

      This has been edited per feedback. Thanks so much y’all for the feedback. Why yes, I’m not from TX. In appreciation, Victoria

      Dull Pain and Separate Hoaxes

      Today I woke to four alarms. Too stiff
      for the drive into the city
      tale of two buildings and separate
      hoaxes of elevator banks. I am nearly late. On the fourth floor,
      a nurse comes hurried and calling my name. I am full
      of age and weary. Full of years

      in a punk-haired body taken
      for a fool as I dismiss politely what she lacks
      in softness at the bedside. I’ve made a match
      with her in my mind. I spread over

      butcher cloth draped on blue vinyl.
      The gel is warm on my too-empty bladder.
      A doppler draws a map of where my babies once
      lived as brown spots multiply

      like rabbits on my arms. I am holding on

      so s l o w l y too

      the dim lit wall of concrete
      dressed with a sink
      plunges into the wand
      inducer of come what may
      of the symptoms.

      I am at the will of what I’ve eaten. At the will
      of what free radicals will do at best. My doctor says
      to lose the weight of short waisted
      genes. I am the child

      and she is the book. I am trying to read
      her expressions through the feedback
      which is pulsing
      in place like the whooshing of one

      Two weeks before the towers fell,
      we buried our third son in Autumn as soles
      snapped the skeletons of leaves underfoot
      where snakes beget the news of my fear
      of being mistaken for someone
      younger or my mother. Pearls

      etched with grief’s fingertips

      in an empty room on a maternity ward as other
      mothers are bathing babies. I am far
      too old for crying aloud the nurse, has
      a grandchild and I’ve willed myself to
      loneliness. I’ve willed myself to the separate
      sacs of now grown men. I am a mother
      in a crowd comforting my ablated
      womb as a needle pulls blood

      decimaled and small enough to mole
      it’s way through
      the hardest yet
      of years.

    • #19241
      Kate Fenwick

      Hi everyone, I’d appreciate feedback on this one.. is the logic clear, does it flow, is there stuff that could go…and any other analytical gems you can throw my way! Thank you thank you.

      Origin Story

      Past lovers flattered me:
      I was that airy kiss on your cheek as the butterflies pass
      a waterfall of wings when in love
      lithe wheat leaning into the golden hour..
      So romantic.

      If you’d bought me at yesterday’s market price
      I’d have been inauthentically yours.
      Yes, all yours, but not myself.
      I played the pretty clown to please
      acted blond and blue-eyed-meek on my inoffensive stage.
      Those shows were scripts I didn’t write
      so many stories
      none of them mine.

      As a connoisseur, would you feel cheated
      to be sold a work of art only half complete?
      Darkness reveals perspective.
      Can there be beauty without some beast?

      My classical lines
      belied what squatted inside-
      gargoyles infested my heart
      gift-wrapped in perfection’s claw
      knocking on the coffin lid
      that was my flawless skin
      begging for a bruising.
      Arson ignited my sighs.
      Go on, I’d dare you, lift my designer shades
      trace the blood diamonds that illuminate my eyes.

      I am, by birth, the aftermath
      the stain of my mother’s shame.
      When our 9 months as one were done
      she was raped again
      by gas and scalpel
      and a strange man’s hands
      fumbling inside her
      cutting our cord
      stitching us up.

      How does a child survive when the milk has turned?

      When the toad in mother’s belly croaks
      and her lifetime’s lies implode
      I’ll not judge her pandemonium
      I’ll watch, unflinching as a rock
      silent as a tree
      hold calm in the eye of her storm
      while she exhausts her gods one by one.

      History forgets
      what she and I both know to be true:
      we’ve been here before
      more times than we can recall
      played the same tawdry games
      grandma’s footsteps still echo in the hall.

      For my final act I’ve reset the scene
      moved to the plot next door.
      I tend a physic garden there
      grow antidotes to mothers’ toxic smiles.
      Business is blooming.

      Do you ever wonder
      which came first
      the apple or the tree?

      This body of mine
      this bitter-sweet seed
      is nothing to remark
      except it’s where I start
      except from here I try
      to graft the words of my eulogy
      to this brittle, precious life
      return home to speechless awe
      one syllable at a time
      to rewrite these stories
      and make all of them mine.

      You must be logged in to view attached files.
      • #19255
        Victoria Ruiz


        “I am, by birth, the aftermath
        the stain of my mother’s shame.”

        This felt like the first line to me. It’s so good!!! I’m all in for this line.

    • #19243
      Maria Berry

      Kara if I were a eulogy

    • #19245

      Hey friends. Here’s what up on the chopping block for me this week. Threw this up a post a couple of weeks ago but leaving it here again in case Buddy needs to find it. Cheers.


      It’s my birthday and a storm is coming. How fitting

      I stand before you a shell of the man I once was.

      So find me in the quiet hour…
      Looking for the courage it takes to spell out the coward in me.

      The heavy, heavy.

      It’ll eat you alive on your worst days.

      Now walk with me. For as long as you can bear. And know that, that’s enough

      When the courage you’ve given equals the fear you’ve faced, you’ll look at what you called scars and realize they only were paper cuts.

      It took me years to learn that the survival comes easy when the fight gives up.

      Give up.

      There’s another storm coming. There always is.

      Everything I was certain about didn’t turn out to be the shelter I hoped it would be. Turns out hope is not the savior you thought it was. But you are.

      So find me in the quiet hour…
      Dreaming about the kind of love the rapture is made of

      Waiting for the recourse, like it’s not already you

      While barbarians broke bricks into benevolence
      We stood at the mouth of all this truth.

      Of the foxhole flushed with fervor.
      Of all our dreams come true.
      The Tea cups at the Alamo
      The nestled silver spoons.

      The haphazard and the glorious,
      The ocean and the storm.

      The cinderblocks turned breadcrumb. I know the now was worth the fight.
      I know the mercy begged for powder kegs just so it could turn to light.

      Whiplash never felt so much like a joyride
      Hollow never felt so much like an answer

      I just wanted to find freedom bigger than my surrender

      Give me long enough, and my grace will speak so loud you’ll mistake it for my ego. I swear.

      A day will come, I promise, when the things you carry will only keep you company and not weigh you down.

      I stand before you a shell of the man I once was.
      Now unbothered by the parts of me I’ve left behind.

      Life happens, and we soften.

      The stardust had light years…Light years to fall. Take your time.

      It is okay to be candy glass, even when the rest of the world is a bullet.

      What if the shrapnel is only here to make a mess.
      Let it confetti.
      Let this be the worst of it.

      • #19251
        Victoria Ruiz

        “Whiplash never felt so much like a joyride
        Hollow never felt so much like an answer”

    • #19246
      • #19253
        Victoria Ruiz

        “alchemists who turn our oppression

        into a tourist destination”

        ” Your Honor, his pain stung my cheeks”

        “Give a man a uniform and watch him lose the power of love
        in favour of the love for power. Prisons are full while schools sit empty, ”

        THAINA! Such powerful lines. Thank you

    • #19248
      Jessica Farrell

      Hey guys, missed last week because I got covid so they say. But I’m feeling much better now. Below is a poem for anyone’s viewing pleasure. I’ve gotten a lot of great reviews and appreciate them tremendously.

      Please don’t forget about our poetry pen pals group I suggested for us all to stay connected and always have a space of fellow writers. I would love for you to share your fiction, non fiction, film, tv, poems, whatever you want.


      I guess this is it.
      You, empty, so you say.
      Like a box on Christmas that
      your parents decided to use as a prank.

      You’re out here
      not looking for something
      to live for. And me? I’m trying
      to figure out how the fuck
      I got here. Right next to you.
      And I never was. Just a shadow
      that lingered around you as the sun went down.

      Maybe it’s a misunderstanding.
      Like when someone steps on your shoes.
      Or maybe I just dream too much.
      Too fucking much.
      Maybe I still just don’t have a clue.
      Sounds like you don’t either.
      Mr. Can’t Touch This.
      Mr. I Don’t Know What Love Is.
      Mr. I Don’t Belong Here.
      Mr. Nobody.

      • #19254
        Victoria Ruiz

        “empty, so you say.
        Like a box on Christmas that
        your parents decided to use as a prank.”

        I’m curious about this scene. Can you take me back to this day. The smell of it. Decorate the walls of this room for me, what were you feeling? Are there colors from that day you remember? Are there parallels to this feeling in your adult life? Can you name them, map them? Make the roadmap flourish with specific detail using the senses?

        I think the heart of this piece is in witnessing the girl in this scene.

        Glad you’re feeling better.

      • #19256

        Thank you for reminding me about the pen pals group!

        I enjoyed reading your piece! My only suggestions is in the last stanzas you may want to think about taking out both the “just”.

    • #19249
      Maria Berry

      Here’s a video forgive the bedroom setting it’s been a bitch to write

      • #19252
        Victoria Ruiz

        “like a bed to a medical history”

    • #19250

      Hey! Jack, Autumn, Brit, Chris, and Shalom, I’m having trouble finding a piece you may have sent or posted for review. Please send them to me buddy@buddywakefield.com THANK YOU!!

    • #19257
      Tracy Buchanan

      Hey everyone,

      I’ll be traveling at the time of the workshop and might just be able to get into it about 2 hours after it starts. I’m so sorry to be missing part of it and hanging with all of you, I’ll catch the video once it’s posted. I’ve been working on more of Take A Moment and think it might soon be ready for re-submission. All of your input has been invaluable to me. All of your work has value, and YOU have value. Keep creating, and I’ll definitely see you for the 5th week.



    • #19261

      I got called in to work today :( bummed I’m going to miss class! Hope you all have a really great session! Catch you on the replay :)

    • #19265

      I am Autism but it’s Personal

      I am Autism. I’m a gift, but I’m the only gift with a price tag. Trivia isn’t the only fixation you can have. Those seemingly insignificant traumas you had as a kid? I’ll make them your fixation too. Your obsession. Without your pain, you are nothing. You act tough, but you’re terrified. And I take great pleasure in that. I laugh, knowing that you’d rather carve your own guts out samurai-style than admit your pain. I will magnify your shame to the point that your greatest accomplishment is the mask you hide behind like the coward you are. A mask that will crush you like a house of cards under its own weight. I am autism. You tried to suppress me. That was a mistake.

      And to Autism I say: I am a writer, a gamer, a tech wiz, a nerd. We spend every day making our lives worth living. We look down on those who can’t handle us at our worst because we handle you everyday. I’m a kid riding on my robot towards your star fleet. Just try and shoot me down, I’ll tank it. And I’ve got backup, the compassion of mothers and daughters, of fathers and sons. And because admitting my struggles is the only way to heal, that’s a bitter pill I’m willing to swallow because my love for myself is stronger than your lies of hate. I have challenges, but overcoming them is what I do best. You think false visions of the future will spook me? You think that stuffing me in a skull-shaped cage will stop me from prying open the bars with my bare hands? Recognize you, I do. Power over me, you have not. Autism, are you listening?

    • #19271

      Alright! finally finished a draft sparked by a prompt in the class. Bonus drafts included in Word doc (after completed draft on Pg 1).


      I’m Nervous That I’m Too Good at This (Instructions for a Graphic Equalizer)

      Hold hand to gut where the new emotion sticks like a hot rivet. With free hand, grab stethoscope. Slide scope’s cool compact disc across belly to build noise floor. Scooch steth to where first hand has held guard. Freeze when the emotion sounds through the scope.

      Close eyes. Listen. Match vocal cord to chord sounding in ear. Hum harmful harmony in multimillisecond interrogation. Feel how hertz rattle throat. Open emotional equalizer. If ring familiar, find existing notch at note’s root and widen cut. If tone new, find tone’s band on equalizer, pull down volume before it can wedge itself in like molly in sheetrock seam.

      Once, in the endless stretching infinities threading blink’s birth to blink’s demise, a wrong resonance shredded the shoddy spot welds that melded my panels together. Undone by musical progression cut off before it got home.

      So I started notching out the aching resonances. Can’t hear the unsounding note, can’t ramshackle rattle to resonance that can’t resound. Only costs muted music and unsharp speech. Far cheaper than rebuild. I’m still paying interest on that Once.

      You must be logged in to view attached files.
    • #19277
      Lou Raio

      Hey everyone. This is my most finished poem as of late. It is not finished. I’ve started about 4-5 over the last few weeks but I’m having issues completing them.

      Let me know what you think.
      Please and thank you.

      Last night I lit a candle
      And in that fire I called upon the gods of chaos and disaster
      I fucking dared them to come get me
      I wanted to see if this old armor could still take a hit
      I marched forward into the moment fully open
      And filled my belly with poison
      I took away my option to retreat
      I let open all the doors inside and gave the others the reigns
      Let Mr. Hyde loose and take me where he wants
      With no way out if this or undoing what’s done
      Forward or death
      And destruction
      And if I wake up shaken and rattled
      Sick and sour
      I’ll be grateful
      It’s beautiful luck when the monsters driving this machine can still get it back home in one piece while I’m away
      And I did wake up
      Dehydrated with the remains of puke lingering in my mouth
      And even though I was uneasy on my feet it felt good feeling so bad
      Another battle fought
      Another battle won
      I’m still here
      Chaos and disaster couldn’t take this one
      Not yet
      This one is still strong
      I can still take the hits and get up
      And they’ll have many more chances
      And I’ll keep getting up
      Until I can’t
      And fuck the reasons
      This is fun

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