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xmas me
Between the royal wedding, the irreverent Twitter commentary on the royal wedding, the inane and unintentionally hilarious Fox News coverage of the royal wedding, the planned space shuttle launch, the cancellation of the space shuttle launch, and an accident with the coffee maker, I am incredibly out of it.

I feel I should say something here about Joanna Russ, award winning science fiction writer who reportedly passed away peacefully this morning in hospice care, but I am finding myself at a loss for words.

So, poem:

It is this, you see:
the terrifying emptiness of the edge of stars,
the shattering of blossoms beneath the wind,
the gasping for breath at the doorway, and darkness --

-- and between you and that darkness, the scattered words
half heard and half caught, pulsing, pulsing
pulling at your breath --

an explosion of birds
shatters the pale blue of the sky.

The Wives

xmas me
At one point I must have had some idea of writing a series of poems based on the voices of legendary or historical women. Here's another one, "The Wives." Cut for length again.Collapse )


xmas me
This next poem was not a success, which is why I never submitted it anywhere. But what's interesting is why. As I've noted, I have a decided love for – some might almost call it an obsession with – structured poetry. I wanted to master every form, including the various forms of the sonnet, and one form I hadn't played with was the Petrarchan sonnet, and so, when the first two lines of this poem came into my mind, I decided to try to write one.

Disaster. Well, not quite disaster – I think a few lines of this are ok – but overall, the poem feels forced to me: forced rhymes (and a couple of rhymes that are just absurd), forced meter, forced images. And part of the problem was that aside from the first couple of lines, I really didn't have a point.

It was a good writing lesson: technique and structure can only do so much for you. Which is why I include it here. And I haven't quite given up hope on mastering the form.

Cut for a couple of ridiculous rhymes.Collapse )

The Seventh Horseman

xmas me
This particular poem holds the record for fastest acceptance ever: It was accepted literally 15 minutes after I finished writing it.

Quite naturally, it ended up never getting published. These sorts of things happen, although it's always upsetting, and more so in this case because it wasn't that the publication folded, but changed editors – and the new editor declined the poem, something that's happened to me twice. Changing editors is part of the publication process, and often, I think, helpful - well, at least for readers - but it irks me when the new editor shows no respect for the previous editor's choices.

I took another look at it, and decided that it was simply too depressing of a poem – not surprising, given that it was written up from a nightmare, a nightmare that had spiraled out of a rather depressing evening.

I meant to post this yesterday, as a sort of Easter thing, but got sick. So, here you have it now. Cut for length again. Also it's depressing. You've been warned.Collapse )


xmas me
A short poem today, since I'm feeling rather sick.

This one was quickly scribbled down on a bar napkin and transferred into my poetry journal, where it has stayed untouched until now. My poetry journals are filled with snippets and flashes like this.


a flash of fire over water -
and greyness;
the hawk cries a last farewell
to the already eaten daylight.

(December 2003)

I dreamt of fingers laced in mold...

xmas me
Today's National Poetry month celebration poem was originally semi-published for a gaming group.

As a few people reading this might remember, I used to run a Vampire Larp (live action role playing game) with coldecho and athenakt . At any given time, we had anywhere from 25 to 55 players showing up; part of the entertainment was wondering who, other than the diehard standbys, would be making an appearance.

As a gamemaster, my task involved editing, printing and photocopying the pregame info for the entire group – a generally four to six page handout that listed gossip, rumors, news items from the previous game (to let players know how their actions had been reported in our fictional media), and also providing clues to the deep mysteries of the game. Some of the clues were inserted into the news items, some handed out as dreams and nightmares to individual players.

And then I had the poems.

In game, these poems appeared on the walls of fictional places where our player characters would be hanging out – just appeared; no one ever saw them appear – or, in some cases, were suddenly spoken for no apparent reason by random characters on the street. I usually had one poem in every pregame handout.

As a poet, these provided an interesting challenge: write at least one poem, every other week, that not only rhymed, but contained specific words or images – and worked on at least some level as a poem. Adding to the fun, most of the time, the specific words and images weren't mine – they were [profile] coldecho's. And adding further to the fun, the poems were coming from three different speakers.

I don't think many of the poems ended up working that well, but the discipline certainly helped me (even as it also drew my time away from other things I could be writing.)

Warning, all readers, there be horror filled rhymes ahead!Collapse )


xmas me
Mari Ness

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July 2014



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