Sunday, July 31, 2011

I am the Coco Chanel of words.

I had a fairly productive weekend in terms of getting some lovely phrases and ideas down on paper.  Quite pleased with myself, really.  Borderline smug even.  The problem is that I had about five different pieces started, but couldn't quite wrap my head around how to "finish" them.  Well, since I can be quite bright from time to time, I thought it might be interesting if I just put all of my starts into one long document and then sew them all together like a patchwork quilt of sorts.  Basically, I am taking my scraps of silk and turning them into freakin' haute couture.  My first draft currently has a few holes, but I think with a little Love and Care I can get a good and sturdy poem out of it.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sigh...another one bites the dust.

Yes, dear readers, that's right.  I have received yet another "thanks, but no thanks" note.  Really, this sounds worse that it is.  I've only been rejected twice - - it's not like this note is going to be added to my secretly hidden stockpile of 102 previous rejection notes, only to become more fuel on the fire of my self-loathing.  No, no, no.  This is just another little note saying that they didn't want to publish these few poems at this time.  I can live with this.  No really, it's not eating me up inside at all.  Although, this eerie sense of calm could be coming from the cold medicine....(Note to self: take cold medicine before opening those returned self addressed stamped envelopes.)

Here's the rub, folks.  I just like to write.  In fact, I just love to write.  It took me six years after graduating college to figure out that if I don't ease up on the iron fist I have around my poetry and let people read my stuff -- nothing will come of it.  Sure, I'll always get simple pleasure out of writing down the oddities in my head.  But I will never experience what it feels like to have a perfect stranger be moved or touched by my writing if I don't let it out of the cage, so to speak. 

So, yeah.  I'll just keep writing, and just keep submitting, and just keep hoping for the best.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Poetry + Art = Party...sort of. Math was never my strong suit.

I've been stewing on this idea for a while now.  I keep thinking about how cool it would be to take a handful of poetic phrases (from yours truly, of course) and turn them into some sort of awesome typography or collage-like art.  I need to dwell on this a bit longer.  It might be one of those things that if done right, will be wicked awesome.  But if done wrong, well, it could be a big ol' hot mess.  Just think, I could use words AND images.  This might be a really good experimental project for an upcoming weekend.  Or, another really good reason to go to Hobby Lobby at any time.  Either way...makes me happy, and that folks, is what we call a "win-win".

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I'll have the 'Lost Track of Time' with a side of 'Lame Sauce', please?

It is honestly July 19th?  What?  How did that happen?  Well, I suppose it is time for some brutal honesty, dear readers.  I haven't started a single new poem this month.  Not even one line.  It's official -- I am an asshat.  A complete failure of epic proportions.  My plan at this point is to take some of my previously rejected poems and send them in to new and as of yet unsolicited publications.

This is all fine and good if we are going to simply gloss over the fact that I HAVEN'T PUT ANYTHING NEW DOWN ON PAPER!  I am riding a massive wave of guilt and self-loathing.  Last night is when it finally clicked in my head that I am approaching the end of the month (because I was writing out my mortgage payment) and I was all, "Oh My God!  It's the 18th.  That means I haven't written anything in weeks!"  and my daughter was all, "I didn't know it was the 18th either.  But, I am a good forgetter....(insert her mini person shoulder shrug here)"  Well, if she forgot and I forgot  - - I am just going to run with the excuse that my house is a vortex of time and as previously mentioned, I will just gloss over the fact that I am an asshat. 

Hopefully I can do a bit of writing today while I am sitting at home waiting for the plumber.  Because we all now how terribly inspiring that can be for a poet...

Friday, July 15, 2011

So. Hot. Face. Melting.

To those bored enough to be reading a blog on a Friday night (not that I'm judging you):

Currently in Lincoln, NE the weather channel says it is 90* but feels like 102*.  I say it is hotter than f@ck and feels like a volcano spewing hot ovens from Hell!  Never in my life have I been so jealous of those guys in white coats (albeit usually dirty white coats)working in the meat section of my local grocery store.  Just going along and hanging out in a giant refrigerator.  Their obvious brilliance makes me look like a complete douchebag.

Anyway, I have a point - - and the point is that I just can't seem to think about anything other than iced tea, orange sherbet, freezer sections at the grocery store, and ceiling fans right now.  So apologies, no witty commentary on poetry and the writing of said topic this evening.  Stop by later this weekend and if my brain hasn't evaporated (fingers-crossed), I'll have something better for you.  Pinky swear.

ice cubes and cold packs,
Jenn

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Patience is a virgin...I mean viranda...ah, virtuoso....(sigh) a virtue

I have no patience.  None.

I submitted some pieces in early June and now I've resorted to sitting here, staring at my mailbox, tapping my foot and waiting to hear a response.  This particular publication clearly states that it generally takes 6-8 weeks to respond to submissions and I can barely stand it!  GAH!  It is entirely possible that I might throw a bigger fit about waiting so long to hear back from them than I will if they send me a "no" letter.   (Not that I am prone to fit throwing, but if I were...)  On the outside I am like Gibraltar - freakin' rock steady and unflappable.  But on the inside I am like an ├╝ber caffeinated hamster on wheel - spinning wildly out of control and going nowhere, all while making awful high-pitched squeaking noises.  Perhaps I can ratchet this anxiety down by listening to a few select songs:

  • "Please Mr. Postman" by The Marvelettes  (Because it's funny.)
  • "Patience" by Guns 'N Roses (Duh.)
  • "With a Little Help From My Friends" by Joe Cocker (Yes, I like the Beatles...but I love this version)
  • "Shut Up and Dance" by Aerosmith  (Really, when all else fails, just dance.)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

It's not being lazy - - it's art, dammit.

There is some truth to the age old cliche of "less is more".  I think a bulk of the reason I love poetry so much is that it uses half the amount of words to convey twice the amount of emotion.  Thus proving that less is more.  (Unless you are talking about french fries or mint chip ice cream.  Then it is never true.  NEVER.)  No, it doesn't mean I am a lazy person.  Dammit, it takes a lot of brain power to think of just the right word at just the right time to get just the feeling you want people to share down on paper (or screen).  It is effing hard.

To further prove my point, I refer you to a particular website... http://garfieldminusgarfield.net/  It is a website of Garfield comic strips that have cleverly removed any and all mention of Garfield.  Again, less is more.  (...and by "more" I mean hilarious.) 

Think about it.  When someone tells you that "your eyes sparkle like the stars that guided ships to new worlds" and that "your hair is as soft as newly spun silk" - - what you really want to hear is a simple "I Love You."  One more time folks, and all together now - -  less is more.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Grammar Police!

This little nugget was found while searching on the interwebs.  My English major soul recognized both the hilarity and the underlying importance of the message.  I then proceeded to laugh so hard I just about peed myself.  Now, I am sharing with you.  ENJOY! 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Define "poetry". Use examples.

According to Merriam-Webster online, poetry is, "writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm."

I know there a million examples of poetry out there - and I am talking about more than just quoting lines from Shakespeare or Robert Louis Stevenson.  A person needs to open up a bit and think outside their comfortable boxed definition of poetry.  If poetry really is writing that is imaginative, concentrated, and made up of language specifically chosen and arranged to create an emotional response - - that could be almost anything to anyone!  Seriously.  Song lyrics, movie quotes,  passages from novels - - I cannot even name all of the kinds of things that could be deemed poetic.  But as you might have guessed, here is a start.  Just to get you thinking...Enjoy.

Song lyrics -
'The Light' by Common:  "It don't take a whole day to recognize sunshine."

'Why' by Annie Lennox: "These are the contents of my head, And these are the years that we have spent, And this is what they represent, And this is how I feel, Do you know how I feel?"

'To Make You Feel My Love' by Bob Dylan (and covered by countless others.): "I'd go hungry, I'd go black and blue, I'd go crawlin' down the avenue, No, there's nothin' that I wouldn't do, To make you feel my love."

Movie dialogue -
'Chasing Amy' as Holden is confessing his love for Alyssa: "I love you. Very simple, very truly. You're the epitome of every attribute and quality I've ever looked for in another person. I know you think of me as just a friend, and crossing that line is the furthest thing from an option you'd ever consider. But I had to say it. I can't take this anymore. I can't stand next to you without wanting to hold you. I can't look into your eyes without feeling that longing you only read about in trashy romance novels."

'Under the Tuscan Sun' as she is eating a grape in an Italian marketplace: "It even tastes like purple."

'Dead Poets Society' when John Keating is addressing his students: "That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?" (This addition might seem a bit cliche, but dammit, it's a good one.)

Famous quotes -
Salvador Dali: "Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings."

Khalil Gibran: "An eye for an eye, and the whole world would be blind."

C.S. Lewis: "Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point."