Wednesday, April 10, 2013

When worlds collide. (No, not an actual armageddon...just using creative license.)

Recently, I discovered that Mark Hall is a brilliant music composer and producer. He ever so graciously gave me permission to peruse some of his pieces and use them to jump start my writing flow.

Here's the thing - - I love music of every kind. I played the clarinet for 8 years in the school concert band (Yes, I was a band nerd. Hard to believe, right?) and I can associate all of my favorite memories with particular songs. It's just how I'm built. I love listening to movie scores and putting myself in a "mood" and I take my daily play list at work very seriously. With that said, I had never thought to reverse the process and listen to a song first and THEN figure out the story to go with it. But that is exactly what Mark let me do. Thanks for that. (I'm not even being sarcastic. Seriously, thanks.)

For reference, track #2 was the inspiration for this poem. I heard the first 30 seconds and knew precisely what was going on in that house.

"This house has a sad story"

Alone in a room that was always too small for her imagination.
Not enough space to let her mind run free.
These four walls couldn’t and can’t hold dreams of this size.
The bed and blankets kept her warm but not comfortable.

Holding a doll that she never really liked and never really wanted.
Remembering how it didn’t speak to her 
and neither did those who gave it as a gift. As a bribe. Making her obligated.

Alone in a room that was always too small for her imagination.
Still not enough space for her adult sized memories.
Because their reach is too far. Too wide and too deep.
The bed and blankets are old and scratchy. Smelling like grape soda and decay.

The torn wallpaper, the dust floating, and the past flashing.
She can feel her skin prickling, her fists clenching, and her eyes rolling back.
This rage is enough to break her open and then consume all but her shell.
The anger is hot and takes just one shaky exhale to spark the first flame.
The breathe of her quiet “why” sends the room up in smoke.

Alone in what used to be a room too small for her imagination.
The walls have burned, the ashes are blowing, and her tears keep falling.
Drawing clean lines down her soot covered face.
She can see her melancholy expression reflected in the doll she never really liked.
And never really wanted.

Just like she always wanted to
She screamed, mangled the doll, walked out, and ran away.
Alone with her imagination she sees that memories are hard to shake
and new ones are easy to find.
But first, you must burn down your past.
There cannot be a phoenix without a fire.


  1. Providing the link to the music was genius, I read as I listened. I felt every stroke of the pen. As though I was in third person, visualizing the scene. As it came down to the flames, I myself almost got burnt. Such brilliance Jenn.

    1. Thanks, Mr. Blackwell. Your compliments are appreciated and I am so very glad you liked this piece. Gotta give proper kudos to Mark Hall -- without his music, I wouldn't have been inspired to write this one.

  2. Just continue to search and touch out that those unique bases that you tend to hit....