Massacre of the InnocenceGeorgie Porgie threw an orgyMassacre of the Innocence7 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
just outside L.A.,
where Jack Be Nimble grabbed his thimble,
outing him as gay...
Little Jack Horner bought Time Warner
before the bubble burst,
though Jumping Jack Flash saw the crash
and liquidated first...
Jack said Jill was taking the Pill
to ward off impregnation;
the Three Blind Mice have lobbied twice
for victim's compensation...
Little Miss Muffet had her tuffet
and Little Bo Peep married a creep;
lamb chops gave him gout...
Jack Sprat's wife went under the knife
for Lap-Band surgery,
then Third Little Pig struck it big
on reality TV...
Old King Cole's gone on the dole,
exposed as a pretender;
while Wee Wil
Who Cares About...?WHO CARES ABOUT YOUR MISTRESS' EYES?Who Cares About...?10 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
(A Rebuttal to Shakespeare's Sonnet CXXX)
Why should it matter in the least if her
Lips are coral red or pale pink?
If suntanned breasts are worrying you, sir,
You need your head examined, one would think.
And you honestly believe her cheeks and hair
Detract because they differ from the norm?
I doubt you'd find another who would care;
For as they are, they are indeed well-formed.
As to her breath and voice, I will concede
That reeks and rasps as adjectives fit well;
But Listerine will satisfy her need,
And huskiness in speech, a flaw? Do tell!
You love her, faults and all, or so you've said—
So you love her; now cart her off to bed!
Actinium DreamsY'all have any idea how downright frustrating it is to be the granddaughter of one of the most powerful and celebrated superheroes ever Ulysses Randall Martin, the iconic Mr. Uranium and yet have no special talent of your own?Actinium Dreams4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I mean, it's not like I don't have my own elemental superpower: like almost all of Grandpa's progeny, I do. But how much good is the ability to produce hard-hitting Alpha and destructive Beta rays if you can barely control it and never quite turn it off? At least I'm not as bad off as my son Frankie; I love him to death, but when left alone the poor boy is totally unstable and downright dangerous: the worst possible mix of autism, Alpha rays and ADHD.
And I do at least have my own nemesis, of sorts: the cadre of good ol' boys who call themselves DOTA, whose main ability seems to be workin' together to nullify and trap super-powered elementals. But t'be honest, they don't seem to have anything against me personally; I think they just have a ge
Alzheimer'sHis house is made of crumbling slatsAlzheimer's9 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of rotted knotted oak
and weakened joints.
The wind blows unfettered
through unshuttered apertures
dragging fresh sunlight in
and memories away.
Even on the clearest days
he visits the front porch
less and less often.
He prefers to explore
those rooms further in
where tide and time have yet to reach. Sometimes
he might be gone for a week.
And one day, too soon
(not soon enough)
his ramshackle dw
Specific Imagery: What Makes a Poem Good?Specific Imagery: What Makes a Poem Good?Specific Imagery: What Makes a Poem Good?2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
So what makes a poem good?
According to Samuel Taylor Coleridge (please, never just call him Sam) the definition of poetry is "the best words in their best order".
Fine. But what exactly does that mean?
It means that good poetry is about much more than just matching rhythm and rhyme. What elevates any poem above its peers is the specific choice of words to match the poet's intent.
Say what now?
Think of it this way: our chosen words are our color palette, and the way we combine them equates to brush strokes and blending. Strong words equal bold hues, while overused and cliché terms are a lot like faded watercolors. You want your hard work to stand out, not blend in, right?
Of course I do!
Then my biggest piece of advice is this: choose your words.
What do you mean? I always choose my words; I'm a writer, after all!
What I mean is, do your best to choose the most appro
By Fifty,I'll publish or perish;By Fifty,3 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
find someone to cherish;
move someplace phenomenal;
display an abdominal
physique to inspire,
which I shall acquire!
. . . Or perhaps, just retire.
TributeGail was born on the first of August 1942, the elder of two. She grew up in New York City, marrying by age 22 and producing three children of her own.Tribute8 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
She'd tried her first cigarette when she was eleven. That shouldn't surprise you; in those days there wasn't a Surgeon General's warning or for that matter, any other public service messages.
While she enjoyed motherhood well enough, Gail also had a restless spirit; she was happiest when she was working, helping others, or driving her car. Accordingly, just before her 53rd birthday (and with her children grown and flown) she lost forty pounds and fulfilled a lifelong dream: qualifying as first an ambulance driver, then an EMT, for the local fire department.
She threw herself into her responsibilities with newfound purpose, losing even more weight and finally finding the strength to quit smoking. One young woman credited Gail with saving her life when she'd had a seizure at work. And she once made the local papers as one of several
ImaginagerieThe chickens are locked in the closet;Imaginagerie6 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
the dinosaur's under the bed.
The toad has just jumped from the windowsill
and landed on top of my head.
The ferrets are out planting flowers;
the peacock's new plumage is torn.
The unicorn used my last dishtowel
to polish its glimmering horn.
The reindeer have raided the pantry;
the dolphin won't fit in the tub.
The lemmings ate all of my lemon drops,
then played hide-and-seek with the cub.
The donkey's been braying all morning;
the cheetah's been chasing her tail.
The pony just peed on the welcome mat,
while the kangaroo chewed all my mail.
Oh, for a real-world puppy,
perhaps a kitten or two...
My daydreams are running all wildly,
just like my invisible zoo!
100 Words: NestedHe shuts her in a box.100 Words: Nested9 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She is (a flawless white pearl atop a lapis silk cushion (snoring softly beside him after accepting his proposal. Her breasts are (a pair of tuberoses, as lifeless now as they were erect an hour ago. They sway ever so slightly as she breathes, and much more as she rolls onto her side, facing him) the keepers of every promise of their future together: love, lovemaking, children) far more perfect in his memory than in real life. Moreso once she took her half) a rueful distraction, to be set out only on special occasions.
How to Read Science Fiction"The science-fictional world is not only one different in time or place from our own, but one whose chief interest is precisely the difference that such difference makes."How to Read Science Fiction8 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
Carl Freedman, Critical Theory and Science Fiction
At its heart, the central tenet of science fiction is the question: "What if?" Despite or perhaps due to its wide-ranging themes, the genre provides the perfect platform for exploring that most fundamental of ideas: the human condition.
The main difference between science fiction and related genres (such as fantasy) is that sci-fi deals with the possible if not always the plausible. But the basics of storytelling remain the same, regardless of category: the author must establish the status quo, introduce the characters, and provide a conflict to be resolved.
The freedom of science fiction is in broadening the author's options, often with the intended goal of highlighting a current social concern (e.g., controvers
The Cello's LamentThey call me brute.The Cello's Lament4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I'm permitted to chant,
but they won't let me Sing.
They've confused non-agility for
my belly enfolds the earth;
my throat trills at the stars;
my eyes embrace the cays
of the sea.
I am an omnivore,
yet they will only feed me leaves.
They Ate The Title, TooInternet monstersThey Ate The Title, Too9 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
Consuming online haiku?
Pillow Talk"Of course I love you,"Pillow Talk9 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
he was quick to assure her
Fighting IntoleranceMy fellow Americans and Swiss, and Provolone, and even that fellow over there from Tibet:Fighting Intolerance9 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
No more shall we, as the saying goes, stand alone! It is time to let our pressers I mean, oppressors know that their rancid regime is about to rind down excuse me, wind down.
For far too long, we cheeses have been treated as second-class foods. Grains and meats garner all the glory, while we languish half-forgotten in the endmost dairy case. It's no surprise that many of us suffer from low self-esteem! And occasionally, heartburn.
Some people will actually go out of their way to avoid us! What have we done to earn such scorn? We are certainly not ashamed of our history and our heritage as curdled milk. Perhaps there is a subtler, more sinister reason?
(By the way, who let in the representative from Limburg? Somebody, please, open a window!)
Well, no more shall we allow them to string us along; we demand our own thick slice on the pantheon of foods! We are
FebruumA bitter chill is carried on the wind:Februum7 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
it hasn't anything to do with cold,
but all the same, reminds me how thin-skinned
I am, in terms of being pigeonholed
by those who place more value on themselves
(and all the propaganda they've been told)
than on the truth. Were I the one who delves
into the reasons why, I might unearth
a viscid blend: of fragile sense of selves
exaggerating their own sense of worth,
amalgamated with hypocrisy
and left to stew on High. That such a dearth
of charity and common courtesy
could be directed at my unassum-
ing person, marks a huge discrepancy
between all those I wish I could, and whom
I actually can trust not to betray
my confidence; but do I dare presume
so much? Perhaps I'd better not portray
myself as quite so innocent in this
fiasco, this exquisite disarray:
if I've solicited the Judas kiss,
I'll forfeit all complaints about the pill
I have to swallow; self-analysis
might help me vanquish February's chill.
Poetic Terms and TechniquesPoetic terms and techniquesPoetic Terms and Techniques2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
This article aims to give you a brief introduction to some poetic terms with which you can bemuse your friends and nonplus your enemies. Try and sling some of these terms into a casual conversation and watch the ensuing confusion.
If you don't want to confuse people, you could use these terms to discuss poetry like a badass
while smoking unfiltered cigarettes in a French cafe, when critiquing, or to give your own poetry a bit of a vajazzle.
These terms are arranged vaguely into alphabetical order for your convenience. Some of them will be covered in more detail in other articles throughout the week.
Alliteration (see also Sibilance)
Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds, often used for a specific effect in poetry.
the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
- - Wilfred Owen, ‘Anthem for Do
The Thing About ClichesI.The Thing About Cliches7 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
If this were a cliché,
A poem, or both
It would be about sparkling midnight skies and heartbeats and flowers and sex.
There would be oceanic eyes and rain that tastes like tears. Well throw in anxiety-riddled murmurs and metaphorical bullets and allusions to sharp objects for pity.
This is not a cliché anymore.
So instead I wrote about the flavor of emerald and the fragrance of April hope. I painted pictures of a perfect pencil, poised over a blank page.
If this were a romance,
A message in a bottle, or both
It would still be cliché, to capture electric fingers and longings locked away with skeleton keys, and drugs.
Wed find footprints in the sand and read angels into them. Wed collect rejected roses, tarnished rings, and hopeful held breaths where the tides washed them up, tie them up with ribbon, and cork it all away for someone else to worry about.
This is not a romance either.
So instead I baked coffee cake while it rained, and picked the wee
Shining MonsterThis morning I awakened in my room,Shining Monster3 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
and sighed and wondered, "Where is all the fun?"
The birds were silent, flowers wouldn't bloom;
the wind and rain had frightened off the sun.
But lying on the dresser by my bed,
a magic package sat atop my socks:
"A gift for you!" the note beside it read,
so carefully I opened up the box.
Out popped a golden marble, just as bright
and warm as any summer sun I'd felt!
And as the happy creature danced in flight,
my dreary winter blues began to melt.
The message that this shining monster brings:
the summer's joy arrives on winter's wings!
Uncovering Myself, A MemoirGrowing up, I never knew I was autistic.Uncovering Myself, A Memoir9 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
How is that possible? Well, to be honest: my particular brain malfunction is pretty rare, very high-functioning, and can be — and in fact, was — mistaken for the typical social awkwardness of someone much too smart for his own damn good.
I'd started reading at an unbelievably young age, but had serious problems dealing with my own age group. I couldn't figure how to fit in, and eventually stopped trying; I became sarcastic, insensitive and often quite hurtful — traits which, as one can imagine, didn't exactly get me invited to a lot of parties. My parents chalked it up to my having my nose pressed into a book all the time, and figured I would grow out of it when I was older.
(I did, though not in a way that anyone would've predicted. But that's a story for another time.)
When I was in second grade, my mother decided to go back to college. She brought me in with her once; it happened to have been on the day her psychology class
Nerd Humor(An Open Source Poem)Nerd Humor9 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I'd compiled a REALbasic poem
in which a Python
with a bad Lisp
concocted a Scheme
to swap a dull Ruby
for a shiny new Perl
from the king Cobol
while making Smalltalk
over a cup of Java
before knocking him out with a SNOBOL
My prof gave it a C++
Poetry Basics: BrevityBrevity: n. the quality of expressing much in few words.Poetry Basics: Brevity2 years ago in Deviant Events More Like This
When I was in tenth grade, I took my first literature course. It was a six week exploration of poetry. The first poem my teacher showed us was Ezra Pound's In a Station of the Metro:
The apparition of faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
I, in all of my 16-year-old knowledge of the intricacies of what poetry is, informed my teacher that those two lines were not a poem.
"You don't think so?"
"No. They don't rhyme, they are just one metaphor, and did I mention they're only two lines?"
She sure showed me.
Importance in Poetry
Pound's poem is considered such a great work because he inserts several layers into a single image. Using only 13 words he evokes an entire painting within the reader's mind. You can hear the sounds of the trains, see the fatigue of a mother wrestling with her cranky toddler,
Poetry Basics: EmotionsEmotions in poetryPoetry Basics: Emotions2 years ago in Literature Features More Like This
Writing, at its very base, is communication. We write to communicate — with someone else, with ourselves — when we write, we arrange words in a manner that is intended to be read. This is very important because, no matter what or how you write, this one basic fact never changes. If you get stuck at any point, you can come back to this sturdy foundation. I am writing to communicate; what do I want to communicate?
Often, the answer is emotions: how you feel, or how you want your reader to feel. As Gregory Corso wrote, "You must feel! It's beautiful to feel!"
We all feel, but how we express our feels is a matter of perspective. If we are too flippant with our choice of words, our readers will think we are shallow. If we are too brooding and deliberate, our readers may find us incomprehensible. Finding a balance takes work and dedication.
But that work and dedication is what distinguishes