Abandoning PreciousnessThe most important thing about creating art is to create. If you want to be at ease with creativity, you have to immerse yourself in it, and do a little bit every day. Even if that little bit is only to take five minutes while waiting for the bus to come and do a gesture drawing of a man reading his book across the street from you. Or to take the moment to scribble down a thumbnail rough sketch of a concept that occurs to you. Do a little bit each day. Train your brain to think visually.Abandoning Preciousness3 years ago in Editorial More Like This
It can be difficult at first, accustoming yourself to make this small bit of time, because you’ll think:
“I don’t have enough time for it.”
“Art is hard!”
“I’m not good enough yet for that piece I’ve always wanted to do.”
“I’m stuck. Artist’ block.”
These are all excuses. Yes art IS hard. Yes, you might not be good enough yet to do that masterwork that you’ve been dreaming of, but let me le
let go, little bird--hope is the tired little bird at the bottom of your heart, the one whose tiny wings are broken and bleeding, the one that won't stop flapping uselessly at the sky, like it's going to take off, take off dammit, even when it's fading by the second and dying in a heap of feathers, and it breaks your heart to see the optimistic flame still sparkling in such innocent eyes.let go, little bird--5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i'm writing this to tell you that i don't know what i need. i'm writing this because i can't pull any fancy metaphors from the back of my throat to save my pride this time. i'm writing this to see the look on your face when you wake up and wonder why i keep running away.
hope is the thing with feathers, my broken baby bird. hope is the trust in those newborn eyes that makes you burst out sobbing although you never know why. it's the razor-sharp edge between happiness and pain, the line you try to fly on crippled wings, my little bird, just to save someone stronger from having to walk it for themselves.
lovesong for sailorboyRead aloud and explained (somewhat) here.lovesong for sailorboy3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i have always loved words as you love the sea
but i have grown to hate
because i have always had words
but never for you.
words for everything
but i have words for this, so
i'll take them
one by one.
the ocean was your first love and
i could always see it in your eyes.
most would call them blue--just
like a swell over a sandbar
blue like the spring sky over a poppy field.
but i don't think anyone
got as close as i did and they're not blue
not shorebound and
they're gray like the steelbellied sea itself
like the horizon at dawn as it
hems you into an impossibly vast canvas
like a demarcation line
or a promise.
one you always chased.
maybe i had a streak of ocea
ghosts of the border townsRead aloud here.ghosts of the border towns3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the desertgirls all wear their white dresses,
braids cinched with ribbons wilted
like the crops.
they walk barefoot, and they have learned
how to keep from kicking up
the sand--they have learned
how to be perfectly still.
the scorchwinds start up, and they
stand beneath the rattling ocotillos,
dresses curling and brushing against
calves dark with dust and
they stare such betrayal, such trust,
as though you are the devil
or salvation--as though
they haven't made up their minds.
say what you like.
they won't smile, only
until long after you are out of sight
and the horizon has
PilkunnussijaHere's what I think:Pilkunnussija3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
There's a certain joy in not doing this face-to-face. For one, I don't have to leave my apartment and I have the quiet company of my goldfish and my goldfish alone. (I don't like people, which is why I love books. You can understand that.) For another, I don't have to see your presumably crestfallen and injured attitude when I tear apart the prose you cried and bled and sweated over for weary nights on end. But really the best parts are those uninterrupted hours alone with your manuscript and the shred of you that lies inside. It's a small shred, but an important one. It's the one that tells me who you are and what you think and how you feel and I never have to look at you and be disappointed when the real thing doesn't come up to scratch. As I sit there, un-tensing and re-tensing and tense-shifting and shift-entering (and damn it, wishing English were like German so I could get rid of those clunky space-wasting n-dashes--oh, damn there they are again) I feel li
Those Blue Wings - chapter 1Those Blue Wings - chapter 14 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Those Blue Wings
Applejack glanced at the sky, pausing her applebucking as she noticed a gray coated mare with a blond mane glide down from the sky. Even if she hadn't recognized the pony herself, the mailbag slung around Derpy's shoulder would have tipped her off. Noting the lack of any other Apple family pony present on the farm, Applejack trotted up to the mailmare. "Whatcha got for me, Derpy?"
The gray pegasus just smiled, pulling a letter out of her bag for Applejack to see. The farm pony's eyebrows lifted as she read the address, her surprise growing as she opened the letter and read its contents. "Well, ah'll be..."
Focused as she was on the letter, she did not notice Derpy take off, heading towards Sugarcube Corner. The mailmare had plans, and many muffins had to be ordered...
The librarian pony turned away from her reading, her
Another Road Songfor ashAnother Road Song9 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
For a given value of love, this
is your song –
Let's run away.
I have bags, a ticket,
sex on my tongue, 8
new ways to say
I don't mind I can't
ever go home.
I don't mind, for a given value
of love, I can't ever go home.
Let's walk on the sun.
Heard a song once, said
it can be done and I don't
trust those stoners but I'd
walk across coals for God,
God makes the sun flowers, so
for a given value of hot,
I'd say you're the one.
The FountainThere were sixteen tall windows. She'd counted them over and over when she was small, her chubby finger outstretched as she spun in tiny circles. Eight walls, sixteen windows, thirty-two black curtainsthe arithmetic of her childhood.The Fountain4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Eight window seats, Daddy. Eight buttons on eachsixty-four. I counted."
The fountain stood dry and dead-center in the middle of the black and white tiles. Eight sides, eight lion-mouth spouts. Sixteen limestone mermaids poised gracefully around the edge. Four thousand and ninety-six blue tiles. Five hundred and twelve white.
And two doors. Always the two doors, huge and solid and radiating a sense of looming disdain. The rough oak had bitten her hands and it bit them now, when she pressed her palms against it. The doors eased open like wings outstretching, coming to rest against stone doorstops.
Her boots clicked against the marble flooring as she advanced, each click reverberating through the silent room. A mute ghost of a man stood in
stolen dog-eared mapsAudio version.stolen dog-eared maps3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
we will run
directionless but on
until the sky recedes before us.
we will outlast the horizons
sink teeth into every sunset
until we chase
what chases us--
until the oceans below hold no demons
the galaxies above
we will lose ourselves
until there is nothing left of us but
seven hours of who you might have beeni.seven hours of who you might have been3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the breath you took
the moment you fell
lies in the dirt somewhere
between the garden
and the dip of empty earth
where rain pools.
all the lost things of your life
keep gathering in cottony patches overhead
that only the flowers
you have touched
years vine out.
between thumb and forefinger,
the clumsiness of
more than just one
on Judgment Day
your tomato plants
will come out of the earth
carrying your bravery
like beads of water,
they will gesture
with their leaves
magnificent and half-drunk
you left the house
to stand in the historic thunderstorm
the neighborhood dogs,
the ants of
the trees lining the water
and the green in the air,
and the distance
between syllables of river-water
replace the vanishing point
in all your
with the divine.
how many words
you could form
out of your name,
and how often
your hour in the sun
was all that mattered
Dark Moon Girl WIPI remember the scars that crisscrossed your back.Dark Moon Girl WIP3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Your cerulean eyes, gazing into the starry night.
We had a strange kind of love. We never shared a bed, or embraced, or took vows. But nevertheless I loved you, and I think that in your own way you loved me.
You used to sing, but only when you thought no one was watching.
You never let me look at your scars for long, until the last day we spent together. At the time, I didn’t understand why you let me sketch you. You’d never bared yourself to me before, let alone to sketch you.
You were never really mine- but you did your best to share yourself with me. Why me, I’ll never know.
When I built the small pyre to send your body up to the heavens, I used the salt rocks you loved so much, the ones that could make the flames dance in any color.
Even though I was never one for religion, I took one of your silver bracelets to that small shrine at the top of the hill where we used to picnic. It was dusty and forgotten, but
RetreatRetreat9 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Since there's nothing I can do about love, I've written it
all to exhaustion, I'd better go to the river
and pound this paper on the rocks to wash it clean.
The words come now only to say these things.
I've learnt the art of folding and set armadas
on the water, I've dug holes in the sand with my heel,
buried poems like some dog, like some baby looking for water
who knows that God will come eventually to her aid. I put pen
to driftwood once, I have a photograph.
These are the things, these are the only things,
anything else is filigree and distraction, a women's magazine
in the waiting room before the white coat comes
with guarded smile and pulls me in. These
are the only things I know of, my only blocks, so if
I don't build other things, if there are only seas, only boats,
only boats, I am sorry. Should there be revolution
and not lovers, should there be other pain, should
the ground beneath my feet not make me tremble, not even
be a phrase anymore - I don't know. There is nothing
Sonata in the Key of AeolusISonata in the Key of Aeolus4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Reflects my mood.
The wind's whisper comes gentle
tonight, stroking harp-strings and
heart-strings, stalking the keys
so softly, she sings silk; her
whistles blow lullabies. Her breath
brushes back my hair, a simple
stirring of the air, but a caress
just the same? "And yes," she
breezes in my ear, intimate as
lovers, "tonight you are mine, dear,
and I am your sweet Zephyr."
Yet I have known her fierce
and proud, sounding howls to
pierce men. I have found her
with teeth bared.
On those days, her gales and rage
dissuade. I stay away. Power
in her pride, she pelts and
thrashes, singing hell to the rafters
she sets the lights to swinging. She
buffets, blusters and shoves, her harsh,
shrill shriek pounds our eardrums with
scorn, our gloves and scarves no barrier
to the chill in her lyrics.
And when she screams her torment to the sky,
I long for days when she is but a sigh.
our heartsyour heartour hearts2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
is a tiny wild grey-brown bird
and my love is a pair of cupped hands.
is a tinny flitting silver fish
and your love is a pool, dark and deep.
the moral is,
some things are worth holding still for.
Dragon's Fire: Chapter 9 Niric was walking through a dense brush when he suddenly came upon a pool of water in a wide clearing. As he saw it, his mind suddenly reminded him of his thirst, so when approached the pool. As he leaned his head towards it, he saw not his own reflection.Dragon's Fire: Chapter 9 3 days ago in Fantasy More Like This
As he looked, he saw a dragon engulfed in flames staring at him. He gasped and quickly backed away from the water. He felt his heart racing and his eyes opened widely. He approached the pool again and looked in only to see his own reflection. He let out a breath of relief and took a drink. The water was cool and refreshing as he drank it. He backed away from the pool and turned to see the elemental dragon standing before him. Shaken by the sudden surprise, he jumped backwards and landed in the pool of water. He growled as he saw that he had gotten wet and looked back up to the dragon. The mysterious dragon only stood there motionless. Niric picked himself up and
PoisonAfter the thrill of the huntPoison1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
you are still here -
churning me up inside,
making me into something
like a river
or a catastrophe.
I can almost see you
standing there on the porch
in the half-light
of naked wood and nails,
smoking your cigarette -
dressed up like a riddle.
What did you call me again?
Something that rhymed
with Brian or David
that you could only pronounce
with your mouth full.
I let you wear your boots
I let you lie
about your age
and your husband,
and the fact that the library
wanted you for murder.
But you just moved
through my room
wearing my shirt and sweater
like you knew
someone was missing -
like the socks and sheets
in the laundry basket
would follow you home.
You said I made you understand
That poetry did not have to hurt.
And you let me believe
could cure anything.
Of leaving pieces.Understand this: that love is a religionOf leaving pieces.6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of birds, of restlessness, of flight.
Of moving somewhere warmer when the cold sets in,
of longing, of leaving, of being
the one left behind, of feathers,
of an empty nest in the heart of winter,
nestled in some firm elbow of brittle branches
that stopped reaching for the sky when the last
leaf fell, bleak against a landscape of
blacks and whites and greys save for one
little piece of red string,
tucked lovingly among the twigs,
so dutifully gathered, piece by piece,
by a creature who had seen winters before,
but made a home for himself here anyway.
Dragon's Fire: Chapter 8The city was filled with pink and red decorations and the sounds of laughter and joy. All around, dragon couples could be seen walking side by side, from place to place, seeing all the sights and the celebrations going on. Everywhere, stalls were selling foods, jewelry, gems, and much more to the passing dragons. The city was glowing with red and pink...Dragon's Fire: Chapter 81 week ago in Fantasy More Like This
Niric and Plenta walked outside and were marveled by what they saw. Everywhere, pink and red was seen, it even seemed to fill the air itself. They looked around at all the pairs of dragons. They soon saw Filon and Ferila walking together, with their tails intertwined together. Niric started to laugh at the sight, making Plenta roll her eyes. Filon and Ferila both saw then and started to blush, but it couldn't be seen due to the pink and red decorations and other things all around them. Niric and Plenta walked up to them and greeted them.
"Hey you two.
heirloomI say it isn't strange, Lumnay1heirloom7 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
how you dance your way back
to resurrect fears in me,
woes i do not want to bear.
While yours could be a faulty womb,
my predicament is as involuntary;
if I could inseminate myself, I would.
But then there is also this:
I don't have fields to grow string beans;
the hole where I sleep requires currency;
and my wardrobe accommodates hand-me-downs.
I cannot bequeath sparseness to my little one.
Penury isn't heirloom. I retract -
if I could inseminate myself, I won't.
We presume urban living is more insightful;
truth is culture clings to tradition
and norms nullify us both.
We are gossip-materials,
You accept fate with refinement.
I, on the other hand, laugh on cue
and recoil when they rub it in.
© May 15, 2015
Of Bagels and the StyxThere's a sign above the platform exit that lights up about one day in ten, and it reads:Of Bagels and the Styx5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Due to guerilla deity activities, this station is closed.
Thanks to security measures in place, nobody has been harmed."
Far more rarely, the second sentence doesn't light up, but either way, what I see is: "Good morning, Simon. Today you will be late for work." Fantastic.
With the rest of the Baker Street commuters, I step back onto the train which will now be taking me away from work, rather than towards it. The doors close with that slightly disapproving tssssk and we glide away.
I hate it when this happens. It's not the lateness I mind; employers in the city have always been pretty understanding about lateness for rogue-religious reasons. I hate it because between my station and the next we have to pass through the Styx.
The physical river was diverted under the tube, of course, but the souls of the dearly departed have rather stubbornly continued to
An ode to the threeBeset, she searched for stone;An ode to the three4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
for strength in stone, solidity,
stone to build her walls and to
She searched for stone.
In her search, she found water;
first a trickle, then a run,
and then a rush.
She found water, and watched
as it spread to fill the stream.
She saw the water part,
divert and overcome,
when obstacles arose,
and she took the water for herself,
to find fluidity in water until
she could find her strength in stone.
Still, she searched for stone.
In the night, she found fire;
saw it blaze and crackle,
She saw the fire fighting
saw it keep tooth and claw
away from sleeping children,
and she took the fire for herself,
to find protection in fire until
she could find her strength in stone.
Still, she searched for stone.
In the winter, she found wind;
saw it play and dip,
teasing fallen leaves and
snow flurries into its
she saw it skitter away from danger
laughing through the trees,
and she took the wind for herself,
Dragon's Fire: Chapter 6Two months later...Dragon's Fire: Chapter 62 weeks ago in Fantasy More Like This
Niric stood in a straight row beside Plenta and other dragons his age as their instructor, a golden dragoness, was standing in front of them, beside a wide cliff. Niric listened as their instructor was explaining to them the concept of flight.
"Good afternoon students, it is good to see you all here again. I know before we spent the time learning the basics to flying, but today we will be trying flying for ourselves. How does that sound?" Almost everyone groaned at this, but Niric looked up highly excited. The instructor laughed to herself at the student's reactions. "Oh come on. It isn't that hard. Have any of you had experience flying before?" Everyone shook their heads, except Niric, who nodded his head.
The instructor took notice of this and motioned for him to step forward "What experience have you had?" Niric stepped forward, gaining the attention of the others. He spoke "I know how to fl
New Moon at the Round About*New Moon at the Round About10 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
And when the moon came up, there was only
my face and the evening sky. I thought
I'd balance a wish for love, hang some amateur
gnosis off one point, but when the wheel
spun around to where it matters, my lips said
I was sorry.
So I swung again. And the moon
gave no better answers.