I live in a world created by Elizabeth Bishop.

Now that I’ve finished my undergraduate degree, I suppose I need something else to occupy my time – as if a wedding, new city living, and new job wasn’t enough!

My new goal is to find happiness.

I’m not sure what this looks like for me.  To be honest, this is the first time where I’ll actually be able to do and have what I want…I just wish I knew what I wanted.

I think I’ll be spending more time here, indulging in my creative outlet.  Drinking more tea and clacking on these keys.  I’m in the process of trying to get some poetry published. Turns out, I’m not too bad at it — according to the magazines that I’ve submitted to, anyway.  I’ve made it past the couple rounds of rejections and I’m awaiting the final verdict in a couple more places.

One thing that I plan to experiment with this summer is the writing process of sestinas. It’s a rather complicated fixed verse form consisting of six stanzas of six lines each, normally followed by a three-line envoi. The words that end each line of the first stanza are used as line endings in each of the following stanzas, rotated in a set pattern (see image).
I have one in the works currently – I even have a little literary nibble to share with you.  This piece is called “Graduation” (which makes terrible sense since writers nearly always write about what they know).

Like ants swarming a hill, I marched mechanically next to you
as the teeming crowd lumped us into boxes, our bright futures
fated as our cardboard crowns perched precariously on our heads –
further evidence that our participation trophy childhoods hadn’t lost
its steeled grip on the helm that directed our prescribed paths
while we gulped anti-anxiety pills down like the rest of our choices.

I’m also practicing my editing process.  It helps when I hate everything that appears on the screen because I’m then so motivated to change it.

New goal: Write a sestina a week.

 

Don’t be married unless you’ll be very married.

Marriage
BY LAWRENCE RAAB
Years later they find themselves talking
about chances, moments when their lives
might have swerved off
for the smallest reason.
What if
I hadn’t phoned, he says, that morning?
What if you’d been out,
as you were when I tried three times
the night before?
Then she tells him a secret.
She’d been there all evening, and she knew
he was the one calling, which was why
she hadn’t answered.
Because she felt—
because she was certain—her life would change
if she picked up the phone, said hello,
said, I was just thinking
of you.
I was afraid,
she tells him. And in the morning
I also knew it was you, but I just
answered the phone
the way anyone
answers a phone when it starts to ring,
not thinking you have a choice.

Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes.

Preface

Love is
when one plus one gives you two
and morphs back into one
complex
consecrated
comglomerate
that somehow subtracts one
and one more
and one more
and one more
without shrinking.
Eventually
there comes a moment
when forever only lasts the space of the
QRS complex on the monitor
and you ask yourself
how you decomposed
back to
one
when you feel as hollow as
zero.

Your very flesh shall be a great poem.

Virgin Islands

The ocean breeze flutters in,
kissing my neck,
running it’s fingers
through my hair.

The candle on the nightstand flickers
gasping at the wind’s caress
while the clouds pucker
like lace in the sky.

The salty water laps at the edge
of the beach, licking away
the sand and teasing
the seaweed as the tide rises.

A sailboat on a night’s jaunt churns
though the midnight waters,
the billowing sail arching
as it strains against the mast.

Palm trees arch towards the sky
heavy with their coconuts
as the hibiscus spread their petals
wider to welcome the dawn.

And as the sun forces itself
into the night with a burst of red,
I smile because I recognize
this dance for the first time.

Poetry is dropping a rose petal in the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.

To relive my poor brain from straining it’s neurons to understand the biochemistry within it’s own biochemistry (so meta), I enrolled in a poetry workshop course that requires us to write enough poetry to create a chapbook.

Not only that, but we have 16 weeks to create a potentially publishable chapbook.

And, that potentially publishable chapbook must contain around 25 poems(!), each representing it’s own color woven into this literary masterpiece that bleeds from the fingers hastily typing “vivid verbs” for the deadlines.

As if I could manage that (on top of my two jobs, other schoolwork, and wedding planning)…

Here’s something that we kinda like and are willing to subject to your ever-reading, ever-critical eyes.  Bon appetit.

Breakfast

Little feet slapped the kitchen tile,
pitter-pattering to the table.
Chairs scooching
across wooden floors
as tiny fingers grabbed tiny plastic forks.

Butter spattered against blueberry flapjacks
as maple syrup pooled on the plates.
Crispy bacon crumbled
as tiny teeth chomped,
washing it down with chilled milk.

“Another round!” my breakfast bar flies
cried, tiny heads peering around the door.
Tiny messes galore as I made a few more
and as my husband gave me a kiss,
I wondered how much I’d miss

breakfast
when they weren’t so
little anymore.

In case of Armageddon, steep 3-5 minutes.

Japanese teapot:

I was rebelling from ‘Merica and following in
the footsteps of my British ancestors faithfully.
My mind was roiling like bubbles in the kettle
and yet there I sat, sipping Earl Grey tea.

I took it black: no milk, no sugar, no honey.
It was like coffee without the bitterness
and it matched my own atmosphere, with
just a hint of attitude and restlessness.

I swallowed slowly, liquid pooling on my tongue
and slipping around like the thoughts in my head.
The teapot understood and swirled the steam my way
like Mrs. Potts comforting me over Belle instead.

The cloud boiled in the sky, gunmetal grey to charcoal
and the teacup kissed my lip softly and lingered.
The winter wind rustled though the bushes
and the leaves, like my soul, grew withered.

Red Japanese ceramic teapot.:

 

1/4 of four quartets = one quartet

Time present and time past
are both perhaps present in time future
and time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
all time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
remaining a perpetual possibility
only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
point to one end, which is always present.
Footfall echo in the memory…
Only through time time is conquered…
Desiccation of the world of sense
evacuation of the world of fancy
inoperancy of the world of spirit…
Or say that the end precedes the beginning
and the end and the beginning were always there
before the beginning and after the end.
And all is always now…
Desire itself is movement
not in itself desirable.
Love is itself unmoving
once the cause and end of movement…
ridiculous the waste sad time
stretching before and after…
There is, it seems to us,
as best, only a limited value
in the knowledge derived from experience.
The knowledge imposes a pattern, and falsifies,
for the pattern is new in every moment
and every moment is a new and shocking
valuation of all we have been…
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing…
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
and what you own is what you do not own
and where you are is where you are not…
Home is where one start from. As we grow older
the world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated…
We had the experience but missed the meaning
and approach to the meaning restores the experience…
Time the destroyer is time the preserver…
Not fare well
but fare forward voyagers…
who are only undefeated
because we have gone on trying..
and all shall be well and
all manner of thing shall be well
when the tongues of flames are in-folded
intro the crowned knot of fire
and the fire and rose are one.

Thus reads my favorite lines taken from The Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot in order as they appear in the poem.