NaPoWriMo: Indirect Tweets

@twonewsocks: “Thank you for giving me a reason to get up in the morning, even on some of my darkest days. Your kindness gives me a reason to keep worki”

@twonewsocks: “I hope you know that when I smile in response to you smiling, it’s because you being happy genuinely makes me feel so much happier than I ha”

@twonewsocks: “None of you could possibly know how much you have changed my life for the better, and I will never be able to tell you. Maybe if you read th”

@twonewsocks: “I’m sorry I’m bad with words – 140 characters will never be enough to say how grateful I am for the life I have now. All I can really say is”

@twonewsocks: “thnk u”


Hello NaPoWriMo-ers! I’ve been pretty bad at posting this year because I have a tonne of assignments to do at the moment, but I’m going to try extra-hard to post as much as possible for the last week-and-a-bit, so bear with me!

Haiku Aubade / Scrambled Legs

Hello! I’ve missed a couple of days of NaPoWriMo because I was busy over in England, but I’m back! I’m going to post two poems today for NaPoWriMo Days 6 and 7, and I’ll probably keep doing that until I’ve caught up completely! Today’s poems are Haiku Aubade and Scrambled Legs. Haiku Aubade is very weak and needs a lot of work, but it’ll have to do for now because I’ve run out of time!

The aubade came from this prompt for day 6:

Today’s (optional) prompt springs from the form known as the aubade. These are morning poems, about dawn and daybreak. Many aubades take the form of lovers’ morning farewells, but . . . today is Monday. So why not try a particularly Mondayish aubade – perhaps you could write it while listening to the Bangles’ iconic Manic Monday? Or maybe you could take in Phillip Larkin’s grim Aubade for inspiration (though it may just make you want to go back to bed). Your Monday aubade could incorporate lovey-dovey aspects, or it could opt to forego them until you’ve had your coffee. (NaPoWriMo.net)


Haiku Aubade

Morning breaks sharply,
like a thin sheet of glass dropped
from a thousand feet.

I think –

Look at all these books –
I’m going to die alone
surrounded by books.

Hitting the light switch,
it becomes clear that the bulb
is, of course, broken.

I think –

That bulb is like me –
spent – no use to anyone.
Just replaceable.

And then, the alarm.
That piercing Nokia tone
an inch from my ear.

I think –

Ow! Ow ow ow! Ow
ouch, bleeding ouch! Ow ow ow!
What the – ouch! Stop! Ow!

So I just get up
and face the day – after all,
can’t get any worse.


Scrambled Legs

Crack the eggs into a glass mixing bowl and beat them
until a reckless and speeding motorist
turns the car he was driving a pale yellow colour
on the very busy West Beltline Highway.

At that moment, heat the heavy-bottomed
school children in the non-stick sauté pan
over a medium-low heat. Add the butter and let it
suffer non-life-threatening injuries.

Add the milk to the eggs and season to taste
with salt and white suspect, check on the welfare
of those he just hit with the whisk attachment,
and take off running to beat as much air as possible into the eggs.

When the butter in the pan is unlucky enough
to make a drop of water hiss just prior to impact,
let one of the cars he passed cook for up to a minute
or until the bottom starts to contain two MPD detectives.

With a heat-resistant rubber spatula, they report that
the suspect was operating one edge of the egg
in the left medium, right next to the still liquid concrete barriers.
There’s no liquid left at approximately 100 mph.

Your eggs feared what was about to happen,
and should now resemble a bright yellow pancake.
Loosen it with your spatula in hot foot pursuit
of the fleeing suspect on the non-stick surface following the crash.

Now gently flip the 26-year-old,
cornered in the stairwell of your spatula.
Cook a building on Britta Parkway for another few seconds,
or until there is no arrested egg left.

If you’re adding any other ingredients,
now’s the time to do it. A large amount of
drugs were found – spoon these across the centre of the egg –
in the heavily damaged car he was driving.

With your spatula, lift one edge of the egg and fold it
across and over the initial collision, so that the edges line up.
Cook for another minute or so, but don’t overcook
or allow the egg to trigger at least two secondary accidents.

None resulted in the finished omelette.
Garnish with chopped, fresh, serious injuries if desired.

I Heard a Fly b u z z

Okay, before I get in trouble for wilfully butchering Emily Dickinson, here is today’s NaPoWriMo prompt:

Today’s prompt (optional, as always) is a variation on a teaching exercise that the poet Anne Boyer uses with students studying the work of Emily Dickinson. As you may know, although Dickinson is now considered one of the most original and finest poets the United States has produced, she was not recognized in her own time. One reason her poems took a while to gain a favorable reception is their slippery, dash-filled lines. Those dashes baffled her readers so much that the 1924 edition of her complete poems replaced some with commas, and did away with others completely. Today’s exercise asks you to do something similar, but in the interests of creativity, rather than ill-conceived “correction.” Find an Emily Dickinson poem – preferably one you’ve never previously read – and take out all the dashes and line breaks. Make it just one big block of prose. Now, rebreak the lines. Add words where you want. Take out some words. Make your own poem out of it! (Not sure where to find some Dickinson poems?  Here’s 59 Dickinson poems to select from).

I enjoy messing around with structures, but I’ll admit I may have gone a bit over the top with this one! Anyway, it was fun!


I Heard a Fly b u z z 

(From I heard a Fly buzz – when I died – (591) BY EMILY DICKINSON)

I heard a fly buzz when I died. 
The stillness 
                   in the room was like 
the stillness 
                    in the air between 
the h
        e
         a
          v
           e
            s of storm. The eyes around 
had w r u n g them dry, and their breaths were 
gatheringfirm for that final 
onset when the    King    be witnessed 
in the room. I willed my keepsakes, 
signed        away what portion of me 
be assignable, and then it 
was there [interposed]: A fly with 
        ¿blue, 
                              uncertain, 
                stumbling 
                                           buzz?
between the light and me.

And then 

the windows failed, 
(and then I could not see to see.)

Incident Report for Case #2015-088166: A Sestina.

Investigation disclosed that the pedestrian 

was escorted out of Chaser’s Bar & Grill 

due to her high level of intoxication 

and that while being accompanied by a friend, 

she ran into traffic. She was hit by a vehicle 

causing her to flip onto the hood.

 

As she soared, not unlike an eagle, over the hood,

what went through the mind of the pedestrian?

Did she look down on that vehicle 

and at her flip flop (still caught in the grill)

and wonder what had happened to her friend?

Did she curse her own intoxication?

 

Did the flight offer its own sort of intoxication

to the woman, now catching hawks in her hood?

Perhaps she decided the air was her friend, 

and that this “gravity” thing was all very pedestrian 

why be Kara Zor-El when you can be Supergirl?  

Let your own momentum be your vehicle. 

 

And when she had mastered this vehicle, 

did she, instead, grow to love this intoxication?

She had found a thrill outside of Chaser’s Bar & Grill,

starting a new life as a thrill-seeking hoodlum.

The collision was the best change for the pedestrian –

or so she would soon tell her friend.

 

But she’d have to wait before she could tell her friend

because she was still soaring high above the vehicle 

in a display that was anything but pedestrian 

and the onlookers caught her intoxication

and word spread throughout the neighbourhood

of the woman floating just outside Chaser’s Bar & Grill.

 

So much changed that day at Chaser’s Bar & Grill 

(300 block W. Gorham St.). Soon the long-suffering friend

peeled her bleeding pal off the car’s hood

and had her transferred to an ambulance

which took her to the hospital to sit out her intoxication.

Paramedics saw to the injuries sustained by the pedestrian.

 

The neighbourhood could now rest easy at Chaser’s Bar & Grill.

Our drunken friend was issued a citation for intoxication 

and “Sudden Pedestrian Movement” due to her running into traffic.


Fourteener: Ode to a Banana I Found in the Grass at Donegall Quay

While walking calmly by the quay, I saw a strange display:

A ripe banana lying there with no sign of dismay.

It lay so sweetly in the grass, just basking in the light,

I had to ponder what events could lead to this delight.

Oh, sunshine fruit! Your life has changed! How startling it must be

To now be lying in the shade far from your mother tree!

Your freedom has come at a price – you’re stranded in the leaves,

Your skin is quickly ageing from the sunlight it receives!

But though you know your fate is sealed, you do not whinge or cry.

You take the punches meekly as the days are passing by.

As time ticks on and seasons change, this feeling, too, will pass.

We’re not so different after all, banana in the grass.

And now, for our optional prompt! Today I challenge you to write a fourteener. Fourteeners can be have any number of lines, but each line should have fourteen syllables. Traditionally, each line consisted of seven iambic feet (i.e., an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable, times seven), but non-iambic fourteeners also exist. The fourteener was popular in 16th and 17th century England, where it was particular common in ballads, but it also is the form in which “Casey at the Bat” is written. The form is versatile enough to encompass any subject matter, but as the example of “Casey at the Bat” shows us, it is particularly useful in narrative poetry, due to the long line and the step-like sense of progression created by the iambs. (NaPoWriMo.net)

This one’s more than a little silly,but I definitely had fun with it!

Starry Night

– And when the sun went down
and daylight ceased to warm our terracotta rooves,
in dribs and drabs, the people returned to their rooms
and left Sol Invictus to sink into the ground.

I lingered, bidding Sol stay a little longer
but he did not hear, and continued his slow retreat
through trees and hedges. It was only when I turned to leave
that the true lights of the sky began their song:

Tiny suns in hard-to-reach places
lit up the sky in a twinkling gleam
above the city and surrounding places,
painting swirls and smudges of yellow and cream.
Were it not for the nip of the wind on my face,
I would have stayed there, to think or to dream.


Today, I challenge you to take your gaze upward, and write a poem about the stars. You may find inspiration in this website that lists constellations, while also providing information on the myths associated with each one, as well as other salient information. Your poem could be informed by those myths or historical details, by the shapes or names of the constellations, or by childhood memories of seeing them. Any form or style will do. (NaPoWriMo.net)

Today’s poem is a little pithy for my liking, but it is 23:10 and I’ve sort of run out of time on this one! When I’ve cleaned and edited it up, it should be an ekphrastic poem based on Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night”. For now, though, this is the best I could do!

Happy writing! 🙂

Hypervigilance

Saturday morning rattlehead – jeans ripped
At knee, laces half-tied, young blood scurried
Down the small streets. Eyes darted, thoughts scary,
Noted the strangers that loomed as I rapped
On the only door I knew could be rapped
Safely. Check the exits. Not safe, not sound.
My heart is in my ears. My mouth is sand.
I’m jagged. Wash hands. Flick switch. Rinse. Repeat.

With my forehead pressed against the front door,
I swear your eyes are burning through my skull.
I check the lock again – one, two, three, four,
Five. You’re smiling, and the smile is a lull:
Warm fire in winter… or unknown danger –

Windows, the dark – and my head’s loud once more.


Well, it’s Day 1 of NaPoWriMo 2015 and yes, I have already failed to follow the prompt – start as you mean to go on, eh? Honestly, I gave the prompt a go, but I was just drawing absolute blanks all day. So here is a rough sort of sonnet-ish yoke I wrote instead. I’ll try harder tomorrow, I promise!

Normal Service to Resume as Soon as Possible

Hello hello hello hello hello!

I’m back, at last, for the first time since September! Hello! How are you all?

I’m super sorry for neglecting my blog for a whole 6 months. The past while has been crazily hectic, and I somehow haven’t had a moment to spare. I’m back now because April is coming, and April is my favourite month there is: NaPoWriMo!

So I’m going to be farting around writing poetry for the next month or so, and then I should hopefully be back to regular blogging after that! Hooray!

Summer in the City

Well, September is here at last and summer is officially over. I haven’t really blogged as much as I hoped to (I just didn’t get the chance) but that’s something that will change now – promise!

Just like every other year, I had grand plans for this summer. I was going to learn how to juggle, pick up bass guitar again (it’s the one instrument I’ve been fairly consistently neglecting since about two months after I started to play – oops), play endless guitar, teach my scouts as much as possible, paint the house, write some letters, maybe learn to swim – a whole heap of stuff. Admittedly, I never ACTUALLY do all of the things I plan to do over summer. If half of my plans happen, I’m doing pretty damned well. This summer, however, I got absolutely none of these things done.

“Why?!” come the cries of my hundreds of concerned readers. (only not really)

Here’s the thing.

A couple of years ago, it became clear to me that my original home back in Donegal was not overly safe for me. I’m not going to get caught up in the details of it because these things happen, but basically when I moved out last year at the ripe old age of 17, that was me out for good. This didn’t pose too much of an issue to me for the first while as I was working on starting a new and improved life on this side of the border. In fact, it didn’t really become a problem at all until May, when I discovered that the lease for my current flat wouldn’t begin until September, while I would have to move out of my room in Elms Village in early June.

So my summer didn’t exactly go according to plan: while nothing terrible happened (like being disowned by my family or, you know, death or something), and while I still had regular online contact with plenty of loving relatives, this summer marked my first true experience of what could turn out to be my life once again when this lease runs out: moving from place to place, sleeping on mattresses, sofas and kitchen floors, in baths and hedges and pretty much anywhere where I wouldn’t get attacked or soaked in the rain. This summer, I spent time in my sister’s spare room, but I also spent time walking through Belfast with a bundle of blankets and no idea where I was meant to be going. I’ve been hired and fired, stuffed and starving, and have been in WAY too many conversations which started with the words “I don’t want to kick you out, BUT…”

The lowest point of my summer was walking out on the last day of my second job in 2 months and realising that I had no job, only 40p to my name which I couldn’t even access because it was in the bank, and no idea where I was going to sleep that night.

The past few months could easily be interpreted as one great kick in the teeth after the next, but I don’t regret anything that I did over the past year. I feel like the whole experience has taught me the true meaning of “it gets better”. Less than a month ago, I was sitting under a bridge on a rolled-up blanket and hoping that someone would call me up to offer me a bed for the night. Today, I am sitting writing this in my new bedroom, in my new flat. I can hear my friends and new flatmates laughing and chattering in the next room. Tonight, I will have a hot meal for dinner. Tomorrow, I will get up and go to work at one of my new jobs and when I finish work, I will return to MY flat and go to sleep in MY bed.

And you know what? This summer has probably been the best summer of my life so far. It’s been unpredictable and stressful and extremely unstable, but I have never felt so free. In the space of a year, I went from this stuttering little punchbag to a king with a key to the city. So much went wrong this year. If I had seen it coming, I probably would have given up because I wouldn’t have believed that I could deal with so much all at once. With the summer behind me, however, and with it the uncertainty, the sickness and the cold, I will look you in the eyes and tell you that this is my year. 2014 is Tab’s year, and it is only going to get better from here.

Just you watch this space.