I haven’t posted anything for Creative Wednesdays for a while because I’m working on a short story collection that I’m hoping to get published some day, and does anybody know if publishers will take collections where some of the pieces have been published in online journals? Anyway, I love writing poetry even though I’m not particularly good at it and it’s my birthday dammit, so today, I’ve decided to share a poem with you that I wrote recently. It’s called Defying Gravity and it’s about love and hope.
We spoke of death and life,
Me and you, my child
(More precious to me than a single perfect seashell
Or the vast ocean contained within it)
And you asked, Why carry on?
I remember that you etched futility into the earth
With clenched fists
Fall the petals, fall the leaves,
Fall the tears, fall the knees.
And I replied
But the flowers still turn their faces to the sun,
The trees still strive for the moon,
Winter is the prelude to spring.
Dry your eyes,
Lock your knees; defy gravity.
I scuffed the earth clean
With an open palm
And etched both our hearts into it
So deeply that they couldn’t be erased
By neither you, my child, nor me.
It’s almost the end of Wednesday, so this came in just under the wire. I’m thrilled to have another flash fiction story in The Sirens Call eZine. ‘Tooth Fairy’ is a strange little piece about what we’re willing to overlook to keep the things we love. I hope you enjoy my weird story–I can’t link directly to it, but you can read ‘Tooth Fairy’ on page 72 here.
Neuro Logical Magazine is a new on-line poetry journal. They had tweeted out “if you have a poem you don’t think fits anywhere, send it to us. I’d been working on this piece for a little while and thought, “I have no idea where it fits” so I sent it to them and they very graciously gave it a home. You can read “The Singular Discrepancy Between Poet And Object here.
If you have a poem that you really like and you don’t know where it “fits”, I highly recommend sending it to them. You can find them on Twitter as well @LogicNeuro. And here is a random puppy picture for you, just because.
“Lobster” is a very personal piece of Creative Non-Fiction, published by the wonderful Anti-Heroin Chic. Before you read it, there are a few things you might need to know:
1) Is it true? Yes.
2) Who’s Jimmy? That’s Ken. It’s OK for you to know it, because you kind of know him, but I didn’t want the world to know it too, and I’ve always liked the name Jimmy. It seems comforting somehow.
3) Are you OK? Yes. It’s been a long time and I’m over it. But a few weeks ago, I was going through a closet and found a box with a bunch of things from my teens and early twenties. Most of it was nice, nostalgic, but there was that envelope of photographs. I hadn’t seen them in years; I don’t know why I’d never thrown them away. You may, if you follow me on social media, have seen a couple of pictures from my teen ‘modelling days’ but those were taken by a boy at my high school who was the yearbook photographer and had fashion aspirations. When I found the envelope that I talk about in Lobster, that same fury came rushing back. If I was the person I was then that I am today, things would have gone much differently, but I learned a long time ago not to beat myself up for things I did when I didn’t have the advantage of years of knowledge and a stronger sense of self.
4) Where is he now? Long dead, I imagine, and lucky for him because, as my dad said to me late last night after he read the piece (before I could write this and provide some context), “He’s lucky he’s dead or he would have gone to his grave without any teeth.” Both my parents are wonderful people and I wish I’d been able to tell them about it at the time.
Anyway, now you have some context. Writing this was very cathartic for me and I feel honoured that Anti-Heroin Chic published it. You can read Lobster here.
I’m really excited to have this short story in the beautiful Moria Literary Magazine, which is the National Literary Magazine of Woodbury University . It’s a quirky little piece called “Collateral Damage” and it’s about revenge gone wrong. Or has it…?
If you’d like to, you can read it here.
Also, thank you so much to everyone who went to Spillwords and voted for me for Publication of the Month. You’re the best!
I know it’s late but it’s still technically Wednesday and I’m kind of excited about this. A couple of weeks ago, I posted a poem here for Creative Wednesday. I’d never done that before, being kind of a closet poet and not very confident about my skill in that area. Your response was so wonderful and supportive that I thought, Why not? So I submitted a couple of pieces, and the wonderful people at Mineral Lit Mag accepted one of them. It’s called ‘Dryad’ and you can read it here.
I couldn’t have done it without all of you. You’re better than Chardonnay. But since you’re not at my house, I’m drinking the Chardonnay.
I normally don’t post mid-week, but I thought I might start doing it once in a while. You all know I write this weird-ass blog, and that I write novels. I’ve posted some of the short stories I’ve had published in the past in different literary mags, but what you might not know is that I also write poetry. It’s not very good poetry, and I don’t submit it anywhere because it’s not really what the lit mags are looking for, I don’t think, but I like doing it anyway. So today, I’m posting this piece I wrote over the last couple of weeks. I hope you enjoy it. I showed it to Ken and he said, “…Interesting” and then I showed it to Kate and she thought it was about fish migrating. IT’S NOT. Anyway, take from it what you will.
We speed along the black river
The wires on shore buzzing
And cutting into our flesh
Across the distance
Full of secrets.
We hide on the water
Tight to the bank
Where the towers can’t see us.
You tell me to slow down
“The faster we go
The more noticeable we are.”
We race along the black road
Through pine and spruce
And hard rock
Whispering our names.
The tar sticks to our tires
Melting the treads.
Up ahead the wires spit
And crackle out a signal.
You tell me to veer left
“This way is safe.
Drive until dawn.”
We sift through the black sand
Not on a beach
But in a desert
Hidden under an ocean of stuttering stars.
With desperate hands
We pull conch shells from its depths
And then bones.
They are our bones
The bones of our parents
And the bones of our children.
You tell me to gather them up in my arms
And fill my pockets.