Poetics Serendipity

9:22 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Violins, Strings and Continuo in G Minor

Hi, everyone. I notice the heat is spreading across the US’s weather map, except for New England, where it will be in the 70s today. I hope they can keep that until our visit, next week! As it will be too hot to go outside, for many of you, let me see what I have found for your education and entertainment.

1] The first article, ‘5 ways writers can steel against online haters’ written by Brooke Warner for She Writes, touches on a topic that some of us have encountered and some of us might. While the article focuses on fiction writers, it pertains to any writing that the public has access to, and can comment on.

2] How about a lecture? It’s a long lecture, mind. You will need 45 minutes, or you can break up the lecture into bits and get something done every 15 minutes. Professor Geoff Ward (see credentials on site) lectures exquisitely, on the question, Why is Modern Poetry Difficult? I forgot the blog, I forgot you, I forgot there was anything around me. There is something mesmerising about his voice.

3] Because it is summer and you might have more listening time, I am also including an interview with poet Edward Hirsch: How to Read a Poem & Fall in Love with Poetry. I realise we already know, but I found a lot to learn from Hirsch. This one requires an hour and twenty minutes but you can slide the slider to 7m 50 s, if you want, as that is all introduction. If you don’t quite have the time, the interview works fine with the volume cranked up, so that you can multi-task.

If you know you can listen to only one, listen to each for five minutes and decide which you are going to enjoy the most.

I will see you again Tuesday, July 7, with a prompt.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 25/06/2015 in links, poems, poetry, writing


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Poem Tryouts: To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

10:52 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to sirens wailing past on Peachtree (I’ll be glad to get settled and back to my music)

Hello, everyone. I hope you are well. I learned a couple of things about traveling and computers. I learned there is no signal approaching, in, and leaving West Plains, Missouri (except the local McDonald’s). I discovered that no matter how much I want something to be, the tech gods really don’t care (Miz Q: I had such fun. I wanted to post those poems, truly I did). And, I learned that learning a new operating system, while wanting something to be and traveling, is not a good idea.

Thus, our image prompt will be a week early, I’ll be here for Thursday’s blog and then the blog will go dark until Tuesday, July 7, for our next prompt. During that time, we will be in DC and Vermont, visiting our kids. If I find (now that I have taken the pressure off) that I am sitting around and the computer works, I may appear. I have found that having the blog and keeping in touch with you all, even on the fly, helps me in this summer of uprooting.

To the images. In keeping with the theme of dreaming, the image that started my thinking on the topic is The Poet Sleeps, by Chang Houg Ahn, which I first saw on The Mag a couple of years ago. I thought the subject of a poet sleeping and then having visions, or being visited by a muse, or dreaming, something my mind will not let go of. I will present two images here and save some for next month if I think they will allow you a different direction on the topic.


The Poet's Sleep by Chang Houg Ahn

The Poet’s Sleep by Chang Houg Ahn

The Kiss of the Muse by Cezanne

The Kiss of the Muse by Cezanne

In case you are tired of dreaming (:-)), you can strike out in the direction of a poet’s inspiration. You can write about where ideas come from — yours, specifically, or in general. You might write about a specific time when a specific poem came to you while sleeping. Or, you can be caught by the sight of the skulls outside of the window and want to write about them. Not a problem. I took care of the dreaming part with the images. You go where your mind wants. You do not have to reference the paintings, in any way, unless you wish to.

See you Thursday for a couple of links.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 23/06/2015 in exercises, poems, poetry


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Poetics Serendipity

9:23 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to mourning doves

Hello, all. Texas people are beginning to grow webs between their toes. Our gardens look like jungles and the ground simmers with water. More rain coming. Meanwhile, there are links to follow!

1] On the web site She Writes, Jill Jepson has a short but interesting article, The One Piece of Advice You’re Probably Not Following: Relax! I was amused by her opening, which lists some very familiar ‘advice’ before she puts forth her own premise.

Um. Right. Bookmarks from another computer do not travel with one. Punt!

2] I know. I had something similar, recently, but when ideas are phrased differently, or there is a fresh perspective, I enjoy reading articles that tell us how to make our writing lives just that little bit easier, and the articles which tell us how we might get off our backsides, when we are slothing around. The site WritetoDone has an article, 6 Simple Tricks for Building a Strong Writing Habit, by Ali Luke. I like her tricks and she provides some useful links herself. Those alone are worth a trip over.

3] I found the essay, Balancing Music and Meaning: An Interview with Kim Barnes on Short Nonfiction, by contributor Gretchen Clark, to be of interest. There are many parallels with the craft of poetry.

5:10 p.m. Left for an appointment, visited my mother, had lunch (Japanese), visited his mother, picked up a registered letter, emptied the car, picked up my computer… ye-es, I had not had time to finish and post, but here we are. I will see you tomorrow, but not for the usual thing.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 18/06/2015 in links, poetry, writing


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Poem Tryouts: Nightmare(s)

5:35 p.m. — San Antonio

listening to my husband and my uncle talk about what came before DBase 3

Hi, all. I’m a bit late, as today turned out to be a travel day. Surprise! I don’t have time to chat, although I’d love to. It’s hard to focus with people talking!

Remaining with our theme, let’s contemplate the dark side: nightmares. Head to the dictionary and look through the definitions to start the mind, ruminate a while and decide whether you want this to be personal, or some distance from you. Some nightmares we might not want to return to.

You can give us a nightmare, all imagery with a bare story framework, neutral speaker.

Or, you can use a nightmare you had, as the seed.

Or, you can imagine a nightmare situation.

Or… What? Supper? Okay, we’re leaving my aunt and uncle to their own devices and heading over to Skip’s brother’s to celebrate his birthday. I’ll try to be here Thursday. Friday is a travel day. Otherwise, I KNOW next Tuesday is not a travel day and I’ll be here with a prompt.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 16/06/2015 in exercises, poems, poetry


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Poetics Serendipity

9:11 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Robbie Williams singing Straighten Up and Fly Right

Hello, everyone. I hope all is well out there. I have a couple of links for your browsing pleasure, then I am off to pack a car. The Robys start their move (all four weeks of it — ack).

Didn’t even know I was gone did you? I got side-tracked by laundry, which segued into making piles of papers, before my eyes lit on my computer… Oh, right, post. Aieee!

1] A couple of weeks ago I gave you Diane Lockward’s links for for magazines that take submissions during the summer, A–>F. I have the other two sections and in the interest of keeping everything together, will give the link for A–>F again. Head to Blogalicious.

Summer journals A–>F

Summer journals G–>P

Summer journals Q–>Z

2] I have a journal I would like to add and that is Waterways: Poetry in the Mainstream, a small, print journal that has been in existence for thirty-six years. They are theme based, so I am giving you the link to their themes You can see whether this might be your cup of tea.

3] I mentioned this next site in something last week but it deserves its own point, all to itself. WikiArt is a Visual Art  Encyclopaedia. I get lost in it for hours. Talk about a resource.

I was going to add a fourth, when I realised that even if you don’t plan to submit poems for publication, you can still spend a lot of curiosity time wandering around the magazines Diane has listed, reading the theme quotes for Waterways, and the WikiArt(!), well… you may never surface.

I will see you Tuesday for a prompt and I’m pretty sure Thursday is in the cards for more links. Friday is iffy, but I’ll know more as we get closer.

Happy writing, all.



Posted by on 11/06/2015 in links, poetry, writing


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Poem Tryouts: Dream Symbols

8:18 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to the rustle of the newspaper as my brother reads it… standing up(?!)

Hello, all. I’m tossing a quick one at you. Well, I’ll be quick. You might be a bit longer. I have found a nifty site that lists thirty of the main dream symbols and writes a brief bit with each. Head over to the site, read through the list, and when one resonates, do something with it. Too vague? Nah. I have faith in you. You’ll know it when you see it. Trust me.

See you Thursday for links; Friday is dark, as I will be on the road; and Tuesday for our next prompt.

I’ll try to get back to read, but it might be spotty. I have relatives, and museums to see. Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 09/06/2015 in exercises, poems, poetry


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Place and Hold for Next

One thing I have found about trying a daily prompt: I pretty much have to go with what comes out of my mind, even if that hadn’t been my plan on starting. Miz Q has given us three word lists, from which we are to use one, two, and three words in a poem about place (then save the words because there will be more).

I forgot the place part, happily chose my six words and whipped them into a short poem of sorts. Then the part of the brain that lies in wait for this sort of thing, said: Place? I kept the six words I had chosen, originally — that was my challenge to myself. The poem is metaphorical because that was the only way I could work place in.

When You’re Not in Kansas Anymore

When life is no longer a sprint
to the finish line. When you
look down your lane — marked
with its measured white —
and the tape is fuzzed. When
the track’s surface is no longer
smooth, you have a choice.
You can limp, or crawl, your way
to the end, or you can flatten death
with respect and a sledgehammer.



Posted by on 06/06/2015 in poems


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