Posts Tagged: You vs You Writing Challenge

Poem III: Draft II (Contact)

I finished the second draft of my third poem for the week.  I still don’t have a title for it, but am thinking something to do with the sounds of clippers or lost in the sounds of clippers.


As boys we never
said I love you to
one another, but in the summer
haze beneath the sounds
of mom frying chicken
wrapped in the smells of green beans and bacon
which simmered through the windows
we cut each other’s hair.

The clippers electric buzz shook our hands
as one boy sat on a five gallon bait bucket
shirt off in the heat
while the other boy held down ears
hands against scalp, wrists
brushed skin, the back of the neck
tan fading along thin shoulders.

At times, we shaved mohawks and patterns
ran barefoot into the house to hide
the clippers, the footsteps and yells
the snap-swing of the screen door
always close, always near
a chaotic melody to the steady
rhythm of old men mowing yards.

Back on the concrete porch
white paint peeling, we always returned
apologies shrugged off, light
in our bodies and the breeze
as the hair fell beneath one boy’s touch
and we became light enough
to float away like the fluff of a cattail
coasting on water’s edge.

Poem: Draft I

Another poem for my writing challenge.  This is the second poem of the week.  Currently, it has no title.

~               ~               ~

Sunday afternoon, I joined you
on the porch to apologize, to talk
as the voices of neighbors crowded close.

Birds flush in spring, chased
and sang, their songs suffused
with sunshine and ritual.  I watched
our dog snuffle, his hound’s
nose deep in the grass
drawing his line taut.

Like another line, our future
an unspoken idea
stretched into the distance.

The conversation turned, I said
I don’t have a ring, but
would you marry me?

Yes, you said, leaning forward
and then back, really? You asked
and again said, yes.

All of the possibilities and joy
I felt, seemed to radiate from your eyes
as well, your smile, my smile
the tears trapped under our lashes.

I held you close, your body warm
against mine.  The argument forgotten
we watched as little girls played
next door and the dog pulled
on his line, longing for a sparrow
that pecked the earth.

Writing: You vs You Part II

I took out $60 from the ATM today.  I’m handing it over to R.  The goal: write three poems or ten pages of fiction in one week.  If I don’t, she gets to donate the money to an organization I hate: the American Nazi Party.  Already, I feel uncomfortable, because that is an organization which completely disgusts me.  Three poems in one week or else.  Better not fail.

Writing: You vs You

If you’re like me, you’re a writer with a regular job.  Writing involves finding cracks in your schedule.  Wedging apart things like waking up, going to work, spending time with friends, and making dinner to find those moments.  For me, it’s really hard.  I make excuses.  I procrastinate.  It’s not my job.  I have other responsibilities.  It’s easy when you’re 22 years old and in an MFA program.  It’s your time to be selfish.  What happens when you graduate?

My excuse is that I need time.  Not just a half hour here or two hours there, but four hours of uninterrupted time.  That’s pretty ridiculous.  I end up going on writing binges and cranking something out, but then go months without writing anything new.  I’ve counteracted this by taking creative writing classes (free through the university where I’m a librarian) and that works, but it’s not sustainable.  I get tired of the class.  Feel like my time would be better spent writing for three hours a night, than critiquing undergrad’s work.

Enter Radiolab.  Confused?  Don’t be.  A while ago I heard this podcast called Help! and the first segment was about a woman, Zelda, who quit smoking.  She quit smoking through leverage.  The leverage was, if she smoked, she would donate $5,000 to the KKK.  As a staunch liberal, the KKK was a group Zelda hated.  So, not only is there a monetary loss, but Zelda would support a group she despised.  The result was Zelda quit smoking.

Writing isn’t my job, but why can’t I make it?  Let’s say I have $400 disposable income each month.  Instead of just keeping it in my checking account, I put it in R’s account.  Each week I can earn $100 if I produce x amount of writing.  Let’s say, ten pages of fiction and four poems.  If I don’t, R gets to donate that money to something I hate.

I’ll start the process when I get back from TN.

How do you stay writing?  What things do you internally struggle with?  More importantly, what groups are so despicable you wouldn’t want them to get my hard-earned cash?

I’m not paid to be a writer, then again a vocation isn’t a job.