Tuesday, April 30, 2013 | By: Brianna

NaPoWriMo Last Day

Why yes, it does seem that I'm cutting it a little close.  Although to be fair, two hours shouldn't really be considered "close" because I've cut things WAY closer than this.  Like my hair.  Bah dum chhh.

Anyway, it's been a great month, but it looks like I'm going to go back to hiding my poems in an envelope and keeping them to myself.  Probably won't be posting my dailies here.  At least not daily like this.  I realize that sounds silly, but you know what I'm saying, so hush.  Thank you, readers, for your devotion to reading my work.  I can only hope that my future antics keep you entertained.

I have no ideas for a Poem-A-Day May challenge, so we're going to hope that that goes alright without one. For now...

This last poem here is random.  And when I say it's random, I'm trying not to apologize, but here it is.

April 30, 2013

Well that was unexpected,
that turn of events
right after your venting
right before my weirding.
Because "weird" is a verb
if I say so.
I guess that maybe
the fog in this crystal ball
could have formed these shapes,
but I was too busy
shuffling tarot cards
to notice the cloud cover
which the weather man missed
by a mile
just like my failed archery
because I'm no Cupid,
but color me stunned
which is some shade of scarlet
especially when this letter
makes no sense.

Monday, April 29, 2013 | By: Brianna

Stars and Fishing

I remember a time when I wrote all my poems on time.  That was a good time.  When did I become such a slacker?

Yesterday I went to a poetry slam put on by my friend's library.  I say it's her library because she works there, not because it's her local library.  Just to be clear.  I read a couple poems that I had planned on reading, and then all of a sudden no one wanted to read after me.  I felt bad, but at the same time, I also felt kinda awesome because I killed my performance on those two poems.  Luckily, my friend whipped out her memorized Shakespearean sonnet.  And then I ended up reading again because PEER PRESSURE!  But I had a ton of fun!  It helped that there were a handful of people who complimented my poems and my reading of them, so that just made me feel all around awesome.  [this is when Brianna realizes she should purchase a thesaurus]

The poem snippets for yesterday that I wrote today came from a quote which turned up in a conversation with a friend last night (I'll bet you can figure out what was said...).  He might punch me for stealing it...but you know what...too bad.  And then the poem for today was because there were so many fish poems at the slam yesterday and I realized that I haven't written a fish poem.  And this poem also led me to learn that when I start stories about my childhood, I may start talking about "me" or "I," but then I eventually shift into "we" and "us" because I did just about everything with my little brother.  Interesting...

April 28, 2013

You said that
if all the stars aligned
and circumstances changed,
we could talk about it.
But you're forcing the stars
into this position
and pulling celestial legs
when all you need to say is:
"I want to."

You're forcing the stars
into this position
on your pantry shelf
because you already
hung the moon
on your doorknob.
I'm not saying
you can't tack the sun
to your corkboard,
but leave some warmth
for the rest of us.

You're forcing the stars
into this position
and Tom Cruise
is not a fan.

April 29, 2013

When I was little,
my grandpa took me fishing.
We stood on the pier,
and Grandpa held out
a styrofoam container
full of grubs.
I cringed
when the little white things
squirmed in the sawdust.
Grandpa speared the grub
and curled it around my hook.
I closed my eyes.
My favorite part was casting,
flicking the hook
out into the water
and listening for the plop.
Then reel it back in
before the bite.
Cast and reel.

"Writers fish for the right words like fisherman fish for, um, whatever those aquatic creatures with fins and gills are called."
- Jarod Kintz
Saturday, April 27, 2013 | By: Brianna

A Note on Comic Book Conventions

Yesterday I went to my very first comic book convention, C2E2.  To be quite honest, I had a blast.  Sure, my feet were killing me by the end of the day, but that's what you get when you wear Converse with no arch support, hooray!  But it was fine, all my toes are still in tact and I don't think I wore out my soles.

Spending as much time on the Internet as I do, I was primed to look out for people in costumes.  Good costumes.  And there were some good costumes.  But the originality was lacking.  I saw A LOT of The Doctor from Doctor Who, and the same ones over and over again: Four, Ten, and Eleven.  I maybe saw one Nine and one of the First.  And then there were a lot of superheroes and super villains.  Of course.  Makes sense.  But typical.  Lots of Harley Quinn.  The Joker.  Superman.  Spiderman.  Yeah.  So a little disappointed in that respect.

But really excited about other things.  Like the Doctor Who postcards I got.  And the Kill Shakespeare comic I bought.  That's right, my very first comic that I bought all by myself instead of getting it from a friend. There was so much to look at, and a couple costumes to guess about.  And of course, hanging out with friends.  Because they're awesome.

Unfortunately, I wrote yesterday's poem today.  And today's poem is not appropriate for this blog.  So...here.

April 26, 2013

I'd like to apologize, my friend,
for my offenses.
When I turned in my chair
and asked you to leave,
that was rude.
Then allowing separation
as if breaking from the herd
and ignoring the
sheepdog yapping.
I lost sight
and wandered blindly deaf
to any pleas,
then ask you for more,
to be my cover story
to late night affairs.

I apologize
for the shrunken sweater
discomfort bred
by my frivolity
skipping through aisles
on rubber-soled ecstasy.

"Because that's what a comic is, ultimately: a collection of pages.  It's not a flatpanel or a touchscreen, even though that's where it might eventually be displayed.  It's a page."
- John Heffernan
Thursday, April 25, 2013 | By: Brianna

Aaaaand...look, distraction!

It looks like we're nearing the end of the month, which means a lot of people who are participating in NaPoWriMo will be done with their challenge to write a poem a day for a month.  I'm really excited to go through everybody's blogs and read what they've come up with, because that'll no doubt give me more ideas for my own poems.  Plus I'm really excited that I'm not the only one out there writing poems daily.  Is that selfish?  Maybe a little bit.

Anyway, Poem-A-Day April has been going really well.  I only fell behind that one weekend when I went to camp, but I caught up pretty quick because it was only a couple poems behind.  As for the zodiac challenge, that I've failed on.  I had every intention of writing them, especially because I have people who were excited to read a couple specific zodiac signs.  I'm really sorry!  I'll probably use the whole zodiac/horoscope thing as inspiration for random poems rather than a month challenge.  And there we go again, learning what challenges work and don't...

Poem-A-Day May promises to be exciting because every month is cause for excitement.  but I'm looking for a challenge.  Something that I can do weekly.  No ideas yet.  I'm thinking back to a couple older challenges, and one of them was to start one poem a week with "Where were you last night?"  That was a really neat concept because I got to play around with different ways of handling that.  Kinda similar to the challenge to write drunken poetry.  So I'm thinking I should find some sort of challenge that will be like that, because it might make me think more.  Or try forms.  Which might break my brain, but who knows, maybe I'd learn something?  Learning is good.

On Monday, I visited the Poetry Foundation downtown.  First off, I took the El into the city and then had to take another line north of the Loop.  Because I had a lot of time on my hands, it didn't ultimately matter, so that adventure was fun.  Except that I thought I could transfer at one stop, and it turns out that you can't, so after getting off the train and making my way onto the street level, I walked a couple blocks to another station where I had learned I could make my transfer.  Luckily it was a nice day.

Once I got to the stop where I needed to be, I went the wrong direction on the street and had to turn around, but I finally got to the building.  [this is where Brianna realizes that she's told this story in a previous blog post, oops?]  Anyway, it was closed until later.  So I went to Starbucks to get a drink.  That's when a woman came up to me and asked, "Did you just try to go to the Poetry Foundation?"  I shuffled my feet a little and said, "Yeah..." She was very nice when she said that they didn't open until 1 PM, and I was bashful about her having witnessed my embarrassing door-pulling from the other side of the gigantic glass windows.

Clutching my iced mocha of joy, I took the El back in the direction I had come from and met up with my friend for lunch.  He bought, because he's a nice person and knows that I'm unemployed.  It was underlined by the fact that he was on his lunch break from his job that he's pretty happy with.  I'm not going to hold that against him because he bought me lunch AND dessert.  Hey, I can't complain about a toffee cookie, that thing was delicious.  Actually, the whole sandwich was delicious.  There was cheese and vegetables and pesto, and yum.  I should have taken a picture that I could post here.  Darn.  Missed opportunity.

Yesterday, I visited my friend who's involved in drag shows.  She was looking for costumes for another show that she's going to do, so we went to a couple costume shops in Boystown and another shop that I shouldn't mention because this should be a family friendly blog, but let's suffice it to say that there was a lot of lace, silk, and rope.  Special rope.  Then we went to get food because Brianna had eaten a pocket of trail mix for lunch (and learned that M&Ms and the letter M are trademarked by Mars, Inc.  Though I feel like the letter M shouldn't be able to be trademarked...that shouldn't be allowed.).  All around it was a really good afternoon and it was really great to see her because I hadn't seen her in person for close to a year.  Craziness.

And then another friend came over and we watched Woman in Black.  It's a miracle I didn't have nightmares, but it was my idea, so...

I really should never complain about having no friends again [Brianna goes back through her post and sees how many times she mentions "my friend."].

And tomorrow, tomorrow I'm going to C2E2 with my friend (aha!) because she's going for her work.  Yeah, her work is paying for her to go to a comic book convention.  I suddenly find myself wanting a job that would do that for me.  That would be really exciting.  Anyway, I'm super excited because I've never been to a comic book convention, and I'm looking forward to shamelessly people-watching.  Because that's what I do.  Should I bring my TARDIS notebook?  Hm, the possibilities...

That's all I really have to say, so that's all, folks!

"Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life."
- Mark Twain
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 | By: Brianna

Fortune Cookies

Today things happened, excitement was had, I rode a bus willingly, and shenanigans.  Adventures galore today, and even more smiles.  And commas.  So many commas in those sentences!  Anyway.

This poem comes from the prompt on Day 21 of NaPoWriMo, because I wasn't feeling the more recent prompts and my brain felt a little like it spent too much time in a blender and then was pulverized with crystalized sugar.  Because brain goo can totally be pulverized after becoming goo.  Yup.

April 24, 2013

Thank you, NaPoWriMo and Frank O'Hara for "Lines for the Fortune Cookie."

You have great potential to become a serial killer.
The people around you are made nervous by your presence.
Your ideal job opportunity will soon appear.
You will write 671 poems and never write again.
Just as your best friend gets married, you'll adopt your 8th cat.
Mirrors show us who we truly are.  In your case, nothing.
Find yourself a soup spoon.
Tomorrow's lunch will be wildly satisfying.
Your kisses are perfectly adequate.
Someone is interested in you.
Keep your eyes open.
Goldfish are drawn to your aura.
Spectacular fireworks are in your future.
You will meet a tall dark stranger.

"I just got a fortune cookie that says, 'Turn off your computer and read a book' which is odd because I'm WRITING a book...on my computer!"
- Meg Cabot
Monday, April 22, 2013 | By: Brianna


Today I went downtown to explore and visit The Poetry Foundation.  Little did I know, it didn't open until 1 PM today.  The sign on the door said so, but I pulled on the door handle and found out that the door was locked in the good old-fashioned embarrassment that results from pulling on a door that won't open.  Luckily, it was only a couple people who witnessed this through the floor to ceiling windows.

Note to self: stop putting pens in your mouth, it grosses some people out.

And then I met up with one of my friends for lunch, and I got to see the lobby of the office where he works.  This lobby had a gigantic statue that I swear was of a womb with a fetus inside.  This is a testament to how twisted my brain is.  Or how caffeine affects my thought processes.

April 22, 2013

This is what
the real world looks like:
conservative shoes,
and pantyhose,
though not worn
by the same people.
ID-checking guards
stand like the three heads
of Cerberus
before the gates of Hell.
Making the El
the River Styx
and the tie-wearers
all the Hell subjects
chained to fire
and brimstone
by so many insubstantial links.
Like a paycheck.
So that makes me Dante,
wary tourist
on this foreign plane,
clutching my Polaroid
in hopes of capturing
some one-time
scene of torture
while the demons leer
at my Converse
standing flat amongst the pumps.

"I hold it to be the inalienable right of anybody to go to hell in his own way."
- Robert Frost
Sunday, April 21, 2013 | By: Brianna

Catchin' Up!

Remember that time when I was on time with all my poems and I didn't have to write multiple poems in a single day?  I remember that time, that was a good time...ah, memories.  April 19th isn't getting posted here because no one needs to read that.

April 20, 2013

I remember when you
were this big,
a football held
in my brother's arms
because he always liked kids
more than me.
By the time you were old,
you floated in the lake
buoyed up by a life jacket
while I jumped off the pier.

It astounds me
that I can remember
pushing your stroller
at Lincoln Park Zoo
because today you have a girlfriend
and tell stories about track.

April 21, 2013
(stolen from 101 Things to Do with Ramen Noodles because I mistakenly thought that living with my parents meant that I wouldn't have to eat Ramen anymore)

"Cook noodles in water according to package directions."

Whether or not
your water is
salt or fresh
doesn't ultimately matter.
Drain noodles.
Add sodium packet
for instant death
or immediate increase
in blood pressure
like your father's
when you wake him
from his nap.
If sodium is not
to your taste,
mix in peanut butter.
That works too.
Find the largest bowl
in the house or
eat straight from the pot.

Thursday, April 18, 2013 | By: Brianna

Biblical Proportions

This morning, I awoke to the sound of water moving around, and my father swearing.  I thought to myself, "Hm, why is Dad in my bathroom?" and rolled over.  Well, until Dad came into my room and turned the light on.  Swinging my legs over the side of the bed, I plunged my ankles into 3-4 inches of ice cold water.  Good morning to me.

April 18, 2013

When Noah reached the bottom
of his basement stairs,
and his foot felt water,
his slipper drank a gulp
and he said,
"Shit goddamn."
Then the phone rang.
Yo, Noah,
get your family out of there,
I'm flooding this place.
"You couldn't have sent
some warning?"
It was kinda
a last minute decision.
"So you took out
my basement?
My pool table's ruined,
More pool than table,
So Noah hung up
on the heavenly Father
and yelled for the kids
to pick up their things.
The phone rang again:
Oh, and can you round up
two of every animal?
Don't forget the unicorns.
Noah hung up again.
He had other problems.

"The only thing that stops God from sending another flood is that the first one was useless."
- Nicolas Chamfort
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 | By: Brianna


I went to Starbucks today.  And it seemed to be "strangers talking to Brianna" day, because a woman came all the way up to my table and craned over my laptop to look at me, asking, "Maureen?"  She sounded bashful when she realized that I wasn't her friend Maureen, but she did ask me flat out if I was Maureen before she came to that realization.  I felt bad that I had to tell her no, but I tried to make sure she didn't feel too embarrassed, I thought she was adorable.

So I wrote this silliness.

April 17, 2013

Is that you?
I'm sorry,
it's just that you look
just like my friend Maureen.
She used to have hair
golden blonde
like yours and sunbeams.
And she might have worn
purple glasses
when we were little girls
playing hopscotch all summer.
But the best thing
about Maureen
was how she could sit
smack in the middle
of a crowded room,
open a book
at the marked page,
and disappear.
Just like that.
It was as if she dissolved
into dust motes
or a lost breath.
But I guess you're not her,
she never wore nail polish
in green.

"The funny thing about stop signs is that they're also start signs."
- Maureen Johnson
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 | By: Brianna

I Could've Danced All Night...

Last night I went to the writing group at the local library (well, one of the many local libraries), and read my poem "Weeds" which was well received.  The group particularly enjoyed the playfulness.  And a couple folks really liked my reference to RoundUp.

Next month's theme is "foul play" and I fully intend on writing about a chicken's dramatic production.

This is just a little silliness because I was having a conversation with a friend about how I don't, under any circumstances, dance.

April 16, 2013

I don't dance
but if I did,
the shimmy would be
all over the place
and I'd dance like a duck.
If a duck could dance.
Arms flapping in the air,
attempting to catch
some current
and take flight.
Knock-kneed and web-toed,
graceless on land
and swaying
with a hitch of a waddle.
Bobbing and diving,
quacking on the off-beat,
the more graceful swans
gliding with disdain.
I just close my eyes
and duck out.

"It doesn't matter if you're born in a duck yard, so long as you are hatched from a swan's egg!"
- Hans Christian Andersen
Monday, April 15, 2013 | By: Brianna

Just Don't Write about It

I'm not really sure where my brain is, but when I settled down to write a poem today, I kept thinking of things and then subsequently thinking, "I probably shouldn't write about that."  Over and over again.  It might have something to do with keeping private life private and off the Internet, but I've been doing so well with the posting...and you know...yeah.  It made sense in my head, and that's all that really matters anyway.

I have my writing group tonight, so I'm taking the "Weeds" poem over there.  We'll see how the group likes it!

April 15, 2013

There are some things
you don't write poems about
like armpit hair
or how sweat between two sets
of skin sticks like half dry glue.
Not carpet fibers
woven into dense clumps
or your smell before you shower
or brush your teeth.
Not plaque and how it makes
teeth feel furry.
Not about that one time
you drove an hour
out of the way
and got lost in the ghetto,
a line of men striding
down the center of the street
in your rearview mirror
until you booked it
out of there.
Not about uncertainty
or worry
or doubt
or the way my blazer
never fit in the shoulders
because it was actually your's
until just the other day.
Not about lost loves
or cliches.

"Was not writing poetry a secret transaction, a voice answering a voice?"
- Virginia Woolf
Sunday, April 14, 2013 | By: Brianna

Like Riding a Bike

Do you ever wonder where weird phrases come from?  Like, "It's just like riding a bike."  For real, where did that come from?  [cue Google search]  Nope, no luck.  Or I just didn't look hard enough, which is a distinct possibility.

Anyway, I went to Girl Scout camp this weekend.  I go every six months to take care of the tents over there.  And when I say "take care of," I don't mean I take them out back and embed lead into their skulls.  I mean that we either set up or take down these big smelly canvas four person tents.  (I suddenly feel like I've written about this before, but I'm going to repeat myself anyway.)  Spring we set them up, fall we take them down.  Simple as that.

They're platform tents, so once everything's spread out and you've got two people working on hoisting the upright poles and you've also got four people on the corners, once the thing is up, you have to tie the ropes to the platform.  Now there's a specific knot I was taught to tie so that come fall, all you have to do is pull the tail end and Voila!  The rope is loosed.  I call this the "tent knot."  I learned this weekend that it's a slipknot.  Who knew?  Anyway, I tried practicing this knot at home to refresh my memory and no luck.  I just couldn't tie a knot that reminded me of the knot I tie on the tents.  Then once I got to camp, I tied the knot like it was no big deal.

Apparently it's just like riding a bike.

April 13, 2013

It's just like
riding a bike.
But you wouldn't know
what that's like
because you never
rolled your bike out
of the garage
after months of cold and school,
dusted off the seat
and took off down the sidewalk.

My brother and I rode
up and down the alleys
of our neighborhood,
our boundaries being
the busy streets
that tied us to one little triangle
where we could visit
one grandma
but not the other.
When we were old enough,
we rode around the circle,
pretending to be horse jockeys
because they used to race there.

And we always stuck
It was easy.

"My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles.  They both move people forward without wasting anything.  The perfect day: riding a bike to the library."
- Peter Golkin
Friday, April 12, 2013 | By: Brianna

Poetry Friday: If You Really Love a Writer

An update on NaPoWriMo: It's going well.  I haven't fallen behind yet, though I will this weekend because I'm going out of town to Girl Scout camp.  Because I'm awesome.  (And modest too.)  Anyway, the zodiac poems haven't actually been happening...but I'm hoping that something does happen just because of magic.  Maybe if I hold my breath they'll write themselves?

Today is Poetry Friday.  Today's poem is Megan Falley's "If You Really Love a Writer" (I used that video, but Blogger wasn't cooperating...) and I'm kinda upset that I didn't watch this sooner, because it makes me smile, and I had a tweet of one of her lines favorited AGES ago...but never dug deeper.  Until now.  Dun dun DUN!

Allow me to rant a little bit.  But let me start off by stating that I love notebooks.  Don't get me wrong, notebooks are awesome.  They're beautiful.  I mean, except for the spiral icky ones that are only ten cents that you use to take notes in class.  Those aren't too beautiful.  But I've noticed that as a writer, I do indeed tend to be gifted with notebooks.  I have a stack of five gorgeous notebooks sitting on my bookshelf waiting for me to fill up the first one I got so that they can be used.  It's only recently that I've been okay with using the beautiful ones.  I don't know what it is, but I suddenly get apprehensive about penning words between the pages of beautiful things.  Maybe it feels more permanent.  Maybe the notebook's expectations are high like it's saying, "I am a pretty notebook, therefore only pretty things may be written in me.  I scorn all your other ideas."  I don't know.  Point being, I completely agree with Megan Falley that a notebook has got to be the most intimidating and frightening gift someone could give an artist.

Pay attention to Falley's descriptions.  For example, "One is small and black like a funeral dress, its pages lined like the hands of a widow."  See what she did there?  Not only did she use a funeral dress to give the black notebook some better description than "dark as night," but she extended the death into the widow's hands.  AH!  It's so pretty, I don't know what to do with myself.  I think this works particularly well because it's concise and clever while also being unique.

Falley's treatment of time and the way she mentions significant life events is interesting to me because she never says "birthday" or "graduation."  Which would be boring.  Oh no, she uses "blown out birthday candle," and "turn of the tassel."  The listener knows what she's talking about because even if they haven't celebrated a birthday recently, the blowing out of candles is a tradition that's so cemented in our brains that we tend to think of birthdays without numbers being mentioned.  And turn of the tassel?  Everyone who's graduated from some level of school or seen a sibling or child graduate has seen the tassel travel from one side of a mortar board to the other.  So bringing in these common threads helps the listener empathize with where Falley's at even if they aren't themselves a writer.

"It's never a notebook we need."  This is interesting, because she goes on to say that if a writer gets struck by an idea (without using the word "struck" because that's cliche...), they're going to use whatever surface they have to jot it down, assuming they have a pen.  And if not, they're just going to repeat the line until it gets branded into their brain.  Which leads me to believe that the "notebook" that a writer needs is really themselves.  But the reason writers receive notebooks as gifts is because writers have a bad habit of failing as their own notebook.  Well, at least I do.

"If we have a story to tell, an idea carbonating past the brim of us..."  Argh.  I can't even begin to express how much I love this image.  Pop needs to be in more poetry just because of how lively and delicious the imagery is.

Falley's list of gifts it would be better to give a writer if you really love her make me smile.  The coffee table, the gravestone, the eviction notice, and the awful.  Particularly the awful.  Because honestly, a writer's got the best notebook they can ever hope to have, and if they don't have the gifted notebook with them anyway...they're just going to use whatever.  What a writer really needs is something to write about.

1.  Write about a gift.  Was it a good gift?  Was it the worst gift you've ever received in your life?  Was it a re-gifted gift that you weren't supposed to know about?  What about a white elephant/dirty Santa?
2.  Ideas are often described as lightning.  A flash of brilliance, and then gone.  But Falley uses soda pop as an image for a story/idea.  Come up with a unique image for an idea that doesn't use lightning or being "struck" by something.
3.  If you really love a writer, what would you give her?
4.  Notice Falley's descriptions of life events.  Take a page out of her notebook (ha, if she's using one) and describe a life event in one line that's pure image.  Let someone else read it and tell you what they think it is.
5.  Take a color.  Describe an object of that color.  Think funeral dress and widow's hands.  How can you extend the description into something neat like that?

"If you really love a writer, bury her in all your awful and watch as she scrawls her way out."
- Megan Falley, "If You Really Love a Writer"
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 | By: Brianna

Apology Post

I feel like I should probably apologize because my brain is not with me.  In fact, I just don't really feel creative today, but I'm bouncy and downright pleased with myself.  Not really sure why though, I've got a lot of ideas bouncing around in my head, but none of them want to splat onto paper.  After cranking out this post, I'm off to watch the Doctor Who movie, because I hear it's full of wonderful ridiculousness.

Point being, I'm sorry.  I'm really sorry that I didn't write a legendary poem, I'm sorry that I spent my time at work writing a letter that I'll never send, I'm sorry that I came home and ate pasta with enough garlic to choke a horse, and I'm sorry that I spent more time on the phone than effort on this poem.

So these are random snippets of things that I wrote while I was at my internship.  Shhhh...

April 10, 2013

One in two kissers agree
that you are superb,
a real ace.
Prince Charming, corpse kisser,
ain't got nothing on you.

My imagination ran away
with me,
grabbing my hand
in one sweaty palm
and tugging me
down an alley.
It wanted to see
where the betrayers live,
the ones who expect much
and doublecross
the hearts of friends.

In other news, my forays into cooking have proved pretty successful.  I haven't died from undercooked chicken, and I even managed to make a few things that were delicious on purpose, though I couldn't really tell you what I did different from the times that they didn't turn out delicious.  I made chicken tikka masala because I had a craving for it, avocado pasta-ness (which is essentially guacamole as pasta sauce) because I love avocados with all my heart and soul, and then there was the pork fried rice that I made tonight with some leftovers.  Unfortunately there were no mushrooms, so I couldn't use those.  But on the bright side, there were onions, so now I can repel any intruders upon my quiet evening at home.

"Everything you can imagine is real."
- Pablo Picasso
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 | By: Brianna

Separation Anxiety

I was all over the place today.  I was going to write about drawing blood or booty calls and snack foods, but neither of those ideas really struck me as something that I wanted to write about.  Not sure if it's just because I'm discontent with my current cache of ideas or if I'm hitting a wall, but there it is.  It would be really great if I wasn't hitting a wall because it's fairly early in the month and I should really keep writing.  Because that's a thing.

Yesterday I met up with a friend for dinner (we went for Thai food and it was awesome), and she asked me, "So your Poem-A-Day Project is basically for forever now, right?"  I shrugged noncommittally.  To be quite honest, I have no idea.  I don't know if there's ever going to be a point when I say, "Huh, I think I've written enough poems, I'll just stop writing daily ones."  Because who knows if I'd ever actually write poetry on my own time without the constraint of writing one a day?  And who knows if they'd actually turn out?

My brain is telling me that now is the perfect time to write another zodiac poem because I'm at a loss for what to write...but I'm not really feeling that either.  Not for today, at least.  And I have no idea why!

Oh, my life is so difficult.

Luckily an idea struck me on my way home from internship #2.

April 9, 2013

When you left this morning,
I thought
you were never coming back.
I panicked.
Ran straight to your bed,
rifled through the rumpled sheets,
found the edge of memory foam,
and chewed.
The porous soft stuff
was tough to tear,
but once I got a hunk,
the mechanical chewing
made me feel better.
And the sheets still smelled
like you before you shower
and you know how much
I love that.
So with memory foam
hanging from my lips,
I forgot
to clean up.
I rushed into the closet
to cuddle with your
new $75 leather boots.
and hungry.
I ate them.
I'm really sorry,
I just missed you so much.
And I didn't know
what else to do
because you said peeing inside
made me a bad dog.

"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself."
- Josh Billings
Monday, April 8, 2013 | By: Brianna

To Seduce a Whovian

I love Doctor Who.  I don't know if I say that enough on this blog, but I do.  This morning, I watched the most recent episode, and it made me smile, made me cry, and made me smile all over again.  It was beautiful.  I particularly enjoyed the reference to "The Walrus and the Carpenter."  Oh, and Clara.  Because she's adorable and I'm looking forward to getting to know her.

Anyway, I was driving on my way to pour my wallet into a gas-providing machine, and it suddenly struck me that today is the perfect day to write a nerd poem.  So here we go!

To Seduce a Whovian
(April 8, 2013)

Hand them a leaf,
crinkled around the edges
and scarlet middled,
tell them this leaf
is the most important leaf
in all of human history.
Pull them into a phone booth,
a red one will do
if blue is unavailable,
in the space remaining,
flying them to the moon.
Gift them with souvenirs
from your travels,
then take them along
for the next one.
Wear nothing
but a bow tie
and maybe a fez.
Whisper sweet nothings
surrounding the Shadow Proclamation
and be a Bad Wolf
when you use your sonic.

There was a time when I had a big long list of ideas for a series of nerd poems, and I did write a couple of them for my Stand Up Poetry class a couple years ago, but it's definitely a subject that I have a lot of fun writing about even though I haven't written a nerd poem in a very long time.  So on that note, I'm thinking that I may return to that list of ideas if I can find it.

Clara:  So we're moving through actual time?  So what's it made of?  Time.  If you can just rotor through it, it must be made of stuff, like jam's made of strawberries.  So what's it made of?
The Doctor:  Well.  Not strawberries.  No.  No, no, no.  That would be unacceptable.
-  Doctor Who, The Rings of Akhenaten
Saturday, April 6, 2013 | By: Brianna

I'm on Fire!

My very first poetry professor said that if you're ever stuck and you can't think of something to write, consult your "materials."  Typically, this is your childhood.  I was thinking about that earlier today because on my way home from a spectacular amateur comedy show, I was talking to my friend about how I used to hang out in a fire house when I was little.  My grandpa was a fireman, and my dad used to take me and my brother over there to visit with him while he was on duty.  It was pretty neat, and weird because I hadn't remembered that that was a thing until last night when I said, "Oh right, I did that..."  It's strange to me that you can forget that you remember things and then you re-remember them.  Anyway, so that's where today's poem came from.  It's more of a collection of some of the memories that I was thinking of, but it could be refined and used.

And I didn't even talk about Barney or Striker, the dogs in the fire house!  I don't think I knew Barney, but I swear Striker was pretty old when I met him.  Or maybe he was just a really laid back dog.  He was not, however, a Dalmatian.  Fun fact.

Also random note, I woke up and have random lyrics stuck in my head.  Not a whole song, just the same lines over and over: "There'll be times you might leap before you look, there'll be times you like the cover and that's precisely why you'll love the book."  Thank you, Ben Folds Five, for "Do It Anyway."

April 6, 2013

I sat on the lap
of a firefighter I didn't know
in the front seat
of Engine 124,
my 8-year old hand curled
around the cord
for the air horn.
Once tugged, the red monster
released a mighty bellow.

I remember eating popsicles
while I learned to play Solitaire
on the only computer
in the fire house.
Sometimes the popsicles were good,
other times the dye
tasted like chemicals
but I ate it anyway.

Dad never let us slide
down the fire pole
from the hole in the ceiling,
instead, he lifted us
over his head
and let us drop from his height.
So he could catch us
if we lost our grip.

"The funny thing about firemen is, night and day, they are always firemen."
- Gregory Widen, "Backdraft"
Friday, April 5, 2013 | By: Brianna

Poetry Friday: Hangover Psalm

Today is Poetry Friday during National Poetry Month.  That worked out pretty well, didn't it?  Since I'm participating in NaPoWriMo, I occasionally visit their site and learn things by reading their posts, and I found this blog that's participating in the month's activities by posting poetry by poets (go figure, right?) and then getting recommendations from those poets for further reading.  This is an idea that I love.  So today's poem comes from there.  This is "Hangover Psalm" by Austin Tremblay.

Don't you love flattering thumbnails?  Incidentally, so do I.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this poem because I'm not particularly religious.  I'm not sure that sentence makes sense on its own, so let me explain.  I like the idea of tradition, but I also like stealing ideas and traditions and turning them on their heads.  Because it's fun.  And it makes me feel clever.

This poem feels like a prayer.  (Gee, maybe because it says "psalm" in the title, Brianna)  It has the rhythm and the feeling of a traditional prayer, but it takes that idea and puts its own spin on it.  Beginning with "darling" feels like the beginning of a letter or the equivalent of a "Hey God, sup..."  (And this is when I lose all readers who are super traditional and very formal about their religion.)  When I started reading this the first time, "give  us this day" came up, and my brain immediately filled in "our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses."  I think this is a clever move of Tremblay's to put that line break there because the people like me will fill in the rest subconsciously, but be surprised in the next line, or the people not like me will interpret it as a request to be given the day, which sounds wildly romantic now that I think of it.  So pretty.

Anyway, I feel like I'm rambling, am I rambling?

There's a lot of church-like imagery going on in here, but it's handled in such a way that it's not overbearingly religious.  Which is awesome.  We've got the collection plate, ash, eulogizing, and shrift.  All really pretty words, except for "collection plate," but you know, those exist in churches.

Favorite lines because of the sound and the beauty of the image:
"We'll call our hearts linen,
though they are denim."

1.  Write a poem in the form of a prayer.  You know you want to...
2.  Write about a hangover.  And relate it to something totally unlike a hangover.  Perhaps going to church.
3.  What does Tremblay mean when he says "I can believe this morning/is a church"?
4.  Write in a "liquored dialect."  What does it sound like?  How is it different from a non-liquored dialect?
5.  Eulogize yesterday evening.  What was good about it?  Who is yesterday evening survived by?

"We will crawl through our own 
mouths for water, mispronounce 
everything in a liquored dialect, 
eulogizing yesterday evening."
- Austen Tremblay, "Hangover Psalm"


I'm not really sure what I'm doing with this poem challenge.  I feel like I probably shouldn't write about the zodiac signs on a whole because that's going to be full of horrible generalizations that no one will like.  And I'm not sure how I can do something from the perspective of the sign, unless...my creativity died.

Or I'm just lazy.

Let's go with lazy, because I'm not sure how or where I could bury my creativity if it really passed on.

Okay.  But typically there's a list of famous people that go along with the sign.  New idea, I'll write something from their perspective, but slant it with the zodiac.  Or from the perspective of a constellation.  That might be cool.  Or maybe from the perspective of the "ruling planet," or one of the lucky numbers.  I suddenly feel like I might have a better handle on this now.

So I apologize for the craziness that is the Virgo poem and how it's not even a little finished (I promise that one day it will be better and finished), but here we go.

April 5, 2013

Everyone begins as Virgo,
the late summer, early autumn,
awkward in-betweeners
grabbing on to the hem of chaos
and trying to fold it up neatly.
Holding a magnifying glass
over the seams
to see if the threads match.
And if they don't,
someone will be notified.

On another note that's completely unrelated to poetry, I cooked food yesterday.  Not only did I cook food, but it was delicious.  And I made it that way on purpose.  I'm not sure how it happened, but I'd like to thank all the kitchen gods and the gods of fire for blessing me and not burning down the house.  It'd be really unfortunate if my parents came home to a pile of ash and a note saying, "Sorry, I was making dinner..."  Oh, and the chicken cooked all the way through, so I didn't die.

Note to self:  don't watch half a dozen vlogbrothers videos before writing a blog post or you'll be thinking at the speed and tone of John Green's speaking voice.

"Once a Virgo doesn't like you, they probably won't ever like you again."
- Unknown
Thursday, April 4, 2013 | By: Brianna

Paper Dreams

I was innocently driving my car (I feel like my every story should start out like this...), when I heard this song.

So paper dreams became a thing in today's poem.

April 4, 2013

If she writes down her wishes
in pencil, she can always erase
when she changes her mind
When she sketches out
the architecture of her aspirations,
she always uses graph paper
and ignores the lines.
When she writes her plans,
she uses paper
and these paper dreams
get caught up with grocery receipts
and junk mail,
mingle with losing scratch cards.
They all end up in the same place,
forgotten and falling apart.
But some of her paper dreams
transform into fuel
because all it takes is a

"It's not about your make-up 
or how you try to shape up 
to these tiresome paper dreams
paper dreams, honey."
- The Kooks, "She Moves in Her Own Way"
Wednesday, April 3, 2013 | By: Brianna

We interrupt the poetry for...a life update!

I promise I wrote a poem today, but I wrote it by hand, and it's a little bad, and a little angsty, and I didn't want to subject anyone to that, so I'm doing a life update for now.  Hooray for life!

Poem-A-Day April is coming along.  Considering it's only the third day, I haven't fallen behind yet.  I'm thinking my first zodiac poem is going to be Virgo, but I think that's just because it was the first sign that came to mind after Cancer (because that's my sign, you horrible depressing people...).

I have two internships.  Both of them are unpaid.  Both of them are with awesome people who I'm excited to learn from.  Internship #2 might have a job opening soon, depending on if the woman I'm working for gives me the nod.  So...maybe I'll have a job.

My parents are going out of town, which means that I get to have the house all to myself and have the crazy party that I've always dreamed of which centers around myself surrounded by candles reading a book.  It's going to be insane.  I might even drink tea.  OH MAN.  In related news, I may starve to death or eat a lot of pizza while they're gone because I maintain that I can't cook, and even if I do, it will never be delicious on purpose.  Though this might be a perfect opportunity to try out some of those recipes I pinned on Pinterest an eternity ago.

It's been a while since I've seen friends, but I'm not getting the weird stir-crazy that I was before.  And I'm realizing that I've been a horrible friend and haven't texted people about hanging out recently...so I guess I should probably do that.  That's a lie, I saw a friend on Sunday, I'm just starving for attention, it seems.

There is a container of cookie dough ice cream in the freezer.  It may disappear very soon.

Dad came home with the revelation that you can do a Masters program that can actually be funded so you're not paying money to study for an advanced degree.  I swear this is information I have graced upon him before, he probably wasn't listening over the sounds of "TUITION" screaming in his ears once I mentioned "school."  This revelation, however, doesn't really have an impact upon me because deadlines for Fall 2013 are passed, presumably, and I'm still not even a little sure of what I would study.

And just thinking about it makes my eyes fill up with tears, though I'm not sure why.

Repeat:  I have no idea what I would study.  So all you people who are asking me, "Why aren't you in grad school?" need to back off before I explode into saline because the answer is, "Because I don't know if I want to be there."

I do, however, feel rotten.  For unknown reasons.  I just feel very very small, and I'm not sure why (sensing a theme?).  I can't even really explain it, because it came on so quickly.  So that's great fun.

This is how I feel, in a nutshell:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013 | By: Brianna


So I was going to wait to write this poem fragment until a little later in the month because it's for a prompt for the writers group I go to once a month.  But I couldn't get the first line out of my head and couldn't think of anything else to write, so here it is.  Needs work and a second draft, so maybe I'll have time to do that before I bring it to the group meeting.

April 2, 2013

She said I grew like a weed,
which I found hard to believe
because I've laid belly down
on the front lawn,
waiting for dandelions to grow...
and they are not the most sprightly sprouts.

Unless what she really meant
is that weeds just pop up.
Everywhere.  Randomly.
Which isn't exactly flattering either.

Dandelions take root in my nail beds,
drinking up the nutrients and
taking over unincorporated real estate.
The clovers get lucky
when they shoot up from my veins.
But I'm still using a lasso
instead of RoundUp
because she said I grow
like a weed.

"A weed is but an unloved flower."
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox