Day 20 – Two for Tuesday

This day’s two for Tuesday is to write a Love poem or an Anti-love poem. I chose to write a poem about my opinion on “anti-love”.

Anti-Love

I can never speak to you anti-love, girl
For love is all that can help you
When you’re down
All you can lean on and look up to
When you lose ground

Even in ages and millennia to come
I can never be anti-love.

Day 19 – A Wordle

His Toxic Rub

Against our skin
Was heaven
Although we knew he was a con
Yet, we closed our eyes to what
Our reason whispered.

How he embarrassed us
We flushed with shame and we were naked
In the square…
For all the world to laugh at us and spit
In our direction.

All that came to pass
There is no scar
But the initial which I razored
On my shoulder.

The oldest oxymoron in the world
“Sweet pain” would fit here,
If it wasn’t so outdated
And so stale.
~~~

The Beauty of Being Prepared

On Having a Pre-Formulated Theme for Your Future Chapbook

Today’s Writerly Wednesday post started from my speculations whether or not having a theme for my chapbook helps. From there, my thoughts went to being prepared in general. Is creativity something you can direct?

I think not. But being prepared and having a direction in mind is really useful.

This year is my 9th in poeming for the November Poem-A-Day Chapbook Challenge. It is very similar to the April Poetry Month one, mainly in that you are supposed to write at least one poem every day. The differences start from there. In NovPAD you are also expected to follow specific prompts, while for April PAD, or NaPoWriMo, you can follow yourself and poem on whatever topic you like. Why is that so? Primarily because in November the goal is to use all or most of your resulting poems in a brand new chapbook which you might publish or submit to contests. Of course, no one stops you from doing that with your April-produced poems, yet that is not the explicit objective of the Poetry Month.
In 2010, when I first joined the magnificent community at Poetic Asides, I had no idea about chapbook or contests. I went there with the pure heart and enthusiasm for taking part in something new and wonderful – writing poetry with help and support from others who thought like me. Until that moment, I had never had a supporting community. I joined a couple of so-called “Poetry Clubs” at school and then at university, but honestly, they didn’t do much in the way of support or practical help. I don’t think those clubs sucked, I believe it wasn’t the right moment for me. Plus, let’s admit it, online is much easier. You may take your time, appear whenever it’s convenient for you and choose whether to write to a prompt or not.

In 2012, I started, as usual, simply trying to follow the stream. The previous two years I was doing NaNoWriMo along with the poetry thing, so it was both easy and difficult to write every day. Easy, because you are in the writing mood anyway. Difficult, well, you’ve guessed already. In 2012, I was collecting and sorting papers and articles that would help me in writing my thesis which was due in June 2013. That was instead of a novel that year. Because I was online all the time, I was able to follow the poem-a-day challenge and around Day 7 I noticed that I consciously chose to bend every prompt into a poem about my Dad. At first, the prompts fitted naturally, but after I found the tendency, I started looking for a fit even if there wasn’t one.

Nothing happened after that. Despite some great advice I received from fellow-poets on Poetic Asides, I never got down to actually compiling the good pieces into a book. But they are there, so I may.

In February 2014, I was writing to a month-long creative challenge. I participated in it 2 years in succession. The first time I tried to be diverse, but it didn’t work well, so in 2014, I thought I’d stick to poetry, as this is my medium. I saw again that poems go one direction, and from Day 7 or so, I started leading them in the same direction on purpose. I already compiled the Devastation of the Soul chapbook. Not published yet. I haven’t made up my mind what I’d do with it. Let it rest for a while.

This November, I created my theme a long time before November even started. I even had time to forget it, so I had to look in my earlier Tweets to see how I announced it. So, here’s a take away: announce, because you are going to forget.

The advantage: I am greatly relieved when I see the daily prompt because I know where to take it. I suppose I am one for preparation. Being prepared means a lot to me. It spares me from the initial chaos of wallowing in the swamp of not knowing which way to turn. It saves me a lot of time, energy and I can hit to poeming right away.
I can see this advantage working for me in my blogging activity, too. Now that I plan my blog posts and prepare by research and schedule I am able to meet the time frame I’d set for myself. I mean, having an Editorial Calendar is good, but not enough.

Maybe you have some other tricks and means by which you help your creativity get active and efficient. Or maybe, having read this, you think you should try it. Try it and in a month come back and tell me what happened.

Day 18 – A Toy Poem

Teddy Bear

Who doesn’t love them?
Who wouldn’t care
For a furry, fluffy, cutie bear?

All cuddly toys, your bunny most of all
Use up their fluff in blotting in the whole
Barrel of regrets, complaints, harsh secrets
And the rest of your growing up
To be what I am today
A middle-aged auntie who remained.

~~~

Out of curiosity, I searched my poems for my other Teddy-bear piece, for I remember writing one. It turns out it was written for November Poem-a-Day again, in 2013. Here it is, I hope you enjoy, and, well, it does have a different ring to it.

Day 17 – A Broken Poem

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”
E. Hemingway, Farewell to Arms

I still love the “broken” topic
Just as much as you do
Only, I try to look less like it
For it’s too obvious, and that gives it a bad smell

One crucial point of aesthetics is
You need to keep it subtle
In order to impress.
The noisier, the more vulgar.
And we are anything but vulgar.

~~~

And just for sake of curiosity, here is another “broken poem” which I have written for the November Poem-a-day Chapbook challenge, and it’s called Football Haiku. I was surprised by its lightness. Almost couldn’t believe it was me who did write it.

Day 16 – A Brave Poem

You know how you often look up
To people who are brave,
Independent
And standing all bright and erect?

How you often think if you’d ever
Be like them?

Myriads of youngsters imbibing the
Inspiration you radiate,
Looking up to you.

But do you ever think about
The way they feel?
Do they know what they are,
Do they live up to their fame?

Does a brave hero know she’s brave?
And does she feel any different from you?

Getting up in the morning,
Does she think: Today, I’m gonna
Crash monsters, free peasants
And be crowned a queen by dusk?

Or does she, perhaps, go reluctantly
Out of bed
And straight to coffee
Brooding sullenly on what’s to come
And not feeling like doing it,
For, perhaps, she prefers to
Just lie down with her book
And read about the brave
Instead of acting it?

Still, someone has to save the day,
Don’t they?
~~

Day 15 – An Anti- … Poem

Eight years ago, during my first November Poem-A-Day Chapbook Challenge, I remember I had to write a “pro-” poem. Then, I wrote “Pro-Pasta“. This time around, it’s not about pasta I poem.

Anti-Society

Anti society and its stale values
Anti all the old-fashioned,
Traditional, patriarchal, family-centered
Women-effacing values and rules
You are

And will be
Anti all that goes without explanation
That is taken for granted
For rule of thumb
Without any questioning

Anti because innate!
~~~

Day 14 – A Hungry Poem

It’s ironic,
My love,
How hungry I am all the time
Even when I’m not
And it’s not just food.

But when I was you…
I was never really craving food
Still, my appetite was unquenchable
Joy, love, glory, that thing of no name…
Especially that thing –
It hasn’t disappeared and it hasn’t got
A proper name yet.

Although I got much of what I hadn’t craved for,
I still feel the same old hunger
For the nameless thing.
~~

Day 13 – A Loud/Quiet Poem

Today’s the first Tuesday in the challenge month, so it’s time for Two for Tuesday!

A Quiet Poem or a Loud Poem

It’s a secret not kept well
That you are loud and fuss like hell
But you won’t be so shocked to know
You’ll get far quieter as you grow.
~~~

Day 12 – A Disaster Poem

I think of earthquakes
And floods,
A fire maybe.
I think of the tears
Cried, the sighs sighed,
The houses and lives
Destroyed or changed so much
That they aren’t nigh as nice
As they’re meant to be –
They don’t bring the pleasure
Or relaxation, or inspiration
That our creator has intended them to bring

You think of love gone sour
Hearts torn in pieces
Bitter tears and the inability to weep
As much as you want for fear of looking mad
To the rest of the world,
The insanity of not yelling loud
All the grief and terror which is inside
You.

But I counter you with
The utter disaster –
Memories gone bleak,
Faded
Forgotten
Or changed so much
That they aren’t nigh as true
As they were meant to be.
~~~