Category Archives: Poetry

Performance updates for the rest of May and early June… and an apology.

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Hot diggity, ladies and gents.  Had the BIGGEST surprise this week.  They finally posted the Columbus Arts Fest schedule and I found out that I placed SECOND in the overall competition. That means a 40 minute set on June 2nd at the Word is Art Stage. I go on right after one of my poetry idols, the great Rose Smith, who placed third and gets a 35 minute feature; and right before the winner of the Arts Fest competition, Joanna Schroeder, who will have a 50 minute feature.

Before that, though, I still have my 15 minute feature on Friday the 18th, for the Writer’s Block all -nighter; and it looks like I will be part of a haiku deathmatch on Saturday, the 19th. Gotta school me some folks. 😉

It’s amazing, this past year in Columbus. I remember talking to a friend (friend, teacher, slammaster, poet extraordinaire), and telling him that I had three main goals for my first couple years or so in Columbus: 1. Continue to get published. 2. Make Arts Fest. 3. Make a National Slam Event within two years.

What can I say? Two out of three in the first year isn’t too shabby. I still have work to do Slam-wise.

As to Slamming…

I pretty much had a mini-breakdown after the Grand Slam for the National Team in mid-April.  I came in last. Some outstanding poets (Vernell Bristow, Hanif Abdurraqib, Gina Blaurock and Rose Smith) made the team and will represent Writer’s Block very well in Charlotte this year.  But I admit, fully, that I did not handle coming in last well.

I was tired. I was grumpy. I was fed up with coming in last or near last A LOT.  And so I grumbled. I doubted myself. I wondered if poetry was my thing after all. I alienated people. I ended up weepy and whiny.

And I’m sorry for it.

I try to be the “noble” poet, doing it for the art, etc. You know, that old chestnut. But I admit, I’m human… and sometimes my humanity overwhelms my nobility.  I really wanted to make that team. I wanted to make top 4, EARN my way to the team– NOT beat other people… I don’t think of it that way. I love these people too much to think that way.  I just wanted to be a part of something big and remarkable. And it really stung to know I have to wait another year to try again.  I have spent a lot of time waiting in my life… especially during my marriage.  It just really sucked the life out of me for about a week after the slam, and I wasn’t a good human being. And I really didn’t love poetry for awhile.  I tell you,  I wish I could take it back.

But, I learned that I have to get better. I learned that Imma gonna have to work HARD–especially going up against these poets here in Columbus. I have to make my language rock hard and razor sharp. And I have to learn to enjoy it again. I have to write for me again.  And I have to please myself with my words first and foremost. I won’t please anyone else if I don’t do that.

So, I am set to write this weekend. Formed poetry, free verse, it doesn’t matter. I just want to write.  Create something new and (hopefully) eloquent. And I want to have fun. And I will.

Some prompts I have been working on (feel free to pilfer)

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Been thinking of some new things to write about. I have oodles of starts and ideas, but I am always adding to them depending on what’s going on in my life.

1. Write about a life’s dream that didn’t come true. At least, not yet, anyway. What is it? How long have you had it? Why hasn’t it come true, yet? Do you think it will?

2.  I write a “poet and her muse” series. Have about three or four at the moment.  Do you believe you have a muse? What’s your relationship like with it?  If you don’t have a muse… write about that. Why are muse lovers goofy? Have fun with it. Personify your muse, put it in wild scenarios.

OR… if you’re looking for a muse… write a want ad for a muse. What qualifications are you looking for?

3. “Write a painting”  Painter Karen Snouffer painted an entire series based off of poet Fred Andrles’ work.  So, what type of poem would you have painted? Write the story of a painting. Paint with your pen.

4. Number poem. Tell a story with numbers.

Poetic plans for the Month of May

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After the bat-crap craziness that was 30 poems in 30 days in April (which I completed for the first time this year– yay me!), it is time to focus on May.

I do have a mini-feature coming up at Writer’s Block poetry (2250 N. High St. in Columbus). It’s part of an all night event set to raise fund for the WB National Poetry Slam team. I donated for a 15 minute slot from 10:45-11:00 Pm Friday, May 18th.

It’s for a good cause and it’s a great warm up for the feature at this year’s Columbus Arts Fest in early June. I’ll be posting more details on that as I get them.

On the writing front, working on a poetic invite for a client (remind me to tell you about my side gigs, sometime.), and I have a couple of ideas in gestation. Just notes and numbers, but I think they can turn into really good pieces.