Category Archives: Writing

A Room Of One’s Own

Several years ago I went back to school to take some writing courses and ended up completing my English degree with a minor in creative writing. One of the courses I took during that time was Women’s Prose and I became hooked on reading Virginia Woolf. I loved her voice and stream of consciousness writing but what really hooked me was her strength and how she used the art of writing as her basis of expression and freedom.

Virginia Woolf was one of the foremost modernists writers of the twentieth century, writing at a time when women were typically ignored or dismissed. In one of my favorite books of hers, A Room Of One’s Own, she writes,

All I could do was to offer you an opinion upon one minor point—a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction; and that, as you will see, leaves the great problem of the true nature of woman and the true nature of fiction unsolved.

When Virginia Woolf wrote, simply finding a place to write was difficult; to be taken seriously as a writer was near impossible. Some discriminatory attitudes, as they relate to women, have changed in todays society while some have just become more subtle in the manner in which they are presented.

One of the lines from this book which always stayed with me related to Virginia not being able to visit the library simply because she was a woman. When she was locked out, Woolf wrote, “I thought of the organ booming in the chapel and of the shut doors of the library; and I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse perhaps to be locked in.”

To be locked in. The idea and image is suffocating. If you’re locked out you may have the opportunity to turn away and begin again. You can choose another path or find an avenue that may be less constricting or impenetrable but the opportunity to breath remains an available choice. Being locked in removes choices from your life. You become dependent on someone else for the breath of your life; that freedom of expression that helps you find your own room. 

Being locked in continues to be a disturbing way of life for many people. The prison that is created by these thoughts or actions are easy to build and difficult to escape unless you have the strength to survive and the belief of a dream.

So much has changed in the hundred or so years since Virginia Woolf wrote these words.

Unfortunately, too much has remained the same.

 

Anniversary Re-Blog (Riding Shotgun)

Sometimes I enjoy playing around with children’s poetry…:)

Riding Shotgun

I live inside a turtle shell,
where no one bothers me.
I spend the days in perfect haze,
just dreaming lazily.
I slowly move from place to place,
I’m in no rush to find,
what I don’t know or can’t explain,
for that I don’t have time.
My Buddy is a snapper,
I chose him carefully,
if you don’t want a part of him,
you’ll want no part of me.
We hang around the marshy ponds,
with weeds and mud galore.
I never have to shower once,
now who can ask for more?
Sometimes my Buddy comes inside,
and spends some time with me,
he listens while I talk with him,
he’s real good company.
I live inside a turtle shell,
where no one bothers me.
I spend my time in perfect rhyme,
Why not? I’m only three!

Anniversary Re-Blog (Sometimes We Need A LIttle Nonsense)

I couldn’t try to explain this one if i tried. Not sure where it came from..:)

Finding Waliforms

The flagon fills my senses
with nashiness, like a
bad pootie tam on a
boiled florentine nib.

It ain’t easy being
a bathroom stall. One might
be encouraged to believe
the sight lines reflect a
positive expose’ of
fresh fleshiness.

But the flesh ain’t fresh and
it’s positively not reflected
in the langoine oasis of
meringue buliciousness.

Words find their way to
my waliforms. Vulgar words.
Words that harass the membranes
of warbled tooties.

Designs of phlox drudgeries
escape from the artistic dreameries
and elope into colorful mutations
that party dress my outer being.

I’m violated in the most obensilly
numbness and no one cares. They clean
around my waliforms, freshen the airiness
with smelts of crumagen, modify the
foot foundations and humify the
prestoleum foils of zumber.

But they ignore me. My
scars, my defects. My war paint
remains for each new visitor
to transcript the imaginable.

It’s a bathroom stall. So please,
next time you visit, have a little
composition for my flecticide. If not,
you can take your prendaballs and
send them up your assimulations.

Anniversary Re-Blog (Respectfully Yours)

What can I say..:)

Respectfully Yours

Being an upscale one-eyed fiber nut is
not easy. Sitting in a see through
bag for months watching as people
pass you by or fondle you before tossing
you back into the crowd is degrading.
It makes a well respected nutritional
snack like me feel cheap. I’m not some
chintzy peanut that gets grabbed in handfuls
and thrown back into someone’s beer
infested mouth. I’m a pistachio. I got
class. One ounce of me and you get as much
potassium as half a large banana, a “delicate”
fruit that gets black and brown and soft
in a few days. Weakness isn’t part of my
package. My veins aren’t flowing with
saturated fats. I’m prime monounsaturated.
Tell that to your cholesterol hungry pals.
I got more fiber than broccoli or spinach so
where’s my five servings a day billboard
from the medical community. I’m especially
rich in phytosterol. You don’t know what
that is because you don’t speak my language.
You’re too hung up on peanut butter or
black beans. But I have more B-6 in a one ounce
serving than three ounces of those lightweights.
Still not convinced?
Then let me speak in sexual terms. That always
seems to be an attention grabber. I’m not your
typical easy nut. You can’t just grab me and
have your way. You first need to get
past the shell I put up around me. It’s a
process I call foreplay. It’s been used
by others in more vulgar ways, but I created it.
So now you know. I don’t come cheaply and
I don’t compromise. I expect some respect.
Treat me well and I will stimulate the growth
of your body’s cells and tissues. Enough
sex talk for now. I don’t want you to get the
wrong impression. If you don’t want me for
what’s inside, then you’re just a shallow individual
who doesn’t understand nutritional worth. If that’s
the case, then let’s just end this now. I’m looking for
a lasting relationship. I don’t have time for
one night stands.

Anniversary Re-Blog (Dancing In Graveyards)

Sometimes the mind of a child surprises us, in the most unusual places, at the strangest times. If we just listen….

Dancing In Graveyards

I shouldn’t dance in graveyards,
they say.
Shouldn’t laugh or play music or
whistle songs we learnt in school.
Graveyard’s not for that kind of stuff,
they say.
I shouldn’t play games on people’s graves.
Disrespectful to those who came before,
they say.
I used to ask who those were and what
before meant. But they just stared at me.
So I stopped.

People stare when they don’t have answers.

People talk in graveyards, sometimes even cry.
No one ever talks back, least not that I heard.
But they keep talking anyway.
And staring.
Mommy plants flowers in the graveyard,
just like in our backyard.
Said Daddy always liked daisies best.
But Daddy liked to dance, too,
and laugh,
and play music.
Maybe Mommy won’t stare and cry so much,
if we do what we did when we laughed.

Before Daddy went to war.

So I asked Mommy and she said next time
we can sing a song.
One I learnt in school.
One Daddy hadn’t heard yet.
She cried when she told me
but that’s okay.
Sometimes Daddy used to cry when we danced.
Sometimes people cry when they’re happy.

Sometimes even when they’re
dancing in graveyards.

Anniversary Re-Blog (The Written Word)

The written word is a dying art, and that makes me sad, for so many reasons. This is my vent about something that I hope comes back again, but realistically know it never will.

The Written Word

Several weeks ago I came across a note my father had written in 1953. It was over sixty years old. My Dad passed away 34 years ago but as I looked over his written words, I felt as if he was standing next to me, smiling. I stared at the way his letters were written, the curls, the way he formed each one and wondered what was going on in his life, and through his mind, at that moment. There was a small stain on the page and I tried to imagine what may have caused it. I ran my fingers over the letters and smiled as I took in the knowledge that I was holding a very small part of his life in my hands. It was very personal.

I recognize that my feelings on cursive handwriting is, in some ways, generational. And I understand that if you’re reading this and are under the age of 40, you may want to patronize me with a smile, pat me on the head and send me on my way. But you’d be wrong to do that. Because the truth is, we don’t know what we don’t know and to think otherwise is shortsighted.

I’m a fan of modern technology, even at, what some of you may view as, my advanced age. But there’s always a price to pay, isn’t there? For as much as we gain, there is always something we lose. Sometimes the tradeoff is worth it; sometimes it comes with a bill I’d rather not pay. For me, the loss of human interaction is a big downside to technology. In this specific case, it’s more personal . It’s a loss of history. Mine, yours and ours.

Not many people write anymore. Instead we send texts and emails over phones or computers. Cursive handwriting isn’t even required past third grade, though some schools still teach it without attaching grades to the practice. So much of our country’s history is written in documents, letters and books, yet experts have suggested that since future generations have not practiced the written word, they won’t be able to recognize or read it.

For me, a handwritten note is like a photograph; a moment of our lives that’s frozen in time. Unfortunately, it’ll be gone soon, and along with it words and letters that were never written. Future generations will never know what it’s like to carry around a simple I love you in your pocket, purse or wallet for years and how personal those written words feel.

So write a child or someone you care about a letter or short note today. It doesn’t have to be long, it just has to be you. It may take you a little more time and you may have to explain what that strange form of communication actually is. But you never know. One day, sixty years from now, that person may find the note and read it. They may wonder what you were thinking or feeling as you wrote it and what that strange stain on the paper might be. And maybe, if they linger long enough, they just may feel you standing next to them, smiling.

Anniversary Re-Blog (Elvis Has Never Really Left The Building)

As part of my one year blogging anniversary, I thought I’d repeat some of my favorite posts from this past year, mainly the early ones, when the only people who read them were family members I threatened and strangers I paid. Just kidding, for anyone who takes my comments too seriously.
Anyway, I wrote this a while ago and had fun trying to incorporate his song titles into a poem that made sense.

    Elvis Has Never Really Left The Building

Big plans, they told me
unparalleled popularity.
Already had that, but I
needed to get away, I was
All Shook Up, tired of
Suspicious Minds, and
that damn Hard Headed Woman.
Thirty years of hiding in
one Heartbreak Hotel after another.
For what?
Got money now but
too rich to come out,
too poor to die.
And so,
One Night I asked myself,
Are You Lonesome Tonight?
Is this,
Too Much?
I miss my old
Hound Dog, my
Teddy Bear, my
Good Luck Charm.
Once in a while they bring me a
Big Hunk of Love, but
She’s Not You, I
don’t get that,
Burning Love from them, I’m
Stuck On You, I
Need Your Love Tonight, miss the
Wonder of You, I
Can’t Help Falling In Love with my
Bossa Nova Baby, been
Crying In The Chapel, and I
Feel So Bad, just want to
Surrender, and I know
A Fool Such As I, isn’t worthy of
Loving You, but
I Want You, I Need You, I Love You.
So,
Love Me,
Love Me Tender.
Don’t be,
The Devil In Disguise.
I Beg Of You,
Don’t Be Cruel.
Wear My Ring Around Your Neck, I’m
here, I’m
alive,
hiding, In The Ghetto,
so, please,
please,
it’s Now or Never.