#ThrowbackThursday Poetry: Eternal Energy

I feel your energy
before you touch me;
the current surges
under my skin.

Tai chi master teaches
me to move paper
without a graze;
feel the waves in the
air and push them
forward; bend the sheet
hanging over my
door, fold it in half.

I took you to the
forest once, showed
you how to hug a tree
without scratching skin
against bark. It will
hug you back—
electricity vibrating
from its trunk,
embracing you — us.

That’s how you’ll
know death is never
the end; permanent is
a relative term. We
lie our heads by
tombstones, let the
blades of grass sprout,
tickle our fingertips—
multiple kisses from
beyond the grave.

—Nortina


Written for #frapalymo (the German version of NaPoWriMo) is hosted by FrauPaulchen. Prompt: envisioning the invisible motions. Originally published May 22, 2016.

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Mayday! Mayday! Writer’s Block is Going Down!

We’ve all heard the saying, “April Showers Bring May Flowers,” right?

Well, my April showers started at the end of April last year. After finishing my A-Z theme of Grandma’s 26 Husbands—26 Unusual Deaths (which you guys really seemed to love), I descended into a nasty case of chronic writer’s block. In hindsight, I believe I had become obsessed with topping 26 Husbands. The series had become so popular, and I wanted to continue that popularity with something even better. Unfortunately my perfectionism was at its peak also, and eventually I crashed, flipped over, rammed into a tree, exploded, and burned.

My posting became erratic, and eventually I disappeared from blogging altogether. I couldn’t force myself to write. Everything my pen produced was total rubbish (according to editor bitch), and if my writer’s block relented enough for me to start a new project, it came back with a vengeance so catastrophic, I was never able to finish.

But that all changed this year. If last year’s A to Z Challenge put me in this crud, then this year’s A to Z Challenge would get me out of it, and that’s just what it did.

This year’s A to Z Challenge was all about planning for NaNoWriMo, another project I’ve unfortunately never been able to finish. For 26 days—yes, 26 days—(some days were harder than others, but I stuck in there), I wrote outlines, character sketches, and back stories. I brainstormed on themes, conflicts, subplots, stakes, and resolutions. Last night, I finished—yes, finished—with my zealous “Z” post, and I only want to continue. It may be be the end of the April A to Z Challenge, but it’s just the beginning for me. I still have a novel to write, and I’ve never felt so prepared for NaNoWriMo in my life!

But it’s not just NaNoWriMo, I feel reinvigorated to write any and everything! Writer’s block, hear me roar!

The end of April marked not only the end of the A to Z Challenge, but also the end of National Poetry Month, which means that May is . . .

Short Story Month!

Ahh, short stories, my first love. I’ve been writing them since I was old enough to write, been reading them for even longer. I haven’t written a new short story to submit to literary magazines in a long time. Speaking of submitting to literary magazines, I haven’t submitted anything to a magazine since 2015 (yikes)! So in honor of Short Story Month, I’ve challenged myself to keep this writing buzz going and write a complete short story that I hope to submit to some magazines and get back on my publishing journey. I’m giving myself a whole month to write just one story (probably between 3,000 and 5,000 words), which is plenty of time to produce something great! I’ll be posting weekly updates on my story status for you guys just to assure you that I won’t let writer’s block win, but in the meantime I have a couple of treats for you.

Also for May, I will be participating in the short story a day writing challenge. Each day, I’ll post a micro fiction tale between 100 and 300 words. There is an optional prompt, but I can’t guarantee I’ll stick to it; it just depends on how the prompt inspires me that day.

I also want to exercise my poetic pen (since I didn’t get a chance to during NaPoWriMo in April) and jump back into #frapalymo, which is now called #frapalywo. If you’re unfamiliar with #frapalymo/#frapalywo, it’s a German poetry writing challenge, translated Frau (Miss) Paulchen’s Lyric (Poetry) Month/Week. It’s usually held every May and November, but it looks like she’s changed the May challenge to a series of week-long prompts (the first one was back in February) leading up to the big shebang in November, which I won’t be able to participate in because of NaNoWriMo, but I can still do the week-long challenges. This first week of May, the prompt is “noise.” So stay tuned for seven days of NOISY POETRY!

It looks like I have a lot to do for May, so why am I still talking? I’d better get started—we’re halfway through the day already! I’ll be back soon with a new story for Short Story A Day May. Writer’s block won’t hold me down!

Play Suspended

Tennis paused — players
exit heavy clay. Rain falls in
northern France — again.

—Nortina


frapalymo#frapalymo (the German version of NaPoWriMo) is hosted by FrauPaulchen and translated from German into English by Bee at Just Fooling Around With Bee. Today’s prompt is: “write an acrostic with ten”

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(Photo: Alastair Grant, AP)

 

I write this haiku as I wait for tennis to resume from yet another rain delay at the French Open. Will they ever get a roof over Court Philippe Chatrier? 😥

Southern Cooking

He calls me weird because I like cheese
on my hotdog, slaw on my burger.
When the fire dies down, I pour lighter
fluid on the charcoal pyramid, blacken
my chicken. He tells me I burn all the
flavor, but he’s never had salmon coated
in butter, a mix of paprika, cayenne pepper,
salt, onion and garlic powder sprinkled on
both sides, charred in a cast iron skillet.

I take him down South where the Spanish
moss grows heavy. We dip our toes in the
bayou, and he says I’m crazy not to fear
the gators, but we catch them and fry them
like chicken, dip in buttermilk ranch and
pop them in our mouths. In the morning,
I’ll show him how to sauté Cajun shrimp,
garnish it over sharp cheddar grits. He’ll
learn cheese goes on everything, and
nothing he’s eaten before ever tasted better.

—Nortina


frapalymo#frapalymo (the German version of NaPoWriMo) is hosted by FrauPaulchen and translated from German into English by Bee at Just Fooling Around With Bee. The double prompt for yesterday & today is: normaland “crazy.”

Gone Fishing

Reel it in, even
if it sinks the boat — already,
we smell like the sea.

—Nortina


frapalymo#frapalymo (the German version of NaPoWriMo) is hosted by FrauPaulchen and translated from German into English by Bee at Just Fooling Around With Bee. Today’s prompt is: in the sardine can.”

3lt_ropeThis poem is also written in response to 3LineTales, hosted by Sonya (Only 100 Words). A picture is worth three lines. What tale can you draw?

Dialect

Cut off the lights. Come
to bed. My British girlfriend
stares at me, raises an eyebrow—
“You want me to use a knife?”

—Nortina


frapalymo#frapalymo (the German version of NaPoWriMo) is hosted by FrauPaulchen and translated from German into English by Bee at Just Fooling Around With Bee. Today’s prompt is: “ cut off.”

Birthstone Lover

We share the month of March. I want
to make love to my birthstone. Ghostly
reflection of my masculine self. Your eyes
are like pools of aquamarine. Turquoise
tears pour from your irises into my mouth,
cool my throat when you lie on top of me.
Love or lust — I drown in the mist of you.

—Nortina


frapalymo#frapalymo (the German version of NaPoWriMo) is hosted by FrauPaulchen and translated from German into English by Bee at Just Fooling Around With Bee. Today’s prompt is: “ turquoise.”

Drought

Our water is manmade
They dig mile-wide
ditches with shovels,
fill it with rain.

Land-locked town
sinks in torrential
downpour. Porous
soil, water flow in

and out, floods
surrounding rivers
that quench thirsty
cities nearby.

—Nortina


frapalymo#frapalymo (the German version of NaPoWriMo) is hosted by FrauPaulchen and translated from German into English by Bee at Just Fooling Around With Bee. Catching up on yesterday’s prompt, which was: “a river poem.”

Fading Memory

I remember when
you first closed your fingers
around my throat. And
my heart bled in my mouth, crushed
against my larynx.

I remember ’cause
it was on the Sabbath — though
you work — and I fell
dead — though you lie with me now,
breathing roses in my nose.

—Nortina


frapalymo#frapalymo (the German version of NaPoWriMo) is hosted by FrauPaulchen and translated from German into English by Bee at Just Fooling Around With Bee. Today’s prompt is: “a ten line text.”

Vessel

This forest in May. It haunts my whole life;
I climb a low-hanging branch, scrap wet moss
across my thigh. Bark peels under my fingernails,
embeds in my skin, and I bite out each splinter,
blood dribbling on my tastebuds, smeared across
my bottom lip, around my mouth; I extend my
tongue to the tip of my nose — war paint for
the angels — climbing higher to the floor of the
clouds. The crows call to black wings that slit
open my shoulder blades, enclose around sun
in solar eclipse, casting shadows on earth below.

—Nortina


frapalymo#frapalymo (the German version of NaPoWriMo) is hosted by FrauPaulchen and translated from German into English by Bee at Just Fooling Around With Bee. Today’s prompt is the first line from Tomas Transtromer’s poem, Alcaic“This forest in May. It haunts my whole life.”