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Poetry: Blinkers

I wrote another constraint poem. A friend at a workshop provided the limitations. Must use a child’s POV, describe

the night sky, and never use an explicit color word. Describing the sky without using a color challenged me, but it taught me that good imagery relies on my readers’ imaginations, less on  me telling them what to imagine. The Show not Tell rule strikes again. 

Blinkers

Dad told me where stars
come from. When little boys free
fireflies from mayonnaise jars to make
embers beneath maple trees,
blinkers watch the stars through sleeping leaves.

What no one knows is
Stars ain’t stars. They’re fireflies that followed dreams.

The blinkers we watch,
while chickens rustle in their coops,
build courage to climb moonlight.

When two get ready, they blink goodbyes then light
rises, compass points in a blind sky.

When dawn balloons behind the quarry ridge,
when morning swells to noon,
after day deflates to night, search twilight,
Dad says. You’ll
know if two dreamers made it.

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C.M. Mayo’s Giant Golden Buddha and 364 More Free 5 Minute Writing Exercises

http://www.cmmayo.com/d5mwe.html

Poetry prompts usually work for me, but fiction prompts never do. That is until I found this site. Here, you’ll find a prompt or exercise for every day of the week. I use them as needed, when I’m long on time but short on inspiration. So far I’ve 2 successes from 3 attempts, with one of the successes slated for publication in April.

Give them a try, work your writer’s muscles, and let me know what you think. 

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Poetry: Eye of the Watchman

Eye of the Watchman
By Emile DeWeaver

This city is gray
in the sky and on the asphalt.
It’s acid air eats
whores and antelopes, leaving bones in desert slums
where the thirsty drink each other
and the hungry eat the drunk.

We made this city from sand and sound.
Beyond your eyes, children’s laughter
swims with splashes in the surf
and the waves warm the sun before it

rises. Before our eyes
this city is steel and stone,
where worse men rule the wrong
and war drums beat a black-flame song.

Light years distant, cities crackle
with tires chewed bare
by fault-lined pavements.
A bridge that breaks pathways casts
No shadow on the sea.

An addict plays needles that prickle his arms, and pulls his last breath, and plunges to dark.
An addict squalls emerging
from a crackhead’s womb,
and blows his first breath,
and ascends through the bright. 

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Sometimes I Rant: YA Fiction

I’m sick of Young Adult fiction. I love YA writers — you’re my peeps — but with one exception, I’ll read no more of your books.

Reason 1: I’m a grown ass man. I like breasts and nipples. I like villains who threaten to kill you and then kill you (Word to the Governor from Walking Dead and every villain on Game of Thrones). I don’t like villains who threaten death and stay their hand till Book III. I don’t like women who don’t know why they’re drawn to the brooding, vampiresque heartthrob. Now granted, heroines in YA fiction aren’t women, but I imagine grown women when I read. Because I’m a grown ass man.

Reason 2: YA fiction has become too sociological. I feel like I’m reading case studies about power, government, and the importance of feminine role models dressed up as stories. The plots and characters feel flattened beneath the agendas (however noble) they serve which may explain why one YA novel feels much like the next. Same spunky heroine with caustic wit. Same megalithic system crushing the human spirit — or the variant, the human spirit surviving among the ruins of a megalithic system.

It’s not that Big Brother isn’t an important topic. Clearly governments that go too far are relevant in the 21st century. But I’m tired of reading and talking about it. I feel like Ben Affleck’s character in Runner, Runner when he told Timberlake’s character

Ya see. Your generation’s problem is everyone sat around with their fucking participation medals, and nobody did shit.

Reason 3 (a wise woman said there must always be there): I’m a grown ass man.

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