"When that song came on the radio,
you turned it up and said, ‘Let this
be the anthem for our bad choices’
and I thought of Bad Choices as a place as in:
Bad Choices, Montana and I wondered
what it must feel like to be mayor there
and then I remembered that I am."
"This poem yells I have met so many people
I will never love. Slosh slosh slosh. Can you
taste the alcohol in this poem? It’s darker
than well water, sweeter than the sprinkler
planted between your thighs. This poem
whispers Life needs to wash behind its neck.
There’s too much grime caked into the bathtub,
and really, who has the time to plan such a big
wedding? Can a poem talk underwater?
Standing on my roof, this poem yells These words
are red because you have touched me holy.
There is death in the air, and I haven’t even
brought up the birds that have stopped
coming around. Standing on my roof,
this poem looks at the pool below. There are statues
of lions with good posture. Everything faces
north, quietly shivers against the breeze. Standing
on my roof, this poem yells Cannonball.
Splash splash splash."
Gregory Sherl, “Poem as Happy Hour” (via nevervulgar)
"You will call me sweetheart
and I will still stumble over
I will want to know how many breaths you take after waking up
before you consider yourself alive
I will shiver when you touch me
do not be offended;
you are the warmest person I know."
Sid Gomez Hildawa, “God Explains Space To His Angels”
You’ll have to slow down.
I mean, very, very slow, like travelling
an inch and a half (they call
it distance) in eight hundred
million years (they call
it time). You’ll have
to distinguish between here
and there - yes, yes,
we all know there’s only
the here and now,
but you’ll have to see
it their way - with everything
reduced to three dimensions.
It comes with being
exiled in a mortal
body, you see, which is not
entirely a curse, I assure
you. Space is the disposable
furniture of a mind
enmeshed in its own
a meter stick under
our immeasurable sky.
You’ll need wings.
Interesting Writing Prompts
- Every year on your birthday, you are visited by yourself from one year in the future. This year, no one shows up.
- Describe each day of the week as if it were a person.
- Write a story that begins with a word randomly picked from the dictionary.
- You wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of your books speaking to each other. Which books are speaking, and what are they saying?
- A story about discovering that a certain religion (or your own) has been proven to be true.
- Or, alternately, discover that your current religion (or your character’s) has been proven to be false.
- Write a scene immediately following a tragedy. You may give hints to what the tragedy could be, but you cannot reveal what it really is/was.
- Your main character becomes self-aware and realizes they’re living in a fictional story.
- Write about the person you are know, meeting the alternate version of yourself at the same age you imagined you would be at a younger age.
- Write a story from the viewpoints of a pen and paper being used to write a story.
- Write a story in just six words.
- You ride a subway through underground New York City and discover you can remember the pasts of your fellow passengers.
- What, exactly is a soul mate? Get creative.
- A short story about yourself, writing a novel. In the same short story, the main character of your novel begins writing a novel about you.
- You discover the lampposts on your street are watching and gossiping about you.
"Last night was that dream
again: me and Jesus
pulling nails out of our feet
at the lip of the Mississippi
Delta. Somewhere, Coretta
is calling for Martin
to come down from a sycamore.
He’s just a boy, here, but
he weeps and the sky
is ripped at the belly."
"Cities have often been compared to language: you can read a city, it’s said, as you read a book. But the metaphor can be inverted. The journeys we make during the reading of a book trace out, in some way, the private spaces we inhabit. There are texts that will always be our dead-end streets; fragments that will be bridges; words that will be like the scaffolding that protects fragile constructions. T.S. Eliot: a plant growing in the debris of a ruined building; Salvador Novo: a tree-lined street transformed into an expressway; Tomas Segovia: a boulevard, a breath of air; Roberto Bolano: a rooftop terrace; Isabel Allende: a (magically real) shopping mall; Gilles Deleuze: a summit; and Jacques Derrida: a pothole. Robert Walser: a chink in the wall, for looking through to the other side; Charles Baudelaire: a waiting room; Hannah Arendt: a tower, an Archimedean point; Martin Heidegger: a cul-de-sac; Walter Benjamin: a one-way street walked down against the flow."
Valeria Luiselli, “Relingos: The Cartography of Empty Spaces” (via thymoss)