Archive Tag:poetry

Drabble 52 – Nemophilist

Moss by Andrew Hill

It’s been a year of drabbles. Well, a little over a year–I missed one or two along the way for a variety of reasons, but even I cut myself some slack on occasion.

I suppose, then, this is a time for reflection. What have I learned in the last year? Putting my writing out there isn’t quite as terrifying as it was a year ago. Since this time last year, I’ve accumulated 11 rejection letters from various SFF magazines. After the last one, I just shrugged and moved on. Sometimes a story isn’t a good fit, and sometimes your story is several years old and no longer reflective of the current state of your writing. It’s fine; you’re growing.

This weekend I read over all that poetry I wrote last year for NaPoWriMo, and even dug one out, tidied it up a bit, slapped a title on it, and sent it out for submission. Poetry might still feel like trying to use a Ouija board in the dark to me, but I seem to be at least a bit better than I think I am. I’m probably never going to write that dreamy, ethereal poetry that makes me scratch my head and wonder what it all means, but some of the language I worked in there was interesting, and I was more honest with my emotions than usual. That’s something.

It’s been a long year, and an arduous one at times. I’ve learned a lot. I have a lot left to learn.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

Drabble 43 – Cecaelia

Tentacle by Joey Gannon

I’ve already talked about how the ocean is big and scary and packed full of terrifying creatures. Even so, I like it. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, poking at random animals in tide pools and imagining all the things that might live out beneath the waves.

If there’s one kind of monster I’m willing to believe in, it’s sea monsters. Look at the things we know for certain live in the ocean–angler fish, goblin sharks, giant squid–it’s not exactly a friendly place down there, whatever The Little Mermaid would have us believe.

This isn’t a hundred-word story. It started out as a hundred-word poem in ballad meter, but it’s not that anymore either. It’s a sea shanty, because, in my humble opinion, there just aren’t enough sea shanties anymore. It’s also available in the Tides issue of AU, so you should check that out and support my old speculative fiction magazine. There are some very, very talented writers in there. And me.

Anyway, here’s a poem.

Drabble 14 – Aubade

Breakfast at Tiffany's
I know a lot about bad breath in the morning – I have two cats.

I don’t know why I keep getting all of these romantic words–I use a random number generator to figure out which of the 600+ words in my vocabulary list I’ll be writing about, and then keep generating numbers until I find a word that strikes me as interesting in that moment. The random number generator and my list of vocabulary are conspiring to make me write nothing but sappy mush.

Honestly: I love sappy mush. I find it incredibly difficult to express without dramatic understatement or sarcasm, but I can’t get enough of love stories. I’m particular about them–very particular–but I love reading romance if it’s about characters I care about.

Grand, romantic gestures are fine, but I like stories and poems that explore the smaller moments. Clementine von Radics  does this particularly well in number ten of her Ten Love Letters (all of which are lovely, but, as a warning, number five concerns sexual assault):

I know you and I are not about poems or other sentimental bullshit, but I have to tell you even the way you drink your coffee just knocks me the fuck out.

That’s my kind of love poem.

Blackberry Picking and Poetry Appreciating

Image Source: Jared Smith via Flickr.

Poetry and I have a contentious relationship.

It’s not that I don’t like poetry. I do. I think I do. No, I do, for sure. I’m not sure I like writing it, but I’m blaming that entirely on my public school education and not poetry itself.

The problem is this: poetry, to me, is some kind of ethereal, ever-changing thing that’s alive and incomprehensible, like some kind of wriggling or slippery animal. I think I know a poem when I see one, but then there’s prose poetry. I think I understand a poem but then it’s not about appreciating life at all, it’s about capitalism and overconsumption. Poetry is rhyme and meter except that it isn’t, not at all.