Losing My Words

Renting this space, a greedy silence hangs a picture’s worth of words

Everyone could see that

Thousands thousands

swallowed whole by memory’s avarice.

Wishing wells charge a nickel for spitting change at our feet.

Copper coins disguising restless dreams for your thoughtlessness.

Ascending into the ravenous night

It’s darker still craving the whispering of sleep

Chattering then erased by the hands of desert heat

and devouring each frame by the sun’s first light.

Expensive gifts in extending hands

the size of a Harem’s ego. I can hear someone in the receiver

who’s listening in and plagiarizing quotes.

Hiding far away in a bustling bazaar

Where running and tripping into stalls and onto vendors

indicate a thief tried and given a sentence.

Reading between the lines

I only want what’s mine.

Leaping over puddles of words, dreaming I’m

a pink dancer whirling above

A hundred piece band playing

paragraphs behind that bow tied man, accenting notes and striking up chords.

In a pit they pluck, strike, beat, bow, blow, then

Towards the audience men stand and bend like commas

At the waist, ladies genuflect.

Holding onto their middle class accents audience exclaiming brilliance – encore.

Long and short vowels cover their heads like hats.

Musical words left behind all the birds

As they fly over a zoo of prepositions.

Phrases dangled from around the neck

Of a depressed lexicographer.

His tears streaking down his white powdered

Face. Why so sad wordsmith? He looked up

And sighed. Oh my dear what’s happened to my canon?

To our language? It’s all but died – tears streaming into a run-on life’s sentence.

Sitting atop the bridge of his nose helping him ny gathering any

Remaining portmanteaus.

Trying to rescue each noun and verb from

The grated gateway to the sewers below, too late to save them

From washing away- forgetting all the prepositions.

I haven’t a clue which path to take, from where, in or on whom, towards what end?

Explaining forever – masked, patiently you listened

superiorly, knowingly. Yet if I knew the definitions of ”milk”

And ”salt” is that all I’d add to the conversation?

Then three letters, frozen into a word, not steaming out of the kettle nor washing me clean of any guilt.

Still and quietly hanging inside the blackest cave I can recall stalagmites and stalactites and which hang and which protrude.

If I misunderstood you correctly, earthly teeth can be very dangerous,

Yet losing my directives for heavens sake, my pronouns – I got it all wrong.

For she, he, them

Or we and us, yet neither him nor her,

Could spend days waiting for anyone

not to remember.

Image from cafe press – please support the artist here https://www.cafepress.com/+funny_cancer_chemo_brain_blue_mini_button,1603297489

Writing Prompts: Some great tools for those not so fresh days

Help me.

Writer’s block sets in slowly and as unpredictably as does productive bursts of semi-genius. Rare is the latter, the former happens at least once a month. Blame the cancer writer’s block occurs far more often than it used to back in my “normal life.” But cancer became my go to writing prompt for the simple fact that it became my life. It’s neither fortunate nor ever what I’d choose to write about but it’s clearly important. Still, I run out of ideas or my chemo brain or brain fog if you prefer robs me of ideas. I am compelled to jot everything down now. My running list of writing prompts helps me get out of the wet cement and so I can run with my output.

While writing typically comes quite naturally, poems can take years to get right and essays can become stale before I’m finishing the final paragraph. I always go back to my old expired or uninspired writing to take another whack at it or to just not begin with a blank stare at a blank page. I keep it in my journals scattered all over the house, and car, and in purses, in between books I’m reading. You get the point…but I don’t toss away or delete anything unless it’s pure drivel. The white page glaring at me keeps my mind dormant at times.

So if you take a single piece of my advice, for what it’s worth, it’s don’t start with a blank page. And reused writing is only one way to get the job done.

Using writing prompts does as well. Keeping up a self created running list isn’t necessary. You can feel free to use some of mine listed below or check out the web by searching up “writing prompts.” Specific or general you’ll find something to write about or to get the old noggin in gear. So dig deep or tread in the shallow end of the pool, but write. Your blog needn’t be the final goal, nor your work on some overdue white paper for work. Using prompts might just surprise you, though.

My prompts ran away with my homework

In the mirror this morning…

If I had wings…

The universe…

The concept of time…

Kindness…

Laughing…

My expectations of…

When I think about (place) I think about…

If tomorrow…

Changing my mind about…

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day…

I want to grab a flight tonight to …

If I could predict the outcome of…

When it rains…

At night I love to…

The first thing I do every day…

I want to change my…

I woke up…

Sunshine…

Full moons…

Mythology character…

Music gives me…

A letter to…

If I knew at 20 what I know now…

Death…

Birth…

If tomorrow never came…

I am so afraid of…

Spiders…

The last thing I ever expected was…

My skin feels…

I wish ____was here because…

Suddenly…

My patience…

The best possible way to…

Under a microscope…

In a telescope…

I grew up…

I feel like a little kid when…

The best age to be is…

If I were born in the year (past)…

If I were born in the future…

When I cannot fall asleep…

I think about____all the time…

Ice cream…

I want to live to see…

It’s no use, I…

Finally…

Walking along the ocean…

Driving in the mountains…

Rollercoasters…

Beginning…

Endings…

Nighttime…

Mornings…

Secretly I love…

I’ve always loved…

I never did like…

Flowers…

Technology…

My favorite musical genre is…

The best day looks like…

My best day to date…

My partner…

Being (religion)…

Museums…

This song brings me back to…

The scent of/ odor of reminds me of…

I finally learned how to…

Cats are better than dogs…

A group of ravens is called a murder…

My top 3 online prompt resources

In my experience, these websites provide fertilizer for sprouting ideas of your own, with straightforward, self explanatory, yet engaging writing prompts. Although these sites focus on poetry, you could eagerly apply most of them to prose, non-fiction, even science or psychology.

I love these lists I reckon for several reasons. First, they get straight to the prompting. No book selling after a tease of a dozen prompts, no sign up forms for more spam email. Just the content without shameful self promotion. Next, no one site takes the same approach to growing your ideas. Furthermore, the sites are professionally written and edited. They’re not cutesy or too self reflective, such as say a goth self published novel writer and their five best steampunk writing prompts. Finally, and my all time biggest web click regret: as the frustration of writer’s block bubbles to the surface while you browse your search engine’s top results, some sites muddy the content with perpetual advertisements bombarding your overloaded or underused senses.

My short list of the three best sites ALL alleviate frustration and grant you FREE access to the articles. Novel idea! Also the links below open up directly at the best articles with writing prompts but do check out each site.

Writer’s Relief

Think Written

Think Written

Pet Rich Ore

(Dedicated to chemotherapy)

Steal the scent of aftermath,

Of rivers, ponds, waterfalls, of

Mangled limp leaves, blown

Around. Fog, water’s mystical state

Lifted the ground up by noon

Do the arithmetic:

What’s left outside after a storm?

Rain leaves its distinct message:

More precisely, less understood

Oily ascension from the earth

Reaches to encounter rising

Mountain roads. Projecting

On a green screen we stop

Acting, instead slowly, slippery,

and wet, waiving goodbye to my

Now-relinquished memory.

Mirrors from lighthouses beam

A spot where the words hide.

Vast oceans of gray crevices

Foggy and neglected, recollect

Years before, a pear-green sky

Ripened and began blowing.

Curtains beckoning with arms

Waving to the operatives

Waiting for instructions.

No signs yet.

Finally the storm bursts

Through a bedroom door

Met by an unkept little dog

One that came with her name.

“Petrichor.” The memory

Satisfied finally, for

Here’s the word for the oily scent,

Rising up with a heave to hear

Earth’s sigh of relief

When water rises after it falls

And worms rejoice in its muddled

Grounds. Mud made puddling

Mid afternoon humid

A swampy mystery

Finally rests in its ground.