Apple/Tree

Our similarities might not be seen by the eye
(Like a certain someone else and I)
But they’re found in way my excitement peaks
When the clouds grow dark and lightning streaks
Across the fields in the early morning
And radio static cries out in warning
It’s found in the way I appreciate
A costume that is truly great
And the love of a well-crafted story
Whether sci-fi, fantasy, or gory
But really similarities lie
In a better than average artistic eye
In the calm way we flow about our day
In the comfort we both take from faith
And anyone who looks can see
We are both in good company
And neither of us has to pretend
The way that we are truly friends

Composed 12/22/18
Description: For my dad.


Published!

Despite my recent silence on this blog there has been a fair amount of excitement to share with regards to my poetry. Most notably I was just published in Z Publishing’s anthology America’s Emerging Poets 2018: Midwest Region. 

The poem they chose to include in the anthology was “Words of Affirmation,” which is actually a personal favorite of mine.

If you are interested in the anthology it can be purchased on Amazon here.

2018 Riley Festival Written Poetry Contest Winner!

I am excited to share that I recently won first place in the Riley Festival Written Poetry Contest!

If you are not aware, the Riley Festival is a local arts/crafts/poetry/music festival that celebrates the birthday, life, and legacy of local poet James Whitcomb Riley. Known as “the Hoosier poet,” he is famous for poems such as “Little Orphant Annie” and “The Raggedy Man.”

James Whitcomb Riley, circa 1913. Copyrighted by Moffett, Chicago. Link.

The festival, affectionately called “Riley Days” by the locals, includes shutting down several major streets in the historic downtown area and setting up booths where local vendors can sell goodies that often include homemade crafts, antiques, baked goods, toys, and clothing. The festival also includes a fine arts gallery that awards prizes for photography, cooking, painting, quilting, and other needle-crafts. There’s also an entertainment tent (or two) with several performers varying in fame and style.

In recent years festival organizers have also tried to stay true to the origin of the festival by promoting poetry events such as open mic nights and a poetry slam. The written poetry contest, however, goes back to the early happenings of the festival (or, at least, it was still a prominent part of the festival when I was in elementary school — and before poetry was a thing I did seriously). The contest is divided by age/grade with winners in each age group.

Each year has a theme, which is always a poem of Riley’s, and this year the theme was his work “Out to Old Aunt Mary’s.” All poems in the contest have to somehow relate to the theme.

You can read the poem here, or, as a special treat, listen to Riley read it himself.

My poem was titled “Wishful Thinking” — a nod to the tone of innocence and freedom Riley writes about (and my struggle to relate to it). Honestly, I was a little surprised my angsty poem did so well.

Of course, another exciting thing is that the winner receives actual prize money, so this is one of the few poems I’ve actually profited from!

You can see the announcement of all the winners (including yours truly), in this article. According to the contest, publishing first rights are granted to the media, so if/when I get the ability to share or post the poem I will certainly do so!

Wasting

Composed 4/22/18
Description: Inspired by life and today’s daily prompt: partake.

My secret pleasure is
My secret shame
It is nothing in excess
A wine drunk until blind
This, the wasting of my time
Self care a masquerade for sin
The slow death that starts from within
And manifests in blackened fingers and
Dusty minds
Cobwebbed hobbies and
Missed deadlines
Useless knowledge grasped as
Loves leave in wake of addiction
And any excuse is just rationalization
Fiction

Upcoming Publication!

My last poem hinted to it a bit, but, officially, I have great news!

A few months ago a representative from Z Publishing contacted me. They had seen one of my poems in my university’s literary arts magazine. They liked it and encouraged me to submit a few pieces for consideration for their upcoming “Best Emerging Poet’s” series for my state. I did so, and, amazingly, one of my pieces was accepted!

It has long been on my bucket list to have one of my poems printed in a hard copy book (especially one that you can BUY), so, needless to say, I am extremely excited!

If you are a fan of my writing (or just poetry in general), you can now preorder the book I will be featured in: “Indiana’s Best Emerging Poets.” If you are interested in the book and/or supporting me, please use this link to get to the site to order it:

http://www.zpublishinghouse.com?rfsn=927472.0e54d 

I will receive a small percentage of anything sold that you buy using this link. So while I would love for you to grab the book I’ll be featured in, if you want to grab another book that catches your eye… that is acceptable as well. ;)

I am so honored and humbled to be featured as one of Indiana’s “best emerging poets.” (A title I am not quite sure I deserve but am excited to receive!)

I also feel like there is a great lesson for any aspiring writers reading this: keep writing and submit it where you can. I never would have thought that having a few poems in my small college’s literary arts magazine would have led to anything. But here I am getting something put into a real anthology! So keep at it!

In the Moment

Composed 12/15/15
Description: When you write, you dwell on things.

It was her nature
To move on while sitting still
She bubbled along the brook
Without mind to
Rocks, debris, and things
It was easy
To stroll about the attic
Leave the heart of things untouched
To watch it all blindly
Omnipresent and objective
Like the storybooks

But one does not live
In third person
Rushing forward does not present
Opportunity to be human
So she gulped until she felt her heart
And retched in on the page
And lived
In the moment

AU’s Literary Arts Magazine

I meant to post something about this earlier, but with school and holiday busyness I completely forgot!

My university’s literary arts magazine took a different turn this year, and, instead of printing out and selling hard copies of the magazine, they made a blog for the magazine instead.  They did this not only so it could be freely presented to the entire university, but because, this way, they will be able keep a neat archive of all past editions.

I have mixed feelings about this, primarily because I enjoy flipping through a hard copy magazine and having it on my bookshelf… but the site turned out so well, that it’s softened me up to the idea.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I have three pieces in the magazine, but there are a lot of other cool pieces as well from my fellow students.  So, while you’re sipping your hot cocoa and listening to Christmas carols around the fire this evening, check out some sweet poetry, prose, and photography at http://aulitartsmag.tumblr.com/

Thanks for reading!

Dreaming of Freedom

Composed 12/5/13
Description: This was originally composed for wdbwp’s poetry prompt Dream States. This prompt told us to pay attention to our dreams that week and to compose a poem based on what we remember. Though I composed this piece on time, I am horribly, horribly late in posting it. (Thank you, college.) Nonetheless, I was impressed by the imagery and symbolism my dream contained.

I think this dream says much about my current attitude toward romantic relationships.  I have recently been noting how draining  romantic relationships are.  Honestly, being single is just so much easier.  There’s not as much emotional strain — you don’t have the stress of wondering if he’s “the one” or if you’re doing things right — and you don’t have the time commitment! Your life is just so much more flexible.

Though I think this poem contains a deeper element as well, perhaps illustrating how I view my romantic past, the decisions I’ve made, and how I’ve coped.

He holds out a contract to sign
Marry me he says
Robot body guards hold me in place
And I almost consent

But flashbacks bring reality
And I crash my fist
Into the robot’s glass head
And wrap my fingers around the crucial chip
Ripping it free

The robot crumbles
And I flee in the chaos

I load up my escape pod
And use the chip to power up
Launch
And out into space I fly
Smiling
Truly smiling
For the first time in awhile

And I land
On a planet of Japanese gardens
And polished wood bathhouse floors
And I rest
Satisfied
In the beauty of sunshine
Peering in
Through sliding screen doors