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Buzzing Wild

Day 3 also included breaking in my pasta machine for the first time, so I’m pretty thrilled this is here at all!

Buzzing Wild

And what if I said —
I am searching for my whole
green island, buzzing wild.
Heart-harbor reaching out to hold
your lovely galleon.Your cheeks
lapping gentle shores, my hands
caked in crystalled salt. Whether
or not you remember the sea
we met in, whether or not
you spat out the signal fire,
I have run my magnets over all
your fingers and realigned your poles.
Draw yourself in ley lines
to the lap of my verdigris.
Abandon your compass rose.
I would have said. To feel
your eyes, like buried treasure,
hiding beneath my soot-drawn cross.

Forest Love Story

Day 2! Success! Still not entirely happy with these line breaks, but I’m going to sleep on any more revisions. Or leave them until the end of the month… Yeah, probably the latter.

 

Forest Love Story

If only I had thorns like
a thistle like
Deirdre,
Deirdre, why are you running
from the dark blue moon
and what can you see from your forests?
Is it true what they said —
never touch the hearts
of men who wash at you
like water?

You found you could not
listen — dressed your ears
in lichen, followed
a pair of righteous eyes
away from your mother’s vine glow.
You know
he is no aurora borealis —
don’t let him soften your jagged edge!
Deirdre, why do we love
those people, planted,
who can only grow into stones?

Look back and what is left
but spider dust and
hollows? Do you remember?
When you loved,
it was like the stars
crashing so was it worth it?
Deirdre, we can only breathe
like bellows – if the world ends
on my lips so
be it. Mingle our ashes,
wan-wandered, and we
can never be far from home.

NaPoWriMo? Sure.

Every year, I think about participating in National Novel Writing Month, and every year I am confronted by the fact that I am borderline incapable of writing anything but dialogue when I start to write a prose story. Regardless, I’ve been looking for some kind of excuse to start writing more again – lately, I’ve been pretty exclusively writing code and D&D scenarios – so I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo in my own way! By not writing a novel… But! By writing a poem every day and throwing it up here for some semblance of accountability. We’ll see how far I get. This poem was inspired by my first trip to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

 

Sleep, Sleep!

Recumbent mountain sheep – head resting
on the crumpled ice and tender green nails
reaching upward. Dream of your hands held
in a wisdom fist, transcendent, declaring
I have always held my whole heart open
to every passing whirlwind! Of course you have,
in the moon glare, thought yourself a dragon
wrapping ’round my walls. And I have felt you
in the silver-cold ashes of my wall-to-wall smile.

Sheep, you are Achilles and unable to hide
your power. Wrap your brocade curls tight
on all sides and reject their aggressive simplicity.
The ones who tried to feed you through their sound holes
could never make you sing for them – no. We turn
our gaze, altar-forged, heartward, and leave
the lolling heads of angels scattered on the ground.

 

 

Omi’s, Omi’s Everywhere…

So I’m not a very good blogger. Three posts in five years is… oh, a tiny bit pitiful. But, well… I’ve been up to a lot!  About two and a half months ago, I left my job as a museum STEAM educator to venture into the world of computer programming! Now this is something my father has been encouraging me to get into since… well, several days after my birth? There’s a picture of me, taken on one of my first days home from the hospital, where I’m sitting in his lap and he’s putting my hands on a computer keyboard. This is a long time in the making. He even bought me a shirt recently that says, “code is poetry” so I can pretend that my two creative writing degrees have anything to do with what I’m doing now! Well and it isn’t even really pretend. I’ve been writing games! I started out experimenting with Twine – a tool for authoring interactive fiction. Wrote a few little stories and flexed my prose muscles, which haven’t been used since that time I wrote like three short stories in undergrad… I never really thought I had the patience for prose, and now I’m trying to find the patience for complicated branching prose that has 16 different endings, but it’s actually going pretty well!

 

Omi Pet has a stylish party hat for the occasion.

Omi Pet!

And today I’m marking a pretty exciting milestone in my coding journey – I published my first Amazon Echo skill! The Echo is an Amazon voice-controlled device that can play music, read you the news, the weather, set your alarm clock, control your lights, all kinds of stuff. And with my new skill, it can be your virtual pet!

I remember getting my first Tamagotchi when I was maybe nine years old. It couldn’t do much, and I’m pretty sure it just looked like some kind of amorphous lump, but I was thrilled. I made my mom babysit it during the day when I was in school because I was so paranoid that it was going to poop or get sick or die – ah, all of those exciting things it could do! I made her swear to care for it as though it were a human child. And truth be told, she did a far better job with it than I ever did. I had a bad habit of losing it for long enough that it was nothing but a little animated tombstone by the time it was recovered. But it was a cute fad, and probably responsible for my Neopets obsession, so I remember it fondly.

With that in mind, I decided get into Echo skill writing by creating Omi Pet! Omi is a tiny green blob from a magical database far, far away. You can feed her meals or treats, pet her, and play a guessing game with her, all of which will contribute to her overall health and happiness! Unlike those cruel Tamagotchis, she can get sick, but you can’t actually kill her. So she’s already better than a plant! You can even see little pictures of her in your Amazon Echo app. She’s been quite the learning experience for me, and while there’s definitely a lot more I could add to her, I wanted to get out a working version to see what the complete publication process was like. Omi was published on May 20th, and there are already 217 Omi’s out there in world! You can download one if you have an Echo, and let me know what you think! That would be awesome!

I’m working on Android app development now, so hopefully I’ll have some Android apps to show off soon as well! And someday, when I publish my epic space opera turn-based strategy RPG, I’ll look back and remember that this was where it all started 😉

Lunatic Fringe

Okay, so I may have let this blog languish a bit. For oh… a year? More? I’d rather not look at when the last entry was dated. But hey, I’ve been busy! After all, last time I was here, I was a lowly graduate student, but now I come to you as a Master of the Fine Art of poetry. My two years at the University of New Hampshire were hectic, transformative, illuminating, stressful, existentially complicated, hysterically funny, and deeply soul-satisfying. This was a place where I wrote a series of poems that reimagined Hindu mystic poet Mirabai’s devotional poems to Krishna as obsessive fan letters to a cult movie star, and had all my fellow students and professors not only roll with it, but help me make them the best poems about Buckaroo Banzai and Takashi Miike that they possibly could be. I finally learned to give up my ideas of what should be considered “poetic” and write about what I loved. My thesis had four Deep Space Nine references, one Doctor Who poem, a robot love story, poems set on Mars and Europa, and a poem with a title stolen from a line in Battlestar Galactica, among other things. My favorite comment to receive in a workshop was “well… that shouldn’t have worked, but you got away with it.”

Now I’m back in New Jersey with a manuscript to shop around and the occasionally steep challenge of self-motivation. I have been in school for almost literally as long as I can remember, and to be out now is so bizarre and unmooring. Self-imposed deadlines… fun! But I’m getting there. I’ve also started doing voice over work again, which is a blast. I hadn’t had much of a chance to do any acting while I was working on my degree and getting back into that is so exciting. I’ve been volunteering for LibriVox.org, which is an organization that records texts in the public domain. What I love is that they do plays and dramatic readings with parts, so that it’s almost like listening to a radio play. I’m also working on recording a solo audiobook for them, Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World. My next post will be all about that process and about her. Warning: I may be a little obsessed with Margaret Cavendish. She is my spirit animal.

I’m writing this at nearly 3:30 am, because there is a lunar eclipse tonight. A beautiful, bright red blood moon should be appearing right now in my sky, but the weather has decided not to cooperate, and currently, I can see nothing but clouds. I may have just now taken a break to go outside and curse the sky…. It didn’t help. Ah well. I just turned on a livestream of the eclipse. They’re playing Pearl Jam in the background. We live in a remarkable age.