Monday, June 18, 2018

Apocalypse (Old Poem)

Radioactive ice-fire preoccupies minds
Asteroids, war, rising tides
Nibble and gnaw
Dates, facts, figures
Even enormous dinosaurs fell
Better off not knowing
Best yet, unable to guess
Endings appear as middles, ordinary
Brick walls at high speeds don’t move
Keep going, to stop is impossible

Monday, June 11, 2018

Heaven and Suicide (Controversial Post)

Due to a couple of recent celebrity suicides, social media is abuzz with talk of depression, getting help, and suicide ideation. Through messages of mourning and helpline numbers, reminders of self-care and stories of mental health struggles, there is a group of Christians condemning people to hell.

These Christians say suicide is the only unforgivable sin. Suicide is a surefire way to burn in hell eternal. That the people we lost to suicide deserve torment because they tossed away the greatest gift of all... life. They are hurting people who are already stunned from loss or who are suffering from such severe depression they aren't certain how to survive the next hour. A lot of them do this almost gleefully.
Now, I'm not a Christian... but, here it goes.

The afterlife is supposedly a paradise. There are verdant fields, streets paved with gold, decadent feasts, and zero worries. Everyone you've ever lost waits for you. There is no pain or heartbreak. So many religions tell you if you're a good person you end up somewhere glorious after you die.

But, life can be hard. It's sometimes sad. You can work your entire life and not get anywhere. You can help people in need and find yourself without a friend when you need help the most. Life is rough.

Because life is rough, it is tempting to skip the unpleasant or horrific bits and go straight to bliss. And, since it's so tempting, religions need a fail-safe to ensure no one decides to check-out early. So, holy people/texts tell people the gods will never forgive you, and you will be denied the joy waiting for you... forever.
The "Hell Rhetoric" for suicide isn't helpful. If you're desperate enough to contemplate leaving everyone and everything you love, you're likely beyond threats of the supposed beings who won't alleviate your pain. If you lost someone to suicide, the last thing you need to hear is that your loved one still suffers.

It is callous disregard and misguided superiority that causes people to hurt others in this way. They feel they have all the answers. And they would never do something so offensive to god.
What we need to tell people who are hurting enough to kill themselves isn't about what happens if they decide to die, but what exists when they're alive. Beg them to get help.  Call them every day. Spend time with them. Let them know how much they mean to you. Surround them with their favorite foods or indulgences. Do things for them they can't do because of depression (like cleaning). Talk about good memories.
Help them find the way back to themselves without threats of punishment or talk of more pain. Show them living is beautiful and worthwhile.

Maybe the people heaping more pain on those who have enough are the ones who deserve paradise in their rear view mirrors.

Monday, June 4, 2018

New Poem in Geometry Literary Journal

My Poem, "Disappearance of a Faithless Wife" is in the new issue of Geometry Literary Journal.  It's a small piece, but I'm thrilled it found such a beautiful home.

If you click here, it should take you to the digital issue.  (If it doesn't, click on the "issues" tab at the top and click on the purple issue on the right.)  The pages can be a bit tricky to navigate, but the works within them are worth it.

There is also the option to purchase physical copies in their store.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Poetry as Literary Magazine "Filler"

There are thousands of literary magazines worldwide, and at least ten for every type of writing in existence.  Some publish so many genres that they refuse to classify them.  Others only focus on one type.  And then, there are the magazines that are primarily fiction or nonfiction, accepting only a few poems per issue.

"Okay... so?  What's the problem with only taking a few poems?"

Including just a few poems often isn't done because the editors love poetry or because they want to give readers a variety of content.  Nope. It's a tactic used by editors (of mostly print literary journals) to fill as much empty space as possible.  If there are three empty pages that no story will fit, a few poems can easily add content in whatever constraints.

"More opportunity is good for poets!"

True, I suppose.  I guess the idea of utilizing poetry the way florists use baby's breath just feels wrong to me.  Yeah, it makes what's on offer look more plentiful, but it's still more of an enhancer than its own attraction.  No one is going to press the baby's breath from their bouquet as a keepsake.  No one is going to take the few poems on offer as a selling point or something to care about.

And people should care about poetry, especially the editors considering it for a place in their magazine.  It shouldn't be an afterthought or a garnish.  If editors are going to offer it, poetry should have a rightful place in the pages... dedicated space where it can stretch and blossom.  To have it as anything else says poetry is fluff, that it's lesser than other types of writing.

"Won't sneaking in poems expose more people to poetry?"

Yes, if readers don't skip over them.  If the editors take the same care with them that they do with their short stories.  If everything is favorable, a few people might find their way to poetry.  The biggest positive of poems being treated like a vase someone buys to accent a bookshelf would be if poetry gained new fans.  Sometimes, that's all you can hope for.  Sometimes, it's all that you need.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Crescent Moon (a Poem)

A silver scythe
Drapes and pierces
The necks
Of empty, glittering
Nestled in sand
Like small, black eyes
Gleaming with tears

Little indentations
Lover's footsteps
Pock the ground
Small, dry kisses
Away from open sea
Farther still
From a blanket
And a silhouette
In shadowed hues

Rough hands
Clench helplessly
At empty air
Where she once was
The sound
Of panting, relentless
Churn thoughts
Of passion spent
Under a crescent moon

Monday, May 14, 2018

Mother's Day Jewelry (Photos)

My mom asked me for some beaded jewelry for Mother's Day.  Below are the finished products.  What do you think?  
 A ring and bracelet set made from crystal and glass beads.  I call it, "the wedding look".  It goes with anything.
 All the beads in this set are made out of genuine gemstones, though it doesn't look like it.  Peace signs were an "in thing" when my mom was a kid.
 My mom loves pink.  I added a pop of it with the classic design above to give it a different feel.
This is a ring my mom requested specifically.  Apparently, white stones with a black band are popular now.  She wanted little silver glass beads (like the ones in the bracelets above), but I thought tiny crystals would make more of a pop.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Sherman Alexie, Junot Diaz & The Nobel Prize

Junot Diaz is accused of sexual misconduct. He is the latest, though far from only, man in the Literary Community who is a predator and/or scumbag.
Earlier this year, Sherman Alexie's victims came forward.
Today, it was announced that the Nobel Prize in Literature will be cancelled for 2018 due to their own "sexual assault scandal".

I'm sure there are many more examples of horrid people in the publishing industry/literary community, but these are some of the biggest and most recent.
A lot of writers react the same way when another victim comes forward:  "This isn't Hollywood! What the hell is going on?". As if terrible people don't exist in every field, as if having immense talent makes it impossible for someone to hurt others.

It's a difficult thing, to realize our idols and heroes stand on cracked pedestals.