One of my student’s gave me this letter a few days before her graduation this past May. I read it often and wanted to post it here while I’m traveling. I didn’t want to lose it:
“…I know how you feel because I have also lost someone very close to my heart: my dad. I know it’s not entirely the same but the pain hurts just as much. Over time, if feels like you just get used to it. However, it is important to always keep your mind and heart open. Do not shy away from new experiences. There is still a life that has yet to be fulfilled. You are like a second mom to me, and I can’t thank you enough for all you have done. I’m going to miss you very much, but I will always carry your wisdom with me.”
(She included a poem by Karen Owusu.)
Note 2 Self
You must learn
to carry yourself gently
You must learn
to love yourself.
You must learn
to be bold.
You must always
you are enough.
You are beautiful.
You are different.
You are not a fragment
a burnt flower.
You must water your flowers.
You must learn from your roots.
You must learn
to blossom beautifully.
You must learn
to create space.
Make room in your heart
Posted in Dreams, letters, life, Listening, loss, love, love & relationships, partners, poems, relationships
Tagged conversations about life, death, dreams, grief, happiness, inspiration, life, life questions, love, relationships, students, teachers
It’s the visceral connection. The impending death. Fairy tales of past are not worlds we could imagine leaving our kids in. Yet, we remember these stories.
In creating these narratives that “[are] not true, nor could ever possibly be true,” we define and re-define ourselves. We are human and humane, connected and creative.
Come and unleash your goblins and elves here at Plenum Pleasant Horrors of Fairytales Inside the Belly of the Wolf, my week of our MFA’s graduating capstone project.
Posted in Creative writing, death, Dreams, Fairytales, fear, imagination, life, truth, Writing prompts
Tagged art, creative writing, dreams, Elvis is Dead, Fairytales, fiction, powerful art, relationships, writing exercises, writing prompt
Watercolor, salt, glue
These questions. Questions in line with Bhanu Kapil’s method of asking people about their lives which really, really crossed borders. Please click on the link to answer the vertical interrogations. You will be amazed by your creativity, humor, and tenderness. [click on the reply number in the gray circle to add your response]. Have fun. Write something today.
Posted in Artist life, artists, artists i love, childhood, Dreams, Fairytales, fiction, Flowers, Friends, Gender, Hawaii, paradise, philosophy, poems, poetry, relationships, trouble, True to your art, writers notes, writing, Writing prompts
Tagged art, creative writing, fact, fiction, fun interview, love, Non-fiction, poetry, questions death, questions life, relationships, who are you, writing prompt
One is my MFA. Presently struggling to keep up with thesis production and the class’ creative writing project. Here’s my pushing up against something with weight / reflecting my breathing in and out / without
If you’re looking for generative prompts and writing tips to twist open the spigot for your summer writing projects and/or ambitions, please check out https://heronsandplenum.wordpress.com/
Plenum captures the spirit, energy, and creative urgency flowing through a diverse community of writers–the OSU-Cascades MFA Class of 2015. For seven days of seven weeks, the Plenum Capstone invites the World to join us in creating and experiencing the art of the written word through an innovative e-publishing exploration of the writing and the creative process. The project’s ephemeral nature distinguishes it from the aspirations of growth and longevity associated with more traditional digital media. The Plenum Capstone also echoes the broader MFA experience–brief, intense, and transient, yet providing experiences we will carry through the rest of our lives.
Posted in Art, artists, Back to School Again, crafts, creative non-fiction, Creative writing, Dreams, fiction, MFA, music, philosophy, poetry, writing, Writing prompts
Tagged creative writing, fiction, inspiration, Non-fiction, OSU Creative Writing Program, Plenum, poetry, writing prompts, writing tips
I couldn’t find a box my size
a smaller bigger box because it’s Sunday
and all the owners of boxes are at church
sitting in rows of boxes in a gigantic box
Some of them are really thinking of their boxes inside their homes
more boxes in boxes
Some are dreaming of wondrous things to put in their boxes
a toy truck wheel, a black pocket comb,
a foot of nylon rope
Some are fretting over boxes too full
with corners torn off like a sleeve or a kneecap
skinned of formation
I want to secretly climb in their home
and squat myself inside their box
I want to rub my body with a golden tube of VO5
and spit smoke of an expensive cigar on the walls of their box
When the box owners return home
they will climb inside to sniff at my messy beautiful walls
When people at church come looking for the absentee box owners
they will all climb into our box:
the store keeper, the pilots, everyone except the postman
We’ll pass the golden tube and oil ourselves
and spit smoke of expensive cigars on the walls
No one would ever want to leave our box
Wiping Honey Off the Bench at Dover Beach: “On Sentimentality”
They say you won’t understand
why I am truly First Person Fabulous. You may see me sitting on the red chair at the outdoor café,
white saucer, white cup to my lips.
They say Ambiguous You are disconnected from the tepid me. Instead of gulping tea and leafing open the paper,
you might witness my sobbing shoulders
and a maddening flicking of tears.
Am I more than an occupied parking stall approached a second too late?
But I know you are intelligent.
You are capable of dual activity: the duality of the connection we share, though not tangible, is “arterial and venous.”
They say poets imbibe sentiment with every sigh,
but if we agree to sit under the canopy of the Banyan tree,
Ambiguous You on your side
of your practical metal bench,
and First Person Fabulous me
placated on the idea of my imaginary one-foot bench,
couldn’t we curate the perfect environment
to generate poems of phô and snakes and pills?
Come then. “Let us be true to one another.”
Writers are demi-gods
changing the outcomes of history
with one emotional conversation,
inventing worlds and
choosing victims to toss over a cliff
or to be abducted by a madwoman.
Out of the cursor, we could saw
Jonah’s whale in half and revive Captain Ahab.
After the intermission break,
Adam could jump out of a hat
donning an apple in mouth
shifting blame, transforming all fruit-like allusions.
We are writers,
unfettered and powerful,
waiting to emerge out of the blinking cursor.
Posted in artists, Choices, creative non-fiction, Creative writing, Dreams, fiction, writing
Tagged blinking cursor, creating worlds, creative art, curiosity, fiction, powerful art, writers power