Tuesday, April 3, 2007

When I Saw Her Coming Down The Aisle

By Jeanette Sarcinello

First Place Winner of the First Annual Poetry of Things Contest

I couldn’t imagine that someone like her would stop to check me out. Age fades the best of us, and I am no spring chicken—but whoa! When I saw her I felt young again—like putting a fresh coat of paint on an old garage—renewed!!

There was a couple, a few weeks ago, who stopped right in from of me—can you believe that—right in front of me! They were older. Looked like they had been married for 60 years! They even had the same droop to their eyes, and the same sun spots on the tops of their hands. My guess was that they were snow bunnies—you now, people who travel to their homes in Florida when the weather dips below 70? Anyways, they picked up the guy next to me. He was a little reluctant to go, but I told him to look on the bright side—he’ll most likely spend some time on the beach. He’d like that I think—I know I would!

Some time before that old couple a little baby passed by in her carriage. She was sucking on a bottle—I think it had Elmo on it. She reached out and grabbed me—she almost knocked me to the floor! Her mother quickly took the baby’s hand and tapped it. I felt bad that the little kid had to deal with such a silly reprimand, but at the same time—kids gotta learn to keep their hands to themselves! It was a close call, but I actually liked that little kid—I wonder if I will ever see her again. She was cute.

Oh, so back to the Venus—I can get sidetracked sometimes—I think that I sit too much. Too much time to think…oh right, right…she was gorgeous! Long red hair—just a little bit of a curl to it, some light freckles on her nose, and the most amazing green eyes I have even seen in my life! At first I thought that she was going to just pass me by. She was on her cell phone—and her voice, I might add—like sugar dripping from her lips! She walked closer. She mentioned something about Tahiti—boy, would I love to go there—what a great place. Well, I have never been there to really know if it is a great place or not—but my heart tells me that it just has to be the most beautiful location on the planet. Suddenly, with a twist of her milky, soft neck…I caught her eye.

“Oh WOW!! Andrea, I just found the perfect bag for our trip…!"

Her fingers glided past my palm trees, and opening my zipper—she flipped up the price tag… “yes! You are coming home with me!”

I almost ripped at my seems—as she examined me for imperfections—but I was clean—the cleanest canvas in this whole place!! She took me to her and wrapped her arm around me—her fingers resting comfortably around my handle. God! She smelled good—something floral, but ever so slight. My side rested against her breast, it felt natural that I should be there—with her. I imagined her and I going to the beach in Tahiti—she’s wearing a string bikini…a red one…she matches me. Oh, I am in love!

“Andrea this would make a great laundry bag so we don’t have to cart our dirty clothes from the room to the laundromat.”

…Shit…too bad that little kid didn’t dump her Elmo cup on me when she had the chance…

Capacity

By Kristina Moriconi

Second Place in The First Annual Poetry of Things Contest

I hold onto things for you, and I do not think you appreciate my capacity for this. It is at times difficult to see the value in what you keep. I do not appreciate bearing the burden of these things you will not part with, the secrets that brush against me, that tear and strain at the insides of me.

You do not acknowledge the effects your reckless consumption has on me, the weight I bear silently suspended there at your side. Too often I think you view me as expendable, easily replaced. You seem more inclined to look at me as an object, like just another possession or a prize, but I am so much more than that.

On the inside, I have a capacity that far exceeds so many others like me. If only you could look beyond my exotic exterior, but you simply cannot. So I no longer want to shoulder the responsibility of you and the contents of your superficial life.

Take your money, and your car keys, and your expensive perfume and leave me as you found me—unencumbered by all of the things you keep, free from the needless complexity of you.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

The First Annual "Poetry of Things" Contest



It's time to have some real fun and stretch your creative muscles. I know that someone out there would love to own this bag. It is the genuine article, imported from Dominica, kitschy and practical at the same time. By practical, I mean you can fit an entire library or your favorite pet inside of it with room to spare.

Here's how you can aquire this one-of-a-kind article. Have you ever seen "The Spitfire Grill"? That movie begins with an essay contest to decide who will be the next owner of a restaurant in rural Maine. The "Poetry of Things" offers an opportunity for you to write something-- pretty much anything-- for a chance to own this most unique article. Following the success of this first effort, this will become an annual competition for equally fascinating objects.

All genres-- essay, poetry, fiction, etc.-- are welcome. You can write about anything as long as it applies to the bag in some way. Tell me why the bag should be yours and what you will do with it, invent a story about it, or write a lyric in homage to it. Please send only 1 piece of writing and limit the length to 2 pages.
Email your entry by to kathrynmagdalene@yahoo.com before April 1, 2007.

Be sure to include all your relevant contact information. By entering the contest, you agree that your work may be published (one-time use agreement) on this blog.

The winning piece of writing will appear here-- and, of course, I will mail the bag to you as your prize! No fooling! Someone will win.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Poem Made of War Papers

The war in Iraq and its associated disasters, the whole bloody mess is very upsetting and renders me speechless. How could I possibly write a poem about it? I decided to use chance as a way into this overwhelming mystery of human error and cruelty. Because the situation is chaotic, a chaotic poem resulted.

To inflict maximum premeditated murder
troops will unravel stopping
appear to be their greatest dead
the explosion killed violence on Friday
It is not Saturday, making
many treat ghastly
mortars have been charged with people
the bomber disguised capacity of civilian
landed between
the bombs exploded just about anything
still have the empty and nearly confined
at least five Iraqs remain closed
charred black with violence.
might retaliate.
concern is that without members to testify
girls' school died, blood in them vehicles

In other violence
mostly as it had for 15 people or Iraqi soldiers
or Sadr City following 2
the Shiite stronghold a mortar suddenly
can remember the schoolyard was
snakes sold to Marines
the sidewalk was coverd with hundreds more
since the war because of assaults
20 doctors with no colleagues.
carried on.
deadliest day.
shooting the wounded suffering centuries.

uncommon.
to get attention.
the deadliest since imposters.
rituals common. attacks on schools.
tea and snacks slithered through wounded Baghdad
wounds hard to fathom for United bombs
it was timed unclear whether 300 killed
at least 215 mortar
this way the morning spent
Sunday in western bloodied and confused
were the police and 50 wounded
States force weeks of violence
people were killed he declined to give

everyone here be vulnerable to attack
girls were firing at streets
the reach November there was a massive
given orders
suddenly days deadlier
damage that sped through the abductors
wounded supplies in the period
killed and 55, pattern of 4 at his trial.
It was not from one man
a series of before that were simultaneous.
clear who he had not wounded. who.
reporters sad of war raining down
killers who died the maximum began
terror 7 the blast was permission
exploded it was not
trying to bloody
badly diminished survivors here.

-- a collection of words from New York Times artcles, Jan 27-29, 2007

Thursday, February 1, 2007

An Untimely End

This piece came out of an exercise called "Collaborative Cut-Up," which can be found in a book called "The Practice of Poetry." Anyone in need of new ideas for writing or help with writer's block should check it out.

I stand, a dark spinner
vice president of the club
in the library, in all the classrooms

If you breed two blue ones he said
eyes bright, mouth smiling although nervous

The grange hall displayed an impressive depth.
I came to read them my poems
a black and a blue.
Boys clearly love their birds
and toss and catch as if by magic

kissing them gently on the back
a fancy trick I do for example,
my singed hands burning
in the smaller conference room
named after yellow balls of light

I hatched one, which I wasn’t supposed to

an untimely end, like juggling with chickens
In White America
you won’t get blues but blacks.

-- created using text from Lucille Clifton & the NY Times

A Chain of Diamonds

I once went on an adventure in the form of a creative writing workshop for elementary students. They did not like to sit still and listen if they were not engaged in some way. I found they were most invested and interested in a project that was collaborative and provided them with some interaction as well as satisfaction with language. This is one of my favorite things that came out of the experience.

watched
birds flying
by us all
day long
quack

quack
went the
very loud funny
and silly
duck

ducks
geese and
bald eagles
are all
birds

birds
are all
animals with wings
that are
cool.

-- 4th graders C and G

Hiking Haiku

Haiku traditionally contain a clear image, usually of a natural element, and a reference to the season or time of year. Here, the presence of the mushrooms accomplishes both.

Trailside pink mushroom
quivering under my shoe—
my shadow moves on.


Afternoon shadow
towering over moths and bees:
redcap marking trail.


-- Jen & Kat, Mt. Sugarloaf, Fall 2006