Celebrating Joseph Brodsky

A Russian/American poet that won the Nobel Prize in 1992.

“The surest defense against Evil is extreme individualism, originality of thinking, whimsicality, even—if you will—eccentricity.” ― Joseph Brodsky

I Sit By The Window
 by Joseph Brodsky
I said fate plays a game without a score,
and who needs fish if you’ve got caviar?
The triumph of the Gothic style would come to pass
and turn you on–no need for coke, or grass.
I sit by the window. Outside, an aspen.0
When I loved, I loved deeply. It wasn’t often.

I said the forest’s only part of a tree.
Who needs the whole girl if you’ve got her knee?
Sick of the dust raised by the modern era,
the Russian eye would rest on an Estonian spire.
I sit by the window. The dishes are done.
I was happy here. But I won’t be again.

I wrote: The bulb looks at the flower in fear,
and love, as an act, lacks a verb; the zer-
o Euclid thought the vanishing point became
wasn’t math–it was the nothingness of Time.
I sit by the window. And while I sit
my youth comes back. Sometimes I’d smile. Or spit.

I said that the leaf may destroy the bud;
what’s fertile falls in fallow soil–a dud;
that on the flat field, the unshadowed plain
nature spills the seeds of trees in vain.
I sit by the window. Hands lock my knees.
My heavy shadow’s my squat company.

My song was out of tune, my voice was cracked,
but at least no chorus can ever sing it back.
That talk like this reaps no reward bewilders
no one–no one’s legs rest on my shoulders.
I sit by the window in the dark. Like an express,
the waves behind the wavelike curtain crash.

A loyal subject of these second-rate years,
I proudly admit that my finest ideas
are second-rate, and may the future take them
as trophies of my struggle against suffocation.
I sit in the dark. And it would be hard to figure out
which is worse; the dark inside, or the darkness out.

“For darkness restores what light cannot repair.” ― Joseph Brodsky
Elegy
 by Joseph Brodsky
It’s not that the Muse feels like clamming up,
it’s more like high time for the lad’s last nap.
And the scarf-waving lass who wished him the best
drives a steamroller across his chest.

And the words won’t rise either like that rod
or like logs to rejoin their old grove’s sweet rot,
and, like eggs in the frying pan, the face
spills its eyes all over the pillowcase.

Are you warm tonight under those six veils
in that basin of yours whose strung bottom wails;
where like fish that gasp at the foreign blue
my raw lip was catching what then was you?

I would have hare’s ears sewn to my bald head,
in thick woods, for your sake, I’d gulp drops of lead,
and from black gnarled snags in the oil-smooth pond
I’d bob up to your face as some Tirpitz won’t.

But it’s not on the cards or the waiter’s tray,
and it pains to say where one’s hair turns gray.
There are more blue veins than the blood to swell
their dried web, let alone some remote brain cell.

We are parting for good, my friend, that’s that.
Draw an empty circle on your yellow pad.
This will be me: no insides in thrall.
Stare at it a while, then erase the scrawl.

“For a writer, only one form of patriotism exists: his attitude toward language.” ― Joseph Brodsky

 

 

Motivation Monday

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts. It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.”

I’ve been working on poetry forms again. The focus I find is helping me rethink my word usage in my book. Writers are guilty of using extra verbiage that doesn’t add to the story.

I decided to give a Fib aka Fibonacci for short a try because of its rigid structure.

Form: Fibonacci~ 8 Lines~ Syllabic Structure: 1/1/2/3/5/8/13/21

In mathematics, the Fibonacci numbers are the numbers in the following integer sequence, called the Fibonacci sequence, and characterized by the fact that every number after the first two is the sum of the two preceding. Fib is an experimental Western poetry form, bearing similarities to haiku, but based on the Fibonacci sequence. That is, the typical fib and one version of the contemporary Western haiku both follow a strict structure. The typical fib is a six line, 20 syllable poem with a syllable count by line of 1/1/2/3/5/8 – with as many syllables per line as the line’s corresponding place in the Fibonacci sequence; the specific form of contemporary Western haiku uses three (or fewer) lines of no more than 17 syllables in total. The only restriction on a Fib is that the syllable count follows the Fibonacci sequence.

 

Barriers Aside

I

need
freedom
to take steps.
A bold move beyond
the usual path love follows.
I want no boundaries, no rules to confine my heart.
I wonder if you are the one to join me on this elusive passion-filled journey.

 

 

 

NaNoWriMo update and migraine

I took a higher dosage of my prescribed medication so I could attempt to get back on track. Thankfully, I accomplished 29,702 words written with 20,298 to go. I have
59.4 % completed according to Writing.com’s calculator.

I saw Lisa made progress today. I’m happy for Carly she finished. We can do this Lisa.

I got an interesting message from my writing class instructor this afternoon that helped validate my insanity. “BTW I’ve just finished reading your chapters. Excellent!” He gave me an exclamation point, the man never does that. Raz always says save the exclamation point for the best possible moment and only use one in a book to make it damn good.

I’m off to bed, tomorrow I go to Philadelphia to get my Botox injections and to discuss with the doctor about changing my medicines so I have relief longer than a week. This is the third month in a row where the nerve block hasn’t lasted longer than a few days. There has got to be something different to try.

“Truth is everybody is going to hurt you: you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.” ~ Bob Marley

 

Quote and NaNoWriMo update

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”~ Edgar Allen Poe

19,148 words thus far in Death and I, the story of Mairin, Bruce, and Death.

This weekend I wrote three found poems with snippets of the NY Times again. I had a great helper too. Macavity laid on the snippets and moved several which ended up being just what I needed. I used pieces of the different poems in my story with Mairin, too, so my cutting the newspaper became an exercise in creative thinking.

Phantom Threat

A family portrait for all humanity

blood, sweat, toil, and tears

unraveling racial hatred

prompts  crisis

in the darkest hours

of rivers and rituals

Happiness is for other people

those who stay

the once mediocre

seek some calm

apologize again

for them, it’s not discrimination

but

A war of words underway

The screaming just won’t stop

until

we seek our way to death.

*************************************************************************************

An enlightened friendship

when coffee brews a different spirit

in all its realness

speaks

Sweetness with a side of sarcasm.

*********************************************************

The metamorphosis

is an unwanted

brutal final indignity.

It penalizes what we had

in the

years of relying on what

no one knows.

The dots to greatness

remain unknown.

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Yup, he had a good idea. The coffee poem and the metamorphosis both improved with his help.

Motivational Quote and Me

“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.”
― Yoko Ono

A lady I knew in Maine, my rival when it came to Halloween decorations passed away unexpectedly yesterday. We’re the same age, and our children are the same ages. I was reminded how short our lives truly are.

I want to take a moment for the families in Texas whose world was turned upside down in a moment of violence. They are in our prayers. I don’t understand why anyone would do that to another human being.

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I’ve written 8650 words, monumental for me in 5 days. I was feeling overwhelmed with my character so I decided to take a mental health break. I made a Thanksgiving centerpiece wreath for our table. It went to together easy enough considering this is my very first attempt at making a wreath. (Yup, I followed a youtube video.) The glitter all over the floor was messy and everywhere with help from Macavity. Overall the project took just over two hours from start to finish and the result was very eye appealing.

The Mistletoe Murder
of
Philosophers and
Other Lovers
in what once
was a nation
now
A Gambler’s Anatomy
In this
City of Dreams
Where America Begins

Judge Not
The Whistler
The Man Who Chose
To Exile
Rogue Heroes
In the
March of the Lexicon

Surprise
Words on the Move
Cruel Beautiful World
It’s no longer
Seriously Sweet
When Music Was Life and Death

no
Escape Clause
to
The Wrong Side of Goodbye
in a Sleeping World
oh
The Mortifications
Bless Me
for I Will Sin©

Enjoy your Monday.  I need to go Mairin, Bruce and Death are calling.

A quote and scraps of today

 

“The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has been before.” —Albert Einstein

I wrote 3295 words this morning. I got up at 6am and sat writing until noon. I didn’t move except to refill my coffee and to use the bathroom. I decided that I better move around some I worked on taking down Halloween and putting up Thanksgiving. It’s disappointing to me how few decorations there are.

Outside the house, all signs of Halloween have disappeared for another year. Hopefully, we will be living somewhere new by the time Halloween rolls around again. I’m looking forward to next the adventure. I put the scarecrows and the turkey by the front door. I hung a turkey on the storm door. The living room is packed up but that’s as far as I went today.

I decided to have raw veggies, some pepperoni and a cup of tea for dinner and work on the edits Raz sent back. I finished that and decided to work on some more writing. I lost all track of time, missed Grey’s Anatomy again. 😦 but I did churn out 3000 more words.

I haven’t re-read what I wrote yet. I’m happy with calling it a night. I’ll edit tomorrow. I just want to be ahead so I can some quality time with my husband.

I even started a crazy poem today that I’m going to use in my story Death and I

I toss another swig back

 feel my lips pucker and eyes bulge.

 I know there’s mascara streaks

 running down my face.

It hardly matters now.

I wish I’d known love

was cruel before

It played me like a fool.

I’m always wiser

when it’s too late.

 So liquor is my new love of choice

I drink your memory away

My friends warn me

drinking is a problem

that it will be the death of me.

Will that even matter?

who knew salvation’s possible

a sip at a time

 til bottle’s empty.©

 

 

Quote and updates

“A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest.”~ Albert Einstein

Our Halloween party was a lot of fun with good friends and an awesome conversation always. I was Charlie Brown for the evening. I shaved my head bald and added the one curly cue on the front of my head with black eyeliner and on the back was the pumpkin face that Lucy had drawn from the show. I wore a yellow and black shirt like his with shorts and ankle socks to finish the look. My hubby was the angry cat, my grandson was a wolf. Among our guests we had Julius Caesar, Athenia,  a vampiress,  a demon, a  star Trekkie,  a hazmat worker, a rainbow unicorn, an executive, a musician, a cowboy, a zombie… just to name a few. Like most parties, we also had those who came and didn’t dress up. The companionship was awesome. I enjoy entertaining especially setting the scene and the prep work.

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This afternoon a friend of mine, Sara and I joined some other writing friends from our local writing at a coffeehouse meeting in Willow Grove where we had the pleasure of meeting Jon Mcgoran and Keith Strunk. There were so many different genre writers published and unpublished filling the meeting area at Barnes and Noble.  The discussion about the process— how we approach our writing was interesting. Some outline, some just free write, and others do binge writing and then stop and come back to it with the hope as they write a story will appear. It’s knowing how we work and understanding what it takes for each of us to write is important. We all need to use what works best for us and go with it. There is no wrong or right way, we simply have to do it. The meeting flew by before I knew it. What I did learn today is how important it is to be with other writers to replenish our wells, validate in our own minds that we’re sane in our love affair with words. One of the writers today at coffeehouse also gave an awesome reminder too. It’s not going to be a perfect piece of work, it may very well be a piece of crap. The important part is to meet the goal and then worry about polishing it.  Sitting down every day and doing it… that is the key to success. I felt rejuvenated and ready to do next month’s writing challenge.

I’ve completed all the prep work on Writing. com two days early. I met the deadline and feel good about all my prep work.

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” —Napoleon Hill

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” —Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Random Thoughts

“She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible.
She walked with the Universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings.” ― Ariana Dancu
I posted my entry in the NaNoPrep a few minutes ago for today and the date hit home. There are only eleven days left in this month and November is here. I have so much work left to get myself ready to do the 50,000-word challenge. 1667 words a day.  I’ve decided to block out every morning for 3 and hours and write no matter what. Then get what I need to do otherwise for the Airbnb part of my life and then if I have more writing I can go back to it. A pot of coffee and 5 CDs of dark classical music playing my muse and Narda should be happy. Yes, that’s witchy’s name.  Someday, I’ll tell you her story but for now, I need to get back to scene building.

 

 

If I’m feeling stagnated I do have lots of inspiration surrounding me. Normally, I take everything down the first week of November we’ll see how that goes this year. I may have Halloween, Thanksgiving decorations joining my Christmas.

 

My Muse Asks Why?

Why does her headstone sit alone?
There must be more to this unresolved story
as to why a crooked cross headstone
is not restored to its former glory.
Sadly, it sits neglected in a leaf-strewn meadow.
How lonely it must feel under the fog-shrouded moon
with those tall trees casting an eerie shadow.
Hardly a place for families come to commune
They are all resting in such a lonely place.
One stone indicates a family man but
another indicates nothing, was there a family disgrace?
If only the spirits would help solve this mystery
why several names share the same stone.
I’m sure there must be an interesting history
As to why the neglected headstone sits all alone

with a lacy black glove haphazardly lying across. ©
My character Mairin in the story knows why, but she’s not ready to say. Though I will give you one itty bitty clue the black glove plays an integral part.
If you lived closer I’d say come join us at our annual Halloween costume event. This year it is on Saturday, October 28th. The house is decorated to the nines and most of the baking is done. I have a good friend coming on Wednesday and together we’ll finish the last minute stuff.

 

Motivational Quote About Inciting Incidences

” A novel can be set in motion by an incident, a character, a location, a mood,  by anything at all Sometimes the stimulus can be an idea, which will rapidly clothe itself in a character.” Cynthia Ozick

  • The inciting incident happens in the first act.
  • The inciting incident happens to the protagonist.
  • The protagonist is usually passive at this juncture; the inciting incident is generally set in motion by someone or something else (a letter, a visit, an encounter)