Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Poetry Schmoetry Blogfest

When routine bites hard, and ambitions are low
And resentment rides high, but emotions won't grow
And we're changing our ways, taking different roads
Love, love will tear us apart, again
--Love Will Tear Us Apart, Joy Division
I do not write poetry.  I love to read it, but the closest I’ve been to actually writing the stuff was a blatant rip-off of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” in my holiday letters from 2005.  I blame my high school English class; they voted to read Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People in lieu of dissecting the works of Walt Whitman.  I never recovered, and I forgot all those ways to make people like me anyway.
When I saw the Poetry Schmoetry blogfest via Summer Ross's blog, I realized that this was my chance for redemption. The power of rhyme compelled me.
The hardest part was settling on a subject.  I’ve been a little discombobulated about life lately--at a crossroads some would say.  So I chose to write about the anxiety that plagues me at times and trying to defeat it.  I’m not sure if it made me a poet, but the process did force some raw introspection, which might be the point.  Plus, it was pretty darn fun.  So here you have it, my white wedding to poetry.  

Feeding the fear
She is here, with her taste of metal and brackish stink.
My heart strains against sinewy confines but it won’t escape.  
This I know, I studied the book and the white coats say it’s impossible.
Yet still I wonder.
Her touch not real, a product of my overloaded brain trying to organize, compartmentalize.
Some days my swagger is impaired, the facade of calm ragged and I worry she will notice, she will finally claim me.
She taunts me.  Hunts this poor white trash that got an education; drinks my claustrophobia in that coat decorated with serpent’s staff. 
And she bloats larger.
Gorging on doubt and hot shame of failure to fulfill my different gypsy destiny.
The rush of blood in my neck drowns my stuttering pulse, the waves fill my throat to cease empty bartering for time wasted.
But I am of the air.
I rip myself from her sodden arms and suck the sweet taste of a blue sky.  With caustic eye/I push her down, crush her larynx to silence her siren’s calls. 
Mistress panic, you will go hungry today.


  1. I really enjoyed reading this. I found a bit of comic relief that you used the word "swagger" in this, mainly because I'm not used to seeing it written in a poem. what I really enjoyed was when you said: "Her touch not real, a product of my overloaded brain trying to organize, compartmentalize.

    The last two words really hit home for me. Great job and I am so glad you joined in the fun!

  2. Excellent Julie--and I admit needing to lookup the definition of what sinewy meant so your work was enjoyable and educational.

  3. "But I am of the air..."

    My God, Julie. What an incredible poem. It's so raw in its intensity, yet so subtle in the way it builds to an answer for its own title. A BEAUTIFUL EPIPHANY!
    You need to edit this post! Those first few words? The ones stating that you are not a poet? Wrong. Stunning.

  4. This is amazing, Julie! Excellent word choice and your writing evokes such feeling. You ARE a poet! I'm posting mine for the blogfest later today. I write rhyming children's poetry so it's very different! :)
    Also, my husband LOVES that Joy Division song. There's a Joy Division section at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame; I never realized how influential they were.

  5. You gave me freaking chills, girl. This line is great: "gorging on doubt and hot shame of failure." Whew!

  6. I love the emotion in this poem, and the message.
    Like you, I'm not a poet, but I've found that at times of tremendous emotional pain or breaktrhough, that's the form of writing that flows. I'm guessing from the power in your words that writing this poem felt like a powerful release, deep down, to you. Nice!

  7. Summer--thanks so much for the link to get involved with this, I really enjoyed doing it. And there's this song by Flogging Molly named "Swagger" that always makes me smile, too.

    Slamdunk--glad I could have a dual purpose! Thank you for stopping by

    Bryce--coming from you, I am floored by the compliment, especially after I have salivated (in a good way) over your work this week with the Seven Deadly Sins. Thank you, it means a ton.

    Kelly--that makes me all warm and fuzzy. I'm used to being sort of flippant, so feelings can be hard for me to solidify. And I love, love Joy Division--well, because their words are like poetry.

    Alleged Author--you're sure you're not getting sick or something? I recommend Chicken Noodle Soup and Tylenol for the chills. Seriously, thank you for the support, makes me so happy that the words could move you like that.

    Angie--Thank you for stopping by, glad you were able to see it in your mind

    Linda--I'll admit, this was pretty cathartic for me. I may have to write poetry more often. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

  8. Yay! Nice poem! I also don't spend any time writing poetry. Sometimes i wish i did, but who has the time?

  9. So stunning, gypsy lady! You should write poetry more often. It's very freeing, isn't it? I only write poetry when I feel like it or have sudden inspiration, but I have over 100 documents in my poetry folder. It's fun to go back and read them later.

  10. Well, I think your poetry is pretty awesome. What people fail to understand is that poems are about what goes on in your heart. When we jot them on paper we're placing them before the world to know us, judge us, emulate us. Great job. :)

  11. Very nice!
    And I don't think you forgot all those tips on how to make people like you.

  12. I could relate. Your words spoke to me. Great lines of poetry. :)

  13. Christ, that lyric hurt at the moment ...

  14. luv it -- especially the last part: Mistress panic, you will go hungry today.
    Thank you for sharing.

  15. Sarah--time is a hot commodity--wish I could figure out how to go on only 2 or 3 hours of sleep a night

    Rain--you are so correct, I actually felt drained and empowered at the same time after I wrote this, if that is even possible

    Laila--thank you for such sage words. To be able to put things that are so intensely personal out there in a supportive environment is part of the reason I'm drawn to the writerly community

    Alex--I guess I will go ahead and send that thank you note to Mr. Carnegie! Thanks for reading.

    M Pax--what you said makes my heart happy. that's my ultimate goal is to have someone be able to extrapolate my words to their own life.

    Suze--Joy Division can be rough on the soul. I have felt physical pain when I listen to that song sometimes.

    Msmouse--thank you so much for stopping by! Means a lot to have someone pull out a specific part that really spoke to them. Thanks again!

  16. Holy crap, that's some powerful stuff! Nice use of diction and rhythm.

  17. Love the imagery and emotion behind this. Yes, you do write poetry!

  18. Hi,

    Oh my, this is heartfelt angst: emotional stress and inner desire to combat fatigue and gain sense of peace! Lovely, simply lovely and expressive piece. ;)


  19. Powerful stuff. There's a lot of emotion behind the words. Plus, I love the way you separated some words and phrases from the rest of the text.

  20. You've captured the thoughts that sweep through many successful minds! I have a feeling this will be the first of many poems for you! Julie

  21. This is neat--NICE job!!!

  22. I love this poem. My favorite line is "I rip myself from her sodden arms and suck the sweet taste of a blue sky." You have such an amazing way with words!

  23. Glad you tried the recipe and liked it! I just love to tool around in the kitchen:) I think this poem is amazing and POWERFUL! Great work, looking forward to reading your old posts and the new ones to come:)

  24. Panic can be overwhelming. This is a great mental picture of victory over it. Thanks for sharing!
    Pam at

  25. Christine--thanks for stopping by! Glad you felt what I was going for!

    Randy--I'm glad the sentiment came through. Thanks for reading.

    Angela--that means a lot, especially knowing you are a poet. Thanks!

    Francine--I have loved stalking your romance blog. Thank you for such kind words, I'm glad you liked it.

    Empty nest--sometimes we are our own worst enemies, right?

    Casey--so glad you stopped by. I wasn't sure about the separation, but I figured since there were no rules, I'd just do it.

    Cherie--Thanks for reading!

    lbdiamond--appreciate the kudos! Thanks you so much.

    Madeline--wow, that was a very nice thing to say. Thank you so much for stopping by to read

    Sarah--I love the blog! So many unique recipes, and I'm a big fan of organic ingredients. Looking forward to making the smoothies next!

    Pam--it's so interesting that something that is created in your mind can feel so physical. I'm a big believer in the mind/body connection, and that you can influence your health with attitude. Thanks for stopping by!

  26. Man, I totally wanted to Beatnik snap to the end of that poem. So reminded me of the work of that era. Maybe you can hire someone to play a base behind you as you read it ;)
    I think the best way to win friends and influence people is to write poetry. ;) I can't even write that without a huge smile on my face. But seriously, sharing parts of yourself with others, REALLY does win friends and influence people, so poetry counts.
    Love this poem!

  27. Hello Julie
    I just found your blog. We co-starred in Suze, Girl Wizard video of today. I am looking forward to reading all your posts.
    In friendship
    Helen Tilston

  28. Wow! Powerful imagery, beautiful and lyrical. And I loved the hopeful ending.

  29. Wow! My non-poetry skills WAY outshine yours. Fabulous poem. My husband is a white coat, too, and man, I bet he would identify with this. Very real!


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