Categories
Poetry

Nothing

In death

people don’t disappear

they brighten up and write poems

on the other side of the sky

wait for you to decipher

their lines.

They bury the flowers

you planted and eat your leftover soup

even if living with the dead was hard

their life in your hands

is as comparable

as empty hands and brick walls.

Categories
Poetry

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Categories
Poetry

5 tips for Editing Poetry Books

I have recently edited a few poetry books for fellow poets. I find that most poets, find it hard to edit their own poems and a second opinion is sometimes necessary to get out of their own head. I must admit that I never hired a poetry editor for my three poetry books, but I had a particular vision and look that I knew I wanted for my poems.

If you are looking for a poetry editor or you are editing your poems yourself here are 5 tips that worked for me and how I go about editing poetry books.

  1. After every draft, you should put your manuscript away for over two weeks and clear your mind. As many times as you go through your manuscript, is as many times you must put it aside. This ensures that you start fresh every time and believe me, every time you read it, you will find something that you need to correct or revise. Do this up until there is nothing left to rewrite. Do not settle until you feel your book is done. Eventually, you will know.
  2. You can divide your poetry book into sections or parts with titles so that it flows for the reader. Also, a table of contents with the list of poems at the beginning of the book is always helpful to quickly find a poem. Lately, some poets are not using any titles or table of contents…if you choose to do so, make sure that you divide your book into sections such as loss, healing, love, death, etc. so that there is some kind of order. There are not many rules in poetry and anything may go for certain poets, but in my experience, the books that have no titles or breaks are hard to read and difficult to distinguish one poem from the next.
  3. Every poetry book needs a Copyright page, a Dedication page, Acknowledgements page, at the beginning of the book and an About the Author Page at the end of the book. Number your pages. Look at the poetry books in your library and see how the professionals do it.
  4. Format, font and presentation are an integral part of a poetry book. Pay an expert to create your file in pdf with the appropriate poetic fonts and alignments. Equally, cover art and a blurb brings the book together as a whole.
  5. Make sure the poetry editor you hire has experience, knowledge and a grasp of poetic terms.

Good luck in the editing process, this is the hardest part of writing. As Ernest Hemingway wrote, ” The first draft of everything is shit.”

 

 

 

 

Categories
Poetry streams of consicousness

Hard

The hardest part of living is accepting your defeats

recognizing your accomplishments, taking care of a plant.

I am bad at all of the easy things and good at the hard shit.

I can take so much pain, you would think I was a punching bag.

I am made up of being a woman.

I am pure femininity. I know no other way to be

or live than by these thoughts and words.

It is  not easy to step into the beauty and continuously fight off

the weeds that try to break through the soil.

I try to make it work. Sometimes I am the only one left

at three a.m looking around for the earth I was born in.

Every day changes me. Every love kills me. I loved you

with thirty years of need. I admit that I need you

and I am not that fine with driving on a highway for thirty minutes straight.

I say I’m sorry so often you’d think I made a thousand mistakes a day.

I am so weak and vulnerable at human frailty.

It seems that vulnerability is a weakness now

but it’s how I live

with the words under my blouse

bra, panties.

And my mom calls me and I stop everything

to pick up the phone

because I worry that one day

the phone will stop ringing.

What am I cooking? Where am I?

How did I sleep?

It’s hard to live with death

constantly on your mind,

it’s easy to write it

and frame it

sell it to the highest bidder.

I stopped waiting for people to apologize

pointless to be waiting on a full moon

when you know it passed.

My heart keeps cracking, freezing

warming up

pounding

it follows the arms of the clock

incessantly

listening to philosophers

free in its spirit

because no matter what faces me

I never give up on the ones I love.

 

 

 

 

Categories
Poetry

Less you, More me

From above if you were watching through

a fine telescope

my wise ass remarks

would help you to understand

that it means nothing

to die. One life to create memories,

one breath to forget. Then Alzheimer

kicks  you and sets you on fire

with nonsense. I try to laugh

to cover up my turmoil of

uneasiness at these awkward situations

when the brain ceases to speak,

when the mind is muddled with

words you never thought

would make you cry.

 

Hold on 

to that patience, you will need it.

 

There was a time I lost everything in you.

Now I speak to my soul and repeat

less you, more me.

All this to convince myself that I still matter

somehow, before the memories fade

or the cancer grows

or the breasts disappear.

It’s Hawaiian day at work

and I will wear my hula

tell all the teachers how I appreciate

their soul

hug a child

and try to forget about the telescope.

 

Hold on to your soul,

you will need it. 

 

Categories
Poetry

Here and Now

It is how the poem never ends

when you write about how

you loved her so much

in such a brief time

with so much passion.

It is how my poem always ends

when I write about how

he loved me very little

with not enough passion.

It is how you let her

close enough to hurt you

and how I let him too close

to burn me

and he certainly did.

I suppose as she burned you

with her fire.

He had this way of making me feel

like a poet

and nothing else.

Never keep up with stranger’s intentions

let them all walk on broken glass

as we sit and watch the show.

We will talk about how they

knew nothing about poetry

and French philosophers

and designer cafe lattes

we will turn the tables

on them

and watch them fall down

or be brave enough to sit and discuss

what we are even fighting for

when all the fight in us is long gone.

In the here and now,

I will let you close enough

and be prepared

for your desertion.