The Battle

Castle-Ruins

The winner of this war
will not be awarded medals
of valor.
Or ribbons for bravery
But we will both
walk away with purple
hearts;
battered, bloody, and beaten
from the disaster
that we’ve wrought
upon each other.

We are at war
only our weapons
are not guns,
bombs, or missiles.
We engage in up
close and personal
hand to hand combat
or rather
tongue to tongue.

Both of us are committed
to winning
at all costs.
Not realizing what we
are sacrificing, just
to say that we are the
victor not the victim.

raisin in the sun
hughes typing

Last week was extremely crazy for me as one of my favorite people in the universe got married. I read Like Fire for Everything during the ceremony, I have also been busy wrapping up this Composition Theory & Teaching course, and possibly getting hired by a local university (yay!!!). In light of all of that I have not written any new poetry {or fiction} but I have been reciting lines from Langston Hughes’ A Dream Deferred all week long. Okay, let me be honest with you all, a huge part of the reason that this poem has been stuck in my head is because it inspired the great Lorraine Hanesberry in creating the title for her play A Raisin in the Sun, a revival of which will be on Broadway in April starring Denzel Washington, Diahann Carroll, Anika Noni Rose, and Sophie Okonedo. I will be in attendance! There has been no deferred dream yet but I particularly love the initial question, “What happens to a dream deferred?” I am constantly questioning how I will respond to the next time that my dreams are put off, cast aside, or put on hold.

Although short and sweet, Hughes’ poem is emotive and a bit evocative as it appeals to the senses. I can imagine all of these possibilities happening to a postponed dream. When it comes to fulfilling promise I am always full of words and thoughts but this poem is a constant reminder to keep working towards my goals.

Harlem [Dream Deferred]

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?
– Langston Hughes

Where All the Librarians Know Your Name!

PointsOfInterestShepardPrudentLibrary

I have been practically living in my local library this summer and aside from a nasty incident with an audio book I have been completely satisfied. So as I was waiting to check out last week I realized that the majority of the staff are on a first name basis with me. I fully expect to walk in one day and have them all whisper my name! As if I’m Norm from Cheers.
For a book lover such as myself, even in the age of technology’s invasion on publication and the Google-ization of learning there is something incredible about the library. I am still enamored with the aisles upon aisles of books. I don’t remember my first trip to the library but I have fallen in love with libraries in many different cities and on quite a few military installations. I even donate books because I believe in the power of reading. As a writer, I think that ebooks are wonderful but nothing compares to reading a physical book, turning the pages, fingertips gripping them. I love the feel of holding a book in my hand, of carrying a stack from the library, being excited to go home and dive into them.

Writing Oddities

small secretary

As a writer, I have quite a few idiosyncrasies. And I do mean a few. For instance, I almost always write my poetry by hand. I feel like there’s a measure of authenticity to my work if I scribble it out on paper first. But I tend to write the majority of prose on the computer. A bit weird, I know. I can write pretty much anywhere. Last week, I turned my lamp on twice to start a poem. Oreo Cheesequake, Strawberry Sundae, Mint Chocolate Chip Cone is the result of words popping into my head after midnight and I had to get them down before I lost them. On a personal note, I tend to write a lot of dialogue while I’m in the restroom. I call it my office. I also write a lot while driving. I am thinking about keeping a mini-recorder in the car or using my phone to record the randomness that pops into my head.

Another quirk is that I don’t like to write in blue ink. I write primarily in black and have recently started using red pens but not blue. Never blue. I just noticed this last week and while it’s more of a preference, I can’t figure out what it stems from or begin to think about breaking it.

Do any of you have writing tendencies that may be a bit weird?