Preparing for Next Year

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   Have you ever heard the old adage about whatever you’re doing as the new year begins? Well, in the hopes that it’s true I’m spending the night reading. I know that I shoild be writing but I am brainstorming some new ideas. I’ve been reading a lot for the past month and since the semester ended I picked up the pace even more.
   Tonight, I’m going to read James Patterson’s Alert. I’m on page 60 so it should take the remainder of the night for me to finish if I start reading after finishing this post(and take time out for champagne at midnight).
  I hope that you all have a wonderful night and start to the new year. I’ll be posting my writing resolutions tomorrow! And I’m super excited to share them.

And When My Sorrow was Born- KAHLIL GIBRAN

  Painter, poet and novelist Kahlil Gibran wrote many of his works in English in spite of the fact that he was born in Lebanon(then Ottoman Syria). He was educated in Beirut, Paris and Boston.
His writing often spoke to the experiences and loneliness of Syrian immigrants in the New World. For his readers, Gibran’s writing presented a departure from traditional Arabic poetry and prose. His work while still containing the beauty and richness of previous Arabic literature was more fluid and easier to read.
   I found this piece on Poetry Foundation and was immediately enamored. I think it is lyrical and although written in a formal tone it is easy to understand. The lines are infused with emotion, but not overwrought. I love how telling it is in spite of not being overly long.
   I hope that you’ve all been enjoying your holiday season and are getting plenty to read.

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And when my Joy was born, I held it in my arms and stood on the
house-top shouting, “Come ye, my neighbours, come and see, for Joy
this day is born unto me.  Come and behold this gladsome thing that
laugheth in the sun.”

But none of my neighbours came to look upon my Joy, and great was
my astonishment.

And every day for seven moons I proclaimed my Joy from the
house-top—and yet no one heeded me.  And my Joy and I were alone,
unsought and unvisited.

Then my Joy grew pale and weary because no other heart but mine
held its loveliness and no other lips kissed its lips.

Then my Joy died of isolation.

And now I only remember my dead Joy in remembering my dead Sorrow.
But memory is an autumn leaf that murmurs a while in the wind and
then is heard no more.

Cosmopolite-Georgia Douglas Johnson

Good afternoon! I hope that you’ve all been enjoying this wonderful December weekend. It has been a hectic week for me and I haven’t even started baking yet. I have been catching up on my reading though and trying to get a bit of writing done but this is a busy time of the year with the semester ending, my birthday and Christmas all closely packed together.
I wanted to share this piece that I found through an email from poets.org which is a wonderful resource that I use throughout the year especially during National Poetry Month. Georgia Douglas Johnson was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on September 10, 1880 and was a prominent participant of the Harlem Renaissance. This piece speaks to the fluidity of humanity. I love the sophistication of the title and the complexity of the poem.

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Not wholly this or that,
But wrought
Of alien bloods am I,
A product of the interplay
Of traveled hearts.
Estranged, yet not estranged, I stand
All comprehending;
From my estate
I view earth’s frail dilemma;
Scion of fused strength am I,
All understanding,
Nor this nor that
Contains me.

Why Left Ear is my Soul Mate

This post is a bit different but it’s about two things that I  really love. Well, three if you count the movie that inspired the post.

Late last Saturday night when I could have been doing anything else I decided to watch one of my favorite movies. And not for the first time, it hit me that I was staring right at my soul mate.

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If the name sounds familiar yes, I’m referring to Left Ear, the expert in demolitions and explosives aka the bomb making genius, from 2003’s remake of The Italian Job. Yes, I realize that he’s not a real person but he’s still perfect for me. And it’s not because he was portrayed by the artist formerly known as Mos Def. Here’s why, in the movie when the guys are discussing what to do with the proceeds from the heist, Left Ear wanted a mansion in Andalusia with two things:

1.) A library full of first editions
2.) A room for my shoes

And that was proof enough that he was made for me! Books and shoes are two of my major loves. It is rare to come across someone who shares my love of all things literary and my overwhelming shoe habit. It is one of my dreams to have both an in home library along with a shoe room. Not a walk in closet but a room just for my shoes.

Now, I’m the rare bibliophile, I suppose, in that I don’t really care if a book is a first edition. I would love to own some but it’s not really important to me. I just love books and reading. I like to rescue books from shops, thrift stores and yard sales. One of my favorite places in the town where I live is a tea and book shop. I tend to buy a lot of books from there (and Amazon) but most important to me, almost as important as the words is the feel of the book in my hands.  I was late to the ebook party gladly and I still prefer the feel of a book in my hand as opposed to using my tablet. 

The shoe thing is real…they are probably an addiction. Even though I’m loathe to admit it. I collect them with a voracity second only to books. I write poems about them; they appear throughout my writing. Seriously, I have shoes that I can’t remember. Like I forgot all about them until I magically discover them in my shoe store (under my bed). Hence, the need for a room for them.

His desire for two things that I’m always in the market for and his penchant for one liners sealed the deal for me.  I’m off to search for a real life Left Ear.

Edge of Night

This is one of my birthday gifts to myself as poetry often is. I am still working on it and will tweak it to include more imagery and possibly more literary devices. The title comes from the fact that my father crafted my name from two of his favorite soap opera characters; one of which was from the defunct Edge of Night.
I spent a VERY long time despising both my first and middle names and it was only when I realized how good it looked on a resume that I began to embrace my first name. I still hate my middle name with a fiery burning passion though.
I hope you all enjoy and are having a great weekend!

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Just when you thought
You’d never survive
The emotions that
Threatened to
Eat at you like
A great white

You are staring into the
Sun’s brightness
Knowing it’s no match for what
You lost
But you enjoy it anyway

All of a sudden out of nowhere
The laughter you thought had abandoned you
Bubbles up from your throat
Surfacing unbidden
Without warning and erupts

Threatening to overtake you
And sweep you away from
The feelings you’d been so
Deeply mired in before

It is the exact opposite of
The bitterness that burned most viciously
Threatening to singe your vocal chords
Preventing you from screaming in
Frustration and grief

At that moment you realize that
You are feeling
Breathing
Surviving
Living

All things that you deemed impossible
On that day
The edge of night has once again
Brought you life

The Next Time

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I promised myself that the next time would be different
That I wouldn’t wrap myself up in wanting to be perfect
In expecting that it wouldn’t all fall apart
That I wouldn’t expect good credit, fidelity and employment
I said I’d be more open, giving, content to just exist in love

I promised that I would not jump into something new
As easily as young girls slide between double dutch ropes
Just because I was afraid of being alone
I have read the Nikki Giovanni and Maya Angelou poems
So I know the difference between lonely and alone

I promised that I wouldn’t fear failure
anymore, with my fingers tightly crossed
I kept reminding myself
That it’s a part of life and love
Like fad diets, bad hair days and carbs

I promised to become a siren
By taking lessons from Badu
To figure out how to enchant and transform
My love
Into a force of nature

In the end,
The next time became just like
Every other time before it
I am flawed, solitary, but above all content
With being me

There’s Something About the Library

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As a lifelong reader, I have always had a great romance with the public library. I just think that there’s something amazingly awesome about libraries. No matter where I’ve lived, I’ve always been a patron of public libraries. I don’t know if it’s the free access to books, the knowledge of the librarians or just being among other bibliophiles but I just love libraries.
   I have been extremely lax in visiting my local library this semester. It’s not because I’ve been too busy I just really hadn’t taken the time. So about three weeks ago, on a cold and rainy day, I went to stock up on some reading material. I was not disappointed. I loaded up on a bunch of the latest books.On the day that I went Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me was announced as the nonfiction Nation Book Award winner. I already had it in my hand when I found out.
   One of the reasons that I love the library so much is because of my various reading interests. I can grab some romance novels, nonfiction, mystery and anything else that intrigues me. I am still working my way through the Coates book even though I just returned the bulk of the books I checked out last time. I also checked out two others books that I wanted to read.
   I know that my love of writing is directly connected to my love of reading. Have any of you had great library experiences? What do you love about the library?