Poetry Mission: 52 Poems in 52 Styles

Muse-Poster“Explore all the poetry styles you can find,” said a crazy voice in my head a few days ago. “Write a poem in each style.” 

“That doesn’t sound like fun at all,” I answered. “I have deadlines coming out my wazoo! I don’t have time for an in depth study of poetic form.” The voice was quieted but not gone. A few days later it returned.

“Explore all the poetry styles you can find,” said what I decided must be a sadistic muse. “Write a poem in each style.” 

“Have you seen my schedule?” I answered. “Deadlines everywhere! I’m a full-time writer now. I don’t have time for kooky ideas.” The voice didn’t answer, but I could feel a smug smile behind it. She knew I was hooked.

killers_2.3So here I am, writing poetry during the witching hour. To start, I’ve settled on 52 styles ranging from acrostic and other sequence poems to the ominous villanelle. For fun, I’m combining all these into one, monster poem. I shall call it an eclepic—an eclectic epic.

So far I have seven—a fibonacci sequence, ballad, ballade, cinquain, couplet, epigram and haiku. If I finish writing this, and I can read it all in less than ten minutes, I think I’ll (try) to perform it at the next TV Dinner Theater. It could be spectacular, or just a spectacle. I’ll worry about that later.

 

Right now I have 45 poems to go. Here’s one, A Day for Frogs, inspired by our recent rains.

Day for Frogs Ballad

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Submit to Death Rattle

Death RattleHere’s a chance to submit for a live reading! Death Rattle is currently accepting submissions for poetry, fiction, flash fiction, and non fiction annually. Submissions for Death Rattle 2017 will be accepted from now to Sept. 1.

If selected, creators will be expected to perform live readings at the 2017 Death Rattle Writers Festival held on Oct. 5—8 in Downtown Nampa, ID. 

The writer must be available for those dates to be considered. Unpublished and published work are both accepted for this event. Please allow up to one month for a reply to your submission.

More details here.

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#MustWatch A Place of Truth

Abi MottsI recently watched A Place of Truthand everything I thought I knew about poetry has turned inside out. About a traveling poet named Abi Motts, the documentary explores the world of poems-on-demand from her experiences.

Unashamedly truthful, Abi makes her living from poetry busking. She sits at a small wooden table on street corners with a sign that reads Name a price. Pick a subject. Get a poem. People can ask for a poem about anything, and she types it for them on the spot.

It’s performance verse—it goes beyond “living in the now.” Abi, and other poets-for-hire like her, are creating in the now. Poetry is spilling out of the chapbook, off the shelf and onto the street. Poet and reader become partners in the act of creativity. It’s a union of words, the act of love between minds—literary coitus. And now I can’t sleep.

I came out of the closet as a poet last November when I published In Favor of Pain as a birthday present to myself. I had sworn off poetry in my teens during my short stay in high school. High school lasted about a month for me, and then I began a five year sabbatical to find myself.

Abbi MottsLike Abi, I did a lot of couch surfing, leaving poems as thank yous because I had nothing else (I wanted) to give. I also slept in the backs of cars, homeless shelters, a train station in Montreal and a few doorways. It was a difficult, hungry existence that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Those years lay the foundations for who I am.

Then, when I turned 23, I buried those foundations to hide them from polite society. Erosion and time let some of them show, backbones of stone peeking up through layers of proper sod.

Returning to poetry last year has sent tremors through my world I couldn’t have anticipated. What was buried has erupted, spilling stone and bone across a once sleeping vista. Caffeinated nights have taken over as words and ideas chase each other without rest. The muse, once safely contained, has shaken off the tranquilizers to awaken as a demanding harpy. I thought I’d left this, years behind. I find myself grateful for the return.

This is what poetry is for. It prods the spirit, driving us into awareness. Like a doctor, poetry breaks to heal, and then re-breaks us again. Edifying, fortifying, mystifying—the words on the page are individual and for the masses simultaneously. Like an Escher, it changes perspective each time we experience it. Poetry refuses to let us hide. It’s unapologetic and truthful.

“When I’m sitting here in my chair,” said Abi. “” I feel very authentic. I’ll write you a poem. I’m not going to tell you it’s the greatest poem you’ve ever read but it will be true… to now.” Here is to poetry spilling freely onto the streets, breaking into everyday life, and teaching us to be authentic.

Free on Amazon Prime Video, I highly recommend watching A Place of Truth.

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Blog-iversary Number Seven

Blog ImageSeven years ago I started this blog. Of course, it’s a lot different than it first began. I began on Blogger and back then the blog was called DandilyonFluff.com.

Before long, I had moved from the free Blogger platform to WordPress and changed the name to AngelaYSmith.com.

What was the first blog post, seven years ago? It was about selling my motorcycle and getting ready to travel to Australia. Follow the blog-iversary journey through the seven years…

2010 Year Zero: Bye Bye Burnsie

2011 Year One: One Year Blogiversary

2012 Year Two: Dandilyon Fluff is Two

2013 Year Three: Dandilyon Fluff is Three!

2014 Year Four: Celebrating Four Years

2015 Year Five: Dandilyon Fluff is Five

2016 Year Six: Dandifluff is Six

 

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Paying Market for Poetry & Prose

holding-moneyThe Cincinnati Review is accepting submissions for their annual Robert and Adele Schiff Awards in Poetry and Prose through July 15.

One poem and one prose piece (fiction or creative nonfiction) will be chosen for publication in the 2018 prize issue, and winning authors will receive $1,000 each.

All entries will be considered for publication in The Cincinnati Review. They pay $25 a page for prose and $30 a page for poetry. $20 entry fee includes a yearlong subscription to the magazine. Read more details here.

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Poetry Busking

Tonight I’m watching “A Place of Truth,” a documentary about Abi Mott who travels the country with a typewriter, writing poems on demand for tips. Another mind-blowing suggestion from John Reinhart.  I’ll let you know what I think!

The Trailer from Portfolio Productions on Vimeo.

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30 Opportunities for Poets: $25 to $10K Prizes

poetHere’s the mother lode of submission opportunities, recently published by Authors Publish, a fantastic resource for writers. They’ve divided their list into two sections—submission calls and competitions for poets.

Prizes range from $25 to $10,000 AU. Listed according to deadline. If you submit, tell me in the comments so I can wish you good luck!

Full details at Authors Publish here.

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Radish Serials: Week #3

Beginning the third week on Radish and the subscriber numbers are starting to climb. End of Mae has been the popular favorite from the first week, but last night Bitter Suites, a Radish exclusive, started catching up.

You can read on Radish when you download the free app from from Apple or from Google Play. I release my new chapters every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Here’s what’s coming up this week…

Stray Tales 2Stray Tales—The Heaven Grift—The Heaven Grift takes place before the legendary Pearly Gates as a humorous exchange between the Check-In Angel and a new arrival. The angel learns a lesson in love from his difficult new visitor he has been waiting a millennia for, whether he realizes he needs it or not. Seems like no matter where you travel anymore, there’s sure to be complications!

End of Mae RadishEnd of Mae—The Worst is Yet to Be—Mae has caught the interest of Heylel as a means to alleviate the boredom of his immortality and her life is spared. Whether that is a blessing or a curse, Mae will soon find out. In the meantime, she has to survive substandard nursing, dumpster diner cuisine and a wicked fever that is causing her to hallucinate—she hopes.

Bitter Suites 3Bitter Suites—Tomato Leaf Tea—An elderly woman tries to find closure for some leftover mommy issues by living out her mother’s threats at The Bitter Suites. She plays out the scenario and tries to find some resolve in her self, but the only answer she receives is that perhaps blame goes both ways and no one is guilt free.

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Diminutive Poetry, Big Statement

Poems For AllI love tiny things, so when John Reinhart first handed me a 1×1 inch copy of  Deadly Pencil Wounds and other Poetic Mishaps, I fell in love. Unlike the DIY pocketbooks he also introduced me to, these were something from a press.

I love the idea of poetry being interwoven with day-to-day existence. Why do we sometimes think we have to go someplace to be culturally enriched? Why can’t daily existence be enriching on its mundane own? It can, if we let creative endeavors spill out of the galleries and open mic venues and on to the streets.

The Poems-For-All Project is about poetry spreading everywhere—“Scattered like seeds.” PFAs are small enough to slip into a coin return, left in a tip jar (with a tip!) or mailed in a card. They travel easily, hide out in pockets and get lost and found. They are poems that move and interact rather than stay locked on a shelf to decline.

Perhaps if culture and art could permeate our homogeneous, well-edited existence in a real, free way like PFAs, our minds could expand and be permeated with free-thinking. Close minded issues surrounding race, religion and sexuality may just drop between the cracks, replaced by tiny works of creativity. Changing lives, and minds, inch by printed inch. Visit the Poems-For-All Project here and consider submitting your own poems to go free as PFAs.

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