Category Archives: #AMWRITING

FREE FLARF ON POETRYNOOK

Image by Nina Garman

Pre-pandemic I was sharing a poem every week on Poetry Nook. This is a great free weekly contest for poets where you can win cash prizes (I have a few times), get a Pushcart Prize nomination (I have once) and just out there in the poetry community. There are quite a few award winning poets that frequent this site, so it’s a good place to hang out if you want to get your work noticed.

I’m posting my recent Flarf poem from Cake & Hyperbull in their 357th Weekly Poetry Contest. I invite you to submit your own poem—pre-published work is okay. If you do, let me know in the comments. Special shout out to my wonderful friend Marge Simon for reminding me to enter today!

You can go check out this Flarf I’ve been on about all weekend, or (even better) enter your own poem! Register at Poetry Nook for free here.

POET CHALLENGE: “BERET FULL OF QUESTIONS” CANZONET

On yesterday’s Cake & Hyperbull, Amy Zoellers randomly picked a poetry challenge from her copy of A Poet’s Glossary by Edward Hirsch. This last month it was Flarf, and we shared our Flarf creations live.

What do I think of Flarf? I love it. The idea of using Google to mine poetry appeals to me. It reminds me of a sculptor carving a woman out of a block of marble. Flarf is poets carving poetry from a block of search engine. I’m posting my Flarf at Poetrynook.com tomorrow, or you can watch the show and hear it here.

Now, on to a new month and a new challenge! This time Amy randomly paged through A Poet’s Glossary and picked “canzonet.” Holy Hell, what the heck is that? So far I have found little on the internet except that Oscar Wilde wrote one. This is fine… but how do I write one?

The only thing I have to go from is this description (below) from A Poet’s Glossary. Oh, and we decided writing the mysterious canzonet isn’t enough. Our creations must include the phrase “My beret is full of questions” as well.

If you want to participate, send me your canzonet here and I will read all I on the next Cake & Hyperbull—every first Saturday.

Are you a canzonet expert? Feel free to post any helpful links or insight in the comments.

From A Poet’s Glossary by Edward Hirsch

CAKE & HYPERBULL: WORKING WITH FLARF

Amy Zoellers and I are back again with more poetry. This month we will interview each other, discuss new projects coming up and share our Flarf poetry challenge. Yes, Flarf—not a typo.

What is Flarf? According to Wiki, Flarf poetry was an avant-garde poetry movement of the early 21st century. The term Flarf was coined by the poet Gary Sullivan, who also wrote and published the earliest Flarf poems. Its first practitioners, working in loose collaboration on an email mailing list, used an approach that rejected conventional standards of quality and explored subject matter and tonality not typically considered appropriate for poetry. One of their central methods, invented by Drew Gardner, was to mine the Internet with odd search terms then distill the results into often hilarious and sometimes disturbing poems, plays and other texts.

Want to Flarf? Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

I WROTE MY FIRST FLARF

Things I never thought I’d say: I wrote my first Flarf for this weekend’s Cake & Hyperbull!

Flarp is nor Flarf

Let me translate. This weekend will be another Cake & Hyperbull poetry show with Amy Zoellers and I. We have set ourselves a challenge to try new poetry styles, and this month we will be playing with “Flarf.” Yes, Flarf is a literary form.

According to Wikipedia, “Flarf poetry can be characterized as an avant-garde poetry movement of the late 20th century and the early 21st century. Its first practitioners utilized an aesthetic dedicated to the exploration of “the inappropriate” in all of its guises. Their method was to mine the Internet with odd search terms then distil the results into often hilarious and sometimes disturbing poems, plays, and other texts.”

Okay… this answers what is Flarf, but not how. From what I gather, one method of Flarfing is to do a Google search and then pull phrases from it to create a poem. I imagine there are many ways to Flarf, but that’s the method I chose. This was Amy’s suggestion and I thought it sounded ridiculous… so of course I was all in. Let’s Flarf!

I chose “What is a human” as my search. I came up with a list of places where I could go for more info, but I was only interested in that first page for my Google Sculpting (also a term). I like the idea of taking a page of info dump and chipping away, looking for the poem trapped within. I didn’t see how the poem would be any good though. I am pleasantly surprised and now a fan of Flarfing—but I’m probably misusing it as a adverb.

Flarf as poetry is being taught in universities and if you do a Google search on it you will also find a lot of information. My favorite link for literary Flarf is “How to write flarf” at Jim Murdoch’s blog here or this one by The Los Angeles Review of Books—Funks of Ambivalence: On Flarf.

Tune in to Cake & Hyperbull this weekend to hear Amy and I present our Flarf experiments and interview each other by reading randomly drawn questions off strips of paper. Cake & Hyperbull will be live this Saturday at noon CST here or just show up here and I’ll have it posted on the day. I will most likely post my Flarf poem Monday at poetrynook.com.

BLESS THE PAGE TURNERS

Statue haiku… statue-ku… stat-ku? These are the thoughts that keep me awake at night. This is my first statue-ku for a fun side project I’m working on. In case you can’t read it in the photo, the haiku is a tribute to the most important person in any writer’s world—the reader. So, if you are one of my readers, thank you. This golden statue is for you. 😊😊😊

Bless the page turners—
in a world without readers
writers don’t exist.

THREE WINS+ IN MISSOURI WRITERS GUILD AWARDS

From the Missouri Writers Guild’s 2021 President’s Writers Contest—So excited to be awarded a first place in Best Short Story with “Skin Dowdy” from Black Cranes (yes, the same Black Cranes that is a Shirley Jackson Awards finalist!)

I was awarded a first place for my nonfiction interview “Potter Magic: Guiding Libraries in Pandemic Times” in Space and Time #137 Summer 2020 and a second place for my poem “Riding the Exhale” in HWA Poetry Showcase Volume VII and a current Rhysling nomination).

On top of that, my husband Ryan Aussie Smith got a finalist for Shadow’s Lament. As his first book, a finalist is more impressive than a placing. For a first book to get any recognition at all is phenomenal. I am proudest of his accomplishment… and that’s a win for that amazing editor he worked with as well 😉

Congratulations to all the entrants this year. If you are writing and publishing, you are a winner. I’m proud to see all the fine work coming out of Missouri and look forward to seeing even more next year. You can see a list of all the Missouri Writers Guild’s 2021 President’s Writers Contest winners and finalists here.

PASS THE BUCKS: HWA SCHOLARSHIPS & GRANTS OPEN

Looking for some funding to further your writing career? There are many resources available from Horror Writers Association to support horror creatives and HWA membership is not required. It’s like stimulus for creatives but act now. The deadline to apply closes August 1, 2021.

Pay special attention to the requirements for each scholarship and grant to boost your chances and provide details as needed. For required financial plans, it’s important to list items acceptable to the definition of the resource; see details at the main HWA Scholarship/Grant page here.

CELEBRATING 11 YEARS OF THIS BLOG

Eleven years ago today I began this blog on June 23, 2010. Originally called Dandilyon Fluff, my first post was a farewell to my motorcycle. I had just sold it and my 1968 Airstream camper so I could move to Australia. My goal was to build a platform so when I released my first fiction book, I’d have somewhere to share… and hopefully a few readers to share with.

Eleven years later… Book Report claims I have 59 books published on Amazon. I think Book Report may be exaggerating those numbers because I don’t feel like someone who has published 59 books. I still feel very fresh and new at this game. Honestly, I’m happy not to be crazy yet. At least not that I’m aware of…

What will the next year bring? Hopefully, more consistent blog posts from me. For years I posted every day. During 2020 I think I only posted a handful of times and I’ve struggled to get back in the habit. I’ll start with a small goal. I’m going to do my best to post consistently for the rest of June. If I can accomplish that I’ll make a new goal.

Other celebrations today? Second Life celebrates 18 years, it’s International Olympic Day, United Nations Public Service Day and International Widow’s Day.

Another year, flying high.

POETRY EXPERIMENT: SACRILUCIOUS

Today I woke up in the mood to try something new. I love writing the linked haiku that I’ve been doing for awhile now but the challenge of staying within the 7-5-7 syllable pattern has gotten pretty easy. I’ve done enough in that style I can think in that pattern and toss them off pretty quickly… which means it’s time to change it up.

One new word, two videos and three Instagram creators have been colliding around in my brain for a few weeks now until this morning when it all came together. I love the challenge of the strict syllable count so I kept that but instead of 5-7-5 I went with 12-13-6. Why? Ask the muse.

Here were the inspirations that kick started this poem. The new word was “sacrilicious” found on the profile of dearlybeloved.creations where she makes “🖤Sacrilicious Prayer Candles & Art.” The two videos were Spirit In The Sky written by Norman Greenbaum and performed by Doctor And The Medics. The second video was the original Fabulous Secret Powers by slackcircus (videos below). The three Instagram creators are dearlybeloved.creations, hipness_and_outrage and cheapainn.

All of those elements percolated around in my head until this came out. You can hear echoes of all of them together in the poem, and in a way, it’s as close to an autobiography as I’ve come. I think all the isolation is opening me up. After visiting the inspirations, can you see the influences mixed up in this? This is a new voice for me. I don’t know if I love it yet or not, but I am interested.

Sacrilucious

I shop for inspiration in the Saint-o-mart
where holy ones for sale want to bless my heart with art
and I say why yes, please.

The music and the mayhem work to chill my bones
breaking all the ties that keep me stuck at home. I roam
but the love is all real.

I give my muse some lipstick and she throws it back
and says goodbye. I have a heart attack from the lack
I can’t live without her.

I look in the mirror and I see her inside
looking through my eyes and now she can’t hide. And we ride
into a starry night.

I dress for the party but have I gone too far
in mourning clothes. She says “Come as you are to the stars
this is revolution.”

So I tear out my heart and toss it to the sky.
I make the sacrifice. We have to die to get high 
this is sacrilucious.

And now the two videos. They have both been on my favorites list years.

Spirit In The Sky written by Norman Greenbaum and performed by Doctor And The Medics
The original Fabulous Secret Powers by slackcircus

IRON WRITERS CLOSES TOMORROW

Tomorrow will be the last day to get those flash fiction pieces up at the Iron Writer’s page. We have some excellent entries already. It is so cool to see how different writers treat the same prompts. The rules are simple. Write up to a 1,000 words incorporating the four prompts (a person, place, thing and sound/song), post it on the website and then sit back and let the voting begin.

You will have to register the first time (see image below), but then you will be completely in charge of your post. You can edit your piece, profile name and leave comments for the other stories. Just keep it on the positive side and have fun.

Read the entries so far and good luck everyone!