Nice writerly things that have happened this week

On Sunday, we had a second ladies-only Open Mic night at my synagogue for women here in L.A. Despite it being Oscar Night, the evening of a big community bar mitzvah, and the height of cold season, we got a decent-sized crowd. Women's Open Mic FEB 2016

The participants were awesome. The youngest was in her twenties, I think, and the oldest was 68! The audience was just as diverse. More people I didn’t know already came this time, so I think that word-of-mouth is getting around. Continue reading

Let’s take a moment to break for poetry

Sorry for the sparse posts in recent weeks. Things have been a little crazy ’round here. I took a trip up to the Bay area to see my sister, came home and got a burn on my dominant hand that was serious enough to send me to the ER in the back of an ambulance (I hope to share a personal essay with my readers about that experience soon). Thank G-d, I’m now on the mend and in the midst of several deadlines.

But just to let y’all know I haven’t forgotten you, I’m going to share a piece of poetry I wrote while waiting for my sister to pick me up at the train station in San Jose. Continue reading

New wacky Passover poetry

I’m not going to have much time to post in length before Pesach hits next week, but I’m going to try to share something small every day to make up for it.

So here’s your tiny morsel of Passover-related kookiness for today:

(throat-clearing)

You cleansed the windows of mud

And you scrubbed all the toys in your tub

But you still won’t be through

When Pesach is due

If you don’t clean chometz off the rug.

 

Free writing tip…don’t be afraid to write bad poetry. And if you’d like to share your own corny/hammy/couldn’t-hechsher-if-it-tried Pesach poetry, just add it in the comments.

Exploring other media to conquer writer’s block

So, earlier this week, I had a case of the blahs. I suppose I didn’t technically have writer’s block–the problem was more that I didn’t want to do anything, not that I couldn’t write–but the results were the same.

My muddle

My best friend phoned. I told her my sad story. I didn’t want to write. I felt uncreative and just foggy in the head. She suggested I do something different, maybe go for a walk. Just don’t even try to write. Reboot.

The way out

For some reason, I’ve been getting back into art gradually over the last year. As a child and teen, I loved art, but like many people quit when I realized my mediocrity.

poem collage

My collage poem.

I’ve been taking a lot of photos lately, even framing them and displaying them in my home. I’ve done a bit of sketching, as well, although that tends to send me back to a place where all I see is my lack of skill instead of getting pleasure from exercising what skill I have.

Anyway, after my phone call, I was itching to make a collage. I didn’t give into the itch right away, but as my kids settled in for homework this evening, I grabbed a couple magazines and a pair of scissors.  Continue reading

Need a little poetry this holiday season?

Can’t get enough Thanksgivukkah craziness? Tablet just put out poetry inspired by the crazy Chanukah/Thanksgiving mashup. To check it out, click here.

Here’s my own contribution:

What shall we do with
Our brand-new menurkey
The other seven days?
 
 

Is poetry as we know it dead? Goldsmith speculates the “meme machine” has taken over.

This week, The New Yorker book blog published a post by Kenneth Goldsmith about the proliferation of rather un-poetic  “poetry” spreading across the internet. He writes:

[T]he Canadian media scholar Darren Wershler…has been making some unexpected connections between meme culture and contemporary poetry. “These artifacts,” Wershler claims, “aren’t conceived of as poems; they aren’t produced by people who identify as poets; they circulate promiscuously, sometimes under anonymous conditions; and they aren’t encountered by interpretive communities that identify them as literary.”

…It’s not uncommon to see blogs that recount someone’s every sneeze since 2007, or of a man who shoots exactly one second of video every day and strings the clips together in time-lapsed mashups. Continue reading