I promise I didn’t skip/forget a week of prompts! It’s just that the fiction prompt I chose to work on last week actually turned out to be a bigger undertaking than I had anticipated. Usually, I’ll post a piece even if it’s unfinished, but for that one I’d really like to flesh it out even more and see where it goes before I throw it up on the old ‘Press. So I’m continuing on with this week’s prompt instead. This time I chose poetry—which is pretty odd for me. I’ll come right out and say it: I hate poetry. Ok, that’s not entirely true; I just don’t consider myself to be the strongest “poet” or poetry writer. It’s a form I struggle with, and even if I sit down and write out an ok one, I’m still never “satisfied” with it. I mean, I’m usually never super satisfied with most things I write, but sometimes my blood just curls when I look back at poetry I’ve written. It always feels so forced and overly formulaic. And no matter what form or rules I follow, it just feels wrong if I don’t make it rhyme. So I figured I’d give myself a little challenge and try out this week’s poetry prompt. And the end result: I’m not too thrilled. Maybe I’m being too harsh because it’s poetry, but I feel like I really can never get the hang of it. Maybe it’s just this prompt, or the word and definitions I chose, but I’m just not feeling it. I’m still posting it because there’s always going to be not-so-awesome stuff: a truth that needs to be realized for any writer. And any writing exercise is good, even if it yields less than stellar results. So here’s my poem: I’m more than willing to accept any and all criticism—it will actually be more than appreciated!


Choose any word from the dictionary and read its definitions. Write a poem using only the language of these definitions. Try repeating them in different combinations and using line breaks to create unexpected phrases. Experiment with how far you can push the limits of the language you’re working with. Use the word you’ve chosen as the title of the poem.



1. A natural outer covering or coat, such as the skin of an animal or the membrane enclosing an organ.

2. Something that covers or encloses; especially : an enveloping layer (as a skin, membrane, or cuticle) of an organism or one of its parts.

3. The protective layer around an ovule that becomes the seed coat.

4. The outer protective layer or covering of an animal, such as skin or a cuticle.



Skin is natural, enveloping animals and their kin,

Are we really more than breathing organisms?

Or just layers of membranes and skin,

Divided, cut, broken into different schisms

How different are we from seeds?

Our coats provide warmth from weather

What varies us from weeds?

Ovules protected by skin, cows enveloped in leather.

Kill the cuticle on the nail

Prick, prod, stab, cut, pull

Make them luscious, make them frail

Cut the leaves before they’re full.

Coat the skin, enclose the membrane

Cover the organism, the cuticle of its parts

Protective seed, surrounds the brain

Pistons, stamens, grunts, yelps and farts

We’re all fragments, mechanisms working in rhythm

Layers upon layers to peel away

What does it mean to be in a kingdom?

What difference does it make?


Heart’s Words

April 27, 2011

There’s a fire burning

and in your heart you’ll find it.

There’s a constant yearning

and in your heart you’ll hide it.

A need for learning

and in your heart you’ll bide it.

There’s a resistance spawning

and in your heart it hates you.

A lack of care with each day’s dawning

and in your heart it berates you.

You neglect all you’ve been wanting

and in your heart it sedates you.

Keep ignoring your instinct

i’ll just sit by and watch.

Keep forgetting what you’ve been searching for

i’ll just stand back and cry.

Keep ignoring me

i’ll just be the death of you.

when all is said and done

and everything has come to pass

you can live your life of sorrow

for i’ll have had the last laugh

and you can ignore what your heart may want and need

but in the end, you’ll regret it

for i’m the one who allows you to breathe.

(but after all, what have you learned?)


January 17, 2011

I know this may make me a few enemies, but I’m gonna go right out and say it: I hate Gertrude Stein. Ok, I don’t personally know Gertrude Stein to hate her, but I’ve read [sic: attempted to read] Tender Buttons. A few random words about a ham & a carafe in and I hated it. Abhorred it. Never disliked a work so much in my life. I know many people have found the so-called “genius” behind her work, but I am not one of those people. That being said, I did find use for some of her work…


About two [two already??] years ago  I was taking an advanced playwriting class.  We learned all different forms of playing around with writing and writing exercises. One of which was “erasure.” Erasure is, essentially, taking a text and blacking out large pieces of it to strip it to its bare bones. Then we were to make a play/monologue out of it. I made a few, but my favorite was one I made out of a Gertrude Stein piece.  I left alone the words to make a new poem out of it, as it stands.


Erasure was fun, but for me there was something liberating about taking a text, particularly something I despised, stripped it, degraded it and made it something I loved. Maybe it’s fucked up, but I liked it. But hey, that’s me in a nutshell. So, without further ado, I present to you my Gertrude Stein erasure project:


ERASURE #2   1/29/09


Long Lost.

September 29, 2010

These streets could lead to anywhere

There are road signs down everywhere;

And the remnants of the storm lead to where it begins

Hazy memories of the past and long forgotten sins.

A passing phase, a long lost trend.

Where does memory begin and nostalgia end?

A laughter shared not long ago.

A smile from someone I no longer know.

Don’t look back in anger, but not everything’s not perfect as it seemed.

Did you realize that your past was not as you dreamed?

You grip tightly as your memory fades.

But you’re slipping; wasting your life away,

On old trends, lost friends and everything you’ve ever loved.

These roads are filled with bumps and holes

Reminders of unrealized dreams and forgotten souls;

and all those you left behind, you never cared.

And all those you despise for not being around when you need them there.

A fast-paced life, a forgotten strife

When did you forget yourself?

A hatred shared not long ago,

A smile from someone I wish I didn’t know.

Don’t look back in anger, but not everything’s not perfect as it seemed.

Did you realize that your past was not as you dreamed?

You grip tightly as your memory fades.

But you’re slipping; wasting your life away,

On old friends, dead ends and everything you’ve ever RUINED.