Big Tent Poetry Reading

In all the years that I’ve lived in Portland, 19 to be exact, I had never visited the St. Johns Booksellers or even been to the St. Johns part of town before– at least until today. It was a Big Tent Poetry reading that drew me there. I had a lovely, if tortuously twisty and turny ride through Forest Park, to get there there, but it was worth it. It was fun to discover that not only is there an indie bookstore, but there was a Saturday Market going on as well, right next store. In fact, the poetry reading series is offered in partnership with the market.

Today’s reading featured four poets from Big Tent Poetry, one of my favorite online poetry websites. It was only recently that I discovered through the latest Voicecatcher newsletter, that Deb Scott, one of the three co-founders of Big Tent Poetry, lives right here in Portland. So of course that made this a must-see event for me. Joining Deb were Carolee Sherwood, another Big Tent co-founder, visiting from New York, and local poets Tiel Aisha Ansari and Dale Favier. The poetry was wonderful, the turnout great, and the venue was perfect. A morning of poetry– what better!

Subliminally Yours

It’s always fun when I can combine two prompts, and this time, I wasn’t even trying. This week’s Big Tent Poetry prompt was to write in code. I also wrote in conversation form again, which was the prompt from two weeks ago. Maybe it was my subconscious talking to me.

Hidden in plain sight within this poem is a 14 word subliminal message. See if you can figure it out, and then check here to see if you guessed right. Other responses to this prompt can be found on the Come One, Come All link for this week.

Subliminally Yours

Do you always remember your dreams, you ask.

I will wake from sleep now and then, I say pensively,
with vague traces of last night’s dream on my mind.
When this happens, I always try to grasp at it
before it slips away, sometimes even writing it down.
You should try this the next time you wake up, I add.

But why? you wonder.

Oh, I don’t know, maybe you will get a great story idea
or two, or at least a peek into your subconscious mind.
Analyze this, I say. Last night I dreamed we were walking
in the Japanese garden, and you wanted to feed the koi,
but when we did, they began growing larger and larger
and swimming toward us. Just then, my alarm went off.
I woke to find my cats standing over me purring,
with an inexplicable desire for tuna fish.

Subliminally Yours Message

And the subliminal message…

Subliminally Yours

Do you always remember your dreams, you ask.

I will wake from sleep now and then, I say pensively,
with vague traces of last night’s dream on my mind.
When this happens, I always try to grasp at it
before it slips away, sometimes even writing it down.
You should try this the next time you wake up, I add.

But why? you wonder.

Oh, I don’t know, maybe you will get a great story idea
or two, or at least a peek into your subconscious mind.
Analyze this, I say. Last night I dreamed we were walking
in the Japanese garden, and you wanted to feed the koi,
but when we did, they began growing larger and larger
and swimming toward us. Just then, my alarm went off.
I woke to find my cats standing over me purring,
with an inexplicable desire for tuna fish.

A Portland Summer

The Poetic Asides prompt today was to write an “after the rain” poem. After the soggiest June on record, we have finally settled into seemingly endless days of summer sunshine here in the Rose City…

A Portland Summer

After the rain-
people stand ill at ease
because their favorite topic
has been exhausted

After the rain-
dahlias reach for the sky
and the grass grows
like there’s no tomorrow

After the rain-
lies a perfect summer
ready and waiting
to be enjoyed

Hearing Voices

There’s a great article today in the WOW! Women on Writing July/August 2010  newsletter by Cathy C. Hall, cleverly entitled Voice: Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are! The article goes on to discuss the importance of voice in fiction writing, although it can equally well apply to creative non-fiction writing. For the writer, having a clever plot, believable dialog, and the perfect setting is only part of the equation. The story can still be doomed if the writer does not have a distinctive voice that draws the reader in immediately. Think To Kill a Mockingbird. Think Catcher in the Rye. Think about your own favorite literary voice, and what makes it work for you.

I even was quoted in the article, about one of my favorite voices in fiction. Read the article to find out who it is!

Sketchbook online

The May/June 30, 2010 Volume 5, Issue 3 of Sketchbook is now online. Sketchbook is “A Journal for Eastern & Western Short Forms”, and is chockful of poetry and related articles by poets around the globe. I have four haiku in the “beach” haiku thread, all of which were named Editor’s Choice by John Daleiden.

And I also have three haiku appearing in the “morning breeze” Kukai. I got my best ever Sketchbook finish, with a third place for my “morning breeze…” haiku (and tie sixth places for my  “first light…” and “heat wave” haiku).

I have already started penning haiku for the July/August “fruit” haiku thread  and the “new coolness”/”lingering heat” Kukai!