Poetry Prompt #323: A Patchwork of Sorts/Beware.

Poetry Prompt #323 – PLAYING FAVORITES #6

from POETIC BLOOMINGS

 

“Playing Favorites” is as simple as choosing a favorite poet/poem (world famous or just famous in our own little garden) and picking a line or title of one of their poems and using it as an inspiration for your new piece. Incorporate the line/title into your poem (remembering to credit the source and poet always).

 

This is a two part poem inspired by Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein.

 

“It’s alive, it’s alive! —Frankenstein, the 1931 film.”

 

Part I

A PATCHWORK OF SORTS

 

I am
a Frankenstein
of sorts.

A
patchwork of abuse,
neglect, and pain.

Of
rugged terrain
acreage of mines and egg shells.

A
land where thorns
and thistles flock.

A
dichotomy of
love, enmity.

A
contradiction
of wills.

A
lab’s creation–
world’s abomination.

A
composition of
concert, disharmony.

A
string of psalms,
weeping, and wailing.

A
composite of strength,
and weakness.

A
spine of a beast,
nerves of a laggard.

I
am Frankenstein—
It’s alive, it’s alive!

 

Benjamin Thomas

 

 

Part II

“Beware; for I am fearless, therefore powerful.” – Mary Shelley Frankenstein

 

BEWARE

 

Should I embrace, or brace
for a kiss or assault?

An incoming hug
Is a knife to the heart

Why do the people fear
what you have created?

I have sown abundant kindness
yet my hands reap mockery

The soil is now unsuitable
breeding a harvest of vanity

I feel the weight of emptiness
the ineptness of my laboring

I taste the wicked fruit of anguish
drunk with the aged wine of anger

I pause, step into the day with boldness
sauntering along simplicity’s rhythm

Beware for I am fearless
therefore powerful

 

Benjamin Thomas

 

 

Poetry Prompt #323: The World We Know

Poetry Prompt #323 – PLAYING FAVORITES #6

from POETIC BLOOMINGS

 

“Playing Favorites” is as simple as choosing a favorite poet/poem (world famous or just famous in our own little garden) and picking a line or title of one of their poems and using it as an inspiration for your new piece. Incorporate the line/title into your poem (remembering to credit the source and poet always).

 

Inspired by “There is no frigate like a book” – Emily Dickinson

 

THE WORLD WE KNOW

 

There is no frigate like a book
that sets sail on boundless sea
transports carriage of heart to heart
champion, writer, and me.

I’ve traversed the wayward winds afar
wandered green lands to and fro
no distance can set us apart
pages, and pages, the world we know

 

Benjamin Thomas

Poetry Prompt #323: The Sound of Music

Poetry Prompt #323 – PLAYING FAVORITES #6

from POETIC BLOOMINGS

 

“Playing Favorites” is as simple as choosing a favorite poet/poem (world famous or just famous in our own little garden) and picking a line or title of one of their poems and using it as an inspiration for your new piece. Incorporate the line/title into your poem (remembering to credit the source and poet always).

 

Inspired by two quotes and a poem by William Blake.

“Flowers are the music of the ground.
From Earth’s lips spoken without sound.”
-Edwin Curran

“Flowers grow out of dark moments.”
– Carita Kent

The line: “Arise from their graves and aspire” – Ah! Sun-flower by William Blake

 

THE SOUND OF MUSIC

 

Flowers grow out of dark moments.
They suffer in silence, agony of season,
the sure atrophy of splendid beauty.

When its glory is rendered inert;
Its pride sluggish, withers,
and returns to the dirt.

Flowers are the music of the ground.
Isolated, their irksome path begins unseen,
not green, but a timid auburn brown.

Arise from their graves and aspire!
They yield to the calling of the sun.
Blushing together as they sing, as a journey has begun.

 

Benjamin Thomas

Poetry Prompt #323: The Dark Knight

Poetry Prompt #323 – PLAYING FAVORITES #6

from POETIC BLOOMINGS

 

“Playing Favorites” is as simple as choosing a favorite poet/poem (world famous or just famous in our own little garden) and picking a line or title of one of their poems and using it as an inspiration for your new piece. Incorporate the line/title into your poem (remembering to credit the source and poet always).

 

“I shall be telling this with a sigh” – The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

 

THE DARK KNIGHT

 

I shall be telling this with a sigh,
so pinch my cheek and slap my thigh.
Should I be me? Or who I’m supposed to be?

I gather you want me to be that guy,
with a spring in his step and a lively eye.
Are you simply vying for the best version of me?

I get the impression that you wonder why,
when there’s gloom, sorrow, and happy lies?
Yet every beauty of the earth weathers the storm.

I am a skilled knight stuck in fraudulent armor,
but with the dogged love of a diligent farmer.
I pray, you see the effulgence through the rain.

I shall be telling this with a sigh,
It’s not all sunny, balmy, or blue skies.
Gardens emerge from assurance of love, and toil of pain.

 

Benjamin Thomas

How to Make a Million Dollars Writing Poetry

 

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY

 

 

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How to Make a Million Dollars Writing Poetry (The Self Publishing Show, episode 228)

 

 

 

Poet Pierre Jeanty

The Self Publishing Formula.com

 

 

 

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AI and Creativity With Marcus du Sautoy & Joanna Penn

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY

 

 

 

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AI and Creativity With Marcus du Sautoy

 

 

 

 

 

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The award-winning author of The Music of the Primesexplores the future of creativity and how machine learning will disrupt, enrich, and transform our understanding of what it means to be human.

Can a well-programmed machine do anything a human can―only better? Complex algorithms are choosing our music, picking our partners, and driving our investments. They can navigate more data than a doctor or lawyer and act with greater precision. For many years we’ve taken solace in the notion that they can’t create. But now that algorithms can learn and adapt, does the future of creativity belong to machines, too?

It is hard to imagine a better guide to the bewildering world of artificial intelligence than Marcus du Sautoy, a celebrated Oxford mathematician whose work on symmetry in the ninth dimension has taken him to the vertiginous edge of mathematical understanding. In The Creativity Code he considers what machine learning means for the future of creativity. The Pollockizer can produce drip paintings in the style of Jackson Pollock, Botnik spins off fanciful (if improbable) scenes inspired by J. K. Rowling, and the music-composing algorithm Emmy managed to fool a panel of Bach experts. But do these programs just mimic, or do they have what it takes to create? Du Sautoy argues that to answer this question, we need to understand how the algorithms that drive them work―and this brings him back to his own subject of mathematics, with its puzzles, constraints, and enticing possibilities.

While most recent books on AI focus on the future of work, The Creativity Code moves us to the forefront of creative new technologies and offers a more positive and unexpected vision of our future cohabitation with machines. It challenges us to reconsider what it means to be human―and to crack the creativity code.

 

Amazon | Goodreads | Website

 

 

Train leaving Reading station in England, UK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry: Jubilee

 

 

足かせを付けられた人間の足

 

 

JUBILEE

 

 

They bound me without consent.

I moved with the weight of the world upon my shoulders,

each extremity shackled like a slave.

Hunched like a frail elderly man; I attempted to move about,

all the while under the suppression of guilt,

shame, and condemnation.

Shackled by wounds,  I writhed in agony

as they brought me down to the pits of darkness, a land of creeping shadow.

It was there where I was blind to their desire to devour me.

Fallen prey to the animalistic appetite to consume every shred of hope—

Until I came into the light.

 

Under the shining  of the light, I was appalled at their stronghold against me.

The illumination of their strength was all too unsettling.

I couldn’t bear the sight of them.

They surrounded me like a wild forest of Oaks, mocking my every step.

A multitude of tears sought urgent release, to spring forth,

evade the depth of my unconsciousness–but I could not allow them.

 

Yet there in the light was my salvation.

There in the light, their power over me would heal.

It was there I welcomed glorious liberty.

One like I’ve never experienced before.

The rays of jubilee were before me.

No wild forests to cast a shadow,

pits of darkness of oppression.

No shackles, bonds, or crushing burden.

Only life, light and liberty.

 

 

 

Silhouette sich von Ketten lösen und befreien

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Dance with the Dawn

Dawn in the forest image

 

 

A DANCE WITH THE DAWN

 

The soul of the oppressed can rest against the dawning

of the new day. For as sure is the rising of the sun amidst

the celestial crowds, the pains of the former day dissipate

into distant shadow.

 

Hope is set upon the steady train of her golden rays,

as they dress and display those famished of her

liberating brilliance.

 

A golden touch penetrates deep beyond the former

ephemeral skins of superficiality. Her touch is warmth;

dazzling the coldest of heart, adamant glacial minds,

and illest of will.

 

Dance in the buoyant embrace of her comforting wings

and pleasure in the majestic breadth of her expanse, as she lends

transcendent song against belligerent earthly pangs.

 

 

 

Dancing with the dawn image

 

 

 

“My beloved responds and says to me, Rise up, my love, My beauty, and come away; For now the winter is past; The rain is over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.” – Song of Songs 2:10-12

 

 

 

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Exclusive Interview with Author Alexandria Szeman

 

Exclusive Concept.

 

 

 

Somebody get out the red carpet!

 

 

 

Red Carpet Festival Glamour Scene

 

 

 

Welcome Alexandria!

 

 

Alexandria Constantinova Szeman, Ph.D. is the auuthor of several critically acclaimed and award-winning books, including THE NEW YORK TIME BOOK REVIEW’s “Best Book” and Kafka Award Winner “for the outstanding book of prose fiction by an American woman,” THE KOMMANDANT’S MISTRESS. Her true crime memoir, M IS FOR MUNCHERS: THE SERIAL KILLERS NEXT DOOR, about surviving a serial killer, heals and empowers abuse victims.

Other award-winning books include LOVE IN THE TIME OF DINOSAURS, WHERE LIGHTNING STRIKES, NAKED WITH GLASSES, MASTERING POINT OF VIEW, LOVE IS A MANY ZOMBIED THING, MASTERING FICTION & POINT OF VIEW, among others.

 

Hmmm….Let us begin shall we?

 

 

How did you come to love literature and writing?
I’ve always loved books, ever since I can remember. When I was 6, I decided I wanted to be a writer. I fell in love with T.S. Eliot’s poems, then with Chaucer’s work (when I was 8), and with Shakespeare’s plays (age 12).  I just never thought of doing anything other than being a writer.

Wow, you had excellent taste at an early age!

 
What exactly is world literature?
When I was in college, most Literature majors studied only American and British literatures, unless they took advanced foreign language classes where they read the classics in their original tongue. When I was working on my PhD, it was in a department that called itself “English and Comparative Literatures.” We were encouraged to study the classics of the entire world, in addition to those in the American and British Lit canons. I really loved that approach, and when I taught University, I taught the World Literature class. I tried to include novels, stories, and poems from many different countries, by men and women, to make the students become more literate.

That approach is amazing. Sounds like it really broadens the literary mindset. Wish I had a course like that in college.

 

 

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What did you like most about teaching?
My students. They kept me young. With all their popular culture references, slang, clothing, hairstyles, music, and jokes, they forced me to be “hip.”

Love it. The teachers who care about their students are the best. 

 

 

Teacher

 

 
In your years of teaching what are some common problems that plague writers?
The most common problem new creative writers have is a lack of Urgency: what keeps the readers turning pages. They learn it quickly, though, even if it’s only urgency in plot. After that, the biggest problem for writers is not reading enough literature that is classic, non contemporary, or outside their preferred genre. That lack of reading shows up in their writing as poor or unimaginative plotting, weak character development, and stilted dialogue.

Oh, I love this. Food for thought for us newbies. 

 
How did you begin writing poetry?
I can’t even remember not writing poetry, though I’m sure my juvenile poetry was just atrocious. As I got older, I read more modern and contemporary poetry, like the work of T.S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Theodore Roethke, Walt Whitman, W.S. Merwin, Sharon Olds, etc. and my own work improved.

Wonderful, keep writing!

 

 

 

“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” –Robert Frost

 
What is poetry to you?  
Poetry is like a photograph of a moment in a character’s life.
The characters could be completely imaginary ones, like those who came from unsuccessful short story attempts: Eddie Madison in the poem “Eddie Madison and the Theory of Evolution” or Auggie Vernon in “Auggie Vernon and the Eclipse.” The characters could be mythological, like Ulysses’ wife Penelope who relates her feelings after her husband returns to her after 20 years of wandering; or the characters could be biblical, like Cain, who rages against God’s injustice.
The most frequent character in my non-Holocaust poetry is the woman-poet persona, who is either the second or third wife, with children from her husband’s previous marriages: she feels isolated, alone, and unloved, despite now being part of a large family.
No matter who the characters in my poems, the poem is like a photo of their lives, frozen for a moment, but telling a definite story about them.
My short stories are like little videos, so they have more plot than my poems. My novels are like feature films or mini-series, so they have more complex plot, usually multiple perspectives, and often multiple Points of View.

I love seeing the answer to this question. Poetry is particular to each individual. 

 
If you had to write a poem to your younger self, what would you write?
I have to admit that I would never have thought of writing a poem to my younger self, even if that “younger self” was only a persona who appeared in my early poems. It took me over a year to write “While the Music Lasts”, if only because I hadn’t written anything in the Voice of the woman-poet persona in almost a decade.
I had a tremendously difficult time “hearing” that Voice again. After months of very bad drafts, I finally treated the poem and that Voice as I treat a novel which I’ve been away from for a while: I began re-reading Portrait of the Poet as a Woman, Part 2 of my book Love in the Time of
Dinosaurs, where that persona appears. I read that section over and over and over, trying to reach that Voice again. Eventually, that Voice came back, but then it took me another few months to get the poem itself right. The title was easy once I found the epigraph: it took me at least a month to find the epigraph (from a T.S. Eliot poem) that felt as if it fit the poem.
Here’s the poem to my younger self, “While the Music Lasts.”

 

 

 

While the Music Lasts

 

For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment… or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts.

T.S. Eliot
Four Quartets: Dry Salvages
5: 598-604

 

to my younger self

 

Each night, standing in the hallway at the open
door of the bedroom, I see you lying in the
fading light, his arms around you, your head on his

chest, his lips against your hair, and I want to tell
you how he takes your words – wrapped in ribbons of poems –
and gives them away to others. I want to tell

you how his own words change depending on whether
his sons’ crying woke him in the night, on whether
his first wife called again to complain that you have

moved into her house, on the color of some strange
woman’s eyes in the village market when she looks
up at the sound of his deep, burring voice. Standing

there each night in the hallway, I want to tell you
that one day, when his children are grown, they will seek
you out because you gave them seeds to plant in their

own corner of the garden, because you chased them
through piles of brittle autumn leaves, because they told
you they hated you more than they hated the sound

of their mother’s weeping. And they will offer you
their own children. Because you helped them build a fort,
so very long ago, in the cold and bitter

snow. Standing there each night, watching you sleep, I want
to tell you that he will do worse than meeting your
best friend three afternoons a week at motels while

you make dinner for him and his sons. One day, he
will toss out your heart with the coffee grounds, wrapped in
yesterday’s newspaper. Standing there in the dark,

leaning over you in the deep dark night, I start
to tell you, to whisper you all these things, but the
chill of the night air, the chime of the clock in the

downstairs hall, the look on your face when you open
your eyes to gaze at him lying there beside you,
and once again my tongue stumbles and goes still. The

unbearable weight of your happiness steals all
my words and buries them deep underground in some
faraway place, some place not marked on any map

but the map of our own heart, some faraway place
where you will have to find these words and dig them up
yourself, one day, many years from now, on your own.

Alexandria Constantinova Szeman

© Copyright 2017

 

 

“Poetry is like a photograph of a moment in a character’s life.”–Alexandria Szeman

 

 

 

 

100 percent quality

 

 
If your life were a metaphor, how would you describe it?
I survived the fire.

Love your spirit of survival here. Actually, you’ve done much more than that dear friend.  I wrote a poem. 

 

 

Life after the Flame

 

the fire consumed

but I survived its wake

for the ruin of flame

was powerless to take

my withering soul

laid bare

 

Nor ashes to ashes 

or dust to dust

could bury my will 

to live I must 

ascend within

the embers of the flame

 

the fire consumed

yet could not earn

the precious ether of life 

in turn but rather proved 

that hope can never burn

 

-Benjamin Thomas

 

 

 

You not only survived. You lived, and you exceeded.

 

 

 

Hope. Inspirational quote typed on an old typewriter.

 

 
If you had to give a quote to the world, what would you say?

If you can imagine it, it can happen.

I love this one! According to Einstein, imagination is the true intelligence. 

 

If you had to give a quote to the next generation of young writers, what would you say?
Read everything you can, learn your craft well, and never, ever give up on yourself.

Amen to that! Love it.
What’s the best part of being creative?
As soon as most people hear that I’m a writer, they think I’m weird, and that keeps them guessing.

I got a kick out of this one 🙂

 

 

Thanks Alexandria!

 

 

Links

Blog & Website
The Alexandria Papers
Poetry
Love in the Time of Dinosaurs

 

Love in the Time of Dinosaurs (cover)

 
Where Lightning Strikes: Poems on The Holocaust

Where Lightning Strikes Poems on the Holocaust (cover)

 

 

 

Connect with Alexandria!

Twitter | Facebook | Amazon

ACS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for ridin’ the train folks. Don’t be a stranger!

 

 

 

black train

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

http://www.audiospy.wordpress.com

What’s within a Tear?

What is within a tear?

And from whence does it truly flow?

It hails from hidden abodes of heart,

sprung apart from embattled depths below.

What is within a tear? 

And how significant is its worth?

How heavy the burden escapes unweighed;

in dimensions of pain, unknown girth.

What is within a tear, you say?

Only the bearer truly knows.

Hearken that tune when it’s wrought.

As pain grows wings, let them flow.

Benjamin Thomas 

@thewritingtrain

http://www.thewritingtrain.com