Sunday, January 25, 2009


So, I have a sonnet and a villanelle, both first drafts. Extremely corny. I'm working on them as sort of goodbye-gifts for the baristas at the Starbucks near my work, because I go there every workday, and I'm kinda gonna miss those kids. And you know. It's nice to show appreciation blah blah blah here are the poems. (Also this is post #42 on the blog so MOD 1 FTW)


The drink is secondary to the smile--
Twelve dollars daily builds up an addiction,
But my baristas make it worth my while.

With aprons tied and black hats set in style,
They know that at the bar and in the kitchen
The drink is secondary to the smile.

Their rapt attention to the coffeephile
affirms, with every visit, my prediction:
That my baristas make it worth my while.

The syrups, teas and lattes in my pile
of cups kowtow to only one restriction.
(That the drink is secondary to the smile.)

Their legendary service won't beguile
A fervent Coffee Beaner into switchin'
But my baristas make it worth my while,

So there is neither doubting nor denial of
The simple truth I tell in my depiction:
The drink is secondary to the smile,
But my baristas make it worth my while.


I've been here every week since last September,
And while I have a dodgy memory,
I'll do my best, from now on, to remember
The names of those who've been so good to me:

Miguel and Shandra, Chris, Karem, and Jake,
Tomas (long gone), and Natalie, and Megan,
Then Robert, and then Adrian, and Becky,
Alicia, Patrick, Andrew, Sean, and Steven.

They labor at the daily coffee grind;
The service is impeccable, at worst;
At best, there is no better in my mind,
And in my heart, this Starbucks is the first.

There will be other coffee shops, it's true,
But none compare; they aren't ever you.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Snippet of a Larger Piece

Not a poem or any other prompt, just something small from a larger piece I am working on. Posted just to post something!

He leaves her in the spring with a laugh and a smile and a promise. He leaves her in the spring with a grin and a gentle kiss, with her father’s smile and a gold band on her finger. He leaves her in the spring with the sun gold in his hair and her dowry clinking softly in his bag. He leaves her in the spring, jumps laughing onto the back of the tinker's wagon, his kiss warm on her lips and his promise to send for her echoing in her ears. He leaves her in the spring with her father’s smile and her mother’s hard look and something small and tight and heavy in her belly, a seed planted by the laughter in his eyes and the way he had leapt so lightly onto the back of the wagon, the way his coat had flared out in the wind like wings and he seemed for an instant to be in flight.

Sweet Control

I won't preface this too much accept to say that sorry it took me forever to start writing.
A poem for you:

It's all about that one line
the one that hooks you in the jaw
the one that acts like a law

It's the glance over her shoulder
the captivating stare
She always knows you're there

The situation isn't fair
You can't help but let her win
Giving up or giving in

The crime is in no reply
She wants a statue, not a rug
With a faith that doesn't budge

All is sweet as candied sin
She opens up and calls you dear
Whispers nothings in your ear

It's not her power, her embrace
You share the pain, but don't forget
She keeps loving you yet.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Short moments on Inauguration Day

A stolen moment of pride at being touched.  In the rush of the instant, the second stills; frozen in time, excitement hovers in the air, palpable as a miniature sun.  In the middle of the room, four eyes watch; four ears listen.  A sticker gleams on the table, boldly declaring “I voted!” next to the book declaring our oft-claimed heritage.  The instant is broken by the chant on the televised coverage, a chant echoing both a well-known song and a well-felt sentiment: na na na na, na na na na, hey-hey-hey, goodbye.  I wonder vaguely if it can be heard from the helicopter hovering over the crowds.  A surge of pride again wells, quite possibly something I’ll have to get used to. As I peruse the new White House website, my heart rises to my throat as I am greeted by the front page declaration “Change has come to America.”  I hear Keith Olberman announce: I’ll say it first and then you at home repeat it.  The 44th President of the United States, President Barack Obama.  Go on, you’ll have to get used to it sometime. 


I don’t repeat it; I can’t repeat it.  I can’t speak, frozen in this moment of pride.

Semi-Structured Poems

Snow fall!
Now fall!
No fail!
N il!

Snow's not been here in many-a-year.
At least four, I think, if not more.
It's flurrying down,
to a slurrying ground.

People, people everywhere,
And none of them did blink;
People, people everywhere,
Nor and need to think.

Power is exchanged
It's a huge hoopla for the

People are all over the room
Listen, it's as quiet as a tomb.
The announcer then speaks
All rise to their feet
To herald a new era sans doom.

Poetry doodles!


Something I'm sort of not keen on sharing but since this blog is all about us improving our literary voices, I figured that it'd be helpful to post it. Be warned though, it's bilingual! Oh, and if anyone can tell me how to do the ~ over the N, I'd appreciate it :-) . That said, enjoy:



Towering over

the dilapidated and broken
home of Eddie Olmos.


who no one sees
or cares to notice
your overarching sombrero,
your bullet clad shirt
your caballo that runs


la tierra de suenos.


who once proclaimed,

"Es mejor de morir en mis pies,
than to continue living on my knees,"

Broken hearted
Suenos rusted
by the poder del Mundo,
will no longer stand.

hears it now.

No one,
Cares for you now.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Session #8: Seriously, let's write already

You may have noticed a lack of writing on this writing blog in the last few weeks. This is as much on the mods as it is on the non-mod writers (because we, too, are supposed to write) but we, like you, don't want to be the only ones doing it. So, here's the assignment.

I am extending Mod 2's assignment from last week. I am also extending MY assignment from the week before last. Additionally, I am reminding everyone that you always have free rein to write whatever you want, as long as you're posting something. Anything. Write a poem for Mod 2, or a revision for Mod 1, or whatever the hell you want to write without our guidance. Just, write something and post it.

I want to see posts this week. Not just from some of you. From me. From Mod 2. I want to hear from people who haven't written a single thing yet. This blog is certainly not your top priority, but it is a good exercise, and the best way to keep it from being a chore is making it a part of your routine, something that comes as naturally as checking your email, logging on to Facebook, or wasting time on Wikipedia. I realize that part of the problem is that I've fallen behind in MY responsibilities--I haven't sent out the weekly email, for example, in a while, and I haven't been good about commenting, as I said I would be.

Well here's the trade-off. By Wednesday, EVERY story that has no comments on it, will have a thoughtful, insightful (one would hope) comment from me. By next Sunday, all stories posted for this topical week will have the same courtesy extended to them.

So, man up! Let's get this show on the road.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Session 7: 1/11-1/18

Hey Guys!

Write me a poem. Write it real good.

~Mod 2

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Session #6: 1/04/09 - 1/11/09

Welcome to 2009! You may have noticed a dearth in writing in the past week which included the absence of a weekly topic. This is because Mod 1 was quite ill and Mod 2 was traveling, and between the holidays and the two of us, well, nothing got done. It's a new year though, which provides an excellent excuse for a new start, so here we go with a new topic!

We will actually move forward with our exercise by looking back at what we've done. We have all produced our fair share of writing, both on the blog and in the world beyond the blog. As fruitful as it would be to continue with new works, sometimes the best way to encourage growth is to go back to an unfinished piece and complete it, to find something old that can be made newer, better, and stronger with the experience you've garnered since it was last touched.

Revise an older work, preferably from the blog but otherwise something you've done in the last two years. Provide us with a link either to the original blog post or to the original text, for comparison's sake (how can we comment on a revision when we don't know what's been revised?). Go after your spelling and grammar, but don't shy away from making radical changes. A revision doesn't need to be a final draft, it just needs to be different.

Auld lang syne, all that jazz. Let's do it to it.