[This piece is a PERFECT example of what editors call the 'Purple Patch Trap'. A writer works so meticulously on every single word in a piece and falls too in love with everything to cut anything. I wrote this in high school, spending hours on the amount of syllables in a sentence, the number of sentences in a paragraph, the number of adjectives etc. Basically, it's a really thick piece for being so short, and always serves as a great reminder to me that writing doesn't always have to be so forced.] The sun chokes the moisture from my throat. Humidity squeezes on all sides. The golden brown reeds are still, but bending under the weight of their pallid bulrush heads. They stand like sullen men with hanging heads. My body is like a damp cloth being wrung dry by strong, tight hands. The humid air wraps me in its massive fingers and clenches me in a fist. My skin is drawn tight; scalded by the sun. The air is hot and thick in my throat; my mouth a stew; my tongue the meat on a grill. I walk among the reeds with hands in pockets and eyes watching my feet make each step forward upon the yellowed grass. My feet kick up small clouds of dust and dirt. It settles on my skin and makes my feet feel like sandpaper scrubbing in my sandals. My toes are dry, the nails cracked and splintered, the skin around dead and hanging. The field beyond is walled off by dark brown, almost black wooden fencing. The planks are split and fractured like a desert floor. Some have swung loose from their rigging; others are fortified by rusted steel and nails. Inside graze scrawny, skeletal cows with heads down and mouths chomping; the grass crunches like sticks between the cows’ teeth. In the center of the field is a tall tree, beside it a cow. It stands forlorn in the shade, its head hung, looking bored and heaving air in and out. A man is walking up the field toward the tree. His shoulders are square and broad with a brick of a head sitting atop them. His nose is sharp, pointed, and curled up a bit, like a rat’s nose. Short hair scruffs his neck and jaw, dense and black. Bushy eyebrows keep the sweat from his forehead away from his eyes. A bald head returns the sunlight with a vengeance, at the cost of its own skin puffing and red. Swinging at his side, wrapped in a huge fist is a massive axe. It is heavy and unbalanced in his hand. One side is blunt, weighted, and flat like that of a sledgehammer. The other side is shaped like a half-moon, chipped with wear, but sharp like a serrated knife. He walks toward the tree, goes beside it and begins immediately. His face is relaxed as he lifts the axe into the air, then he sees me, standing there like a forlorn child. He stumbles back and the axe drops to the ground, haft in his hand, blade in the earth. He looks at the cow, the tree, then me - I’m standing in his field; I’m p
This is a project we had the first week of class. A mandala is a circle that shows your soul. http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/9448/201108120004503622.jpg
here is a link to the drawing
My mandala says many things about my inner self- my desires, my fears, my tendencies, and my thoughts. It is not organized too much, although it is mildly. There are about six different portions and some flow into others.
I first drew a fish, this is representation of me. I try to swim through the world and I try to embrace life. The fish is smiling as I smile when I embrace living. Waves are scattered on the fish’s skin; it is the tranquility of the fish and life in general. It is bigger than the boat in another scene; I think a fish has a significant amount of importance even though it is only a fish.
A large leafy tree is growing out of the middle of the circle. This tree grows like I, myself try to grow. It grows stronger, older, and larger and becomes abundant in life. It stems out to more and more branches and that explains how everything is related to everything and that all life is a common miracle. I climb the tree which shows my respect and love for it while also showing how I want to enjoy my life.
The least detailed part of my mandala is the black sliver. This sliver is small but gets bigger. This is darkness, sadness, anger, and craziness. Darkness can envelop in a person and destroy their mind. It can consume one completely and control one’s thought; this is shown by it going out of the circle.
Another scene reflects common day life and how I try to make everyone happy. I hold a balloon and the people around me are in bad states of mind: sadness, anger, and frustration. Someone can see the beauty of everyday life and show up with a balloon by their side instead of a rain cloud over their head.
Below the fish is a big scene, although it starts with an ocean. The ocean goes out of the circle showing the passing of time and a life of consumable happiness. The man in the boat shows how small he is compared to the ocean. On the left part of this bottom scene is a snake. The snake is darkness as well, but also fear. Fear for life, fear for love, and fear of going crazy. The snake is staring at a figure of me when I’m older. I am happy and successful in what I try to do. I stare at the snake like how I flirt with danger, take risks, and try to understand darkness. If I get upset and give up, the snake eats me. I stay standing on the border of the ocean and occasionally look into darkness.
“Well, don’t you look pretty.”
Marshall sat in the back of his limo with his friend Jerome and whatever new girlfriend he had with him; he didn’t know her name. He was quiet amidst their flirtatious banter, unable to focus enough to add to the conversation, just watching the buildings and their outlines blur as he sped past them. People went about their business along the streets, most uninterested in the parade of sleek, long black cars passing by.
He saw the glint of a wine glass, but declined, keeping his gaze directed to the darkly tinted windows, even darker through the shades of his sunglasses.
“You sure?” Jerome asked.
“Yeah, I’m good,” he said.
His suit was as comfortable as a suit could be, tailored, fitting his form well, though he still wished for some sweats, maybe some decent, dark jeans. He should have worn a tuxedo instead, but he couldn’t stand those stupid fucking bowties. His tie was a shinier, darker black than the rest of his suit, wrapped in a Windsor knot as thick as a fist.
“What’s wrong with him?” Jerome’s girl said.
“Nothing,” Jerome said to his girl, who was wrapped around his arm like a sleeve. He offered her his wine glass. “Drink up.”
“Talk about a downer,” she says.
“Girl, you need to stop talking and start drinking. You ain’t gonna go loose-lipped on me with some wine in you, are you?”
A couple blocks passed by as the two flirted, Marshall lost in a train of endless, unconnected thoughts.
“How much further is this place?” the girl said, slurring a little. Apparently, she had already enjoyed a couple glasses of wine.
“We’re in LA. It doesn’t matter how far it is, it’ll take a while,” he said, and the girl grimaced, downing the rest of her wine, barely holding back the burp that came up. She shook her head in disgust.
“We got any liquor?” she asked.
Jerome dug in some compartments, coming out with some shot glasses and a bottle of something expensive. He spun the glass
Jealousy don’t look good on you,In fact, it makes you look fat.And old.And lame.And Stupid.And did I mention old?And that’s why you jealous, cause you spend too much time hatin and mad to actually do something with yaself.Lemme help you,I’m not the reason you stuck where you areAnd I damn sure a’int the reason you a’int get too farSo please don’t be upset that I have happy things to say,The hell I look like…Miserable?If that were the case, you wouldn’t have anything to be jealous of…And I’d be just like youSitting,Hating,Jealous.Tell me, if you’re the one that’s hating….Who’s the loser in this situation?Jealous?
I can't really say that I ever know what to write. So much of my time is spent stuck in the constant turning-over of thoughts in my brain that writing becomes a practice of rehashing what I've already thought of, making it more of a chore than I would like it to be. The conversations in my head tend to be so loud that they muffle the voices of those around me, so I don't tend to speak to a lot of people. What's there to say when you cannot listen? There are many people who often start a conversation with me only to quickly become bored or uncomfortable due to my short (or lack of) response. These people then begin to believe that I am arrogant, off-putting. I wish it were the case that I was so smart that I was somehow above conversing with people. No. It is simply that I do not know how. It's as though words dissolve in my chest before they can even make it up my throat. My face remains stoic as they wait on a response, not sensing my distress, my inability to form words in my mouth. I simply stand, stagnate, choking myself with the words I can't seem to say. My head's so low that the only things I can describe in accurate detail are my shoes. I believe my quietness to be a product of too much solitude. There's a sort of mystique that revolves around the quiet, brooding type: they must be deep, they must be intelligent, they must be...whatever - not normal - something like that. Perhaps that is me, though it is not what I would consider valuable, nor necessarily accurate. I wish it were true; that quietness equaled genius. If solitude bred genius, then you should find the deepest, darkest pit in the world; from there, take the man resting his head on his knees, staring blankly at the ground beneath him, and you will have found the wisest man in the world. Ask him any question you wish, and you will receive the most thorough and detailed of answers. Ask him things which he has never experienced: friendship, love, care, spirituality, reason, theory et al. Ask him these things and he will answer them for you more properly than the greatest wiseman the world knows. Tell him about yourself, and he will remedy any pain or loss that you may feel. He will listen until your throat has dried up, and then, because you have the answers which life has so cruelly confused you with, you will leave into the night sky, heart aloft amidst the understanding this man has brought to you. From then on, life will go a little bit more steadily, a little bit more comfortably. "Beware the heavy things," he will have told you. "Behold the light." And then, torn from the wonder and beauty of the world through new eyes he gave you, you will hear from the depths a quiet moan, a stifled gasp, a strangled sob. As though you're capable of calming him, you'll return to where he was. In the middle of a field, you will find him, head on his knees, weeping. "What's wrong?" you will say. His jaw will stutter, his lips will shake, his breath will catch, and finally, he will say the first words t
(I've always been heavily influenced by latin magical realism, but it's a hard form to write. I always end up tying myself back to reason and force my stuff to obey unnecessary rules. This is one where I deliberately forced myself to be non-linear and a bit stranger, and I'm fond of the result. Hope you like it!)
Every seat on the bus is taken and much of the space a person could stand in is filled by something that perspires. There are hands running through hair and gathering wetness, brushing the damp bangs from in front of faces. Mothers, sons, daughters, the occasional father, they’re fanning themselves with whatever papers they have, slow as they can, to draw out every ounce of the cool from the heat that hangs around each of us.
20 minutes ago everyone on the bus was milling around in the lobby of the University of Iowa’s main theater, Hancher Auditorium, trying to navigate crowds and lines and follow signs telling us where we might go to begin the process of freshman orientation. My mother and I had snuck in the side door and I watched, from outside the largest throng of people, the parents with proud, nervous smiles and the prospective students with jittering insides. My step carried a swagger, my hands resting in my pockets, the right corner of my mouth turned up slightly with eyes half-closed to create an all-knowing smirk. But the hands in my pockets had torn apart an old receipt in a fit of nerves and my walk was slow to calm my heartbeat. The swagger didn’t exist for my sake, but for the sake of the several hundred girls my age that, at least from my perspective, encompassed most of what was interesting about the scene.
On the bus there’s a smaller group than there was then and I can overhear most of their conversation. Conversational zones insulate the bus, no one ready to expand out of the immediate, comfortable interaction their families and friends can offer. A boy gets frustrated with his mom for trying to fix his hair, a bit mussed in the heat of summer. In response, she’s wise enough to smile, enough to see her days in his.
2 hours from now I’ll be sitting in a conference room being told what I should expect from my college experience.
The future CEOS, the astronauts, the authors and the entrepreneurs, those are what I see. There are people around me who will fulfill their dreams or won’t. I look over the sweating faces and find it difficult to see the academics and the substance abuse and the quick, sudden expansion of worlds and horizons that I’ve come to associate with college. It’s more, I think, that I’m surrounded by futures. And in this moment I choose to look to my right from my spot standing at the left rear of the bus. There’s a girl sitting down at the back that I can see in between the arms of someone grasping at something to brace themselves for the bus and its nauseating swerve. Their arms form an odd, ovular frame around her face and torso that secures my focus.
Some minimalist poems that I have been writing lately. I'm trying to better at concision.
This Poem is about many tings. Fire, Dancers, Performances.But it can be interpreted many ways. Tell me how you see it, and why.
P.S. I wrote this in poetry class in high school, and I need some real feedback on this. This is my favorite original piece so far, and I want to improve it. Thanks for the help everyone!
Watch, where you’re going!” you sneer at me and move on with your nose up.
“sorry…” I mumble back, picking up my books
Actually you ran into me. I was standing at my locker, not like you even care.
You see me in the halls every day; I sit in the desk behind you in history, and have a locker down the hall from you.
Do you know I’m homeless?
My dad, brother, sister and I stay in abandoned buildings. Our family didn’t split up when we lost our house, and I think it’s better that way. It still feels a little like home because we somehow manage to have a few rules existing.
The rules are simply: go to school as much as you can and don’t fight or get arrested.
Before we were evicted we were a proper “use-a-napkin and write-your-thank-you-letters” kind of family.
But that was before dad was considered a disposable part of the company. That was before all the bills and their ever-so-pleasant collectors. That was before the power was cut and our tap ran dry, and a nice blue paper was nailed to our door.
Don’t think this all happened overnight, oh no, this was a prolonged suffering. My dad fought every step of the way, “just some more time” he’d say. Oh dad, why would time make an exception for us?
That gave me time to prepare though.
Step 1: Go through the stages of grief and then accept the fact that you’re moving into a new sort of residence (probably a refrigerator box)
Step 2: Practice. To get what you need you are going to have to steal, lie and beg. No need to dance around it. Homeless people tend to acquire sticky fingers. I wasn’t always a thief though, but you reach a certain breaking point. Like when that blanket in the store is so soft and warm and the temperature is dropping outside. 44 degrees… 37… 33… and there’s your breaking point. So people should check their pockets when they walk past me, and pat me down at every store exit, but they don’t.
Still, stores are only good to an extent. Homes are the real bonanza.
Breaking into houses is best during the day when most are at work. Usually it takes a little patience and surveillance. Now contrary to popular belief, we aren’t about to break into your house and rob you blind. That would put you and the police on red alert and it would have been a one-time thing. No. We are subtle. We’ll observe the house: When do the adults leave for work? The kids for school? Are there security codes? A dog? We need to get to know you in order for you to be the “hosting” family. We don’t take everything, just some crackers in the back of your pantry, a blanket from the bottom of the linen closet, and the shirt that you never wear. Nothing big enough to notice, just the stuff you forgot about already. We’ll stay with you for maybe a month or two, and then leave. You’ll never even realize we were there.
Those are the days I miss school.
And although I may have stolen many things, I still have a conscience and I won’t forget those I’ve taken from. I made a list of all the names (taken from IDs)