I stumble into the side of my car. The cigar lodged in my teeth threatens to fall out as my head swings as though dislodged. “Phuck,” I say. So many pockets. I can’t find my keys. I have room keys, car keys, old car keys, and old house keys, wallet, cell phone, and matches that get mixed up with car keys. Each one is pulled out of my pockets and put on the roof of my car. Trying to tell myself not to forget them is futile as I know I will and likely drive off. I find my car keys and my other keys fall out of my pocket onto the road. Getting the key into the lock isn’t as difficult as I’d expected in my current state. I’m almost impressed. The car’s so low to the ground that I have to fall into my seat. Now comes the process of lighting my cigar, the end of which broke off into my jacket pocket and scattered bits of tobacco into the tiny corners. The brightness of the interior car light forces me to look around in my car through narrowed eyes. It’s a mess. Receipts, sweaters that I took off when I realized it was warmer than I’d expected, plastic cases to electronics that I’d expected to return but forgot, and a condom - the origin of which I haven’t a clue. Probably from the previous owner of this car. “Where the phuck is my,” my elbow rebounds off the roof, “phucking lighter?” Matches. I check the pockets in the chest of my jacket, then the pockets inside my jacket, and then my pants pockets. They’re all empty. I make a sound like my father makes when he works on vehicles and something isn’t going right. When the window’s down enough, I reach out and onto the roof, grabbing all the stuff I knew I’d forget. I open the door and reach down, my face pushing into the part of the window that was still up. When I’m sure - or at least quite sure - I’ve got everything, I light my cigar; bits of burning tobacco falling onto my shirt that I smack away, grunting as they burn my hand. These cigars have become a clever ruse to anyone who wonders if I still smoke. I can tell them no, I don’t smoke cigarettes anymore. That first drag is never as good as I expect it to be. I turn on the car and drive down the street. Everything’s a little faster than it should be; all the lights a little brighter. * My first cat was named Sasha. My mother named her, and she was the runt of the litter. When she fed from her
A Train of Thought
No Wordsworth, Eliot or Chaucer here,
Nor darkest thoughts swimming in my indigo ink.
As the tagged boxcars pass the flashing gates,
It carries amongst its treasured cargo the remembrances
Of a snall child.
Memories coupled together, being pulled by life's engine,
In its rhythmic beat.
Thomas, James and Gordon's lessons
Become the steam that drives the writer's pen,
Only to disappear and reinvent itself into a cloud
Of infinite design.
Your personal graffiti added along the way,
Has become the beauty of who you are today.
DO THE "WRITE" THING
I’d been tormented for years by a horrible demon. It devoured my soul and filled me with lies of worthlessness and self-hate. I believed everyone had a chance in life but me. At Sunrise I was born, by noon, I’d been given away, and before the sun set, I’d be forgotten. I’ve been told I must have known what was coming because I refused to be born, I came days after I was due and even when they forced the labor, I refused to turn head first or allow them to turn me. Therefore, I was snatched from the wound through the belly and presented to the world against the will of the woman I’d been living in and my own. I cannot imagine what it must have been like for the woman, but she seemed to let me go easily, I never even sampled her bosom for milk; she had no nurturing to give which was something that would haunt me for many years to come. We are born with blessings and curses and though we often get the two confused, life volunteers to teach us the difference. _________________________________________________________________ _________________ This is a story, a story about a girl who learned to separate her blessings from curses and learned to love herself when she thought there was nothing left to love, journey with her.
I don't tend to be a fan of the 'writing exercise', but that's because I'm not sure I've ever written simply for the sake of writing. My journal has always been the place to go when I need to talk about something, and invariably I end up exercising my literate muscles. It's not always emotional, but too often this writing tends to be a bit of a vent. It's a place just to say whatever, whenever, regardless of if it offends someone. There is this idea that writing has to be perfect when it's made public, that it must be lovely and crystal clear. It's this idea that, in the past, really hindered me from putting pen to paper. It causes a hesitation when I've got a pen in my hand and a notebook on my lap. What am I going to write? What am I going to say? Every time. It can get to the point when I just want to toss away my notebook, maybe see if I can score my pen in the garbage can. I'll miss. I always miss. Mocking myself for my poor aim just serves as a short distraction; just as any small thing happening around me will inevitably function. If writing is this hard, then why do it? Writing is, certainly, a fruitless endeavour for all but a few writers. If I were to even think of living off my writing, then that would mean I have to write what someone else wants to read; something in a newspaper, maybe something 'young adult', whatever that means. I can't really do that, though. That's not why I write. What happens when I write is something probably closer to personal therapy. I write my experiences in the form of a story, like I'm cataloguing my misfortunes for future reference. The questions that I tend to receive from this writing can be a bit hard to stomach. "Why?" "Why did you write this?" "Why is it so...depressing/frustrating/harsh?" This critique is especially fun to hear: "Why the hell would anyone want to read this?" That one hits me right in the gut. Ironically enough, despite how much I've studied writing, I tend to get that response a lot. It makes me wonder if they're right, and maybe I'm just continuing to write like I did when I was in High School when I was trying to sort through some frustrating times, trying to make sense of it all. Who wants to read about the personal problems of some random person they don't know, anyway? With that perspective, it ends up being pretty difficult to convince myself that I write to gain readers. If not for readers, then why do I write? Typically, my writing is produced when I'm sitting in my car. I'm parked in some empty lot next to a gas station, my foot sticking out the window. I'm alone, except for whatever voices come through my car speakers, except for the kind of people who tend to hang around a gas station; the bums, the
You know how people have out-of-body experiences? I'm having one right now. Myself is sitting on the couch in the back of the coffee shop. I, right next to me. I look at myself and I see right through the wall that i built so long ao. Dad told me never to cry, never to show weakness. But, I did, and I do. I'm not afraid to say that I cry. A lot. In front of others? No way. I look back into my life and see my pain. I hate being this way. I hate those scars and I hate how I've let you people get under my skin. There was a time where I saw myself as a person. Now? I see a painting. Splattered paint and strangled emotions. Certainly not a Picasso or a Michelangelo, but something of some value.
I don't know exactly what value, but something, I mean I've got to be worth something, right?
Give me a minute here.
To the kids in school; I know that I'm different and, in your words, weird. Please, don't give me crap about it. It's how I get over stuff.
To the kids on the bus; Don't start with me, please. My best friend just killed himself.
To the freshman; I know your backpacks are heavy, but don't let that affect you. You are the next generation. No prenny-throwing, senior will change that.
And to my so-called "father;" I have nothing to say to you.
To myself; Hi, there. Do me a favor? Would you just live? Forget the kids, forget your...dad, forget all of the abuse and tears. Just live.
Some call it "love." Some call it a fallacy. Some call it "karma." Some call it a mess. I call it life. It is a mess and it most definitely is a fallacy, but in reality, it is all that we have. It's the only inkling of hope that we hold.
You and I, we have something in common. We're both lost; not lost like a puppy, lost like a soul. We're holding on for dear life, and if we let go...
I'm still sitting in the back of the coffee shop with myself. I'm trying to make sense of this all.
Stop, stop making sense of it. Breathe in a out. Slowly. Live.
Welcome to the new and improved XRIVO, writerly friends. Powered by endless supplies of kit-kats and chocolate milk (it’s an obsession), Alex and I have managed to implement these new features to make XRIVO simpler and more intuitive, while working to bring you cleaner, fresher designs. There’s a lot of work going on in the comforts of the XRIVO headquarters, and we’re excited to show you exactly how they work to make your stay at XRIVO relaxing, safe, and simple.
First of all, thanks to all of you for your wonderful feedback. It’s made this process of refining XRIVO’s writer’s tools easier and more fun. For those of you who don’t know already, XRIVO’s been featured in a number of publications in the Illinois-Iowa area. It’s exciting to see the name going around.
Anyways, writers, we kind of want to show off the new XRIVO, and the way we’re going to do that is to give you three simple instructions: Write it, workshop it, share it. Think of XRIVO as that simple tool you use to practice writing. Akin to that journal you always have tucked into your jacket pocket, XRIVO is meant to be that safe place where you can share what you want, when you want, to who you want. The security and safety of our writers’ work is our number 1 concern, which is why XRIVO has a number of elements in place to make sure that your writing stays yours.
Your Copyright Protection
Once you submit work to the site, you will receive an email with a timestamp verifying you own the writing that you just put on XRIVO. Keep track of these emails! This is your copyright protection. Think of it like the easiest way to obtain intellectual property rights over your writing that you can manage. We are constantly optimizing the security of the writing our users submit to the public community, and work to continue to bring you the finest security available. XRIVO isn’t designed to share with a public community only, though, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Remember, when you’re experiencing that little itch to share something…
Write it down
Free Writing is the most direct method to begin exercising your literary muscles. Think of it exactly like that: free writing. There’s no bars held against you, here. This is your place. Want to keep it as a simple journal entry? Perfect, click ‘Save’ to keep it private. You can access this work from the ‘Edit’ button at the top of the page or by clicking ‘My Works’. Try sharing a couple journal entries with the community sometimes, too. It can be a lot of fun to get honest feedback from the community on something as simple as a journal entry. Just click ‘Publish’ and the work is readily available on the Discover page.
Workshop it with your Peers
The Writing Workshop on XRIVO is tailored to be like the writing classes Alex and I experienced at the University of Iowa. Thorough feedback is what we gave and what we received, and this is exactly what XRIVO’s tools are prepared to give you once you click ‘workshop’. Be sure to
and it was less sleep;
overstylized, I stir to
head collaborating into
the easy irrational.
neon-flashes of screen,
of dagger-laced text in
my deceitful subconscious,
like a spiteful,
pangs of grief, an undulation of panic,
searchingsearching and too delirious
to distinguish your voice from the
mourning in my ears—
audible anguish, still? still.
at 6am I thought—
I needed you
the ice-tipped relief did
little to douse this
inflammation of heart;
it's swelled, its illness
until my stomach becomes rock-bottom—
it sunk me back to sleep.
This piece is a collaboration between myself and the XRIVO Writing Interns. Each of them were given the same introductory paragraphs and told to creatively interpret them. They could do whatever they wanted, whether it was to completely rewrite the paragraphs or simply continue with the story. Each of them have a different focus when it comes to writing - from poetry to journalism - and they interpreted the initial paragraphs with that skill-set in mind. The result is a rather fun collaboration of the different directions a single story can take when multiple perspectives are brought in.
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!