Table Talk-By Carol A

Hello Again!

This past few months have been a whirlwind of change, adventure, and introspection for me. The following is inspired by Director Ava DuVernay during a talk at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, discussing the importance of female voices alongside Mindy Kaling, Greta Gerwig, and Kristin Wiig: http://youtu.be/ikeCA1O7ri0 .

“The work we do affects the way we see ourselves and the way that we are seen. It is vital work. Just by our very presence, we speak loudly.”

-Ava DuVernay, Director of Selma, 2014.

We Speak with Passion.

So Trust your voice

Strength that comes from within,

Critiquing the present

Whether surrounded by the most prolific thinkers [or the least].

We Speak Earnestly-

Raw/Fierce/Delicate.

Leave your reservations at the door;

There’s no scorn here!

We Speak Loudly.

Speak your mind,

With sincerity, imagination, Wit.

Our only contract is Respect.

Create, remain present

Look beyond pressures and confines of your Everyday.

Come away inspired, transfixed,

Saddened by the raw,

Poignant stories that manifest during each moment.

Speak.

 

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A Favorite by Carol A

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in)]

By E. E. Cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

A favorite poem of mine, always leaving me filled with warmth during the holidays.

“[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]” Copyright 1952, © 1980, 1991 by the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust, from Complete Poems: 1904-1962 by E. E. Cummings, edited by George J. Firmage.

Untitled by Dani.Love

PlanetSunshine spilled in through the small spaces o f the blinds, finding its way over her body struggling to sleep. As her eyes twitch, fighting off the images beneath her lids, the sun’s invasions intensified whatever was happening in her subconscious mind. Instinctively, she lifted the knitted teal and orange throw above her head, in an attempt to shield away the torturous moment between her mind and mind’s eye. The vibrating sound of her cell phone alarms startled her, but only slightly as she pressed snoozed, eyes still closed. She wiped her eyes as to erase the dream’s journey. Finally, she forced open her eyes, perhaps too full to endure anymore. Routinely, she reached over to her handcrafted nightstand, which held her journal and favorite pen. She sat up, letting her wild locs fall freely, and did what she has been doing since the arrival of these images.

She wrote.

She wrote, tears forming, trapped in the corner of her eyes. She wiped them prematurely as she always did. Afraid the falling tears would bring the written words beneath them to life. She was oblivious, or perhaps in denial, to the fact that reality already occurred. That she has been a living result of a motherless child. Not that her mother was deceased or even absent, not physically at least.

She wrote away at this nagging dream, needing to put the pieces together, where she is running from danger into the arms of her mother. Towards her mother she runs. To safety she needed. To safety she thought.

To Be Continued….

***
I took a writing workshop class over the summer and while it was helpful hearing other people’s critique of and reading each others’ work, it was most difficult for me to write during the prompts. My mind would just shut down. Perhaps it was me thinking too much and/or comparing myself to the other writers in the workshop, all who are SOOOO brilliant. Any who, this was the first (and perhaps the only) piece that came freely to me during a writing prompt session. I said I’d come back to this and when I do, I will share its growth…

Lost and Obscured (unedited*) by Dani.Love

Sunset Fire Cloud shadows MGD©

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine life without love.
Without the warmth of a home.
The comfort of your friends’ support.
The security of your lover’s arm.
Where would that leave you?
What would be your motivation to continue?

Numb to ills of the world I have to break free
Freedom
Free

Dumb to think this path would come easily
That bliss would be handed to me
Gift wrapped
Presents are the lessons of the experiences we endure
Overcoming obstacles
This (Life) course is free

Life is what education ought to measure up to
Freestyle lessons plans
Of a promise land
Land
Stolen goods
Motherhood
Catching up to
Freedom
Rights 
Stolen

(Still)
I Have
 Chosen
 To Be 
Free.


*In an effort to get me writing more regularly, a friend suggested that we write something every day. This was randomness in my head one morning as I rode the train into the city for work. A recent writing workshop leader said to me, it doesn’t matter how good it is (or how good YOU think it is) or if you ever use it, all that matters is that you continue to write.

Sharing The World by Thomas Henry

One of many bad habits I developed throughout the course of being alive is judging others harshly. I’d make decisions about people I didn’t know or would ever get to know simply because they behaved in a way that wouldn’t line up with my world view. My judgement of others would usually be based on common every day acts of mild rudeness, for example, a person on the subway who hooks his/her arm around the pole or leans against it making it difficult for others to hold on when the train is crowded and moving. Most people can see how inconsiderate this is. I would see someone do this and think it was beyond inconsiderate. This behavior, to me, was an indicator that he/she was a horrible person who was not worth reasoning with and had no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I’d find myself having negative feelings toward people who didn’t do all that much to affect my day. Now, no one is perfect. A lack of train etiquette, while annoying, is not necessarily grounds to say a person is terrible.

Living in New York means dealing with a lot of people every day, some of whom will not have the etiquette I expect of everyone. Thinking negative thoughts about people (or acting upon them) cultivates ill feelings toward society as a whole. This is a bad thing because we have to share the world with everyone else whether we want to or not. Sometimes it’s difficult because a lot of the time people can be terrible. But we must keep in mind that they can also be great. I worked in a wine shop for many years and something I would struggle with was hearing bosses, coworkers, and salespeople talk about customers. They’d say “people will love this” or that people will walk into the store and behave in such and such a way or “I know how to talk to people.” This kind of talk made it difficult to understand who “people” was and if I was part of this seemingly undesirable group. It looked to me like everything that “people” were inclined to do was against my own inclinations. Understanding how “people” tended think and act made me feel like I was not a person. In the context of working at the store, “people” were predictable and I understood things that they did not. A lot of the time, they were rude and demanding, inconsiderate and stupid. I felt like I didn’t understand or identify with “people” because it was a group I wasn’t meant to be part of, that I wanted no part of, that I was better than them because I wasn’t so inconsiderate and crass.

I’m not exactly sure what brought me back down to earth but I can tell you that I was in a pretty dark place. Judging people so harshly, thinking everyone was terrible and that it was an injustice to have to share the world with them was not a comfortable mindset. Hating “people” made me unaware of all the good that “people” do. I forgot that “people” included my close friends and family. I didn’t want anything to do with society. I withdrew. I worked my job and spent my free time alone or with friends who had “proven themselves” in my eyes. These were the few people I had a high opinion of. It was alright for my artistic output. I am a poet and solitude can be good for writing. However, I began to see that reading poetry to myself was not nearly as fulfilling as reading to a crowd of people who love poetry as much as I do. I’ve performed my work all over NYC and parts of Long Island and having people at the events really listen to my work and respond, whether it was through applause or approaching me after the reading, is part of what keeps me doing it.

In the context of poetry readings, I really do like “people” and have a sense of my place within this group. In the context of a crowded train car, I still kind of wish they would disappear. But we can’t just have people when we want them and in whatever context we like. They are there and will always be there. As much as they may get in my way, I’m sure I get in theirs too.

The Birth of a Star by Ren Martinez

the moon rises to her feet, swollen-bellied

a newborn pulse flutters beneath stretch-marked and pale skin

she trudges along dark corridors that she knows without seeing

fingers smearing trails along the walls, old plaster pockmarked with carbon emissions

should she breathe in too deep, she will smell the smoke

that’s been rising from the earth beneath her feet and sinking into the lace curtains of her living room

coming to rest at the top of the stairs, the arc reaching its peak

she feels blood rippling low in her belly

(pregnant and fertile, menses and motherhood)

her stomach cramps, her hands rest on the globe of her abdomen

heat bursts beneath her palm as carbon atoms collide and burst

she smiles, a waxing crescent

Breaking Up is Hard to Delete by Ren Martinez

i deleted that email you sent me two years ago

the one that detailed the curve of my hip in the palm of your hand

and how hours of video game marathons were better shared

a compilation of memories made up into a single desire

that reflected the one burning in the cage of my ribs that I refused to free

you broke up with me this last time three days before you remembered

the whiskey-soaked tears on my shoulders that dried by morning

and you repeating “I’m so sad” like it was a secret

i threaded my fingers through your hair and lied to you

saying that we would always be together

knowing that when you sobered up that it would end

you let me go while holding me so tight it almost hurt

the echo of that ache has yet to leave my bones

when you texted me on my birthday, i wanted to scream

instead we discussed the details of the Empire’s beauracracy

and whether Sith Lords get short-term disability

after my third glass of wine, i went searching through the archives

for proof that you had loved me

i only started to cry when i remembered i had already deleted it

Happy Father’s Day!!!

Don’t you just wish your Dad was like this!!  Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing Dads who fully support their children and whatever crazy fantasy they may have.

Here’s to the Dad who let’s his daughter be the engineer and his son the baker

Here’s to the Dad who isn’t afraid to sing “Do you wanna build a snowman” at the top of his lungs

Here’s to the Dad who sits with his son after he get’s his heartbroken by his first boyfriend

Here’s to the Dad who is vulnerable and always shows up, even if he sometimes doesn’t know what to do

Here’s to the Dad who knows he’s not perfect and never expected his kids to be

Here’s to the Dad that says “I love you” first and “I don’t know but I’ve got you” and means it

Happy Father’s Day.

Untitled 8 by K. Kenneth Edusei

It’s been a while,
I know,
How have you been?
Things were a little crazy,
Thunderstorms and rainy,
I’m just getting back in.

What doesn’t kill you makes your stronger,
I picked up an adage or two.
Breakaway,
The routine and mundane,
Yea, and my inspiration is new.

My goal is now possible,
Persistence shows its worth.
From here, I will get there,
I can’t accept anything else.
I’m hoping it works out.
It all comes down to this.
Do you believe in luck or fate,
In similar moments?

Funeral Rites for a Cremation by Ren Martinez

a phoenix cannot rise from ashes alone

the desire to burn has to calcine the bones of its corpse

before rising from the dead

should embers curl through our marrow like an overlooked road

it is only a matter of time before we both are deconstructed

reduced to carbon and curling up like too-sweet smoke

they say that controlled fires prevent further destruction

rolling down mountains like the sweep of a lover’s hands

yours were always too cold to keep me warm

instead I shriveled in the winter of our bed

my breath rising like steam in the space between our bodies

wishing for a way to burn