Journal 6

Prompt 3

I used to…

I used to want to be a doctor.
I used to want to be a writer.
I used to read a book each day.
I used to not care what others thought.
I used to have time to play.
I used to have time to enjoy the breeze.
I used to relax after getting home.
I used to help my parents cook.
I used to sing in the shower as the radio blasted.
I used to play school without worrying about it becoming reality.
I used to visit museums, draw, and write.
I used to wake up full of energy.

I used to do stuff before I grew up.
I used to have fun before money came along.
I used to not care about time until I only had it to worry.
I used to not know the meaning of wishing the world would stop just so I could rest.

Journal 5

Cento Poem

What is important is to avoid
that black forest and fire in earnest.
All the bells say
mongering wolf
One bite, dead.
Like any good son,
I lift the body and carry it to the wagon
The War was on.
Their hearts beating harder.
The storm begins in earnest,
shaking our little house.
Bring it to fire.
And the glass shatters
Die soon.

(Simone Muench, Louise Gluck, John Berryman, Simone Muench, Carol Ann Duffy, Ocean Vuong, Elizabeth Bishop, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Richard Jones, William Dickey, Denise Levertov, Gwendolyn Brooks)

Journal 4

 

Original prose piece

The cows stand under the trees in the wet grass, lifting their necks to pull leaves down. We slow the truck, pull over to the side of the road to watch them. How graceful they look, how unlike themselves. We get out and lean on the fence. The cows don’t seem to notice we are there.

Line Break part 1

The cows stand under the trees in the wet grass,
lifting their necks to pull leaves down.
We slow the truck,
pull over to the side of the road to watch them.
How graceful they look,
how unlike themselves.
We get out and lean on the fence.
The cows don’t seem to notice we are there.

In this version, all of the lines are end-stopped, bringing each idea in the poem to a stop and creating a deliberate pause for the reader at the end. This does not emphasize specific lines but instead allows each thought to be completed and with the pause at the end gives time for the reader to think about what they have just read. These line breaks give the poem a slow, solid pace and gives the poem the voice of a person telling a story to their friend. The line breaks don’t give a lot of significance to the text as it makes each idea separate instead of connecting them together through emjambment to tell the story, leading to a more organized but less emotional version of the poem.

Line break part 2

The cows
stand
under the trees in
the wet grass,
lifting
their necks to
pull
leaves down. We
slow
the truck,
pull over
to the side of the road to
watch
them. How
graceful they look, how
unlike themselves. We
get out
and
lean
on the fence. The cows
don’t seem to
notice
we are there.

The short one word lines emphasize these words, specifically the actions of the speaker in the poem. The separation of these actions pulls them away from the description of the animals and the setting and bring the motions of the speaker and cows into focus. The short lines give what appears to be a quick reading while actually slowing the poem down and puts the emotion of the poem behind the actions that occur and not the feelings behind the scene. This gives the story the voice of a person focused on motion and who appears to appreciate being free and moving while enjoying the world based on the focus on action, the rushed feel of the poem, and the specific actions of the speaker in the poem.

Line break part 3

The cows stand under the
trees in the
wet grass, lifting their
necks to pull leaves down.
We slow the truck, pull
over to the side of the road
to watch them. How graceful
they look, how unlike
themselves. We get
out and lean on
the fence. The cows don’t
seem to notice we
are there.

The line breaks give the poem a slower pacing as it seperates the poem into short lines while breaking apart ideas. The breaks occur before several connected ideas such as the / trees and their / necks which allows the reader to question what the object is or what is occurring. It gives the poem a slow and steady rhythm by breaking the poem into short lines and adding additional short pauses with each break. The final line break adds emphasis to the final line “are there” making it as though the speaker is stating that they matter even if no one notices, in this case the cows. The voice of the poem is more a person’s thoughts as they bounce from one idea to the next than a person telling a story.

Journal 3

Similes Experiment

Moonlight Madness

Similar similes:

Feet pound across the forest floor,
the rhythm resembling that of a fleeing deer.
Twigs snap beneath these hooves,
ricocheting through the trees like an echo in a cave.
A heart wildly pounds
as quickly as a rabbit’s foot thumps.
She rushes,
tearing through the forest like a flood.

The sun fades
like a dimming lightbulb.
Leaves fall to the floor
as though they are sheets of paper in a sudden gust.
The animals sleep as though a young child tucked into bed
unaware of the intruder in their home.

Her hair shines like golden fall leaves.
It rushes behind her,
resembling the river’s twisted shape.
Eyes glisten like raindrops
as skin fades to fresh snow.

Trees surround her like city pedestrians
blocking the view of her path.
Fireflies light her path
reminding her of her old nightlight.

Her feet collapse from below,
her body falling like a tree uprooted in a storm.
Tears fall from her eyes
as though they are raindrops released from a thundercloud.
A flash of light bursts before her like a star
and she stares
as though she is an animal waiting to be shot.

A paw stretches toward her and she takes it.
As she touches it,
it changes shape into a pale hand
the skin shining like moonlight.
Her body sheds her skin like a snake
and she now stares back,
not an untamed beast
but a lost child.

 

Different similes

Feet pound across the forest floor
like a child chasing his cat.
Twigs snap beneath feet,
ricocheting through the trees like a gunshot
A heart wildly pounds
as fast as a cheetah.
She rushes,
tearing through the forest like a car in a drag race.

The sun fades
like a computer shutting down.
Leaves fall to the floor
like sheets being spread on a bed.
The animals sleep
like a man after returning from a night drinking
unaware of the burglar in his house.

Her hair shines like a wedding ring.
It rushes behind her,
twisting like a rattlesnake.
Eyes shine like mirrors
as her skin turns the shade of paste.

The trees surround her like an advancing army,
blocking the view of her path.
Fireflies light her way
as though a lantern in an old house.

Her feet collapse from below,
her body falling like a Jenga tower.
Tears fall from her eyes
like a shower on full blast.
A light bursts before her
like someone has opened the window shade
and she stares
as though she is watching the start of a car crash.

A paw stretches toward her and she takes it.
As she touches it,
it changes shape into a pale hand
the skin shining like a gem.
Her body sheds her skin like a coat on a warm day
and she now stares back,
not an untamed beast
but a lost child.

 

Journal 2

Berlin lays covered in spirals of bright paint splashes.
The subway train clangs past as air whooshes by alongside.
At a monument, my dad makes me use sign language on a gypsy.
English is a daughter language of German.
A line lays to mark the Berlin Wall like a giant scar across the city.
Bones no longer exist inside Auschwitz, just many shoes.
Who knew salt could make wood as hard as stone.
I hear her say don’t tell anyone.
I want to travel around the world.
I wish I had an alpaca.
A large, green iguana lazily watches our group at the parking lot.
Carbonated apple juice does not taste like soda,
And after a sip, I am pau.
Europeans hate condiments and love carbonation.
Actually, it wasn’t an iguana.
Where will I travel to next?
I slice through maple trees with a  saw as sap drips downward,
My mother buying the syrup it makes.
Dreams are adventures.
I can’t stop dreaming of being elsewhere.
My eyes are covered by the heavy mist of the waterfall.
I have tried wurst, veal, and carbonated apple juice.
I want to travel and study the globe as Columbus did.
The heavy pounding of the water blocks out the voices of
other tourists as my clothes become drenched in mist.
Give me my freedom to explore once again.

Journal 1

Smells: lavender, orange, blue raspberry, caramel, peanut butter,  freshly mowed grass, rain, spearmint, Elmer’s glue, crayon wax, acrylic paint, campfire smoke, marshmallows, wet dog, nail polish

Tastes: soy, strawberry, dental plastic, copper, sewage, apple, pineapple, peach, potato chip, cotton, charcoal, fresh air, milk chocolate, chipotle peppers, molasses

Touch: hairbrush, rose petal, numb, paint, velvet, sand, marble, medical needle, shattered glass, liquid soap, candle flame, denim, ice, clay, butterfly wing

Hearing: choir, thunder, train whistle, kitten, electric drill, clock tower,  taping fingers, pencil scratching, snoring, sniffling, fan blowing, dog barking, alarm clock beeping, piano, wailing baby

Sight: seashell, wave, duck, glitter, gold, amethyst, sea glass, fall leaf, goose feather, fish scales, chocolate Labrador retriever, baby blanket, notebook paper, flashlight, star

Action/Motion: rocking, falling, hummingbird, chomping, swimming, climbing, wheel, shaking, snapping, butterfly

Abstractions: dream, courage, patience

Anything else: Berlin, Cocoa Beach, Joan, Elizabeth, Grant, dragon, wand

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