Thursday, April 30, 2015

Poetry: Skim Milk

Today's the last day of National Poetry Month! Good-bye everyone until next year. I will continue to post poems, prompts, other interesting content, and yeah write submissions on my blog. I hope everyone will come and visit from time to time.

For today's prompt, I reversed a poem that I had already written and I liked how it turned out. It turned out a little creepier than before. What do you all think?

Skim Milk
By Brittany M.

No substance to me.
I skim milk, thin milk,
That blue tinged remaining,
And got left overs.
That old yellow butter cream
Threw away the old me.
But to separate me into two
Careful not to mix up.
Submerge myself
Bottled up milk jug new.
A self I always wanted
Pale blue, fat-free me.
To get that ambrosia
I threw bone and skin
To roiling high
I turned up the pot,
I boiled myself thin;
I skim milk, thin milk;
No substance to me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Poetry: Review of 10 Year Old HP Laptop: 2 out of 5 Stars

10 Year Old HP Laptop: 2 out of 5 stars
By Brittany M.

When your screen goes black,
I know you’re being coy with me,
Trying to bring a semblance of
Mystery back into our relationship.

And when you won’t shut off
I know you just can’t stand
To part with my sexy face.
Am I right?

When your keyboard buttons
Stick just long enough for
Mmmm and llll to be typed,
I know you’re speaking to me,
Either in Morse code or cyphers,
But I always delete them before you
Can finish your message.

I’m sure you load my webpage
At a snail’s pace because you
Want some intimate time
Before I zone out on Facebook.

You complain I never spend time
With you anymore, you’re afraid
I’ll find someone new, but you don’t
Care that I feel suffocated by your
Inability to maintain three tabs
On the browser without crashing.

Honestly, I’m afraid of losing all
Of my data, losing all of the hard work
I’ve put into you. I know one day
You’ll crash and ruin everything
Between us just out of spite.

So I’ve decided to put control
Back into my own hands,
Take the reins of my destiny
And go with the new model,
The one down the street with
The Pentium i7 processor.

I give her 5 stars out of 5 stars
Because she works out religiously.
Like look at that svelte lightweight
Design. Plus,
I can show her off to my friends.

For you, I’ll give you a two.
One for nostalgia and
One out of pity.

Without You

Everything kept me awake that night: The clacking sound of the electric baseboards, the swish of traffic outside the curtained window, the ticking of the clock above the headboard, and your cold imprint next to me; your smell fading from the pillows.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Poetry: Our Bridges

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was to write about bridges, either literally or metaphorically…

Our Bridges
By Brittany M.
I bridge you to my heart.
We collect new rhythms;
Build bridges across rivers;
Burrow tunnels
Through the mountains
Between us.
No barrier exists that can
Withstand us.
Our two bodies connect,
Stitched and sewn.
Two strange lands
Bridged by arms and legs,
Through breath and sound,
Together we make a new land
With the rules of our choosing.
We become the sacred
And the ritual, the stone
And water, the tree and fern.
Our bodies grow together
Knitted deep in the body of our earth.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Poetry: Weeping Willows

Today's NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a hay(na)ku which is similar to a haiku with three lines, but it only has one word on the first line, two on the second, and three on the third. I decided to make a poem that comprises of multiple hay(na)ku poems and played around with the form on the page.

Weeping Willows
By Brittany M.

The woods,
Past the lake,
Drip heavy
With long mosses.

The mosses
Toward the ground;

Long           a     e
Strands w     v             

A new breed of

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Poetry: To be Nameless

Today's NaPoWriMo prompt was to write about someone famous with the poetic form of a Clerihew. Here goes...

To be Nameless
By Brittany M.

She shares my name, Britney Spears.
She took the Canada train in tears;
Ventured out beyond her fame
And met a goat herder without a name.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Poetry: To Dickinson

So today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was to rewrite an existing poem or reply in a sarcastic or biting manner to a poem. I wrote this yesterday in response to Emily Dickinson’s poem “She Rose to His Requirement.”

In a way, my poem is both an apology and a rub in the face, specifically the last line. I posted her poem below mine so you can see the subject matter. If you notice, Dickinson is being snide and patronizing to a friend or someone she knows who ‘sold out’ and got married…

Also, has an excellent podcast called "Amplitude and awe" that looks at this poem in depth.
To Dickinson
By Brittany M.
I once was an Emily—
Just like you.
I once swore it all off
And never left home.
I loved instead obscurity
And relished dusty tomes.
But one day—
Everything changed.
I searched—
Desperate to be loved.
I sold out—
Yes, it’s true.
Time caught up with me,
My clock never stopped—
I couldn’t slow my second hand.
But in my writing—
Nothing’s changed.

I’m the lucky one.
I was born in a day and age
Where marriage is not an end.
Instead, I get to play with word—
Dally with phrase—
Even with a ring on my hand.


She Rose to His Requirement
By Emily Dickinson

She rose to His Requirement — dropt
The Playthings of Her Life
To take the honorable Work
Of Woman, and of Wife —

If ought She missed in Her new Day,
Of Amplitude, or Awe —
Or first Prospective — Or the Gold
In using, wear away,

It lay unmentioned — as the Sea
Develop Pearl, and Weed,
But only to Himself — be known
The Fathoms they abide —

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Poetry: Queen of Diamonds

We're getting close to the end of April! Soon it won't be National Poetry Month, what am I going to do with my time???


Write poetry of course!

So today's NaPoWriMo prompt was to choose a random card from a deck and free write about it and then convert the free write into a poem. Some how I ended up with the Queen of Diamonds...So I decided to write a sonnet in honor of her awesomeness. Here you go...

Queen of Diamonds
By Brittany M.
Contained within me the reddest mirrors,
Concave with four sharp points, a weapon thus
Summons images of my foes clearer
And lures and persuades them without fuss.
My judgment as beautiful and as cold
As carbon found in the grayest of caves
And any who dare look upon me too bold
Will grieve the shadows of an early grave.
My sire more divine than any before,
King of diamonds hard and unyielding,
And written in our history’s lore
I am by his side, never conceding.
We greet our gods as equals in the stars
Our bodies diamonds eternal in the dark.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Poetry: Sonnet of West to East

For today's prompt NaPoWriMo asked us to write a pastoral or nature poem in honor Earth Day. I decided to write a Shakespearean sonnet about how I moved from the west coast to the east coast.

Sonnet of West to East
By Brittany M.
I said my farewells to redwoods and coons,
Wandered Pacific beaches one last time,
Flew like a bird over snowcapped Mount Hood,
And trekked cliffs spotted with bright lichen lime.
Disappeared into wet Siskiyou caves,
Ventured through rainforests covered in mists,
Laid in thick loam and observed how clouds crave
For Spring’s yearly entrance and fragrant kiss.
Traveled west to east, a reverse unseen,
Went from nature back to cultivation,
Left pastoral and passed unmarked in between
Boarders and miles of populous nations.
Through my tear stained face, I said my goodbyes
And pointed my toes east with head held high.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Poetry: Found Poem General Bongo Has an Opinion

Alright, today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was to do a “found” poem. I got my source from the New York Times article “A Grizzlies Fan Finds Fame asthe Bongo Lady” by Scott Cacciola. I cut the first part of the article off to save some space. At the end of the poem, I showed the whole article blacked out.

General Bongo Has an Opinion
By Brittany M.
About 25 miles south,
General Bongo said
hands drift away,
playing authenticity.
Bongo was mortified
By his God.
“He catches us
In that moment
As soon as you
Can’t control yourself.”
Bongo worked varying
Degrees of glory.
He throws inventive
On Sunday to
Experience clearly
Minutes stretched to
Savor insanity.
Some people enjoy it.

While other sports teams across the country run their own versions of Bongo Cam during games — it tends to be a crowd pleaser — it is uniquely popular in Memphis, and that is largely because of Meacham, who lives in Hernando, Miss., about 25 miles south.

“She’s been terrific,” General Manager Chris Wallace said.

People are generally surprised to learn that Meacham practices domestic law and works as a part-time judge. Yes, Bongo Lady is a judge. In the process, she has forfeited some of her anonymity. On Beale Street, fellow fans stop her and ask for photographs. Then again, she does wear a Grizzlies jersey that reads “Bongo Lady” across the back.

It should be noted that Meacham has no formal musical training. Her bongo wizardry is self-taught. The key, she said, is to stay on the bongos. Too many fans let their hands drift away, which makes their playing look inexact. Meacham strives for authenticity.

“And I don’t even know when Bongo Cam is coming on,” she said, “so I can’t warm up for it.”

As is the case in most great showbiz acts, Meacham has a sidekick: her 18-year-old son, Hayden, who often accompanies her to home games. He did not choose the role. He said he was genuinely mortified by his mother’s behavior.

“I guess I’ve gotten used to it,” he said. “She lets out this shriek when she does it. It actually scares me sometimes.”

Continue reading the main story Bongo Lady Memphis Grizzlies Video by Grizz BongoLady

Hayden was with her the first time the Grizzlies broke out Bongo Cam, during the 2012-13 season. Malenda Meacham heard the music and felt the rhythm, and something compelled her to rise from her seat and start thrashing away. It was unscripted theater.

“Hayden starts going, ‘Dear God, please don’t let them see her,’ ” Meacham said. “He’s next to me, shrinking over, and then the camera catches us.”

In that moment, Bongo Lady was born. By his mother’s third appearance on Bongo Cam that season, Hayden had decided to come prepared. As soon as he heard those familiar lyrics pump through the arena’s speaker system — “Come on, shake your body, baby, do the conga / I know you can’t control yourself any longer” — he put a paper bag over his head.

“Oh,” his mother said, “it’s just awful for him.”

Meacham, whose team jersey reads, “Bongo Lady,” is often accompanied to games by her son, Hayden. Credit Brad J. Vest for The New York Times

By then, Meacham was the clear star of Bongo Cam. The Grizzlies have even worked Allen, the team’s defense-minded wing, into the production. As the camera trains on other fans who try their hands at the (pseudo) bongos, with varying degrees of success, Allen appears on the video board in a recorded bit.

“Where you at, Bongo Lady?” Allen says as he shades his eyes with his hand and swivels his head from side to side, scanning the crowd.

Then, boom: Bongo Lady appears, in all her hyperactive glory. It can be a distraction for players, who are supposed to be paying attention to their coaches during timeouts.

“I’ll take a peek up there,” Jon Leuer said.

“People go nuts for it,” Jeff Green said.

Meacham has a particularly special bond with Allen, who presented her with an autographed bongo at an event for season-ticket holders. Allen, who recently signed on as a spokesman for Memphis International Airport, said it was unusual for one fan to become something of a symbol for the team. But Bongo Lady has managed to pull it off.

“Shout-out to the Bongo Lady,” said Allen, who likes to give his closest friends a hand gesture that he calls the deuces. “Even when she’s not dancing, I always wave at her, give her the deuces and say hello. She throws the deuces right back. It’s all love.”

The Grizzlies are known for being inventive with their in-game productions. On Sunday, during the Grizzlies’ Game 1 victory, Super Grizz — the alter ego of the team’s highly popular mascot, Grizz — jumped off a ladder near midcourt to body-slam a bear wearing a Trail Blazers uniform through a table.

Jason Potter, the team’s director of promotions and event marketing, said Bongo Cam was only one element of a larger experience for fans, but clearly a valued one.

“You never know what can’t-miss moment you could see at a Grizzlies game,” Potter said.

Meacham acknowledged that her 15 minutes of fame had stretched to 45. But she plans to savor it while it lasts.

“It’s insanity,” she said. “I’m sure it annoys some people, but most seem to enjoy it.

Hayden will be off to college in the fall. His mother suggested that it would make her incredibly happy if he would join her on the bongos — just once — before he goes.

“Whatever,” he said.

If nothing else, Meacham said her time as Bongo Lady had taught her an important lesson.

“If you play air instruments,” she said, “you can go places.”


Monday, April 20, 2015

Poetry: Hiking Crescent Lake

Alright today we were instructed to write a poem about things we 'know.' You can view the full prompt here. I had a lot of fun with this one. I went hiking yesterday with my husband at Crescent Lake with my brand new hiking shoes and alas they do not look new anymore...

Hiking Crescent Lake
By Brittany M.

I know I like
To live dangerous.
I like to wallow in stubborn,
Listening to the discontent
Of a shoe stuck in mud
And the slunk of suction
And bubble of release.
Mud sounds appropriate
Only in intimate settings, in
A bedroom with red
Satin sheets. Not in
Forest woods with
Narrow trails lined
With wild rose thorns.
I know step to step
From stone to root
To fallen branch,
All precarious,
One foot raised up
To test my balance
Arms out like a bird
Willing wind to come.
I know frosts had
Bleached the birch leaves
To a pale water yellow
And sapped them into
Dried husks like
Sheets of curled skin.

I know they rustled
In the wind like a
Man turning the page
Of a newspaper a
Thousand times a minute,
The forest loud with
Swish and swash
Of leaves’ applause
As they cheered
My grand entrance
Through flats of mud.
I know they cheered
Louder still when,
Through forest dun,
Past winter monotones,
I spotted pink and black
Polka dot rain boots
On a woman with
A white but muddy dog.

I know she was well equipped,
Even if I chose
The proper footwear,
But in the April thaw,
In between winter and spring,
My hiking shoes could not
Conquer the uncertainty
Of mud covered deceit
By old shattered leaves.

I know in the midst
Of bleeding fingers
From thorny bush,
While the clouded sun
Dyed the lake a scale silver,
I smelled full spring

Among the sweet dried leaves
A mixture of new iris rain
And the old decay of autumn
But no matter, for the smell
Did not reflect upon reality.

I know my wet socks
Did not bother me
So much, but rather
Ignored the betweeness.
I felt instead wedged
Among a precipice
Balancing on the edge
Of seasons, and in hope,

I know I chose these shoes
Intent for a transition,
Hoping for sun to dry
The ground normal again.
No more the branching
Of frost to burn
Soil into rock
And then to thaw
The next day,
Turning land into
Something not land,
Altering water into
Something not water,
But something in between.

But I know,
I did not get my way.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Poetry: Sister in New Delhi

I know I didn't post yesterday, but I was busy with the Mark Twains 4th annual writer's conference. I wrote a lot, but didn't have time to write for yesterday's prompt. But for day 19 we were asked to do a landay, but I decided to do a series of landays. All of them can be stand alone landays, but they are all connected into one whole poem.

Sister in New Delhi
By Brittany Mishra

Sister walked to the bank,
But the man
Refused to look her in the eye while he denied her.

Sister didn’t walk the streets
At night
So the men would not taunt and follow her home.

Sister never wore low
Necked clothing
Her mother knew men would take out their phones and capture.

Sister listened to her
Uncles talk
“She won’t use a master’s degree when she marries.”

Sister’s boyfriend yelled and
Screamed at her
“You’re going to cheat on me with American men.”

Sister thought she was
Her family favored her lighter skinned sister.

Sister never made love to
A man,
Her boyfriend didn’t believe; he watched her every move.

Sister stared out the window
Late at night

And tried to love herself into a man.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Poetry: In 140 Characters or Less

Alright, I took a risk today and tried to write a poem in a series of Twitter posts. NaPoWriMo's Day 17 prompt is to write a social media style goes...

In 140 Characters or Less
By Brittany M. 

Mars is a planet?

OMG, did you hear Brenda’s pregnant?

Thanks, but I wake up this caliente.

Just found out Cuba’s a country.

Celebrity baby bumps are the cutest :)

Mike is like a woman now…

They found liquid water on mars.

Kim Kardashian is cheating on her hubby.

Um, gossip’s for losers.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Poetry: Terzanelle - Ring of Fire

Ring of photos.

So for today's NaPoWriMo poetry prompt, we were asked to write a terzanelle which has a rhyming scheme that I listed below. Every line in the middle of the triplet repeats at the end of the following triplet. To see some examples of some terzanelles, you can see them here and here.

or you can end the quatrain with fFAA.

And now for my terzanelle:

Ring of Fire
By Brittany M.

Billions live along the ring,
And with it fire and earthquake
The great faults and mountains will bring.

And one day with one heaving shake
The ground beneath them will wash away
And with it fire and earthquake.
Disaster looms but most will stay,
Even though like liquid quicksand
The ground beneath them will wash away.

Why would they choose to make a stand
Against nature’s beautiful wrath?
Even though like liquid quicksand,

In the disaster’s aftermath,
Towns and homes will not stand a chance
Against nature’s beautiful wrath.

In the time of a moment’s glance,
Billions live along the ring,
And all will perish in the dance
The great faults and mountains will bring.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Poetry: Poem

Here's my response to day 15's prompt. For the prompt we were asked to write a poem that about a poem or the writing of a poem. I wrote a short one today because it seemed fitting...

By Brittany M.

Oh little poem,
Take me where you may.
To little towns, big cities,
Or to feel the ocean spray.

You are my master
I your willing slave.
Oh little poem,
Take me where you may.

Poetry: Creation and Destruction

I wasn't lazy yesterday, I swear! I actually wrote my poem by hand, as I usually do, but I had no way of typing it up last night because my husband was using our only working computer for...TAXES! Alas, he finished it up at 11pm last night and I was too spent to even lift the laptop to my lap. Ugh!

Since it is now April 15th, I hope everyone else isn't on the edge of their seat, furiously working on TurboTax before the deadline. And for this momentous and torturous day, I have a challenge.

Name the person who said this quote:

"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
Try not to Google it, but to help you out, I'll give you a hint. He was one of the United States of America's founding fathers...

And now for day 14's poem from NaPoWriMo's website. We were asked to write a poem with a conversation and so I decided to have creation and destruction have a competition...

Creation and Destruction
By Brittany M.

I am the wind that puts out the light.
I, the ocean swell and furious storm
That erodes cliffs and floods homes.
I am the darkest side of the moon
And the cold and starless night.
I am the wind that carries aloft
The fluff of a dandelion seed.
I am the ripe fruit for the taking
And the discarded pit waiting
I am constellations
As proof that skies unchanging.

I hurl lightning down
And clash with thunder’s call.
I am the man who raises balled fists
To settle the brawl.
Brick by brick I lay the pain of betrayal
And I dredge up from the depths,
Monsters yearning for blood and flesh.

I bring about from depths of winter
The womb of spring and earth.
The only blood on my hands
Is that of a child’s birth.
And from my bosom
All you sweetly lay
When small and young
I bring forth the whitest of milk
To grow you healthy and strong.
Alas, I am the rule
That all creatures fear.
I am the labored heart
And the last effort breath
I am eternal, the shroud,
The blackest night.
I take away that once you had,
And what is took
Cannot be taken back.

I am the rule
All creatures desire.
Death breeds creation
And from the fallen
And all things dead and discarded
I find within the jewel of potential.
From these cast off husks,
These thrown away things,
I let them sweetly decay.
From the blackness and rot
And in every deep dark
Corner of the night
A new life emerges,
Burning bright.

#poetry #NaPoWriMo #poem #writing

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Inspiration and Motivation for Poetry Writing

Is this you half way through April??

Everyone needs a little motivation and inspiration from time to time because writing every day can be hard. So the less I have to think about things the better!

That’s why I like writing prompts. They give me parameters that I can work with and just enough focus to allow myself to relax and let ideas come. And since we are just about to hit the halfway mark of National Poetry Month, I need a little something to kick myself back into the groove, and I’m sure you do, too. So I have a writing prompt and a few links that will give you some fresh ideas.

I found a list of suggestions on how to celebrate national poetry month from I especially like the idea of memorizing a poem (I haven’t done that in a while!). Plus, I’ve subscribed to poem-a-day for a while and it’s my favorite email to see in the morning.

However, there is one thing I would like to add…

Head on over to the Poetry Foundation and listen to their amazing podcasts that have famous poets reading and discussing their work. Two of my favorites include a poetry lecture called “International Poets in Conversation: Matthew Shenoda” with Kwame Dawes and a Poetry Magazine podcast featuring many of the poets in the April 2015 issue.

And for today's poetry prompt...

Visit a place that is familiar to you, maybe a place you take for granted, and then go around and explore. Write a poem about the place as if you are a foreigner from a different country who is just visiting for the first time. Take in all of the details that you usually gloss over.

Here's my response...

Barren Landscape
By Brittany Mishra

Rusted sun,
Frosts, and dried winter
Spirals and erosion
Slates and grays
Black asphalt crumble,
River’s yellow lines
Fade in dew and cloud cover.
Thatch plants 
Bulled over flat
Floors and grounds dun colored
Hanging chains match silver expanse
This low unwelcome sky
A handshake not offered
And hoof prints repeated backward
A leap and sheen
Smell of wet camphor
White shells crushed into flour
Tracks groove in semi circles
And birds sing snow birch winter.



Monday, April 13, 2015

Manic Monday Video and Reading Material

Since it’s another manic Monday, I thought I would put together some good reading and video material to get everyone through the rest of the week.

The first quick read is funny but irritatingly true. Homa Mojtabai wrote on McSweeneys “Reasons You Were Not Promoted That Are Totally Unrelated To Gender.”

Author of Americanah, one of “The 10 Best Books of 2013,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk has always inspired me to think about how differently we see the world through the lens of our experiences and biases. “The Danger of a Single Story” is a talk for anyone to watch, especially someone who is a writer.

For some fiction, I found A. Roolette? A. Roolette? by Adam Prince on Narrative Magazine. A short story about an eventful and drama filled high school reunion that is good to the last word.

For poetry, A Real Nice Baby and Other Poems” by Jennifer Liberts Weinberg on Narrative Magazine is a set of experimental prose poems that have some really beautiful and grungy moments.

And exciting news for any writers out there! The Bellevue Literary Review prize is now accepting submissions on themes of “health, healing, illness, the mind, and the body." The deadline for the contest is July 1st, 2015. You can check out and read what kind of work they’re looking for here.

Poetry: Riddle of the Kitchen

Today's writing prompt asks us to write a riddle poem describing something without naming what it is. Below is my riddle poem, can you guess what it is??

Riddle of the Kitchen
By Brittany Mishra

I have eyes for you
My plain faceless bodies
Appear in cool dark places
Chambers of cellars
And damp dank spaces.

I have eyes for you
In your home
I see your every move
I watch you skin and chop
Horrors of bare white flesh
Dropped with fixings in the boiling pot.

I have eyes for you
Even when flesh
Transforms from hard to soft.
You discard my leavings
In white plastic bags
Neatly emptied into caverns
But even in the deep and dark
I have eyes for you.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Poetry: His Seas and Landscapes

This poem's coming late in the night!

The weather was beautiful today, so we worked out in our yard for the first time since the snow began to melt. We planted a Honeycrisp apple and raked a lot of leaves and yard debris. Plus, I read some of my poetry at the Faxon Poet's anthology opening today.

Anyway, for today's prompt I wrote a poem about my favorite person...

His Seas and Landscapes
By Brittany Mishra

His face a window to dreams,
Arms spread over head
In a halo of forearms and elbows
Chest half covered by blankets and sheets,
Other half covered by a fog of hair
His chest rises and falls
The whole of him a salty sea
All in tidal sleep.
Small brown nipples soft pyramids
Built around his continent
And up among the canyons
And down among valleys
Between muscle and bone
The sweet curve of his neck
Gradual into rough forests
Of five o’clock shadow.
His body an invitation
To curl beside him
And travel familiar lands
Set sail my hands
Upon his calm seas.