31 Days of Poetry {day 5} Help Us See

Welcome to day 5 of our 31 Days of Poetry. Tomorrow, I will have all of this weeks links in one lovely spot for you. Join other 31 Day Writers over at The Nester.

To write poetry, you must help your readers see. It doesn’t matter what snapshot of life you want to encapsulate in verse, but you must help us see it. As a poet, I can trace my ideas of poetry to Emily Dickinson, T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, and H.D. Each one of these poets helped us envision something whether it was a fly buzzing around a corpse, a yellow cat-like smoke, a red wheel barrow, or a sea garden.

For me, I focus intently on an image, then allow the first words to bubble up and out in a hurried helter-skelter way. On paper or computer or Evernote(best app ever for writers). Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect because it won’t be. Just write the image and move on.

To write poetry, you must stop hiding behind pretty words. Poetry isn’t the loveliest words vomited on the page. That’s Hallmark, and it’s shit. You want your image to shine through nouns and verbs rather than being bogged done with adjectives and adverbs(oh grammar, I knew you would be helpful).

And because I couldn’t write an entire on poetry without some poetry here you go:


some novel 

i need to bury myself

beneath the covers

of some novel

(doesn’t matter which one

just no dickens or hardy;

austen and wharton are better).

let its words

soothe the rough places.

it pages like down comforters

pull me in so i won’t leave.

because everything

in the novel

will conclude neatly

and the characters live on–

i need this now.

an end point, a certainty,

a something.

Novel Beginnings

Greetings from the almost mid-point of #NaNoWriMo!

Just to give everyone a bit of an update, I’m currently over 20,000 words into my novel and working my way slowly toward the 50,000 mark.


Here is a brief beginning to my novel:


Between Lake and Tent Stakes


The pool chlorine covered the odor of the dead body as bright red leaves fell into the campground’s large rectangle pool. The water level in the deep end when full was eight feet, but with winter approaching, it had been drained from its normal depth to about half. Four feet of water and a sloping ledge meant the poor floater didn’t die here. Deep purple bruises around the base of the head, the duct tape around the wrists, and no tinge of blood in the putrid pool water would be suspect. The body must be moved and quickly.

Standing in the shadows of the bathroom area, a tall figure evaluated the  scene. The vast woods and lake offered enough of a refuge for the decaying corpse. Indeed, the campground could easily close for a week for maintenance, and the body could be burned. Ashes mixed well in the soil. A flick of his wrist gave the command for the two other figures to crawl out from the shadows. They sat underneath the open umbrella at one of the flimsy green and white patio sets. The plastic chairs frozen cold with dew didn’t offer much comfort. But comfort was the last thing any of the three thought of while looking downward into that pool.

“Don’t tell, Lula,” whispered the tall man to his two accomplices.

Slowly, the younger man slipped down in to the pool, lugging the water logged body up through the shallow end. He whispered the rosary’s Hail, Mary.

“Can’t carry him , no more, sir,” said the soaked young man. His arms straining to lift up the weight of the body and soaked through winter gear.

“Grab the wheelbarrow,” said the taller man. He brought a large tarp just in case. While waiting for the wheelbarrow, the man rolled the corpse onto the tarp, laced parachute cord through the metal grommets, and tied the body up. In the morning, he would pressure wash the pool deck. Fortunately, the concrete gave up its secrets without much coaxing.

Question: How’s your novel coming? Any tips for finishing well?

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