Wednesday, May 31, 2006


He wakes up today,
his face, covered in a wool.
All the same to him. For too long
he has been living in his damn...
fiction...cloaked reality.
Forgot that this was his way,
his idea to get through that
adolescent witch hunt. Still,
living in that dreaded era.

His sweater that covered his body
now disguises his mind and soul...
His being that still lives
under it all. How I long
to tear that fucking costume!
Free him of the herd!
Pull him out, as if from a womb!
Knowing he's there rips at me!

My friend, come back to me!
Know what I know! You won't,
can't be caught any longer!
They'll praise you, only,
a hero could make it through that,
unscathed, pull your head back out,
now, be that model that we need,
you're out of the cave, now!

It was too hot to sleep so I decided to write instead. Tell me what you think. I kind of want to make it a song...mostly to help the double meaning of the last stanza along. It doesn't make any sense if you leave out punctuation here (try it) but in a song it might work out.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Meeting Today

Hi everyone!

Just a quick reminder that there's a meeting today starting at 6.00 p.m. We'll meet (as usual) on the steps of Angell Hall on state street. If the beautiful weather holds up, we'll sit outdoors on the grass somewhere. The plan is to get some writing done.

I'll see you there!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Thoughts on short story writing

So I was talking to my dad the other night about short stories, and how I feel like they all have a similar formula, a list of must-haves to really mean anything. Or at least in all the short stories I've read for my class lately, they've had this much in common:

- they focus on events in a relatively brief chunk of time, a few hours or a few days
- they contain flashbacks that serve to develop characters and fill in the story
- they have interesting, memorable characters
- the characters go somewhere, as in they change
- there is an overall message to be had
- the message is tied into some accessable, concrete means of explaination (what the plot is based around; for example, we read a story about a man who ends up feeling that he can't judge anything anymore, and the story takes place during a little league baseball game where he is the umpire)

So my dad says that it seems easy enough to put all these things together with a bit of work, abd he asks what separates the good short stories from the really great ones? I responded that I think it's just the artistry, the how. And of course not all stories need to have the things above to be successful... which is another piece of evidence for the importance of artistry, raw talent. Sometimes I think it's a matter of simply having it or not. That... and you have to want it. Want to write something phenomenal, and not give up until the writing has done what it wants.

That's where I think I might be at a loss, heh... Perhaps if I could just win a Hopwood and $3,000 or so...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Meeting Today

If you're in the area, come to the meeting this evening. We'll be meeting at the steps of Angell Hall on State street at 6 p.m. and deciding where to go from there. Should be fun!



“Red Fish Vanish, Then Grow Bigger” is a common pneumonic device teachers use to teach children the layout of the keyboard. He’s been repeating the words compulsively for seven years. He’s been typing since leaving middle school, mostly stories about ghosts and dragons. Education takes time. The phrases will come together.

He stays up late in the night dreaming love stories. The loss of women he's interacted with replay in his mind so when he meets a new girl, it's hard to stop the tape. He tries very hard to stay with the present voice, to remember names, to place the faces with names, though, to be honest, it's getting harder.

He still gets them into bed, fucks them. “Don't you know no that's odd could have sworn that sweetie so where have you been tonight for your part you seem to be cold are you feeling okay yes (shaking the head and a pensive glance to the east.) Do you want me to walk you home?” She does. This story isn’t about that. This story is about literary devices.

Mandy disappears into the rhetoric tickling-him-pink. With her halter cut-off, he’s able to barely make out the espionage of secret agent breasts. Behind enemy lace and the silver metal shrapnel flush on her moaning clavicle, below those warm rubicund cheeks flushing cherry red, and that thin Mona Lisa smile, his eyes lead up to hers: empty, staring intently for a cease fire. How does a girl become a metaphor for war? Why do drunk girls always taste like dirt? How do losing battles become obsessions?

He frequently dreams about the perfect act of brutal sex: Have you ever eaten kettle corn? Opening the edges of burnt bag, enveloped in the scalding hiss of steam, the isometric ivory concealing rough kernels ground into your teeth. Under your gums the taste is drained in butter, decimated under white granulated sugar, words raining salt in wounds, melted Hershey’s eyes, brown caramel thighs, her tongue a dimpled strawberry, soft skin the napkin wiping up the sweat against the background of a cotton candy sunrise. The dreams always revert to softness, how he tried the world.

He wakes up with the words: “What Stops X-rays?” Another pneumonic. The answer is, of course, lead. His feet are on the dance floor. His eyes are pressed against the sight of flashing red and blue 5-0 peddling down the street, the insidious bicycle cop, so proud of his huffy and his badge leaving the scene. No crime has been committed. There are no criminals tonight.

The pound of Tubthumper’s drowning bass runs under Mandy’s whispering, a barely audible “the two guys to your right” into his ear on the dance floor. The pounding of her thighs against his paint-stained jeans remind him of his fingers on the keyboard combinging to drown the murmer of the rest of the sentence: “I made out with them this evening.” Yes, she is afraid to tell him anymore. He can touch that. The way her cracked hands slide down into his belt loops, the way his hands move up around her firm, smooth breasts. Her eyes seem not to blink when blown. She is blitzed. Extinct. Wasted. She’s looking outside for her boyfriend.

She once loved God. She commented witfully on C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity and the beauty of Spring Hill. Who can make forests that spread across the Earth? Who will save his soul? She seems to lose track of the Man when rain falls, an intense case of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). When the sun hides, she has a tendency to run jagged shards of mirror across her wrist, gushing blood out on the keyboard, ruining the keys.

Once upon a time he loved God. It wasn’t very practical asking himself over and over again, “What would Jesus do?” when downing shots of Tequila and fucking sorority girls. What would Jesus do? Hang-glide. Make a facebook profile. Give a lecture on intelligent design. Wouldn’t ask any questions. No need for Him to ask questions.

Or him, for that matter. Sometimes he gets high and rewrites the experience. He is aware of the colors of God, then, the salvatious infinite merengue-flavored hues. Suddenly God is a lemon merengue pie. With extra whipped filling.

Sweet sunshine. He wakes up the next morning, the cold hours of a late afternoon with ash on his lips in the disorienting gap between “Good Morning Darling!” and a completely non-existant fugue state. There is no darling present, though a man wrapped in a blue comforter passes him a scalding cup of Prince of Wales tea, a complex brand from China with organic whole milk from a Michigan dairy farm, a true “diversitea.”

On the way home he spots Mandy again, now the where-are-you-going sorority girl with a pensive stare into a street sign that states the answer he asked her last night in octogonal red. She has lycra black pants, cut-off at the calves, her legs crossed, closed for buisness. She has a copy of The Sun Also Rises under her caramel arm. The day is a little cold. He wonders about her cut-off pants. She must be in a hurry Her calves are tanned and firm. Is she a runner?

Where is she running to? Perhaps home. Does her mother wear cut-offs? Perhaps she’s a child of West Bloomfield and then her dad definatly might have expensive slippers made of smooth Italian leather. Questions and answers are all transient and he never concerns himself with them.

He would like to uncross her legs, run his fingers through that straightened and burnt brown hair. She has that same vacant stare. Sorority girl where are you going? A silver Razr phone (Kelly Clarkston ringtone) and extra-strength mace in case she runs into someone like him. Mace will burn the eyes but can she reach the mace? In time? If she’s attacked? On the street?

She’s keeping track of his stare with a light tap of her foot on the concrete, her firm tanned thighs swaying only slightly with the drumbeat. The tautness of her breasts beneathe the camo are moving him away. Too close to a question answered on a stop sign.

When he arrives back in the dorm room he wants desperately to call her. He’s holding the phone in his hand, shaking, cordless, frozen in his hand, a dying battery, dial tone unaware and endless, a low-pitched hum hum. Asked if he would like to make a call please hang up and try again and he will, because he knows the number by heart. Can’t count how many times he’s called that number on sidewalk streets, down alleyways, from New Orleans to Detroit, laying on white sand beaches, working in Scotland, swimming in Mexico, driving through twelve intercontinental states, paying outrageous charges on those dirty hotel and over-priced airplane lines.

He puts down the phone. The number is on the screen always and this ritual is performed at least once a night now, usually more, though he doesn’t count. He thinks too much about rituals, about the phone, at least he thinks he’s over thinking and then he thinks again, circular logic, traveling round and round, taking him right back to how he is here.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Any title suggestions?

You are my inspiration.
You are my reason
to keep living.
I need you in my life,
my love, my sweet.
Without you, I would be
only a man. But you
make me a person.
Thank you
for being all
I need and ever will.

Comparisons and comments please

Friday, May 05, 2006


Everything I do
reminds me of you.
Your face is in the clouds.
Your voice is in the sounds
of the birds' songs flowing,
and of the wind blowing.
Your smile, your eyes...
Full of happiness, a sigh
escapes me when
together I imagine us.
Then to you I send
a hug and a buss.

Please comment. I like this better than the other one I wrote. That one's more free verse.

Soviet Russia Limerick

There once was a man named Boris
Who entered the shop of a florist
But in the spring there's no flowers
In a land of snow and statue-towers
So the florist said "I plan to focus my attention on the production of steel and various lengths of copper wire in an effort to provide the state with the means to complete the next Five-Year Plan. Victory to the revolution. Das vidanya, comrade Boris."

Thursday, May 04, 2006

New features

Update from your friendly neighborhood admin...

You can now display comments either on the same page (by clicking "2 comments" or whatever it says) or on a new page (by clicking "On a new page", duh).

Would people appreciate support for being able to "hide" large posts under a link? For example, let's say you posted a six-page piece. You would have the option to set it up so that, on the main Blog page, a viewer would just see a post saying "Here's my writing. Click here to see it," and when he or she clicked the link the content would "pop out" on the same page, kind of like comments do now. However, on the individual page for that post, the content would be shown by default. The basic idea is that, if lots of large pieces are posted, navigating the blog becomes difficult. This way people can show/hide long content as they choose. I think Livejournal has something similar to this.

It sounds nifty to me ... so let me know if you object, because I'm probably going to go ahead and implement it anyway just to see if I can.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Fib!

way you can write your poetry.


Hi everyone!

Looks like people are starting to join. As you've probably figured out by now, all members--and only members--can post messages and comments. Feel free to post anything you think might interest the group (yes, even Soviet Russia poems), and comment actively on the posts of others. You could even just leave messages to say what's going on with you.

As for me, I'm living at home and making the hassly one-hour commute to Ann Arbor through spring term for work and a class. The class, however, almost makes up for it by itself: I'm taking fiction writing (ENG 323). As Jenny, who is also in the same class (yay!) can attest, it looks very very promising. I'm sure we'll learn things we can use in our impromptu writing sessions and workshops at Writers' Community. Most importantly, it will force me to actually write a sizeable quantity of fiction, which I will most likely inflict on you guys, so I'm excited.

Well, that's it for now. Make yourselves at home!

Manisha (your benevolent dictator)