My newest adventure is underway. It has lead me to take up residency in a new blog,
Like the Feathers of an Arrow (affectionately known as LFA).

...don't open...don't throw away... is not disappearing completely (not yet),
but postings here will be limited.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

2 Finished (Notebook)

This week a first has happened.  I honestly did not think it was possible, but alas I was wrong.  It has gotten me to thinkinga dangerous act, indeed.  Unfortunately when my brain kicks into gear like this it is often hard to follow its stream of thought.  

June 27, 2012 — I opened up a new notebook and broke my drought.
June 30, 2012 — I reset ...don't open...don't throw away... and invented my themes to revitalize things.
July 1, 2012  I posted my first Time Capsule and launched the first of three themes, which I've maintained up until today.
January 9, 2013  I celebrated three years and thanks to my revival, I managed to turn my dry spell around from 12 to 118 posts during ...dodta...'s third year.  That's right, 12 posts in the first prior to July 1st and 106 after.
January 9, 2013  I began to ponder whether ...dodta... had finally run it course.  It was the first time I had actually thought about it without being in a emotional rut.  But making such a decision is not something that can be made rashly.  I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears here, to let it go with serious contemplation would be wrong.
March 13, 2013  I wrote on the last page of my notebook.
March 15, 2013  I actively searched for an empty(ish) page in order to write a piece for this past Friday's theme of Can I Have This Dance?.  There are a handful of pages that have tidbits on them that never blossomed, but I'm thinking I'll add them to another notebook and look to them for inspiration when the juices seem to be running a bit dry.
March 17, 2013   I officially have made two decisions.  One...my notebook is being laid to rest and classified as full, finished, done, kaput....  Two...I am letting go of my themes and of ...don't open...don't throw away...

So that last little note is a doozy.  I am not leaving the blogging world, just moving on.  I'm not sure exactly where I will land, but I think it is time.  On the flip side, while technically I'm closing up shop, I've decided to keep the doors open for two things...

The first is what has been themed as Last Call, also known as my contributions to dVerse Poets Pubs OpenLinkNight.  Partly because this is the face (mask) they know and partly because...well, I need an excuse not to truly say goodbye to ...dodta....

The second occurs on the last Wednesday of every month when Three Word Wednesday meets the clarity pyramid.  Over the course of the three years, I have written 17 clarity pyramids.  All but the first one was in conjunction with 3WW.  All but the first two were written on the last Wednesday of the month.  So, I will also maintain that post here as well.  

Okay, maybe saying I'm letting go of ...don't open...don't throw away... was a tad misleading.  Still...(I guess I'm not really good at saying goodbye.)

For those of you who have drop in from time-to-time or on a regular basis, thanks for tuning in...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

1 Time Capsule: To Know Love

Title:  To Know Love
Date:  unknown (though if I dig a bit, I can probably come up with an estimate)
Setting:  Life after college--during second post-college job
Form:  Free form

Notes:  Over the past years, starting back in 2002, I have written three poems for friends and/or family as they were on the verge of getting married.  I have posted the first two (A Wedding Song--a poem for two voices and In the Eyes of a Friend) already here.  This was the third poem, written for my best friend--the one in my last post that brighten my day with images and videos of her two little ones.  Anyway, without further ado...


Sunday, March 3, 2013

3 Time Capsule: untitled

Title:  untitled
Date:  unknown
Setting:  unknown
Form:  Found Poetry (made from magazine clippings)


Note:  For posting purposes, I modified the original.  The "E" in "awhile" was black on brown making it hard to see when transferred over digitally.  So I filled the "E" with white to make it visible.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

3 Time Capsule: Intoxication

Title:  Intoxication
Date:  07/29/01
Setting:  Life after college--summer between first and second post-college job
Form:  Free verse

As I opened the drawer
To put away my clothes
I found your shirt
folded neatly among my own
I paused
and sat back on my legs
I stretched out my hand
touching the fabric
suddenly I felt you near
I drew the shirt from its spot
held it up to my face
and I could feel your touch
gently brushing my cheek
breathing deeply in
I could taste
your soft sweet kiss
Clinging to your shirt tightly
I stood
Slowly with my eyes shut
so I might hold onto your image
I slipped out of my clothes
and into your shirt
I longed to feel you
against my bare skin
I spent the day cuddled
in your shirt
When night fell
I crawled into bed
still wrapped in your shirt
just so that I might
wake up next to you
And as I lay there
ready to drift off
I felt extraordinary
and amazing
And I knew
I was intoxicated
by you

Artifact I:  Original piece written in green pencil.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

2 Time Capsule: The Submission

Title:  The Submission -- the turmoil of critique
Date:  between 05/24/00 and 08/27/00
Setting:  Life after college--during first college job
Form:  Free verse


They were just pieces of paper with words
Yet letting them go was quite trying
and
      exhilarating.
The fear of allowing another to view the words
In a critical mindset was horrifying
and
      intoxicating.

Though just pieces of paper
Though just simple words
They materialized from the heart and soul
Each word
On each paper
Melded into verses of great meaning.

To some they may just be pieces of paper with words
But for one they invoke hardship
and
      love.
To many it may be a foolish fear, allowing another to view the words
But for one the fear is debilitating
and
      welcomed.

Though just pieces of paper
Though just simple words
They embody the mind, heart and soul
Each word
On each paper
Completes one making everything worthwhile.


Artifact I: Original typed version of poem.




Sunday, February 10, 2013

2 Time Capsule: Love at First Sight?

Title:  Love at First Sight?
Date:  02-10-02
Setting:  Life after college--during second post-college job
Form:  Free verse

Love is a mystical connection
between
two people
A connection of mind
knowing what the other is thinking
finishing one another’s sentences
answering before the question is even asked
A connection of the body
knowing what the other wants
reading one another’s signals
longing for just the simplest of touches
A connection of emotions
knowing what the other is feeling
allaying one another’s fears
comforting each other without even a word
Love is a mystical connection
Can it be found in a simple glance?
a single moment in time?
Can such a bond
of mind, body, and spirit
be struck without even a word
There are those who believe so
and though I am not one of them
I cannot deny
that with a simple glance
in a single moment
one person may be drawn to another
not because of looks
or appearances of wealth
but by some mystical force
which hopes to spark within them
a desire to discover everything
there is to know about the other
leaving them susceptible
to that which is love.

Notes: I will go on record here...though I am a romantic at heart, I do not really believe in "love at first sight"--at least not in the truest sense of the phrase. I did my best to capture my thoughts awhile back in this particular piece.

Artifact I: Page one of original.


Artifact II: Page two of original.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

3 Time Capsule: Pining

Title:  Pining
Date:  01/12/06
Setting:  Life after college--during second post-college job
Form:  Free verse


Notes:  I spoke about my Poetry List emails before.  I had originally started them in college.  Years later, as part of a New Year's Resolution, I thought to reinstate my poetry list emails.  This poem was the first one sent out when I finally brought it back up.  I admit the new Poetry-List emails did not last very long (only to Volume 1 Number 7 -- which was a total of ten poems).  I believe I tried blogging a couple of years later; that didn't go to well, but I eventually found my way back to it and started this here blog.  So yeah...at least for now.

Artifact I:  Front of original.



Artifact II:  Back of original



Artifact III:  Blurb from the bottom of Poetry List: Resurrection email.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

2 Time Capsule: I saw your picture on a carton of milk

Title:  I saw your picture on a carton of milk
Date:  03/28/01
Setting:  Life after college--during first post-college job
Form:  Free verse
Your eyes tell a story
of a small girl with little worries
who swings peacefully along the playground
with her mother close at hand. 
The playground swing, now stands empty
as a mother’s gaze turns away
what joy and happiness once belonged here
has been taken without a trace. 
Your smile tells a tale
of a small girl’s love and passion
who dressed up in princess clothes
to parade before the king, her father. 
The clothes lay now, tucked away in drawers
as a father’s brow turns inward
what laughter and love once belonged here
has been torn from its proper place. 
Your picture tells a story
of a small girl who once belonged
about the playground and in princess clothes
a small girl taken from her home.

Notes:  The line, "I saw your picture on a carton of milk," was written after watching a lifetime movie about a girl who had seen her own image staring back at her on a carton of milk.  Over the years, even now, I have found the most trying part of writing a poem is unearthing the title. I would say that 90% of my poems found there title after completion and 9% have found it somewhere in the midst of writing it.  Very few of my poems have started off with an intended title.  This poem was the first time I had ever written a title prior to the poem.  In fact, the line was written two days prior to the poem.  Since then I have probably written a poem or two with the title already in my head.

Artifact I:  The page were I first wrote down the line that would become the title of this poem.



Artifact II:  The original write of this poem which shows the order the stanzas were written in and the numbers that reassign them.




Sunday, January 20, 2013

2 Time Capsule: Compliments

Title: Compliments
Date: 03/19/02
Setting: Life after college--during second post-college job
Form: Free verse
Do they see my discomfort?
Do I appear shy
or maybe embarrassed?
Do I act gracious
or maybe uninterested?
Do they see my cringing?
Do my actions speak truth?
For I smile and nod
I thank them and nod
And I know they have not a clue
because they continue
and I nod
Nod past the cringing
the embarrassment
the discomfort
praying they’ll stop
For though sweet their words are
For though gracious I am of their kindness
My heart aches when they speak so. 

Notes
: Christmas 2001, my brother gave me a beautiful journal, red leather with a beautiful design of roses adorning the front. In reality, the journal inside was quite ordinary black canvas, but it slipped into the outer leather shell allowing for the journal to be changed once full. As is often the case with my writing, I hit a nice stride and then things taper off. This journal was no exception. I did well enough (while still writing outside of the journal), I made it five-sevenths of the way through from 2002 until 2005, with 3.5 poems in 2003, 10.5 poems in 2004 and six poems in 2005. Since then, I added three poems, one in each of the following years: 2008, 2010, and 2011. Now this of course doesn't mean I wasn't writing at all in the in-between time; I just wasn't writing in my journal. Most of, if not all, were composed late at night as I lay in bed. The journal has been, since I received it, a permanent fixture on my night stand. Maybe it’s time I made it through the last two-sevenths of the journal.

In all that rambling, I never once made note of the above poem. In case you didn't pick up on it, I don’t do compliments well—never really have. There are bits and pieces of this poem and another from the red journal (called You Look Beautiful) that found their way into a (crappy) song I wrote ages ago which is posted here on …don’t open…don’t throw away…. The ‘song’, also entitled You Look Beautiful, appears in two spots, one containing the words in their entirety and one (a voki) with a snippet of me singing the song in another post.

Artifact I:  The red leather rose journal.



Artifact II:  The original handwritten poem.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

1 Time Capsule: What Mama Said

Title:  What Mama Said
Date:  between 08/01/94 and 05/31/98
Setting:  Some time during college
Form:  Prose


My mother always to’d me, like I’m showr mos’ mothers do, “Joshua Henry Patrick, if you don’t have somethin’ nice to say, donsay nothin’ at all!”  Yep, tha’s wha’ she always said.  An’ like a good mama’s boy, I listened.
It wasn’ always a bad thing; tha’ sayin’ got me out ov a lot a troubled spots.  Granted everyone called me a wuss and wha’ not, but I never listened to ‘em.  See, I know, ‘cause mama to’d me, she’d say, “Joshua Henry Patrick, youra good boy.  Yes, sir, you are.  You remember that.  Never listen ta anyone tha’ says otherwise, alrigh’?”
Boy, di’ my mama raise me righ’.  She tried raisin’ the perfect little boy.  She tried ta instawl values and morals in me.  I don’t suppose anyone could ov asked for a more lovin’ and kin’ women an’ mother.
Yes, I loved my mother, I truly did.  I’m just sorry it had to come to this.  Mama always taught me, she’d say, “Joshua Henry Patrick, violence is bad.  I don’ ever wanna catch ya doin’ tha’!  Ya understan’ me boy?”  Hmm, the funnay thing was, once when she did, catch me that is, she whooped my ass real good.  I could never understan’ that.  Yet, some how, she instawlled tha’ upon me too.  And I’m truly sorry tha’ she did.  Otherwise, this would ov never have happened, never.
She was a good women, yet now I ques’ion how good ov a mother she was.  If it wasn’ for her, my boy wouldn’t be dead.  Mama always told me, “Joshua Henry Patrick, two wrongs don’ make a righ’, they make ya even.”  I guess tha’ was sorta how she explained why I gotta whoopin’s every now an’ again, when violence was bad an’ all.  I guess she never thought that tha’ would bring her life to an end.
Hmm…  I know I’ma justa ramblin’ on.  And I know, tha’ you hava no idea as to wha’ happened, so I’ll explain.  I jus’ like ya ta keep in min’ all the things my mama always said; they hava lot a bearin’ on whata went on.

            *                      *                      *                      *                      *                      *                     

It was Friday day.  Josh, tha’s my son, had jus’ returned from his school.  Mama was over.  Me, her and Marybeth, tha’s my wife, we were havin’ tea an’ cake.  That was our normal Friday day.  Mama, Marybeth and me, we always had tea an’ cake on Fridays.  Mama’d bring the cake an’ Marybeth would make the tea.  Me, I’d get the table readay. I always got the table readay
Anyway, there me and mama and Marybeth were.  Just sitting havin’ tea an’ cake an’ Josh, tha’s my son, walked in.  He smiled, gave his mother and grandma a kiss an’ a nod ta me.  Then he wen’ an’ grabbed a piece a cake from the plate.
Marybeth slapped his han’, she said, “Joshua Henry,”­ she left off the Patrick so as not ta get the two ov us confused.  She said, “Joshua Henry, you know bedder than tha’.  If you’ra goanna have a piece, pick up a plate, sit down an’ use a napkin.”
Josh was always stubborn, but he nodded an’ took a plate an’ sat.  I know he didn’ like bein’ at the table with the three of us ol’ foggies as he put it, but he joined us just the same.  We started talkin’.  ‘Bout nothin’ inparticular, jus’ stuff.  We were a talkin’ fur quite a while.  Josh would even pitch in now an’ then.
Soon, one thing led to another, an’ we were a talkin’ abou’ love at first sight.  Marybeth was so cute; God how I love her.  She wasa talkin’ so pretty like.  She was talkin’ abou’ how sweet love at first sight was, how roman’ic it was. Josh just laughed.  He said, “Mama you’ra fool, plain an’ simple.  You’ra fool.”
I could understan’ wha’ he was talkin’ abou’, all tha’ sappy stuff an’ all.  We men, we ain’t suppose ta think tha’ way, but it was sweet wa’chin’ Marybeth talk like that.
Anyway, my mama, well, she took one look at Josh an’ she said, “Boy, hasn’t your father taught you nothin’?!?  Don’t you know if ya ain’t got somethin’ nice ta say, ya don’t say nothin’ at all?!?  Now opallogize ta your mama.”
Josh looked at his gran’mother an’ said no way, “I ain’t apallogizin’, she’s a fool for believin’ in all tha’ sappy stuff!”  Then, Josh got up an’ walked outa the room.  Mama, she followed.
“Boy, I said opallogize to your mother!”  I could see through the doorway; Josh shook his head.  “No ma’am, gram.”
Oh, how the adrenaline musta been pumpin’ in her.  She slapped Josh.  He flew half way across the room.  He landed on the floor, hittin’ his head on the fireplace.  I ran in as quickly as I could, but blood was a gushin’ everywhere. Josh was dead.
I know a grown man ain’t suppose to cry, but I cou’da feel the tears swellin’ up inside.  I stood up an’ turned an’ looked at my mama.  She musta saw the anger in my eyes.  Ails she could say was, “Joshua Henry Patrick, remember wha’ I said, two wrongs don’t make a righ’, they make it even.  An’ tha’ righ’ there was wrong number two!”
Yeah, well I could do math as well.  I said, “Mama, we may be even, but now we’ra at odds!”  I drew back my hand, without even thinkin’.  I punched Mama righ’ in the nose. ‘Parently, her nose bone went up, righ’ into her brain.  Mama was dead.  Josh was dead.  Marybeth was justa kneelin’ there at her son’s side, cryin’.

            *                      *                      *                      *                      *                      *         

Tha’ was how it happened.  I’m sorry i’ did, truly I am. I loved my mama.  I loved my son.  Now they’ra both gone.  Ov course now, I still have Marybeth.  Together we’ra workin’ on gettin’ over wha’ happened.  Tha’ an’ forgettin’ wha Mama always said!



Notes:  I thought I'd switch things up a bit.  There was a stint (during college) where I toyed around with prose.  I wrote a handful of rather twisted and unusual pieces.  This one was a bit fun to write because I chose to incorporate the dialect not only into the dialogue, but also the narrative as well.  I do quite enjoy reading it with the appropriate accent.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2 the past... the future... another year down...

Today ...don't open...don't throw away... celebrates its three year anniversary.  As with most things, anniversaries are a good time to look back at the year, reflect and celebrate what has happened--both good and bad.  It is also a good time to think about the future and what wonders it might hold.  I also find it fun to include some facts (quantitative,  because numbers are my thing in the real world).  But before I inundate you with numbers and percents, I'd like to reflect a bit.

Just as year two ended on a rocky note, this year started off on one.  The first half of the year existed with many weeks of non-existence; I posted a total of 12 times from January 10th to June 30th.  My rules continue(d) to remain inactive and honestly I did little to no writing elsewhere.  It took me quite some time to rediscover myself here (over a year if we start from when I went into hiding during year two).  Finally, I decided I needed to reengage myself, but I knew activating my old rules would not do the trick.  So, on July 1st, I started my themes:  Sunday's - Time Capsule, Monday's - Q Series (occasional), Tuesdays/Wednesdays - Last Call, and Fridays - Can I Have This Dance?  [song inspired posts].  They definitely gave me purpose and forced my hand (or fingers) to keyboard).  I wasn't sure I'd be able to hit 100 posts considering the start of the year, but in the end I made it to 118.

Anyway...let's check out some stats before I reflect on the future...

Posts...

*This number does not equal the number of poems.

Followers...
My followers base as increased from the original 3 to 23 to the current number 28.  Over the course of the past three years, several have disappeared, so the increase does not equal the number of new followers.  I mention my numbers here, mainly because I have done so in the past.  It is important to realize that while some choose to click the follow button, other may choose to follow using the RSS feed (which is how I follow most people).  So I'd like to pretend that my followers base is more like 1,000--okay if I'm realistic it is probably more like 50.

Most Commented on Post...
I honestly did not think the most comment on post for this year would also knock out the one from year two, but low and behold just last week Loony for Lunes (22) surpassed silent screams (20).

Most Viewed...
To be honest, I have a feeling that web crawlers finally managed to knock the two year running most viewed post, Methods to Soothe Raging Emotions.  The post has actually been downgraded to #9 with 98 views.  Dancing Down a Storm:  Blackout Poetry holds the #1 spot with 164 views.



Form Poetry...



So where is ...don't open...don't throw away... heading?

I have on multiple occasions thought about shutting down.  Each time I have done so, I have been in a bad place with my "Socio-neti-phobia."  So I continued even with my bad (almost non-existent) spell to post.  The past month or so I have begun (while my head is on straight and relatively rational) to think that this blog may have run its course.  One of the things that has always lingered at the edge of sanity was that while this is a public blog, I have not shared its existence with any "real-world" people--no family...no friends....  Every time I think to, my ramblings and even some of my poems give me pause (too many crazy irrational thoughts running 'round).  And so I've been thinking that I might need to reinvent my online self so that I can feel more comfortable sharing.

So, maybe I'll stick around, maybe I won't, but I intend to take the rest of this month to think hard on shutting down and reinventing.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

2 Time Capsule: Dr. Jekyll's Syndrome

Title:  Dr. Jekyll's Syndrome
Date:  between 04/07/92 and 01/28/93
Setting:  Junior year of high school
Form:  Free verse
A man calls out,
Not to his wife or siblings,
Not to his mother nor any loved one. 
A man calls out,
Not to God or the angels,
Not to the heavens or the sky. 
A man calls out,
Not to the devil or hell,
Not to fire nor blood. 
A man calls out,
Not to anything visible,
But to his mind—
That continues to bind him;
to a personality not his own,
to a soul he does not want. 
A man calls out,
‘Free me from this unholy bond.’
Then sets himself aflame,
In a monstrous rage.
Notes:  In my first Time Capsule post, I made mention of this particular poem. As part of a culminating activity during a unit on poetry in English class, each member of the class was asked to share one of their poems on a blank sheet of white paper. We then all sat around in a circle, passed the poems around, and comment on them. As I mentioned during my first Time Capsule post, I had passed two poems around. This is the second one (even though it had been written the year before and not during the lesson).

Artifact I: The results of sending my poem around the circle of classmates.