::crumbs:: … and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“Please, no matter how we advance technologically, please don’t abandon the book. There is nothing in our material world more beautiful than the book.” (From Smith’s acceptance speech, National Book Award [nonfiction], November 17, 2010)” Patti Smith



The last Wednesday Writing Prompt, iPoem, July 25, was meant to offer something on the lighter side after the seriousness of previous prompts. We can see here a mix of humor with sometimes underlying notes of pathos. Some surprise. Much pleasure. Kudos to Gary W. Bowers,  Paul Brookes, Debbie Felio (Deb y Felio), Kakali Das Gosh, and Sonja Benson Mesher. Read on and be with us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.

I hope you’ll visit and get to know these poets. It’s important for us to support and encourage one another in our art and in our solidarity for peace, sustainability and social justice.  I’ve linked in blogs for your convenience. If the poet doesn’t have a site, chances are you can catch up with them on Facebook.


three-ring circuits

smartphone is a contra
diction in terms

features include spell autoincorrect
wrong-sign astrology
minuscule x so if you don’t touch it
with micrometer precision
you may be on your way to installing
the hell app
also known as the he’ll app

it is less smart than a dog
most dogs i should say

dogs that know how to he’ll

© 2018, Gary W. Bowers (One with Clay, Image & Text)


“You Had Me, You

DON’T OWN
me.”
I shout
at my Mam and Dad.

“You were all we could afford,
son. You’re only a teenager.
We’ve all been there.”

And I wish I was dead.
My parents wanted kids
so they bought my mind
and body with a Bilder loan,
(Babies Integral Learning
and Development Responder).

Now I’m eighteen and can
buy stuff myself, my mind

is full of adverts for upgrades
I can buy, that Mam and Dad
used to buy for me.

For each level of my education
they were charged
For advice and for my knowledge
they were charged
For my toys food and clothes
they were charged.
Now paid in full.

I get automatic adverts for workskills
downloaded into my mind,
for skills I can accept as upload,
for new bodies I can upload
my mind into.
After every thought in my head,
an advert,
pay extra for advertless content.

Now the bank’s Maturity Adviser,
with my best interests at heart,
advises The Dark Option,
Sex, drugs, rocknroll, short life.
The Light Option, marriage, kids,
work and pleasant retirement.
I have to choose a life option,
or what they call “The Best of Both”

Mam says ” Get used
to the adverts in your head.
We have them too.
Life is unfair. Live with it.”

(From “The Spermbot Blues”, OpPress, 2017)

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow – Inspiration. History. Imagination.)

My Robot

skin forgets tha softness.
At least me snout works,
I can smell thee cherry lips,
and strawberry perfume.

When my old bod got weak
and fell down more than stood up
tha had me swap to this robot job.

with “flexible skin-inspired touch sensors
as store tactile information,
like haptic memory”
or some such, as manual said.

Store touch sensations
in my brain, like what
old one used to.

Few decades on, this grip
no longer delicate,
damages stuff like fruit,

your skin smells of strawberries.
I used to be able to
remember it soft,
but “softs” only a word,
with no memory
of what it meant
or means.

My skin stored
a handshake from a particular person,
their kiss, their hugs.

It forgets now.
Squeezes too hard.
Hurts thee, and I can
do nowt about it,
‘cept keep away from thee.

Robot doctor has it my skins pressure-sensitive layer no longer
detects
changes in electrical resistance
when force applied.
Wants us to spend more cash,
us can ill afford for the cure.

Sensors retain information
for about a week, if that.

My record of touch,
wavers.
It’s touch memory loss.
I squash a lot of fruit.

I cannot touch thee.

Bloody tear ducts work.

(From “The Spermbot Blues” , OpPress, 2017)

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow – Inspiration. History. Imagination.)

Retro Is

the new Black.

When I were nobut a bairn
A fella dahn our street got one.

He’d traded in his 100 inch
HDR: HDR10, HDR10+ and HLG
4 x HDMI with Integrated soundbar

For an analog black and white valve TV.
We couldn’t wait to see it.

Picture had a cool fuzziness.
He couldn’t have it on long

as the valves acted like his own heater.
Godsend in the winter.

Leaving our boneshakers outside
we perched on his brown leather sofa

in our tank tops and shorts agog at the cool
beeps and scratches and when the screen

started scrolling when it weren’t meant to
or fog sidled out its big perforated back

we laughed like a barrelful of monkeys.
This were real retro. This were wizard.

(From an ongoing ekphrastic collaboration with Hiva Moazed, atist for future publication)

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow – Inspiration. History. Imagination.)


Parting Ways

I admit I’m a computerholic
before thirty years ago my life was bucolic
I could manage my time, the news, my data
If I misplaced something it didn’t much matta’
I knew it was here somewhere in the stack
With a little search I would have it back.

But that all changed with internet speed
no more waiting for dial up – a gift indeed
immediate access to required information
along with so much from across the nation
and the world coming in at incredible rate
who could imagine the future fate.

What would only take a minute or two
now requires hours – to read streaming news
I begin to write and then a new ping
I have to click – can’t miss a thing
then I return and autocorrect
has made the last sentence a total wreck.

It is a marriage made in hell
this computer and me – you know too well
a love/ hate thing – everyday a bout
I keep coming back – can’t live without
It knows me best, permanently recorded
if only I could get it sorted.

One wrong key I scream out loud
it’s lost forever in some stupid cloud.
Which password did I use last
our good times are going fast.
I’ve grown too old, I’m getting tired
More memory for both is surely required

I’ll close this out, I’m shutting it down
Cold turkey – there’s no patch that I’ve found
to make the parting any less hard.
It’s been a good run, but now I’m charred
Good bye old comp, it’s been a great fling
but wait! let me check that very last ping!

© 2018, Deb y Felio


#How to confine life?#

A frantic search for life ,
A chase for a rivulet of a thirsty stag .
Life , a dazzling sunshine ,
a murmuring stream walking over shingles ,
How to confine ?
How to compare
The screen of my computer in a chamber finite
And
The slate of clouds in the sky azure infinite ?
Comfort , gifts of technology
Crawls in my brain , body ;
Atomic war , sucks my blood like a leech .
Beauty – my earth ,
My grassy -flowery way ,
Scent of my motherly air ,
My hills snowy , my dandelions , birds in my skylight
Are nothing but passion fruits
In every nook and corner
Of my heart and soul ,
Smearing a cool ointment
Over my sore throat .

© Kakali Das Ghosh


.with regard.

maybe connections are missed the link dismissed. metaphors faint as my flimsy whispers symbols do you deny me peace? perhaps you utter the words constantly? look closely

or brush it regularly. talk about birth. stand during the rain fall. regard the chimney. take it off to return it. sometimes we need to commit a while, until we don’t no more

this is not a word i have used much recently, if i did it will be related to plants i expect. adjective. i may use plush in regard to velvet clothing, cloth, clothed. another adjective

it could have been simple, days of sewing crosses. red. eight thiry till five. it could have been easy, yet there were issues of the electronic kind meaning wasting time with wires and connections

she suggested that i write a novel, when i noted that she walked briskly to the post box, dressed suitably. i do not copy plagiarise or write about my friends

some of us like to be neat in some ways. some of us draw big and messy, and i understand both. we have made marks a long time, since the dawn of. probably

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

:: crumbs ::

she orders a sonnet about modern tech

nology , some recent language urban

slang. wiki & googling helps while spellcheck

defeats nistakes . publishing on blurb and

lulu. gifs no issue. focus on taste.

.work. memes are impossible to pronounce.

denounce the pass it forward, copy/ paste.

why write verse when we can talk or announce

loudly.. save in my cloud to edit share

. no rhyme no more. no elizabethan

manner. we taps it clear. is with difficulty

keyboards sticky, some have no empathy

that I prefer old ways. yet computer

smart create in a more abstract manner

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher 

we have washing.

we always have washing, yet it is the dusting needs doing, behind where no one can see, except me

with a torch..

so i label wiring, and wonder at it all.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

. fact, fiction, myth .

it is a fact.

all is computerised,

of course these days. yet cold comfort

counting is the order of a quiet day,

to correct the till, as, maybe

we have input wrong. we do

sometimes you know.

so we count the stuff, lose our

minds , hope it all adds up.

when probably it was right.

i hope this is alright?

hello.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher


ABOUT

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.

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Celebrating Poet & Writer Emily Brontë on the 200th Anniversary of Her Birth

The identity of this picture is disputed; sources disagree on whether this image is of Emily or of her sister Anne. Public Domain.

“She should have been a man – a great navigator. Her powerful reason would have deduced new spheres of discovery from the knowledge of the old; and her strong imperious will would never have been daunted by opposition or difficulty, never have given way but with life. She had a head for logic, and a capability of argument unusual in a man and rarer indeed in a woman… impairing this gift was her stubborn tenacity of will which rendered her obtuse to all reasoning where her own wishes, or her own sense of right, was concerned.” Constantin Héger, teacher of Charlotte and Emily during their stay in Brussels, on a daguerreotype dated c. 1865



All Hushed and Still Within the House

All hushed and still within the house;
⁠Without, all wind and driving rain;
But something whispers to my mind,
⁠Wrought up in rain and wailing wind:
Never again? Why not again? Never again;
⁠Memory has power as well as wind.

But the hearts that once adored me
⁠Have long forgot their vow;
And the friends that mustered round me,
⁠Have all forsaken now.

‘Twas in a dream revealed to me,
⁠But not a dream of sleep;
A dream of watchful agony,
⁠Of guilt that would not weep.

excerpt from The Complete Poems of Emily Brontë edited by C.W. Hatfield, forward by Irene Taylor


ABOUT

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.

SUNDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS: Calls for Submissions, Contests, and Other News and Information

“You have been told that, even like a chain, you are as weak as your weakest link.
This is but half the truth.
You are also as strong as your strongest link.
To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power of the ocean
by the frailty of its foam.
To judge you by your failures is to cast blame upon the seasons for their inconstancy.” Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet



CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS

Opportunity Knocks

THE AMERICAN POETRY REVIEW publishes contemporary poetry and literary prose. $3 submission fee. Details HERE.

 CIMARRON REVIEW, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater is open for submissions of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art and photography. Details HERE

COFFIN BELL, a journal of dark literature and another newbie reads year-round and publishes flash fiction, short story, CNF (creative nonfiction), poetry, and visual art. Not a paying market. $3 submission fee. Details HERE

LONG ISLAND LITERARY JOURNAL, a celebration of local literature, a new publication, is accepting submission through October 3 or its third issue of poetry, prose, and short stories. Details HERE.

NEW LETTERS & BkMkPRESS, Publishing Great Literature publishes four issues each year, expresses a concern with literary excellence and is a paying market seeking fiction, art and criticism. Details HERE.

NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND REVIEW, Franklin Pierce University  is in its 38th year and publishes one issue each year that includes poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. The reading period is August 1 – December 30.  This journal’s focus is on the Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine regions. Details HERE.

PLOUSHARES is open for submissions of fiction, nonfiction and poetry through January 15. Submission fee of $3 is waved for subscribers during Plowshares regular reading period. Contributor honorarium on publication. Details HERE.

POTOMAC REVIEW, Montgomery College is open for submissions of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Details HERE.

THE VQR (Virginia Quarterly Review), A National Journal of Literature & Discussions is a long-lived journal founded in 1925 that prides itself in publishing “the best writing we can find,” which includes poetry, short fiction, nonfiction and book reviews. This is a paying market. No submission fees. Tight deadline: reading period is annually through the month of July, so this one ends on the 31st, just two days from now. Details HERE.  

RELATED:


The BeZine

Call for submissions for the September issue.

THE BeZINE, Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Peace, Be. Submissions for the September issue – themed Social Justice – close on August 10 at 11:59 p.m. PDT .

NEW NOTATION: There will be a subsection themed Be the Peace. Submissions are invited to that section as well and you can submit to both sections.

Please send text in the body of the email not as an attachment. Send photographs or illustrations as attachments. No google docs or Dropbox or other such. No rich text. Send submissions to bardogroup@gmail.com.

Publication is September 15th. Poetry, essays, fiction and creative nonfiction, art and photography, music (videos or essays), and whatever lends itself to online presentation is welcome for consideration.

No demographic restrictions.

Please read at least one issue. We DO NOT publish anything that promotes hate, divisiveness or violence or that is scornful or in any way dismissive of “other” peoples. 

  • September 2018 issue, Deadline August 10th, Theme: Human Rights/Social Justice
  • December 2018 issue, Deadline November 10th, Theme: A Life of the Spirit

The BeZine is an entirely volunteer effort, a mission. It is not a paying market but neither does it charge submission or subscription fees.

Previously published work may be submitted IF you hold the copyright. Submissions from beginning and emerging artists as well as pro are encouraged and we have a special interest in getting more submissions of short stores, feature articles, music videos and art for consideration. 


The Poet by Day

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

Reminder:

Response deadline is Monday, July 30, at 8 p.m. Pacific.  Poems are on theme are published on this site on Tuesday, the July 31. Details HERE.


CONTESTS

Opportunity Knocks

Be a part of our great writing contest.

LifeOfWriters.com is happy to let you all know we have a new free writing contest.

“The House” is the title of this free writing contest on LifeOfWriters. We are very excited to read all the wonderful stories that you can come up with, so hurry up and go to LifeOfWriters.com to see the criteria.

The contest will close on September 15. 2018.

The prizes are:
1. Place 45 USD to Amazon
2.Place 35 USD to Amazon
3.Place 25 USD to Amazon

NEW LETTERS & BkMkPRESS, Publishing Great Literature is open for submission to its $750 New Letters Publication Award in Fiction through October 28, 2018. New Letters is open through May 20, 2019 for submissions to The $2,500 Conger Beasley Jr. Award for Nonfiction (best essay); The $1,500 New Letters Prize for Poetry (best group of three to six poems); and, The $1,500 New Letters Prize for Fiction (best short story). Details HERE.

SPOOKY SAMHAIN 2018 CONTEST, Oklahoma Pagan Quarterly is accepting submissions through August 31 of “True Tales of Terror,’ Spooky Semi-True Stores,” or “Fantastic Frights.’  No submission fee. Modest cash awards. Details HERE.

Reminders:

The deadline for Narrative Magazine Spring 2018 Story Contest is this Tuesday, July 31. Cash awards: first prize,$2,500; second prize, $1,000; third prize, $500, and up to ten finalists will receive $100 each. According to the publisher, all contest entries are considered for publication. Submission fee: $26  for each entry, which includes three months of complimentary access to Narrative Backstage. Details HERE.

PRESS 53 publishes short fiction and poetry collections of U.S.based writers only. The reading period for short fiction award is September 1 – December 31. Mark your calendar. The press award for poetry closes on July 31. Details HERE.

AMERICAN POETRY REVIEW/HONICKMAN FIRST BOOK PRIZE is open for submissions through October 31, 2018. Sharon Olds is judge. $25 entry fee. Cash award: $3,000. Details HERE.

RELATED:


OTHER NEWS and INFORMATION


Accessible anytime from anywhere in the world:

The Poet by Day always available online with poems, poets and writers, news and information.

The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, online every week (except for vacation) and all are invited to take part no matter the stage of career or status. Poems related to the challenge of the week (always theme based not form based) will be published here on the following Tuesday.

The Poet by Day, Sunday Announcements. Every week (except for vacation) opportunity knocks for poets and writers. Due to other Sunday commitments, this post will often go up late in the day.

THE BeZINE, Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Peace, Be – always online HERE.  

Beguine Again, daily inspiration and spiritual practice  – always online HERE.  Beguine Again is the sister site to The BeZine.


YOUR SUNDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS may be emailed to thepoetbyday@gmail.com. Please do so at least a week in advance.

If you would like me to consider reviewing your book, chapbook, magazine or film, here are some general guidelines:

send PDF to jamiededes@gmail.com (Note: I have a backlog of six or seven months, so at this writing I suggest you wait until June 2018 to forward anything.Thank you!)

nothing that foments hate or misunderstanding

nothing violent or encouraging of violence

English only, though Spanish is okay if accompanied by translation

your book or other product  should be easy for readers to find through your site or other venues.


TO CONTACT ME WITH ANNOUNCEMENTS AND OTHER INFORMATION FOR THE POET BY DAY: thepoetbyday@gmail.com

TO CONTACT ME REGARDING SUBMISSIONS FOR THE BeZINE: bardogroup@gmail.com

PLEASE do not mix the communications between the two.


Often information is just thatinformation– and not necessarily recommendation. I haven’t worked with all the publications or other organizations featured in my regular Sunday Announcements or other announcements shared on this site. Awards and contests are often (generally) a means to generate income, publicity and marketing mailing lists for the host organizations, some of which are more reputable than others. I rarely attend events anymore. Caveat Emptor: Please be sure to verify information for yourself before submitting work, buying products, paying fees or attending events et al.


ABOUT

Testimonials

Disclosure

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Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers. My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”

* The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.” Lucille Clifton

iPoem … and your Wednesday Writing Prompt

photo 5-1

“Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.” Pablo Picasso [Picasso statement alleged. Haven’t found the quotation in anything I have, but it’s a good point.]



iPad
iPod
iMac
iPhone
iApple
iStore
iLust
iBuy
iHappy
iBilled
iGroan
iBroke
iPublish
iPoem

© 2011, poem; 2014, photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

After the serious prompt last week, I thought I should give everyone a break with a bit of humor spun with truth.  So the prompt this week is about your life with technology: blessing or curse or somewhere between?  Too expensive? Too time-consuming? Wonderfully convenient? Tell us in poem from any perspective.  Have fun!

Share your poem/s on theme or a link to it/them in the comments section below.

All poems on theme will be published next Tuesday. Please do NOT email your poem to me or leave it on Facebook. If you do it’s likely I’ll miss it or not see it in time.

Poems in response to this prompt will be considered for inclusion in the September issue of The BeZine, which is themed social justice.

IF this is your first time joining us for The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, please send a brief bio and photo to me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com in order to introduce yourself to the community … and to me :-).  These will be partnered with your poem/s on first publication.

Deadline:  Monday, July 30 at 8 p.m. Pacific.

Anyone may take part Wednesday Writing Prompt, no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro.  It’s about exercising the poetic muscle, sharing your work, and getting to know other poets who might be new to you. This is a discerning nonjudgemental place to connect.


ABOUT

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.