Archive for the ‘Readings and Events’ Category

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Recent Reading Fun at Skylark in West Seattle!

July 14, 2019

I had the opportunity to read some poetry with some professional jazz musicians at the Skylark in West Seattle on July 9th.  Thanks Jed and Dave Desrochers for making sure it happened!  Musicians Dave Desrochers (sax), Osama Afifi, Shawn Schlogel, Max Wood  (keyboards).

Part 1  –  reading two poems

 

Part 2  reading snippets and poem starters here

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NaPoWriMo Wrap up, Poems and bonus prompts!

April 30, 2019

“I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in.”Robert Louis Stevenson

I hope you enjoyed National Poetry Month, read some extra poetry, perhaps attended more than a couple poetry readings, wrote some poems to various prompts and found yourself writing some things you would not have written otherwise.  You might have even developed a habit of writing every day.

“A word after a word after a word is power.”Margaret Atwood

My schedule is very busy these days with owning, managing a bookstore and all the marketing, scheduling, ordering, etc that it entails. (Remember to support your friendly neighborhood independent bookstore.  (BookTree on Facebook is here) BookTree will have an evening with Tess Gallagher on May 14th!  Our Third Saturday writing workshop followed by our PoetryIsEverything Poetry Night on May 18th features Matthew Brouwer and Jed Myers and an open mic.   Hope you can be part of it!

Most of the poems I wrote this month were done in less than 20 minutes and then quickly edited in about 5 minutes as I was posting them.   I did think about some of the prompts as I was doing other things.  About ten poems are decent and maybe three or four with some work are worth publishing.  A couple were awful I know and that’s part of the NaPoWriMo challenge too.

“Tears are words that need to be written.”Paulo Coelho

After my poems you’ll find some Bonus Prompts.

Prompt 29  Countdown poem  (mine started with 10 words decreasing to 1)

Indie Bookstore Day

by Christopher J. Jarmick

This year’s 11 hours of independent bookstore day at BookTree

began by letting in two dozen people waiting outside.

By hour three more than 500 had visited

getting passports stamped, some touring the store,

others buying books, many rushing fast.

21 store visits required for

discount card, bragging rites.

Busy, memorable, fun,

10 hour

day.

Prompt 30  Go through what you have written the last 29 days and pick out 4 lines or more to incorporate in the body of a new poem.

What Me Worry?

By Christopher J. Jarmick

Not going to worry about a thing

like the song said

even if the maze of anxiety

isn’t as much fun as I would imagine

a Coney Island of the Mind ought to be.

I could care less if I dash out into a vandlop

or how insecure I feel four layers in.

My knees will inhale courage

and I’ll imagine everyone in their worst

pair of underwear rubberizing their faces

with makeup smiles.

Gonna be alright.

Not going to worry about a thing.

 

XTRA –

Poem Starter 1429

By Christopher J. Jarmick

There’s no ‘I’ in

meat,  mate or tame,

and you can’t spell  team

without meta.

Poem Starter 1950

By Christopher J. Jarmick

During the intermission

a billion dollars

was redacted.

Poem Starter 1501

By Christopher J. Jarmick

Will I know

which poem is good

which a worthwhile failure?

EXTRA PROMPTS!!!!

Need some extra prompts for the days ahead?

Here’s 7 more I almost used including several from Brendan McBreen too:

Prompt A

whats your sign?

write a poem which predicts the future

think daily horoscope

Prompt B

garden poem

you’ve heard of a green thumb

write a poem comparing different body parts to different plants or plant parts

Prompt C

Judge a book cover

Write an ekphrastic poem but use the art work

on a cover of a book to inspire you.

Prompt D

poker face

write a poem

without letting the reader know what you are writing about

just hint at the subject

Prompt E

Put a Tiger in your tank!

Write a poem that includes three or four (or more) places

you vividly remember from your childhood.

Prompt F

30 days has Remember, Poetry, Soon and November

all the rest have thirty-one, except for February alone.

Make up two to three names for calendar months ( yes, you could

create a new day name too) and use them in your poem today.

Prompt G

snap! snap!

it’s the Addams Family!

write a nice gloomy macabre poem

about one of your relatives (fictional or real) who is probably a distant relation to the Addams’s

be sure to include some rhymes

Prompt H

the end of endings

write a to do list for the day of the apocalypse

its going to be a busy day after all

 

“Always be a poet, even in prose.”Charles Baudelaire

A few months ago, the wonderful, talented, writer, publisher, editor, poet Lana Ayers did an interview with me and creatively posted the results.  You might enjoy it.  Thoughts on Writing and Dealing with Inner Darkness.  

Thank you!

Keep Writing! 

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NaPoWriMo Prompts for April 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28; plus some poems!

April 23, 2019

“I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.”  —Gustave Flaubert

We’re down to the final 7 prompts of NaPoWriMo 2019!   Here’s the next 5 challenges and inspirations to keep you writing.

But first…for those of you in Western Washington:

This FRIDAY from 1:30pm to around 4pm, writer, poet, editor and publisher David D. Horowitz will be at BookTree in Kirkland.  It’s always fun when he hangs out and talks/reads/answers questions.  Facebook Event Page you can share is here! 

Also:  Saturday is Seattle Independent Bookstore Day!  BookTree is once again part of it.  Be part of the celebration of Independent bookstores.  Thank You.   Facebook for SIBD here!  

And now to the prompts.

Prompt for April  24   (write poem to this prompt on April 24th  )

Music.   Rewrite the lyrics to a song you admire.  Keep a nearly identical meter and rhyme pattern.  (Tell us what song it was only at the end of your poem).

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.”William Faulkner

Keep Writing!

Prompt for April 25    (write poem to this prompt on April 25th )

From Brendan McBreen  :  dive into the dark dank deep depths of alliteration!

write a poem using alliteration in each line… can you make it rhyme?

Happy Poeming!

Prompt for April 26   (write poem to this prompt on April 26th   )

“A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God.” Sidney Sheldon

Stream of consciousness write.   Listen.   Write down the sounds you hear and make sure you hear voices speaking or go to the internet or radio and write down five or six words that someone has said

Now use this to write for 4 to 5 minutes and I mean just write, pen to paper preferably and move the pen as continuously as possible for several minutes.   Take a few minutes (no more than 3 minutes – just 3 minutes) and that’s your poem for today.

“Don’t get it right, get it written.” – – Ally Carter

Keep Writing!

Prompt for April 27    (write poem to this prompt on April 27th )

“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”John Steinbeck

From Brendan McBreen

canned phrase

pick a canned phrase you use like “have a nice day” and expand on the sentiment

in an extreme and overly detailed way

eight lines long extreme

“I write to discover what I know.”Flannery O’Connor

Happy Poeming!

Prompt for April  28   (write poem to this prompt on April 28th   )

“Read, read, read. Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” –William Faulkner

Twisting a prompt idea from Brendan McBreen we have this challenge:

Find five verbs and five nouns used in Space/Astronomy/Rocket Science and use them to write about another subject. The idea is to create an extended metaphor in a short poem, of maybe ten to twelve lines.

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”Sylvia Plath

And here are poems I wrote for the last shared prompts.

Prompt for April 22    (write poem to this prompt on April 22nd  )

Prompt 22   Recipe Poem that reads like a detailed recipe but doesn’t have anything to do with cooking or baking.

Laura’s Recipe for a Maltese Detour

By

Christopher J. Jarmick

Organize your shopping list of ingredients

though it probably won’t matter much.

Wear black and consider a hat.

One or two: Shady Dames

One or Two: Saps

One or two: unwashed cops

Three:  tablespoons of angular perspective

from below the eye-line

Four: Teaspoons of mood lighting

Five: Pinches of some

not quite right circumstances

Six: Cups of desperation

Six: Dead ends – peeled.

Seven or eight:  Mugs of untrustworthy,

possibly spoiled unkempt

characters and stoolies.

(they’ll be available to you

almost everywhere you go.)

Eight: Halves of hard-boiled cynicism.  Diced.

Nine: Drops of sweat

on or about the brow.

Ten: Zest scrapings from

a this- isn’t-going-to-end

well.

Combine and mix the ingredients.

But you know what doll?  It really doesn’t matter

How you do it.  We’re doomed to repeat

our past mistakes, make a mess of things anyway.

Eventually you’ll figure out the best way

to half-bake everything and when you split it up

into equal portions, folks will accuse you and others

of it not being fairly divided and then there is the

sour, bitter after-taste.

Intentional and

certainly part of the appeal

but there’s going to be smoke

and serious injuries.

You probably should be smart

leave early, get a head start, forget the whole thing,

but 10 to 1 says

you won’t.

 

Prompt 23 Poem  (TODAY)

write a poem in the form of a conversation between a mythological character

and an inanimate object repeating four randomly chosen words throughout.

Catch,  spring,  release, fire   (are the words)

Rukuba and the Ball

By Christopher J. Jarmick

“Catch me, Rukuba,”  Ball said.

“Catch you?” asked the guardian of fire.

“Yes it is spring and we must

play catch and release.”

Rukuba sprang into action catching the ball

releasing it quickly as if it were on fire.

Ball laughed. “I shall bounce high into the air.”

“…and I shall spring into the air faster than a

a spark from a fire and catch and release you.”

“You are fast!”

“Let us play catch and release some more.”

It is a perfect game for a spring day,” Ball agreed

“I will give you a three second head start.”

“I will roll down the hill and into the spring

where surely you, the guardian of fire, will not

dare catch and release me.”

“Try me, my silly friend.”

And the two new best friends played

catch and release until the spring sun set

And the fireflies appeared.

Keep Writing!!!

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NaPoWriMo Prompts for April 17,18, 19,  20 and 21 plus prompt poems.

April 16, 2019

The half-way marker is in the dust behind you.  Congrats to those with persistence and perseverance and welcome to any new-comers who’ve decided to give this NaPoWriMo thing a try!

“Go where the pain is, go where the pleasure is.”Anne Rice

Author Robert Dugoni at BookTree bookstore in Kirkland On Wednesday April 17 at 6:30 pm for talk, Q and A and signing.  Facebook Event Page here!

Free Creative Writing workshop (4:30pm), followed by the PoetryIsEverything Third Saturday reading and open mic (6:15pm) at BookTree on Saturday April 20th.  Share our Facebook Event Page here!   Thanks.

Prompt 17 –  Here’s the prompt for the poem you write on April 17th.

Three-way

It’s  Day 17,  and Seventeen has 3 syllables in it.   So

start your poem with a three syllable word

On the next line Line 2 use 3  words with 2 of them three syllables

Line 3:   6 words with at least 3  three syllable words

Line 4:  8 words with at least 4 three syllable words.

Stanza 2 –  Line 5:     6 words and 3  three syllable words

Line 6:  3 words and 2 three syllable words

Line 7   1 or 2 two words   and 1  3 syllable word.

Prompt for April 18     (write poem to this prompt on April 18th  )

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy. … Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.   Drink and be filled up.”-― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

From Brendan McBreen:

third eye sore

if you had to have one word tattooed on your forehead

which word would you choose?

now include that word in a poem three times

try making it the third word of every third line in a poem 12 lines (or longer).

Happy Poeming!

Prompt for April 19   (write poem to this prompt on April 19th  )

“The true writer, the born writer, will scribble words on scraps of litter, the back of a bus tickets, on the wall of a cell.”David Nicholls

Mix up some well- known quotes no more than three or four words at a time.

Poem  should be 8 lines of longer and consist mainly of the quotes you are borrowing.

You can use some of the quotes I’ve shared on these pages or some that you know and love.  (Share the sources of the quotes you used).

Keep Writing!

“It’s okay to write crap. Just don’t try publishing it while it’s still crap.”S.M. Blooding

Prompt for April 20 (write poem to this prompt on April 20 )

“Don’t get it right, get it written.”Ally Carter

Write 3 or 4 NAANI  poems.   The NAANI  form.

This poetry was introduced by one of the renowned Telugu poets Dr. N.Gopi.

  1. Naani is one of India ’s most popular Telugu poem forms. Telugu are a particular people in India.. Naani means an expression of one and all.
  2. It consists of 4 lines.
  3. The four lines combined are made up of 20 to no more than 25 syllables.
  4. The poem is not bound to a particular subject but it depends upon human relations and current statements.

Examples of NAANI poems:

Bollimuntha Venkata Ramana Rao

In-between four walls

A loneliness with deep silence

Became paleness

When book accosts.

 

In-between

Language and slang

Arise the difference

Who are noble?

 

With pain

With commotion burnt out

Waving flow of intention

Oh! Where’s my pen?

 

Poetic expression

Economy of words

story canvas

Knows only squandering.

KEEP WRITING!

Prompt for April 21    (write poem to this prompt on April 21  )

“I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.”Erica Jong

From Brendan McBreen – negative

write a poem describing a subject by only what the subject is not

“Words are a lens to focus one’s mind.”- Ayn Rand

And here’s a few poems I’ve written for passed prompts.

Prompt 15  half your 14 line (or less) poem should consist of borrowed lines/phrases from a book, poem, or magazine article, The endline should be compromised of up to 15 borrowed words .

Dog in the Park  (with lines from Dog by Lawrence Ferlinghetti)

By Christopher J. Jarmick

The dog is playing fetch in the park on a bright sunny day.

He will not be muzzled.

The large man wearing the red MAGA baseball cap

is just another fire hydrant to him.

He ignores the three young men with swastikas

he has his own free world to live in.

The dog has not yet decided to fetch the ball

He is touching, testing and investigating everything.

Man’s best friend decides to drop the ball because he has

a real tale to tell and a real tail to tell it with.

Poets reading on the stage in the park with

something to say about reality and how to hear it.

The politician takes his place now in the park’s gazebo, a question mark holding a megaphone

with its wondrous hollow horn about to spout victorious answers to everything.

Prompt 16  Brendan’s suggested prompt was to write a poem with four adjectives in it

now remove the adjectives and replace them with nouns. I did this and also eliminated and changed several verbs to nouns too (except in the title).

Those Magnificent Fabulous  Jaunty Adjectives

By Christopher J. Jarmick

Today’s investigation into nominalization of language

avoidance of emotiveness, sequestration now a noun.

Adjective (and Verbs too) transmorphed into nouns.

Call it the corporatization of language, legalese, advertising jive.

Editors, now insane.

Here to stay.  Focus on the build.  The reveal of a beauty beneath.

Can I have a modifier.

Please?

Answer: no.

No.

 

Accentuate with less waste.

Imagine sky

(you know the color).

Concept clear, concise

a distance between you and I.

Things to do.

People (you know),

Time wastes.

Bye. Not good,

just bye.

 

Keep Writing!

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NaPoWriMo Prompts for April 10. 11,12, 13 & 14!!!! Plus some poems!

April 10, 2019

“Read a thousand books, and your words will flow like a river.”Lisa See

Prompts for the next few days.

On Saturday April 13th bill bissett and Stephen Roxborough are at BookTree in Kirkland.  Facebook event page suitable for sharing is here!  

Prompt for April 10    (write poem to this prompt on April 10  )

Day 10!  You are in a groove now, right?  After today only 20 to go!

From Brendan McBreen comes today’s Prompt.  something’s missing

write ten lines about something which was,

but now is not.

Happy Poeming!

“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”Jodi Picoult

“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.  That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”Octavia E. Butler

Prompt for April 11    (write poem to this prompt on April 11  )

Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any. – – Orson Scott

What’s the name of that book?

Use most of 4 to 5 Book Titles in a poem at least 8 lines long.  Use 6 titles in a 12 line poem.  Yes, go right ahead and use 8 in a 16 line poem.

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”Stephen King

 “Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”Franz Kafka

Prompt for April  12   (write poem to this prompt on April 12th  )

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly – they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.”Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

My prompts for my birthday usually have something to do with movies.   So this year we’ll write an acrostic poem.   Going down the page use the title of one of your favorite movies from the 1950s.  If you were born then, use the title of a favorite movie that came out the year you were born.  The first letter of each line has been decided.  The poems subject should have something to do with a childhood memory.   (Bonus challenge: find an unusual word  to use in your poem – that you haven’t used before.)

“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” Terry Pratchett

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Maya Angelou

Prompt for April 13    (write poem to this prompt on April 13 )

“Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite:

“Fool!” said my muse to me, “look in thy heart, and write.” Philip Sidney, Astrophel and Stella

On April 13th bill bissett (and Stephen ‘Rox’ Roxborough) are visiting BookTree in Kirkland (click here for Facebook Event Page )  for a talk and performance.  For those who don’t know  bill bissett a short bio is here at the Poetry Foundation website –

Let’s write a poem in the style of bill bissett.     Here’s a poem by bill from his website  

eating    appuls

on jarvis street

 

at 3 in th morning

i sd iuv nevr felt

ths way b4

 

yu sd  if we wer 2

get marreed  yu cud

as a spousal akt

committ me  2 th

clarke institute bcoz

i am delusyunal in

More of it on his website…..

 

 

Write a poem in the bill bissett style.    If you are near Kirkland, come experience bill and Rox!

Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write toward vulnerability. Risk being unliked. Tell the truth as you understand it. If you’re a writer you have a moral obligation to do this. And it is a revolutionary act—truth is always subversive.” Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Keyp riting!

Prompt for April  14   (write poem to this prompt on April 14  )

I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.”William Carlos Williams

February 14th is Valentine’s Day and also V Day. V-Day, is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls started by author, playwright and activist Eve Ensler.  We’ll make today National Poetry Month V day and write a poem using at 6 unusual words beginning with V in a poem at least 8 lines long.
“It’s not the fear of writing that blocks people, it’s the fear of not writing well; something quite different.”   – – Scott Berkun.

Keep Writing!

Prompt 8 (8 line poem using only 8 letters and poem without using those 8 letters).

8 Atheists

By histhe  ai

Theists

hate this

hate that.

Atheist sits,

tests,

eats tea

states

ash is ash.

No Grownup Lugworm

By Cropr J. Jrmck

No bowl of

sour plum brown gumbo,

wrongful lungworm,

crock of ground fowl,

corn on cob,

or gumdrop clump

for plump frumpy clown,

or dumb mob cop.

 

PROMPT 9  invoke the anaphora style with an interesting phrase or two.

Makeup Smiles

By Christopher J. Jarmick

Ladies at bathroom mirror

covering up broken heart

painting on confidence

colorizing black and white day

with makeup smiles.

Politician shaking hands

pretending to tell truths

and taking pictures outside convenience store

with makeup smiles.

Start the day with a better

attitude, positive energy,

look up, forgive yourself and

rubberize your face with makeup smiles

until you make yourself laugh.

Makeup smiles on every face

you see this day.

Makeup smiles on the

shapes of plants and trees.

Tonight look up at the stars

And makeup smiles

for miles and miles

all made up, makeup smiles.

KEEP WRITING

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NaPoWriMo begins. April 1 Prompt.

March 31, 2019

“If you wait for inspiration to write you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.”  – Dan Poynter.

Have you ever written a poem a day for 30 days straight and shared these poems almost immediately?

That’s what thousands of writers and poets do during National Poetry Month every April.   You write and share first drafts.  You challenge yourself to write a poem off of a prompt.  Your deadline for publishing it is less than 24 hours.  You might only have an hour or maybe less than 30 minutes some days to write something.  Write something and dare to share it too.  Crazy right?  Write.

“Love the work: the grind, the dreaming, the distracted not-sleep, all of it. It’s the one thing in the job that will always be there, and the real pleasure in the profession. Everything else is luck.”Glen Hirshberg

Welcome to NaPoWriMo.

I have very little time this year to participate.  I run a bookstore (BookTree in Kirkland website)  and have other responsibilities that make it very difficult to blog every day.

So I will be posting messages and prompts that cover a few days at a time.   And I will post my own scribbles as I am able.  I will be writing to the prompts I share and perhaps to a few other prompts I find throughout the month too.    I will share at least 30 daily poems as I have the time to share them.

Participating and sharing prompts and what you are writing may begin a dialogue with someone you’ve never met.  Perhaps something you write will develop into an excellent poem or a story.  You never know.  It’s an exercise, a challenge, a way to take a journey.  Feel free to share and comment.

Some of the prompts this year have been suggested by Brendan McBreen a talented poet who lives in the Auburn area and has been an active member of The Striped Water Poets for several years.  He’s got a collection of poetry you should put on your short list of books to buy and read.   It was published by MoonPath Press and is called:   Cosmic Egg.     Clicking on it will take you to the website.  He may not be able to post his writings this year (as he’s done in the past) but we’ll see.

“Step into a scene and let it drip from your fingertips.” – M J Bush.

My Bookstore (BookTree Facebook page ) will be have several poetry related events this April.  If you are near the Kirkland area, be sure and check them out (they are FREE!).  Like the Facebook page too and if you are in Western Washington share our events to help our events get more notice!  Thanks.

PROMPT FOR APRIL 1, 2019

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.Shakespeare, As You Like It

Use at least 3 of the 135 phrases Shakespeare takes credit for making famous in a poem.

You can use many more if you would like (try 14 perhaps?) You’ll find a list of them right here: Shakespeare quotes

I must learn to love the fool in me – the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries.”  –Theodore Isaac Rubin

KEEP WRITING!!!

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NaPoWriMo is less than one week away.

March 26, 2019

Stay tuned!  I will be posting prompts and challenges to help YOU write a poem each and every day of National Poetry Week.

National Poetry Writing Month  aka  NaPoWriMo

The official site for it  is here:  NaPoWriMo 

BookTree in Kirkland will be celebrating Poetry Month in several ways.  A very special reading on April 13th with bill bissett and Stephen Roxborough

A free creative writing workshop, poetry reading and open mic on April 20th.  (Heidi Seaborn leading the workshop:  “When Life Feels Chaotic, Write about it”)

An afternoon visit with David D. Horowitz, poet, editor, writer, publisher (Rose Alley Press).

and more surprises.

Brendan McBreen will again be contributing some prompts.  Use them, share what your write, comment, write and write some more.

KEEP WRITING!