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Her words will grab you by the throat

Feb

02

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 | 1 comment

nayyirah waved writer poem - robindance.me

 

Anyone who knows me understands the effect words have over me.

A harsh word can wound me for years. (I could show you the scars.)

A kind word has the capacity to inspire, move, challenge and encourage me, in all the ways that really matter.

Words matter.

 

There’s always a right word to use when you’re writing, a best word, and writers know it when they nail it. Imagine the image of an Olympic gymnast spinning off the uneven parallel bars and perfectly landing her dismount–I know it when I’ve scored a “10” by choosing the perfect word to communicate an idea. All writers know it.

A lot of writers (like me) like words so much we use too many of them. I hope one thing I’ve learned over the past few years is how to strike superfluous words. Wait–I know I haven’t learned it, but I’m learning. When I read some of my old work now, I see how I could cut it in half.

This is why I love poetry. Word economy.

 

Of course, not all poems lend themselves to brevity – hello The Iliad and The Odyssey – but many poetic forms do, and I suppose because I have a short attention span, those are my favorite.

Of course, poetry can be intimidating; it’s incredibly subjective. I’m not drawn to the work of all poets, but those to whom I am, I’m smitten.

I think it started with e.e. cummings in the fifth grade. I don’t recall a specific poem, but I adored his unconventional style, and he was the first author to make me think I could write poems, too.

Of course, just because you write poems doesn’t mean they’re good, but that’s not really the point, is it? If you’re satisfied, that’s enough.

I find it best not to find the value of art in the eye of the beholder.

 

It’s a pure expression of the author’s heart, undeniably  beautiful–you just have to have the right eyes to see. If the author is the only one with 20/20 vision, so be it. That’s enough.

 

My niece introduced me to a new poet the other day, Nayyirah Waheed. Oh, my…. Her work is stunning. She’s a masterful word economist with the ability to knit together a few words into something that will slay dragons. Powerful. Provocative. Penetrating.

I don’t yet have her book yet; Abby wouldn’t part with her copy of salt.  But I read enough to know I want to read more, and that I can learn a lot from Waheed; about poetry, sure, but also about life.

A few poems to whet your appetite; spacing, punctuation, and formation is all hers–

 

some people

when they hear

your story.

contract.

others

upon hearing

your story.

expand.

and this is how

you

know.

 

* * *

 

you

are

my favorite kind.

nothing

that i can

name.

 

* * *

 

if someone

does not want me

it is not the end of the world

but

if i do not want me.

the world is nothing but endings.

 

* * *

 

you broke the ocean in

half to be here.

only to meet nothing that wants you.

 

— immigrant

 

* * *

 

can we speak in flowers.

it will be easier for me to understand.

 

— other language

 

* * *

as a writer, if someone falls

in love with my work.

i know they have fallen

in love with my mind. having

no idea what my face

looks like. they chose my

mind. art may be the only

place a woman can be whole. and seen.

without being seen.

 

Buy your copy of salt. using my affiliate link;
also, follow Nayyiarah Waheed on Twitter for more of her riveting work.

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Free Donuts for National Doughnut Day! (Get ’em while they’re hot…!)

Jun

05

Posted by on Jun 5, 2015 | 1 comment

Stack of doughnuts - National Donut Day

If you’ve never had the pleasure of walking into a Krispy Kreme when the “Hot + Now” sign is flashing and subsequently letting one of their fresh-off-the-glaze-dunking-booth doughnuts melt on your tongue, you’re missing one of life’s greatest pleasures and a sure way to sugar shock. I’m a fan of KK for two reasons: what I just said and the fact they spell doughnuts correctly in their branding. I exponentially favor Dunkin Donuts coffee, but I give them no points for spelling. Which isn’t exactly what they’re selling, so…much ado about nothing.

In any event, today is the much-anticipated and highly lauded National Doughnut Day, and both will give you free doughnuts. For DD, you’ve gotta buy a beverage; KK requires no additional purchase. I’m sure there are local offerings in your neck of the woods, so chop-chop to the internets to figure out special deals in your back yard.

USA Today has plenty of doughnuts statistics worth checking out; where I was sad to learn Google searches for donuts outpaces doughnuts 5 to 1. Phonetics for the win.

In the meantime, my Ode to Dunkin’ Donuts is appropriate today (even if it’s about coffee…). Hope it brings a grin to your face.

An Ode to Dunkin Donuts

Dunkin Donuts Coffee, aroma so fine,

Each morning I wake to this Scent of Divine.

We love you so much, we buy by mail order

Oh, no, could we be an addicted bean hoarder?!

Please say it ain’t so!  We just like our caffeine

From the best – and that’s y’all – you, coffee machine!

One cup or two cups or dare I drink three?

Well, if I did that, all day would I  pee!

And by nighttime, I’m sure sleep would elude

Ensuring next day a grouchy, bad mood.

But wait!  There’s a fix when insomnia lingers,

Sweet, sugared goodness all over your fingers!

Sprinkles and icing, doughnuts supreme

You won’t find these treats at your Krispy Kreme!

You see, “Hot and Now” is all they can boast,

And here’s why I love Dunkin Donuts the most:

Their coffee puts Starbucks, all others, to shame

Their doughnut perfection, I can’t help but proclaim!

An edible rainbow, a colorful snack,

Delicious reasons I’ll keep coming back.

 Krispy Kreme Hot Now Sign

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