Denise R. Weuve

Ink Damage and Other Permanent Stains

Archive for the month “July, 2013”

30 Day Poetry Challenge Success

So this was, I think the first poem I wrote during this years 30 Day Poetry challenge and now it appears on The Camel Saloon.  A nice little payoff for a person who failed miserably at the full 30 days.

But I tried and because of that here is one of (3) that have been published from this years challenge, Caprese Panini.  You will want to be Italian after reading it, or at least feel hungry, if I did my job correctly.

By the way this truly is the only happy poem I had in my arsenal.  Now my arsenal would make any  emo kid say, “see I was right, it isn’t going to get better.”

caprese

Sharon Olds Advice To Young Poets

This is an interview that appeared on Poets.org, and I needed it today, so maybe you do too.

The beauty of this article is that you can listen to the audio.

She talks about writing with different colors and the tactility of pen in hand.

Sharon Olds Interview

Sharon Olds

MFA or Bust-What’s Worth Waiting For

 

Some things take far too long to complete, but are perhaps worth the wait. No they are worth the wait. I have to believe that, I have to believe that time makes you appreciate, and work harder for what you truly need, instead of the frivolous wants of youth, that can sometimes mislead us horribly.

 

I graduated from California State University, Long Beach in 1993 (I’ll wait for you to do the math.) Many of us who called ourselves writers were thrilled to hear that CSULB was starting an MFA program. I know I was, and swiftly applied. Relatively young, I only applied to CSULB’s MFA program, and begun to pray. And then the letter came and I was accepted. I would later find out I was one of maybe 3 poets, and others were on the waiting list. At the same time, my mother had become ill, and I was the only one making money. My older brother, high 70% of the time and living in the garage of our rented house, was little help. All other family had escaped Long Beach, or found their ways into jail, rehab, or all of the aforementioned. So suddenly it fell on me, to take care of my cancer filled mother who was 56 and had been talking about dying since I made the mistake of graduating high school (she’s still alive). There was no way I could work, take care of my mother, and attend grad school, but I had a strange hope in my heart. As if a fairy godmother existed and she’d find me walking up willow street one day, jump out of Willow Landing bar and hand me a life with different circumstance: healthy mother, (mentally and physically) scholarship to MFA, and living expenses (I didn’t need a Prince Charming like the majority of women wanted).

 

The resentment I had for my mother was already festering; this would not calm it. However I avoided calling the school and telling them I could not take my place where I knew I belonged. The school called me. Glenn Bach, I believe was the one who called to check my status. (If it wasn’t you Glenn, forgive me, but I remember it as you). I knew Glenn, we shared nights of poetry, and could recall him reading a poem in our circle of friends and whatever alcohol we could afford about his girlfriend leaving. There was a line in that poem about waking up without her and he compared it to “a man who can still feel his phantom limb”. (sorry if I screwed that up too). Glenn use to draw in one of the Liberal Arts Buildings, I would see him when I walked by to some class that left no impression. So when it was him that called I choked up. He did his job, he asked if I was attending, and I had to say no. He said, “You should have let us know. Other people are waiting.” I stumbled over some words that were lies and useless, because what was I to do lay out my pathetic story like it mattered to anyone else but me.

 

In the end I think it was the best. At the time I learned my friend Andrew Demcak was moving on with his life in San Francisco, and Kristine Sanders was not attending the MFA program, and I had sort of thought she was. Perhaps the real reason I did not attend was I was afraid to do it without support of those I truly loved. And I really did love Andrew and Kristine. Kristine so much so, that we stayed friends for a long time, and I even introduced her to the man she married and they share four beautiful children. Andy leaving broke my heart. I hated the man he married, had seen the ugly in his new husband and feared Andy would too. Funny outside of a Facebook post we have not seen each other in years.

 

Maybe I did not want it bad enough then. No, I didn’t want it bad enough then, or I would have found a way. Now, I want it with an ugly fervor that doesn’t seem to care about circumstances, lack of money, or those who will be second to my true loves, poetry, writing, haven written. I’m older. Wiser I wouldn’t bet on. As I have begun to fill out applications, write personal essays, put together a portfolio, and stress I know now I will appreciate it. At this mature (?) age I want to hear criticism, I want to workshop, I want to be told how I can be better, I want to discover how I can be better, I want to believe in my talent, and most importantly I need to believe in me.

 
image

Andrew posing in back, Kris all the way to the right, Joey (there is not enough I can say about him, other than I love him) in the middle and me on the left. Thanks to Candace More who found this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Year, 1 Week, and 1 Day Anniversary

I’m not talking a stupid anniversary.  You know the types: weddings, birthdays, job hire dates, last time you went to church.

Not those type at all.  This is far more important on July 11, 2012 I started this blog, because I wanted to write again.  I wanted to not only write, but also submit poetry for consideration of publication. Going to open mics was on the to do list as well, all while teaching high school English and Creative Writing, and being sure those students found a joy in writing.

I started off pretty strong, I think.  Summer is my “free” time so I headed out to reading, sat down for the very first time and submitted poems online (and quickly felt the smack of rejection).  And I wrote, sometimes until my eyes closed without my will and pen left ink stains tracked all over my comforter as if it was trying to write when, even I couldn’t.  But the school year beckoned and my focus became my students, letting my own goals slip a bit (maybe too much).  That being said, I’m proud of what the year, in writing, has brought.

Over 50 pieces of my student’s writing can be found online and in print at various journals including Poppy Road Review, Rose Red Review, Eskimo Pie, Daily Love, Toucan Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Rusty Nail, and so on.

Personally I have seen 15 different publications accept my work this year.  I know there are some of you who do that in a month, but I only submitted to 39 magazine (2 a few times so like really 45 tries) that’s like a 33% acceptance rate, that has to be good, right?  I don’t know what good is, this is my best guess.  (by the way just received a rejection)

I’ve done my best to go to poetry readings, sometimes not my best.

But most of all I have written with no regards to where I was, what I was writing on, or if it would turn into a poem or not.  I have written so much that I find poems strewn through my house, sometimes beneath couch cushions or with outgoing mail. I find poems in the cubby of my banged up Camry, and beneath the seats.  When there is no paper and there are ideas  I text to a friends and they know never to ask why I texted, “your hands surface over my body like a rock climber searching for a grip to hold on to.”

In the end I have learned not to apologize for what I love, and wish everyone else would be as proud of what they love.

To this end, I now focus on what I love and finding like-minded people as I bring together all I need to apply to MFA programs.  1 year and 3 weeks from now I will be writing from my MFA program, and complaining about the work, while revelling in every bit of it.

Poppies in the Heat of Summer

Poppy Road Review has closed for submissions (just for a brief time) but before they did they honored me three fold without even knowing it.  First on July 8th, they published a little poem of mine, called Countdown.

Poppy road Review

I have a thing for “pretty” journals, whatever that means, but the color red is always an eye catcher, and to that end I wanted a few former students to try getting published in this journal as well, and sent them an email.  On July 12th Donald Ishikawa, a graduate of CHS in 2012, was published with his poem, Elysian Dream.  Then on July 16th Aeia Abas was published with her poem, Swing Set.   She just graduated in June, and did so as the Creative Writer of the year.

Both of these students are out of school and in no way are they forced to continue to write to make Ms. Weuve happy.  They choose to write for themselves, and because they took the tools offered to them in a UC Credited Alternative Senior  English course which an administration has turned into an elective this year (long and sad story about how little we truly value the art and functionality of writing).  Though these are the two I proudly present to you here, know that they are not the only ones.  In the past two years I have seen over 60 pieces of literature published by high school students while they were in my class, and nearly 20 more once they left the class and begun adulthood.

Writing is not only a way to express one’s self, but these students prove it is a way to be heard.  It is not the essay your teacher assigns, it is the art that knows no other way to make itself heard.

For that I thank you Sandy Benitez for not only taking my poem, but more importantly for taking their poems.

Stop by for A Drink or a Poem

Russell Streur runs the best Saloon I have had the privilege to be part of.  Russell is the proprietor of The Camel Saloon, where poetry is served up in a variety of class options, but always with the same kick.  You will know you are not just drinking the water here.

Picture 1

It is my distinct pleasure to consider myself a patron of this Saloon, as today my poem, On Wanting More, was posted on the site.   Take a gander at the poem and peruse the other patrons, they will make you glad you did.

And thank you barkeep, I hope to be visiting again, real soon.

2 Year Celebration (with special guest Bob Hicok)

If you love the written word, you read this.
If you are a poet you print it and drool over the line “In the beginning sand resembles a face”
BOB HICOK people!
And may I suggest you follow dVerse as well, if only for moments like this.

dVerse

Ribbon. Streamers. Balloons. Neon. Fireworks. Pyow! Spssss! Clink! Yay! Woo!

Welcome to dVerse Poets everyone and pardon the mess…we are a little excited here…its our 2nd anniversary! Woohoo! This week, we have some very special things cooked up for you as part of our celebration. Tomorrow we have OpenLinkNight…

“Bri- don’t we do OpenLinkNight every week?”

‘Yes, we do, Claudia”

“What’s different?”

“Well it is our first one of the third year—and hopefully there will be some new poems. You have something for Wednesday, right?”

“Ah yes, Wednesday we have another publication contest.”

“Ooo, can you tell me more?”

“Nah, you will have to wait like everyone else.”

“And Thursday, Tony is doing a remix of any MeetingTheBar or FormForAll topic from the previous year.”

“I hear we might need a calculator for Saturday’s Poetics too.”

“Psst…I think we need to bring on our special guest for today as well…and…

View original post 1,939 more words

Order a Poem

Doctor’s run into this problem all the time.  Someone ask “What you do for a living?” and the response is “Doctor”, and the poor doctor now must wade through a litany of ailments that are ridiculous to attempt to diagnose.  A doctor, I recently meant, said he now tells people he is a Mortician, because no one ever ask a Mortician for advice.  What are they going to say, “when I die, what embalming fluid will you use?  Generic or name brand?

So as a writer, in my case a poet, when someone knows they ask me to recite something or make up a poem on the spot.  Recently I was wearing my I’m a Poet Dr. Pepper, at the grocery store and was asked by the bag boy to “prove it”.  What did he want me?  Break out in a Two Chainz rap? Drop a sonnet?  It left me wondering if he had a friend who was a garbage man that came to his home does he say, “Could you grab the thrash for me?”

But recently someone I truly care about asked for a poem.  I have been asked by friends, family, lovers, and I have always blown them off.  Ignored lovers who have said both “Have you written about me?” and “Don’t write about me?” Refused my mother when she asked me to write about her life.  Her life appears on and off in my writing anyhow.  Well my life, as I remember her in it.  This request was different.  Perhaps because it was so smoothly communicated to me in the illumination of dashboard lights and wafting a scent of patron shots.  Perhaps because I had already written over 15 poems either inspired by or directly about him.  Perhaps because there is still more to say.  Perhaps because earlier that day someone had told us that if I loved him, I should have learned “his” language by now. Perhaps because he asked me to make him cry, and I’ve seen him cry before, but I always knew it was for him, not because he realized the damage he caused.  Yet, when I wrote it, I could only sympathize with him.

He grew up making friends family to survive a tragedy he rarely acknowledges.  He saw his friends slipping into a hopeless tomorrows, and fixed his path.  He finds optimism in everything, even when it simply is not there.  He has cared for a sick friend and given her laughter when the nights were filled with tears and sadness.  He loves when he cannot say it, but struggles to show it anyhow.

I guess that earns another poem.  So he got it.

I hope this does not become a habit.

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