La Literati

image

Hello, lovely ones. Yesterday, I posted a poem a day early to make room for today’s post. As some of you know, I host a literary podcast with my friend, Niles, called La Literati. We feature established authors, as well as up and coming writers.

Tomorrow, at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, we will be celebrating the work of three talented WordPress bloggers. Information is below.

We plan to make this a regular part of our show. If you are interested in participating in the future, please get in touch via my contact information listed on this site. We would love to hear from you.

About the writers:

Geetha-
Geetha Balvannanathan Prodhom is an Indian writer born within a multicultural family and raised between India, Tunisia, Europe and the Middle East. She writes poetry in English, French and Arabic and has published a collection of French poems in 2011 with another collection of poetry in English to be published in 2016. A fervent admirer of the Japanese art of Tanka and Haiku since 2010 and writing her own Haikus in English, French and Italian since 2014, she also writes short novels in English and in French on the themes of human feelings and interaction. She is currently working on a manuscript in English depicting the varied life she has led. Her blog is:

https://geethaprodhom.wordpress.com/

Deb-
Debra (D.S.) Levy is a writer of short stories, flash fiction, and essays. She’s had work published in the Alaska Quarterly Review, Columbia, Little Fiction, The Pinch, and others. Although she’s never considered herself a “poet,” she believes that whatever she’s writing has always begun with a poet’s concerns — concision, compression, sound, and the desire to capture moments of being. Since blogging at C-Dog & Company, she has begun (shyly) to share some of her free verse. You can find her
blog here:

http://cdogco.com/

Christian-
Christian Marc is a writer and blogger born in New Jersey, who lived in L.A., but is currently moving to Seattle. He is a two time recipient of the Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence. He blogs at:
http:complainingisanartform.com/

You can also find my friend and cohort’s blog here:

Niles-
http://jamesdennard.com/

Link to tomorrow’s show:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/laliteraticarpelibrum/2016/01/20/la-literati-welcomes-three-talented-writers-and-friends-to-our-show

On an entirely different note. Rest in peace, Glenn Frey.

Andromeda

image

I eat sadness like bread.
It’s an aesthetic choice.

It inspires the creative thoughts
inside my head

I look for the crack,
the draft, the spider on the wall.

I walk out into winter
with just my nightgown on.

I leave crumbs to return back
the way I came.
There’ll be time enough to reclaim the green.

I find words in the clouds
I scribble notes underneath my bones.

I walk barefoot on white
spruce cones.

I shake the beehive to
stir the nest.

I beg the wind to pull my
skin.

As day turns to night. I find
truth in the demarcation of
the dark.

I go down to the icy river.
I plunge in.

I baptize myself in Sexton
and Plath.

I float like a spirit above my life.
Then I descend into pen and paper
I write my riddle of release

Reincarnated. Articulating
my way out of the ghost.
I reattach myself line by line.

Poetry and lavender
grow in rocky soil.

I touch both with my
pen.

Shells full of thunder,
falling from my fingertips

-Tosha Michelle

See you on Sunday. x

A Life-Blue

image

I translate myself in poetry,
often getting lost
in the fog of my mind.
Always looking for reason
in my narrative arc.
Here I roar and rage
all I want.

My words often drip
with disdain, despair.
The story loosely based
on my life.

Some truths are
too sacred to share.
Some truths belong
solely to me.

I try to decipher
what I’m really after.
Notebooks of fire,
letters stumbling around.
The margins full
of heart lines,
trying to capture
the red hours.

My pen sits up straight
and listens to the
commands of my interior
world

Language spills out simply,
but with fervor.
I create something
that is mine.
Fangled trees and damaged grass.
My cameo of grit and grace.
I give you my light, my dark,
my counter winds.
The oracles of desire.

I give then to you
before they burn away.
before they become a valediction.

My gilded fragments
of a life in blue,
suffused with question marks.

-Tosha Michelle

An Apprentice of Sadness

image

If you listen to the language of sadness,
you know it has much
to teach us.

There’s dignity in the monochrome
Sanctity in darkness, in the pulse
of quiet, in the rut to be dug out of
.
Sadness can be a type of burning bush,
the X on a map.
It can make the unknown, knowable.

It can help us unfold
It can rip away our untruths, like
paint torn off a congealed can,
taking skin with it.

Sadness can then suture that skin
back together.

It can birth art, music, poetry.
I write proudly with my back ink.
I take solace in words,
even the ones written in water

I choose to write my difficulties,
my grinding realities.
The fantasies under which I labor.

I write to remember-my rain of tears.
How cathartic it is when the downpour
renders everything lush and green.

Enlivening the colorful sensations of hope

I am a student of sadness so
I can become a teacher of light

-Tosha Michelle

A wonderful video for wonderful people.

This guy. This video. Check it out. It’s transformative. Be sure to follow. If you love language, literature, culture, and guys named Joseph, you won’t be disappointed

Have a great weekend. Make it one to write about.

View original post

Answering in Lyrical Sighs.

image

You don’t understand
my obsession with words,
with pen and paper.

You scoff at my lyrical sighs,
my iambic heartbeat,
my free verse of thought.

You plug your ears
as I read a Shakespearean
sonnet You don’t understand:
lilac dreams, aster stars,
or the need for a backstory.

There’s no money in poetry, you say.
You can’t fathom getting paid
in the sighs of the wind,
in quiet time, in a cathartic release.

You don’t understand
how writing saves me,
how it makes me strong.
This is where I reside best.

I’ll never get the hang of
your card game of monotony.
I’m over middle management.

I’m happy to live
in what you would call
my frivolous obsessions.

I don’t want to be
underwhelmed and uninspired,
somewhere between over the hill,
and the grass is never greener.

You can be the door slamming.
The late hours, the keeping up.
Throw your money at the wall
and call it success.

I’ll sit here with my pen and paper,
listening to the wind,
through the pine trees
releasing the hurricane
beneath my fingers,
and write a poem
about something
you’ll never understand.

-Tosha Michelle

She’s

image

She ‘s Beatrice and Delilah.
an illusion, a crime

She’s a skyscape that slips
from blue, to grey, to red.

She’s a spider web over
a bank vault.

She’s the pull swirling
in his chest.

She’s a whisper of longing
stuck in his ear.

She’s a wilder life, the sweet
seed, his heart’s core.

She’s a sigh, ragged and
melancholy.

She’s a crushing need
a helix of yearning.

She’s chemistry and anatomy.

She’s the witching hour’s
pleasures of bourbon and sin.

She’s soaked in summer,
spun in contradictions.

She’s a flame grabbing what
it wants, a tumultuous embrace.

She’s a thousand lips bruising
his skin.

She’s a back arching, guttural
moan.

She’s rhythm and release.

She’s as intrusive as a power
outage

She’s as frustrating as a
misstep.

She’s as elusive as spindrift
night.

She’s a woman set in his type,
born in ink, language spilling out.

She’s what he conjugates.
The artistry of his craft

-Tosha Michelle

The Absence of Sun

image

I try to nail sunlight

to paper.

Instead, I always

capture rain.

The light is so elusive.

It won’t even scribble

its initials on my

waterlogged pages.

The darkness is

never shy.

It always invites

itself in.

My pen has been

swimming in

its ocean for

quite some time.

I dive to bottom

of a well written sea.

The light remains

unread.

-Tosha Michelle

Dust

image

On lonely nights when
the moon
is absent from the sky,
and all
my distractions are spent.
The sky
so dark even the void feels
approachable.
The room as quiet as the
stars.
I dream about the past in
metaphors
It whispers to me in hushed
alliteration.
Bent close to the curve of
my ear.
Unfastening all its forgotten
secrets.
Dissolving inside of me. I
struggle to
find meaning in yesterday’s
lament.
When I awake the night’s
residue will
find its way to paper, to
text, that
you, my reader, will decipher.
My words carry dust.

-Tosha Michelle

NY Times Best Selling Author Sylvain Reynard on Poetry.

51tiFnq66BL._UX250_

NY Times Best Selling Author and my favorite enigma Sylvain Reynard was gracious enough to write a guest blog on poetry. If you aren’t familiar with Reynard’s books,you are missing out on riveting tales full of suffering, sex, love, faith, and redemption. You can find out more about SR and his work by going to http://sylvainreynard.com/ You can also find him in all his tweeting glory @sylvainreynard

This poet is a huge fan. You will be too.

Now I give you SR in his own words

_____________________________________________

Many people avoid poetry.

Poetry usually brings to mind limericks, or schoolyard sing-songs, or angst-driven blank verse. But The Iliad and The Odyssey are poems. Dante’s The Divine Comedy is a poem.

Poetry is extremely flexible as a genre and like other arts it contributes something important to the human experience. Poetry can be a thing of beauty and a medium for reflecting on profound and sometimes unsettling truths.

When I wrote The Gabriel Series, I was inspired by the poetry of Dante, hoping to introduce the beauty of his art to a wider audience. Dante is not very well known anymore and few people read him outside of school or university.

In my new Florentine Series, I was inspired by the poet Apuleius’s account of the love affair between Cupid and Psyche. Again, this is a poem that is not very well known and infrequently read.

You can read the tale by starting here: http://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/Latin/TheGoldenAssIV.htm#anchor_Toc347999726

Psyche was the youngest of three sisters and very beautiful. Her beauty was so great, it intimidated prospective suitors. Her older sisters quickly found husbands, while Psyche remained alone.

Her father feared that Psyche had been cursed by the gods and so he sought out an Oracle, who instructed him to deliver his daughter up to marry a great winged evil. In sorrow and despair, the father obeyed. Psyche went along with the Oracle’s instructions, proclaiming that her condemnation was the result of unbridled envy.

And then something surprising happened…

“…prompted by the sight of the evening star, Psyche retired to bed. Now, when night was well advanced, gentle whispers sounded in her ears, and all alone she feared for her virgin self, trembling and quivering, frightened most of what she knew nothing of. Her unknown husband had arrived and mounted the bed, and made Psyche his wife, departing swiftly before light fell. The servant-voices waiting in her chamber cared for the new bride no longer virgin. Things transpired thus for many a night, and through constant habit, as nature dictates, her new state accustomed her to its pleasures, and that sound of mysterious whispering consoled her solitude.”

Psyche was delivered up to someone, but far from treating her evilly, he treats her well. He gives her pleasure. He loves her body. But he only comes to her at night, so she has no idea who he is.

The oracle prophesied of a great winged evil, but her husband reveals himself as a tender, attentive lover, who truly cares for her. One evening, he speaks to her,

“Sweetest Psyche,” he said, “my dear wife, cruel Fortune threatens you with deadly danger, which I want you to guard against with utmost care. Your sisters think you dead and, troubled by this, they’ll soon come to the cliff-top. When they do, if you should chance to hear their lament, don’t answer or even look in their direction, or you’ll cause me the bitterest pain and bring utter ruin on yourself.”

Psyche subsequently is faced with a dilemma – should she trust her husband’s actions and how he treats her, or should she trust the judgments of her family and the Oracle.

Psyche knows what it is like to be judged on appearance alone, without regard to her character. Suitors shunned her, because she was thought to be too beautiful and too perfect – like a statue. In the poem, it looks as if she places all her trust in appearances as she strives to discover her husband’s identity, not trusting that his actions have revealed his true character.

But what would looking on his face reveal? Would it make his actions a lie? Psyche doesn’t stop to reflect on her husband’s nature. If he were truly monstrous, he’d treat her badly and not kindly. He loves her and brings her pleasure and she seems to enjoy his company, although she is plagued with doubt. Her doubt, however, reveals a fatal flaw in her character – she cannot trust her judgment of her husband based on his actions; she must judge him based on his appearances. This fatal flaw will be her undoing …

You can read the rest of the story through the link I posted above.

I deal with similar themes in “The Prince” and “The Raven,” and also the next book in the series “The Shadow.” The male and female leads find themselves in a situation where they end up having to trust one another’s characters rather than outward appearances. Indeed, the importance of having a good character is one of the themes of the novels, along with love, sex, hope, and redemption.

I welcome your comments on the myth of Cupid and Psyche and I hope that you will take time for beauty and poetry in your daily life. – SR