Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Song of the Week: S & M

Okay, so, as a feminist, I really don't know how to feel about this song or Rihanna in general, but as a novice switch and a lover of a good dance beat, I really can't resist.

The official video is worth looking at, but it gave me space issues, so I'm going with lyrics. I may be bad, but I'm kind of okay at it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Motivation Mondays: After the Storm (for a friend who's moving away)

Today’s post is dedicated to a friend who’s really sad and scared to be moving out of town. I guess a hurricane metaphor might not be the most comforting, but I work with what I’ve got.

I’m not usually scared of storms, and at first, I wasn’t scared of this one. Mostly I was just glad that I’d have a chance to spend some extra time catching up with Amy and catching up on my library books. But that night, she put on the news and I shouldn’t have watched. What could be more end-of-the worldy than a hurricane heading for Manhattan. And oh, the tornado maps—when they started to show the names of towns my friends live in, I really got scared. There was so much chaos an absolutely nothing I could do about it. So, after Amy put masking tape Xes over all the windows, I went to sleep, praying in the primeval way that you do, when it’s the only thing you can do. To my surprise, I slept, and when I woke up, it was clear that the storm had passed.

So, my dear worried friend, I want to take this opportunity to celebrate those connections that made me scared in the hurricane, all of the people we love all over the place. And I wish for you more than anything that feeling, when the sun comes up and there’s still a light drizzle, but you know you’re safe and home.

Don’t forget, too, that you’ll have yourself with you, and all of the resources that entails. You’ll know exactly what to do.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Love Poems: Wonder Dave!

Inventing a Lover
after Meghan O’Rourke’s Inventing a Horse

Inventing a Lover is not easy
One must not only think of the person
One must think of interactions; dinner, movies, conversation
One must include a bed suitable for lovers to sleep in

or sleep in with a human like you
You must imagine his body heat next to yours;
smell breakfast cooking when half the bed is empty
accustom yourself to the confines of a duet

holding in mind even when you are tired
promises, reactions, vows and
One must imagine the grief from him being absent

One must build someone not frightened by your flaws
or the cracking of your toes each morning
who understands the times you are being timid
versus the times your patience has grown thin with silence

One must imagine the absence of money
carrying another person through such a thing, the living weight
of his feet on the cold bathroom floor
stray bits of shaved stubble since he is real therefore inconvenient

and sometimes tired after climax
sweat on his brow the thick smell of sex humid in the air
one must imagine love
in the mind that does not know love

an alien mind, a love that does not depend
on your image
or your understanding;
indifferent to all that you lack

Build a home
complete with a fogged up bathroom mirror
scents you have yet to soak into your skin
and a pile of crumpled sheets on the bed

Wonder Dave is a writer and performer from Minneapolis MN currently residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. He's been on multiple slam teams in both regions and was recently on the National Poetry Slam semi-finalist Berkeley Slam Team. Dave's poems have been published in Assaracus, The Orange Room Review, Shit Creek review, The Legendary and more. He's toured the country performing in schools, theatres, burlesque shows, open mics, poetry slams and once on the center lanes of a bowling alley. You can find him several places online most notablyhttp://wonderdavelive.tumblr.com , youtube.com/MrWonderdave, and www.wonderdave.net

Poetic License Horoscopes for August 26-Sept 1

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): Happy birthday month Virgo! In the coming year, you’ll have all the mixed CDs, publication credits, nice walks, and kisses that you ever wanted. Rest up now, ‘cause it’s all coming.

Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): At long last, you’ve fallen in love with yourself. Hooray! Don’t let all the new relationship energy tempt you into isolation, though. Send out pretty threads of communication every so often, so the rest of the world won’t miss you too much.

Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): “The heart is generous and capacious. The heart is far-reaching and all-inclusive. The heart can contain far-flung loves.”(Julia Cameron) Test the limits of your heart this week, Scorpio. See how many new kinds of affection you can discover, how many new relationship statuses you can invent.

Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): “And poetry, her ally in the service of the good. / As late as yesterday Nature celebrated their birth,/ The news was brought to the mountains by a unicorn and an echo./ Their friendship will be glorious, their time has no limit./ Their enemies have delivered themselves to destruction.” (Czeslav Milosz, Incantation) Every blessing on your adventures, dear Sagittarius.

Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): “The next time that someone tries to tell you that grammar isn’t glamorous, you can point out that grammar is a corrupt form of glamour. In the middle ages, grammar tended to mean learning in general, which to unlearned folk included the occult. By way of Scottish, the supposed magic-spell aspect of scholarship became glamour, as in, “cast the glamour over her.” (Roy Blount Jr.)

Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): You are as generous as a kissing booth, sweet as a new bluebird tattoo, encouraging as a fortune cookie, lighthearted as party shoes. Thank you.

Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): In Ready Player One, as IRL, characters use avatar design as a way of overcoming the limitations places on them by oppression, prejudice, and, well, gravity, but also to hide parts of themselves that they don’t like. My dear Pisces, if you could design yourself as anything, make it exactly what you are, which is beautiful.

Aries (March 21-April 18): “I’m not unfaithful but I’ll stray.” (Tegan and Sara, Back in Your Head) Stick with the ones who love you for it, darling, and tell everyone else to fuck off. Fifty points for every brave and honest snuggle, and redeem your points for absolutely every prize.

Taurus (April 19-May 18): Check your calendar for parties that celebrate love poems, or just poems, or just love. RSVP yes and be rewarded with cupcakes, overdue hugs, dancing, and other nice treats.

Gemini (May 19-June 21): Please Google “Ok Go and the Muppets” and delight in what you find there. I can’t think of any better happiness advice.

Cancer (June 22-July 23): “I will come to you/ when you step outside/ into the breathing world/ where it just rained.” (Daniel McGinn) No matter what hurricane weekend is ahead of you, batten yourself in with your library books until it eases up, then go inhale your enlightenment.

Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): I have been asking my wife to take a proper lunch at work for nearly a decade but she always eats at her desk, with customers still bugging her. So imagine my surprise this week, when she wished for a real lunch break. Sit outside with her, looking at the sky or Scrabble. Eat in peace.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Motivation Mondays: Ten Things I Loved About Summer Camp

Okay, so even though I have three hours of homework ahead of me today, I still feel pretty giddy with spare time because summer art camp ended on Friday. Here are some things I’m so glad I got to experience:

  1. The unofficial theme song of camp was “Firework”—this may or may not have been my fault. We sang it on the bus, cut it up to make poems out of, played it for the camp-wide dance contest, but my favorite is when I overheard kids just absentmindedly singing it while they ate their lunch or worked on arts and crafts.

Firework, by Jacob, Bunk 2
(From cutting and pasting the lyrics to Katy Perry’s Firework and adding his own)

Awe, awe, awe feel like a start-art-art the
4th of July-y-y, Oh, oh, oh the night
sky-y-y don’t just look like your own
self, waste to space-ace-ace
you have a min to-oo-oo
blast off.

  1. The camp play was in three parts and my older campers wrote interstitials to expand upon the lessons of the play. They even created their own characters. My favorite was Skipper, who was part Lady Gaga, part Rainbow Bright and part, well, me:

(sung to a vaguely hip-hop beat)
In case you didn’t know,
my name is Skipper.
It’s bad to be rude,
and it’s good to be chipper,
so keep yourself in a real good mood.

It’s bad to be unpositive,
and good to be happy,
sassy and snappy.

And if you are tired,
you need to take a nappy,
‘cause I ain’t got time
for no negative Nancy. NO! (Word.)

  1. Texting all the adorable things that the kids said to an adorable snuggle friend of mine. Thanks for the extra company, pal.

4. The unexpected bonds that got formed with my fellow camp counselors and specialists. (Dear Stage Right, I miss you already. Love, Stage Left.)

  1. Oh yeah so, when I volunteered to be the backstage person for stage left, I kinda forgot that I maybe have mild PTSD and a fear of enclosed spaces and being voiceless. It was hard to get through all those many hours of rehearsals, sitting back there in an enclosed area unable to speak above a whisper, but I did it, without so much as a panic attack or tears. That feels like a huge accomplishment.

  1. The play itself. Although I probably won’t forget the cues that got missed, I’ll also never forget how proud I was of the kids. I saved the last two pages of the script so that I could remember the happy dance we did backstage during the final curtain call.

  1. The parent who told me that my favorite (shy) student had really come out of his shell this summer.

  1. Making a whirlpool in the swimming pool. No one could stop themselves from smiling.

  1. Writing Apples to Apples poems in poetry class. You just play Apples to Apples and then take all the words and put them into poems. It is the greatest thing ever.

  1. And of course, most importantly, getting so attached to all the kids. I’m glad to be getting some grown-up time, but I’ll be a little bit lonely until I start back at the library in September.
The kids didn't sound like this, but still:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Check the List! Friday Love Poems Anthology! People You Love.

  1. Morning Under Water by Courtney Bambrick
  2. Summer Smile by Peter Baroth
  3. The Roomie is a Rayleigh Scattering by Sean Battle
  4. Untitled by John Beck
  5. Spin Cycle by Tara Betts
  6. Old Love by Tony Brown
  7. For Those About to Plan Weddings, We Salute You by Jane Cassady
  8. The Silver Church by Lillian Dunn
  9. Foreign Particles by Dan Elman
  10. Rock and Roll Moon by Jennifer Gigantino
  11. In the Rooms of Evening by Teresa Gilman
  12. Impact by Kevin Hageman
  13. An American Love Song by Victor D. Infante
  14. Descent by Warren Longmire
  15. I love science. I love science. I love science. I love science. by Shannon Maney-Magnuson 
  16. A Desperate Stonewall Love Poem for Nikki G by J Mase III
  17. When The Gardner Loved Houdini by Amanda Mathews and Andy Bowen
  18. Host Like by Bonnie MacAllister
  19. Page of Rods: road song by Marty McConnell
  20. A Study in Sparkly Vampire/Werewolf Geometry by Hannah McDonald
  21. Tasty Grapes by Daniel McGinn
  22. Last Love by Rachel McKibbens
  23. Sentence Structure: A Love Poem by Curtis X. Meyer
  24. Ode to My Morning Cup of Coffee by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz
  25. On Taking a Lover by Shappy Seasholtz
  26. No Big Secret by Elliott D. Smith
  27. Immodest Proposal by Rob Sturma
Everyone is invited to come celebrate the book September 3rd. If you're far away, skype in! 

Since we're selling the books as a benefit for The Attic Youth Center, we're going to do 5$ for contributors, 10$ for supporters. Amy'll have a paypal link up soon.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Friday Love Poems: Lillian Dunn!

The Silver Church

We're on our way to the silver church, although we don't know it yet.
Just that we're lost, three days past the city's spangled ashcan skirts,

past the midnight arrival at my friends' cabin, bride-like in its dark field, where my friends
aren't yours. Past your first morning sulk, and my deepest desire to knock coffee on your jeans.

Past our belief that we're always better when we're on the road, that we just need to find
that lake - remember? - dotting our minds’ map. Past the bottle sleeping broken

in the weed-feathered water, your bandaged foot pressing gas onwards to somewhere else
we've never seen each other. Past all of that, and now lost in some flat green Canadian

nowhere. My mistake, and no Americana to guide us, just St. Hubert the giddy chicken
and his drive-through smile. In two more wrong turns, we'll see it

above the village roofs and grasping antennae, it will fill our eyes like a glorious mistake:
a small church, pure in the sun, fat and shining like a great fish swimming to heaven.

We won't argue about the way to Quebec. You'll just turn the wheel until it's before us.
Our knees will shake up stone steps. We'll lay our hands on the resplendent walls.

They are wrapped in hammered tin, warm with a day's sun. The old priest won't speak English,
but he'll let us in. We'll rest inside its stonework ribcage, breathing in old prayers;  

they'll taste like spice and paper, like all those prayed in other churches. The cross will stop
at the same stations. Politely, we'll thank the old man. When we close the vast doors behind us,

we'll wear the reflected heat of splendor on our shoulders. We'll drive away,
quiet through the clean little village, hearts sated with surprise.

But we're not there yet. You are still neat and silent, furious in the driver's seat.
I am searching in the map, waiting for my eyes to fall to the place

where I never wonder if I love you. Where you are ancient and beautiful. A gleam
on the skyline, your doors locked, the priest's hand on the key.

8th and Dickinson
I love this geometric valley like it means something.

I take comfort in the shelter of my neighbors’ roofs, strewn with leaves and t-shirts
beached in firework hours.
I love the one white door, three stories up, that opens onto nothing. Handle and everything.
           Like the sky is another room but the walls are our noises and our ratty moon
           the ceiling bulb.

At night I wash dishes when everyone else washes dishes and we all ignore each other in our
          illuminated train cars, racketing through time at varying altitudes.

Calls from the hills. My neighbor circles her concrete patio, screaming inconsolably into her
        telephone. The teenage guitarist plays backup. They’re meant for each other. The same
        floating four-bar riff for days.

Once I heard a family violently fighting and then I stuck my head out my window and saw the
        ball flying through the air and they were playing a game and laughing so hard it sounded
        like they were killing each other.

God, the impossible flotsam these people leave in their yards. Live chickens and pots of kale;
a translucent umbrella, failed chrysalis; the scarlet nightgown; the Big Wheel;
the beach chair.

I admit the last item is mine. It is purple and green and sags in the middle, but if you’re drunk in
           summer you might not even notice, especially if down the valley the anonymous guitarist
           finally plays the whole goddamn song. 

Poetic License Horoscopes for August 19-25

Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): It’s a nice rainy day with nothing to do, so take advantage of it: perfect your snuggling, read a nice pop culture novel, enjoy hours of napping and drooling on your sweetheart’s arm or on your own sweet pillow. Bonus points if a cat falls asleep on you.

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): If there’s something glitchy in your brain, telling you your projects will never be finished and that the end of a hard work week will never come, remember—fruition is coming like a carnival themed birthday party in a polyamorous house. Get out your tiara and be ready to wear it and dance.

Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): If the webs of connection are getting too much, even for the merely constellation-adjacent, or the bank book is haunting you, or rooms full of people make you fizz with anxiety, just remember your limits. Slow down, dear, and talk to just one person at a time, maybe to someone with a little twinkle of religion, if you like that sort of thing.

Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): You’d be surprised by how much pressure a few tears would relieve—let down your guard, admit something you’ve put off admitting, then wipe your pretty eyes, blow your nose, and go on to your next adventure.

Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): To the nice Sagittarius worried over the mean girl activities at work, here is your mantra: “I. Am. Not. In. High school.” Repeat this again and again to yourself, and remember you are grown and safe.

Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): If you quiet your brain a moment, hiking plans will bubble up, or math problem solutions, or a conclusion to the academic paper you’ve been struggling with. All you have to do is stop for a minute.

Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): I have this theory that the entire Weeds series is about the perils of avoiding grief. Nancy embarks on her path of danger as a way to squelch her feelings, and this is very interesting in a TV series, but not so good in real life. Feel the grief or undo the loss, and watch that no innocent bystanders are harmed.

Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): “I am that great and fiery force sparking in everything that lives.” (Hildegard of Bingen) Everyone knows what’s behind your shining face. They remember you better than their two-letter Scrabble words, or all the dialogue from Stand By Me, or the words to their favorite teenage radio hits. You are loved and memorized, my friend.

Aries (March 21-April 18): Though rehearsing this song at summer camp might make me hate it forever, I know you like it, so here: “Like a comet pulled from orbit/ As it passes a sun/ Like a stream that meets a boulder/Halfway through the woodBecause I knew you/ I have been changed for good.” (From Wicked.) I hope this song will someday be out of my head, but you can stay there.

Taurus (April 19-May 18): It’s okay to live in a postcard sometimes, or even in a romance novel, or in the illustration on a box of herbal tea. You are safe and happy, bright as sunsets, easy as waves.

Gemini (May 19-June 21): You have everything you need for fall: nice friends, a new school-year calendar, visits from poets planned. Pack up your summer sunbeams and beach fantasies and get ready for some practical fun.

Cancer (June 22-July 23): You’re writing EVERYTHING these days, long scarves of poetry that blesses ears all over the place, filling us with cotton warmth and candy heartbeats, We’re thrumming to your lists of questions, adding our own, and waiting patiently to hear more.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Two More Songs of The Week: Roll Away Your Stone, For Good

These songs are really different from each other expect that they are both awesome at helping me plow through the rest of the semester/ the end of camp.

BTW, wish my dear dear dear kids luck (or, I guess, break a leg) for their performance of Wicked and some other things, (including some parts they wrote for themselves!) tomorrow night and Thursday night. God willing, I'll make it home in time for Project Runway.

Song of The Week: A Better Son/Daughter

Over the weekend, I dreaded this week and thought it might never be over. But I'm feeling (knock wood) like I just might make it. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Motivation Mondays: Birthday Party Invitation!

Hi loves! At this very moment, Turtle Ink Press, AKA Amy, is choosing which love poems will be in The Serotonin Factory's Friday Love Poems Anthology. I guarantee it's a lot of people you like. On September 3rd, at 8 pm, whether you've submitted or not, you are invited to celebrate love poems, yourself, and my birthday. The books will be on sale for 7$ and all proceeds will be donated to The Attic GLBT Youth Center:http://www.atticyouthcente​r.org/

Faraway contributors are invited to read to the party via skype. I love you and I love love, so come! The reading will be followed by dancing. BYO whatever.

And remember! I'm always taking submissions for Friday Love Poems!http://theserotoninfactory​.blogspot.com/2010/12/call​-for-submissions-friday-lo​ve-poems.html

The party'll be at my apartment, so I won't post the address, but you can email me at serotoninfactory@gmail.com for info.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Friday Love Poems: Rob Sturma!

Immodest Proposal.

I am the world's worst fisherman.
I have the subtlety of a slam poet
when it comes to asking for validation.
All I can do is extend metaphors so membrane thin
they threaten to snap in the sunlight .
Or become a Hallmark card dump bin, 
spouting pockets of glum like 
"It's a frowny day in Sadsville"
with the finesse of a kid who has had 
his shoelaces tied together.
So I when I ask you to tell me you love me,
it's not because I didn't believe you the first time.

It's because when you say it,
it sounds like six-string sunbeam.
When you hold me,
I am a permission slip to exhale.
I'm not searching for cherry lipstick
sparkle valentine baby animal cuddle beams.
Just maybe a sneak preview of
the matinee of your palm.
Maybe a note passed back across the classroom
scrawled with HECK YES.
I'm the simplest sucker.
Straight up and spun sugar.
This is a pixy stick-up.
Love tag, sweetest.
You're definitely

ROB STURMA used to be called “Ratpack Slim” when he ran around Los Angeles doing performance poetry and slam, where he ran the seminal LA open mic Green (from 2003-2007) with superstar selector DJ Jedi and beatboxer Joshua Silverstein.  Now they call him Rob Sturma again, especially while promoting his newish book of poems, Miles of Hallelujah, by Write Bloody Publishing.  He now rests his head on the red dirt of Oklahoma City, where he is the co-director of Oklahoma Young Writers' Collective, half of the USB Boys on Geekweek.com,  curator of Extreme Championship Poetry, forever writing, maintaining the website robsturma.com, and in editing the upcoming zombie anthology Aim For The Head, getting more prepared for the impending zombie apocalypse than you are.  

Poetic License Horoscopes for August 12-18

Poetic License Horoscopes for August 12-18

Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): To the very best Leo in the whole wide world, my lovely wife Amy: you are a bounteous harvest of tomatoes, all-day morning glories, and so very much time watching television shows about cooking. I love you.

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): Should you find yourself backstage at the rehearsals of a little kids’ production of Wicked, don’t get demoralized by these lyrics: “The good man scorns the wicked! / Through their lives, our children learn/ What we miss, when we misbehave.” You may be spending your days shushing and prompting, but on your own time, you can misbehave all you want, and still be a beloved character.

Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): If you ever feel too truthful, remember Ice 9 from Cat’s Cradle, the way, once it touches water, it freezes every interconnected waterway, every little rivulet, and ends the world. Lies are like that, elaborate and deadly, so cough up the truth or freeze.

Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): Look everyone in the face and smile. Wake up early and walk along the creek, saying hello to every dog-walker and birdwatcher along the way. Branch yourself out as quietly and gently as the leaves.

Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): You are the order here, the stage manager—we need you to not just work the lights and run the lines, but know all of our cues. They’ll follow you like a spotlight. You’ll make a whole emerald city just by putting green plastic on the lights—remember, you’re magic, my friend.

Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): You are an old-timey magician, perpetually pulling flowers out of your coat, waving endless strands of bright handkerchiefs, letting doves emerge from the flash paper in your hands, Everything else is just misdirection.

Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): Is it just me, or did the orange dress that got lambasted on Project Runway last week seem like it belonged to last year’s ugly winning collection, “Walking Through Thunder”? Maybe this is the judges’ way of saying they’re sorry? I still hope they can somehow make it up to Mondo.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): As you sell off treasures to prepare for your new life, remember everything you’re keeping: four tons of books, the dachshund figurines soon to be joined by real doggies, and all of your secret and persistent wedding and family plans.
Aries (March 21-April 18): “Oh man is a giddy thing
/ Love it will not betray you/ Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free/ Be more like the man you were made to be/ There is a design, an alignment, a cry/ Of my heart to see, / The beauty of love as it was made to be” (Mumford and Sons, Sigh No More)

Taurus (April 19-May 18): “It's millenium three, we collared and cuffed
/ It's a world conversation, I'm hollerin' stuff / Like we done wallowed in muck, and squalorin' up/ Who's the culprit, follow the buck, I'm just followin' up/ 'Cause like me, you gots to be in the middle of it/ Unravellin' the riddle of it” (The Coup, Laugh, Love F*ck)

Gemini (May 19-June 21): Your garden is full of the most happiness, a bounty of tomatoes and relaxing chairs. Take some time out to sit, then harvest, then sit, then harvest—your baskets are overflowing and the colors are soso bright.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): Just as with Silas’s strain of plants on Weeds, someone’s been saving your seeds, and they’re actually flourishing, waiting for you somewhere in the northern woods, albeit heavily booby-trapped. Tread lightly, but go ahead and harvest your creation.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Song of the Week: Laugh, Love, F*ck

I wanted a song that's the opposite of summer camp and teacher classes. I feel freer already.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Motivation Mondays: Be Like Kieran and Shae!

This year's family camping trip got cut short on account of rain, but not until these two were kind enough to write this week's column for me. I don't see what I could add...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Cute Camp Kid Art!

This week at camp, in preparation for our trip to the art museum, all of the kids wrote poems about what it would be like to live in a painting. The tiny kids drew their own versions of the paintings and wrote their poem as a group.

The next two weeks are gonna be kind of a slog, mostly rehearsals for their musical production, but the art museum trip was one of the happiest days of ever.

Triads and Quadrangles: Poly on Weeds

“You two fuck. I’ll make eggs.” –Andy’s girlfriend’s husband on Weeds

For a few episodes this season, Andy, the most endearing character on Weeds, finds  himself involved in a polyamorous relationship with a conceptual artist whose husband is dying of cancer. Aside from some homophobic anxieties about sharing the bed with the husband, it’s a pretty lovable relationship.

Although I don’t know too many couples wherein the husband would sit in the bed reading The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake while his wife and her boyfriend are doing it, but it was a pretty touching scene.

I was sad to see the relationship end so quick—it’s nice to see us showing up in pop culture a little.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Friday Love Poem: Sean Battle!

The Roomie is a Rayleigh Scattering

At night the blue light is released from air molecules
scattering like red and yellow brethren,  on standby
after sunset duty, till the sun is ready again to be roomie's
red hair and sculpted waist, warming blood up to heat
of TV dinners fresh out microwaves set for two minutes,
cooking as if set for four, their paper plates now folded up
like a bad boyfriend huddled in corners cause he couldn't
handle what she bought with her, as she shuts the front door

on the world. Any tirade you're blessed to hear,
she's right about everything, no matter how hard
the horns stiffen as Devil's Advocate is played.
By the time she is done cursing out shadows, still
careful to leave out damaging material able to creep
under your uncut fingernails, or camouflage in curls
you never wash, you concede she is right about
every dumb bitch she goes off on.

Seen by the lesser as her invoking phoniness,
she's really practicing the very tolerance
you've come to compress all admiration
beyond friendship for. Can't call it brother
and sisterhood, but there's enough to say

she's that two liter soda bottle you regret starting
and finishing yourself, that  time in the house
which could've been spent on streets like cops
on the beat, resume cocked, ready to investigate
all Help Wanted signs. Instead, you chose to look
out into the aerial azure, waiting for red to peep
through in twilight, or red to come through the door,

unknowing she is what particles un-cuff
for the day, blessing eyes with red hair
and spine with yellow consciousness,
slowing down true want's for friendship
un-savable when lost, as she brightens shadows
hiding in you till their shift in the sky begins.

Born in Camden, NJ, Sean Battle is the combination of an ambitious
mother and WWE Pay-Per Views. He is an MFA Graduate student for poetry
at Rutgers-Newark, and received his BA in English at Rutgers-New
Brunswick, where he was President and Open Mic Co-host of the Verbal
Mayhem Poetry Collective. Battle has released one chapbook, MID-CARDER
(self-published, 2011) and is working on a full-length poetry
collection. Poems have been published in nerissairving.com, Objet d
Art ,The College Journal, Borderline, Radius: Poetry from the Center
of the Edge, OVS Magazine, The Legendary, and the forthcoming
anthology Bop, Strut and Dance: a Post-Blues Form for New Generations,
and have been written and performed for the Raices Cultural Center
production, Spirit of the Drum: History and Evolution of a Caribbean
tradition. He lives in Voorhees, NJ. Learn more at

Poetic License Horoscopes for Aug 5-11 (and lots of fireworks!)

Poetic License Horoscopes for August 5-11

Pardon us if this is too many fireworks. The stars are celebrating.

Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): You are a perfect beach day, with warm, gentle water, lacy seaweed, blush-inducing sun, and long long swaths of reading time. You deserve your sweet rest.

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): However loving you are, you’ve been known to envy your pretty sisters, especially their first place ribbons and neat merit badges. From this week on, your ice cream cone will be the exact same size, with exactly the same number of sprinkles. And when it isn’t, you’ll know enough to just laugh and send flowers.

Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): Take a nice break and Tetris your life into place. Turn the falling blocks the right way ‘round and move them as deliberately as you can.  This is a week of peaceful building and cheerful music.

Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): It may be time to rethink your “It’s Complicated” status. Sometimes, it just isn’t.

Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): Your boldness will be rewarded in some lavishly practical way this week, so keep pushing. Send clear and impassioned propositions, pack your things for a fruitful city, or just throw some things out to make room for something delightful.

Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): I like to imagine you on your adventures, Capricorn/unicorn, especially up on stages, under northeastern lights. They’re listening until their ears sprout flowers, until they want to mail you their children, until everyone who hears you is yours forever.

Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19) Last week on Weeds, my favorite non-Andy character returned. Be prepared to open the door to an equally riveting friend who might be a supplier of quips, or sparks, or anything else you might have the urge for.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): At summer camp this week we had a dance party, and that’s you—65 little children dancing their butts off to the Glee cast version of Firework, singing every word  until everyone’s ears are ringing with optimism, or just ringing. “Make ‘em go oh! oh! oh! as you shoot across the sky-y-y!”

Aries (March 21-April 18): Should you find yourself tangled in an avalanche of snuggles this week (and I think you will) breathe in enough love for the coming year. Hang on as tight as you can, dear, but do us a favor and don’t forget about the stars.

Taurus (April 19-May 18): At camp, we sometimes sing this chant: “Build the wall, build build the wall. Break the wall, break break the wall. Kick the wall, kick kick the wall. Whatever structures you’re given, whatever restrictions, remember that they are yours to festively dismantle, over and over and over again.

Gemini (May 19-June 21): Look up the Rube Goldberg machine version of Ok Go’s This Too Shall Pass video. Think about the beautiful chain reactions that conspired to get you here, and than each domino, balloon-pop, and paint-splatter wholeheartedly and by hand.

Cancer (June 22-July 23): So it’s storming on the lake/ Little waves our bodies break/ There’s a fire going out,/ But there’s really nothing to the south / Swollen orange and light let through/ Your one piece swimmer stuck to you.” (Bon Iver, Calgary)

OMG I'm Getting a Book!

Last Thursday I got home from a loooong field trip day at camp (dinner theater with kids: really fun, until it isn't.) to find a message on my voicemail from the wonderful Bryan Borland. When I called back he said "There's a problem with your manuscript." and I was all, "Ooookay, maybe I can fix it..." and he said "It doesn't have a Sibling Rivalry Press logo on it." And then he said all those things a writer always wants to hear, including that my poems "Touched him inappropriately." That right there tells you me and this press were destined to each other.

Because the entire process so far has been as charming as the above paragraph, I highly recommend submitting to them, either through the manuscript call next year  or to their journal of gay poetry, which is really fun to say: Assaracus. (They have a reading period coming up in September.

So very many thanks to Bryan and congratulations to my new friends/ siblings: Virginia Bell, Matthew Hittinger, and Brad Richard.

Of course I'm sheepish for so recently expended a lot of blog space on the fear that this book would never be accepted anywhere and trying not to envy my friends' successes--than goodness they were patient with me and now we can all be celebrating together.

So I sent my contract in, and a mix CD with it. This is really real and I am so, so grateful, and relieved, and delighted. This is my dearest dream, y'all. Enjoy these celebratory fireworks!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Song of the Week: I Am Not a Robot

This one's been like a fluffy pillow to my heart all summer. Another song of the week from the permanent-repeat mix that my friend Connor made at the beginning of the summer.

Triads and Quadrangles: Huh!

Raven Kalera, a sexpert guest on the back-episode of Polyamory Weekly that I was listening to on the way home from work, said something like this: "Submissives like to know exactly what's going on in a relationship, or they get very anxious." Oh. Maybe that explains some of my recent running away from guy friends in bars. Thank goodness I don't have to blame the whiskey.

Listening to the podcast is about all the poly that I'm going to be able to do for the next few weeks or so. I realized that I've really been trying to prove something to myself lately, that guys can love me, that I can get over so-and-so, that I can keep up with my less shy/ more casual friends. Trying to prove something is a terrible reason to try and get close to anyone, so I need to take care of myself until the irksome desperation can be overcome.

Also, "pretty ribbon handcuffs" is a fun thing to Google, especially when one is about to sit down to a zillion hours of homework.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Motivation Mondays: Call for Submissions!

Hi! Yesterday I was too busy having a perfect beach day with sweetie to think much about motivation, so I
am reposting this call for submissions. Your turn to motivate me!

***Amy hasn't started going through the poems for the Friday Love Poems Anthology--she says there's still time to squeak in!****

Since I’ll be ridiculously busy this summer with teacher certification courses and arts camp, I thought I’d ask my brilliant friends for a little help. Here are the regular features you can contribute to:

I’m always taking submissions for Friday Love Poems, and there are a few slots open to get in before the end of July and make it into the print anthology!http://theserotoninfactory.blogspot.com/2011/05/save-date-friday-love-poems-anthology.html

And you can send prose, poetry, playlists, regular lists, videos, photos, etc for these two things:

Motivation Mondays: What keeps you writing? What are some lessons you’ve learned that might help other creative types move themselves forward? What songs are on your workout mix? Anything that gets the week started on a positive note is welcome.

Triads and Quadrangles: Is a silly-but-also-hopefully-helpful research project seeking positive images and stories of polyamory. Feel free to use a cute pseudonym if you’d like to tell your multiperson story anonymously.

Email your submissions, along with a short bio and a picture, toserotoninfactory@gmail.com.

Can’t wait to hear from you! Happy summer.