Friday, December 7, 2012

Help bring Stony Brook LGBTA members MJ, Colleen, and John to the National Conference for LGBT Equality: Creating Change in Atlanta, GA to put on an original workshop on Establishing Inclusivity in Campus Organizing.

Friday, November 9, 2012

[4/40] - Musings Before Winter

I fail at doing things every day. But I'm still going. Today's prompt is from Writers Digest.

Musings Before Winter

She’s been thinking about things that don’t need thinking
about -- like how sleep is a poor substitute for drinking,
how movies lie and love ceases to matter
when your ship is sinking, the water's rising--
no one survives, not the rat, not the adder,
not the bundled up or the gloveless
or the loveless. The weather's prising
everything out of your hands, your fingers clutching
numbly, sensation-less--the water's cold;
You've lost all feeling, you're growing old,
she misses you.
                          What's there to miss?
Your gasping throat, convulsing on a kiss.
Collarbones, fingers, the way you paused,
between 'my' and 'darling', as if considering
which word to use. The way your hands hooked into claws,
into her hair, into the sheets. The way you laughed
at others' scars, hiding your own. How jealously
we all protect our skin, how zealously
push others off the raft.
How desperately we all want to be seen
and loved and understood.
How she would like to do some good
before she dies. And how the sword is keen,
the word is sharp, and how the water's cold,
but battle's hot.
And how she'd love to fly south for the winter.  


Saturday, November 3, 2012

[3/30] - Untruths

Playing catch-up. Today is day 3, so here is the third poem. Prompt taken once more from Creative Writing Now. This one requires me to "Write a poem about yourself in which nothing is true."

This should be fun.

 A False Autobiography

My mother was a traveler,
A fairytale unraveler,
That noblest of professionals:
An archaeologist by trade.

She bore me out in Timbuktu
Or in the mountains of Peru
Or some such distant area...
I don't know where I was made.

She nursed me for a month or three
And then longed to be rid of me
So she gave me to a maiden aunt
Who'd always craved a child

Well as a mother, Brigit ruled
She was always stern, but never cruel
She let me do just as I pleased
So long as I didn't run wild

Aunt Brigit told me of my Mam
Who visited now and again
I thought her fond but distant
But Brigit was my mum.

For though I called her by her name
In my heart I would always proclaim
That Brigit loved and raised me
More than that other one

Still, when I grew to be a youth
I had to recognise the truth:
From my mother I'd inherited
A blazing wanderlust

I still loved Brigit and my home
But my destiny it was to roam
To long-abandoned distant lands
With not a soul to trust.

I kissed my mother-aunt goodbye
(And I'll admit, we both did cry)
Then left the house where I was raised,
not for the final time.

I said I'd be back in a year
After I'd seen the Golden Tear
and other ancient mysteries
in distant lands and climes

I'd tell you more, but I must go
I've only got an hour or so
Until my bus leaves for Tomé,
a town I've never seen

If I run into you again
I promise you I'll shake your hand
And tell you more about my life
And the places I have been.

'Til then, farewell, bon soir, adieu!
I hope I will run into you.
And share a drink with you again
And call you, lovely stranger, friend.

[2/30] - Fairytale

Yeah, I know. I failed this game instantly. But I'm still trying.

Today's prompt is from Creative Writing Now. I'm to write a poem from the perspective of a character in a fairytale.

Vasilisa's Doll Speaks

To be the embodiment of pure motherlove
For a girl who receives no other love
Is a more difficult task than it seems.

To do her work so often
And make her pillow soften
And send her sweeter dreams

To help her when she's in need
Is simple indeed
And to cleave to her

But I must think: how much is too much?
Which things require my touch
And which should I leave for her?

Impossible tasks are my purview,
All the things Baba Yaga asked her to do
But what of the tasks her stepmother set for her?

Sure, it's cruel to work all alone
Wearing her fingers to the bone
But will she be spoiled if I do all that for her?

All these things I thought
While doing as I ought
And gave her no sign

It's not to my credit, nor to her dad's
That she didn't grow up hateful or bad
And was always kind

For I was too generous by far
But I love her as the Earth loves its star
And how could I do less than my all?

In some ways she's my own child
I raised her and soothed her until she smiled
Though I am but a magical doll.

And it's well that I did
For if I hadn't, she'd be dead
And that would be a loss for all of Russia.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

[1/30] - Matches

So I've decided that I'm doing the 30 poems in 30 days challenge for November. I'm not doing NaNoWriMo because I don't currently have a novel inside me that wants to be written. I'm not sure I have thirty poems inside me either, but it's a poem a day, so why not.

I'll be getting prompts from the Internet by googling "poetry prompt". Today's prompt is from Writer's Digest, which tells me to write a "matches" poem. 


I bought a Bleeding Heart candle
to remind me of you
I've only lit it a few times
but it is pungent
It smells of geranium, blackcurrant, cedar
Not bleeding heart flowers at all
I lit it once in my dorm room,
the sudden flare of the match against the bare white wall
I breathed, silent, as the smoke curled upwards,
wary of the alarm.

My lighter has a camo design on it
I lit a twig with it
transferred the pale spark to some paper
watched it licking the bare dry wood
someone played a guitar
someone sang
I watched, absorbed in my creation
waiting for the pyramid to fall

Sometimes I smell campfires when I step out of my dorm room
It is only cold I smell
But my brain thinks the two go together
It's absurd
I've gone camping in the summer
But cold and fire go together
After the hurricane there was wood everywhere
I wanted to collect it, build it up into a bonfire
I wanted to steal the pine branches
Watch the needles become sparks and smoke and ash

I miss burning with desire sometimes,
watching my changeling heart writhe in the pit of my chest.
I miss being made reckless with longing
being changed by it
I don't think I'm done with changing
But maybe I'm done with burning
If I change again, it won't be on fire
I think I'll keep my lighter
and the candle
and maybe a book of matches, just in case.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Post-for-post 4: Limerence

Fourth entry to my post-for-post with my friend Patrick. I'll link to his post-for-post when he sends me a link to it. This one is a rewrite of my previous limerence acrostic, this time with the word spelled correctly:

Lurking somewhere under the surface
Is my deep certainty that the
Myth of being lost is just that.
Everyone falls eventually, as I am falling, I
Reach out, grasping with weak fingers, for you, for
Everything I ever wanted – the hard landing, I
Need the broken bones that come of shattering myself, of
Crashing against you. Your love is cliffs, towering; I know now, certain as anything: 
Eventually, everything falls silent.

—Puck Malamud
31/3/2012 18:39

For the record: I give up on formatting this blog forever. Sorry.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Post-for-post: Scalpels and Sibilants

Entry three of my post-for-post with my friend Patrick (link to come when he gives me his). This one's a creepygory love poem. Been a while since I've written one of these. <3

Scalpels and Sibilants

When I slice you open,
I will do it with neat lines; I have the scalpel ready
to peel away the layers of tissue and skin,
muscle and bone.
When I have you alone,
I will open you wherever you feel you are poor or thin.
I want to catalogue your every part,
cover over your scars with other, better scars.
Your eyes are jellyfish; your pupils, distant stars;
I want to taste the raw flesh of your heart.
You devastate me, deadlier even
than arson or arsenic,
than atom bombs or time;
I want to know what makes you tick,
dissect the clockwork of your brain;
I want to forget my handkerchief inside your spleen,
monogrammed with my initials, so there is something in you
that is mine and only mine.
How could you ever think that you are plain
or ordinary, when you are
permanently perched somewhere between
mundanely mad or maddening, obscene?
It is obscene how I've fixated
on whatever is in you,
your capillaries, sinews,
and anything that is vaguely related
to the anatomy of my affection;
I cannot pass the cooking section
in the supermarket without staring at the knives,
deciding which one to buy for you, only for you;
it will never touch food, unless you are food,
unless we eat the fabric of our very lives,
raw, red, and dripping from lip and tongue and tooth:
your flesh and mine will be the only truth.
and that,
my love,
cannot be understood.

--Puck Malamud
Fri, 16 March 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

Poem: Limerance

Entry 2 to my post for post with my friend, Patrick. His post can be found here. This one is a rough draft of a poem about limerance, which I actually am not feeling for anybody at the moment. Still it's a fun feeling, so I thought I'd write about it.


Lancing myself through the heart
It’s a silly game, as if
My heart is a ring, dancing in the wind.
Enjoying the gallop, are you? It’s a
Risk, but you like risking everything on the
Approach, stabbing at my heart at the last minute, you
Never miss, though. I can feel each pass, each
Centimetre of the ground you churn beneath your feet:
Everything about it feels like falling.

Hope you're all doing well!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Journey to Faded City (Work in Progress)

Entry 1 to the post-for-post with my friend Patrick: his post can be found here. This is the start of a short story that ties into my unfinished NaNoWriMo from 2007.

Journey to Faded City

“Down here,” hissed the ratfox and dove headfirst into the rocky hillside.

Soon stifled a cry of shock as her guide vanished, then crept closer. If she unfocused her eyes slightly, she could see, swimming in the rock before her, a tiny hole. She had grown used to such strangeness on her journey, but her senses still balked at recognizing it entirely. Still, the hole was clearly there and that was where the ratfox must have gone. She took off her pack and began to squeeze through. The rocks tore at her already ragged tunic and for a second the space was too narrow; the hard rock clamped down on her small, human body. She fought for breath; she could see nothing but she had to keep going down.

The tunnel entrance seemed to be alive, some malicious purpose clutching at her, squeezing the air out of her lungs and threatening to break her ribs. She would have cried out if there were any air to spare. Closing her eyes, she gave it one last squeeze. The pressure of the rocky tunnel vanished. She was through.

Gorki stood before her, his red eyes glowing in the dim light of the entranceway. “You made it,” he said, his voice a soft growl. “The passage doesn’t like humans much.”

“I gathered,” she said, after her breath had slowed. She didn’t have it in her to be cross at him for not warning her ahead of time, not after weeks on the road together. She shouldered her pack again. “Onward?”

“Onward,” he agreed. “Keep close to me. There are things in the tunnels that are not known in the daylight worlds and they are not all content to let us pass.”

He turned and plunged on. She followed close behind, letting the tip of his bushy tail brush against her chest. She could see nothing, but so long as she felt that soft touch, she knew she was on track. If she had been foolish, she would have been inclined to grab hold of it, to have a solid anchor between her fingertips; but she was not foolish, so she contented herself with that small reassurance that he would not abandon her in the tunnels below Argnot.

She did not know how long they walked, black tunnels giving way to more black. Every once in a while, she felt the cold air of an opening in the tunnel to her right or left, but Gorki plunged them unerringly onward. She could hear whispers in some of the other branches of the tunnels and they turned her spine to ice. Eventually, though, light began to filter into her vision, showing the grey on grey stone making up the roof and walls of the tunnel. When she could see everything clearly, albeit without colour yet, Gorki turned around and motioned for her to stop. She did, perplexed. This part of the tunnel looked no different from anything else they had walked through.

“Take this,” said the ratfox. In his open paw he held a small white capsule. Soon picked it up and raised her eyebrows at him. On its side, in a clear, institutional font was written
20 MG.

“Drugs?” she asked.

“Faded City is not only a place; it is a perception. You need to have the right filters to get there. If you don’t… I don’t know what you will see, but it won’t be Faded.” He paused. “Your perceptions are nearly right,” he said, once she’d nodded. “So I’m giving you the smallest doze.”

“What is it?”

“It’s a mind-altering drug made from the powdered bark of the tsokin tree,” Gorki said. His tone made it clear that he was humouring her and did not expect her to know what the drug was. “My people back home use it in a recreational capacity. Here, you can think of it as a slight adjustment. The only difference you will notice is that you can see Faded.”

Soon sighed and accepted the pill. She had not come this far to get squeamish now. Uncorking her waterskin, she popped the capsule into her mouth and drank it down. Then she recorked the skin. “And now?”

Gorki took off his own pack and sat down. “Now, we wait.”

“For what?”

“For it to kick in.”

Soon licked her lips nervously, but sat, her back against the cold stone of the tunnel. She leaned her head back and closed her eyes; there had not been much time to rest the past few days. She was glad of the chance to sit down.

After a moment, she opened her eyes again and dug in her pack for a piece of waybread. She chewed it for a bit, then washed it down with just a little more water from her waterskin. After that, she took down her waist-length hair from its bun and began brushing it. She was dimly aware that she had grown unused to having free time while on her journey. It was certainly nice to have a rest, but she kept trying to find ways to fill the time.

After some time (after she’d finished brushing her hair and put it back up in its severe braid), she noticed that she could see colour again. Her guide’s reddish fur with its golden highlights became clear and her own skin no longer looked grey-white in the half light. The walls of the tunnel, too, were not simply grey-on-grey; another look revealed many earthen shades among the rock.

“Has it grown lighter?” she wondered aloud.

“You’re seeing colour?” Gorki asked.

“Yeah,” Soon said. “But I haven’t seen the light grow.”

“It means the pill has worked. We are very near the border now and that affects things.” He leapt lightly to his hind legs, grabbing his rucksack as he did so. “Time to go.”

Soon rose, massaging her tired thighs as she did so. “Great,” she said, her voice warm. She was nearly there.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Little Rain

This is a poem from a few months ago. Not the most, uh, cheerful of works, so perhaps not appropriate to a New Year, but I'm sure you will forgive me.

"A Little Rain"

She peeks through a chink in the stone wall—
The garden looks desiccated and dry.
Her handmaidens continually weep and sigh.
‘Perhaps tonight a little rain will fall,’

She says and glances at the sky.
It remains the same cloudless, oppressive blue.
The sun is warm; it bleaches every hue
and sucks the moisture out of passersby.

Thus, my life, robbed as it is of you:
Day after cheerful, endless, depressing day
My tongue is dry as cotton and cannot say—

I know not what. What words could end this drought?