College Works

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College Works

Post by Buzzwulf on Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:32 pm

In more than one way. sorry, I had to get that little joke out of my system. Anyway, as I may have mentioned to some of you, I am currently taking a creative writing course in college, being lucky enough to have some money saved up and being part of the privileged few that really don't have to worry about it disappearing anytime soon.

I figured that I might take a little bit of time and share what I learn throughout the course with all of you, as I know that you're just as interested about this stuff as I am. Frankly, I'm more than a little excited about the work I've been putting out so far, as I think a lot of it is far more personal and striking than what I usually write here. I'll also put some of the tips from the textbook down that I find personally helpful, and I hope you do too!

I'll share my writing, and would certainly welcome any comments and criticism. After all, I do have to hand this stuff in, and it is for a grade Very Happy

right now, the class is concentrating on poems, though we're going to move into creative non-fiction in a little while. I'll share that once we get to it, but for now, I have some short poems and maybe an activity or two for anyone interested.
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Re: College Works

Post by Buzzwulf on Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:45 pm


I am from citrus
From Pepsi and high-fructose corn syrup
I am from the cherry blossoms
Floating on a warm spring breeze
I am from the fuchsia on the doorstep
From the musty earth of the onion patch

I am from bread and solitude
From Todd and Jill and Marge
I am from guitar strings humming
And faith covered in cobwebs
From bundles of love and pillow fights
And miracles torn up by the roots

I’m from Bellevue and Chicago, the old clans
Steak and stale beer
From the purple mountains and the slide
The polio ward and the basement
Sweat and music bouncing from concrete walls

I am from the bookshelves
Sleeves of old memories in dusty books
Left alone, but never forgotten.

Make your own! It's fun!

Where I'm From

I am from _________(specific ordinary item), from __________(product name) and __________.

I am from the ___________(home description... adjective, adjective, sensory detail)

I am from the __________(plant, flower, natural item), the __________ (plant, flower, natural detail).

I am from _________ (family tradition) and __________(family trait), from ______(name of family member) and ________(another family member) and _______(family name).

I am from the ________(description of family tendency) and __________ (another one).
From ___________(something you were told as a child) and (another).

I am from (representation of religion, or lack of it). further description.

I'm from ___________(birth place and family ancestry, ___________(two food items representing your family).

From the ___________ (specific family story about a specific person or detail), the _________ (another detail), and the ___________ (another detail about another family member).

I am from __________ (location of family pictures, mementos, archives and several more lines indicating their worth.

Any credit for this stuff goes directly to Theresa Martin, my creative writing teacher. She's fantastic and great at getting people to express themselves. go her!

I'll put some more here later, that's all for now.
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Re: College Works

Post by Buzzwulf on Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:14 pm

This second poem is based off another poem called "Buying Wine". The exercise here is to take some work that you've read before and write a scaffold of it. I used roughly the same structure, but my subject matter ended up being far different from the original poem.

The original poem can be found at

I'll also put it here, if you want to take a quick look. It's great.
Buying Wine
Sebastian Matthews
When we were boys, we had a choice: stay in the car or else
follow him into Wine Mart, that cavernous retail barn,

down aisle after aisle, California reds to Australian blends
to French dessert wines, past bins loaded like bat racks

with bottles, each with its own heraldic tag, its licked coat
of arms, trailing after our father pushing the ever filling cart,

leaning forward in concentration, one hand in mouth stroking
his unkempt mustache, the other lofting up bottles like fruit

then setting them back down, weighing the store of data
in his great brain against the price tag, the year tattooed

on the bottle, the cut of meat he knew he would select
at the butcher's: a lamb chop, say, if this Umbrian red

had enough body to marry the meal's bounty, to dance
on its legs in the bell of the night; or some scallops maybe,

those languid hearts of the sea, a poet's dozen in a baggy,
and a Pinot Grigio light enough not to disturb their salty murmur.

Often, we'd stay in the car until we'd used up the radio's juke-
box and our dwindling capacity to believe our father

might actually "Just be back," and so break free, releasing
from our seatbelts, drifting to the edges of the parking lot

like horses in a field following the sun to its endgame
of shade. I'd periodically peer into the front window, breath

fogging the sale signs, catching snippets of my father's profile
appearing and disappearing behind the tall cardboard stacks,

sometimes moved to knock on the glass and hiss "Come on,
Dad!" and stomp back to the car. And once I slipped back

into the store, wandering the aisles, master of my own cart,
loading it to bursting for the dream party I was going to throw.

But mostly, like now, as I drift to the Italian reds, hoping
for the perfect bottle under $12, I'd shuffle along, dancing bear

behind his circus master, and wait for my father to pronounce,
tall in his basketball body, wine bottles like babies in his hands, "Aha!"

Anyway, I haven't come up with a title for my piece yet, as somehow it still doesn't feel quite right.

so right now, it's "After Buying Wine"

After Buying Wine

When we were younger, there was this one time
We sat together under flickering florescent lights

In a room empty as a sick ward, homemade lasagna
Wasted on the table- it didn’t appreciate the delicate

Layers of ricotta and beef, or the small piles of sweet corn-
We stared at each other without a word on our lips

As you desperately war against yourself, stifling the
Whimpers of your impending tears, pushing food

Across your plate with a plastic fork and back again,
A ritual with no end in sight, and wondered if I would

Break this unspoken and uncomfortable truce, or perhaps
Turn to my own food, and take a bite despite the sinking

I can feel in my belly, or the coldness of that tomato sauce
And congealed cheese, but not a whisper passes between us

As TV blares in the background, game show hosts superficial and
Ignored, each of us lost in ourselves, unwilling see the other,

Scarcely breathing in this conjugal silence, the ticking of our clock
More than giants smashing against the door, a terrible symphony

Of unwanted noise, as I look down, and pick a sun-bright kernel
From my plate, as you finally lose your fight against yourself

Tears falling to join tomato sauce and parmesan in a melancholy
Garnish to what should have been a good meal, and you give me

A weak smile, when what I really want is an apology, and all
You really want is peace between us, or even acceptance,

So you break the armistice with an unsteady “alright.”
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Re: College Works

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