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Being sick isn’t fun.

I’ve been coughing and hacking and wheezing my way towards the grave, inch by inch. I am also constructing Mucous Mountain, and at the rate I’m going, it will be done in about three days with time to spare.

Since being home, I’ve just been sick, reacquainted myself with all my good friends, enjoyed driving in my own car again, and gotten used to sleeping in my own bed. Oh, and trying to find a job. Did I mention how much of a pain in the ass that is? I’ve sent in over ten applications to different locations, and have yet to hear back from the ones I submitted over a week ago.

With my luck, I’ll be stranded with irregular babysitting jobs rather than a stable income.

But first, I need to regain my health — especially since my writer friends and I are planning to write a novel in the month of July (for the second time!)

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Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don’t start sentences with a conjunction.
If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a
great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
De-accession euphemisms.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.
~William Safire, “Great Rules of Writing”

I Am On My Way

Home.

There is, as always, a bittersweet tang curled in the crannies of the moments of transition. Freshman year of college is done, and so summer comes with the hopes of a job and friends and fun. Yet I leave behind the newest memories and newest friendships to sleep until they may once again bloom in the autumn as the next semester begins. Then, too, shall the tartness of the moment be tasted, for then I leave home – sanctuary — for the other home, that less familiar and less kind.

How I wish there were a way to remedy or combine the two worlds; sometimes I fear I will shatter and become two separate entities to coexist in these two similar but different worlds.

For your reading pleasure this afternoon, I give you the polished poem “Why I Can’t Find the Derivative” as a sample of the portfolio I am currently banging my head against revising.

I know it’s a stereotype, but it is a stereotype for a reason — most writers or artists in general have a vendetta or just plain hatred of math. Is it because it deals with logic and reason rather than imagination and creativity? Or is there something else to it? While I do have a definitive distaste for math, I seriously respect those who can do math, especially the more ‘creative’ math with all of the proofing and the calculating and the words I don’t know…
But, without further adieu, the poem:

 Why I Can’t Find the Derivative
Because my mind is not crossed into numerical maps,
but painted into murals on the canvas of my synapses.

My eyes see colors and textures,
unable to decipher the volumes and depths.
I sit, frustrated, as I pour hours into meaningless problems –
each passing equation siphons another minute from my life.

I erase the paper until it tears,
destroying the object of my frustration.

Dreams are coated in language and acryllics,
resisting the binary of the arithmetic realm.
I look out into the world I long for,
sitting in the left cobwebbed corner of math class.

The window teases me,
locking me in but hinting escape.

The teacher calls on me and numerical
vomit spews from my mouth.
I get looks of disappointment, sadness –
shame encompasses me.

Factorial silence as letters are forced
to transform into numbers,
their functions no longer to
create but to clinically state.

I am illiterate in this continent of logic
and reason. The numerical maps only lead me here,
to pain. I can only pray for exile,
when at last I can follow the painting of my imagination.

Oatmeal is Yummy

Top Ten Words You Need to Stop Misspelling

The Oatmeal is an assortment of random truths, absurd humor, and biting sarcasm. There are comics, not only about grammar, but also about cats, food, and technology!

It’s Sunday?

Not necessarily.

Let us pretend I can teleport to California. Ha-ha! It is now Saturday! Albeit very late…but Saturday nonetheless!

Due to time constraints, frivolity, Finals, and having to pack a roomful of items into a tiny cubicle/trunk, I have had little time to focus on creating a dazzling post for the blog. I do hope my Muse and my time are given more freely and frequently once the summer begins.

These sound like lame and mundane excuses — and they sort of are. They are also very true.

The truth can be mundane and lame.

But isn’t there a pinch of beauty in that?

I’m going to be published in Ithaca College’s Stillwater.

And it feels damn good.

What is ironic, however, is that I am having a poem published when I don’t really consider myself a poet. This led to my reassessment of what I have had published in the past — only to realize the bulk of my published work is in poetry.

I aspire to be a fiction writer, and yet my greatest successes have come from poetry. Is this merely a logistical truth[1], or some sort of hilarious irony by the cosmos?

I promise I’m not complaining — but I am reevaluating my past work and my future. I don’t think of myself as a poet; hell, I rarely even write poetry for my personal enjoyment. But when I do write that one, good poem…it feels good. Real good.
And it feels even better to have others recognize that it is good.

For anyone in the New York Tompkins County area, this evening there will be a release party for Stillwater, as well as the winners of the Writing Department’s Writing Contest here on the Ithaca College campus! It will be at 6pm in the Handwerker Gallery, and I am told there will be refreshments. Who isn’t excited about the possibility of free food and drink?

1. Poetry has more opportunities for publications because literary magazines can put ten or fifteen poems whereas can only hold two or three pieces of prose.