Abridged Reality

If you try hard enough

You can grow deaf to the world

Live in absentia,

Home-grown dementia,

A home grown right

Between your stoppered ears,

Sand filling your mouth and nose.

Little pockets of bliss;

A determined abyss:

Life has always looked better

In the director’s cut.


Book Spine Poem: Shadow-Spy

After reading “Broken Words Spoken Here” as presented over at Sentence First, I had to try my hand at stacking up my own book-spine poem. A book-spine poem being what it sounds like; a stack of books that, when the spines (titles only, omit the author’s names) are read, become a new work of art.

It’s a frustrating venture, having to deal with a limited number of phrases, and no option of rearranging the words within a given title, but exciting and rewarding for a bibliophile. After dashing about between several different bookshelves and pulling out tottering piles of everything that looked cool, I fussed and arranged, delighted and remembered, sighed over excellent titles that simply couldn’t be worked in, and despaired that I have so few verb-stocked titles in my home. Then I settled at last upon this.


By cunning and craft, shadow and claw,
Invisible armies spy for the Night Riders.
Whatever happened to justice?

Out of the silent planet,
The martyr’s song inspired
The spy who came in from the cold.

In the shadows of the gods–
A memory of light.

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Dance in Time


Up the lances, up the spears,
Waging war on human fears,
Salt the fields with victor’s tears,
March on, time, march on, the years.

Hear the blade’s edge cry for peace,
Driving nations to their knees,
Cry as sorrows never cease,
Count the rings on thirsty trees.

Will you, Peace, take War to wife,
To dance upon the field of strife?
As mind and body, soul and life,
Are dandled on a spinning knife.

Hark the note in horns of war,
Asking what we’re fighting for.
Battle stands as timekind’s lore,
We can do no less than more.


For more, see my website’s poetry page.

A Time-Sensitive Question

Racing, racing, perfectly still

Comes the lifeline, tightly gripped

Stretched from creation to the never-end of all I am

One and every moment filled

Like all of space –time slipped

Into a single here and now through the burst dam

Of a seeing mind.

What is a moment found?

What is a moment seized?

What is the value of a thing plentifully singular?

What is the worth of the right thing at the right time?

And who’s to tell a drifter in the racing stillness what the whole picture looks like?

What to do with  a puzzle piece

When you are a puzzle piece

And you don’t know where box is,

Where the box is with the picture.

I look at everything now at everything here

At all the whens and wheres in a single breath

And how do I take my next breath, then,

When its only a piece of a breath

Already breathed

Being breathed

Yet to be breathed

How do I make a to-do list

In the face of the great woven continuum

How do I carve out time

Carve my initials onto time

Carve my actions into the vast and sweeping everything

How do I make a bucket list

When buckets are only one arrangements of a set molecules racing through the stillness of time

and space, that were once other things and will be other things yet, and are all the things they will ever

be a part of at once,

And when in some sense my death is as done and over with as my birth?


For more, see my poetry page.

Found: Poem

I’ve recently found out about a new way of writing poetry–rather, of spotting it where it hides on the page, like a wordsmith’s version of sculpting. A found poem, it’s called, and it assumed that somewhere on a page of words, a poem is there, hidden in plain sight, and you simply have to black out the words around it until it stands revealed.

I first heard of this notion when my writer bestie showed me this poem of her finding:

I love its simple beauty, and the visual echo of the words as they step their way down through a darkened page…

But this wasn’t a poem for a poem’s own sake. No, no, there was an ulterior motive. Apparently, V.E. Schwab, author of the novel Vicious, (which I have not read, admittedly, but am now intent on doing,) is holding a contest giveaway, in which the winner will get a copy of the book–turned entirely into a single found poem, by the author’s own hand!

How to enter? Turn the opening page of Vicious into a found poem of one’s own. Once I heard of the idea, contest or none, I knew I had to make one of my own. Sorry, bestie-mine, for becoming your competitor, but it’s too lovely to leave alone. And, what the heck, I’d like a found-poemed book.

So I grabbed my marker (metaphorically; literally, I opened a paint program,) and sought my own meaning in the text–if a little differently from when one usually reads a page.

If you’ve a Tumblr and a thick black marker of your own, feel free to join the contest, and beat myself and my friend to some deeper or more meaningful finding in this page:

VICIOUS comes out in paperback this week!!! To celebrate, I have a nefarious plan—I mean giveaway. Take the first page—shown above—and black it out into a found poem. Post it to Tumblr using the hashtag #victorvaleapprovesthisbook by January 30th, and ONE PERSON will win their very own blacked out paperback, the entire book converted into a single message from Victor Vale.

Open internationally.

Have fun.

-V.E. Schwab

Others can be found on Tumblr under #victorvaleapprovesthisbook
Whether or not you wish to join in the fun, I’d suggest you–
Read through the Dark

The Lie of the Light

A hush falls like a waking dream

Like sunbeams on a cataclysm

And eyes half-lidded

Flick like a tail

Drink pleasure in a lazy rhythm

Find motes of dust

And little wisdom.

Time passes like four squares of drifting light

Dispelling ills and

angry wills and

days that churn like lumber mills

In a yawning, sighing patch of light

That says it’s sure

And lying lies

That all your ghosts are sleeping tight

And all your demons dozing

So why not join them?

Catastrophe will stay its hand

And life will grant a waiver

All’s well that isn’t minded

As a yawning tongue mines flavors

From dancing, dreaming, magic motes

That play like fey piano notes

In four soft squares of lulling light

That pass like time across the floor

‘Til night.

Flashes of Fiction: Ashes

A spark, it started

A flickering spick of light that blossomed into a full-tilt passion.

A rage

A wrath

A fury

And she loved it.

The rage was right and righteous

In that moment

So momentous

And she loved it.

It burned so bright

That it grew and grew and she grew to love it more than love

She made herself a tinderbox

And matchstick forest for the fire.

No need, in time, for righteousness

No need for any reason

She found her wrath so beautiful

She fed its flame

Her heart

And soul

And life,

To watch it eat.