“Escape” – a Haibun

raven-988221_1920

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

 

Escape

It will happen in the stillness and cover of night, when all are asleep. I will grab the bag I keep packed under my bed, grab my few prized possessions and put them in a satchel, and just leave. No sad goodbye notes, no see-ya-soons, not even a sorry-I-had-to-go. You won’t even know I am missing for the biggest part of the day. You will just think I am sleeping. By then, I’ve hit the bank for a withdraw and then off to the Amtrak station. You will probably think I’ve gone off on holiday to the beach, but no. I am headed to Maine. After a few days, you will assume I am still coming back, but no. I will be staying there. I won’t call, nor write, not even an email. When I do get there, I will change my name and start a new life. My life. Not the life you want me to live, not the life I should live, not even the life you thought I wanted all of these years. Did you even know me at all?

in darkness, shadowed
raven whispers her retreat
life’s wisdom, her prize

©2020 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.


Note: Haibun is a prosimetric literary form originating in Japan, combining prose and haiku. The range of haibun is broad and frequently includes autobiography, diary, essay, prose poem, short story and travel journal. Wikipedia

The Mourning of Us

portrait-4130603_1920

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

The Mourning of Us

How I wish I had known you
before the coma came
and then the awakening —
they all said you were a happy child
full of laughter and joy
but I’ve only known the sad
melancholy child — eyes cast downward
a permanent frown creased upon her face

If only your memory hadn’t been erased
perhaps I would recognize you
and you, me —
I’ve never known the person
who stares at me in the mirror
all these long and lonely decades
just as I didn’t recognize
mother, father or sister back then

Mother said it was nonsense
that I couldn’t remember
and I believed, I believed her
wanting desperately to fit in
but I never did —
I had no refuge from my plight
no one to hold me and tell me
everything will be alright

I carved my own path through life
a windy, twisted road of darkened forests
seeking shelter in caves so deep and dank
and although I longed for the light
I found no solace there —
I hid from the sun, from laughter
and the people I should have embraced
but trust was an enemy; doubt, my friend

Even now I want to enfold you in my arms
heal you and heal me too —
I’d give up lifetimes to erase
what that illness stole from us
to know love and laughter
and the peace that comes with wholeness —
How long should I mourn for you, for me
and the life we should have lived?

©2020 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.

A Little Poetic Teaser

01cc6fce05f2d6eb5bacf6676fc3eee2

Photo credit: wilhelm Donkor Pinterest

See if you can figure out WHY I wrote this poem…. Hint is in the title!

Nonagon

Odd numbers are no good for parties
(so the experts say)
but we nine always did just fine
We had no desire to couple-up
just dance & drink
chat & get high
Then one
by
one
we drifted apart
’til none but I
reside

©March 2020, Lori Carlson

It’s Been A Long Time…

itl.cat_gothic-wallpaper_97249

As most of you have probably noticed, it has been a long time since I’ve posted original writings of mine here on WordPress. I’d love to say that I have tons of work just waiting to be posted, but I don’t. It has probably been a good four years since I’ve written anything. No poetry, flash fiction, short fiction or novellas. I allowed a personal issue to knock me down into a deep depression and even after I came out of that, I had gotten out of the habit of writing every day and just stopped. The irony of it all is I still call myself a writer, but how can one be a writer if one never writes?

So here’s the deal: Next month is poetry month. My intention is to join a poetry prompt thing for April and write a poem each day. Since it will be prompted, I will be posting these poems over on Promptly Written.

In the meantime, I am going to try my hand at some impromptu poetry here just to wet my whistle again. It probably won’t be good poetry, but hopefully it will get me in the habit of writing again. Eventually I will dip my toes in the shallow end of the pond and create some flash fiction and short fiction and work my way to the deep end for a novella or two.

The 2018 WaterSedge Poetry Chapbook Contest

This Year’s Judge:

Susanna Lang, Poet, Travel Notes from the River Styx

This is a great opportunity—exclusively for poets! Submit your entry before the deadline!

The winner of the WaterSedge Poetry Contest will receive:

$500 cash prize

Publication of the poetry chapbook in both print and e-book formats

Amazon distribution for Kindle and print

25 free print copies

Deadline: October 31, 2018

Entry Fee: $20

Page Count Limit: 24-48 pages

Watch the video for more details!

CLICK HERE TO READ GUIDELINES AND TO SUBMIT

http://writersrelief.com/watersedge-poetry-chapbook-contest/

We’re thrilled and honored to have Susanna Lang as this year’s judge!

Susanna Lang has taught literacy and literature and led numerous adult poetry workshops. She has published original poems and translations in such journals as Poetry East, Little Star, Prairie Schooner, december, The Baltimore Review, Prime Number Magazine, Jubilat, Comstock Review, Verse Daily, and American Life in Poetry. She has won numerous awards, including a 1999 Illinois Arts Council Award, the Inkwell Poetry Competition in 2009, the Prime Number Poetry Prize in 2015, and multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize. She was a 2010 and 2015 Hambidge Fellow and received a 2011 Emerging Writer Fellowship from The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD.

Susanna Lang’s newest collection of poems, Travel Notes from the River Styx, was released in summer 2017 from Terrapin Books. Her translations of poetry by Yves Bonnefoy include Words in Stone and The Origin of Language.

http://writersrelief.com/watersedge-poetry-chapbook-contest/

The Aftermath of Your Betrayal — Poetry

77c6c4189b7743fba201c12de2abaa73

art credit: unknown (if anyone knows the artist of this piece, please comment below so I can credit them. Thanks!)

The Aftermath of Your Betrayal

Cupid has judged me
Found me unworthy–
not enough, again

So I bind these breasts
this clitoris and vagina
tight-fisted in steel

Unbreakable
Impenetrable

No one shall pleasure me now
Not even myself

© 2018 Lori Carlson. All Rights Reserved.

Upcoming Poetry Contest Deadlines!

It’s Poetry month and as such, Poets & Writers has some poetry contest deadlines for you to check out. Have a peek here. Everything from single poems, groups of poems, short fiction, flash fiction, and even one press looking for a second book of poems by African American poets. Check it out! Grand prizes for all of these is $1000 and publication! There are entry fees ranging from $3 to $20.

Sundress Publications Opens Submissions for the 2017 Chapbook Competition

Dear friends, readers, and fellow writers, I’ve just received this email from Sundress Publications. If you have a chapbook manuscript in the works, or already written, here’s your chance to win a publishing competition. Good luck!


Sundress Publications is pleased to announce its fourth annual chapbook contest.  Authors of all genres are invited to submit qualifying manuscripts during our reading period of February 1 to April 15, 2017.

Enter Now

What We’re Looking For
We are looking for poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or any combination thereof. Manuscripts must be between twelve to twenty-six (12-26) pages in length, with a page break between individual pieces. Individual pieces may have been previously published in anthologies, print journals, online journals, etc., but cannot appear in any full-length collection, including self-published collections. Both single-author and collaborative dual-author manuscripts will be considered. A unifying element is encouraged but not required. Manuscripts must be primarily in English; translations are not eligible.

Entry Fee & Prize
The entry fee is $10 per manuscript, though the fee will be waived for entrants who purchase or pre-order any Sundress title from our store.

The winner will receive a $200 prize, plus publication as a beautiful full-color PDF available exclusively online for free. Runners-up will also be considered for publication.

Our Judge
unnamed-3This year’s judge will be Darren C. Demaree. Demaree lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children. He is the author of six poetry collections and the recipient of nine Pushcart nominations. Currently, he is the managing editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry.

Submission Guidelines
All manuscripts should include a cover page (with only the title of the manuscript), table of contents, dedication (if applicable), and acknowledgements for previous publications. These pages will not be included in the total page count. Identifying information should not be included in any part of the manuscript. Authors with a significant relationship to the judge (friends, relatives, colleagues, past or present students, etc.) are discouraged from entering. We are dedicated to a fair judging process that emphasizes the quality of the writing, not the résumé of the author.

Simultaneous submissions to other presses is acceptable, but please notify Sundress immediately if the manuscript has been accepted elsewhere. Multiple submissions are allowed, but a separate entry fee must accompany each entry. No revisions will be allowed during the contest judging period. Winners will be announced in Summer 2017.

Send your manuscript as a DOC or PDF to contest@sundresspublications.com along with a receipt number or screenshot for your payment.