A Spirited Soul

If I were 9-years-old, and living in the Dominican Republic, and my grandmother’s cackles were still bettering the world of the breathing… Then today, my face would be painted gray with ashes and my eyes encircled black with coal, until I resembled a calavera (or skull). We would dress my grandmother’s cross in brightly colored crêpe paper; we would cook sweet beans; and we would tell forever-living tales of our dead. The celebration would be nameless, but every heart and soul—young and old—would know what today was called.

But I’m 38-years-young and living in New York City. So my family and I will spend the day cooking… Then tonight, we’ll carve pumpkins, share a yummy meal, and tell tales of our dead. My cyber-home always partakes in the partying, so I’ve crafted a Halloween(y) haibun for you:

“A Spirited Soul”

I visit the place nearly never. It’s too dark… too many bones… too much death for a spirited soul; except on the day before All Hallows… when with pumpkin chili, rice, rum, Bachata music and belly laughs, my blood celebrates my life.

bare branches rustle
food and song in the graveyard—
to honor the dead.

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Inspired by “The Dead”, winner of From Blackout Poem Bit to Flash Fiction or Full-Length Poetry, 4; and linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Flash 55.

If you celebrate this witchy holiday, then Happiest Halloween, All Hallows’ Eve, Dia de los muertos, Samhain… and if October 31st holds little or no meaning for you, then Happiest Day.

A Spirited Soul

From Blackout Poem Bit to Flash Fiction or Full-Length Poetry, 4

This is going to be a quickie… since I want to run to the woods (all right, walk at a mildly fast pace) to collect a Halloween tree. I usually get my dead branch, which I adorn with Halloween motifs, three days before the holiday. But it was raining… hard… and only a silly person chooses to fight Nature when she’s in one of her moods.

So… which of my Poem Bits should become a story or a full-length poem?

I’ve listed the blackout and handwritten poems I’ve shared since “13 Kisses in the Dark”, winner of From Blackout Poem Bit to Flash Fiction or Full-Length Poetry, 3. Leave a comment letting me know which Poem Bit you would me to expand. I’m not adding the Flash Fiction or Poetry options, because I plant to link the resulting piece to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Flash 55, in the shape of a haibun: prose and poetry.

1) Which poem do you wish me to develop?
2) *optional* Why?

“The Dead”
bare branches rustle
food and song in the graveyard—
to honor the dead

“Cursed”
don’t hit her again
she knows all your cards are cursed—
now, you lose a hand

“Blackened Fingers”
The vacuum sucked dirt and dust-blackened fingers.
– blacked out from Caring for Your Book

“October’s Song”
Through autumn-bared branches,
I felt your wicked grin
singing warmth into the sun.

And I wondered
if you, too,
hear my forever love
in October’s song.

“Overtake”
Overtake perception;
do not accept normal.
– blacked out from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind

On Friday, Oct 31st, I will turn the Poem Bit with the most votes into a haibun. Please, cast your vote before October 30th at 1:13pm EDT.

The Dead
For images of the listed Poem Bits… visit me on Instagram.

The Approach of the Witches’ New Year…

With only three days until The Witches’ New Year—All Hallows’ Eve, Halloween, El dia de los muertos, Samhain—I’ve been working on my lists.

List-making relaxes me; not only because it conjures a good old sense of organization, control and accomplishment (when I get to cross something out), but also because the act of transferring thought from mind through hand to paper is a marvelous psychological release (at least for me).

I was surprised to find that not as many items from 2015 are being carried over into 2016, only three important ones… and one of those might be fulfilled before the end of the calendar year *fingers crossed*.

So what’s going to fill my witchy life with excitement, you might be asking? Um… you weren’t really asking that? Oh well, I’m telling you anyway… I’m bad to the bone, remember? The biggest items have to do with my health and my writing. But I have to wait a few more months before working on a likely list. Still, I foresee the publication of a poem collection, a compilation of my published work (did anyone say print edition?), and a bit of agent hunting…

Worry not, my Wicked Luvs; not all of my schedule will be listed in this delicious planner, which I got from my even more delicious Piano Man…
The Approach of the Witches’ New Year… 1

For instance, I will be adding wee tales and poems to Discordia: a Collection of Drawings, by Jeremy A. Bastian. I love Bastian’s dark and intricate ink-work, so when I met him at New York Comic Con, I was very pleased when he said that he would not be offended—“but honored”—if I scribbled my dark fiction and poetry all over his book. Yes, I will share the results with you. 😉
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I was gifted two lovely lined journals and a bunch of red and black markers. The package included no name, but the note said, “I hope you never stop sharing blackout poetry and poem bits. I read them every morning. Some have made it to my refrigerator door. If you sell them I will buy them. Until you do sell them here is a toking of my appreciation and thanks.” As you might imagine, my Luvs, I’m over the Moon and way beyond Pluto with delight. Thank you!
The Approach of the Witches’ New Year… 3

What else? Oh yes, I will do a mock NaNoWriMo bit. It will be mostly editing… I might share my weekly progress… not sure yet. And, of course, I will certainly host Poems for the Cruelest Month, in April… but only 13 days/entries; I just don’t think I can (or want) to manage 30 days).

No, don’t leave yet! There is more. I was the recipient of Winter Moon’s All Hallow’s Read yumminess. I was more than excited (and misty-eyed) when I touched my copy of My Brother’s Ghost. And because Yvonne is such a darling, she surprised me with the cutest of red journals, one of her flower filled glass vial pendants, and a few other goodies that scream Magaly. I’m seriously thinking about mailing the frog skeleton postcard to myself *cough*. Thank you!!
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Then, my Piano Man came home with a box from Judy. Meet Bones the Purple, a cutie that brought all sorts of grins to my face. Look at those ears, skull, mouth, ribs… Thank you!!!
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On the chronic pain (in my ass) side… Yesterday, I went for my first long walk in about a week. It wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences, since my previous (very short) exercise hiatus left my flesh and bones in a rage. But I soothed myself by ending my walk with a visit to the thrift shop.

I found a stunning, tiny copper dish to use as an offering plate for my little brother. I also got a color-changing, moonstone-like wee bowl, for liquid offerings (but forgot to take a picture).
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I unburied The Crow: Shattered Lives & Broken Dreams, a collection of poems and short fictions, which I had no idea existed… but is perfect for the season.
The Approach of the Witches’ New Year… 7I almost offered The Crow as an All Hallows’ Eve giveaway… but my reader’s greed refuses to allow it *sigh*. Can you blame me, though? Look at some of the artwork and description:
The Approach of the Witches’ New Year… 8
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So… my Wicked Luvs, what adventures have you been listing lately?