Word Perv
(noun): One who takes delight and is skilled at constructing, writing or saying naughty phrases or dialogue.

Last summer I learned about the August Postcard Poetry Fest, an event that has me sending 31 postcards to 31 strangers, all over the world. Each postcard has a poem written on it, a poem I wrote. In exchange, I receive 31 poetry postcards from 31 strangers. Last summer was my first time participating in the fest and I loved it. I loved finding the postcards I would send – last year I sent postcards featuring the work of artist Edward Gorey, the package of postcards was titled “Mysterious Messages, Cryptic Cards, Coded Conundrums, Anonymous Notes” perfect for a poem to a stranger! I loved writing short poems and getting creative. I loved dropping them in the mail each day and thinking of how the person on the other end would feel when they read my poem. But most of all I loved getting the postcards. I love postcards anyway, I travel a lot for work and I always send postcards to my friends. But to get a postcard with a poem written on it, it’s combining two things I love into the perfect package!

This year’s postcards were chosen because I felt they were perfect for the fest – they’re postcards featuring books and libraries!

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I’ve addressed all my postcards, now I’ve just got to get writing and get them out the door! Tomorrow kicks off this year’s Postcard Poetry Fest!

July 27, 2015

A New Name

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I recently eloped and have decided to take my husband’s name. It was a personal decision and there were several factors that went into my decision but none of which I care to divulge or debate on my blog. Even after deciding I would take his name I wondered if I should keep writing and publishing under my maiden name. After some thought I have decided to write and publish under my fabulous new name, Courtney LeBlanc. It’s a damn good name for a poet and now people might actually pronounce my name correctly the first time. 😉

Since I decided to change my name I’ve also created a new Facebook page for my writing; if you’re on Facebook please be sure to “like” my page so you can follow me there. I post more than just poetry stuff, I also recently posted an article about a dead raccoon in Toronto that was so funny I read it twice just to enjoy it again. (Trust me on this one, you’ll want to read it!) So head on over to Facebook and like my page. As the number of “likes” go up I’m going to have some giveaways!

July 20, 2015

Chronic

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I have the misfortune of suffering from chronic pain. My pain comes in the form of a railroad spike driving itself through my temples. The pain is constant and unrelenting. I’m fortunate that I’m now on a medication that helps keep these headaches at bay. It’s not a perfect medication as it has a couple of side effects that I absolutely hate, most notably weight gain, but to keep that mack truck of pain from  destroying me I deal with the side effects. Lately my headaches have been creeping back up, even though I’m on the medication. I think it may be due to stress as I’ve been working 75-80 hour weeks all month and I don’t anticipate that slowing down for at least another two months. So the long hours and heavy workload are probably a contributing factor into how my head is feeling.

On Friday I read a poem from Split This Rock, an organization that “[calls] poets to a greater role in public life and fostering a national network of socially engaged poets.” I found them a couple of years ago when I attended their poetry festival, I’ve been getting weekly emails from them since and it’s always good to read the poetry they send out. The poem they sent out Friday was so raw and beautiful and so very accurately captured what it’s like to live with chronic pain that I had to share it. (Used with permission.)

Ode to the Chronicaaly Ill Body

 

Camisha Jones

 

July 2, 2015

Amazing Alaska

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For the last nine days we’ve been in Alaska – hiking and exploring and eating and drinking and marrying. Oh wait, what was that last one?! Yup, we got married at Denali National Park! Actually, we eloped! No one knew we were doing it (other than the officiant and our photographer). It was intimate and romantic and everything I had always hoped for. We wrote our own vows and pledged our lives to one another in a setting that really suits us as a couple. I even wrote a poem about it.

24 June 2015 - I married my true love

24 June 2015 – I married my true love

Twenty Hours of Sun

There are no sunsets here.

Long days filled with light,

the sun hovering the whole time,

dipping to the west in the early

hours of morning but never

dropping from sight.

Even with the ever-present sun

I can still see stars, see the moon

pale in the sky, upstaged by the sun

who steals the spotlight,

claims this place as her own.

 

We said “I do” in the pale light

of afternoon, the mountains our witness

and crisp air our vows.

We drank the dew off one another’s lips

and toasted “forever” and “always”,

the midnight sun blessing our union.

I’ve been writing a lot of poems lately that stem from memories from my childhood. Every time I write about a specific memory I’ll text my sister and say, “Just wrote a poem about [insert event from our childhood], do you remember that?” She almost always remembers the event but she’ll remember different aspects of it.

It’s interesting to reach back into your childhood and dig through memories, trying to find one worthy of writing about. My childhood was very happy – I grew up on a farm in a small town in North Dakota. My younger sister and I are less than two years apart so I had a constant playmate. It’s interesting to me to think back on things that happened in my childhood and dissect them now, through the lens of my 36 year old poet’s brain.

If I were just writing about a memory without digging deep into it it’d be easy – I could just write, “this thing happened. I was happy/sad/mad. The end.” But that wouldn’t make for a very good poem. Instead I’m writing about the event and then thinking about the emotions I felt, both then and now. My relationships with my family have changed greatly as I’ve gotten older and so when I think back on things that happened, it’s hard not to pull in my current feelings. And that’s not a bad thing – sometimes I want to create the juxtaposition between how I feel now versus how I felt then. But sometimes I want to just sink into how I felt as a little girl, like when I found my kitten clinging to life in a bucket of oil and asking my mother to please save it. Other times I want to create a bit of conflict by remembering the event but applying the emotions I feel about it today. It’s made for some interesting writing and I’m very excited about it. Recently one of my poems Secondhand Love, a poem about my sister and I as children, was published by The Legendary (you can read it here) and I’m really proud of that poem. I’m writing others about my childhood and have send more off for publication, I’ll post about them soon. Until then, dig into your treasure trove of childhood memories and write a poem!

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What’s your strongest childhood memory? Do you feel differently about the event when you look back on it now, as an adult?