"No matter how terrified you may be, own your fear and take that leap anyway because whether you land on your feet or on your butt, the journey is well worth it."
-- Laurie Laliberte
"If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."
-- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
-- Anais Nin

Monday, April 30, 2012

Laurie Laliberte

One of the contributors this month (I'll resist the temptation to name names) sent me a poem at the 11th hour because s/he had sent the piece to several people to read it before it appeared. S/he wanted to make sure it was "good enough." It was delayed in getting to me because only half the readers actually read it and responded. When s/he told me this, I sent the response you'll read below. I thought it relevant. Besides, you all pretty much know who I am. I'd feel silly introducing myself.

"My philosophy, for want of a better description, about poetry is pretty simple. If it truly comes from your soul, from you, if there's a part of you in it, it's beautiful. Poetry written for the sake of writing poetry is the best kind.

"One poem I wrote years ago, called "Altar" (originally titled "Altars") stemmed from a magazine article about how we tend to build altars in our lives, often without even realizing it. And I had this image in my head of how, for months after my father died, his headphones still hung on the arm of his favorite chair. They were big headphones; the Walkman hadn't been released yet. Nobody but me sat in Dad's chair after he died. When I moved out of the house, I took the chair with me.

"One afternoon, right after reading that magazine article, I happened to look at the chair in the corner of my living room. There it sat, with my roommate's headphones hanging from the arm. I don't know, don't remember, which of us had left them there, but it was comforting somehow to see that same image again. It resonated with me just the way that article had done. That was my altar to my father.

"I sat down and wrote that poem, about 8-10 lines. It's on my blog somewhere I think. Anyhow, I thought the poem was too short, so I added two more stanzas. One as a tribute to my mother and one of my own. They didn't work because they were forced. They didn't come from my heart. They came from a writer's need to round out the body of the poem rather than a writer's need to write. So I scrapped the two added stanzas and ended up with a short, but beautiful, work of literary art. And if it appeals to only me, so be it. I wrote it for me, not for anyone else.

"That, in itself, is poetry. You don't need beta readers to tell you your poetry matters. You just need to trust your own instincts."

Eros and Thanatos will be available on
Amazon as soon as I finish writing it
Twice Shy

Old wounds.
Filthy. Festering. Painful.
Reminders of what once was.
What never was.
Healed scars.
Until you call. Or text. Or email.
Bloodied gauze.
Tears on my pillow.
You don't deserve this power.
You don't deserve me.
But I deserve so much better than you.
There is no room in my life.
 Quick Crochet for Kitchen and Bath
will soon be available on Amazon
No room in my heart.
I've moved on.
But I weep.
Because for one short moment
One flicker in time
I was yours.
But you were never mine.
You never wanted me.
The real me.
The me who actually exists.
You loved the illusion
You could pretend I was.
I refuse to fit your mold.
So I nurse my wounds.
  Resistance Front is available
on Amazon for 99 cents
And I leave you to your delusions.
This time for good.

To borrow a favorite adjective from a fellow All-Star (Courtney Cantrell), this month has been cramazing. I want to extend a huge thank you to all of my colleagues and my readers for joining me on this journey. Next year's poetry slam already promises to be just as special.

My short story "Fear of the Dark" (the clean version) appears in the Kindle All-Stars first charity anthology Resistance Front. All proceeds go to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The extended version of "Fear of the Dark" is part of my anthology of erotic shorts, Eros and Thanatos, which will be available in time for summer reading. And my first crochet pattern book, Quick Crochet for Kitchen and Bath, will be available for Kindle devices and in print very soon.

[ed. The extended version of "Fear of the Dark" is NOW available on Amazon as a 99 cent single.]


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