Poetry, Writing

The Cut Up

It’s that time again. In this weeks blog, I’ll share a little writing exercise I’ve used before to write a poem and then I’ll share one that I made using it.
The exercise usually goes by the name of a “cut up” or “cut out” poem. The premise is to take a newspaper or magazine, select a few pages, and scan them. You don’t want to focus on what the stories or articles are about. You just scan for words and phrases that jump out at you or really speak to you. Underline them as you go.
Once you have a handful of these words and phrases, you incorporate one or two into each line of the poem. This can be done in a variety of ways. Create 4 or 5 lines, then repeat the process or write an entire poem from one list. This often helps you create interest, weird , yet surprising word and phrase combinations that somehow still make sense.
I made this poem using the card game description in the local paper. It took about 10 or 15 minutes, sitting at the kitchen table, to get most of it done. Then I just edited and added a few finishing touches. Try it out if you ever get stumped for something to write. As always, feel free to like, comment, and share. Stay focused and Write On.

Just try turning off your mind,
and drifting in the comfort of knowing
That nothing, and everything, will change
In those simple moments of synaptic solitude


Death Rides A Highway Guardrail

Last week, I talked a little about poetry and my experience with it. This week, I’ll go into a little more detail about why I like writing poetry and share another original at the end.
When I get right down to it, one of the biggest reasons poetry is so appealing to me is because it’s a quick way for me to get thoughts and ideas out of my head and on paper. On a really good day, I can sit down and bang out a poem or two in no time. On a bad day, I can at least get part of a poem started or the rough skeleton of something to go back to later.
Lately, I’ve been using the note app. on my phone to work on poems during breaks at work or when I’m on the go. I’ve actually written my last 15 or so poems this way. I can then copy them to a notebook or my computer and edit them. It’s actually one of the apps I use the most.
Now, as promised, one of my poems. This one’s from 2009. As always, feel free to share, comment, like, and follow. Stay focused and Write On.

Death Rides A Highway Guardrail

They lied when they said,
“Death rides a pale horse.”
I know because I saw him
straddling a guardrail at 6 AM
one blustery February morning,
lashing the sub-zero metal,
whipping the snow into a frenzy.

Death smiled at me:
A crooked grin of ice shards
as I fishtailed my way toward his steed.

Death waves in my rear-view
while I try to correct my one-ton ride
out of the sideways slide
but he managed to lasso me back in

180 degrees, back to his waiting clutches
and all I can think,
All I can think
in that frame-by-frame skid,
Don’t go over the rail,
Don’t roll over the rail!

The crunch of metal, plastic, and fiberglass
against unyielding steel.
Noxious air-bag vapors strangle my lungs
as I roll down my window
to breathe freezing air.

Death stared me down
one blustery February morning
and Death blinked.


Slinging Verse

It’s another week and time for a new blog. In this episode, I’ll talk a little bit about poetry and if you stick around until the end, I’ll share one of my poems.
I’ve been writing poetry since I was introduced to a wonderful crowd of fellow writers back in my college days. Through the years, I’ve had the pleasure of slinging verse with people from all walks of life and backgrounds. We’ve had open mic nights, poetry slams, and various incarnations of writing groups. I find being around creative people inspires me to be more creative. A little healthy competition and peer feedback are just what my writing muse asks for.
If you haven’t tried one of these venues to help get the creative juices flowing, then I highly recommend you do. At the very least, you’ll walk away with some new friends and new ways of looking at your own writing.
And now, as promised, an original poem. This is one of my earliest poems, written around 2007 or 2008. Enjoy, and as always feel free to share, comment, and like. Stay focused and Write On.

That First Poem

Wrapped in the words
as much as my mother’s arm.
Protecting me from the terrible images,
Letting me peek through my fingers
as they flitted past.
Dark shapes at the window,
pecking on the panes,
ruffling feathers skimming past my ear
to perch above my bedroom door.

Even then I wouldn’t cover my eyes.
It was just a poem.
The pictures were painted with clarity,
sculpting my impressionable mind.
I was adventurous when it came to reading,
librarians trying to break my spirit
would be answered by mom,
“Don’t worry about him,
he can handle it.”

The words and images captivated,
anchored in my heart,
keeping me fearless.
I could fight phantoms,
look for ghosts,
and visit hags in the woods
on a moonless night.
That first poem would guide me safely,


A First Step

A new year has just started and with it comes a slew of resolutions. Some will be kept while others will be discarded in short order. This, however, is not an attempt at keeping a misguided resolution. This is a step in my plan to be more active with my writing. This will not be an advice blog. It is not meant to be a road map to success. This is me, Brad A Bott, sharing my personal journey through the wonders and sometimes perils of writing.
I’ve been writing for quite some time now, with some minor accomplishments and have always had a fascination with the written word. I hold a BS in English Education which only helped fuel my passion. Throughout the course of this new adventure, I plan on sharing some of my writing, which includes poetry, short stories, and whatever else a story calls for. I also plan to share books I’m reading, more about me, and whatever else I find relevant to my writing process. Look for new blogs every Wednesday . Feel free to comment, follow, and share if you are so inclined. You never know, maybe something I share will inspire, or at the very least, entertain you for a bit. Here’s to a new year and a new chapter, so stay focused and Write On.