Posted in Poetry

Book Title Poems From a Stormy Night

Last night, thunderstorms and a pot of evening coffee proved to be the perfect combination for pulling books off my shelves and making some more book title found poems. Here are a few of my latest creations:

img_20170115_214947

The Arrival

In the lake of the woods,
strange little girls
wait ’till Helen comes
out of darkness
(beautiful darkness)
the girl from the well
extending the shade,
inhaling the silence.

Old friend from far away,
time you let me in.

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img_20170115_235218

Growing Pains

hard times,
brave new world–
the flag of childhood
catching fire

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Why the Dwarf Had to Be Shot

Miss Nelson is missing!
The walls around us red as blood,
the creeping shadow leaving a trace
a darker shade of magic.
Mortal coils fuel
smoke from this alter.
All that lives must die.

I am not a serial killer.

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img_20170115_223638

Journaling the Apocalypse

Vampires in the lemon grove
howl the sound of water.

Snugglepot and Cuddlepie
speak of the devil.

Places left unfinished at the time of creation
linger

The sky is everywhere
when you are engulfed in flames.

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Posted in Poetry, Reading

More Book Title Poems

My new bookcase! Which I put together mostly by myself. Every book shown here was written by a Central Texas author. I love living in such a vibrant literary community.
My new bookcase! Which I put together mostly by myself.

I recently got a new bookcase, which necessitated the reorganization of my books, which resulted in books EVERYWHERE, which led to more BOOK TITLE POEMS. Yea! I first discovered this lovely little time-consumer about a year ago when two titles sitting side-by-side on my shelf made me laugh. A lightbulb went off in my head and three hours later my house was a mess and I’d written this piece for my blog.

What are book title poems? It’s pretty simple, really. They’re a type of found poetry where you create poems out of book titles. And I was definitely not the first person to have this idea. Just google “book title poems” and you’ll find all sorts of examples of this art form, ranging from the super sweet to the naughty. In fact, if you do google it, one of the first links that will pop up is from my friend Annie. Her poems are awesome, and we have several of the same books. What’s funny is I didn’t discover her book title poems until after I’d already written mine. 🙂 If you like this idea, you should definitely check out Annie’s post because she has links to other good book title found poetry, as well as tips for how to create your own.

Ok, so here’s what I came up with this time. The poems are typed out for your convenience, since some spines are difficult to read. Also, while I’m hardcore and stick to only books I have in my house and don’t add any additional words to my poems, I do format and sprinkle in punctuation where necessary to enhance the meaning.

Enjoy!

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This is the first poem that emerged from my pile of books this time.

Inhalingthesilence

Inhaling the Silence 

Stargirl,
Wish girl,
Shopgirl,
speak
the words
under
the words,
little women,
inhaling the silence
within these walls.

 

“Within these walls” was just too good of a last line, so I had to use it again.

BraveNewWorld

Brave New World

I was told there’d be cake
at the gates of darkness—
a mango-shaped space,
accidental joy.
Quicker than the eye
things fall apart.
A monster calls
out of my mind.
The skin I’m in shrieks
at midnight
much ado about nothing.
Even cowgirls get the blues
within these walls.

 

Here’s one about the writing process, specifically about the process of getting a great idea in the middle of the night and realizing in the morning that it doesn’t make any sense.

OnWritingPoems

On Writing Poems That Last Forever

The eleventh hour,
something’s brewing—
a light in the attic,
notes from the midnight driver,
anything but typical.

The trouble with poetry,
it all changed in an instant.
Fear of flying,
the place my words are looking for
(places left unfinished
at the time of creation)
come with me.
The things they carried:
pure drivel.

 

This is my favorite one. I think it’s haunting.

IkIlltheMockingbird

I Kill the Mockingbird

I know
why the caged bird sings.
The god of small things
eats, shoots
& leaves.
We the living
shiver.
All that lives must die.
My wicked
wicked ways
walk two moons
on the road.
Remember me like this:
the prince of mist,
red as blood,
sailing alone
around the room,
going
going
to kill a mockingbird.

 

I’m also partial to this one. And I think it’s the most visually pleasing of all the poems.

TheOctoberCountry

The October Country

As I walked out one evening
walking the black cat,
vampires in the lemon grove
schooled the death catchers.

This I believe:
There is no long distance now
     the sky is everywhere.

What my mother doesn’t know:
I have lived a thousand years
     at the gates of darkness.
Holes linger
where I’m calling from.

 

Sometimes short and sweet is the way to go.

Ice

untitled

Rats saw god
in the kingdom of ice,
mortal coils
surviving Antarctica,
misery
salting the ocean,
the light fantastic.

TheLastGeneration

The Last Generation

When you are engulfed in flames
in the lake of the woods,
eat, pray,
love little green men.
Speak
the machineries of joy,
call it courage.
Only you can save mankind.

 

This is another favorite. Habibi is the Arabic word for “beloved.”

Habibi

Habibi

Before I die,
remember me like this:
the giver off the road,
the book thief
tap dancing on the roof,
lord of the flies
walking the black cat.
Speak my own true name:
habibi.

 

I wanted to format this poem as two voices. The first voice (on the left) is hers, and the second voice (on the right) is his. The centered sections are left to interpretation, maybe things they both agree on. There was no way to make this format work in the photo. I couldn’t get the books to balance that way. But I created the visual I was going for below.

WhyWeBrokeUp

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 11.21.15 PM

It was getting pretty late when I created these last three. I was running out of books and things were getting weird…

Evidence

 

Evidence of Things Not Seen

The turtle of Oman
     surviving Antarctica
A monk
     swimming the writer’s journey
The miniature wife
     writing down the bones
The illustrated man
     saving fish from drowning
Brown girl
     dreaming the thirteenth tale
The book thief
     giving thanks

DeptOfSpec

 

Dept. of Speculation

We the living wonder
how did you get this number?
What have you lost?
A wrinkle in time,
the box,
the secret life of bees?
Let’s explore diabetes
with owls.
This is the story
of a happy marriage:
not quite
what I was planning.

DontReadThis

 

Don’t Read This!

Johnny and the dead
eat, pray, love
@ the restaurant
at the end of the universe.
A pig with six legs
sees behind trees.
Frankenstein, Dracula,
Mr. Mysterious & Company
(a confederacy of dunces)
linger forever.
Which witch
rides a dread legion?
The outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place
wonder.

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I think I’ll stop there. They just got weirder and weirder after that. I hope some of these made you smile. If you decide to create some of your own, have fun and enjoy the mess. 🙂

Posted in Poetry, Reading

10 Book Title Found Poems

This weekend, I was scanning my shelves looking for a book when I came across two titles side by side that formed a sentence. I thought, Ha ha! That’s funny! Then I thought, Hmm… Then I thought, I love books, I love poems, and I love found poetry, so… Suddenly, it became clear to me that I needed to combine these loves. Five minutes later, my house looked like this:

BookPoemMess

The rules were:
#1 – I could only use titles of books I actually have in the house.
#2 – I could only use each book once. (I think I broke this rule a couple of times.)
#3 – I could not add any words to the poems. What you see in the titles is what you get.

These are the 10 best book title found poems that I came up with from the books in my house. (They are in no particular order, but my favorites are #3 and #10.) I’ve typed them up to make them easier to read and to add spacing and punctuation but, true to Rule #3, I have not added any words.

Some are silly, some serious, some a little bit creepy. I hope you enjoy them.

1. “Tales From the Teacher’s Lounge”

TalesFromtheTeachersLounge

“Tales From the Teacher’s Lounge”

Something’s brewing,
not quite what I was planning…
I am the cheese going, going
out of my mind—

Hard times,
a confederacy of dunces.

I was told there’d be cake.

2. “Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac”

MemoirsofaTeenageAmnesiac

“Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac”

As I walked out one evening
my thirteenth winter,
I heard the owl call my name…

I never saw another butterfly.

3. “Once Upon a More Enlightened Time”

FairyTale

Once upon a more enlightened time,
the wizard, the witch, & two girls from Jersey
go and come back,
longing for a kiss,
hugging the jukebox,
tap dancing on the roof.

It all changed in an instant
on the road dark and dangerous.
The things they carried
linger.

4. “What Have You Lost?”

WhatHaveYouLost

“What Have You Lost?”

Fear of flying off the road,
the flag of childhood,
sixth grade secrets,
the place my words are looking for,
the pleasure of my company…
half a life.

5. “The Teacher’s Funeral”

TheTeachersFuneral

“The Teacher’s Funeral”

Guys read:
The handbook of heartbreak,
horoscopes for the dead.
We the living speak
words under the words,
truth and beauty,
tears of a tiger
salting the ocean.
The only boy in ballet class,
giving thanks.

6. “Something’s Brewing”

SomethingsBrewing2

“Something’s Brewing”

Something wicked this way comes,
a lantern in her hand.
A monster calls
from the dust returned,
“All that lives must die.”
The witch’s face—
sailing alone around the room.
The death catchers
shiver.

7. “Vegetables and Other Relationships”

VegetablesAndOtherRelationships

“Vegetables and Other Relationships”

Good omens: I feel a little jumpy around you.
Love is a mix tape—
truth and beauty, forever.

It all changed in an instant.

I’ll ask you three times, are you OK?
I can’t keep my own secrets.
Quicker than the eye, things fall apart.

Let’s pretend this never happened.
So long, and thanks for all the fish.

8. “Thirteen Reasons Why the Chickens are Restless”

13Reasons

“Thirteen Reasons Why the Chickens are Restless”

(1) Picnic, (2) Lightning,
(3) Drums, (4) Girls, & (5) Dangerous pie.
(6) The sound of water,
(7) Daisy Fay & (8) The miracle man.
(9) THIS SAME SKY.
(10) The snows of Kilimanjaro, (11) The bean trees,
(12)The old man & (13) The sea.

9. “I Have Lived a Thousand Years”

IhaveLivedaThousandYears

“I Have Lived a Thousand Years”

I have lived a thousand years,
there is no long distance now.
This I believe:
trouble don’t last.
Come with me
in the kingdom of birds
before I die.
A maze me.
Call it courage.

 10. Untitled

OnFaith

“Are you there God?
It’s me, Margaret.”

“How did you get this number?”

 

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What poems are lurking in your bookshelves waiting to be found?
I’d love to see some of your creations in the comments!

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Click here for more of my book title poems. *