Z for short.

"To write more, write more." Short posts just to keep my writing going.

I don’t think so

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She looked triumphantly at me and said, “You could have done better,” as if she was my loss and someone else’s gain.

“I don’t think so,” I replied.

Then she crawled into the limo, inelegantly with an unflattering behind.

That gold-digging bitch is so going into my next book.

Written by Solveig H.

October 13, 2014 at 12:56 am

Posted in Short stories

Google Poetics

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Google Poetics is fun. It has nothing to do with Google the company, but everything to do with Google’s search engine and its autocomplete suggestions. Most of the times the suggestions are just, well, suggestions, but sometimes there is more to them – a reflection of the user’s mind, an existential question, a cry in the dark night, maybe combined with a question about how to create paper with torn edges in Photoshop. What they all have in common is that they are created by us, the search engine users, and sometimes the resulting lines look like a little poem – a Google poem. Here’s one of mine:

Google Poetics

I tried it a few times and put the results together into one longer poem. I called it Google Love.

Google Poetics

Written by Solveig H.

March 5, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Posted in Google Poetics

Day 1 in U.S. of A

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[5 words in another language]

How do you take your coffee?
she asked, and I said
In a cup, s’il vous plaît,
a big one,
I’m so jet-legged.
Later we found out
that we both knew Pierre,
and I said Oh mon Dieu,
and she said OMG
and Get outta here,
so I left.

(c) 2013- Z for short.

Prompt: Write a poem that contains at least five words in other languages.

Written by Solveig H.

April 30, 2013 at 12:42 am

Posted in NaPoWriMo 2013, Poems

Tagged with ,

Black and White, with a Dash of Ruby

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Silhouette of woman

“Fashion” courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A black, single glove with
an extended middle finger:
          “Where is my mate?”
hereby joined in happy union
with its white, widowed
counterpart (a gift from
my aunt Bertha).

Pact sealed with a ruby ring
(my grandmother’s from
the swinging twenties)
on the aforementioned finger.

We never looked so good,
they say, one black and one white,

          while the fate
          of their mates
          remains one of
          mankind’s great

I put on a black hat and
ruby-red lipstick.

(c) 2013- Z for short.

Prompt: Write a poem inspired by a color.

Written by Solveig H.

April 29, 2013 at 1:53 pm

A Writer’s Cave

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In the bittersweet world of words
I cannot escape because
they were entrusted to me
when my destiny was carved out,

        I sip coffee from mugs
        with city names on them,
        while sketchy characters
        on yellow post-its
        put their lives
        in my hands
        and await their destiny.

This is my hermit hole,
where I rule and
swing open doors
to new worlds.

(c) 2013- Z for short.

Prompt: Choose a proverb and use the first three words as search term in a search engine. Collect words and phrases from the results and use them as inspiration for a new poem.

I chose the proverb The door swings both ways. Among the search results were the lyrics of a song of the same title by Herman’s Hermits: Everyone’s life is bittersweet / It’s a door that opens wide / And no man can call himself complete / Till he’s seen it from both sides

Written by Solveig H.

April 28, 2013 at 12:55 am

“On Tears” Erased

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Today’s challenge is to erase whole chunks of words from a poem and leave the remaining words in their original position. I chose Jack Kerouac’s On Tears. After the erasure, a shorter tearful poem emerged.



              in dark railyards
I wept to understand
             Father father
Why hast thou forsaken me?
I want to be saved

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Here’s the original:

        ON TEARS

        Tears is the break of my brow,
        The moony tempestuous
        Sitting down in dark railyards
        When to see my mother’s face
        Recalling from the waking vision
        I wept to understand
        The trap mortality
        And personal blood of earth
        Which saw me in—Father father
        Why hast thou forsaken me?
        Mortality & unpleasure
        Roam this city—
        Unhappiness my middle name
        I want to be saved,-
        Sunk—can’t be
        Won’t be
        Never was made—
        So retch!


Prompt: Take a poem and erase words and lines,
while maintaining the relative position of the remaining words.

Written by Solveig H.

April 26, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Posted in NaPoWriMo 2013, Poems

Tagged with

One Month in a Poet’s Shoes

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Write one poem each day in April — that is what the annual National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) is all about. For me, it was a month-long writing exercise, and I want to share my experiences and some of my poems. I usually do not write poems, but what if a poet is born from this experiment? What if there is a poet locked up inside me? Maybe she has been screaming to me for so long that she lost her voice and I never heard her. Will she be mad at me and not give me a moment’s peace but keep me forever writing and writing?

NaPoWriMo was founded by poet Maureen Thorson in 2003. She modeled the project after NaNoWriPo (National Novel Writing Month). Although a national American event, it has turned into an international one. WordPress bloggers from all over the world have published their poems.

I am a narrator more than a poet, and I usually experiment with short-short stories in which I try to capture the moment, like a street life moment. My poems appeared to be short, too — which suits me well as English is not my mother tongue. The shortest poem is my valediction (farewell poem):

Once I thought
the world of you.
Now I take my leave.

My favorite, however, is this un-love poem, written ten days into the NaPoWriMo:

You bring me coffee
and I bake you cake.
I eat your coffee
and you drink my cake.
Then we practice
the art of conversation.

To write a valediction and an un-love poem was just two of the challenges thrown at us. Every day, we were presented with an optional prompt. It could be a certain theme or a form (cinquain, ottava rima, tanka, pantun).

I was surprised by how easily the words or word-pictures came to me, even if I am new to poetry writing. Sometimes when I write, I construct lines that I am really satisfied with and I cannot stop smiling. One such line is the one about the lonely saxophone that brushes the day off the night people at the Moody Blues Bar. I wrote it the day we were asked to write a novel noir inspired poem. Mine was about PI Sam Marley.

A tanka is a 5-line poem with five, seven, five, seven and seven syllables, respectively. The two final lines should have an unexpected twist. Mine goes like this:

“Here’s to you, Eve, dear,
and here’s to epidural.”
“To motherhood, Eve.”
At me they threw an apple.
Ask them why. I’m just a snake.

The most challenging one was the pantun, a 4-liner in which the first two lines appear disconnected in meaning from the last two, but there is still supposed to be some kind of connection between them. In my poem, the “I” persona is still in her own cocoon, not yet ready to present her colorful cupcakez, be it poems, art or simply cupcakes, to the world. Sadly, I did not get it the way I wanted.

Inside the cocoon, the butterfly
     awaits its final transformation.
I try to imagine the day when my
     cupcakes are ready for presentation.

I like this one better, with single declarative lines followed by a rhetorical question — at least, that was the prompt:

She calls her poems mind bliss.
369 pages of sublime divinity.
Heaven in three verses and between the lines.
So what?

I think I understand what I am trying to say with this poem — well, I should since I wrote it. There are all kinds of poems: Poems that matter and truly touch us. There are poems that are merely nicely wrapped words, which is apparently the case with the 369 pages mentioned above, and poems that are über-explained. Then there is the peculiar type of poems about the queerer side of life that put a smile on the reader’s face. I like that.

It is about finding your own voice and style, I guess. And if you cannot decide whether to pursue this or that, you can always follow the advice I gave in one of the fortune cookie lines we wrote: If you cannot choose between London and Paris, choose Amsterdam.

As for me, I am not really convinced about that screaming poet inside me, but I have more than surprised myself within my own frame of writing skills. Mission accomplished in that sense.

Thanks for the opportunity, WordPress and Maureen Thorson! Thank you, fellow WordPressers, for sharing your poems! I had a blast.

Written by Solveig H.

April 25, 2013 at 7:57 pm


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