Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Junkyard quotes 1-4, Week 11?

"You - just to look at you makes me feel better. It warms this - this mummy's heart of mine". -Ikiru

"I look forward to a great future for America - a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose". -John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"Don't steal from Medicare to support socialized medicine" - protest sign at a conservative 'Tea Party'.

"Man fuck cribbage, the only people who play cribbage are old people who have given up on life"! - my friend after losing cribbage.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Free Write 1, Week 10

How to Roll the Perfect Cigarette.

Good cigs start with good papers,
perfect smokes start with good tobacco.
Bugler sucks, Tops and Drum are just OK, but Pueblo leaf is perfect.
'Fumer perjudica gravemente su salud y la... la la la' smoking kills you.
To start, crush the skins between your fingers to make it more maliable, like adding water to clay.
Then select a unreasonable amount of cancer to be placed into your L and roll it down using your thumb, pointer and middle fingers of each hand.
You will not be taking seriously if you require a cigarette roller, the fanny pack of rolling cigarettes.
The hardest part is closing.
Carefully add a layer of saliva to the gummed end of the pape(the yellow end that seals).
If you use to much, it won't stick.
If you use to little, it won't stick.
Such is life,
the only way to be good at smoking is to do it often.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Junkyard quotes 1-4, week 10

'And now this land, means less and less to me without you breathing through its trees.' Mumford and Sons.

'I preferred it when the Bros and prostitutes lived on the block.' -Roommate

'You know what? You can't do that back to me. If we're upset, your job is not to get upset back at us. Our job is to be upset. If I get mad and wanna eat you, then you have to say: "Oh, okay. You can eat me. I love you. Whatever makes you happy, Judith." That's what you're supposed to do!' -Where the Wild Things Are.

'A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men' -Willy Wonka

Monday, March 21, 2011

Response 2, Week 8.

These are some wonderfully thought provoking quotes. I especially like the one by Tee Tee. The heart is such a guiding force in our lives, it takes and gives indiscriminately and sometimes a great deal of suffering comes with our human desires. The quote does a great job a explaining the very complex issue of want vs. need, meaning often our wants come from the heart, where as our needs spring from the mind. The Rosten quote is also powerful and speaks to the importance of denying happiness for the greater good. Sometimes the more important think is the harder thing. Like the quote, 'I didn't say it was going to be easy, but its going to be worth it.'

Response 1, Week 8. Erickson

Erickson I love the use of musical imagery and the references to the classic jazz age musicians. The personification you create with the music was also something I really enjoyed. The artful way that you present the music and jazz as things that reside in your hair and how the guitar riffs drench the streets create such a powerful and visual image for the reader. And the ending alteration/personification 'raining rhythm' is good writing and really fleshes out the themes weather and jazz. The nickle and the angles line needs to be reworked because its awkward to say. Also I think the phrase 'real music never dies' is a little poesy and should be eliminated. I really enjoyed reading your work.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Free Write 1, Week 8

Operation Odyssey Dawn for a hundred.
I think it was Bukowski who said that when writers don’t have anything think to write about they write about writing. This coming from the man who has ‘Don’t Try’ written on his head stone in San Pedro, California. It’s a funny thing sitting in a stupid uncomfortable library chair, surrounded by stories and I struggle for a hundred words. Sixty nine and still have said absolutely nothing about the Libya crises or the Everest steep gas prices choking the salt of the earth or why the guy at the computer across from me doesn’t speak to his father, the drink. So many lives without words to back them and it’s my fault, because I’m writing about writing and not about living.

Sign Inventory 1, Week 8

a song in the front yard by Gwendolyn Brooks
I’ve stayed in the front yard all my life.
I want a peek at the back
Where it’s rough and untended and hungry weed grows.
A girl gets sick of a rose.

I want to go in the back yard now
And maybe down the alley,
To where the charity children play.
I want a good time today.

They do some wonderful things.
They have some wonderful fun.
My mother sneers, but I say it’s fine
How they don’t have to go in at quarter to nine.
My mother, she tells me that Johnnie Mae
Will grow up to be a bad woman.
That George’ll be taken to Jail soon or late
(On account of last winter he sold our back gate).

But I say it’s fine. Honest, I do.
And I’d like to be a bad woman, too,
And wear the brave stockings of night-black lace
And strut down the streets with paint on my face.

-Speaker is a child and a girl
-Personification of weeds as 'hungry'
-Contrast between the neat and orderly front yard and wild and unkempt back yard, speaker exhibits desire for freedom and fun of the 'back yard' life style.
-'Rose' is a symbol for the pretty, perfect life style of the speaker.
-Active verb uses like 'strut' and 'sneer'.
-Three, four line stanzas and one eight line. The eight line stanza tells a story of the speakers mother and established the bigotry that the girl will assume when she is no long a child.
-Personification of stockings as brave. The stockings become a symbol of childlike confidence.
-Lots of repetition of 'they' and 'are'
-'Charity Children' poor kids, have more imagination and fun because they have less materiel possessions to work with.
-The overall tone of the work is childlike naivety. The speaker desires to rebuke the neat and orderly life she has in favor of the mystery and excitement of the lower class. This also creates a sense of irony because she wants to move down the socioeconomically hierarchy.
-The imagery used is gritty and dark. The author uses images like hungry weeds, winter, ‘night-black lace’ and jail to contrast the assumed neatness of the speaker’s front yard.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Junkyard 1-4, Week 8?

Man no offense but that's some weak-ass thinking. You equivocating like a motherfucker. -Bubs; The Wire

1 in the air for the people in here.
2 in the air for the father thats there.
3 in the air for the kids in the ghetto.
4 for the kids that don't want to be there.
none for the niggas tryn to hold them back.
5 in the air for the teachers not scared to tell them kids that are livin in the ghetto with the nigga's holden'em back that the world is theirs. - Lupe Fiasco

She's just so relentlessly positive. A complete foil to me. I think I'm gonna marry her. Or at least torture myself with the idea of her. Either is fine with me. -(A fairly intoxicated) Benjamin.

Your not obliged to swallow anything you despise. Those unrelenting buzzards want your life. And they got no right, as sure as you have eyes, they got no right. -The Shins.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Free Write 1, Week 7

The Perfect Bar.

The bar must be secluded, intimate for conversation yet still retain a certain amount of interesting people. People with stories of their adventures as longshoreman in The North, people of the Wharf and surf. Or even people who can explain the geometry of billiards or how the engine block works. Next, the beer must be cheep and you must befriend the bartenders. These two 'musts' are the result of a single purpose, money. I don't want to spend a lot of it when I buy drinks and if the bartender likes you enough they might give you the freebie once in a while. Also misconduct and non-gentlemen like behavior can be handled void of Law enforcement. The last requirement is that it must be an environment of joy and not of depression or anger. I wish to see no sad saps crying into their gin and fizz nor do i wish to be accosted by a drunken youth. I wish to be in peace, in a place that unconsciously opens the mind and makes you think of strangers as people, with the aid of liquid courage.

Calistenic 1, Week 7

1) Why is the check engine light always on?
-Because the engine always wanted the be the transmission.
-Because they no longer teach auto shop in school anymore.
-Because the shady yuppie you bought it from is a strict capitalist.
-Because the car won't pass emissions unless the light is off and you can't see if the new thousand dollar part for the car works unless you drive it around, but you can't drive it around until you get a new tag which you won't get unless you pass emissions.
-Because the car is a terrorist and emotionally withholding.
-Because its a BMW, "The ultimate driving machine" and hipsters love irony.
-Because you just can't have a convertible and have it in working condition, cosmicly speaking.
-Because the car believes that it can make it in the world based on its looks and luck.
-Because the arrogant owner did not offer the proper gasoline, steal and leather sacrifice to the car Gods.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Junkyard 1-4, Week 7

"In the old days people used to study to better themselves. Now they study to impress others." -Confucius.

"Well that's just a part of it". -Pop

'I was watching a television program before, with a kind of roving moderator who spoke to a seated panel of young women who were having some sort of problem with their boyfriends - apparently, because the boyfriends had all slept with the girlfriends' mothers. And they brought the boyfriends out, and they fought, right there on television. Toby, tell me: these people don't vote, do they?'Jeb Bartlet; The West Wing

"so lets talk about this hypothetical pizza." -Roommate

Monday, February 21, 2011

Response 2, Week 6: Erickson

Erickson the structure of this work is very complex, yet you handle it gracefully. The expansion of the poems lines creates tension as you read the stanza, if the reader didn’t cheat and look at the bottom of the stanza, it’s my favorite part. What I love most about this poem is the emotion reaction it creates for the reader through the tension, you literally feel something as your eyes scan the page and it was very well structured. I feel as though the images could have been a little richer and thus added to the drama of the piece, but that can be easily done upon review of the work. Well done sir.

Response 1, Week 6; Elizabeth Wood

Elizabeth, as you have read from me, I am in love with southern culture and the imagery that your writing presents was fantastic. I love how you started off the work with the phrase ‘Northern Aggression’ and followed up this lament by capitalizing the phrase. This really creates an emphasis on the confusion between northern and southern culture and enhances the tension between the speaker and the person being addressed. Next I’d like to say that your ‘southern’ images are spot on. The red clay, used tires and fried green tomatoes really create a sense of authenticity and you handled the cataloguing of these images with grace. The humor used also created a very enjoyable read.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Calisthenic 1, Week 6. Object Studies: A pen

"Are you the kind of person who brings more than one writing utensil to class because apparently I'm the kind of person who doesn't bring any writing utensils to class".

Rolling pin cylindrical, Keys to many mental cell, O' liberator of thought.
I'll jam you into the heart of the page and set free the life.
Once, in high school, I was stabbed in the back with a pencil.
If we could, we'd save the world from its misery, slaying page after page.
Alas we cannot. For it seems I have forgotten you on the bus.

I used the prompt in the back of the section 1 exercises.

Improve 1, Week 6

Thank You by Mostafa Abderlrahman

Thanks for always being there for me.
Thanks for that person you helped me to be
Thanks that you never let me be alone
Thanks that forever you promise to be my own
Thanks for black memories you helped me to remove Thanks for loyalty that every day you prove
Thanks for the smile you put back on my face
Thanks that my loneliness has got no more space
Thanks for your patience that time I was so fool
Thanks you forget that whenever you get my call
If life has got some justice I'd thank you forever
It wouldn’t be enough, , , , for the best person ever

No Thank You by Ben McClain

No thank you V necks, Ed hardy or non-blind people who wear sunglasses indoors.
No thanks to your ironic Cosby sweaters two sizes too small.
NO thanks to 'men' in skinny jeans.
No thanks to any kind of liquor that comes in a plastic bottle.
No thanks to keystone, I'm not Greek.
No thanks economy, unemployment, fear mongers and Glen (Theirs no crying in politics) Beck.
No thanks to suffering, to starving families, to Bernie FUCKING Madoff
No thanks to unshared beds.
No thanks to thoughts of you.
No thanks to not being good enough.
No thanks to you.

Free Write 1, Week 6

Party notes, taken from an unfortunately sober point of view.

-Two fully grown men are playing WWE in the front yard.
-Three girls are crying somewhere in the house.
-Five hippies are standing around a fire.
-Two shirtless white guy are sandwiched between two big, black girls.
-Eight people are sitting on the owners bed, smoking pot.
-Ten guys and ten girls are going home alone.
-Five of Ten drunk hook-ups went poorly.
-Zero children conceived, hopefully.
-Thirty red cups.
-Five different kinds of vodka.
-Hundreds of beer.
-One sober house owner in case the cops come.
-Zero cops the entire night.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Junkyard 1-4, Week 6

"Yes, if you don't like it you can leave. This isn't Eric Robert's tepee you know?" -30 Rock

EX-GF- "Are you under the influence of anything"?
Me- "Ice coffee and Camel lights Mom why"?

"Amours fog" - Over heard in one of my classes

"I was throw out of collage for cheating on a metaphysics exam. I was looking into the soul of the boy sitting next to me."-Woody Allen.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Response 2, Week 5. Ray

Ray the title of this work is fantastic, it does a wonderful job at reinforcing the desperation felt in the tone of the work. The way that you mix the image of the 'big city' and 'sands of Puerto Rican beach' was also interesting and clued the reader into the mind of the subject. Things I would work on would be your word choice. 'Vast Sky' is a given, 'utter chaos' has been used often, as has 'hell hole'. However, the imagery with the astrological sighs was really enjoyable to read. How you voiced Sagittarius as the most important sign because it takes up the whole sky was interesting and amusing. Also how you mixed the theme of destiny with the stars creates a Shakespearean 'star-crossed' effect. Well done Sir.

Responce 1, Week 5. Erickson

Erickson, this is a lovely bit of writing that has many admirable qualities. First off I love the way you artfully 'handled' the personification of hand throughout the work. The way the hands learn and mold and create; I like the way you give hands a personality and essentially make them a person. I also greatly enjoyed the dichotomy you build with how differently the hands 'handles' things. You made the reader consciously aware of the fact that we approach things differently with our touch and our grasp. The repetition of 'fists' at the end unsettled the flow of the work a little in my eyes, considering the repetition of 'hands'. I also thought it was very clever how you ended the work with good-bye.

Free Write 1, Week 5

What happened to my friend? Where has he gone? Where is the person who taught me how to roll? Where is the person who taught me reason? Where has your reason gone? Remember the mountain in the quad where we burned our sacrifice? Remember where the rocks where we set our bond? Remember when our names became one and our bond was forged? Remember gin and tonic and the guy who can make the best in Europe? Best of the world, bad grammar on the blue World Cup flag. Where have you gone? Where is my friend? Lost and alone in the prison you built, I weep for us both.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sign Inventory 1, Week 5

"Out, Out" By Robert Frost
The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood, Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it. And from there those that lifted eyes could count Five mountain ranges one behind the other Under the sunset far into Vermont. And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled, As it ran light, or had to bear a load. And nothing happened: day was all but done. Call it a day, I wish they might have said To please the boy by giving him the half hour That a boy counts so much when saved from work. His sister stood beside him in her apron To tell them "Supper." At the word, the saw, As if it meant to prove saws know what supper meant, Leaped out at the boy's hand, or seemed to leap - He must have given the hand. However it was, Neither refused the meeting. But the hand! Half in appeal, but half as if to keep The life from spilling. Then the boy saw all - Since he was old enough to know, big boy Doing a man's work, though a child at heart - He saw all was spoiled. "Don't let him cut my hand off - The doctor, when he comes. Don't let him, sister!" So. The hand was gone already. The doctor put him in the dark of ether. He lay and puffed his lips out with his breath. And then - the watcher at his pulse took a fright. No one believed. They listened to his heart. Little - less - nothing! - and that ended it. No more to build on there. And they, since they Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.

-Title allusion to Macbeth
-Title reinforces theme of poem which is brevity of life.
-Snarled and rattled repeated, personifying the saw.
-Alteration with S sounds, IE: "sweet-scented stuff" and "saw snarled"
-Synecdoche; "to keep the life from spilling"
-Dark of ether= sedation. interesting word choice.
-Poem presented unbroken, paragraph form.
-Omnipresent speaker.
-"Little - less - nothing" creates rhythmic effect of a dying heart beat.
-Title also reinforced by the reaction of the people, knowing that life is short and can be taken the away at anytime, they continue there "affairs"
-Uses dialogue between characters to express emotions, telling over showing.
-no one is given a name, distancing the speaker from the action.
-Imagery is gray and dark, like it is about to snow.

Calistenic 1, Week 5

Contraction Rewrite.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others" -Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love.

My Rewrite.

Not Inadequate by Benjamin McClain

My fear is not inadequacy.
My fear is power beyond measure.
My light, never my darkness stirs me.
We fearfully ask the night,
Who am I to be Talented?
Who am I to be Brilliant?

Who am I not to Be?
For we are of God.
No illumination can be derived from timid search.
No enlightenment gained from shrinking for others.
Playing small does not serve the world.
Shine my friend, As children do.

And as we shine, our presence allows others.
And as we are liberated from our fears,
we allow others to do the same.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Junkyard 1-4, Week 5

"It's about the economy of the soul" -Dad

"Ras Clot" -?, patios for a dirty word.

"I can't even see through the walls man" -Tboi

"I'm a little bo-ho"-Brit

Monday, February 7, 2011

Response to Sydney, Week 4

What I like about this verse is the wonderful and diverse use of imagrey and language. You artfully matched the proper word to the image that best suits it, this creates such a symphony of image that really comes alive on the page and is a great joy for the reader. Also I like the sexual tone that the verse takes points, that's a very brave choice and you handled it well. If I were to afford any criticism it would be that perhaps the work could use another round of condensing, I felt myself becoming lost at some points but that's only a minor issue. At any rate well done dear. Response

Sign inventory 1, Week 4

The Trouble with Poetry by Bill Collins

The trouble with poetry, I realized
as I walked along a beach one night --
cold Florida sand under my bare feet,
a show of stars in the sky --

the trouble with poetry is
that it encourages the writing of more poetry,
more guppies crowding the fish tank,
more baby rabbits
hopping out of their mothers into the dewy grass.

And how will it ever end?
unless the day finally arrives
when we have compared everything in the world
to everything else in the world,

and there is nothing left to do
but quietly close our notebooks
and sit with our hands folded on our desks.

Poetry fills me with joy
and I rise like a feather in the wind.
Poetry fills me with sorrow
and I sink like a chain flung from a bridge.

But mostly poetry fills me
with the urge to write poetry,
to sit in the dark and wait for a little flame
to appear at the tip of my pencil.

-Begins with the subject, then gives us some imagery.
-Completely leaves audience in the wind in the first stanza.
-Imagery in the first stanza has a feeling of isolation, reinforced by the 'cold sand'
-'Cold sand' contrasts with the setting IE; a beach in Fl
-Very descriptive second stanza, poet tells the audience the trouble with words and several descriptions.
-Animal imagery used to explain human behavior in the second stanza
-third and forth stanza parallel each other, the first telling the action and the second describing it.
-fifth stanza exhibits contrary imagrey with the feather and the chain, joy and sorrow.
-end with an image of the Muse or the Spark that generates all verse.

Calisthenic 1, Week 4

Abstract to concrete.

deceit- People who want to be in charge.
dedication- a father teaching his son to ride a bike
curiosity- a moth to a flame
trust- your rock climbing spotter
relaxation- a sweating glass of lemonade
Bravery- Rooster Cogburn
Loyalty- the sun and the moon
Honesty- the flame of a candle
Compassion- Mother Superior
Charity- pulling the plug
Skill- splitting an arrow
Beauty- a maple leaf
Brilliance- e=mc^2
Pain- a shot to the knee-cap
Misery- Fargo

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Junkyard Quotes 1-4, Week 4

"Please don't make fun of me. I just wanted to flirt with you." Steve Zissou

"I think I'd miss you even if we never met." ?

"Drug dealers hang around me like yes me and they gonna do whatever I says when I says it. It's in there best interest to protect there investment." Eminem

-"Years ago you trusted my opinion" -Bobby
-"Years ago you were easier to trust" -Me

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Free Write 1, Week 4

This is my attempt at a stream-of-conscious verse. Maybe one day I'll be confident enough to not put a disclaimer at the head of each verse. :)

Its two-pairs-of-gloves cold. The kind of conditions that makes me wish I had a girlfriend or at least an Ex that still talked to me. White knuckles clutch my counter-productive cocktail and I sit on my porch, drinking every time I see a car pass. White truck, drink. Black van, drink. Green Yaris, drink twice. I’m not going to bore you with the details, but I will say that loving her is like chasing a train going in the wrong direction. Alas, the wheels go round, the trouble with that is you can’t see the mechanism while you’re riding. She told me once,”The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence” as it relegates to WMD’S and my begrudged affection. Watch me as I pull Significance out of this black top-hat and holding it by its ears I'll show the starved audience.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Free Write 1, Week 3

My attempt at the catalog.

Base by Ben McClain

Ryan wears fitted hats, pressed bills. Covering his clumps of twisted hair,
like tarp does hay during a winter draft.
He never ties his shoes, Or ritually cleans.
But he doesn’t disappoint during the big times,
like paying the warden His due.

Calvin rarely matches.
His room is cluttered with relics of our affairs with the ‘civilians’ around us,
Little Things like shopping carts and stop sighs and bottles and bottles of
He forgets, the time, the day and sometimes the seasons change,
But he never forgets the important,
Like encouragement and the Courage.

Austin(the girl) has never cleaned a dish.
She bitterly protests the presents of our Gas
And constantly blows out the pilot light making pungent noodles.
But she listens when I complain
And understands my way.

I live with the underground and
It’s a suit that fits my weary bones as I sleep in peace,
on a foundation of pressed loyalty.

Sign inventory 1, Week 3

Robert Burns, A Red, Red Rose
Oh my luve is like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June:
Oh my luve is like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile!

My Inventory:
-Written in traditional Scottish dialect
-Four, Four line ballad stanzas
-lyrical charged
-Author muses a sence of time loss, in addition to seasonal change
-Author creates a feeling of perfection and unblemished love in the line.'Newly sprung in June'
-Repetition, Red, my, dear, luve, I
-Life and death/ passage of time diffrence in the first two and last two stanzas
-Rich contrast between lush spring and dry seas
- musical tone and meter

calisthenic 1, Week 3

Author note- All the source materiel for this work comes from the Post Secret books(people send post cards of there secrets to this guy and he publishes them) because I thought that would be a fun idea. I didn't think the work would have such an intense tone, but I did enjoy taking the words of simple, ordinary people and turning them into something else. Enjoy.

Secrets by Ben McClain

I fear feeling sadness
so waiting
nude at the dull, fog stained window
I allow her image to slip through my fingers.
"..need to stop" written on the glass canvas.
My insides scoffed:
but you won't.
I change my hair instead and wish I were still innocent.
She never gave me a chance and in one sitting,
I came to terms with my accursed mediocrity.

Improv 1, Week 3

Carson McCullers by Charles Bukowski

she died of alcoholism
wrapped in a blanket
on a deck chair
on an ocean

all her books of
terrified loneliness

all her books about
the cruelty
of loveless love

were all that was left
of her

as the strolling vacationer
discovered her body

notified the captain

and she was quickly dispatched
to somewhere else
on the ship

as everything
continued just
she had written it

Hemingway by Benjamin McClain
Stoic hero
Silver-fox warrior of joie de vive
Lived war and bulls and drink.
Only a legend could take you,
Crushed under your ice berg, with the scatter cannon
wrapped in battered paws.
Unaccompanied, Lost with Henry and Jake .
Farewell Tenente,
I’ll bury your grace in the effort of my safari.

Junkyard Quote 3 and 4, Week 3

"Where am I gonna find another girl who hates all the same things I do?" - Paul Rudd in Role Models

"You are what you love, not what loves you" -Adaptation

Junkyard Quote 2, Week 3

"I had a lover's quarrel with the world" - Frost

Junkyard Quote 1, Week 3

" If your losing your soul and you know it, then you still got a soul left to lose." -Bukowski

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Response 2, Week 2 . Dorinda

The quote from Mom was fantastic. The metaphor for life that this quote entails has greatly struck a cord with me and the views I've held towards our society. It seems as though in a modern world your 'sole' is always a commodity up for trade and that is a tragic thought/reality. It also invokes our current economical crisis, people became to greedy and traded in something you cannot buy back. Like Bernie and AIG and the like. People buy 'things' they can't afford and get themselves in trouble, which also relates to the quote provided by Dad, which i also like. Well done.

Response 1, Week 2 . Sydney's junkyard quotes

My favorite is the quote from Jarhead, which is a great film, "We look to the north, we wait for them- we labor in wait." This quote reminds me of all the times when my patience has failed me, when your struggling while doing nothing, like waiting for the bus or an answer to a life changing question. The Harry Potter quote is also very much applicable to life, the way we all hold back sometimes for fear of others knowing what we truly are, the anxiety that accompanies this unwillingness to show our true colors. I fear that I've played this game a lot with the people in my life, hiding behind sarcasm and wit to avoid a connection with someone, to avoid a feeling I don't want to feel.

Junkyard Quote 4, Week 2

"Why must it feel so wrong when I try and do right?" Kid Cudi

Junkyard Quote 3, Week 2

"The world is a fine place and worth fighting for"-Hemingway

Junkyard Quote 2, Week 2

"You can never tear a page from the story of your life, but you can throw the whole book in the fire" -George Sand

Junkyard Quote 1, Week 2

"Facebook is for the week" -me

Free Write 1, Week 2

In Defense of Rap by Benjamin McClain
Vulgar, Tasteless, propagating violence
against women, men, civilization, sanity.
street vernacular; hustle hard, do dirt, push weight, get on your grind,
sell white for green; put green on black for the win.
Fuck that bitch in her feline area, leave responsibilities in
The Dumpster daycare.
Smoke blunts, L's and J's. Find your Forty ounces
to freedom

Neoclassical. A throwback to warrior kings, mortal gods
Wine, Women and Wealth remains the tragic Charge.
Nero gives the thumps-up, let them live
Alas, always remember,
when in the Watts district, do as the Romans do.

Calisthenic 1, Week 2

Abstract words used to create concrete meaning.

love- changing her tire in the rain.
hope- the feeling i get right before a text is given to me
fear- taking a test i don't know the answers to.
anxiety- relentless foot-taping
proud- straight back, chest out
success- the first sip of a cold beer
honor- a vikings beard
blue- Otis Redding
failure- American politics
society- facebook
rejection- the small envelope from the big school.
cosmic- the space between me and her
school- hurry-up and wait
God- my baby brothers smile
confidence- walking with you head up.

improv 1, Week 2

A Martian Sends A Postcard Home by Craig Raine
Caxtons are mechanical birds with many wings
and some are treasured for their markings --

they cause the eyes to melt
or the body to shriek without pain.

I have never seen one fly, but
sometimes they perch on the hand.

Mist is when the sky is tired of flight
and rests its soft machine on ground:

then the world is dim and bookish
like engravings under tissue paper.

Rain is when the earth is television.
It has the property of making colours darker.

Model T is a room with the lock inside --
a key is turned to free the world

for movement, so quick there is a film
to watch for anything missed.

But time is tied to the wrist
or kept in a box, ticking with impatience.

In homes, a haunted apparatus sleeps,
that snores when you pick it up.

If the ghost cries, they carry it
to their lips and soothe it to sleep

with sounds. And yet they wake it up
deliberately, by tickling with a finger.

Only the young are allowed to suffer
openly. Adults go to a punishment room

with water but nothing to eat.
They lock the door and suffer the noises

alone. No one is exempt
and everyone's pain has a different smell.

At night when all the colours die,
they hide in pairs

and read about themselves --
in colour, with their eyelids shut.

Benjamin McClain; Destructive Creatures

Destructive creatures
They waste,
form when the lone crimson eye rises to when it blinks.
And they exile there waste to vast lands,
Forming mountains of nothing.
They waste much of their local currency
On shiny things, everything illuminates when held.
All the while they let others of the same race
Die with nothing to hold.
They waste time most of all
In front of large screens,
they love to watch how others spend their time,
doing nothing themselves, but watching.
Strange creatures, connected to everything,
Yet responsible for nothing.

Response 2, Week 1 . Elizabeth

I really enjoyed your imagery in this work. It made me feel as though I was in the dusty attic of someone's brain. Weather it was intentional or not the attic image stuck with me and gave me many a food for thought for my next work. I also just generally like your word choice,"dreaming of empty things" and "reading all these words and not being any closer to the point" I loved both those lines dearly. I also felt that the entire poem was a thought scrolling across someones head and I really enjoyed the style of that. Well done!

Response 1, Week 1 . Kris

Kris I really enjoyed this poem because of the repetition you use. I’ve always been told that, in literature, repetition equals importance and I believe that you drove the point home. I also enjoyed the subject matter used, the mixing and musing of poetic images like dancing and love and beauty, coupled with the repetition. Some light but hopefully helpful criticism that I have would include: I feel like the poem would great improve if you included some synonyms for your word choices, I think that substituting other words when you place love and beauty in the verse would create a more robust work.

Junkyard Quote 4, Week 1

"What will we do with our poets when everything in the world has been compaired to everything else." Billy Collins making a statement about poetry.

Junkyard Quote 3, Week 1

"Its no longer my job to throw you a self-confidence parade." This was said to me by an old friend when I was being a downer, I just like how she phrased the comment and I was instandly better after she said it.

Junkyard Quote 2, Week 1

"She isn't pretty enough to be this big of a bitch." I love the statement this quote makes, what have we devolved to and to answer a question you may have, yes, a pretty girl did say this to me once. Ha

Calisthenic 1, Week 1

This is the last Calisthenic found at the end of part one in the Writing Poetry book. I take an ordinary object and write different things about it, then jam it in a provided template. I found that this to be very helpful in approaching objects in new and different ways, unlocking a hidden language that relates to said object. Here is my finished poem about notebooks.

Notes for No One by Benjamin McClain
Weathered, but sturdy. Keeper
of whispered words.
Once, I used to write the truth in it, but that's no fun.
If we could, we'd live in the fantasy I've created. The world
doesn't stop for anyone, but memories may be rewound
through the tired and yellow pages.

Free Write 1, Week 1

The first day of class there was a discussion on the use of an enjabment in Hecht's poem, I didn't really know what it was so i wanted to use it in a verse in order to be comfortable with enjabments in the future.

Alone in the Bar by Benjamin McClain
The Smoke is lingering,
elbow to elbow we ash and drink expensive cheep beer.
The girl with the sun-bleached skin begins
her song.
"I don't wanna be,
a stupid girl, no i can not be,
a stupid girl."
I can't take my eyes off her voice.
penetrating, poised,  perfect
she sits as we stand, applauding
her sorrow.

I hit the enjambment pretty hard in this little poem, I enjoy how the device creates tension and anticipation in the verse.  

Improv 1, Week 1

The End of the Weekend by Anthony Hecht.
           "A long magnesium shaft
Of moonlight from the dormer cuts a path
Among the shatter skeletons of mice.
A great black presence beats its wings in wrath.
Above the boneyard burn its golden eyes.
some small greay fur is pulsing in its grip."

My improv, focusing on the imagry and alliteration used in above poem.

   Particles of the planet,
suspended in a Ray of it's sun.
everything is dirty and dusty and decaying.
bones crunch under my black boots and I wonder,
do you think mice want second chances
                               -B. McClain

Junkyard Quote 1, Week 1

"I mean, who looks at HPV and goes that looks legit."  The reason I chose this quote is because it's so startling and I want to use it in some fashion to shake-up the reader.