youtube poetry

I was fiddling around on my YouTube account today when I noticed that you can now see a navigable transcript of whatever video you happen to be watching. In other words, you can click on a given line in the transcript and skip ahead to that moment in the video.

Their transcription code needs a little work though; here’s YouTube’s take on a poem I recently performed at the Austin Poetry Slam. It’s got a real ring to it. I might even opt to perform this version the next time I get on stage.

this poem is called reduce reuse recycle

the weddings as i a grandmother underbelly behind k so never recommend
something up for those of us forty hot
but seriously injured
express
where did they considered
i never asked

they didn’t mind that when when twenty two-year-old didn’t read it
political one
but this is able to …more

notes from my ninth grade self (part II): The Retreat

For a proper introduction to this series, please see part I. Here goes part II:

Silence. Solitude. Thought. That magical moment just before you fall asleep during which the pressures of the day have vanished and those of the next are yet to take hold. All are an escape, a temporary relief from the never-ending pressures of reality. For a long time I have been able to retreat to my mind whenever I have been perturbed, tired or simply needed a few minutes alone. It has always been there asa back way out of any problem. I used it to solve problems in my life, to invent simple stories to entertain myself and relieve my mind from the stresses of these problems. Sometimes I would contemplate matters and concepts such as the vastness of the universe and its origins, in a vain attempt to understand that which I knew I …more

notes from my ninth grade self: Laughter

My father recently visited me in Austin. He brought a few things from home in a goodie bag that says ‘happy birthday’ on it. Video games, a NYG scarf, and a little book of vignettes I wrote in the ninth grade.

It’s a pretty funny, and scary, thing to read things you wrote in the past. When you write (or do anything else) every day, you get this fantastic sense that you’re getting better at it. So to look at something you produced in the past is to look at something worse than you could produce now. I think that’s the reasoning behind my nervousness in opening old work.

But to sit as a 23 year old you and read something written by the thirteen year old you, that’s something else entirely. Something I do not have a word for. Sure, I remember my freshman year of high school. I remember …more

writing prompts

Personify two objects, real or abstract, and describe a scenario that might lead to them developing a romantic relationship.

Pick a person you have seen but never spoken to, and write your first conversation starting at minute twenty-four.

Describe the view from a place you have seen but have never been to.

Pick something that you don’t want, and write about wanting or needing it.

Write the titles for books you have not written or read.

Re-title books you have already read.

Narrate your tomorrow.

Pick a memory, not a trauma, that you’ve never admitted to and explain it to someone you’ve just met.

Tell off your boss/teacher/authority figure.

Narrate what you thought of the last time you were left at home alone.

Write the worst possible scenario for your next five minutes.

How would you get back from where you’re sitting to where you were born? Do not use words relating to direction or locomotion.

Write your own prompt.

How would your …more

on plagiarism and fair use

It’s a good question: where does plagiarism start? I can make a page of words that I never typed, that I put together using only controls c and v, and it could be entirely my own. Or I could put together words like these, for which I pressed each letter on my keyboard in the precise order I decided they should appear in, and none of it would belong to me. Plagiarized word for original word.

The thing is, you can’t type a word that hasn’t been typed before and still have it mean something. With the limited alphanumeric characters ascribed to English, you may not even be able to type a word that hasn’t been typed before period until you’ve reached a certain character limit well beyond the tweet threshold. Putting something into your own words is not overrated, it’s false. Impossible and untrue. There’s no such thing as your …more