Poetry and personal blog – Spilling my guts to strangers

A. D. Joyce

Follow my new blog at adjoyce.com It’s called A. D. Joyce – poetry and the butterfly psyche ūüôā

358204689_f2f9444d76_o© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2014

Writing Another Chapter

If you’re reading this, you may be interested to know that I started a new blog, A.D. Joyce–poetry and the butterfly psyche. I already have two posts up. Take a look and maybe even subscribe! Also, I have a new Twitter account, @ad__joyce, so follow me there, too.

From now on, I’ll blog infrequently at Sweepy Jean Explores the World, if at all, and I will soon dismantle the @sweepyjean twitter account.

So what’s the deal? Well, this blog started off as a way¬† to stretch my limits and get rid of inhibitions as a writer.

I very quickly found a way to write authentically. People loved the “Sweepy Jean” moniker but eventually I was able to be more open about who I am as a real person living on Earth. Sometimes, though, I found that I was writing myself into other boxes, fighting against the idea of branding, rejecting the notion that the “MFA” type of writing was the benchmark¬† for good poetry, and struggling with traditional concepts of how a poet is supposed to build an audience. I’ve figured out some things but not everything, and I don’t really want to get to the point where I know it all. I truly embrace my stance as a perpetual student of poetry and life.

One of the things I’ve done to try to work out the answers to these questions is¬† a “game” I called 1 + 1 Wednesday, a weekly post I started here and eventually created a separate blog for. I invited readers to leave two words in the comment section and I did the same. The words could be related to any random thing. I saw it as a way to look at language and meaning differently and to shake up our thought patterns.

Then I ran the Third Sunday Blog Carnival. Again, the idea was to promote free self expression among writers, expand our readership, and share the collective knowledge.

“Sweepy Jean” was always the go-to blog for personal expression. But although I’m still an explorer, it’s been a while since I was Sweepy. She has long become a third person pronoun; now it’s time to completely step out of that shadow to let Adriene shine. (As most of¬† you know, A.D. Joyce is the name I use to sign my poetry. “A.D.” is a nickname for Adriene and Joyce is my middle name.)

Whereas in this blog I did a lot of explaining myself and public self analysis, my new blog will not contain much of that at all. The archives will remain here if you want to read personal details about me. Over at A.D. Joyce–poetry and the butterfly psyche, I’ll be transparent and self expressive in a way that will remain undefined, at least by me. But as always I hope you will find something there for you.

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2014

the buddha of questions

you are a god,

the buddha of questions

whose answers are scrambled
in your mind.

but i want you to know that

who and how are the clay of why,
where and what are beyond your reach,
and in your lap you cradle when.

when do i?

a stranger,
your only friend,
your right hand standing on the left,
and all that remains of you.

who am i?

anxious, perching on a branch,
bending it,
riding the nauseous down- and up-
swing, off guard,
taking wing and
moving on to the next branch–
bending it.

and how am i?

because the answers do not
fit the questions,
because my heart beats way too fast at the sight of you,
because red is everything inside me–
refried, hot to the touch,
spicy, and staining.

why am i?

in your gut,
from your diaphragm,
on your breath as dense
as love can be,
exhaled in your sigh
(allusion in sound).

where am i?

gold and silver plated,
iron, steel,
helmeted, lanced.

what am i?

when all the stars are blank
and not for the giving,
and the fear of the dark and cold
is choked and airless,
when the final gasp is soundless,
when only the moment matters.

(From Like. Love. Hate. Available at Amazon.com and Smashwords)

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2013

seasonal madness

as i sit at my desk
the autumn sunlight
swirls through the window
bright then dim

i imagine my thoughts
are validated then called into question
throughout the day
by such dimming and shining

as the days pass
and november lies dying
the light is ever weaker
and i wonder if that weakness reflects
the paucity of my current thoughts
or simply the changing seasons

i worry come the gray days of winter
how i’ll know which thoughts
are worth thinking

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2013

baggage (at a loss)

so life. this journey.

in the beginning.

you look at the world. and the world, well intentioned and vicious, looks at you. on a walking tour, you take pictures of the world, stuff your luggage with souvenirs–shrapnel, torn flesh, and bricks wrapped in Read the rest of this entry »

Feeling My Way Around Mexico

IMG_0306 - CopyThis is not an extensive travelogue and it doesn’t cover all I saw during my trip, but rather these are some really subjective impressions of traveling in and around Mexico City, Guanajuato, and Puebla recently with my 24-year-old daughter. She is such a private person, and so far the only way she has allowed me to show her image on this blog is through this caricature a wonderful artist did for us. She’s beautiful and as the portrait suggests, she looks young for her age. She’s a sweetheart but don’t let appearances fool you: She’s also a tough cookie.

Before getting to Mexico, I had a feeling that it would be a life-altering trip for me and I wasn’t wrong. In addition to wanting to see my daughter, I was well overdue to shake up my routine, get away from worries, clear my head, and just relax. Being around my daughter’s energy was a huge factor in helping bring me back in balance.

The Guantajuato mountainside

The Guantajuato mountainside

At first, I was a bit nervous about the trip because my Spanish is not very good. However, it’s true that when you lose one sense, such as sight or hearing, your other senses get stronger. In this case,¬† Read the rest of this entry »

Camden Street

“The devil
is beating his wife,‚ÄĚ
my grandmother used to say
if the rain fell
while the sun was shining.
It was always a humid day
when the burdened sky
could not wait for cloud cover,
and the hurried downpour
never lasted
for more than a minute,
the faint sound of thunder
soon forgotten,
as if a dream.
Always there was a hush
on my grandmother’s face
as she stood ironing bed sheets
while the devil,
confused by what seemed
a reasonless trick of the weather,
took it out on her who
forever had been the same.

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2013

Here I go again …

471235_69107547Life gives us many opportunities for ‚Äúdo-overs.‚ÄĚ For instance, I think parenthood is an opportunity to redo our childhoods. While some of us repeat mistakes made by our parents, some of us seize the opportunity to do things differently. That‚Äôs the concept on a big scale but there are opportunities for do-overs on a smaller scale nearly every day.

I‚Äôve been going through some sort of a spiritual journey that started taking shape in a significant way Read the rest of this entry »

Lock and Key

Today is the first day of Ramadan, the month of fasting for Muslims. Among other restrictions, they take in nothing by mouth from sunrise to sunset.

The time of year for the fast changes each cycle because Muslims use the lunar calendar, so next year Ramadan will start in late June. I remember when I used to participate in this fast that it was much easier to do during the winter months, and how much more difficult it was to fast during the summer months–not drinking water during the hot humid days with as many as four more hours of daylight before the fast ended at sundown, compared with the winter months.

Ramadan is a sacred month for Muslims because supposedly it was the month that the Quran, the Muslim holy book, was revealed to the prophet Muhammad. It is believed that during the month of Ramadan, Satan and his minions are locked up behind the gates of hell and they can’t get out to perpetrate evil in the world until the month is over.

The implication, if you believe such things, is that because Satan is out of the picture for the month, any evil that occurs during this time comes strictly from the hearts of humankind. There is nothing else to blame. Also, it’s a window of opportunity where every good deed takes on that much more significance.

This whole idea has always intrigued me. I used to imagine, and even now, though I don’t practice the faith anymore, that the world feels a little less oppressive during Ramadan, and at the end of the month, which this year will be around August 7, I’ll sense¬† the world settling back to business as usual.

Not for nothing. Really. Just wanted to share that.

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2013

I continue to be intrigued by this idea of post racialism and am still trying to figure out exactly what that looks like. Some people are afraid, and rightly so, that post-racialism means that we all will start to look and talk the same and that our identities will dissolve into a common, post-racial culture. Indeed, there are some who would rather not acknowledge people’s differences because it makes them feel uncomfortable.

For instance, Read the rest of this entry »

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