Poetry and personal blog – Spilling my guts to strangers

Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

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, 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

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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

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 (more…)

Here I go again …

471235_69107547Life gives us many opportunities for “do-overs.” 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’s the concept on a big scale but there are opportunities for do-overs on a smaller scale nearly every day.

I’ve been going through some sort of a spiritual journey that started taking shape in a significant way (more…)

Post-Racialism in a World of Niggers and Crackers

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, (more…)

Poetry Imitating Life

I imagine a lot of people wonder where the line is between truth and fiction in a poem, particularly when you write in a personal style, as I often do.

Last week I wrote a poem in part about a mother whose adult son doesn’t call her enough:

And though my son doesn’t call me often enough,
there are plenty of people I talk to all the time.

If something bad happens one day and they don’t
hear from me in due time, they can always call my son.

When I told my 26-year-old son Sul about it, he just laughed and rolled his eyes. He knows that being a writer’s son has some hazards. As for the relationship between the poem and real life, I do have my moments of panic and I don’t think my son calls me enough. But what son does? He’s there when I need him most, and even when the need is less great.

Like this past weekend: When I was in his neck of the woods, I called him on the spur of the moment to take some pictures of me. Luckily he was free, so we met at a nearby park. Here are a few outtakes and some photos I wouldn’t normally share.  Sul cheerfully did the best he could with my off-the-rack camera with few to any features on it to adjust for lighting. Case in point:

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Sul is a tremendous supporter of my poetry and this blog. He encourages me to (more…)

Cloud Nine

the stretch of freeway
going downhill at eighty
for about two miles
foot off the gas windows down
on the first warm day of spring

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

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