Poetry and personal blog – Spilling my guts to strangers

Posts tagged ‘reflections’

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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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…)

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,  (more…)

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

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…)

Oh, Very Young (Redux)

Maturity

One day, I looked out into sea.
The waves were tossing
As if they were being blown by an almighty wind,
And the sand pulled away from the
Edge of the water as if in fear
Of being swallowed and drowned
By the powerful current.
As I watched, I thought how silly
It was for the sand to run like that
And how foolish the sea was to
Be so angry. I said, “Stop.
Why are you so angry, sea,
And sand, what have you to be
So afraid of? You were
Put here for some glorious
Purpose, to live together as one.
True peace lies in knowing that
You are free and total freedom
Comes from being at peace
With yourself and living in
Harmony with others.”
And the sand, a little embarrassed
by its cowardice, stopped running
And stood still, and waited for the
Sea’s reply, and the sea, realizing
Its folly, stopped its tumultuous
Movement and instead rushed up to the
Shore to embrace the sand.

~ Adriene, 1979

Oh, Very Young

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

Wisdom

I’m not a year older,
but a year wiser:

a quaint phrase that belongs
to another century,
gone the way of home phones
and desktops.

The world changes,
nothing is safe and
not much can be known.

Maybe there is  wisdom
in knowing that,
wisdom in withholding trust,
wisdom in reporting the duffel bag
left alone on a crowded street,
wisdom in recording it,
in searching passing faces.

Tomorrow is not promised:
that’s a wisdom
life taught me young.

It took longer to understand
I’d rather be gutted than lied to.
The depths are as infinite as the sky.
Life is a gas, not a solid.
I can do this.
“This” is everything.
When I figure out who I am,
I’ll know everything.
I’m always changing.

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

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