Throwback

I wrote this back in the dark ages of July 2017. Has it really been that long?

____

Starry Isolation

pulses rising in the
desert sunset

branding us with vapor,
starry skies

we survive against
the night, entwined

becoming one.

____

© Ben Ditmars 2017

ambernorrgard

Photograph Courtesy of Amber AquaIntense Norrgard

The World Famous Haikube Post

Two weeks ago at IndieVengence Day book signing in Frisco, Texas I asked some of the most talented poets I know to help me write haiku with blocks known as Haikubes. These blocks have words and phrases to arrange into 5-7-5 syllables. I was very grateful for their hard-work and support.

***

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Haikube by Mary Ann Moody

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Haikube by Ben Ditmars

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Haikube by John M. Moody

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Haikube by Susie Clevenger and Ben Ditmars

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Haikube by Clay Giles

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Haikube by Terri Malek and Ben Ditmars

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Haikube with James William Peercy

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Haikube by Melissa Miller Zaro

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Haikube by Amber Jerome Norrgard

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Brooding the Wrong Way

she looked past blurred vision,
mechanical vibrations,
brooding the wrong way.

honey, you can’t label
frequency or pride.
it’s all in vain.

© Ben Ditmars 2015

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Photograph Courtesy of Amber Jerome~Norrgard

Read her blog here.

IndieVengeance Day 2015

Last week I traveled to Dallas for an annual book signing known as IndieVengeance Day. We get together, the indies and I, once a year and hang out. We also sell books: small books, big books, books that climb on rocks. Okay, none of them climbed rocks, but a couple have ghosts, and that’s just as good.

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The journey started in the air…

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Photograph by Jacqueline Smith

But quickly involved books and stress cubes.

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Photograph by Jacqueline Smith

Hey, poetry!

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Photograph by Jacqueline Smith

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Photograph by Jacqueline Smith

The books and their Davros. Muahaha.

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Scott’s fortune cookie predicted a photo bomb.

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And there was this yummy croissant.

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Photograph by Claudette Peercy

The Justice League prepared to fight evil… and sell books.

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Photograph by Claudette Peercy

After Red Lobster. Don’t we look full?

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I found this steer at the airport.

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My last view of Dallas.

*****

It was an incredible event filled with my favorite people on earth. Once more, my deepest thanks to Amber Norrgard for all the hard work she did setting everything up.

You can find information on the authors in attendance here:

Julie Fraynhttp://juliebird.ca

James Peercy: http://www.jameswilliampeercy.com

Amber Jerome-Norrgard: http://amberjeromenorrgard.com

Stacey Roberts: http://www.trailertrashbook.com

Paula Walker Baker: https://paulawalkerbaker.wordpress.com

Jacqueline E. Smith: http://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com

Debbie Watts Reece: http://www.beebopbooks.com

Susie Clevenger: http://www.susieclevenger.com

And Now a Poetic Interview with Amber Jerome~Norrgard!

Amber Jerome~Norrgard is one of the coolest writers you will ever meet. She is also one of the best and most bad-ass people on the planet. And if that isn’t enough, she writes incredible fiction, nonfiction and poetry. An amazing friend and philanthropist, she teaches and supports charities on a regular basis. But don’t let me tell you everything. I’m here to introduce: the woman, the myth, the legend (and reverend) Amber Jerome~Norrgard.

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Amber Jerome~Norrgard is the bestselling author of more than twenty books including The Eve of Leaving, The Allegory of Dusk, Interpretations and In the Gloaming. She is the Executive Director of the non-profit organization The Quillective Project, the President of 629 Publications and a professor at Collin County College. Amber is a coffee addict who currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her family.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a mom to three amazing kids, a publisher, an author and a professor at a local
college. In other words? Exhausted.

2. When did you start writing poetry?
I started writing around the time I was thirteen or so as a way to work through what
I was going through.

3. Do you have a favorite poet/poem?
My favorite poetry always changes depending on my mood.

4. Does music inspire you? What kind?
Very much. If writing is my first great creative love, music is the second. And again,
It very much depends on my mood what I’m going to want to listen to.

5. Do you write on the computer or in a notebook?
For my short story fiction, I write on my computer. But since my poetry is so personal,
I do that long hand in a notebook

6. If you could write a poem anywhere, where would it be?
I had the excitement of seeing the Cadillac Ranch on a recent road trip. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a ranch in West Texas with several cadillac’s buried nose down that has become a type of every changing artistic experience; you’re actually encouraged to use spray paint to leave your mark on the vehicles. I had the luck of being able to write the favorite poem I’ve written on one of the cars. It’s probably long since been covered by a can of spray paint, but I love that I placed it there.

7. What do you enjoy most about writing poetry?
I can’t always say with my lips what I’m feeling. Poetry allows me to express myself in a way nothing else ever has

8. If you could hang out with any poet, who would it be?
Rob Thomas. While he’s not a poet technically, songs are really just poetry set to music.
So he qualifies in my mind.

9. If you could physically fight a fellow poet, from any point in time, who would they be?
I’m a lover not a fighter Ben!

10. Have you read or performed poetry live at slams or open mic?
The closest I’ve come is reading my work at signings.

11. Why does nothing rhyme with orange?
So you’d ask that question

12. Do you post your poetry online?
Yes, I certainly do!

13. Do you put your writing into pictures to share on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook?
Yes. I find this is an excellent way to get my readers excited about upcoming book releases.

14. What is the most difficult poetry to write? Are there any forms you dislike?
For me, its Haiku. I have a hard time following rules.

15. Do you believe anyone can learn to write poetry? Do you think anyone can enjoy reading it?
I think you can if you’re open minded enough.

16. Where do vanishing objects go? Remember to phrase your answer in the form of a riddle.
I was not told this was a test!

17. What project(s) are you currently working on, poetry or otherwise?
The Quillective Project’s 2015 book, a new poetry collection, a non-fiction, and a new
Erotica collection

18. Would you like to share a poem with us today?
Certainly:

And You

And you
You promised me more compassion
More welcome
Less pain…

You lied.

Bio:

Amber Jerome~Norrgard was first published in her hometown’s paper at the age of seventeen.  Since then, she’s used writing as a free form of therapy to celebrate the best parts of her life, and to work through the rough experiences. She is author of the bestselling collections of poetry, The Color of Dawn, and In the Gloaming, as well as 4 a.m., a poetry and essay collection, Wanting, a collection of short erotic stories, My Beautiful Jewel (Book One of the Miracles Trilogy), The Allegory of Dusk, a short story fiction collection, 11:59 p.m., a poetry collection, Waxing Poetic: The 2012 Collected Poetic Works of Amber Jerome~Norrgard, 9:17 a.m., a collection, Longing for 3 a.m., a poetry collection, Slipping into Evening, a poetry collection, Yearning, a collection of short erotic stories, Midnight Musings, a poetry collection, Six Hundred and Twenty-Nine Miles to Sanity: The 2013 Collected Poetic Works of Amber Jerome~Norrgard, Volume One, Autumn Dreams (Book Two of the Miracles Trilogy), The Cusp of Nightfall’s Caress, a poetry collection, Under the Moonlight, a poetry collection, Interpretations, a short story and poetry pairing, Daybreak, a poetry collection, Six Hundred and Twenty-Nine Miles to Sanity: The 2013 Collected Poetic Works of Amber Jerome~Norrgard, Volume Two, The Eve of Leaving, a poetry collection and the northbound path, a poetry collection. Amber is also one of the founding members and Executive Director of The Quillective Project, a literary collective designed to annually benefit one nonprofit or not-for-profit organization through the power (and sale) of the written word. Amber is the president of 629 Publications and FireFlower Promotions, and an adjunct professor for Collin County Community College and currently lives in Dallas, Texas, with her family.

Other Work by Amber Jerome~Norrgard:

The Color of Dawn: Poetry by a Member of Generation X

4 a.m., a collection

In the Gloaming, a poetry collection

The Wanting Collection
James
Jeffrey
David
Estella
Bruce

My Beautiful Jewel (Book One of the Miracles Trilogy)

The Allegory of Dusk, a short story fiction collection

11:59 p.m., a poetry collection

Waxing Poetic: The 2012 Collected Poetry Works of Amber Jerome~Norrgard

9:17 a.m., a collection

Longing for 3 a.m., a poetry collection

Slipping into Evening, a poetry collection

The Yearning Collection
Why Not?
David: The Beginning
“Say it.”
Steven
Matthew

Midnight Musings, a poetry collection

Six Hundred and Twenty~Nine Miles to Sanity: The 2013 Collected Poetic Works of Amber Jerome~Norrgard, Volume One

Autumn Dreams (Book Two of the Miracles Trilogy)

The Cusp of Nightfall’s Caress

Interpretations, a short story and poetry pairing
Maelstrom
Remember This

Under the Moonlight, a poetry collection

Daybreak, a poetry collection

Six Hundred Twenty~Nine Miles to Sanity: The 2013 Collected Poems of Amber Jerome~Norrgard, Volume II

The Eve of Leaving, a poetry collection

the northbound path, a poetry collection

Poetic Perspectives on Love

Last year I invited poets to write a few lines about love on my old blog. What is it and what does it mean? How can we unravel something so painfully elusive? This year I invited them back to reflect a year later: Helle Gade, Regina Puckett, and Poppy Ruth Silver.

But also, I invited more writers: Justin Bog, Tim Giles, Dan Leicht, Michelle FranklinNatasha Head, Chris McQueeney, Christopher G.J. Smith, Kim Stapf, Saket Suryesh, and Rob Zimmermann. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and opening your souls.

Additional thanks to those contributing last year whose poems I have reposted: Brock Gates, Amber Norrgard, Susie ClevengerSreya Bremtin.

Last Year

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Image Source: Flickr

I will fight against you, for you
Because you mean more to me
than any fight can ever erase
Amber Jerome~Norrgard

Visit her blog here. ~ Find her books on Amazon.

Breathes held between
lingering sighs. Tangled thoughts
hemorrhage through loving eyes.
Regina Puckett

Visit her blog here. ~ Find her complete book of poetry on Amazon.

It is the surrender
that loses light
and yet invites
Poppy Ruth Silver

Visit her website here.

I walked into your soul
Embraced all that you were with my love
But death is a jealous lover
Now that you are gone
I’ll forgive, but never forget
Helle Gade

Visit her blog here. ~ Find her poetry on Amazon.

When hate dies, compassion begins, when a violent urge to take care and be one with another, that is a two side deal, to break free of the curse of loneliness
Brock Gates

Visit his Facebook Page here.

Love is energy
And motion over time
Transcending distance.

Love will save us
If it doesn’t kill us first.

Broken bottles
Shatter glass
Into a love letter
On the tear stained floor.
Ben Ditmars

Find his books on Amazon.

I.
midnight rain kisses
shower eye lashes with dew
the sweet love of you

II.
spider web wishes
tangle around thoughts of you
to hold fast my heart

III.
you spoke, i answered
together we wrote the words
that said everything
Sreya Bremtin

Visit her website here.

I came with heartbreak
and you never left my side
through sickness and health

together we stood
facing every storm trusting
faith would see us through

goodnight never saw
our heads lay upon anger
forgiveness our choice

life came with its thorns
but they couldn’t divide us
love defied all odds
Susie Clevenger

Visit her blog here. ~ Find her poetry on Amazon.

Revisited

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Undefeatable Debt

Hearts are like fragile, breakable beasts
When we yield to love’s unforgiveable feasts
We’ll partake of what it offers without any regret
Any pretend we won’t drown in its undefeatable debt
Regina Puckett

Visit her blog here. ~ Find her complete book of poetry on Amazon.

There is only the
softness of your heartbeat, merged
eternally, here
– Poppy Silver

Visit her website here.

Careful Motion

years have taught me to be careful
with finesse and tenderness
but rules are made of fragments
to be broken down as motion
shatters obstacles –
we groove on the same
wavelength.
Ben Ditmars

Find his books on Amazon.

Love’s Light

I’ll keep that light
Always in my sight
So I’ll never be lost
In the chaos again
Helle Gade

Visit her blog here. ~ Find her poetry on Amazon.

This Year

Perspectives

Image Source: Flickr

Love Is…
A steady gaze, calm,
Prescient worlds, universes;
Celestial bangs
Justin Bog

Buy his collection of holiday stories on Amazon. ~ Enter the Goodreads Giveaway.

I was thinking though and I can’t accurately describe love right now just because of where I am. I hope to have an answer one day, but for now the very thing eludes me and is drenched in a kind of monochrome nostalgia with hues of yellow.
Timothy Giles

The sloom of sense,
the first confusion of limerance,
the equal joy of redemancy:
affection unbound
Michelle Franklin

Visit here website here.

A Lovely Way To Share

The feel of a new book, knowing you have a new escape
Finding a new show to watch on Netflix, learning there’s two seasons
Meeting someone for the first time, finding out they actually like your jokes
Waking up to a Saturday morning, sitting down to write right away
Seeing that same person again who liked your jokes, laughing together again
Love is many things, our interests, escapes, but it’s also the feeling of never being alone
It’s the feeling of finding those things that make us feel closer to others.
Dan Leicht (D.e.e.L)

Visit his website here. ~ Follow him on Twitter. ~ Find more books here.

In love, we are, at best…inadequate.
We have mastered infatuation
Manipulation, copulation and lies.
We have embraced jealousy, envy and resentment.
Love is free
From all these things.
I’m not saying we’re not learning.
I’m not giving up Hope.
I try to love every day,
Without prejudice
Without condition.
In this I know,
Until I defeat selfishness & self-hate
The heart I have to offer
Is nothing more than illusion
The “love”
A dictionary definition.
Natasha Head

Visit Tastoo.com for news & poetry from Natasha Head, including a chance to win a signed copy of her latest release “Birthing Inadequacy”

Wall punch your way

A friend asked me today
What love meant to me
And what I had to say
About it
I drew a blank
And I have to thank you
For getting out of it-
What does love mean to me
Is it the thing that has
Caused me countless
Hours of misery
Heart ache and pain
Eyes dribbling
Wall punch your way
Through another day of love
Or is it the other
Chest constricting
Heart melting through your
Fingertips kind of way
Love is like an IV drip
Keeping me alive another day
I like to think the latter
At least that is what keeps me
Coming back for more
– Chris McQueeney

Visit his blog here.

A beautiful woman approached a man and asked him for a light, he picked up his lighter and lit her cigarette. He never spoke, she stood watching him and walked away. For most of the night he could she her watching him but not once did he show any interest. The bar closed and he walked through the dark streets before a woman’s voice asked him to stop. “Do you not think I’m beautiful?” she asked. “Yes” he replied. “Would you like to spend the night?” she asked him, but he shook his head. “You are the most desirable woman I’ve ever seen, but it cannot be” he said. “Then tell me why?” she questioned. He answered, “Someone waits at home for me, she makes me laugh but also makes me cry, she helps me but can make the bitter of arguments, she has gone through so much with me and to me she is the most beautiful woman that will always shine through my eyes”. The woman kissed the man on the cheek, but as she turned to walk away said; “You are both blessed to know true love, I wish I could find love like that”.
 Christopher G.J. Smith

Visit his page Facebook Page here.

To be in love
Soaring high
Passion burning from within
Raging for release
Kim Stapf

Visit her blog here.

Love speaks in whispers
Holding shoulder, looking into eyes,
And when cries in longing
Pierces through the mellowed
Breast of the skies.
It arrives unannounced
On tip-toe, like a gentle breeze
Through lonely nights,
And when leaving
Slams the door so hard
That a thunder roars
With the feral vengeance of death,
Which reverberates through the soul.
Love, when it meets you
Nourishes the soul,
And in awkward shyness smiles.
It keeps you up long nights
Writing reams and running longest miles.
Saket Suryesh

Find his poetry on Amazon.

What Love Is?

Do you know what love is?
Can you define thousands
of emotions in the four letters?

I cannot. But I try.

Isn’t that love, in the end?
Realizing you’ve found her,
knowing no words are worthy.
Rob Zimmermann

Visit his blog here.

IndieVengeance Day 2014

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting my friends in Dallas for a book signing. I hit the open road with a pocketful of dreams and enough Diet Coke to kill a rhinoceros. Stacey Roberts and I carpooled from Kentucky. We soon found ourselves in Memphis, Tennessee.

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We followed the red brick road… which isn’t really brick.

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Soon, our eyes beheld the Mighty Mississippi.

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And I saw these restrooms in Texas.

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Scott Morgan, Stacey Roberts, James Peercy, me.

Later that night we arrived in Dallas and met up at Cheddar’s.

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The next day everyone signed books at Cafe Brazil and read from their respective works. This is Stacey Roberts reading from his book: Trailer Trash, With a Girl’s Name.

Photograph courtesy of Jacqueline E. Smith

Me reading from my book, Inhale the Night.

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More books!

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Jacqueline E. Smith had one of the coolest tables. The flowers were a nice touch.

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Cinta Garcia had the coolest by far. I did some serious spellwork with her wands.

Balloons

Authors Julie Frayn and Jacqueline E. Smith helped me hand extra balloons out to the local children. I imagine you might be confused, and that’s perfectly within your rights. Just know, that Jackie has mad skills convincing children to take balloons. I think it helps when you’re pretty.

Everyone

From back left: Tracy James Jones, Julie Frayn, me, Scott Morgan, Stacey Roberts

Front left: Jacqueline E. Smith, Jeanne McDonald, Cinta Garcia, Amber Norrgard

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After the signing, I went with Stacey, Cinta, and her husband Mark to see where Kennedy was shot. This is Stacey in the book depository building, now a museum.

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The spot where the tragedy unfolded is marked with an X in the road.

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On our way back I took one more photo of the Mississippi. I felt a lot like the Voyager 1 space probe.

*****

It was an incredible time with even more incredible people. My deepest thanks to Amber Norrgard for all the hard work she did setting up the event.

You can find information on all the amazing authors in attendance here:

Julie Fraynhttp://juliebird.ca

Tracy James Jones: http://tracyjamesjones.wordpress.com

Jeanne McDonaldhttp://www.jeannemcdonald.com

Scott Morgan: http://www.write-hook.com

Amber Jerome-Norrgard: http://amberjeromenorrgard.com

Stacey Roberts: http://www.trailertrashbook.com

Cinta Garcia de la Rosa: http://cintascorner.com

Jacqueline E. Smith: http://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/

Melissa Zaroski: http://melissazaroski.com

Susie Clevenger: http://www.susieclevenger.com