Hello, everyone. I am pleased to announce mine and Susie Clevenger’s new release Splinters is available for pre-order on Amazon Kindle. The official release date is October 31st.
You can also get a copy of the paperback right now.
Splinters is a collection of poetry for young adults and teens which deals with life experience and lessons learned from them. Friendship, romance, rejection, being cool – all of it is here. and here.
Here are a few samples:
I met her on a dating app.
she had to be the one.
or something like it.
maybe, the sexy way
she typed was irresistible
or, i just needed
an overland adventure.
but i took my car
across state lines
Illinois and so.
High school prom
was a pastel promenade
around the gym to see
who had out prettied who.
I Halloweened myself
into the mix with bright orange.
Heroes (like Mr. Bollinger)
He never was a hero
Or a role model but
The fact he taught us
And abused a student
Stung – like we were left
While he was
Waiting for a victim
Plus Size Dreams
I never wanted to be swept off my feet,
being chubby taught me too much about weight.
I just wanted a boy who would walk with me
through the stares, and pick me first when
whispers had kids choosing sides.
Stay tuned for a new collection of poetry by authors Ben Ditmars and Susie Clevenger!
by Susie Clevenger
Susie Clevenger has done it again. I read her collection over several months, though highs and lows. The light and comfort in her words found me. Nature, truth, freedom with a hint of salvation became themes of a spiritual journey. I think the author took me to a place beyond religion, where beauty and complexity thrive and everyone is thankful for its presence. Add to this the cover art, which could not be more beautiful. Where the Butterflies Pray is somewhere to discover and awaken sleeping portions of your mind; somewhere to find questions and begin the path toward answers.
Indievengence Day is a yearly event in or around Dallas, Texas. Indie authors gather from across the state and sometimes continent to hangout and sell books to the public. This year was my fifth year attending. I decided to do something special and haiku my journey from Ohio down South.
It’s an adventure,
Bilbo Baggins would be proud
Smaug flies United.
Look at me awake
Before the airport crawls to
Life, ha, ha, ha, ha.
Coffee with a shot
Of espresso wakes me up
Before I go go.
Aggressive pat downs
And judgement for my wallet
Left outside the bin.
She carries a small
Generator, her home lost
To the hurricane.
A boat captain ret-
Urns to the Virgin Islands
Bringing them supplies.
They handed me a
Cookie in the dark and I
Ate it willingly.
Turbulence tells me,
“Welcome to the friendly skies”
As the light turns down.
The stars at night are
Big and bright deep in the heart
Of Dallas, Texas.
The prairie sky is
Wide and high deep in the heart
Of Dallas, Texas.
I bounced on the bed
And promptly rolled off, because
I’m a Hufflepuff.
No hot water but
I get to see my friends and
They think I’m Batman.
Orange sherbet sassy
Pink hair attitude rocks that
She’s got on cape cod.
(Written with Susie Clevenger)
Blood sugar was all
Right despite a breadstick scare
Now I can drink juice.
A shot of orange juice,
Quesadillas for breakfast –
Makes it old fashioned.
Grumpy bear needs Ad-
Vil PM before his C-
PAP or he’s cranky.
Books are ready to
Sell but I’m thinking of clash-
Es in St. Louis.
It’s on with bells and
Scattered inky residue
Searching for Mc. D’s
Hoping for a bagel sand-
Wich or a coffee.
Of Yosemite makes the
Day more interesting.
Let’s go, poetry!
Reading, sharing, loving it?
That’s the money shot.
Behind the scenes, yo
Slaying rhymes up at a desk.
I’m that freaking cool!
It isn’t shots of
Kamikaze or Sex on
The beach, but what is?
People are flying
To Chicago but I hear
It might be windy.
Attention, there will
Be a prayer service across
Ocean heard through walls
The slow roll of TV sounds
An inner sadness.
Towels folded like
Sky is indiscernible
But we are nothing.
© Ben Ditmars 2017
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.
Susie Clevenger is amazing. There is no other way to put it. She reads and writes with such passion, and is also one of my favorite photographers. In fact, her picture of my book is the header for this blog. Her influence is essential, and I can’t imagine where the world would be without her. But, I’ll let her take it from here…
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Well, I am a 64 year old poet/author who calls Houston, Texas home. I have been married to my husband Charlie for 45 years and have two daughters. I love blues music, dancing and finding the humor in life. Oh, and I have ADD. I am a blond with a legitimate reason to be referred to as scatterbrained.
When did you start writing poetry?
I started writing poetry my freshman year in high school. After high school I stopped writing it. Why? I don’t know. It was a car accident in 2006 that reanimated the poet in me. A severe concussion + brain damage = poetry.
Do you have a favorite poet/poem?
There are so many wonderful poets, but Edgar Allan Poe was the first poet I was introduced to in my Freshman English class. I had a lot of dark secrets in me and his work helped me to voice it. I like to call him my godfather of verse.
Does music inspire you? What kind?
Goodness, I am not sure where to start with music. I’ve already mentioned blues music, but I love all kinds of music. One moment I might be listening to my friend Mike Zito, the next classical. I actually have Bach playing in the background as I’m writing this. I think because I can’t play an instrument other than my iPod I am urged by listening to music to fill that void with poetry.
Do you write on the computer or in a notebook?
I actually write on both. I have journals all over the house, in my car, in my purse to store thoughts before I lose them. I tweak most of my work on the computer. One reason is if I get stuck in the creative process I can search the web for quotes, photos, music, etc. to break down the wall of writer’s block. I literally have the world at my fingertips.
If you could write a poem anywhere, where would it be?
It would be where I do most of my writing, my library. I am surrounded by my photography, a messy desk and books. It is a little piece of the world that is totally me.
What do you enjoy most about writing poetry?
It is the freedom to say whatever I want without censor. It doesn’t mean I share all of it with the world. Writing poetry is therapeutic for me. I can “write out” whatever is troubling me. It is the joy of participating in art. I can paint with words what I lack in talent to paint with a brush.
If you could hang out with any poet, who would it be?
I don’t know. I really haven’t even thought about it, perhaps Emily Dickinson. I am a fan of her work and love her punctuation style. I find myself at times following a similar style. It gives a feeling of blank space that teases or encourages the reader to fill in the lines.
If you could physically fight a fellow poet, from any point in time, who would they be?
I don’t want a physical fight unless it is a pillow fight. Charles Bukowski would be interesting
to pillow spar with. I imagine he would carry quite a wallop though.
Have you read or performed poetry live at slams or open mic?
I haven’t really done either of those. My public poetry readings have been in a poetry group and sadly at the funerals of my parents and in-laws. Maybe I should try a slam or open mic.
Why does nothing rhyme with orange?
It is a bright colored loner. I suppose it has dared the world to find a rhyming word, but the English language hasn’t taken the bait to spin a new word into its vocabulary
Do you post your poetry online?
Yes I do. Why not? The internet is google exploration. My poetry may be the very words
someone needs. At least that is my hope.
Do you put your writing into pictures to share on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook?
Yes. I often search images for inspiration. I am not very talented in Photoshop, but I like trying
my hand at creating an image to fit my words.
What is the most difficult poetry to write? Are there any forms you dislike?
There are so many poetry forms I find I have no competence with. One of the hardest things for me to do is rhyme. It is always a struggle. I feel the poem reads like someone tried all they could to find words that rhyme. I do have small success when the poem is geared for a child or has a nursery rhyme hint to it.
Do you believe anyone can learn to write poetry? Do you think anyone can enjoy reading it?
No I don’t. I think a passion for the art form is what is required to sustain any effort. Well, I suppose anyone can write a poem, but not all who write them are poets, if that makes any sense. Not everyone will enjoy reading poetry. There are preconceived notions about poetry that turn people away from it. I know I see the letdown in people’s faces when I tell them I am an author. Then there is the question as to what I write followed by the deflated “oh.”
Where do vanishing objects go? Remember to phrase your answer in the form of a riddle.
Seen becomes unseen when toes stand on end to chase what lies on the other side of the fence.
What project(s) are you currently working on, poetry or otherwise?
I am tossing around ideas for my 10 minute spot on the Creative Nexus Café’s blogtalk radio show coming up on October 25th.
Would you like to share a poem with us today?
Sylvia and Wings
“Is there no way out of the mind?” ― Sylvia Plath
I cup the quiet in my palm;
feed it imperfect thoughts,
and wait for dreams
to grow from incapable.
Where is the good witch,
red sequined shoes,
a thrice repeated wish
to take me out of my mind?
Tomorrow is the butterfly I chase.
©Susie Clevenger 2015
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