Sandpaper Star with Susie Clevenger

A collaboration with Susie Clevenger. Visit her blog here.

susieben

sandpaper stars know
best is brighter than
the last surrender into
blemished expectations

callous words cannot
steal light life has earned
from a baptism of fire.

time lapsed rapture
left us sipping nicotine
from gamma rays where
we were fashioned in
a cloud of dust

we hang tattered, but whole
in a sapphire universe,
forgiving, forgetting,
overcoming the sanded speech
that tried to strip away our radiance.

© Ben Ditmars and Susie Clevenger 2014

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.

cowboys cowgirls

And I saw these restrooms in Texas.

Cheddars1
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!

jackie

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

cinta

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

Writing Spaces

I recently read an article on where famous authors do their writing. There were some remarkable and inspiring locations and it made me wonder where the authors I know (the majority being small press and indie) write their words. I collected photographs from ten authors including myself: we span the spectrum from poetry and comedy to horror and high fantasy. Thank you to all the writers who let me into their homes (and other special places) through photographs: Ciara BallintyneSusie Clevenger, M.E. Franco, Helle Gade, Nadia Hasan, Natasha Head, Jon Konrath, C L Raven, and Stacey Roberts.

Ciara Ballintyne
Ciara Ballintyne, author of Confronting the Demon
Susie Clevenger
Susie Clevenger, author of Dirt Road Dreams
M.E. Franco
M.E. Franco, author of The Dion Series and The Rustler’s Daughter
Ben Ditmars
Ben Ditmars, author of Night Poems and Haiku in the Night
Helle Gade
Helle Gade, author of Silent Dreams and Savage Rose
Nadia Hasan
Nadia Hasan, author of From the Cafe and Beyond
Natasha Head
Natasha Head, author of Pulse and Nothing Left to Lose
Jon Konrath
Jon Konrath, author of Sleep Has No Master and Atmospheres
Cat Lynx Raven
C L Raven, authors of Disenchanted and Romance is Dead
Stacey Roberts
Stacey Roberts, author of Trailer Trash, With a Girl’s Name