Wednesday, September 30, 2009

recollecting a tour of duty from a swivel chair

i think about you all the time
imagining the dirt beneath my feet
the monsoon mud and midnight muck
the images on the video screen
the general in his office and
the major yelling from his chair

i think about you all the time
imagining the little bird, falling
the bodies burning and blood boiling
the seared vision of bodies in that van
eighteen, packed-in
i find it hard to speak

my mind grows a little weak
each time i see
the little bird burning
and the bodies
all the bodies
on that big, big, big video screen

i am here, and i was there, and i
watched everything from that
damned video screen
never able to help
anyone screamed

i think about you all the time
you're my country now, too and
a part of me just like my daughter
and my education and my

i think about you and i
do, miss you. your ancient cities and
societies and ways of life and love of
god, i think about you

and all the bodies.

Objects of Obsession

I got a phone call a couple weeks ago from my ex-husband. He said he just wanted to make amends and let me know that he had no more ill will towards me etc. I was touched by his phone call but couldn't help but think that he had ulterior motives.

Two days later I got a call from a county courthouse in FL they wanted to get my address so they could serve me some court documents. At that point, I knew it had something to do with my ex and his phone call.

The time period where I was waiting to find out what was going on was really stressful and reminded me of all the time I spent deployed and could do nothing about my marriage falling apart except just worry and speculate about what was happening in my absence.

Phone Call: Mistakes of Your Past

Worry is still of no use:
His weight presses into my chest.
The meaning is too obtuse,
I try to be at my best.

His weight presses into my chest,
I can feel the room closing in.
I try to be at my best.
How many years has it been?

I can feel the room closing in,
Yet now I am much stronger.
How many years has it been?
To forget would take much longer.

Yet now I am much stronger,
I won't go on that same ride.
To forget would take much longer.
I hold on fast to my pride.

I won't go on the same ride.
Worry is still of no use.
I hold on fast to my pride.
The meaning is too obtuse.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

An amazing residency in the Twin Cities

Hey all,
We had an incredible week at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. We cannot thank them and the community enough. Welcome to the new Warrior Writers and Combat Papermakers and the supportive community in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Soon, I will post pictures and hopefully even video. We even got a new webmaster out of the deal, thanks John!
Here is a piece I wrote on our borrowed typewriter on Thursday, our first morning with our new friends...

uniforms and girlhood pinks
tangle, intersect
we dissect our trauma
over scissors, poems
and wet paper
this is our history
and we are our futures
now woven together

So now, since I've kept you waiting on a new exercise (most of you haven't been writing anyway, tsk tsk) here we go with a new one. I'll give you only a topic.

Objects of obsession

now get to writing,

Friday, September 11, 2009

Up, down and around...

Congrats to everyone who posted (see Comments under my first post). These should appear on the blog, not as comments, so we're workin' out the kinks with that. Email us if you are trying to post on here for our agreements and a login.

Be patient with yourself. Also, be diligent about your art-making. Creativity is a muscle that must be used.

So, onto this week's writing exercise. I'll post on a specific day once I get internet access, bear with me.

Managing our emotions: up and down, frustrating and liberating, confusing and clear - wears us out. So today, your assignment is to paint a picture of where you've been, where your feelings have led you lately. What makes you angry? What makes you excited? What calms you? What scares you? What makes you smile?

Think of this as a tool to deal with these emotions. Knowing these answers can help you plan better to to take care of yourself during these times. Do so. Reach out when you need help. We're here.

In struggle,

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Our first exercise

Hey everyone,
Welcome to the Warrior Writers Blog! I am so excited to see what you all have to say! I will be posting/sending exercises every week, I'm not sure what day but just keep checking in.

As our summers wind down and we fall into autumn, let's take a minute to reflect on the travels and transitions we have been in lately. Travels and transition always shake us up a little bit. We see different things, people, places, we do different things and our habits are a little out of whack. Change is good, and more importantly, always necessary. Where have you traveled lately? What have your journeys taught you? What will you bring with you into your next chapter? What are you trying to learn? What changes have you been making in your life recently? What changes are you interested in making?

Of course, you can write whatever you want but start this off with a free write and just keep your pen moving for ten minutes. Do not pay attention to grammar, spelling, format, etc. – just write! It can take any form, a letter, a poem, a list, a play, a monologue, just write! If you want to go back and edit, do so, but just post it, and give yourself a timeline too, because we want to see what you have to say.

- Get that pen moving!