Write On

A sacred space for writers of all genres.
"I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center."
-Kurt Vonnegut

Bridge Noise

Middle of night, I wake,
not sure the time. Would
guess, weighty-eyed, before 3
from the sound of taxis honking 
impatiently; trucks exhausted,
dirt-huffing through the throat
of the Queensboro bridge, their heavy 
groans trek over, 
echo under 
Roosevelt trams.

When night-dazed,
I click through pictures
of you, old then new—
remember the tastes
of your skin.

That means it’s sometime 
before 9 where 
you are, just starting
morning as I try to sleep my way
to mine. Every time 
I check my time, habitually, 
I figure yours:
six hours ahead, wondering how much
you’re moving, if you’re six hours 
behind in your head 

Trucks ingest measured breath
fade away.

-Sarah Diedrick

Skinned Sheets

I measure time by how a chest swells
in sleep. Your breath constant, or rather,
stuttering: you lack breadth to shake
so you twitch and jerk in place, your inhales
a burden, rasping; exhales, a heavy
release. How warm and soft your skin
turns when your bones fill heavy with unshakable
Your body upheaves itself to hold mine— your inhales
loosen when you become a skin-sheath

-Sarah Diedrick

It’s best
when I’m unassuming
you creep into the room—
door opens, light slivers
exposed brick,
makeup under
my eyes, other
cosmetics I never
washed off before
bed. It’s best
when I lay
my leg over
the leg tucked
beneath me,
my arms under
my head
outspread like shortened
crooked wings. You slip
your hands
underneath me
like a latecomer
quietly slipping
parts of himself
under a cool pillow—
just enough noise
to cause your little
bird to nudge.

Write about meditating: where does your mind wander to?  What techniques do you use to calm your mind and body?  Do you feel relaxed/uncomfortable/calm/present/distracted?  Or, write about watching someone meditate.

This is a good exercise for stream of consciousness/spiritual-type writing.  If you need inspiration, visit one of my favorite websites Zen Habits.

Write a short short or poem about walking through a forest of vibrant color.

Write a poem using the smell of coffee (sweet, burnt, stale, strong, weak, nutty, etc.) as a metaphor.

Camden, ME

I found a secret spot

with a sacred muse

and grass-filled lot.

Lighthouse overlook was the only

signal in—a raggedy wooden board

pointing west towards the sea.

Running about, planning to look

at waterfront housing,

this spot stopped me short.

I had to go in.

I followed the wood chipped path

found an opening to another world—

lighthouse, islands, lobster boats,

congregated and spread like cocktail

party guests.

Sitting there, dead center,

smooth and sturdy,

a secret spot sitting log

placed there just for me.

Write a poem about the process of making a meal or the steps taken to get the ingredient.  Examples: the dirty skins of beets gently peeling off as they float in boiling water, pulling beets from a garden and gathering them in a bowl, etc.  


Write a poem where the feeling of  being “sticky” is a metaphor for something greater.


Use a family anecdote, or a family ritual, as a leaping-off point for saying something about how your family or the world works.  Read Louise Gluck’s “Spite and Malice” in Ararat, which uses a card game to talk abut the dynamics of a family.

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