Speaking From a Point of Realness

SHANEShane

Age: 21
Occupation: English Major at University of Maryland- College Park
Hometown: Bronx, New York

What originally drew you to writing?

I was originally drawn to writing in my fifth grade writing class. Our assignment was to write a poem about something that meant a lot to us. I wrote a poem about my fairy fish that had recently passed away. At the time, my poem was of the bubble-gum nature—I was only ten years old. Something sparked in me, however, to continue writing poems and expressing myself. I originally started off believing that the best poems were ones that rhymed, however I have the opposite mindset today. My poems never rhyme anymore only because I feel that rhyme schemes, if not done properly, can sound childlike and not well thought out. I think the best poems are ones that resemble prose because they speak from a point of realness.

Why do you love writing?

I like to write because it allows me to express my thoughts. I was always an over-thinker, and I needed a way to organize myself mentally. When it feels like no one is listening, I know that my page and pen are. I can write and read poetry for hours. I am the kind of person who searches quotes on the internet to give concrete words to my feelings and emotions. The rhythm of poetry is one that cannot be compared to anything else and it is just so enjoyable for me.

Who are some of your favorite authors and what are your favorite pieces by them?

I really enjoyed reading Richard Siken’s Crush because his poems are generally short and realistic. He speaks in an honest fashion so that the reader can relate and feel the words on the page by connecting them to personal memories. I really enjoy reading his poem “Litany in Which Certain Things Are Crossed Out” because it really touches common ideas or emotions that people/everyone feels on a daily basis. One of my favorite poems ever is “Killing Time” by Simon Armitage. It contains so many double meanings to words to represent the Columbine shooting. He writes about the shooting in terms of flowers and nature to give a beautiful image of the innocent lives lost on that day. It is one of the most creative and well thought out poems that I have ever read.

Can I have a sample of some of your work?

Seems

Each month that passed freshman year made us more inseparable;
unlike anyone I’d ever met, you were like me and I
was meeting myself for the first time

For everything, and we did do everything or talk about how we
wanted
to eventually try. Our thought patterns identical, you would
finish my thoughts so I knew I was on track with the day’s
conversations
at the end of the day to sum up our days, making my day

So it’s weird that today I am not with you. I’m in another state
and you’re somewhere in Copenhagen  finding yourself and
losing your path and losing our memories, replacing
them with adventures with new friends and more
significant moments that don’t include me

Or maybe, I’m over-thinking it the way that we both used to
back in high school; I’m probably just failing to understand what
moving on is fully, and the notion of change never being good.
I’m surely having trouble, but I will get it soon enough.

I appreciated that e-mail you sent to me last month telling
me that you missed being my friend. At least I know I’m
somewhere you can still remember.

***

The Impalpable Sustenance

Flipping pages of a book browned with age and wear
learned fingers trace the words of the story
Literature is life when we define it in the realm of
words and we communicate
with conversation and the blossom of poetry is
when our eyes project the words from the page
written from the faded memories that we never could let go of
we keep covered in dust buried in the back of our closets
behind dead trinkets in pieces and ballerina boxes no longer
playing twinkles
in case we remember them one day
recall what meant something to you
write it and remember it
and that piece of paper with the uneven edges
crushed behind your old red notebook with the silver wiring
with the black inked title in bold letters
you made a statement
crisp words that drip disdain
you write from the photos
crammed with the things that mean the most
your beating heart pumping streams flowing
on the remnants

***

Art

For the summer-month days that end without
any production taking place;
the tickling moments that
crawl away like the useless red ants
of the June time grass
that come upon us and sting our skin
as we sit Indian style, legs tanned, smooth and
crossed talking to each other.

We laugh about things that
never occur during the wintertime
and pair it with saliva-glazed, teeth-shown
smiles only evoked by the sun
and the happiness can only be
explained by the strong, bonny shoulders
pointed toward the blue pool above
the air, the nonchalant wind
brushes our bleached hair perfectly
behind us
and it flows like seas suspended
eye level in front of us
our eyes share one twinkle
we’re alive.

When word of loss
is upon us, I search for the
touch of the sun’s heat on my skin,
look for tan marks of the previous day’s clothes,
and the fingers of the cool wind flowing in my
golden hair and I want to feel you beside me, I want to know you’ve experienced the same summer
but the space is empty.

Want to see more of Shane? Check out her instagram @shane_no

All That Matters is Me and my Creativity

ALEXAAlexa

Age: 16
Grade: Sophomore in High School
Hometown: Mitchellville, MD

What originally drew you to writing?

I was originally drawn to writing in 8th grade when my literature teacher asked our class to submit something original. It could be anything from poetry, to a song, or a short story. I was skeptical at first because I had never even thought about writing something original. Later though, I found that it wasn’t as hard as I thought. Writing seemed to come easy to me. I usually like to write fictional stories about teenage adventures with strong female characters.

Why do you love to write?

I write so that I can escape my life, not because it is bad, but because I give my characters qualities and talents that I sometimes wish I had. Writing allows me to cope with not having certain abilities. It also allows me to enter a different world when I need to. If I get stressed then I will go write and suddenly all that matters is me and my creativity.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

My favorite authors are Rick Riordan, Ally Carter, and Cassandra Clare. I love these specific authors because they all write books about teenagers saving the world. I love reading about teenagers saving the world because it shows that we aren’t kids anymore and we can handle responsibility. They also have strong female characters that can take care of themselves and don’t need a male to save them all the time. I get tired of seeing girls so dependent on a guy when they really need to be dependent on themselves.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I can draw inspiration from anything. The trick for me is to be open to everything and not go looking for inspiration but allow it to come to me. I could be doing something completely random and suddenly have a new idea. But when that doesn’t work I have my favorite authors, television and movies, and the experiences of the people I interact with.

To read some of Alexa’s work, go to: http://www.wattpad.com/user/FindingMyVoice 

 

For the Love of Writing

Instead of going the traditional route for February and having the theme be

relationships or love, I’ve decided to focus on Black Female writers for this month! I’ve always had a love for reading and recently began writing more, mainly for my blog 🙂 Reading has always been a form of escapism for me. Any time of the day, I can immerse myself in an entirely different life or world if I wanted to. And writing has given me another form of expression; a way to vent while still keeping my thoughts to myself. As I’ve gotten older, through college but also through blogging, reading and writing has become a large part of my life.

So this month on the blog, I’ve decided to celebrate black women who write. Poetry, short stories, novels, fan fiction, everything! If you have work that you’d like me to post, email me at raven.best5@gmail.com 😀