Tag Archives: Writing Exercises


Mutability by Cherry Pickensi’m here for the poetry, the vision. unprepared
for onslaught, eyes wide open, waiting
for the scream.

flesh will never contain a pure
shriek. thought expands
beyond corporeal. matter
moves, or is destroyed
in creation. i’m here

for the poetry. entropy
is for sheep. i’d rather
be a wolf.

photo credit: LivyAnn via photopin cc



All I want
is my two front teeth
and a red and yellow wall of flame
to separate us. A flickering rise
of firelight to shine
on the remains.

You’ve left me

for the last time. Now
I sharpen my fangs
on what’s left of you.

[Frag]ments of Bark

and she was like, i don’t know who
you are anymore. and i was like
a bit of green fuzz caught in her
sweater. (a dog could have left
me there, coughed out after the cat
dance.) and she said, last saturday

we spoke.

i lied, and said i didn’t smoke
anymore. (not since the fire.)

A Sister’s Marriage

She shudders, a jangle of gold,
before kicking into village
dust to raise Kali and Shiva
in one long whirl of color.

Her sari is my mother’s, and my father
provides the music: sixteen beats
to the moment. From what garden
the kohl that wards evil eye?

She knows. Her palms bloom red
this wedding night. Beneath her feet,
we sing to the henna tree: she,
a blessing and palanquin to the moon.

When a Man Loves a Woman – conversation overheard in a restaurant

SadGirl “Hello?” She held the cellphone tightly against her head, her slim fingers white with tension. Only moments earlier, the restaurant’s host seated the young woman in the booth across from me. She had long, black hair and delicate features. A tiny thing, she was slender and petite, and in many ways, the young woman looked like a doll – fragile, with wide, frightened eyes. Her sweater was thick cashmere; her skirt short and dark. I believe her heels were Jimmy Choos.

“No,” she said. Her voice trembled, and she closed her eyes. “I can’t talk about it on the phone. Please, just come to the restaurant.”

I tried not to be obtrusive in my scrutiny of the young woman. Instead, I pretended interest in my shrimp cocktail, yet her furtive actions and obvious discomfort snagged my attention. I averted my gaze, finding some small detail in my cutlery to examine. Out of the corner of my I eye, I saw her drop the phone into her purse and anxiously scan the restaurant. She was crying. Or at least she had been. Her pretty blue eyes were raw and red rimmed. Her pale cheeks were flushed. She held a tissue clenched in her fist and dabbed at the corners of her eyes. Her lips trembled and fear clouded her angular face. She was a pretty girl, though clearly terrified.

Around the young woman, the restaurant whirled in the hustle and bustle of a family diner at lunchtime. Teenagers spoke in whispers. Some glanced her way. Others were boisterous, laughing at jokes unheard by either of us. The young woman seemed wholly unaffected by the small diner’s crowd, drawn into her own little world of impending calamity. Whomever she spoke to on the phone would arrive at some point, and then the drama would begin. I wondered what set the young woman on edge. What was it that she feared so much that she chose a public place as a venue to disclose her secret?

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