When you whisper to me in bed at 3 am with the lights off and the window blocked

the telling is as much the story as the told
because you run your fingers along the inner curve of my elbow
and press your forehead against mine
as you work your words into the air
that is heavy with our breaths
and the muted buzz
of your roommates’ television two rooms over.


Prompt: Open any book you have and turn to page 7. Write down the 7th sentence on this page as the first line of your poem. Write a 7 line poem using this opening line.

Book used: Points of View: An Anthology of Short Stories.


Stream of Consciousness: The Book Left on the Shelf

I wish she would finish me. I miss her gentle grip on my pages as she turns them. She was always so careful not to tear me. There were some days when she read me for hours, hardly stopping. She would turn page after page after page. I could feel her eyes burning into me, memorizing me, falling in love with me. She started reading me less and less though. It became thirty minutes here or thirty minutes there. She’d skim a page or two and set me face down on the windowsill, leaving me nearly suffocating for days until she remembered to pick me back up and read another few paragraphs. She started putting me in her bag instead of carrying me in her hand. She shoved me in , jostling me, bending the corners of my covers. I thought that her putting me in her bag and taking me places might mean that she wanted to show me the world that she wanted to read me in faraway locations so that we could experience adventures together. Really it just meant that she was bringing me to work in case she had a few spare moments of down time. She never did. I sat there in her bag for weeks on end until her water bottle leaked and drenched everything, including me. I was soaking. The water consumed me, crawling up each of my pages. It was cold. I felt mushy, as I waited for her to save me. She took me out of her bag and laid me on a shelf in her room. She didn’t dry me. She didn’t really save me. She left me there. I wish she would finish me. I wish she would touch me, open me, read me. I miss her.

Prompt: Write a stream of consciousness piece that gives a voice to an object that does not typically have a voice.

(I’m back to teaching creative writing, so enjoy the occasional prompt that I do with my students.)

Prompt: The Remote is Gone!

It was cold enough that my nipples could slice stale bread, which was ridiculous. Who in the world makes gas fireplaces that rely on a remote control?

Whoever built this house does apparently.

What’s wrong with a good old fashioned wood burning fire? Why did we have to get all technical and fancy? I mean really, does a fireplace need a remote?

I tugged the blankets tighter around myself, shivering. It had to be at least in the teens outside. Maybe lower. I was wearing tights under my jeans, a tank top, a long sleeve shirt, a sweater and a jacket over that, and I was still cold. That’s including the fuzzy socks, boots, and my orange and red hand-knit hat with ear flaps.

I shivered again. I had found a blanket in one of the cupboards that had been left behind by the previous owners of the house and wrapped that around myself, but it wasn’t helping much. It was an old afghan riddled with holes. The holes were probably the reason why the previous owners left it behind.

I guess pickers can’t be choosers as they always say. When you’re rummaging around abandoned houses, you’ve gotta go with what you can find. Unfortunately, a remote for the gas fireplace isn’t one of the things I can find apparently. I did find the instruction manual however. So, I’ve got that going for me. If I do find the remote, I’ll at least know how to use it.