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  #41  
Old 11-06-2017, 05:00 PM
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"Declaration" by Tracy K. Smith

He has
sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people.


He has plundered our—


ravaged our—


destroyed the lives of our—


taking away our—


abolishing our most valuable—


and altering fundamentally the Forms of our—



In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for
Redress in the most humble terms:


Our repeated


Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.


We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration
and settlement here.


—taken Captive


on the high Seas


to bear—
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  #42  
Old 11-10-2017, 01:42 PM
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Been looking through spoken word and other forms of verbal poetry lately, so I can't really share those unless they're in a video format that works on here. A few of the ones I really like do not. I'll probably make a list for those who want to check out for themselves.

Also reading through a short story collection from a professor of mine. I gather that "A Fingerprint Repeated" by Jeffrey Condran explores mundane isolated incidents among small groups of people. Voyeuristic and imaginative, but definitely not out of the realm of what we know to be real. Often I pour through themes similar to this and chastise it for being a bit dry. So far, this collection isn't.

It helps that when he reads his work in person, he doesn't have that poetry voice lots of authors use . Some of you know what I'm talking about. Makes me cringe.
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  #43  
Old 11-27-2017, 11:55 AM
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Over the Thanksgiving Break, I did as many grandkids do in the South and that's watch Hallmark movies with my grandparents. Several of you know how Hallmark follows a formula. Usually it's something along the lines of a workaholic protagonist visiting their parents in a rural setting where they encounter an old flame and rediscover the meaning of Christmas. Everyone knows the setup. But there's even more to it I noticed than that premise. So while watching a few, a made a checklist of all the oddly specific tropes that pop up in these sorts of movies. Sometime shortly I'll post what I found, and maybe we can compare notes or something.

May not fall into the criteria of a short story or a poem, but I'd like to branch out a bit and discuss narratives and what it is about them we enjoy.
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  #44  
Old 11-27-2017, 03:55 PM
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Unusual Hallmark Movie Tropes

Wittled it down to Top 5. Leaving a few off of my list, like how the movie is almost always named after a Christmas song, as that's too obvious. Also ignoring parts where the protagonist doesn't believe in Santa/Jesus/Christmas because that makes up for a majority of yuletide movies, not just ones from Hallmark. I'm gunning for things that are oddly specific, ones that don't really have a rhyme or reason to them.

In no particular order:




5. Protagonist Is A Workaholic That Can't Survive On Their Own

For clarity, let's say the protagonist is a woman here. She works at a firm, in a hospital, or anywhere where her career takes over every other facet of her life. No time for the holidays, busy yadda yadda. But when she's put in a situation where she has to do something every other person can, in this case we'll say cook, she can't even boil water. Somehow being a professional at Hallmark Bank & Trust left her no time to do the things she'd regularly do as that strong, independent woman. Can't cook, can't chop wood, can't fix a tire, can't do anything your average worker can.

This is up for the love interest/family to do to show her how she's become too much of a city girl/workaholic/high and mighty. More on that later.


4. There Will Be A Brief Discussion On How Having A Fake X-Mas Tree Makes You An Asshole

It's there, though it tends to last a full three seconds. Someone makes a remark about going out to pick/cut a tree down, here comes someone with the normal idea of just getting a fake, and it turns into a weird patriotic stance. Real trees are American and wholesome and plastic trees are corporate commie symbols that killed Jesus so fuck you. Hallmark is huge on sentimentality, and nothing screams sentimental more than a piece of dead foliage in your home.


3. If There's A Fiance, They're Upper Class And Evil

Workaholics come in pairs. If for some reason the protagonist managed a relationship, it's to a person that was just like them at the beginning of the movie. The fiance is rich, or at least high maintenance. They represent everything the protagonist's family isn't. Urban. Liberal. Non-Religious. And, most importantly, the Upper Class, which after half a dozen Hallmark movies I am comfortable in saying is the devil incarnate. They threaten the small town way of life somehow, maybe Big Business is moving in, or just being there pisses off the natural order. Who knows. But whatever the case is, if there's a fiance, they're either the antagonist or pretty fucking close.


2. Small Town Beau Is Quirky, Yet Perfect As They Manage To Be A Jack Of All Trades AND Unemployed

Take everything the protagonist is and flip it. In this case, he's a good ol' country boy who either was an old flame of the protagonist or knows the protagonist's family to some capacity. He is a chef, mechanic, electrician, plumber, super handyman but he doesn't really have a steady, financially-stable job. Often laid-back and a wise crack. Oh and he did attend college/is educated, because the protagonist and him HAVE to have something in common.

How he manages to be adept at so many things but still can't make ends meet is a weird combo for sure.


1. Spot The Poinsettias - AKA They've Overdecorated

I get that poinsettias are a holiday staple as much as wreaths and candy canes are, but those things happen to be everywhere when you stop to look. Many scenes have them in the background, and they tend to show up in the most damning places. One movie there were at least a dozen casually arranged in the snow itself. Just weird.

I'd also chalk this up to another type of trope, and that's how holiday movies are crazy overdecorated. The fireplace has several strands of garland. The mantle is poinsettia, stocking, poinsettia, stocking, Santa, poinsettia, candles. Somehow the tree has poinsettias. Seriously it can't be just me that sees that. Nobody goes apeshit over the poinsettias. Stop making poinsettias happen.
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  #45  
Old 12-08-2017, 02:41 PM
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(Spoiler-Free Review)

So full disclosure- I don't really do comics often, and erotica is too exaggerated for me to enjoy. But I just finished a 5 Volumed graphic novel that I really, really love. Enough to gush about here. A colleague of mine introduced me to Sunstone by Stjepan Šejić. It's a story about two women who are deeply involved with BDSM. On the surface, you may think my perv flag is waving, but it's SO much more than sex. The story has a lot of heart. Each character, even the minor ones, are going through their own personal dilemmas and are better people for it. It's not cartoon porn. Sex is a theme, obviously, but it's not the major thing that drives the story forward. The two main characters, a sub named Lisa and a domme named Ally, are first-timers who meet up after talking online. They are awkwardly endearing. There are elements of understanding the self, and what it means to learn from past relationships. Also, and this one is a big one for me as I'm working on a story involving this topic, there is focus on how people can carry on a healthy friendship with past exes. It's done with care.




Two things that stick out for me after I finished reading:

1. It does a service to that particular community that mainstream movies have failed to. Yes, there are erotic scenes and nudity, but it's handled in a normal way. There is no over-the top- bullshit. Everything shown has a point. No crazed possessive dominatrix or weak as shit submissive. These women are people, multi-faceted and easy to connect with and relate to.

2. Sexual identity is also an important part of this, but it's not borderline cliche. Sexual awakening is there, yeah, but it's not played up as them having a bad childhood, or they were kissed by a girl on a dare and they liked it. Their awakening is depicted very naturally, with trial and error anyone can understand.

Like BDSM? Want a story with feels? You can have both. Read this.
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