National Poetry Writing Month begins tomorrow #NaPoWriMo

Poem

This little poem
is very, very bad.
It doesn’t rhyme right—
how sad.
It has no feet,
nor iambic stress.
I think it’s freaking out
in a little blue dress.
It makes no sense
and has no style.
Maybe I should put it away
for awhile.

****

I’m freaking out a little (or maybe a lot).

I’ll be posting at my forum: Autumn Sky Poetry Forum. You’re welcome to join us. Register, and send me a message via Facebook or email so I know to approve your membership request.

NaPoWriMo began here: http://www.napowrimo.net

NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month, is an annual project in which participating poets attempt to write a poem a day for the month of April.

This website is owned and operated by Maureen Thorson, a poet living in Washington, DC. Inspired by NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month), she started writing a poem a day for the month of April back in 2003, posting the poems on her blog. When other people started writing poems for April, and posting them on their own blogs, Maureen linked to them. After a few years, so many people were doing NaPoWriMo that Maureen decided to launch an independent website for the project.

Let the insanity begin!

#Reviews for Dark Matter #comingsoon #excerpts #poems

Orion

forthcoming autumn 2015 – Aldrich Press/Kelsay Books

 

From the author:

This particular collection was written over the past seven years. All the poems are based on images from the Astronomy Picture of the Day website: APOD.

 

An earlier version of Dark Matter won the following prizes: 

2009 Ellen La Forge Poetry Prize (formerly the Grolier Prize) for poems: “Star explodes halfway across universe,” “Saturn’s moon may have hidden seas,” “Smallest black hole found,” “How to search for aliens,” “Mysterious white rock fingers on Mars,” and “Three galaxies and a comet.”

2009 semi-finalist in the Philip Levine Prize in Poetry.

2009 semi-finalist in the University of Wisconsin Press Poetry Series, Brittingham and Pollak Poetry Prizes.

2009 semi-finalist for the Sawtooth Poetry Prize, Ahsahta Press, Boise State University.

2010 semi-finalist for the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award Competition.

 

Reviews:

These beautifully meditative poems explore while fusing the worlds of astronomy and of human relationships. In Chrissie’s deft hands, each world seems both to explain and deepen the mystery of the other, leaving the reader with a vivid sense of the grandeur of each. In these poems, black holes, nebulae, stellar winds and the march of constellations somehow feel like the natural partners of parenting and relationship difficulties, of the joys and upheavals of daily human life. In clear, confident language, the poems condense into wise emotional insights that make this collection as much a map for modern living as they make it an astronomy lesson of astonishing breadth and variety. Bravo!

~Nic Sebastian, author of Forever Will End On Thursday and Dark and Like A Web, both published under the poetry nanopress model with partner editors. She is co-founder and curator of The Poetry Storehouse.

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The perspective of Christine Klocek-Lim’s Dark Matter is that of a star-gazer on Earth, a parent with a rich inner life, looking up, “where nothing important / happens quickly.” These poems reveal a rare intimacy with the sky, an affinity for the stuff of space, planets, stars, even chaos and collapse. Each lyric is as much a love song to oblivion as it is a portrait of life now. “We dream / and drive and delay talking / about love as though tragedy / is manageable: / the tidy moons of our psyche / orbiting.” Through these stark and bravely bright poems, one feels the gravity of Earth at odds with something else, something inside us or among. By probing the metaphors of unfathomable space and time, Klocek-Lim pushes against that more familiar tug—until life on the ground feels changed.

~Billy Merrell, author of Talking in the Dark.

****

Christine Klocek-Lim’s stunning Dark Matter reminds that poetry is an agent of transcendence and percipience. She casts her clear-eyed gaze and wonderment skyward and returns to us earthy, elegiac and astonishing poems of luminous lyricism. The dazzling and accomplished poems in Dark Matter honor how “Our ancestors/
were always trying to make sense/
of the unseen” and celebrate how “Sometimes we still collide/ with each other, staring heavenward/ until the stars blind us.” You’ll return to these poems again and again and each time you’ll emerge newly awed.

~Patty Paine author of Grief & Other Animals, and editor of diode.

 

Excerpt:

Despina, moon of Neptune

She said she’d rather sing alone
than perform for some random guy,
but then Voyager 2 flew by,
eyes trained on her curved form
like a desperate man (the kind
whose lady walked away forever).
He just didn’t know when to look aside.
She said she tried to hide, quiet her light
against her father’s blue sky, but the lens
found her four times. She gave up
silence for fame, gave up space
and time, until the sun finally fell
down across the steely horizon.
Her father Neptune didn’t seem to care
and that was what hurt her most.
The galaxy beyond everything she knew
was so much less infinite than she’d hoped.
The camera took what he wanted
and left. Despina endured the scrutiny
of a thousand careless eyes—

In the end, she would only wear white,
the color of purity, and not even the dark
could get her to sing anymore.

-first appeared in WMNR’s The Night Café, October 2014

 

Violent collision of stellar winds detected

You talk through the chronic sadness
of late Sunday, ignoring the sunlight
that slants over the new daffodils.
Tomorrow you will be gone to work
and I will be cleaning, both of us indifferent
to the violent collision of stellar winds
they say is happening right now,
the glow brighter than four million suns
together. Strange how invisible accidents
affect things: as we speak, the static
conversation of the big bang murmurs
in the background, though we can’t
hear it. And tonight, we’ll look up
to stars that are no longer there.
Twenty-one years ago we held
hands at twilight and spoke
of trivialities, keeping our voices
hushed in the darkness.
Now the conversation fades,
but the energy from Eta Carinae
is still apparent in the way our shoulders
touch, not precisely kissing, but colliding
nonetheless.

-first published in Astropoetica, Vol. 9.2, Summer 2011

 

Supernova remnant Cassiopeia A

One night the angels came
for her, rustling their wings
in the starlight. She was sleeping.
They grasped her arms and ankles,
lifting her away as though
she weighed nothing at all.
The next morning her feet ached
and her daughter gave her comfort.
That night again they took her,
carrying her past the atmosphere.
She told them she wanted to see
Cassiopeia and they brought
her to the mountains of creation,
dipping her hands and toes in the dust.
She woke dreaming of beauty
but could not walk. Her shoulders
ached and for the first time
she feared. Again in the darkness
the angels found her, hiding
in the bathroom, holding her arms
around her heart. They sang
and she fell asleep. This time
she remembered nothing but
could not smile. In the morning
she found feathers in the bed.
When night came she lay awake
in the dark, pinching her skin,
imagining grief as they gathered
around her. She did not speak
as they pulled her close, pressing
their fingers against her eyes,
brushing their lips to her hair.
She wept and did not look back.
The angels laughed, pretending
happiness, but she felt how they
trembled, holding her too tightly
for hours. That morning she discarded
fear to explain love to her daughter
but by nightfall she knew the angels
had gone and she braided her hair
with sorrow. And when she died
she dreamed of angels crying
in the explosion, scattering
their light in the infinite dark.

-first published in Diode v3n2

 

The great rift on Saturn’s moon Tethys

Every rock looks the same. A bit gray,
some cracks and craters. Pick it up
and your hand goes stiff with dust
as though everything is disintegrating.
Tethys is dying as we speak, shedding ash
into space, the long rift of the Ithaca Chasma
watching from the pocked surface. Yesterday
I refused to dream because too many years
had passed since my grandmother walked
into the darkest valley. I could not recall her face.
Space is like that. You think the rocks will last
forever, but really, all the stars and moons are broken.
Are breaking. At birth, the crust of Tethys cooled
and the landscape seized up and wrenched apart.
Or maybe bombardment formed Odysseus,
the crater in Tethys’ Great Basin, and the rift.
We’ll never know. She died and the vast black
of space fell down. Ten years later and I’m still
contemplating sorrow, fingering rocks I’ve gathered
and kept like tombstones, like the dust that rings Saturn.
I’m hoping for a halo like that, some sign of light.
I’m hoping that someday at journey’s end I’ll come home
and find the valley of the dead waiting in the backyard,
filled with dust and bits of ancient, cherished stars.

-first published in Lucid Rhythms, Issue 2, 2009

#FirstCrocus #poem #spring

Yesterday:

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Today:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

First Crocus

This morning, flowers cracked open
the earth’s brown shell. Spring
leaves spilled everywhere
though winter’s stern hand
could come down again at any moment
to break the delicate yolk
of a new bloom.

The crocus don’t see this as they chatter
beneath a cheerful petal of spring sky.
They ignore the air’s brisk arm
as they peer at their fresh stems, step
on the leftover fragments
of old leaves.

When the night wind twists them to pieces,
they will die like this: laughing,
tossing their brilliant heads
in the bitter air.

by Christine Klocek-Lim, first published on About.com.

Happy first day of spring.

Q & A about #editing on Tuesday!

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I’m heading to Wegmans this coming Tuesday, March 10 for a fun Q&A session about editing and writing, courtesy of the Lehigh Valley WriMos. Come join us at 5000 Wegmans Dr, Bethlehem, PA 18017, from 6-8pm. Should be interesting. Ask me anything! ‪#‎editing‬ ‪#‎writing‬

We’ll be talking about submissions, editing, and writing.

1. How many different flavors of editor am I?

2. What are my biggest pet peeves when I receive a submission?

3. Is plot important?

4. Why publish poetry when no one reads it anymore?

5. Why do I hate prologues?

6. Why is knowing your audience important?

7. How do you know if a small publisher is legit?

8. Why shouldn’t you design your own book cover?

9. How much money do authors really make?

10. What is head hopping?

11. Are social media and self promotion important?

How odd to forget your own words. #poetry #prosepoem

I completely forgot that I wrote a chapbook of prose poems. Most of them are unpublished because I got very, very tired of sending them out and receiving either no response (sometimes after waiting a year!) or rejections. I just plain forgot about these poems. I also found a book of haiku I wrote. Forgot about those, too. Anyway, here’s a sample from the prose poems. The chapbook is called Glimpse. It’s about angels and gods and people. Maybe someday I’ll have the energy to send the chapbook out again.

 

Apollyon

— fallen angel of death, the destroyer

He got the text at 7 and was there in a half hour. The place seethed with birds: crows and pigeons like a plague, shit on the pavement. All of them squawking like crazy then everyone else came and he only had time to shove his phone back in his pocket before they were moving. Had to be a hundred-fifty people, maybe more, some of them high. The sun gone. They surged down the street, trashing cars, signs, whatever, as metal teeth crashed over the storefronts—they had to get in somewhere before the cops came. He ran for Macy’s, shoved a salesman over and everyone followed. It felt like he had wings, up in front, he flew with their hands on his back, the mob lifting him up and everything glittering like god lived here, like heaven was hardwood floors and crystal. The warmth distracting so he dismembered a mannequin like it was real. Smashed some perfume, not thinking about his mother. Her dead body four years ago. The stray bullet. The sweet scent drifted over the mob like ash, expensive fucking shit. He coughed and spit on the glass counters and everyone cheered until he fell. When his ribs broke he thought he heard the pigeons again, their little bodies feathering into the wind but it was locusts. Locusts ground into the floor near his head, broken shells like red glass. He tasted blood, looked up. Crows sat on the chandeliers, wings on fire, and he tried to call out, pray for help, but the pain flared so terribly he closed his eyes against the light.

 

—first published in OCHO #30, 2010.

Disintegrate is only $0.99 at Evernight Teen!!! #sale

3/2/15 – ETA: the sale is done. Sorry folks! :)

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The ebook for Disintegrate is only 99 cents for a limited time only! Click HERE to go to Evernight Teen!

Disintegrate  epeditorsesal1s

 

Young Adult, Paranormal, Suspense, Romance
Word Count: 51,000
Published By: Evernight Teen

To read an excerpt, click here.

Emily just wanted a normal life: a boyfriend, college, two parents who loved her. Instead, her dad disappeared when she was fourteen and her life at college is anything but ordinary.

When you can manipulate matter like putty and you have no idea why, how do you pretend to be like everyone else? What happens when you meet a guy who has the same powers? Do you trust him to help you find the answers you need?

Emily desperately wants to believe that Jax can help, but the stakes grow higher than she’d ever expected: someone is after them and they’re not afraid to use violence to get what they want.

buy links: Evernight – Amazon Kindle – Amazon Print – Createspace Print – BookStrand – OmniLit – Smashwords – Kobo – Barnes & Noble – iBookstore

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What are people saying about Disintegrate?

Night Owl Reviews Teen

5 stars! A Night Owl Reviews Top Pick!

I loved this fast paced YA story and I couldn’t put it down. We’re introduced to Emily who is a college student and trying to have a normal life just like anyone else her age. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen because she possesses a special ability that normal people her age don’t have. You see, Emily has the paranormal ability to rearrange matter. She’s amazed by this ability, but wishes she didn’t have it because it makes her very different from everyone else. My heart went out to her because it’s so reminiscent of those bumpy teenage years when you’re trying to fit in, but at the same time develop who you’re going to be as an adult. The author did a wonderful job explaining Emily’s ability and how she felt having it. I felt that I was Emily’s friend seeing and feeling what she felt as it was happening to her. I also enjoyed getting to know Jax, another teenager who had the same ability as Emily, and I was so happy they had each other to depend upon while they both tried figuring out how to use their abilities. There was plenty of suspense that kept me turning the pages frantically as I was trying to figure out if they were going to be alright when they discovered that someone was after them. I loved their relationship together and I wanted them to be there for each other no matter what it involved. I’m new to this author and her writing, but she has made a new fan in me now.

If being in college isn’t enough stress for the average teenager, how would you be able to handle finding out that you have a paranormal ability you need to develop? That’s exactly what Emily has to do. Her special gift is that she can manipulate matter, but although it’s a cool thing to have that makes her different, this very ability puts her in the hot seat to have people come after her. Luckily, she meets up with Jax, another teenager with the same paranormal ability and they bond together to help protect one another. There’s a spark between them, but do they decide to act upon it? Do they learn how to use their abilities to their potential? Who is after the both of them and what do they want from Emily and Jax?

Reviewer: Diana Coyle

*****

Do the write thing

A wonderfully suspenseful YA novel that tackles not only such topics as special skills, bio engineering, and abuse of science, but also themes close to any reader, adult or young adult, like themes of family, friendship, love, belonging.

This novel is easy to read in one sitting as it pulls you in from the first pages and doesn’t let go to the very last surprise in the Epilogue. The relationship between the two main characters, Emily and Jax, is marvellously dynamic and evolving. Their relationship changes them, changes their view of life. It helps them find the strength to search for the reasons behind their special skills. That secret, in turn, is the basis for the intense, action-packed plot that doesn’t disappoint with twists and turns and surprising revelations.

Emily’s struggle to find her place, to belong, is something many young adult readers will be able to identify with. She is different, but only on the surface, deep down she’s searching for parental love and guidance, for friendship that she finds in her roommate, for love that comes along in the form of Jax, a boy with skills similar to her own and even bigger problems. When they are being mercilessly hunted, attacked, and even kidnapped, they come to realize that friendship can give you strength, and that family is not always who you’re related to.