writing prompt using all the words “rage, order, justice, common…”

underneath the anger, the rage, is the¬†raw, soft belly of pain… it demands no explanation, no justice for past transgressions, no need of vengeance… does not desire assigning of blame or even restoration of order… but simply the freedom to spill forth, with abandon, with complete fullness the dark depth of its well… reservoir¬†of secrets, silence, sorrow… the grief so threatening, so risky, so common to her that she somehow forgot how to feel it.

and here i am again… trying to get around it, skirt the rawness, the reality with the right words… think instead of actually feel… anything but to wade through it… sit with it, stay with it, with myself without DOING anything.

i keep bumping up against this overwhelming desire to fix it, figure it out so that i can be finished… when the point is to become who i am as an actual feeling being…


not my own


i am not my own

my soul subject to ownership

by she who dreamt in into existence

conceived and carried it

cradled in her secret soft places

claiming the tiny creature

as her own

perfect for mending her broken places

filling in the emptiness

perhaps finally satiating

the nagging need to find wholeness

she breathed life into these lungs

ensuring they never again

know the freedom of drawing

their own


writing prompt… “scars you have”…

too many to count. although i have attempted to number, catalog each one… no doubt in the light of day, in the wake of a new resolution, after the storm… in the shadow of shame. but a new one always seems to appear… or two… or sometimes sixteen, and my census is once again incorrect, incomplete… not having taken into account that my demons did not sign their names to my carefully crafted contract with hope, with healing, with the promise of freedom. they refuse to commit to leaving any inch of bare skin unmarred.

i am littered with the pink, waxy trails telling of battles and intimate love affairs with blades… and the unmistakable mark of a flame’s kiss. penance for her sins… permanent punishment that somehow has yet to pay the price.

and i am ashamed… of what they shout… speak in leu of my stubborn silence. they scream of weakness… of the wretched tears my eyes refuse to release… bear my nakedness to a world i seek so desperately to hide from. and i wonder if i will have any words left to spew from these lips when my hands finally put the blade down.

writing prompts and the gift of friendship…

a relatively new, and yet somehow amazingly deep and familiar friendship has brought encouragement, comfort, challenge, and creative inspiration to my life recently. cyndi and i spent last saturday evening sipping a iced “dirty chai” concoction, complete with a shot of expresso, in an local independent coffee house she had stumbled upon. seated at a pub table, our writing supplies, carefully selected poetry anthologies, and a mason jar stuffed with an array of brightly colored strips of construction paper. each piece contained a single phrase… a prompt… a starting place… a beginning.

timer set for ten minutes… prompt randomly selected… pen to paper, we wrote… stream of consciousness… seeking to subvert our innate “editing software” and allow our souls to speak… write from the deep places where we tell ourselves the truth. and it was awesome.

and when the alarm sounds, we share… reading aloud, without critique, and with reverence… giving voice and space to our stories, ourselves… each other.

this is freedom for me… it looses the chains that so often bind my tongue, and permits my fingers to speak what has been shrouded in silence, no longer struggling to assign language to what seems unspeakable, untouchable, just out of reach… and perhaps, in time, shed the skin of shame.

so as cyndi and i continue this writing process, committing to completing a ten minute prompt exercise daily… i thought i would use this space to share some of my rare moments of “unedited ellie”…

PROMPT… “i cannot remember”…

what it is to be me. the imperfect, messy, uncontained, uncontrolled, uninhibited, brilliantly crafted creature that i dream i once was… entered into this world loved, desired, cherished, or at least that is how the story is told. not that i doubt the underlying nugget of truth in this history… family fables told over dinner tables and in celebration of our tiny, fleeting achievements. it is more that i believe i came to exist more out of the desire- the absolutely consuming need to create something, someone to fill in the gaping, endless holes lusting for completion… to be satiated. and so perhaps i am not my own, my soul was never subject to ownership by anyone than she who dreamt me into existence… carried it, carefully knowing the fragility… and breathed life into its tiny lungs, ensuring that they would never again know the freedom of drawing their own.

i would not have blamed you…

most of me was waiting

convinced you would come to me

flooded by the depth of your need

holes i was familiar with

a void i knew how to fill

i would not have blamed you

nor found fault in the

weakening of your will

worn down by her indifference


unwillingness to love

or be loved

and so i stood

broken heart still beating

empty hands open

prepared to carry your burden

as well

Protected: that day never came…

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it is empty in this room

save for the life that

escapes with each breath

his forced and labored

and mine silent and effortless

he entrusts these midnights to me

soft endless gray moments

delicate hours where angels

stare out into the city lights

glossy eyed with tears

we are both waiting

in unspoken anticipation

of sleep or death

satisfied with which ever

steals his soul first