Custom Search


Welcome to my blog!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Beginning To Put Together As Far As The Eyes Can See / New Caterpillar

Hi everyone,

I still have a lot of writing for As Far As The Eyes Can See, but yesterday I figured I should start typing the handwritten poems. I tend to like to do a lot of work - I like to hand write a poem first, proofread it, type it while proofreading it again, send the typed copy to trusted people to proof, get their feedback, make changes if needed, then it's done. I had only a few poems typed and I thought of doing it closer to the self-imposed deadline, but rethought that idea. I feel stressed by all this writing I still have to do, I don't want to feel even more stressed typing everything up!

So, I started yesterday and between living life (i.e. doing other things that needed to be done), I didn't work on any new poems. I'm rectifying that today once I e-mail this former lawyer some questions I have. I'm nervous about it because he's a board member of the Senior Center and since I'm not there anymore...

...but, back in May when I was planning to publish As Far As The Eyes Can See, I was thinking of having it as a two part book: poems from NaPoWriMo, then poetry, prose, and essays from Soundtrackers. With Soundtrackers, it was a contest that let everyone use their favorite songs for the whole month and you wrote pieces based on the song title. The board member said song titles can be iffy, but he'd be happy to look over the manuscript. Then I changed my mind and figured I would make As Far As the Eyes Can See travel poetry. I have some from NaPoWriMo, from Soundtrackers, some I've done in the past, and creating new pieces. Although I'm not using Soundtrackers, I did e-mail Acrassicauda back in May to see if I could use their song titles for some poems. Marwan (band's drummer) sent an e-mail and agreed. This was the e-mail:

I still want to e-mail the lawyer (of if any of my dear blog readers know this answer, please comment!) about the validity of this e-mail - I think the e-mail should be valid - but how I would cite this in my book. I have about five different poems with song titles. I might write one more... but their song titles aren't extensive in my book.

I've been looking through poetry that I want to use to start off the book. I wrote this poem last November and although it didn't win a contest within The Narrative, I still really like this poem a lot because it shows vulnerability and nervousness to make a good impression on someone you like, but it doesn't work out for whatever reason. For me, the disjointedness shows the nervousness:

City Skyline
Jessica Marie 

The city skyline,
            gray in the distance;
the city skyline
            twirls in the Schuylkill,
rippled by fury then calmness then fury in the rain.
The city skyline
            is so much different today
than when I met you a few months ago before a show—
the city skyline,
            warm, bright, welcoming; we were both excited,
the city skyline,
            turning cold later, but there was still vibrant energy.
I follow your lead, my black boots jumping
over black puddles, deep I think, along Thirtieth Street.
It’s cold, damp, and rainy;
I follow your voice, like the city skyline,
            trailing off with tall buildings and city traffic,
trying to keep up, my silent agreements swallowed in horns,
skid marks and never ending construction.
The city skyline hides my anxiety,
            I wish I could reach out to you,
I wish I could tell you about other city skylines:
            Detroit, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Chicago, Atlanta—
I wish I could tell you about the beauty of rivers and streams:
            Lake Michigan, the Chesapeake, the Rhine;
they don’t seem as gray as this skyline
or as black and possibly icy as the Schuylkill.
Yet most of all, I wish I could reach out
            and hold your hand, then a big hug
            and tell you how I feel;
how you make the days less rainy and cold—
instead I look at the formidable buildings and listen to you:
            but out of the corner of my eye, I saw the gold hands
            point to a little after two o’clock—it’s time to go—
the confusion of rain and the labyrinth of city landscapes,
we almost miss my bus home, you’re patient though
            in the rush and confusion, I make it, but with no goodbye.
The city skyline leaves my sight,
            gray disappearing along with a black river;
as the city skyline shrinks,
            unlike a month ago with pride in meeting my heroes
            and the feeling that it made up for the missed opportunities of 2014;
as the city skyline continues to shrink into the suburbs,

            missed opportunities grow bigger in the shadow.

Do you think that'd be a good poem to start off the book? Then write about all my other travels, then end it with places I'd like to go? I'm thinking that should be logical and it could be fun - showing where I've been, what I'm doing now, then where I'd like to go. I think I'm going to go with that.


On a different subject, we've brought in the last caterpillar. Something killed the 2nd caterpillar and ants began to eat it. Mom cut down the milkweed stalks and brought in our last caterpillar of the season. It turned into a "J" this morning and we suspect soon it'll be a chrysalis. Can't wait to watch that!

Still working on the monarch to Mexico/South America poem, but I'm thinking of starting a poem like:

"Gotta go, gotta go, gotta really go, go
gotta go to Mexico!"

There is a children's book about the monarch caterpillar process called Gotta Go and I think that alliteration could make an interesting poem. I'm going to give it a shot and see how it turns out.


  1. I love the photo with the cat! I'm sure ours would be sniffing around, too.

    1. Thank you! She loves jumping up on the breakfast bar to look out the window. When she was slinking around, she noticed the cage... had some interest for a bit, then went back to the window. She's funny.

  2. Hi, Jessica Marie! I think it's good for creative writers to stay busy even if they feel overwhelmed at times. You get better the more you practice your art or craft. Having a lot on your plate and adhering to and meeting self imposed deadlines keeps your mind sharp. "If you can." I was a TV news producer. My job required me to meet deadlines every day. Later on, I had a career making commercials and corporate presentations for demanding clients. Nowadays, even though I don't have to, I still impose deadlines on myself, because rising to the occasion and getting the job done is satisfying and keeps me at the top of my game.

    Does your kitty Mimi ever try to get at your caterpillars? It seems like the movement would attract her "like moth to flame."

    I wish you a very happy Sunday and a fine week ahead, dear friend Jessica Marie!

    1. That's true, Shady! I like having deadlines... I like working hard to meet those deadlines because well, deadlines are what makes life flow smoothly. It also keeps one sharp. Later I'll e-mail that lawyer.

      No, Mimi doesn't try to bat the caterpillar. She'll just watch sometimes, but she seems like she doesn't really care about them. She likes watching birds!

      Thank you, Shady, I hope you have a happy Sunday as well and a product week ahead. :)

  3. I was very moved by your Skyline poem. It's very poignant.
    And watching the caterpillar is going to be all kinds of fun.

    1. Thank you, Sandra. It is one of the poems I'm most proud of. :) Sadly, things didn't work out with the person it was about... but I had a feeling about that when I wrote it.

      The caterpillar just turned into a chrysalis. I taped it and will be sharing it soon. It's so neat and fun!

  4. Gotta love the cat watching the cat(erpillar). Classic!

    1. It truly is. :) The caterpillar is now a chrysalis and sometimes Mimi will peer in to see it.