Poetry: Sober by Jake Ortega

Sober

by Jake Ortega

Moving on sounds simpler than it is
I can’t move on if you don’t let me go
I can’t count how many times I’ve heard it
“Just give it up!”
“Do something else to substitute it!”
As if I haven’t tried

Despite the brand you left on me
As blatant as the day it started
Your influence seems superficial to them
But that’s just the man that I portray
The pain continues because I try
I try to salvage what remains

And every day that precipice gets wider
Every hour you goad me to take that leap of faith
I’ll never be rid of you until I do
And you wave that opportunity like a checkered flag
Assured that I won’t even try
It’s a distance you know I can’t overcome

You drink my misery like beer
But I’m the one who’s off my face
As the world goes ‘round without me
I can’t lay down without holding on
I used to relish such spirituous delights
Part of the plan you’ve laid before me

Your laughter echoes through my being
A face beneath my jaundiced skin
Cackling at the husk you inhabit
Knowing that all that I carry with me
Is everything that I have
And everything that I am

Your presence threatens to consume me
But with your presence I must live on
In hopes that my appeasement is enough
And if the day comes that you depart
The vacancy of your being may be too inviting
For another to take your place

Do I have you, or do you have me?

Wednesday Writing Prompt: Postcard-sized

Good evening, friends and family! Welcome to our penultimate Forum Lab. The magazine is coming along well, with the proofs just about ready and the acceptance letters being written as I type.

Keep an eye on this space for announcements about the launch party at the end of May– I promise, it’s coming soon!

The other major topic tonight was our class presentations on other literary magazines, ft. Poetry Editor Kevin C. giving us the history of seminal pulp mag Weird Tales and Poetry Reader C S. introducing us to three magazines: The Moth, a top-notch Irish magazine, The Hoot Review, postcards from the literary dimension, and The Caterpillar, literary writing from adults for kids.

IMG_1880

Alex enjoys some delicious treats provided by the ever-gracious C.


Today’s writing prompt is inspired by C’s presentation!

The Hoot Review publishes poetry and “microfiction” that can fit on a postcard– try your hand at writing short flash fiction or poetry that is 150 words or less!

the hoot review

A small sample of The Hoot postcards provided by C


Whenever you write a poem, story, take a picture, or create a piece of artwork based on these prompts, you can post it in the comments or submit it to submissions@forumccsf.org for consideration on the Forum Magazine Blog.

Make sure to follow all submission guidelines and in the subject line include “Writing Prompt Wednesday”. In the body of the email, please include the writing prompt you used for your piece.

Textile Art: Comet by Trudi Hauptman

Copy of Visual Arts – Comet – Fabric

Comet by Trudi Hauptman

Trudi Hauptman is anchored in modern feminist Jewish sensibilities of spirituality and a commitment to social justice with an understanding that one’s life is Hanging By A Thread, this work comes from the soul. As an artist, she is involved with fiber crafts and is a member of NOCA Women’s Caucus for The Arts; Surface Design Association;  and the Pointless Sisters Guild. Her child is a student in CCSF’s Creative Writing Program

Writing Prompt Wednesday (on Thursday)

Hey everyone! I know we took a bit of a sabbatical last week (Forum Lab was canceled because Professor Young had the flu– happily she’s much better now), but I definitely missed y’all.

Here are a couple of photos from yesterday’s lab, where we wrestled with the final proofs, talked about grammar, and tried to obey Graphics’ directives about cutting some pages. Y’all, we got so many awesome submissions the editors and readers loved that Graphics had to ask us to cut 20-40 pages! So, you know, if you submitted something and it didn’t get in, keep in mind that there was a ton of amazing competition and we definitely want you to try again in the Fall.


On to the writing prompt!

I’ve seen some amazing quotes for National Poetry Month, but I think this one, from G.K. Chesterton’s essay Cheese, has to be one of my favorites.

Respond to this beautiful and extremely deep quote in any way you please:

 

tumblr_onpbhjmXpb1t99d87o1_1280

A poet’s hope: / to be, like some valley cheese, / local, but prized elsewhere. (W.H. Auden, “Shorts II”, Collected Poetry, 1976)

 


Whenever you write a poem, story, take a picture, or create a piece of artwork based on these prompts, you can post it in the comments or submit it to submissions@forumccsf.org for consideration on the Forum Magazine Blog.

Make sure to follow all submission guidelines and in the subject line include “Writing Prompt Wednesday”. In the body of the email, please include the writing prompt you used for your piece.

Writing Prompt Wednesday: Spotlight on Haiku

Happy Wednesday, everyone. We are back from spring break! Today’s topics are all about finalizing publishing documents, page counts, fact checking, and arguing about whether we should cross-publish pieces here and in the magazine (make your opinions known in the comments, y’all!)

IMG_1815

Professor Jen Sullivan Brych, Carolina and Obo listen to C (off-camera) holding forth

We’re also starting work on some group projects reviewing other literary magazines, because professional development is important.


On to the writing prompt!

Spotlight on Haiku

I know we all learned a very rigid definition of the form when we were in grade school– a three line form with the format of five syllables/seven syllables/five syllables. If you pick up any book of joke haiku, you’ll see this impulse at work.

There are other traditional haiku rules that we don’t talk about as much– writing in the present tense, a “season word,” (kigo) which is a nature image specifying the time of year. Still, many modern poets writing haiku break with the traditional formats– modern haiku, especially, are increasingly unlikely to follow the tradition of 17 syllables or to take nature as their subject.

But the essence of haiku is the juxtaposition of two images or ideas with a kireji (cutting word) or caesura between them, a verbal or visual punctuation mark signaling the moment of separation and relation.

Below are a few famous or Forum staff-written haiku to get you going:

Matsuo Bashō:
In the twilight rain
these brilliant-hued hibiscus –
A lovely sunset

Yosa Buson:
Over-ripe sushi,
The Master
Is full of regret.

Richard Wright:
With a twitching nose
A dog reads a telegram
On a wet tree trunk.

Zach Hauptman (Forum Web Editor):
pilgrimage–
a late afternoon
coffee break

Kriz Natalie Monrose (Forum NonFiction Editor):
madness creeps out and
plays, in and out of the shadows
breaking my mental state

shadows play
on the raven’s wings
in my mind

Alexandra Saba (Forum Assistant Web Editor):
flickering lights shine
through early morning windows
sirens sing their song


Whenever you write a poem, story, take a picture, or create a piece of artwork based on these prompts, you can post it in the comments or submit it to submissions@forumccsf.org for consideration on the Forum Magazine Blog.

Make sure to follow all submission guidelines and in the subject line include “Writing Prompt Wednesday”. In the body of the email, please include the writing prompt you used for your piece.

Are you ready for National Poetry Month?

April is National Poetry Month!

NPM was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 and established by the League of Canadian Poets in 1998. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.

In honor of National Poetry Month, Forum Magazine will feature some of our poetry editors’ favorite submissions during April. Consider taking one with you during Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 27th!

And while you’re waiting for some fabulous Forum Magazine work, you can sign up for the Academy of American Poets’ poem-a-day digital poetry series or take a look through Button Poetry’s popular poetry slam videos

If you’re a writer, National Poetry Month (or National Poetry Writing Month) has plenty for you to do– participate in NaPoWriMo.net 30 poems in 30 daysTiferet Journal’s Poem-A-Thon (if you don’t want to write, consider sponsoring a poet), Apiary Lit presents: a 30/30 Online Writing workspace, or join 30/30 Poetry 2017 on Facebook.


And, as always, whenever you write a poem, story, take a picture, or create a piece of artwork, submit it to submissions@forumccsf.org for consideration on the Forum Magazine Blog. Please make sure to follow all submission guidelines.

Literature Events Around Town: Lyrical Revolt|Revuelta Lírica

It’s spring break, so no Forum lab today. Still, that’s no excuse to neglect y’all!

Seen at the 24th and Mission Muni stop:IMG_1809

Answer Coalition presents:
Lyrical Revolt|Revuelta Lírica

An evening of progressive poetry, spoken word and vocal performances for social justice.

Una noche de poesía, palabra oral y expresión creativa.

2969 Mission St, San Francisco (between 25th and 26th Streets)

April 1, 2017 7:00 pm
Open mic sign up starts at 6:00pm

Meet the Editors 2017 [Part Two]

Today we’re meeting the head genre editors!

These talented folx are in charge of maintaining the submission logs of their specialty, organizing the submissions, and leading reader discussions. They’re also responsible for editing, author revisions, proofreading, and work in conjunction with the Managing Editor to communicate with authors and artists.

Bryce Riegel is our Fiction Editor

IMG_1737

Bryce presides over the brilliant fiction crowd.

Bryce Riegel moved to San Francisco 7 years ago for school (with a B.S. in biochemistry with a physics minor). He’s now a carpenter and spends most of his time remodeling houses and apartment buildings in the city. In his free time he’s either writing short stories or reading them.

 

Kriz Natalie Monrose is our Nonfiction Editor

kriznatalie

Kriz Natalie, excited to get to work on the Non-Fiction pieces

Kriz Natalie Monrose is your Transgender gender fluid non-fiction editor! Thank you for reading this blog. She likes all animals, especially cats and snakes! She’s looking for a husband. To apply, email submissions@forumccsf.org.

 

Kevin Cosby is our Poetry Editor

13164258_10207882784540681_6016079336194189782_n

Kevin Cosby lives and works in San Francisco. He recently #####%%&&
DATA ERROR: 404 EDITOR NOT FOUND

 

Meredith Brown and Lulu Samuel are our joint Visual Arts Editors

IMG_1742

Lulu (front) and Meredith (back)

Lucretia Rhys Samuel is a Visual Arts Editor on this edition of Forum. She is a poetry-writer and a zine-maker residing in the Richmond District of San Francisco. She is currently studying Creative Writing and Visual Media Design at CCSF, working at the San Francisco SPCA, and spending too many hours hogging the xerox machine at the public library publishing her own zines.

Meredith Brown

Meredith gave me an actual picture!

Meredith Brown is a lifelong learner from Tracy, CA. She believes in empathy, art and science.