Month: April 2017

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.

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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:

 

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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!)

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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.