Posted in Chatty

Spine Poetry: Recent Reads April 2023

Hey y’all! Every now and then (more often “then” than “now”) I feel a bit loose and creative and slide into doing some poetry based on book titles. I’ve done a few of these before, though not for a while. I was reading some old ones and started getting excited to try it again. So here I am!

The selection this time is the last 5 books I finished. In this case, they’re almost all nonfiction, so I’m curious to see if that affects the difficulty in composing a poem or the tone of the result.

A Good Date

a pleasant diary:
we eat, practice adaptation
we talk, approach something
radical enlightenment
graphic four-legged loving

My Internal City of Learning

a pleasant town:
Buddha is life
death: enlightenment
approach loving everyone
practice adaptation
a Tibetan paradise

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Posted in Chatty

Spine Poetry: Books I Gave Up On

Hey y’all! It’s been a while since I did some poetry inspired by book titles, but I was feeling the need for something other and creative today. This allowed me to let me thoughts flow and wander, and it felt really nice. Below is what I came up with, based on all the books I’ve DNF’d over the years. I took disappointment and made it pride.

Six, mother knows best
Happy dreams
For peculiar children
No need to make friends with the dark

the wolf undercover

You never told me
Life is about the ridiculous
The job
The paid sounds
What you told me was mostly true

like me, looking for zen
like me, in love
like me, after the break up
like me, the collective madness
like me, gone

the risk of the end
becomes the wolf at the end
a memorial, an inheritance
i, lucifer allegiant
friend of crows and the dead

My take

I ended up going fairly dark with this one, which I feel like has happened before too. I guess that’s why artists are so often making dark, grim material even when they’re cheerful, happy people. There’s something a bit compelling about it, no?

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Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

A poem of recent reads

Hey y’all! As I conveniently discovered, April is poetry month! โ˜บ I was already starting a bit of a poetry kick so it was perfectly times. Next I’m dipping back into book-spine inspired poetry, where the idea is to take book titles and order them so they make a poem that you can read by stacking them and reading the titles on the spines.

I’m doing it a little differently this time, in part because I read digitally so often that my spine poems would be limited. ๐Ÿ˜… I pulled titles from a couple of recent reads and used the words from them to make a poem, rather than the whole titles in order. It’s a bit of an homage in mood to Citizen Illegal by Jose Olivarez (included in the books I used!).

The books

The poem (it’s very short)

the lantern people
meet on boats
illegal songs
illegal ghosts

the lantern people
meet on boats
illegal songs
illegal ghosts

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

Spine poetry: days after a breakup (but not my own!!)

This session of spine poetry stems from my last 5 completed books, but as of a few days ago because I wrote these and then finished some books before finishing this post. ๐Ÿ˜… At the time of writing my five most recently finished books were:

Continue reading “Spine poetry: days after a breakup (but not my own!!)”
Posted in Book Talk

Spine Poetry – How to Love

This session of spine poetry comes off of my shelf of books from around the world. Some I’ve read already and some are still waiting, but this is one of my favorite shelves ever. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Today it’s given me a bit of a first-time-in love feeling, where mistakes are made and learned from. I hope it ultimately has a more positive feeling, but you tell me!

Between shades of gray,
a love that never tires.
heart of darkness, chasing the light.
the best we could do?
the upside
of falling
the art of hearing heartbeats

The story

As always with writing and especially poetry, what the author had in mind doesn’t really matter. The story is created through interaction with the viewer and has infinite possibilities. But this is what I had in mind when writing this. And I absolutely love it.

I imagine here two people who are together and work for their love. They fight, they struggle, they question if they’re right for each other. There are a lot of tears and pain, but the good times are so good that it seems like its worth the trade. They try so hard to be better, to be what they think they should be. Ultimately they can only keep trying, keep failing, and keep learning. Each time they push the other away, the ultimately learn how to bring someone closer. Every hurtful word and painful moment teaches them about each other and themselves, and in the end allows them a deep intimate knowledge. With trust and persistence, they can learn how to balance the good and the bad and when they do, their love will be dynamic and impenetrable.

Do you get a different story or tone from this? Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments! โœ

Posted in Book Talk

Spine poetry – true story

Why is it so easy to write sad depressing things from book titles? Is this a revelation about what I read? I had no idea…

This session of spine poetry is fully powered by books I’ve read from NetGalley (thanks NetGalley!). It’s a little bit longer, and I was delighted with how well I managed to make it come together. It can also tell the story of another book on my NetGalley list, Every Other Weekend by Abigail Johnson. Without further ado, here it is:

Big lies in a small town, unearthed
Only mostly devastated
master of
sorrows, scars
like wings.
and found every colour of you

The art of looking up

The story

As you can see, I got a little more creative with the formatting here instead of just providing the list of book names. I wanted to focus attention on certain words and pairings. The physical shape of it is deliberate, driving down narrower and narrower into the word lost before expanding out again, emphasizing how you can feel like you have less and less.How until you’re able to grow past the darkness, often with the help of someone else, you feel lost. How you can be dazzled back into life by someone else’s reckless happiness (thanks Rooster Teeth).

So how does this align with Every Other Weekend? Well let’s take a look! Big lies, relating to Adam’s discovery of what the heck is going on with his parents. Those are unearthed, leading him to a spiral of anger and fear that he struggles to get out of. Enter Jolene, who has been living in a similar world of family disaster for so long that her hate has crystallized into scars (sometimes more literal than we’d like). Both feel completely lost, and then they find each other. They learn each other and through that, themselves, and ultimately learn how to find joy in any shade of life.

Reviews for each book in this list here!

Every other weekend
Big lies in a small town
Only mostly devastated
master of sorrows
scars like wings
Lost and found

every colour of you
The art of looking up

Posted in Book Talk

Spine poetry – that painful hope

I did it once before, and like I said, I enjoyed it quite a lot! I set my shelf to random and tried my hand at another session of spine poetry. I feel like that needs another name though; that sounds aggressive and kind of morbid. Maybe it will sound better if I think of it in a “written on the body” way.

Anyway, today’s spine poetry creation is a lot lighter than my previous one. Perhaps this one means a little less, too, but I love the idea of it and the ease of (imaginary) love.

If you’re out there,
one small thing
before the coffee gets cold:
if I never met you,
what if it’s us?

The story…

I imagine here someone laying in bed in the hours before your alarm goes off, the time when you can pretend you don’t have any life obligations. The time when you’re allowed to wonder, and question, and dream… and sometimes on worse days, to worry.

This blends a bit of both, as someone is lying alone and wondering if the person they’re meant to be with is out there, waiting for them. Or worse: if they’ve already passed by and they’re so close, yet so far.

It’s painful optimism. When it hurts to hope, but it’s a better hurt than the numbness of giving up.

Wow, so maybe it’s a little less lighthearted than I originally felt, but that’s the scene that came to mind. Hope you enjoyed reading it, as I did writing it! I’d love to hear if you’ve ever created your own spine poetry or read any of the books I used — they’re all from my TBR so this serves as a good reminder to me as well of what I have waiting. ๐Ÿ˜‹

Posted in Book Talk

Spine poetry – life of a refugee

I’ve seen this wonderful idea on instagram, that I don’t have enough physical books to participate in myself anymore. The idea is to take a look through your books and create a poem from the titles you have. I LOVE that, but alas, moving so often means I’ve had to cut down my physical collection.

But I’m adaptable! So instead, I’ve pored through some of the book I have listed on Goodreads to create a poem. It actually ended up holding a good deal of meaning for me, so here’s what I got on my first attempt!

They called us enemy
Run away
New kid
This is my America
A love hate thing

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