Author: Cindy

The Hidden Art of Blackout Poetry

Perhaps you’ve seen images online of a page that looks like a ruthless editor scribbled out all the words with a black marker except a select few. But it’s actually not a heavily edited manuscript or government property that mustn’t be leaked to the public. It’s poetry. Many poets cling to free verse because it’s the style they’re most comfortable with—myself included. The non-existent rules allow us to write with the length, formatting, and content entirely up to our whims. Although free verse isn’t without challenges, we all enjoy an occasional change (even some devoted poets want to try...

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To All the Lost Boys

You might think that the villain I’m going to describe to you is something I have known, seen, and felt personally. You might think that the enemy on my mind is something as sorrowful as sin, grief, or the stony, unsteady roads of writer’s block. But I am going to paint a picture of an entirely different horror, one that I hope to never experience. Have you ever received directions to Neverland? “Second star to the right, and straight on till morning.” I say follow the first star you see. It will not take you to Neverland (or teach...

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If My Words Were Currency

If all my words were currency, were magic and were spells, I’d write the world into a place where they could buy and sell. I’d have castles built from poetry, and mountains raised from song; the rushing rain would fall in colors and my favorite books last long. I would buy the sea and stars from all the sentences I’d bleed; constellations, fireflies, new notebooks I don’t need. I’d write letters in the woods, if they could make sunflowers grow, and if maples sprung from sounds, I’d sing aloud the songs I know. If my pen were a plane...

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I see the world two different ways. Day-old tea and dried petals, spilled and scattered. Broken mirrors, envelopes left unopened. Blotchy smudges of newspaper records, and the words that left paper cuts. Artificial flowers and smiles. Bloody battlefields and fractured families. Dusty picture frames, and memories favored, faded, forgotten. We use streetlights to pretend the world isn’t so dark. But this is not the only way. Two a.m. comets and the smell after rain, the sky dripping with expression. Stained glass, words repaired with touch. Still whispers of libraries, and books that understand you. Oceans that sweep away sad...

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The Sound of Redemption

The idea of sound has always been one of my favorites. To watch fireworks as they hit the top of an inky black sky and shudder delightedly at the boom that follows. To touch the frosted window as the snowflakes dissolve into teardrops and hear the howling of the wind as it kisses my cheeks. To leap into a heap of fire-tinted leaves and hear the crunch as well as feel it. Sound has always been my favorite sense, but I stand in awe and admiration of the people who make it their favorite fantasy. To be captivated by...

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