ENGL 210: Introduction to Creative Writing

Attentive Resistance Fall 2019

Edits of Fourth Poem (due Tuesday 10/08 by end of day 11:59pm)

Continue to experiment with Carmen Giménez Smith’s “Twenty-Two Poem Hacks” and rework your fourth poem.

The challenge this week is to do dramatic revision. More than just tweaking a line here or there, think about what you’re trying to express overall with the poem and do whatever it takes to get you closer to that emotion, feeling, concept, idea, scene, etc. Maybe you stray from the prompt, maybe it becomes more structured in terms of lines and stanzas, maybe it becomes more fluid and rhythmic, maybe the order of the lines change completely; just experiment and see what happens. Post your revision in the comments section below.

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17 thoughts on “Edits of Fourth Poem (due Tuesday 10/08 by end of day 11:59pm)

  1. Ashley Anderson
    English 270W
    Professor Cornetta


    I wake up and wonder, how?
    I go to school for hours and wonder, who?
    I walk three of four bus routes and wonder, when?
    I sit in the middle seat on the fourth bus home and wonder, why?
    I get home and do work and wonder, what?
    I get in the car and drive some place and wonder, where?
    I drop into bed at eleven thirty at night and can’t help but wonder

    I wake up under the stars wondering, where?
    I go to the park and swing while wondering, how?
    I walk around aimlessly wondering, what?
    I sit blearily on a rock by the waterfall muttering and wondering, “why?”
    I get ahold of my surroundings wondering, when?
    I get a little closer to home wondering, who?
    I crawl back into bed and lay awake at eight thirty in the morning wondering

  2. Lovely Horror

    I paddle against this river
    the might of its currents tire me
    I stop at a dock.
    My arms still exhausted- I need to remember this feeling
    the dark, slimy ink meets my paper
    this paper, purest of whites-
    cradles my darkest thoughts
    River Styx? No, a cliche that would
    be brushed over, like plaster paris on drywall
    concealing the wounds of a broken house.
    This river would be dried up in my story
    I take another pill, no water
    these cigarettes dried my river years ago
    I bet I would not even meet Hades in the Styx.
    The water vanishes
    the gray, the black
    the emptiness and fear
    are no longer present.
    I am not greeted by anyone.
    That is why I came.
    at first I thought, this is where I want to be.
    I felt it for the first time

    Suddenly the emptiness is filled with foliage and wildlife
    the willows they rise, the flowers
    they bloom! I see a woman in the distance.
    her tears fill the river, the rapids become more aggressive
    as she weeps
    the horizon settles and everything is beautiful
    so she leaves.
    I would rather waste away
    then take another pill
    I heard her say it would end the torture
    I believed her too.
    She was not there, but I still question her.
    “does a man who is desperate to see sunrise really live with light- when
    he refuses to see the beauty in its vibrance?” I feel nothing as I shout into the distance.
    I swallow my last one.
    I wonder if I know where it is I am headed
    and when I arrive
    will it be there?
    will she be there?

  3. The Blue Seed
    By: Annie Jiang

    The Bluest Eye.
    The Saddest “I”.
    Seasons pass and seasons go.
    Flowers bloom and flowers die.
    But “I”
    wander in the same place.
    But “I”
    can’t forget…

    How blue is me?
    How sad or depressed?
    No answer.
    I search for hope
    in the depth of those icy blue eyes.
    “I” will forget.
    Forget and succeed.
    In this long stretched valley,
    “I” will hunt for my own destiny,
    my very own creation.

    Is my existence meant to be?
    Should I plant a seed and watch it grow?
    Will I grow with it?

    The seed blooms into a beautiful flower.
    My spring is here.
    The snow has melted.
    It’s time for rebirth…

  4. Rodrigo Vasquez
    English 270W
    Professor Cornetta


    It is Wednesday in New York. I BLAST opened the door of my house and close it once I rushed out, keeping the nefarious outside separated from it.
    I ran while looking at the sky, a beautiful DAWN sets in on the city, while relieving corpse COLD wind embraces me and I don’t feel it.
    I rushed to the monotone empty train station, its 8:10AM and I must reach my destination as if my life depends on it.
    I run across the LONELY ROAD as all moving metal stops as all living being stops, all I notice is me speeding forward. Nothing else matters.
    I MAKE IT and submerge myself into the HOT, DARK, REPUGNANT SMELLING, DIMMED LIT SUBWAY,
    I close my eyes and contentedly see darkness for 5 seconds, but then I open them AGAIN.
    I STOMP all the way to the opposite side of the darkness leading walkway and wait as I stare at the dying lights gracing the heavens of the subway, they turned on and off as I stare ENVIOUSLY.
    I LOOK at the rails which guide the miserable machine, I see dark, hair like, ball covered dust all over, surrounded by a thick layering darkness hiding most of its contents. Or is it the other way around?
    I give mercy to my senses, close my eyes as I try to spare them the sight of the man in the worn down wooden death row chair screaming to the non existent UNDERGROUND HEAVENS.
    I wait, wait, wait, then open my eyes and motion left, I swear the sound of METAL ROARING was heard, yet the machine hasn’t kept its promise yet.
    All that graced my eyes was darkness, I RETURNED TO MY PREVIOUS POSITION waiting, waiting and waiting…
    The TIME displayed on a dusty burning panel reads 8:25AM.
    I have an hour left to reach my target, my goal, my test, my salvation-
    Yet, I hadn’t even taken my first step in many more YET TO TAKE in order to reach it.
    I breathed IN and QUICKLY breathed out, I sat on the ground, legs weak, mind racing, hands slowly moving to hold my head. Then-
    I witness to the left of me a herd of people, like worn down mannequins they stood there hoping the metal transport will keep its promise.
    Some are burning in anger, some are deteriorating calmly, some are NOT STANDING AT ALL.
    It’s 8:50AM as my cold gaze looks at the darkness in the horizon. No Anger, No Sadness, Just Disappointment, I think, YET my priorities take precedence.
    I stood up the light flickering faster now and I look once more at the horizon waiting for ones arrival, yet it NEVER came, ONLY the cold from before embraces me again, I notice but I don’t feel any colder.
    Useless, I QUIETLY whispered at the dark horizon. I tighten my grip unknowingly scratching my hand.
    I quickly turn MY BACK and WALK AWAY heading to the outside’s visible dawn once again.
    Its 9:10 AM as I walk towards the gate that will lead me out of this hell,still not having taken the first step on my journey towards my goal, I will not reach it in time.
    I cursed USELESS under my breath, hexing this Godforsaken landscape until-
    The banging of obnoxious metal hitting the rails is heard from the darkened horizon and a spark of light slowly expands illuminating the foggy, shadowy corridor.
    I slightly opened my mouth only for me to TURN MY BACK once again as I walked back TO THE SURFACE were the cold wind awaited me, were the rising DAWN awaited me.
    I saw the cold blue clouds of the outside, with a tint of yellow light shining upon the stairs leading back TO THE SURFACE.
    I sighed as I motion my head toward the ground and prepared for my long walk. At least I know I will make it…Eventually.

  5. They wanted to preserve her fertility

    I don’t listen to the children
    Because they say that fish and children do not have voices
    And they say that I am a child too, so
    I am quiet and tell no one of the photo I found in the closet
    Dated 1986, where Aunt Jola and Mother smiled
    Inside of a DISCOTECHA, hair big and glasses bigger
    Aunt Jola has the same face, has the same smile as me
    I don’t say anything when Mother starts to call me by her name.
    OCTOBER 16 says the calendar and I mark out the days
    I buy airplane tickets and bus tickets because there is no one to pick us up from the airport in another country, because they are busy, because there are things to do, because Aunt Jola is dead.
    The house is much too big and much too empty and I bring my mother’s luggage up and into her childhood bedroom, smelling of mothballs and of dust
    I sleep curled up on the living room couch because there is nowhere else to put me and cold burrows into me like worms into the wet, dark earth
    We go to the Church and listen to men talk of her virtue, of her children, of her husband left behind
    How it was CANCER and how all the people had prayed to god almighty and had hoped for a miracle
    How it was His will that her OVARIES multiply uncontrollably
    How it was His will that it SPREAD up, into her intestines, into her stomach, into her lungs
    How GOOD she had been—how dutiful.
    I pray and pray until there is no more prayer to offer up and the wellspring of my mouth has frozen against my tongue
    I listen to other people’s words:
    Grandmother cries, for no one would help her make pack anymore
    Grandfather grows grey, for the light of his life has been snuffed
    Uncle Zbyszek sells his house and moves in with his mother and his father but never once does he cry
    Uncle Maruisz joins a cult, of course,
    Mother throws things, mostly, and weeps, great rivulets of tears that
    Shake her entire frame
    And she says that SHE had changed Aunt Jola’s diapers, that she had
    Held her when she was so SMALL, that she had
    Seen her baby sister
    Cold and grey and in the ground
    That she was cheated of some great something, that Aunt Jola
    Had once promised to change Mother’s diapers, too,
    When she grew so old
    I eat chrysanthemum flowers
    And want their sweetness to stain my tongue.

  6. My next class is at 1:40PM.
    I waited for it from when my last class ended.
    I really am never late,
    So I tuned into the newest crime podcast.
    Your phone’s broken so I couldn’t text you.
    I would just be talking to myself if I did,
    So I’d rather people talk to me.

    “You’re late,” I’m not. I really, genuinely am not.
    I put on the same face I always do, maybe today with a little blush.
    I get to campus at 7:30 AM.
    My class is in two hours.
    I really am never late.

    I did some homework, I drank my coffee.
    I love my coffee to the extent cliche posters talk about.
    Life truly does begin after coffee.
    We were really supposed to get coffee
    But your phone is broken?

    It’s weird how I phase out in class.
    I can focus on things on my own,
    Put me in a room where I have to do it
    And I won’t do it.
    Usually I would shoot you a text telling you good morning,
    But your phone was broken.

    I woke up to the sound of my mom screaming at 6:55 AM.
    I really am never late.

  7. I am the one that you’ve been hearing so much about.
    I am the one whose feats have gone down in legend.
    I see the truth, I bear the pain
    I must contain
    these emotions
    devoid of solutions I turn to you
    The only outlet left,
    with haste, I make my journey
    long and in a hurry
    on my way to find salvation,
    I find myself questioning my choices
    am I too vague, am I too real, can I find the words without having to steal
    enjambment a plenty, a vacation the foot, what exactly is this about?
    started so strong now I’m full of doubt.
    a journey towards predestination?
    my writing towards the creation?
    a poem about doing this or that.
    my train of thought has lost its tracks.
    I’m gonna end this before It turns wack.

  8. Rushing Through

    I wake up to the ROARING of the alarm
    I dress up with URGENCY
    RUN to the kitchen and drink a delicious coffee
    My hands start SHAKING as caffeine makes me HYPERACTIVE

    I STEP out to the front porch
    The BREEZE makes me shiver
    I watch the GREY clouds ready to pour
    OFF I go to the old and dirty train station

    The SLOW service makes me DESPERATE
    Sweat POURING over my body
    My lips DRY in need of water
    A long SIGH

    I feel like 100 YEARS have passed
    People have WRINKLES now
    Black hair turned GREY
    The train is a turtle
    SLOW and STEADY wins the race right?

    I have no TIME for delays
    The train soon SPRINTS to the last STOP
    A LONG adventure
    To reach my DESTINATION

    People gone UNNOTICED
    Different JOURNEYS
    What is your NAME ?
    I may NEVER know
    Did you GET THERE ?

  9. The break of dawn
    the cool air
    hugs only me,
    because we’re alone.
    The field’s fog forms
    a bed like a cloud,
    I lay down
    to imagine it
    all still flowing, but
    At the same time.
    I wonder if I will ever
    Find the way.
    The worst thing,
    To happen today
    is the ultimate
    Dali talks from the screen-
    Dream! Create!
    A Pomegranate and a bee
    The Monarchs flutter,
    paint it vividly,
    Maintaining my
    Knowledge of self to
    Elevate higher.
    The worst thing
    to happen today-
    Is also the best.

  10. An extra step prepared for class is something I enjoy, even if it means I’m behind schedule by 5.
    5:20am to the sound of the radar ringtone.
    Fox 5 news is my morning channel as I shower, fix my bed, and get dressed.
    Another non-exciting day.
    Watching paint dry seems to be more fascinating then the travel.
    I check my bus app to see when the bus comes, when it hits less than 5minutes away I start to leave my house,
    I never learn…..
    5 minutes
    5 minutes,
    I been fooled quite a few times,
    I can sense the bus mocking me as it passes by, “there’s always tomorrow!”.
    But it has its perks for missing the first bus,
    I do not have to deal with the rowdy kids heading to school or impatient adults late for work,
    My music plays to distract my slight anxiety for being late,
    Sometimes just having headphones in my ears with no music calms me,
    blocking reality for a second.
    I walk to the next bus stop to get a seat on the bench,
    I am not standing for almost 20 minutes until the next bus shows.
    As I sit,
    I turn to watching the news or Seinfeld, even the King of Queens.
    I ride two busses for almost 2 hours, I refuse to stand,
    So if I can get a seat that’s a positive step in my morning.
    I also get to do my reading assignments with out rushing,

  11. Heavy Nights

    I walk off campus.
    I try not to think about work.
    The light turns red, and so I walk.
    I remind myself “no work today”
    Say hello to my parents and tell them about my day.
    Family is love,
    But friendship is an adventure.
    Cherry lips and leopard print.
    I smell smoke, maybe it’s my own.
    Some lucky stars are out tonight,
    but the light seems so bright.
    Wild youth surrounds me.
    skirts, boots, bags, jeans,
    and other simple joys.
    I remind myself “no work today”
    The band’s already on.
    The lights are low,
    and long hair is everywhere.
    Dreams turn into reality,
    but the pavement is cracked.
    I remind myself that life is gentle.
    “I have work tomorrow”
    The night is over, so I’ll say my goodbyes.
    The train rumbles through,
    Yawns cloud my mind.
    My friends hold the key.
    Life feels right.

  12. One More Day
    Sound of the rain dropping from the window frames. Dark cloud blocking the daylight. Making the room pitch black perfectly for the nightmare.
    Body perfectly cuddly in a warm blacked
    Pillow light kissing on the cheek.
    Negative energy passing
    through body.
    Each breath becomes much deeper and harder.
    Body disconnected from the soul.
    Moving from right to left.
    Scream for help
    Mind that travel to another dimension.
    This mind can tell difference between
    reality and fantasy.
    How could it know any better?
    If it train to see things according to
    shape,color,shadow and strings.
    Creating image that never seen daylight
    Dreams that go so deep reaching to hidden thought. Things that it wants to avoid.
    But in the pinch black room is like movie theater releasing most hidden images.
    Depiction of a feeling .
    Sensation of a touch.
    Harmony of a movement.
    I want to wake-up from the bad dream
    But I trap in the rocket in the spaceship.
    Rock that reach speeds of 6 miles per second.
    I can breath my body feel still.
    I want to scream but no sound coming out from my lips. This body feels like a rock. It is as cold as an ice.
    Then came the peaceful
    melody of a sound wave hiding the rock following with voice.
    Hey there…. it’s currently 6:00 A.M
    The hand that feel like metal reaches for the phone. This hand is frozen it makes it impossible to shut off the alarm.
    In a few stretched the blood started to flow back again. This was just a bad dream.
    I am alive.
    I see the daylight.
    It a new day
    A day someone somewhere don’t get seen it.

  13. Finally we’re alone
    I throw my bag on the floor
    And dive face first into my pillow
    “How was your day?”
    The same as yesterday.
    “Well how do you feel?”
    Nothing has changed
    And I have a headache.
    “How’s therapy?”
    I stop going.
    “Why? I thought you said it helped”
    It was but I could really use the cash
    Plus nobody could do better than what I could do for myself.
    “Then maybe we should stop talking”
    But I need you, this is my only escape
    That isn’t drugs
    “But I keep you awake”
    At least you understand
    And don’t judge me like most of my friends
    I make mistakes but at least I have the courage to correct them.
    Especially when the odds aren’t in my favor…
    I hear my mom calling
    Probably time for dinner
    Let’s have this conversation later
    Maybe when I’m back in bed
    Voice in my head

  14. I overslept.

    A great way to start the day.

    I rush through the street, pushing through crowds,
    my bus rumbling to a halt.
    The traffic light changes to red, refusing to let me by,
    a few seconds too long and it starts to drive off.
    The anxiety kicks in.
    The red merges into green.
    It speeds down the street,
    my attendance grade in its back seat.

    I check for the next one…DELAYED.
    The time? 8:30 a.m.
    I’m running late.
    The jitteriness from the caffeine starts to kick in.
    My anxious thoughts racing at record speed.

    “If only I had a firebolt.”
    “If only I had floo powder.”
    “If only I had a portkey.”

    I wait and wait.
    The line behind me grows longer.
    A massive crowd forming left and right.
    The bus time still displays DELAYED.
    Why does the snooze button exist?
    The all nighter from the day before resurfaces,
    mocking my tired demeanor, laughing at my poor choices.
    the root of all evil.
    It’s too late for regret.
    Let’s just hope the bus arrives.

  15. Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud.
    The alarm screams into your ear
    Until it grabs you by the lobes and
    Drags you away from the comfort of a dream
    Into a nightmare. Into the unknown.

    You don’t know where you’re going
    You don’t know what to do.
    You can’t see anything, and you can’t hear anything except for the deafening thumping of your heart but look there’s a paper on the ground
    You struggle, but you read:

    “Trek carefully, or you may never find your way out of here.
    Keep your things secure and don’t lose them, for you may need it later.
    The creatures here will laugh. Yes, at you.
    They will sneer.
    They know something you don’t.”
    Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud.

    Steps. Behind you. Coming
    And closer.
    “You are not welcome here.
    They don’t want you here.
    But they will make you play their game for hours.”

    You sprint faster than light to get to the exit door.
    You turn the knob, bust your shoulder trying to knock it down. Once, twice, three times
    You hear it coming
    Why won’t it open?
    You’ll be late at this rate.

  16. Why are you awake
    On the off days?

    Cold, there’s a shift.
    Hearing talking

    One gets ready,
    The other drinks coffee.
    Every single morning.

    Wouldn’t you rather sleep
    Then face them?
    Nothing to leave for

    Avoid them.
    You can’t face them.
    Stay in the dark room.

    Hide behind closed lids.
    Even for a heart beat before

    One has awoken you.
    With obnoxious chatter.
    And Pacing.

    You stay in bed,
    Listening voices
    Through paper.
    In your dark room.

    Get up
    Wanting to hide,
    Only crack the door open
    Consider me please?

    But then there’s the fear,
    Dangerously tight,
    Confrontation chokes you.

    Why feel guilty
    Asking them to be more quiet?

    You can feel the judgement,
    Looking through every crack,
    Through the walls,
    You cannot escape your shame.

    Over and Over
    A Promise of something
    You do not deserve.
    They don’t even see them.
    Those wide painful eyes.

    You go back to sleep.
    You should be awake,
    Why do you keep fighting?
    Despite your hideous thoughts,
    You sleep as if nothing is wrong.

    You don’t know what time it is
    When you wake up.
    Does it matter?

    The rest of the day,
    You are coasting,

    The cold dark room
    That now glows.

    It doesn’t make a difference.

  17. The time is thirteen-hundred hours
    You pulled up in your white horse in front of my purgatory
    Gold circles hang from my earlobes, and white casings envelope my feet
    I swing the woven receptacle slightly
    As I sprint to see you to cease your stand by
    I spot your white horse
    I trot down the stairs and join you
    And give you a smooch on the lips

    We’re going to a place that was once a safe house
    And while you lead
    I watch you ever so lovingly
    I can really never get enough of you
    My favorite feature about you are your eyes
    You can never tell what color they are
    For they look blue
    But sometimes they look green in direct sunlight
    My eyes wander to your lips
    Oh how I want to kiss them
    Unfortunately I must await the next red light

    My thoughts meander to later in the day
    The most sad part of the day
    When you have to bring me back to my purgatory
    Not five minutes ago had you picked me up
    And I’m already dreading the most inevitable
    Dammit I wish us a place of our own
    And that we would’n’t have to part ways until next week.

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