Yeah Write #184

Hey guys! I was lucky enough to win Crowd Favorite this week over at Yeah Write for my poem, “I held on for dear life“! Please click here to read what the editors had to say about my piece, and to read some other fantastic pieces of fiction! The challenges are always fun and a great way to get your creative juices flowing – I suggest everyone consider entering! A new challenge runs each week!

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Room to Breathe

Nicole Marie:

Beautiful poetry by my writer friend, Laura A. Lord.

Originally posted on Laura A. Lord:

Inspired by the prompt over at The Reverie where I started with the last line of “When did our elephants leave?” as prompted by Yeah Write and worked my way back to the beginning of the poem.


Photo Credit: maxyme on deviantart / Design Credit: Laura A. Lord

The pea-green walls of our bathroom
Had begun to disintegrate
Doused in hate
That dripped like fat drops of steam
Rolling down the delicate edge
Of an antique mirror

Where did that piece come from
A legacy to a time long gone

Dust clung to the dirty scrolled edges
And I blew a gust, I huffed and I puffed
Sending the motes like shrapnel
Blasting through the air of
My own personal Gehenna

I balanced on the precipice of your fingers
And you mounted my body
Like a man would lie across the
Gaping mouth of a cornucopia

The scum on the…

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I held on for dear life


I was taking out the trash

bills past due and desperate credit card applications

an unopened jar of strawberry jam

my sanity

when the walls of our house stopped breathing

and I asked myself

when did our elephants leave?


you were in the kitchen

like you’d always been

two elbows flanking a bowl of cold oatmeal

reading the comics

a collection of coffee rings on the politics

and you looked up at me

like ten years hadn’t just crawled by us


I sat across from you

like an interrogation

folded my aging hands in my lap

searched for clever words in an

unwrinkled napkin

waited for you to lift your spoon

in some heavy proclamation


but you went on reading

stretched one hand out

like a bridge across our table

and I choked

and I held on for dear life

I’d long ago given up my ability to question

if you’d ever even choose to resurrect me


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Unremembered (Part 8)


Just now joining the Unremembered party (or need a refresher)? Click here to start from the beginning, then follow the link at the bottom to part 2, etc. And don’t forget to watch out for more installments!



I didn’t hear the ringing at first, my head was buried so far beneath a tower of pillows in an attempt to stop the spinning in my brain. My skull ached with regret as I replayed the kiss I’d planted on Jamie the night before.

The caller didn’t let up. I fought my way out of the tangled sheets and somehow made it onto my feet and to the phone on the dresser. He was clearing his throat as I picked up.

“Hey, Detective Mills,” I started.

“Mr. Hamilton. How are you?”

His usual, pointless greeting. I stood up a little straighter, waiting to hear what “incriminating” evidence he’d found while tearing apart our home. A lock of hair? A mysterious foot print? A kitchen knife that looked a little too dull?

Then my mind flickered to the person who claimed to know what happened to my wife, and suddenly my knees were made of jelly because I couldn’t believe that in all my scrambled thinking and the hurricane that had recently become my life that I had somehow tucked away the single most important piece of I don’t know what, and right then I was angry, so very angry that Detective Mills had failed to mention more past a single obscure phone call just before he accused me of murdering Lily. And now that it had all flooded back in my heart was sinking and so was I, right back to the floor like the first time.

I think he sensed it, knew all the questions that had just now started seething from my chest. We were both silent, for minutes, I think.

“That other person,” I started, choking on the rest of the words.

“I was beginning to wonder why you weren’t more curious about that,” he said. The calm in his voice sent a warning jolt through my stomach.

“I guess it fell to the bottom of my priority list once you asked me if I killed my wife.” My mouth was a desert.

“She claimed to be a friend of Lily’s, went to college with her. Really pretty girl, a blonde. She said this isn’t the first time Lily’s gone missing, and probably won’t be the last. I thought it was a little strange but her story didn’t really lead anywhere, so we tossed it.”

Jamie. I muttered a thanks, a goodbye, placed the phone on the receiver and threw up in our clothes hamper.


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Hi Daddy!

Nicole Marie:

If you’re having a not-so-good day, this will brighten it right up.

Originally posted on Mrs Shrinking Violet.:

Contained in this YouTube clip is everything that is right and beautiful in our world.


I cannot stop watching her beautiful little face, the way she half closes her eyes just like a grown up would  before belting out a ballad.


The way she taps her hand and and nods her little head  in time with the music and can even clearly  pronounce most of the words.

We are never more resilient, imaginative or full of compassion  as when we are infants. Ella Mae captures that amazing innocence and utter wonder of life on earth. A bit deep for a YouTube clip? Of course, it’s a singing baby!

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half empty

I am busy drawing pictures

of someone I think I can be.


She is digging a home

behind my ribcage,

inviting her friends to a

mosh pit between my lungs.


I can feel her dancing to the left,

such a rhythmic beating in my chest

it’s almost comforting.


In bed I count the constant faltering

in my own breath, in between the

pity that is crawling from the

corners of my eyes,

she feels it,

starts up again,

climbs my insides like a ladder,

tells me to check the calendar

because this isn’t the

god damn nineties anymore,

no one is studying

the hush in my eyes.


You’ve outgrown your

corduroy shorts, girl

there’s a half empty

bottle of red wine

on the mantle now,

it’s keeping watch

over your sleeping past.


I am watching cars pass

from the window.


Every pair of

waving headlights

is a shaky revelation,

you are sun

you are heat lightning

you are

dusk in the graveyard


haunting, memorable stillness.


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She was born a hundred years old on the edge of a cliff in a rainstorm. Her idea of happiness is walking under ladders and counting how many breaths she can muster before her last one. You’d argue she isn’t living but for her there is no more beautiful way to remember she’s alive than to paint notches on the bottoms of her feet: one for every lump in her throat, two for every laugh – the massive, guttural ones that make your eyes leak and your belly seize up – because they’re the ones you feel even after they’ve gone. She spends Shavasana dreaming up war and comes away with awareness. She practices a religion of cautious writhing, she wants to know the world with the consequences of knowledge. Shred up every vital part of her and watch her pour over every piece like some hellish puzzle. She’ll never remember where everything goes but she’ll be better for it. If you want to love her, tread with a full heart, but be sure to leave some room for her to hide. She is the most passionate tragedy you’ll ever know. Don’t try and chase her, she isn’t leaving. Even in the dark, even when she’s praying, she’ll be begging you to turn a light on.


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The Sandy Crimmins National Prize for Poetry


Hello, friends!

As some of you may know, I am Contest Coordinator and – just recently – Assistant Poetry Editor for non-profit literary magazine Philadelphia Stories! I come to you in hopes you will submit to this year’s Sandy Crimmins National Prize for Poetry.

Here’s a little info about Sandy (and a bit about the contest, too!):

Sandy Crimmins’ poem “Spring” appeared in the first issue of Philadelphia Stories in 2004 and she performed at our launch party. She served on the Philadelphia Stories board from 2005 to 2007. In the ten years since we debuted, Sandy’s voice and vision have fundamentally shaped Philadelphia Stories.  Sandy was a poet who performed with musicians, dancers, and fire-eaters, and one of her proudest accomplishments was celebrating the work of her vibrant poetry community. In this spirit, Philadelphia Stories hosts the annual “Sandy Crimmins National Poetry Prize” to celebrate poets of all backgrounds, experience, and styles.

Thanks to the generous support of Sandy’s family, we are proud to offer the following contest prizes:

● The first-place winning poet will receive a $1,000 cash award for an individual poem, an invitation to an awards event in Philadelphia and publication in the Spring issue.
● Three runners up will receive $100 cash awards for individual poems as well as publication in our Spring issue.
● The winning poet and runners up are invited to submit chapbooks to be considered for publication by PS Books.
● All submitted poems may be selected by the editors for publication in our Spring issue.

(All information courtesy of

There is a $12 reading fee for every submission, and the deadline is approaching fast! Get yours in by November 15, 2014. All entrants will receive a complimentary one-year subscription to Philadelphia Stories, and there is some seriously good stuff in every issue.

For more information on submission guidelines, please click here.

Or if you’re ready and rearing to go, click HERE to submit!!

And even if you don’t plan to submit…I’d be eternally grateful if you could share this post with every corner of the internet. Tell your mother, tell your brother, tell all your poet friends. We’d really appreciate it.


Nicole Marie



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Lay’s: Stop Putting Freaky Shit On Potato Chips!

Nicole Marie:

Head on over to Edward’s place for a Saturday giggle; potato chip flavors are seriously getting out of hand.

Originally posted on Edward Hotspur:

Lay’s Potato Chips.

They taste just fine with salt. Great, in fact, whether they’re ridged or regular. They taste good in an onion dip.

I like the barbecue and the salt and vinegar. I like the chili lime. But then they started getting weird.


Sriracha was good, but the other two… BLT was not good. Chicken and Waffles – literally no one in my family could finish the bag. We threw it out. Terrible. Just awful. But NOW THEY’RE GETTING STRANGE!!!!


Okay, these things have no business being on potato chips. None whatsoever. But people are voting on them, and they’ll see the light. Just like political election voters do! Ha ha!

But now, they’ve gone too far!!! They’re putting all kinds of weird shit on chips. It’s just sick and desperate, so very desperate. Terrible, really. Like the cable TV of chips. Mostly inedible. Just take a look…

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Lily Eyes

i’ve been packed in some

u n g o d l y   earth

like all of the dead i know

we are molding daisies

with our hands


her chest is

two perfect rosebuds

.         i close my lily eyes


leaves and cold rain


if i reach my branches

.                              a little
to the left

there are earth worms

digging their way up.


i try to dance with them

.         we twist freely in the dark

falling in rhythm with the forest


i’m blooming like my grandmother’s garden


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