Bronchitis (Again!) and Short Bits of Blackout Poetry


I’ve come down with another nasty case of bronchitis, so I’m taking it easy, hoping the antibiotics kick in soon, and putting together bits of loosely created blackout poetry (using some magazines and comics I’ve read lately). Here are a few of these creative little bits:

Not a single one
became a hugely successful
save the seals, coins,
and animal bones.

The result
of a terrible illegality
a large new stairway
to the mounds of holy dirt.

To arms!
To the ramparts!
To let me nap in peace.

The pin
is mightier
than the sword –
if gouged
into thine eye.

These bits of poetry are short, random, and sometimes a bit nonsensical, but I enjoy playing with language, and even the most ambiguous ones have a sort of language musicality to me.

TV Blackout Poetry: American Horror Story


Last night while I was watching the 4th season of American Horror Story (Freak Show), I had the idea to write a poem using a similar technique to the “blackout poetry” idea, but instead of using print, I would take a few random phrases or words from the tv show I was watching and put them together to make a poem. It was pretty fun and I do like what I came up with:

American Horror Story
By: Maranda Russell

Laundry detergent commercials
offer their brand of oddity
to the outside world.
Should you hear
sirens call,
nice don’t pay the bills!

So what do you guys think of my idea? Do you like the resulting poem? It is odd, but I like it.

Autism Sensory Issues – Me vs. the Crickets


Some of you will probably find this post funny (honestly it is rather amusing), but if you happen to be autistic, OCD, or have a sensory processing disorder, you may relate to my very real struggles here lol.

So….I am at war with the crickets. Every single night they seem to congregate outside my bedroom window and conspire to drive me crazy and keep me from sleeping. Their constant noise is maddening and sometimes enraging.

I’ve tried several strategies to deal with the issue so far:

  • Sometimes I just lay in bed and imagine stepping on them all and squishing the life out of them. Or I envision dog-size crickets that I blow apart with an assault rifle. Imagining their cricket heads exploding brings a momentary sense of satisfaction from the annoyance.
  • A few nights I have gone outside at around 2am (when I normally go to bed), and took a broom to try to sweep them all away from the area or sprayed bug spray all around the area. Unfortunately, one night it was raining and windy when I did the bug spray thing and most of it ended up blowing back in my face and I think I might have poisoned myself instead of them. I don’t know if any of my neighbors have seen any of these late-night confrontations, but if they have, I do wonder what they think…
  • Yesterday we went to Home Depot and got some outside insect repellent pellets to put all along the yard on that side of the house. Not sure if that will work either, but it’s worth a try I suppose. The crickets were still around last night, so it definitely hasn’t worked yet.
  • Before you suggest noise-cancelling headphones or ear plugs, please know that those things are sensory hell to me in themselves. I do not like the feeling of headphones and certainly couldn’t sleep with them in. Same with ear plugs.

And so, the war rages on…

Fun 6 Word Story Writing Prompts


I must admit that I stole these 6 word story writing prompts from one of my favorite WordPress bloggers, Therapy Bits. I’m not sure where she gets these prompts, or if she makes them up herself, but I thought they looked like a lot of fun, so I started borrowing a few of them just to see what I could come up with. Personally, I tend to think of these 6 word stories as a minimalist form of poetry, even tighter and more concise than haiku.

So here are a few of the prompts and what I came up with:

Her curves couldn’t outweigh her personality.

To hold a belief is self-delusion.

One doll, with third degree burns.

Mundane, but still better than Monday.

A cat is a maddening creature.

Make an offer, I can refuse.

Perhaps plausible, but is it infallible?

Rebel against your own poor expectations.

I hope you guys enjoyed this. Let me know if you did and maybe I’ll do more in the future. If you want to share any 6 word stories you come up with, feel free to do so in the comments!

I Fell in Love Today


I fell in love with a glimpse of you today…and you never even knew.

But there you were, sitting cross-legged, Indian-style on a gravel walkway winding through a field of scattered tombstones. You wore a grease-splattered McDonald’s uniform and were happily occupying your own world. Your head was down, but bobbing slightly to the rhythm of whatever music was streaming through your earphones.

Was it simply a short break or was the work day done? What was it like to leave the circus that is the home of Ronald McDonald, only to take shelter in the land of the dead a few hundred feet away? The image of you, of all that you represent washed over me and still remains in my mind’s eye – a jumbled collage of America, commercialism, youth, morbidity, and the ever-present hope of eternity.

Interview with Poet T. James Edward

Poetry book written by T. James Edward.

Because I often feel that poetry is overlooked and underappreciated here in America, I have decided to start featuring interviews with some of my fellow poets. So without further ado, here is an insightful and quirky interview with poet T. James Edward.

Poetry-related questions:

1. Q: How long have you been writing poetry? What first drew you to this literary form?
    A: I’ve been writing for somewhere between 15 and 20 years. What drove me to poetry is when I wrote in holiday cards as a kid, I’d write a few things from the heart and my mother said I had a very unique way with words.
2. Q: Who are some of your favorite poets? Are there any poets you credit for inspiring you to be a poet?
    A: In grade school I read the likes of Poe and Twain. I also remember reading “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and “Superfudge” in school. I’ve read a few books in my lifetime but not too many. I have always wanted my thought processes to not appear dogmatic to me. I find that things I have said or written are similar to what something like Hemmingway has said, just worded a little differently. Nothing against reading because it’s great, I just want my ideas about life, death and truth to be my own and not based on anybody’s theory. Not that that’s how I see books being used by others.
3. Q: Have you written any poetry books? If so, please share a bit about your latest release and where it can be bought.
    A: I have one self-published book titled “Verses of a Dead Hero”, released in April 2010. It can be found at the publishers website: or at Amazon.
4. Q: Do you have any tips or wisdom you would like to share with fellow poets?
    A: Yes. No matter who you are, whatever walk of life you’re from or whatever you write about, if the ink on the page is your blood you will always be considered a poet. Never let anyone tell you what you should or shouldn’t write about. Nobody is a “better poet” than another. As long as you’re writing what’s in your heart and mind, we are all poets of equal significance.
Fun questions:
1. Q: Why did the chicken really cross the road?
    A: Either to meet the little piggy that went to market or because the chicken’s nest was over there. Maybe it was merely curiosity. Or maybe there was an evil chicken on the other side who created a tempting illusion to lure her to her death.
2. Q: If you could be something other than a human for a day, what would you choose?
    A: A bird. So I could experience flight. Or, a cure for any/all diseases.
3. Q: Cat person or dog person?
    A: Dog, most definitely. I love both but dogs are the truest friend one can find. Cats are fun and independent.
4. Q: Favorite movie of all time?
    A: Not a big movie person. I live by music. But some of my favorites are The Shawshank Redemption, Heat, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Star Wars. My favorite might be Boondock Saints.
5. Q: Are there any foods you absolutely despise and wouldn’t eat even if you were starving to death?
    A: Monkey brains. Or any brain for that matter. I don’t know how some cultures can do it.
6. Q: If you could travel anywhere, where would you most like to go?
    A: Australia.
7. Q: Star Trek – Totally cool or totally nerdy?
    A: “Next Generation” with Captain Picard is great and very philosophical. The original with William Shatner is more comical to me because I personally think Shatner is a jackass. Funny, but a jackass. I think it’s totally cool, for nerds.
8. Q: If you do poetry readings, where is the weirdest place you have done one?
    A: Not that it’s too weird or anything, but probably at a second-hand clothing shop that was just a little hole in the wall.
9. Q: Do you have a favorite word?
    A: I’m not sure about a favorite word. Maybe onomatopoeia, just because it sounds funny to me. My favorite 2 words combined are “Reasonable Facsimile” because when I was a kid, I grew up watching Looney Tunes and in one episode Bugs Bunny was speaking to Elmer Fudd in a condescending manner and called him a Reasonable Facsimile. Those are the first words I remember having to look up in a dictionary.
10. Q: Favorite Cartoon character?
      A: That’s a real tough question. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Peter Griffin, Stimpy, Homer Simpson. Probably Bugs Bunny because he’s the original.