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niteowl


  • Me: man I have been struggling this NaPo. Poetic Line generator?
    Poetic Line Generator: the insects above you hurt beneath the surface
    Me: okay, let's write about an angsty mosquito. Every NaPo needs at least one insane poem.

    ink spilled on atrophied wings

    Edit: speaking of insane poems, how about a piece inspired by van Gogh and my very odd former psychiatrist? ink spilled on atrophied wings


    Spearmint bahaha emo mosquito XDD amazing
    12 hours ago


  • avianwings47
    Apr 3, 2024

    Is that a fellow lover of birds I see?

  • In today's NaPo deep dive, we're revisiting everyone's favorite year, 2020. I did get to 30 poems, but the last 9 were written on 4/29-4/30. Six of the poems are pandemic-related, and a couple more reference it it in passing.

    Spoiler! :
    Age/Life situation: 29, and...do I really have to say? :P Okay, but seriously, I'm fully aware that I was very lucky when the pandemic hit. I'd just accepted a new job (that paid a livable wage, what a concept!) and started on March 23rd. The chaos of everyone moving to WFH in what had previously been a full-time in-office job probably bought me a lot of time to adjust to the job itself and also greatly lowered my risk of COVID exposure. Described at the time as "The last NaPo of my 20's, just in time for a new job, old fears, a world in chaos, and my ever-present rumination."

    Interesting observations: Surprise, surprise, this thread is highly topical, with six pandemic-related poems. In retrospect, I was way too optimistic.

    But it wasn't all pandemic-related. We have some classic subjects: weather, the nature of time, my muse's terrible timing (aka inspiration always striking at the worst possible moment), friendship, my capacity to love (or lack thereof). We also have a few attempts at structured pieces, including a ballad.

    Another end-of-NaPo marathon, with 9 poems in the last two days. Hopefully I don't end up in such a bind this year.

    Best lines:

    when i left, i took some things I should have left behind,
    like toothpaste, hopelessness, and words i never wanted to see again.

    and in the storm i wonder
    if i will ever find the kind of love
    that laughs at the idea
    that a little lightning could break it.

    this is why i can't tell anyone in real life that i write poetry, because that would be calling myself a poet, and i'm too honest to lie like that.

    still, i guess it's comforting
    to know that taxes are delayed
    but winter still stands up to death. (okay but this hits so different in 2024 after the mildest winter I've seen since moving back to Michigan)

    (winds only go forward
    and they don't take kindly to persuasion).

    Overall ranking: Pretty strong overall. 9/10.

  • My first poem pays tribute to our new vegetable overlords. Though I don't know if they'll actually like it very much. ink spilled on atrophied wings

  • OMG I'm going to cry, I had a whole long #napodeepdive for 2019 saturn is home, and all is well written and then I accidentally clicked something and it disappeared and now I'm sad. Kids, don't type up long posts in the YWS status box. I really should know better.

    Anyway, this was a fantastic year for NaPo, but idk if I want to type it all up again. There is pettiness, Taylor Swift parodies, and a lot of angsting about my parents selling my childhood home. Not only did I complete this year, but I managed to do one poem a day.

    Thread name ranking: 7/10, the Saturn return thing isn't exactly original. But I just had to check, and holy hell Saturn left Capricorn on March 22, 2020 (it would swing back into Capricorn from May-July, but that's besides the point). I started my current job and my state went into lockdown on March 23. My logic brain knows this is just a coincidence and Saturn's rotation around the sun has absolutely nothing to do with anything and my caveman brain is just looking for patterns but still.

    Overall ranking: One poem a day, lots of experimenting and silliness, very strong overall. 13/10.

  • Yikes. Less than 2 hours to NaPo and I am not ready at all. This year is going to be a disaster. Then again, I've said that before and now looking back, I'm like "no that was pretty awesome, actually".

    Anyway, moving on to the next #napodeepdive

    2018- all the thoughts you wish weren't real

    Spoiler! :

    Age/life situation: 27, just finished a temp job at a university admissions office and trying to figure out what was next. The main significance of this job in my life is that I had a crush on a girl working there. Nothing like figuring out you might not be 100 percent straight at 27.

    Not for the first time, you can feel the depression seeping through the screen. Like omg I just want to go hug 2018 me and tell her it gets better.

    Thread name ranking: Eh, it's just okay. 6/10.

    Interesting observations: The real standout of this NaPo is Museum of Unrequited Love, which I removed from the thread itself because I was considering submitting it to journals, but since that's not happening for the foreseeable future, I've re-published it for your viewing pleasure.

    At 14 poems, I believe this is the shortest NaPo yet.

    Best lines:

    "Gaps between teeth can be charming.
    Gaps in resumes are deadly."

    The palindrome poem is fun.

    "The only stars we know are cylindrical,
    masked by the illusion of a summer afternoon."

    "I wish the snow could freeze my heart
    Just like it does my bones."

    "I am stuck with a tongue
    tied to honesty"

    Overall ranking: Yeah, there's a few standouts, but it's fairly weak overall. 5/10.

  • Okay, I've fallen off the wagon on this I might have gotten sidetracked by writing a crackfic that I'm taking way too seriously, it's fine, but here's my next #napodeepdive . 2017, the 2nd year I completed. And probably the strongest yet. (I feel like I say that every entry. It's almost like maybe I got better over time *gasp*)

    ink spilled on atrophied wings

    Spoiler! :

    Age/ife situation: 26, and it was...not great. I was stuck in a town in northern Michigan working part time at a grocery store after being unceremoniously fired from the job I moved there for the previous October. I was looking for other jobs but coming up empty. Though tbh it was better than grad school so...

    Thread name ranking: I mean, I literally looked at my coffee table covered in stuff and was like "yeah that'll do for NaPo thread title". But I actually love it so 8/10.

    Interesting observations: Can we appreciate how my LMS project was about lesbians when I wasn't even out to myself yet? Like, it wasn't that great and also I never really got it off the ground, but that was too funny not to comment on.

    So like this is weird because I feel like the poems themselves are pretty solid, but there aren't many standout lines. Which seems like it shouldn't be possible but that's what I"m seeing. Like this one: buried under the coffee table. None of the lines stick out to me, but the whole thing is so good.

    LOL I wrote the last 9 poems in 2 days. Classic Niteowl.

    I've written several poems about beaches and sunburn, both in and out of these NaPos. Weird how you see patterns you didn't even know were there.

    Also there's been a lot of poems about a very turbulent friendship and it's def weird re-reading those. Should probably delete them.

    The grocery store I worked at had a fixed playlist and I'm not surprised at all that it worked its way into my NaPo. I'm listening to this song for the first time in 7 years and man it takes me back.

    Note to past self-links break. There's a song inspired poem and a couple image-inspired ones I don't know what the inspo was bc the links are dead.

    Best lines:

    "you're as rare as a snowstorm in Jackson,
    yet they won't give you a name"

    "a five page assessment
    of everything that is wrong with me
    determined that was a lie!"

    (not the most poetic, but I'm reading it in Maury's voice and it makes me lol)

    "but it is in autumn
    where you learn to forgive."

    "Beaches are lovely in theory,
    but at the end of the day
    you are sunburnt and sand-covered
    and you know the whole world
    was silently laughing at your
    un-swimsuit-worthy body."

    "In the winter, when we are nothing
    but aching bones and memories,
    will you remember my name?"

    Overall ranking: Not only did I complete it, I feel like the poems as a whole are stronger than 2016. Even the 9 I crammed into two days. 11/10.


  • I’m pleased to report that my highly researched workplace March Madness bracket is starting off strong. By “highly researched”, I mean I picked a “historical random” option that supposedly would pick upsets based on the average rate of upsets in the past. I only made one change-it predicted my Alma mater would lose today (a 9 seed), so I switched that. This was apparently a good call because they won.


    Ley March Madness is a staple in my household, I’m glad someone else on here participates xD
    Mar 21, 2024


    niteowl It’s been a while since I cared, but a coworker started a pool for the department so I decided to participate.
    Mar 22, 2024

  • Today's #IceCreamChallenge #NaPo2024

    NaPo thread ink spilled on atrophied wings

    Struggled with names this year. Found poem in one of my past threads talking about I feared rejection/heartbreak/bad things happening more than I feared atrophying from doing nothing at all. And now I feel like I have somewhat atrophied/gotten stuck in life so...there you go.

  • Today's #napodeepdive is 2016: the (non) master of my own (sham) destiny. The first time I ever completed with 30 poems.

    Spoiler! :

    Age/Life Situation: 25, was temping at my advisor's lab after mastering out, trying to find literally any other job.

    Thread Name Ranking: God tier, chef's kiss. Could totally be a Fall Out Boy song title if Pete Wentz had gone to grad school. 1,000,000/10.

    Interesting observations: I messed around with some poetry apps again, but these products seem better than the ones I wrote in 2014.

    The depression is blatantly obvious in this thread. Past me needs a hug. Also spent some time dwelling on a difficult situation with my friend, and also had some attempts at lyrics.

    It seems like I regressed a bit on the short lines addiction.

    Best Lines:

    This limerick:
    There once was a girl with a Master's
    Whose job search felt like a disaster.
    To the world she applied,
    but she got no reply,
    'cept to say someone else was faster.

    And a haiku/senryu:

    why do i think that
    i'll find a new beginning
    trapped in old stairwells?

    "remembering you is like
    a piece of popcorn lodged between
    my back molars"

    "dry your eyes with kimwipes
    and get back to work.
    make your emotions disappear
    like salt into deionized water."

    Best app-driven line is a tie between "The world needs your heart, but the truth is that you were always afraid of being." and "chant above me in a frantic wind as if drunk from chocolate milk"

    Worst Lines:

    "the concrete brick metal glass
    that holds the thousand failed experiments
    of your dreams."

    So melodramatic.

    "i used to see beauty
    in cerulean skies"

    For some reason, I tend to use "cerulean" when I start trying to use fancy poem words. Which is not my thing-most of my poems have a ten-year-old's vocabulary and that's pretty great.

    "not a whore but a peeping thimble skimming the clubs he rushed upstairs and tied shut the standing dogs" some pure nonsense from a fridge poetry style app

    Overall ranking: Somewhat less experimental than the strong 2013 and 2015 threads, and perhaps too much tech reliance again, but I did complete it, and the works are decent all around. 10/10.


  • Day 4: 2015 often wandering, still quite lost

    I love how I wrote an apology haiku at the end of what is probably the strongest NaPo so far.

    My apologies,
    I would have written more but
    I have Netflix now.

    Rest enspoilered for length and some discussion of heavy topics (death/grief/mental illness)

    Spoiler! :


    Age/life situation 24, was still in grad school but very much struggling, also had some health issues stemming from the meds I was on at the time. I was heading towards my major breakdown in May/June of that year, so I was expecting this to be very depressing, but aside from the obvious sadness of the poems about my Yia-Yia, it really isn't?

    Thread name rating: This was the first year poetic NaPo titles became a big thing, and I think this fits the bill fairly well. 8/10.

    Observations: I started out trying to log poems read as well as poems written. It fell apart pretty quickly, but it's a cool idea. Might try it again?

    This year has a good mix of personal/diary-type poems and more abstract/challenge-inspired ones. Several poems tackle my feelings about my Yia-Yia, who passed away of cancer a few months before. There's some poems about my sleeplessness, mental health issues, and low energy levels, as well as some of the issues I was going through with a friend. On the other side of the spectrum, we have poems about the color blue, socks lost in the dryer, and a response to 2014's Shakespearean sonnet. There's also a lot of fragments, some of which I think came from the poetry apps I cited in 2014, but I didn't note them as such this time.

    Note to past self-I love all the blogging/extra details about the inspiration that I thought was annoying at the time, but I would have really appreciated links to the prompts I used.

    Best lines:

    "On the last day I wrote
    Is it bad that I want her to die already?"

    "in floods and fires they scream
    promise me we'll find each other at the end"

    "i died on the ides of march"

    "I pack because I want to believe our love is set in stone,
    but not our fates."

    Worst lines:

    "she washed stardust out
    of the crevices in your foundation"

    This reads like I was trying to sound poetic, but somehow went straight to nonsensical.

    "her thunder breath
    rolls down your esophagus
    and makes gastric acid dance."

    This makes a little more sense but is still ridiculous.

    Overall rating: Strong variety of content, some experimenting with structure. A lot of homeless fragments, but that's alright. Tying this with 2013-9/10.


  • Day 3: 2014, which I honestly can't believe was 10 years ago. Niteowl's Nest

    Age/life situation 23, 2nd year of grad school. I literally passed my comps on April 1st, which became the subject of the first poem. Mentally, it's pretty obvious that I was getting manic over the course of this NaPo.

    Thread name rating: Another alliterative thread title. Simple, but plays nicely off my username. 7/10.

    Interesting observations: I did a lot of messing around with poetry apps-whether this was actually good for my writing or not is debatable, but it was fun. This is also the year I made 1.5 Shakespearean sonnets. One I actually wrote, one I remixed from a Twitter bot that retweeted lines in iambic pentameter.

    I'm not sure if it's just because I was messing around with apps so much or what, but this seems like the least personal NaPo so far. I mean, there are definitely heavy-hitting personal ones, but there's also a lot of experimental nonsense.

    On the bright side, I finally discovered the magic of varying line length.

    Best Lines:

    "He said let's ride into the setting sun
    But never mentioned that you would go blind."
    the opener to my sonnet Into the Setting Sun

    "bathe in my creative haze, she sings. no drugs needed, just misaligned receptors and unbarred passion." you will not win tonight

    "I could not touch you, pretty girl,
    Now you can't walk away"

    "If you rhyme all the time/You'll turn into a lime"

    "Words stumbled across the room,
    walking into their ears and now
    they can't come back."

    Worst lines:

    "If you rhyme all the time/You'll sound like a wind chime"

    "I have never met a tuba/That could speak violin" (honestly idk if this is actually worst or best)

    Overall rating: Props for some hard-hitters and fun rhyming experiments, but deducting points for an over-reliance on technology. 7/10.


    Spearmint "He said let's ride into the setting sun
    But never mentioned that you would go blind."
    ^ aaaaa i love this one!!!

    "If you rhyme all the time/You'll turn into a lime"
    ^ this line is hilarious XD

    Mar 15, 2024

  • 2nd day of past NaPo deep dive: 2013 Niteowl's Nonsensical Nothingness. his was easily one of the more interesting and productive times for me poetry-wise. This is one of the strongest NaPos I've ever done, possibly the strongest (though I"ll need to refresh my memory to confirm). I didn't technically complete that year, getting out only 24 poems, but they're all straight bangers. Not that they're all perfect, but every piece has at least one genuinely good line or concept. A lot of the best lines ended up in rebuilding of a young mad poet (revised)

    Enspoilering the rest for length
    Spoiler! :


    Age/life situation: 22, first year of grad school, kind of on the struggle bus but still fairly optimistic. I kind of swore of writing (and YWS by extension) in undergrad, but I came back on YWS in a big way starting in summer/fall of 2012. I joined Big Brother in May/June of 2013, becoming the first (and I believe only) person to have gone straight from no mold to orange mold (I would later become a full GM with dark green mold in 2014-2015).

    Thread name rating: I think alliteration was big that year, so this was perfectly on trend. Some classic self-deprecation. 7/10.

    Interesting observations: You can clearly see I was still in Short Line Addiction rehab, but it's significantly better than 2008.

    I forgot just how fun @Cadi's writing challenges in Writing Gooder (a now-defunct YWS blog) were. They made me wrote poems on kidnapping, King Tut, Cerberus (a head that just wants to be a real dog), baklava, celiac's disease, and cabbages (there might have been more, but those are the standouts. The last 3 were part of NaPo).

    I said I might write a structured piece, and I actually did several, including a kyrielle and a villanelle. This year was considerably more experimental than 2008.

    Again, we have a couple pieces reflecting on time, and mundane things like losing keys and moving. There's a lot of poems reflecting on being in a big city and feeling depressed, something I expect to see more of in 2014-2016 NaPos.

    Best lines: "Midnight rain pours, a weak acid that could dissolve me into the mud from which I came."

    "I don't deserve umbrellas." This is one of the most concise yet heartbreaking lines I have ever written. It's at once humorous, referring to my tendency to lose umbrellas, and depressing, referring to myself as someone who doesn't deserve protection and self-preservation.

    "Reduced
    to your naked essence,
    complexed to her,
    you are revealed,
    a violet that screams
    quantify me, if you dare." This poem Ferrozine Woman was easily the best thing that came out of my entire grad school career.

    A warm April day
    dissolves into memory;
    storm clouds approaching." (Yes, it's a filler haiku, but it's still a banger.)

    Worst Lines: At the request of @IcyFlame, I'm trying, but this is honestly hard with this year.

    I once knew boys
    who made my heart
    beat faster
    with just
    a smile.

    The concept of reflecting on old unrequited loves is interesting, and something I would later explore in better poems, but this is weak. Also clock the short lines. Who hurt me and made me think long lines were a mortal sin? We may never know. My working hypothesis is that when I handwrote poems in small notebooks, as I did when I first starting poeting in 2004, my big clunky handwriting made the lines super short naturally, and it became a habit from there.

    "She ate a thousand whispers
    and released them as songs
    honoring those who fled
    this world of lesser things
    for a vapor dream of heaven"

    Last year, I read "this is how you lose the time war" for my book club. I found myself staring at every other page thinking "this sounds pretty, but wtf does it mean?" This is how I feel about the above verse.

    "Blinded by the pain I'm in". Villanelles are hard, guys.

    Overall ranking: Giving this a 9/10 only because I didn't finish. Otherwise, this is a very excellent year.


    IcyFlame
    "I don't deserve umbrellas."

    I love this line!
    And thanks for including the worst ones for me <3

    Mar 14, 2024

  • Okay, so since I've forgotten how to poem and I'm a low-key narcissist despite the self-hatred, I'm doing a deep dive into my NaPos past and rating them, starting with the very first.

    Nite's Poetry Dumpster 2008
    Age/life situation: I was 17, working at a grocery store (this is referenced in several poems), senior in high school, still very optimistic about life.
    Thread name-is fine, but not great. To be fair, the poetic naming of threads didn't really become a thing until like 2015. 4/10

    Interesting observations: I was
    very allergic
    to long lines. Maybe
    I thought it was illegal
    to make a line longer
    than five words.

    Weird line break addiction aside, I find it fascinating how many of the themes are similar to more recent years. I have a fascination with time and how it can sometimes pass slowly and quickly. We see poems about my struggles with procrastination, energy levels, and time blindness, which all come into play in later years. I also made one poem starting from the Random Poetic Line Generator, something I did in many future NaPos. I kind of thought there would be more unrequited "love" poems, but only a couple touch on it.

    Best lines: "As I walk, it is a battle between my body and the next step." (later recycled into rebuilding of a young mad poet (revised), which uses fragments from NaPos 2008-2019.

    "it hurts to know that I have lost a million fragments of life in just under twelve days." (note: I would later reference the amount of seconds I have lived in LMS VI: a billion seconds gone, but where?

    "In that moment, I could ignore the law that says all processes are irreversible."

    Overall Ranking: 5/10. Poems themselves are pretty weak, but the themes are interesting and it's wild how the more things change, the more they stay the same.


    IcyFlame I love this deep dive! Can we add 'worst lines' for the next one because your self reflections make me chuckle
    Mar 13, 2024


    LadySpark I love this
    Mar 13, 2024

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  • herbalhour
    Feb 22, 2024

    lwo e-tin, niteowl



So verily with the hardship, there is a relief, verily with the hardship, there is a relief.
— Quran Ch 94:5-6