Those who are word nerds like me, or who recall their grade-school English class well, will immediately notice that I’ve misspelled alliteration. Never fear; all is well. I purposely spelled it that way for the greater good of poetry.


Pages of poems partially penned
are prone to proliferation,
producing plentiful piles of pieces of paper
and a plethora of alitteration.

© Stephanie Malley

Playing with words this way is, for better or worse, how my mind works. I recently saw the word unintentionally misspelled illiteration, and I began toying with turning that into a poem. “Sharon has the sniffles / Miles has the mumps / Daniel’s dachshund is down in the dumps….” It’s not much of a leap (for me at least!) to considering “Oblitteration” as the title for a poem about incinerating trash found on a daily walk. The English language can be frustrating–I still get mixed up over two r‘s or two f‘s in terrific–but also loads of fun.

Peace to your ♥ !

“A Poet Muses”

My last post was titled “I Never Metapoem I Didn’t Like,” but in fact, I’ve met many poems I didn’t like, a lot of them my own. I can usually tell where the weak parts are but not always how best to fix them. Do I need another image? A better word? A different form? A complete overhaul? (Yikes!)

Because I like poetry, revising my poems is usually enjoyable even when challenging–not like revising that term paper for history class. Still, there are times….

A Poet Muses

So this is how it goes:
first the labor,
then the birth,
then the whole bloody afterbirth
of revising.

Peace to your ♥ !

I Never Metapoem I Didn’t Like

Did you know that poems about poetry are called metapoems? I not only love to read metapoems, I also really love to write my own (see “Family Tree“). So far I’ve written more than 50 poems about poetry and the creative process that I’ve gathered into a collection called A Poet Muses. You’ll find it listed under the Poetry Collections tab. As I post poems from the collection, I’ll add them to that page for easy reading.

Below is the poem I wrote to lead off the collection. If you’ve written a poem yourself, perhaps you feel as I do. It’s incredibly satisfying to create something from scratch, something that has your personal stamp on it. The poem was originally in four lines, but now I think it looks better as a quote. One of the benefits of being author, editor, and publisher is getting to do what you want. :)

Peace to your !

Better than a book of poems on a library shelf is a poem you wrote all by yourself.

Stephanie Malley

“Family Tree”

The (ad)venture begins. Actually it began a half-dozen years ago, when I churned out one poem after another over a two-week period. This was unusual.

I had written poems before: a parody of “The Raven” with a gym teacher nag, nag, nagging a student to get up for school; short verses for birthday cards; a group of five poems about trees (lyrical, narrative, apostrophe, and two other approaches I can’t recall). This was different.

I felt as though I was channeling the spirit of some tragically departed poet who needed to “get it all out” before resting in peace. It was a heady, harrowing time, and at the end of it I had a binder of poems that gave me great pleasure when I reread them. And reread them. And…. They were my babies, you know. I had a mother’s love for them.

While the outpouring of poetry didn’t last, the habit of putting my poems into binders did. I’ll be drawing from four binders’ worth in my posts as well as sharing newly-written poems. Nothing obscurely deep. Nothing overly serious. Lots of lighter verse and poems for the young and young at heart. Maybe a few will become a bit like family to you.

Peace to your !

Family Tree

I’ve always been a bit amazed
how one poem begets another.
I work on one and think I’m done,
then—whoops! here comes its brother.

Uncles, aunts, and in-laws,
First and second cousins,
I started off with just one poem—
Now I’ve written dozens!

Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised
by this genealogy:
My poems have always felt a bit
like family to me.

© Stephanie Malley