“Let Go” (It’s a Poem. About Legos.)

Image from tracizeller.com

So yes! After rustling some jimmies with my takes on gendered maturity and antidisestablishmentarianism, I decided to go back to basics with a poem about how… I really like Legos:

Let Go


The prompt was for a “bare poem” this time, with no more than ten lines and under ten words per line, and no adverbs. I went for broke on sound, then, while still maintaining what I hope is an apparent rumination on why contructing these things is so psychologically pleasing.

On a related note, I’ve been getting back into the habit with these fancy Lego Architecture sets! I knocked out Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Fallingwater” a few weeks ago, and completed a small model of the hitherto unfamiliar-to-me Villa Savoye just this evening.

“The Cookbook’s Anarchist” (+Strange Street Men Are Interested in L&D)

Hot on the heels of the last fruit of my labor from English 483 with Linda Bierds (“Girls and Women,” which has already been called “great,” “wonderful,” “controversial,” and “misogynistic”) comes this little political nugget. The prompt (these are decided on by alternating groups of students, for the record): produce an “emblematic poem,” in which an observation on the physical nature of a subject segues into deeper rumination. Loosely based on an actual anarchist publication I saw hanging around at the UW, my only hope is that I don’t expose how little I honestly know about world government while attempting to do the same to others.

The Cookbook’s Anarchist


Also, my brother Kyle tells me that, the other evening, a scruffy, possibly unstable man wandered into our apartment lobby and–after some consideration–enthusiastically picked up one of my fliers for Love&Darkness before exiting as questionably legally as came.

Could this be just the teen fiction anthology that Seattle’s underground homeless network needs?

LaD Flier

“Profiles in Seattle-ness” #1: Watson Kennedy

You know, it occurred to me the other day that, in-between the poems and the short stories and the steady bursts of self-promotion, I’m doing a disservice to my readers as a self-proclaimed entertainer (also, professional assassin and international sex symbol, but I suppose I don’t mention those as frequently) by not filling the gaps with more blog-friendly forays into humorous esoterica and/or random stuff lying around where I sleep.

In the spirit of reforming this inequity, I hereby start another series called Profiles in Seattle-ness, in which I illustrate some features of my current home base with which out-of-city (possibly even in-city!) folk may not be familiar. First off, we have Watson Kennedy, a “purveyor of fine goods” which boasts not one, but two locations in the Emerald City: one at the intersection of First and Spring in the heart of downtown, and the other nestled within Pike Place Market mere blocks away. This humble chain is the proud recipient of the “National Retail Excellence Award for Visual Merchandising,” and it’s impossible to not see why once you step inside one of their fine-looking, feeling, smelling stores. Essentially, if you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, Victorian knick-knacks, European culture, or anything else that dates back to when the right mustache and croquet set could undo even the tightest girdle, then by all means, do please follow the nearest cufflinked pointing hand to Watson Kennedy.

Even if you don’t fit those qualifications, you’re sure to find something that piques your interest! After visiting both branches, I saw a children’s counting book based on Jane Eyre, balls made of buttons, an isolated photograph of Oscar Wilde (which may not have actually been for sale; a shame), and remarkable items such as the following:

Randomized word cubes that initially appear to issue gross insults!


Signs that allow you to spell out the lyrics to Justin Bieber songs!


Novelty underwear tags!


Miniature volumes guaranteed to deeply confuse future archaeologists and librarians!


A portable version of the store’s business manifesto!



More curiosities: orange soap, light switch covers, watch faces in a bowl like so much candy, and literally just a drawer full of random black-and-white photographs! So again, for the steampunk enthusiast, the nostalgic, the technophobe, and those who just think their life could use a touch of fanciness from days gone by (and really who, who doesn’t?), I highly recommend you check out the above link and the store it represents with all speed.

Girls and Women (and Underground Cafés and Sales Figures)

This last Thursday, I had the pleasure of both implicitly hosting and taking part in an open mic night at the University of Washington! That is, the event was put on by the Bricolage Literary Arts Journal (of which I am Treasurer), though there was some carry-over in attendance from the first general meeting for Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society (also Treasurer of that) an hour prior. The event was hosted in the subterranean Parnassus Café of the Art building, a dimly lit but warmly inviting place for poets and musicians of all stripes.

The turnout? Excellent! Granted, the room has a capacity cap of about seventy, but anybody in the Seattle area who’s interested can also check out further open mics sponsored by Manic Mouth Congress every other Thursday, 7-9pm, starting January 24.

The evening’s material was full of superbly-written, well-delivered pieces, running the gamut from a spoken-word feminist declaration to an acoustic song about a Yeti. When it was my shot at the spotlight, I cleared my throat, rose the microphone stand considerably, and read a pair of poems: Christmastime, from Love&Darkness: Vol. I, and the following poem, one based on couplets that I recently wrote for my current poetry class (English 483 with Linda Bierds, which is going excellently so far):

Girls and Women


On a slightly related note, I would like to personally thank electronic musician, fellow blogger, and guy from Michigan Truttle for laying down his digital dollar for the first official online purchase of Love&Darkness: Vol. I! If you’re on your way to PayPal checkout for your own copy, don’t forget to stop by his Bandcamp page to pick up some sweet ambient tunes.

CAPITAL LETTERS: Shop is now live! + YouTube Stuff

The Notes & Sketches online shop is back online with Love&Darkness: Vol. I officially available alongside Distortions! With the advice, advisory, and mere intellectual presence of Stuart, the issue with the store shop was readily vanquished. For those of you running your own WordPress blogs/stores, know that you must encode the sales button image with an email code, not “website” one. However, the email option doesn’t show up unless you abstain from the merchandising frill “Add a text field” for the buyer, which is… odd. But in any case, it’s taken care of!

So hop on over to check it out, or see the dedicated L&D:v1 page for special previews of the choicest stories. Oh, and tell your friends! Tell your enemies, even! Retweet, Re-Facebook, send a smoke signal! Make cryptic remarks about its quality on a Post-It and drop it on a busy street! I don’t pay for publicity (yet), so word of mouth (er, keyboard?) is all I’ve got.

Oh, and I should mention I’ve got a YouTube channel now. It’s just glitch videos from Darksiders 2 at this point, but something more fruitful will come up soon, albeit possibly on a separate, dedicated channel. Please subscribe and share!

Nota Bene: Nota ble!

Also, from Phi Theta Kappa’s HQ in Jackson, MS to Centralia College, and then to my sociology professor grandfather to me, has finally arrived the copy of Nota Bene 2012 in which my story “[Citation Not Needed]” was published! For those unaware or who forgot the last post, Nota Bene is the annual anthology of critical and creative writing from esteemed members of Phi Theta Kappa, the international two-year college honor society of which I am an alumnus; I was one of thirteen people chosen out of 809 entrants, and so on the off-chance that anybody from the organization is reading this blog, I’d just like to formally say thank you very much for accepting my story!

For the statistically considerable percentage of you without access to Nota Bene 2012, you’ll be pleased to know that “[Citation Not Needed]” is also included in Love&Darkness: Vol. I, with all deliberate misspellings intact (it’s always disconcerting to see one’s creative touches brushed over without consent, but I can see how the PTK editing team would err on the side of caution when judging an unproven talent).

Here’s a few pics from my sad, strange little iPod camera:


The cover.


Page 39…


Oh neat, they added an illustration! (A segment of the Encyclopedia Britannica; greatly fitting touch)


The most entertaining part, though? Among those thirteen entrants (check the above link for specifics), a select few got $1,000 as well. Alas, I wasn’t among them, but it wasn’t quite a surprise when I saw the name of the award:

The Citation Scholarship.”

Write Away, Write Here: 1/9/2013 (+MILDLY REMARKABLE L&D UPDATES!)

Whoo, let’s hear it for 2013! Sorry about the delay in proper blog updates, but a combination of offline Christmas merriment and the resurgence of my shrewd nemesis Col-Lege The Educator has slowed my flow of post-worthy activities. However, while the continuing struggle for Love&Darkness: Vol. I‘s full release hinges on when Stuart Marlantes gets some free time and/or I bite the bullet and learn how to use an e-book formatting program, I’m pleased to follow up on a few previous Tweets by reporting that–aside from my apartment and this little hidden pocket in my messenger bag–the book is currently available at the following locations:

Book & Brush – Chehalis, WA
The Aerie Ballroom and Events Facility – Centralia, WA

…Okay, so that’s not much, but it’s a start! Also, availability of copies at the UW Bookstore in Seattle is still pending. If you’re around “The Ave,” Go in and ask for Love&Darkness: Vol. I by Trevor White to see if we can drum up some support!

Anyway, with a return to the University of Washington comes a return to “Write Away!”, and while I was feeling both rushed and rusted in spontenaeity that night, I still managed to produce a prose poem based on a prompt the group leader got off of Reddit: pick a verb, then write about being unable to perform said action “after the acccident.” Twenty minutes later, an only marginally rougher version of the following appeared on my notebook paper:

Limited Mobility [based on the verb “Accelerate”]

The accident was terrific, in the old-fashioned sense
of powder keg explosions and whip-crack lightning,
but slower and so much sadder.

One day, mid-day,
the car was pulling into the parking lot
of Arby’s, and in angling my boot
beneath the brake to rake out an old wrapper
from Subway, my foot got stuck.

My hair got all electrified,
and the steering wheel sweaty.
The yellow brick road bump backing the handicapped spot
was my best bet, before I lost control.

Unstick, foot,
I thrashed gently, kicked lightly, fighting,
until the boot removed itself right
into the side of the gas pedal,
and this being my latest cheap-ass sedan,
the pedal cracked off like a twig
on a black-padded assembly line limb.

I halted to a stop—that handicapped spot—
and dropped out of the car.
Let them check it.
I’ll tell ’em I got limited mobility,
and can’t move since the accident.