Thursday, November 25, 2021

Smiling at Terrible (with Teeth)

not-quite Journaling, 23

Slaughter prejudice
like a lady.

10/9/2021: I have been organizing my old blackout poems (again). And since this one made me cackle (while showing an outrageous amount of teeth), I thought I should share it with you. Also, it’s a page out of Pride Prejudice and Zombies, which is October perfect.


Nature is therapy.

10/17/2021: Yep, therapy one can plant, love, watch bloom and fruit, and even eat.


can blossom
light and darkness
out of terrifying pain

10/29/2021: I believe this all the way to my achy bones. You?


When terrible found me,
I smiled… with teeth.

11/2/2021: I created this blackout in the autumn of 2018… Now I can’t stop snickering at the fact that I did not notice the “terribly” instead of “terrible” grammatical horror. Oh well, the heart of it remains true: when life gets tough, I bare my teeth in a defiant grin and live forward. I seem to do the same when I notice a typo after 3 years. 😁


When pain rips you apart,
gather all the pieces…
and craft yourself

11/9/2021: I think that while we are doing the gathering and the crafting and the wholing… we should keep in mind that our new whole might look nothing like the whole we used to be. And that can be a very good thing (especially for those of us who always wanted to do something drastic with our hair but never did because it would’ve broken our father’s heart and our father is too adorable to hurt).


11/20/2021: this elfchen is the last of 3 pieces I created for a chronic illness art therapy class. It answers the question, “Why write about pain while you are hurting?” I don’t know why others might choose to use writing (and reading too) as therapy, but for me writing is an upcycling of pain: words can turn agony’s screams into song.


When I remember comfortable,
I sigh.

11/24/2021: It’s true. When I recall those dreamy years when my flesh and bones and I could stand, sit, and lie down without feeling pain, I sigh with longing and nostalgia. Sigh…

for Poets and Storytellers United--Friday Writings #3: Pain in Ink.


  1. These separate pieces, each so incisive in its own right, make a wonderful – yes! – whole.

    I have been told by people who suffer long-term severe pain that the only way is to embrace it. Ageing brings its own pains; though they are more nuisance than severe, I very much identify with missing the comfort and ease of movement my body used to have.

  2. I love this post. The art and the quotes, wonderful. Have a very nice day.

  3. Nice historical write of a horrible pain's progress and demise. I started a list Poem but set it aside as it was too lengthy.
    Thanks for the prompt, I went light.

  4. this one hit me the hardest: When terrible found me,
    I smiled… with teeth.
    love the art that goes with them!

  5. I hear our "sighs" and raise you "cackles" as I envisage terribly grammar CWS XXX

  6. Each of these have their own truths and can reflect pains felt in many ways.
    Is it okay to embrace these as well?

  7. I love “Terribly.” It makes it seem like a children’s-book monster—one that you discover isn’t so terrible when you get heart-close to it.

    This is my favorite: “ words can turn agony’s screams into song.”

  8. The smiling teeth chilled me at first, and then delighted me. Why not intimidate in return for intimidation?

  9. They are all so wonderful. And show that out of pain can come something beautiful and therapeutic. I do love the showing teeth at something terrible, or even something terribly... terribly terrible?

  10. profound and inspiring Magaly
    Have a good weekend


  11. Loved all these wonderful blackout poetry.
    The first could be a frame from a slash and hack video game.
    and i really love the elfchen. It's so true. Pain can pull you in all directions, but writing is one of the things that can save you.

  12. I love all of these, but that elfchen is my favorite. I am lucky enough that my medical issues are manageable without dealing with constant pain, but I know enough of pain to recognize that writing is a reliable to in my arsenal.

  13. I was quite taken by the first piece and instantly wrote, YES to slaughtering prejudice like a lady! But as I continued to read, I became more grateful for ALL these bits you shared. They are so full of wisdom. Thank you for sharing your art, Maga. The world needs it. ♥

  14. I love each and every one of these poems. Both the thought about pain, what can heal it, what soothes it, and how we live with it. When pain bites sometimes you have to bite back so yay to teeth! (and kind dentists!)

  15. I love all of these. They are very inspiring. Your found poetry is my favourite...would make a good book. I am sorry to hear you are in pain. Embracing pain and transforming it into creative writing is a very worthwhile idea. Hope you get respite from it very soon. Thank you for your lovely comment on my poem. It means a lot to me.


I love your insightful remarks. So, go ahead, let them fly…

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