Thursday, September 8, 2022

This Love

not-quite Journaling, 41

“He’s so damned nice and he’s so awful.”
~ Ernest Hemingway 

 Unfortunate territory,
him. This love,
a gothic tale of horror
and desire; high-strung
and damned, this
and him.

8/2/2022: What does this 3-word story/poem bring to mind? What does it tell you about the speaker, the subject, the situation? I’m thinking about expanding it into a longer piece—if I decided to go that way, it would be fun to keep your thoughts about the speaker, subject, and situation in mind.


8/17/2022: Crafted on the back of the last blackout poem I posted (the one above). It was influenced by a comment @msmisantropia left on my “I always think of you, at night” poem. She said, “Heathcliff, it’s me…” which left me giggling and thinking gothic thoughts. Together, they read: Unfortunate territory, / him. This love, / a gothic tale of horror / and desire. If I ever expand these bits into a full-length poem/story, I’ll give it a happy ending—the world has enough real tragedy and heartbreak; fiction can (or, at least, should) do better, if only for a bit.


9/7/2022: I stitched this blackout from the point of view of one of the main characters in the story I’m currently working on. Now I must decide if she cares about the predicted doom (and will let go of the relationship), or if she is attracted to tumultuous (and possibly painful) love. Hm, I hope not—I tend not to have a lot of patience with characters who don’t walk away when they should. What are your favorite kinds of romantic relationships in fiction?

- for Poets and Storytellers United--Friday Writings #43: Toxic Love.


  1. I like this, there are sooo very many instances like your write, for varying reasons the lady stays put. You can read my story, it is sort of prose but reads more like a poem. Perhaps it is a prose poem??
    Anyway, mine is about a guy who barged in and she can't get rid of him. All in a metaphorical sort of way.

  2. Intriguing excerpts! I hope you do expand.
    (Love the Heathcliff comment.)

  3. Oh dear, did that go through as Anon? It's me – not Cathy, Rosemary.

  4. Aah, I said this on your insta too...but the best romantic ships in fiction are the improbable ones with all the odds stacked against them- provided the ending doesn't feel staged and artificial :) :) :)

  5. Your poetry is not just words on paper but art! The word gothic gets my attention. I just wrote a poem about death called "This is not a horror movie," but to an alien in could be.

  6. Interesting crafts. Best wishes with your story in process.


  7. I don't know why but when I read the quote I immediately thought of F. Scot Fitzgerald. Hmmm, but I can see Heathcliff too

  8. The speaker: a high profile campaign manager. The subject: a sometimes shady candidate. The situation: getting him/her elected. I enjoy a good 'struggle' in a relationship, ultimately surviving with a happy ending. Lovely post, Ms. Magaly.

  9. Each snippet has me intrigued, along with the promise of more writing to go along with them! LOL, I always worry about characters who make a pattern of painful love. Once or twice, sure, that's how it goes sometimes. But if I start to think more about how introducing a therapist character would improve things instead of the actual plot, that's a problem.

    I guess I'm similar to Rajani in that I like love stories where the ending feels earned. Ones where all parties deal with their own flaws and baggage because they value the love in front of them.

  10. This tale could take many routes, but it does remind me of Bonnie & Clyde. Or take a more modern setting in a large city with drugs and vice. :)

  11. I love how your 3-word poem evolved into that starkly raw romantic poem. Blackout poetry is new to me. I’ve got a lot of discarded books so I’m going to give it a try.

  12. Always interesting to read your posts.

    Have a good weekend.

    All the best Jan

  13. Not sure if this was intentional, but I found it intriguing that your second blackout poem had a phallic shape and your third blackout poem's shape reminded me of a uterus. Sorry, I have the mind of a teenage boy! (IRL, I'm an almost 40 year old woman) But that adds a whole other layer of meaning to your poem!

    1. It wasn't intentional. But now that you've pointed it out, I just can't unsee it. LOL!

  14. Ooh, I love your blackout poems! I'm a little obsessed with doing those myself. I like the tension in yours, and the air of mystery :-)

  15. It reminds me of Heathcliff-ian character....torrid, tumultous, tangled....but personally I'd rather go for a secured anchor...

  16. I think a short story with a happy conclusion is better than a sad end.

  17. This Love... I believe the title and all your stitched poetry could serve as prompts for darkish and delicious stories. Love them all!

  18. Love love love!! Unfortunate territory him... and still I would want to explore all of it.


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