WEB WEDNESDAY – De Miller Jackson – Part II

6. You have expressed desire to write for children. Do you write children’s poetry? If so, may we see a sample?

I’ve devoured Seuss, Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky and others my whole life, and now share them with my kids. I have written a couple of (wildly rejected) rhyming children’s books, which are too long to share here. Even the titles are a mouthful: Wilhelmina Wendelworth and the Worrywarts, Molly Melancholy and the Mirror, and Princess Penelope and the Procrastinators. But just for fun, here’s a shorter piece:

Hippo Hoopla

The hippos are having a party,
Some merriment in the mud
Their faces are all full of mischief,
Just grinning and chewing their cud.
No one says they hippo-poto-musn’t,
And so they stay dirty all day
As they wallow and they wander,
In their hip-hip-hippo-ray way.
And when the day is over,
They take a little rest…
After making a wonderfully,
Toppy to bottomy, flip-flopopotomy

7. We “met” in 2009 through the Writer’s Digest /Poetic Asides April Poem-A-Day Challenge. How did you hear about this challenge? Was it your first “public” venue?

A good friend and fellow poetic soul, Tonya Root (now Schulte), invited me to that April’s challenge through Facebook, and it was indeed my first far-flung phrase in a long time. I shared some writing in college, and have been in a writing group for the past 15 years, but I was kind of in hiding for a while there. I’m profoundly thankful to have landed in the midst of such an incredible community of poets.

8. The name of your blog, Whimsygizmo, makes me grin. Tell us about it.

My daughter, who is as whimsical as they come, has loved the word whimsy since she could talk. A little over a year ago when I got my laptop, I knew I would name it Whimsy. The Gizmo just sort of happened, and she became Whimsy Gizmo MacIntosh the First. The blog was born soon after (thanks to my techie hubbie; I’m a hopeless technophobe). The name seemed to fit there, too.

9. Do you have plans for a book of poetry? (If so, is there a particular publisher you have in mind? Or would you consider self-publication?)

No immediate plans. The administrative side of writing both flummoxes and frustrates me. I just want to sit around and play with the pretty words. But I have recently surrounded myself with Poetic Asides inspiration (literally, right here on my desk): RJ Clarken’s “Mugging for the Camera,” Jacqueline Hallenbeck’s “Poem-atic,” Patricia Hawkenson’s “Magnetic Repulsion,” Bruce Niedt’s “breathing out,” and of course Nancy Posey’s stunning 2009 November Chapbook Challenge winner “Let the Lady Speak.” Robert’s first book “Enter” is headed my way, too. There’s just something intoxicating about the feel and smell of paper…I wouldn’t have the slightest idea where to begin, but the prospect of my own little poem book does excite me. I’m just waiting for a healthy kick of audacity, I suppose.

10. Finally, would you consider sharing your brain with me (Marie)?

It would only be fair, since you’ve shared your incredible heart so generously with me. But fair warning: it comes with quite a bit of “most mad and moonly” much of the time. Seriously, though, your encouragement means so much to me. I wouldn’t even sometimes call myself a poet if it wasn’t for the support of everyone at Poetic Asides. Poeming can be such a solo gig. We really do need each other. It’s now on my bucket list to one day share a cup of coffee with each and every one of you.

De Shares Some of Her Poetry:

Paint me indigo
colors of sky and sea,
sprinkle sand at my bare feet.

Trace ink
along my veins,
brush eyes with sunlight.

Shade heart
with oils
of scarlet
purest white
and crimson scars still healing.

Sketch face
in colored pencil
long thin lines
waiting to be filled in.

Color me
blend-in earth tones
backdrop silhouette
with a splash of flash
pink, perhaps or periwinkle
because I like the way it tastes on my tongue.

Paint me incomplete
hues unknown
bold lines
willing heart
and then pause, unfinished, hungry brush still in hand.

surface tension

she is tired
of pasting on the faces
tightening the laces
of proverbial social corset,
the mumblings of
carefully weighed words
heavy in weary mouth.

she longs to
flee barefoot through roses
strike scandalous poses
of provocative social force, yet
the rumblings of
quiet quaking anger
steady her shaking hand.

she wishes
to file all masks on the shelf
just be her raw self
a profoundly flawed source, set
for tumblings of
bare phrase, true words
rare heart, real love.

(a shadorma)

her own glass
house long shattered, she
piles them high
stacks her odds
nods at untruths now known, then
leaves them there unthrown.

15 thoughts on “WEB WEDNESDAY – De Miller Jackson – Part II

  1. Thank you, De, for being a willing victim for my very first interview ever! Seriously, it was such a thrill for me to have one of my two very favorite living poets be our first guest. Big, warm Hannah-esque smiles to you, De!

  2. Marie & De, thanks for sharing yourselves with us all! De, I simply love your poetry, the way you swirl layers of meaning in rhythm and rhyme, and say it so concisely most of the time(the shadorma is one of my favorites as well). So little can say so much, sometimes. I've been reading and re-reading "Canvas" this morning. Simply adore the way the colors and phrases just roll off the tongue, painting a picture with their sounds. I think the last line is my absolute favorite: "and then pause, unfinished, hungry brush still in hand."Wow.

  3. What a wonderful surprise to see De's name as Bloomings's first Wednesday Poet, and also so delightful to put a bit of background info alongside her sparkling poetic words. Thanks, Marie and de!

  4. What a beautiful glimpse into the heart and mind of a poet I admire deeply. De, your work is touching, accessible, and full of layers. Please, please get the audacity to publish a book. You have a voice that the world needs to hear.

  5. Amazing interview, Marie!De, I absolutely am one of your biggest fans. Your poetry is brilliant, and just reading the titles of your "wildly rejected" childrens' books makes me want to rush out to the store and buy one (if they were there). I once read of a writer who was rejected 40 times by 40 different publishers until he finally got someone's ear. Please venture out there. Your talent is that great. Thanks for the shoutout, by the way.

  6. haha…the word verification I had to type in was derockl…how weird is that!? I guess even the computer knows that De rocks.

  7. Can't thank you guys all enough for your kind and generous words, especially coming from all you poets I so greatly admire. And thank you again to Marie and Walt, for this amazing privilege. I'm humbled and honored and rendered (almost) speechless. Poem on, my friends. So blessed to be "here" with you. Cyber coffee for all. de

  8. De~ I agree… the administrative side of writing can be so discouraging. Without the support from each other, the future of many promising poets might be furloughed. Thanks for reminding us why we write… oh, and I love the hippo poem…

  9. Oops! Never got back to read this entire interview the first time around. Just revisited and thoroughly enjoyed it! Always love De's work. Thanks for a fun and interesting read! PSC 🙂

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