I am
Poisoned and lovestricken
With the
Thick, thick fluids
They ooze like
Apple tree sap
Hot lava
I anticipate
Burning bright
And poisoned

 Copyright  © 2012 C. JoyBell C. 
All rights reserved.

If you would like to buy a beautiful gallery wrapped canvas with this poem on it, just click here!

Mistakes Readers Make

We always come across articles about mistakes writers make: "Top ten mistakes writers make", "Top 5 author blunders", "What NOT to do as a writer" and the like. But today I was prompted (by a personal correspondence with somebody) to make a post about mistakes that readers make. Definitely not out of spite, but because I think there are some grey-ish areas that need to be discussed.

It's an age-old adage, a fact, that readers confuse the "writer personality" of their favorite authors, with the actual personality of those writers. I have read of a certain writer warning his readers: "Please don't expect me to be funny just because the characters in my books are usually funny, because I am perhaps the least funny person you will ever meet." I also saw a movie once, about a girl who followed her favorite poet to the ends of the earth, only to be greatly disappointed upon finally finding the dear poet who wasn't the least bit interested in lighting her candle wick of inspiration, at all! And I could simply just go on and on if I wanted to go on and on. The bottom line of all this, however, is that much like with their favorite movie characters; readers/supporters/fans too often mistake the person behind the pen with the words that are penned.

It's completely safe to say that extremely beautiful ideas cannot be conjured up in a dull or ugly mind, as well as to say that ugliness cannot be produced by a beautiful person. It's safe to say that. But I will use myself as an example when I say that a writer can be very strong and intense behind the pen but completely soft-spoken and quite timid and insecure in reality. One must think first and realize, that the words on paper or on the computer screen, are not actual spoken words of the tongue. I'm a strong writer, I can get my idea across intensely in a way that will penetrate you down to your bone and marrow and I wield that sword either which way I want it to go; whether I want to soften your heart and hum it with a soothing lullaby or shake your mind into a place so obscure to you, in order to make you see a point that is so foreign to you and you will end up feeling like you are being born out of the womb anew. Because of this, there are those who conjure up an imagined person in their heads that is supposed to be me: someone so outspoken, well-spokem and opinionated; when that couldn't be further from the truth! All the people who are around me and spend any amount of time with me, will definitely tell you that I am soft-spoken. I don't know exactly what they are thinking when they use those words to describe me, but I do know that I  never see the importance of voicing my opinions over others, but I would rather sit back in my chair and giggle. I am very comfortable with throwing in my two cents and then laughing at myself right after I do. In fact, I think that I laugh at almost everything that I do say! Not because everything I say is funny, but because the art of speaking and voicing an opinion takes up such a lighthearted space in my heart and mind, it is along the lines of jumping into puddles and accidentally dropping cotton candy on the sidewalk! It's nothing serious or important enough to not laugh at. Behind the pen (or behind the computer) I am set out to change the world (or change the way that you see the world) but that is only my character as a writer and not my character as a person.

So is it the reader's imagination that is to blame? The hyperactive hypothesizing that takes place in a reader's mind, propelling him or her into making conclusions about his/her favorite writer? Do people like to hypothesize about others in order to create something bite-sized that is better understood? Or is it in fact an underactive imagination that is at fault? An imagination that fails to dig further and beyond the words to see the true person that is behind them?

I think that, at the end of the day,  the written word is not the spoken word and when you read the written word, it is not the same thing as hearing words spoken with the tongue. And perhaps there is too much interpretation that people are trying to do. "She probably means this", "He probably means that", "Because she means this and because he means that, then this is what kind of people I can expect them to be." And do people make the same mistake with other artists? Like when people look into a painting and try to dissect the mind behind the painting?

I think the way to know a person, is to know the thoughts that go through the person's mind every day: the memories and the dreams, the desires and the regrets, what makes the person smile...

Is it not enough to enjoy the work of art, and leave the person behind the work of art to mystery? Must a reader always go in search of that mystery? Or is it only human nature to search for the mysterious?

I know that I wouldn't want anyone to think that they know me, just because they read what I write. We think that we know Michelangelo because we look at Michelangelo's David in the Galleria degli Uffizi, but do any of us really know Michelangelo? As for me, I am content with mysteries remaining as mysteries, not because I'm not curious, but because a mystery is in itself a wonderful existence, and there is such a lack of wonderful existence in the world, that I think we should just let a mystery stay wonderful all along.


Goodbye Paper Birds

Goodbye Paper Birds
(October 19, 2010)

Do you see this window?
This window that I see now?

From this window I can see them
I can see them on the inside

I can see them on the inside
From the outside I look in

There is a place I once knew
Therein they still are

They still sit behind that window
They still live inside that room

Paper castles hang on the walls
sway in the window

Cardboard forts stand neatly arranged
Cardboard hearts stuck on the boxes

They are at home
They have made their answers

They have made their answers
They crossed-out all their questions

In the room lays carton coffins
Headstones made from cut-outs

They write out their days
They spell out their end

I am on the outside
On the outside looking in

Up here the winds speed high
The winds expand my wings

I’m flying

The stars hang in front of me
The world looks like a marble

My path is made of water
I am walking on water

This flight has just begun
Only the winds know where I’m going

The waters are changing
The lights are breathing

The borders are lined up
They mean nothing to me

My questions are not answered
My end is nonexistent

All is given to me
I have no walls for paper castles

From the outside I look in
I know those people well

We used to share those windows
I hung some birds there made of paper

So far, far, far, far away...
So far, far, far, far away...


Copyright © 2012 C. JoyBell C. All rights reserved.

Blank Pages

Blank Pages

One of the downfalls of man is that he protects himself by wrapping himself in his own preconceptions of his own self, and this manifests in many ways, it can manifest in a person seeing himself or herself as a picture conjured up in his/her mind that isn’t real, it can manifest in the desire to prove oneself to the world, it can manifest in various forms of denial (like denying the reality of one’s situation) and so on and so forth. But the manifestations are secondary to the cause.

We all know that the most difficult person to get along with is the person who bears the need to prove something to the rest of the world. Every instance becomes an opportunity for the individual to show you how big his barn is or how many cows he has grazing on his many acres of grass and then how green that grass is! Being with such a person is like being tied down into a primitive era during which time they actually did have barns and cows grazing! It’s a complete downer.

And some people walk through a hallway with covered mirrors– the hallway is lined with mirrors but there are blankets covering each of them. They go through life believing in an image of themselves that isn't real, and an image of themselves standing in the world and relative to the world, that isn't real. If you happen to be in that hallway and pull the blankets off the mirrors, they're going to think that you're hurting them; but they're actually just seeing their reflection for the first time. Sometimes the most horrendous thing a person can see, is all the hidden things inside them, the things they've covered, the things they choose not to see. And you're not hurting them; you're setting them free.

But what I really want to get at, is the act of a person wrapping himself or herself inside all these notions and preconceptions, in the first place. They do it as a source of security, they want to step out into the world firmly rooted in who they have preconceived themselves to be. They call it a strong sense of self, but this is not how a strong sense of self is truly gained; this is only how fake castles are built! They carry around their castles of sand and hold these castles in front of them, presenting them to the world, holding them up in front of their faces, but what happens when all that sand comes tumbling down?

I think that they should not limit themselves to their own preconceptions of themselves, but should throw themselves out onto a blank page that they haven't written on yet, and see what they find out about their own selves, see what story unfolds, see what happens! I always do this, and sometimes it can be very frightening! To very often have a blank page with nothing written on it yet! I feel as though I am a soul with a single covering–my body of skin– and that's the only thing between me on the inside and the rest of the world! It's quite frightening to begin each day on a blank page, forgetting your own preconceptions of yourself and allowing your mind to embrace the new! It is like meeting yourself for the first time, over and over again!

I conclude that people create their own images to bear in mind, not because they are strong, but because they are weak, insecure, and cowardly. Because much courage is needed to face a blank page every day and allow yourself to write brand new things on it, allow the beauty of the world to leave it’s mark on it, to not always refer to yesterday as a reason to be respected and loved today! To not always refer to what you saw of yourself yesterday, but to allow you to see yourself as brand new, every day!

My days are blank pages, and I choose to write on them with crayons, colored chalks, and then put them on the ground and dance on top of them!

Copyright © 2012 C. JoyBell C. All rights reserved.

A Vision of Yellow

A Vision of Yellow
(October 15, 2010)

I caught a glimpse of the yellow
From the corner of my eye
The heat in the air transcending;
Melting my vision, smouldering it
Into the surrounding
Like a burnt Polaroid
Wait; then I look beyond
In all cognizance
I see the trains on the tracks
The static and mobility
But here all has stopped
Right here where I am; where
The yellow catches my eye
The yellow stops me and
The stones gently rolled and
Not-so-sharp; they are seared
Into this momentary existence here
The heat mixes everything together
Here in this mirage
Of yellow tulips and small stones
It is very hot
The trains and tracks surround me
In the train station

Nobody sees the yellow tulips- only me

Copyright    © 2012 C. JoyBell C.  All rights reserved.

The Status Of A Clam

The Status Of A Clam
(March 29, 2010)

The pirate fondles with his memories
And like air they drizzle in on
The winds sweeping his way from the
Nearby ports, bringing with it the smells
Of freshly caught fish, and these
Memories of ages past
Old and wrought like iron
Drift inwards like sunlight through the
Windows, softly murmuring along the off-white
And there they are
With him now
Captured by his being
Like water pouring over him
The brutes the braves the sweet things
Of the past which now scramble
For their own permanence; their own existence
In this precious mind which slowly
But surely dwindles along with old age
Like clams that are caught up in
The ocean’s tides, washed onto the seashore
And then taken back again into each
Of their lonely statuses.

Copyright © 2012 C. JoyBell C. All rights reserved.

Dear Son

Dear Son
(March 2, 2012)

And every day I become
The intricate details upon
The lace that is your life
Your voice mingles in the melodies of mine
You fill the space that is beside me
And I the space that is beside you
Yet always, I find myself striving
Aiming to weave my joys into the pattern of
Your lace even more so.
So that I may dance with you
And you may dance with me too

Copyright © 2012 C. JoyBell C. All rights reserved.

Back to Top