A Month of Poets – Travis Atkinsonsessler

          We have come to the last featured poet for this month’s celebration of National Poetry Month. I introduce to you our 4th featured poet, Travis Atkinsonsessler!

            This man is funny, smart, and kind. He is a warrior with a big heart. He is also extremely versatile in his capabilities. I am not biased I swear. Okay, maybe a little. Okay, okay, maybe a lot. Today I get the privilege of presenting one of my husband’s many skills. His poetry is surprising and moving, filled with depth and imagery. Take a small peak into the mind of a veteran by reading his poem below.

A Little About Travis:

            Travis was born and raised in Orange County, California. In highschool he tried a barrage of extracurricular activities. From theatre group to football, and everything in-between, he allowed himself to be multifaceted and did not lock himself into one definition.

                At age 20 he joined the United States Marine Corps. Where he learned to speak Arabic and developed a passion for language. Words are something of intrigue for him and communication was an essential element in his career. This is probably why writing poetry comes so naturally to him.

                He is now a retired veteran pursuing a degree in linguistics with a minor in German, all while being a personal hero in the roles of father and husband.

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Please enjoy, Travis Atkinsonsessler:

Tempest in a Glass Bottle

by Travis Atkinsonsessler

Behind my eyes lies a tempest in a glass bottle.

It starts with chill up my spine.

Hairs stand on end.

A cool wave courses from back to fingertips.

A warm rush follows.

Body becomes tight.

Eyes widen then narrow.

Breathing becomes deeper and faster.

My voice is gone.

Obscenities swirl in my mind.

Foul words in a thousand scripts form, each rolled swiftly and placed away into the bottles swirling vortex, begging for release.

Images of violence coalesce into actionable pathways to their fruition. Each course of action is carried into the maelstrom, awaiting the cork to pop. 

The tempest struggles against its confines, staring through the looking glass at the world.

It is a tortuous existence begging to feel empty, longing for zephyr.

When needed, i gently and firmly pull the cork, just enough to fill my sails. 

I replace the cork and seal again with wax.

It frightens me, the atrocities 

swirling about in my glass bound tempest.

And I know that neither I nor any man should linger too long in this storm. 

And I know that glass is fragile,

and the pressure is great from within.

Yet I hold on gently, firmly to it. 

But do not mistake my fear of this tempest

I long for the sweet release of the storm. 

I lust after the fury of her gale winds

I ache to bathe in the swell of her tides

I hunger to deliver those crashing tides.

Take heed, I do not fear the storms breath

I am wary of the rapture that grows inside of me as it swells free,

knowing that I can not have the tempest and those I love.

So ask yourself, can you weather the storm? 

Know that I beg of you to give me reason to drop my cargo to shatter and set free my tempest in a glass bottle.

The Real Poets of OC – Fueling the Art of Words in Orange County, CA

A Mission for Poetry

I was on a mission. A mission to find an open mic poetry event in Orange County, CA. I went to Google, a usually reliable source of information, expecting to get a flood of events that I could greedily pick a handful of options from. To my surprise, this was not the case. Google had failed me?! How was it that I could find plenty in surrounding counties, but not in my own?

                After continued search, I thought I had finally tracked down what I was looking for. I skimmed through a page that had a list of local open mic poetry events that conveniently marked the venues and the days. My hopes ran high, but once again were dashed into disappointment. The list had been written 6 years ago, and sadly, most on this list had either shutdown or had stopped the events.

                “Someone should really create a place to find information on poetry events in the area!” I thought to myself. Very shortly after this thought, I just so happened to come across a group of poets called The Real Poets of OC. Lo and behold, they were already creating exactly what I was thinking.

               The Real Poets of OC not only have a fabulous name and write inspiring poetry, but they are inviting and genuine individuals. Their work is full of passion and they are on a mission to build up the art of poetry in their community.

                If your Google search has come up short like mine did, or if you have never thought about a poetry community and I’ve now piqued your interest, go check out The Real Poets of OC. When you follow their sites, you won’t miss anything and everything poetry in the OC!

The Real Poets of OC Backstory

In February of this year, a few local OC poets got together to discuss how to nurture the poetry culture in OC to create a platform of appreciation for this art, as well as help the artists themselves develop. From this The Real Poets of OC was born. Our goal is to help poets and non-poets alike discover all things poetry in OC, and establish programs and events that will also enable poets to grow. Whether it’s submissions workshops or readings or other related opportunities, we want to make this poetic comeback become long term.

Where to Find Them

               Don’t wait! Go follow The Real Poets of OC

                Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheRealPoetsofOC/

                Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/therealpoetsofoc/

You are able to contact them at: therealpoetsofoc@gmail.com

A Month of Poets – Christina Brown

Here we are in our third week of April, and today’s featured poet is Christina Brown!

            When reading her poem, the word ‘powerful’ was the first thing to come to mind. I found her work to be captivating in the way that it sparks emotions. Set down whatever you may be working on and come read her work. You won’t want to miss a bit of it!

A little About Christina:

            Christina is currently a graduate student in the American Studies department at California State University, Fullerton. Her poems and short stories have been published in places like Fight Evil With Poetry Anthology: Volume One, Broken Pencil Magazine, The Island Fox, Sammelwerk, and self-distributed zines. Her passions include but are not limited to dance, education, brunch, and fighting the patriarchy. She is a founding member of the Real Poets of Orange County, and serves as a volunteer mentor and member of the College Education team at WriteGirl in Los Angeles. When she’s not frantically writing her thesis or working at her day job as a content marketing specialist, she performs her poetry around Southern California.

            To see more of her work, you can follow her:

            Instagram: @mermaid_xina

Twitter: @melodramermaid

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Please enjoy, Christina Brown:

Why I Care About Sex Robots

By Christina Brown

It is 2017 and Samantha the sex robot is on display at a conference for the first time.

In minutes, her body is destroyed by tech bro fingers hungry for the future and today

her programmers decided she would not scream.

She would not scream.

The professor asks what we think and

my dinner jumps to my throat because

it is 2016 and Brock Turner only spent 3 months in prison

for raping a drunk girl whose body he saw as passive object fantasy.

It is 2015 and I work the night shift.

My sister

who loves me very much

tells me the knife I carry in my boot

isn’t big enough anymore.

It is 2012 and I am choosing avocados at the grocery store

when a man in a polo shirt has to stop to tell me

that I would be prettier if I smiled.

It is 2014 and my fourth floor apartment does not have a fire escape

still, my roommates lock every window because

it is 2011 and the boy says he might like to date me

it’s just that like I talk too much?

it is 2013 and my niece’s first word is no and

I vow to never take that from her because

it is 2009 and us girls are trying to knit sticky armor for each other

out of lip gloss tubes.

It is 2018 and I am a woman still learning to live in a body

I have only ever known as battlefield.

The women still go to the bathroom in pairs because

when I was 16 a man was in there waiting for me.

Before I could even try, he said remember

good girls don’t scream.

A Month of Poets – Heather D. Pease

            Allow me to introduce to you the 2nd featured poet this month, Heather D. Pease!

I have had the pleasure of hearing her work performed and I have thoroughly enjoyed every piece. Her style is smooth and soothing, yet full of spark and intrigue. I hope you take delight in her work as much as I do!

A Little About Heather:

Heather D. Pease is a poet, writer, and artist. Her writing has been described as witty, introspective, topical, and breathtaking. She’s performed all over Southern California. She’s an advocate for vulnerable people, an activist for change. She lives in Orange County, CA with her husband, and two daughters and is currently working on her first book of poems. 

To see more of her work, checkout her websites:

Website –  www.poeticgirl.com

Instagram – @ohpoetic1

Facebook – @heatherpeasepoetry

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Please enjoy, Heather D. Pease:

Almost

By Heather D. Pease

Your kiss

struck me

waves encasing

opening desire

deeply hidden

within my soul.

Your kiss

lingered there

shadow whisper

bordering    adultery.

Passionate idea

retracting

to safety.

Your kiss

left me

wanting

substance.

Hesitant desire

Forbidden

idea

anticipation

of more.

Your kiss

a memory

left

alone.

Warm

agony.

My    lips

absconded

with impression.

Are You Looking For Poetry Opportunities?

To my Poetry Ponderbots:

I just happened across this site and thought to myself what a fabulous opportunity! I jumped right on it and just had to share it with you all. Check it out if you are looking to enter a poetry contest:

$4,000 Palette Poetry Prize

Deadline is April 15th. Submission is $20.

Also, just a reminder, we have still have 3 more poets coming up to be featured this week! We had the intriguing work of James Pompey last week and keep an eye out for the upcoming poets below:

Heather Pease – April 10th, 2019

Christina Brown – April 17th, 2019

Travis Atkinsonsessler – April 24th, 2019

Let their work excite you, ignite you, and fill you with passion!

*Disclaimer: Some poems are mature topics. Reader discretion advised.

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