Words Dance Book Box #2 : Animal Farm by George Orwell

Download here:

Words Dance Book Box #2PDF
Words Dance Book Box #2 Quote CardsPDF

You can get suggestions for use, directions plus pick up Book Box #1 HERE!

I will be sharing #3 soon! If you don’t want to miss any of them, sign up here to get updates!

If you have any requests on what book(s) you’d like to see in this series at some point, I’m open to hearing them.

Burn after reading, xo,

Words Dance Writing Prompt #1 : Between the Lines by Susan Lawson

Choose a poem you like. I used “Fire” by Joy Harjo from her book What Moon Drove Me to This? Cross out every other line (it doesn’t matter whether you start with the first or second line) and write lines of your own to fit with the remaining original lines. Then, cross out the remaining lines of the original poem and write more lines of your own to go with those you already wrote so that what you end up with is a poem that’s wholly yours.

Here’s what I wrote…

Between the Lines

No one hears
a voice unspoken.

Each person must walk into
the timbre of her own breath.

Every One must dance into
the beauty of her own resonance—

flirting, flitting from word to word to word
like lovers wrestling in the damp night.

A body must journey into its deepest throat
no matter what the cost. See—

the cancer cut from my neck was not the end but
a new beginning. My voice goes on and on

even as I sleep like
lake water rippling in moonlight.

My dreams, my pen become a tongue
for those weary of talk. I am become

a breeze that bristles dry autumn leaves
to ground. I mulch the earth’s madness

with whatever laughter or tears
I launch into the darkness.

                                   – Susan Lawson

For comparison, here is Harjo’s poem…


a woman can’t survive
by her own breath
she must know
the voices of mountains
she must recognize
the foreverness of blue sky
she must flow
with the elusive
of night winds
who will take her
into herself

look at me
i am not a separate woman
i am the continuance
of blue sky
i am the throat
of the mountains
a night wind
who burns
with every breath
she takes

                                   – Joy Harjo

Share a link to the poem you penned using this prompt. The links can be from your blog, website, on Facebook in a note or status update (but make sure it is set to public so folks can view it), Tumblr or Flickr, anywhere with a URL! One submission per person please. To be included on the list below submit your links before 5/16/13.

In the “Name” field use this format: POEM NAME by YOUR NAME

Susan Lawson shares desk space with a tabby kitten named Maisie and leads writing workshops using the Amherst Writers & Artists method in the central Indiana area. Enjoy more of her writing at SusanLawson.net.

Words Dance Book Box #1 : Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Today I’m sharing the first book in this printable & numbered series. Confession: I’m kind of hooked on making these at the moment (read: I’m totally geeking out over them.) Designing books, no matter the medium in which I do this, always feels so true & good.

Each box will come with 6 cards with quotes from the book that fit inside the box.

Ideas for using:

• Collect ’em all & display ’em. Let them be the legendary conversation pieces they dream of being. They were made for this.

• Print them up & leave them around town. Leave one behind on a bus or train seat. On a library or bookstore shelf.

• Have a lit lovin’ friend / lover / relative? Introduce them to the series by printing the first few up as gifts. A book bundle. Creative? Make a box set!

• Use them as gift boxes. Think jewelry. Or handmade soap. Magnetic poetry? Lip balm. Chewing gum? (Airplane bottles of liquor won’t fit, my apologies.)

• Get meta with it. See here.

Download here:
Words Dance Book Box #1PDF
Words Dance Book Box #1 Quote CardsPDF

(Roughly 3″ tall x 2″ wide x 1″ deep)


I will be sharing #2 next week! If you don’t want to miss any of them, sign up here to get updates!

If you have any requests on what book(s) you’d like to see in this series at some point, I’m open to hearing them.

Burn after reading, xo,


Word of Mouth : Shrinking Women by Lily Myers

Shrinking Women

Across from me at the kitchen table, my mother smiles over red wine that she drinks out of a measuring glass.
She says she doesn’t deprive herself,
but I’ve learned to find nuance in every movement of her fork.
In every crinkle in her brow as she offers me the uneaten pieces on her plate.
I’ve realized she only eats dinner when I suggest it.
I wonder what she does when I’m not there to do so.

Maybe this is why my house feels bigger each time I return; it’s proportional.
As she shrinks the space around her seems increasingly vast.
She wanes while my father waxes. His stomach has grown round with wine, late nights, oysters, poetry. A new girlfriend who was overweight as a teenager, but my dad reports that now she’s “crazy about fruit.”

It was the same with his parents;
as my grandmother became frail and angular her husband swelled to red round cheeks, round stomach
and I wonder if my lineage is one of women shrinking
making space for the entrance of men into their lives
not knowing how to fill it back up once they leave.

I have been taught accommodation.
My brother never thinks before he speaks.
I have been taught to filter.
“How can anyone have a relationship to food?” He asks, laughing, as I eat the black bean soup I chose for its lack of carbs.
I want to tell say: we come from difference, Jonas,
you have been taught to grow out
I have been taught to grow in
you learned from our father how to emit, how to produce, to roll each thought off your tongue with confidence, you used to lose your voice every other week from shouting so much
I learned to absorb
I took lessons from our mother in creating space around myself
I learned to read the knots in her forehead while the guys went out for oysters
and I never meant to replicate her, but
spend enough time sitting across from someone and you pick up their habits

that’s why women in my family have been shrinking for decades.
We all learned it from each other, the way each generation taught the next how to knit
weaving silence in between the threads
which I can still feel as I walk through this ever-growing house,
skin itching,
picking up all the habits my mother has unwittingly dropped like bits of crumpled paper from her pocket on her countless trips from bedroom to kitchen to bedroom again,
Nights I hear her creep down to eat plain yogurt in the dark, a fugitive stealing calories to which she does not feel entitled.
Deciding how many bites is too many
How much space she deserves to occupy.

Watching the struggle I either mimic or hate her,
And I don’t want to do either anymore
but the burden of this house has followed me across the country
I asked five questions in genetics class today and all of them started with the word “sorry”.
I don’t know the requirements for the sociology major because I spent the entire meeting deciding whether or not I could have another piece of pizza
a circular obsession I never wanted but

inheritance is accidental
still staring at me with wine-stained lips from across the kitchen table.

                – Lily Myers
                    credit : Button Poetry

We are taking submissions for Word of Mouth plus a handful of other new features on Words Dance, check them all out here!

Literary Tattoos : Roundup : Inspired by the Poem : the bluebird by Charles Bukowski

Click here to read the poem : the bluebird by Charles Bukowski, from his book: The Last Night of the Earth Poems.


(source unknown)


(source : Frankie D)



(source unknown)






(source unknown)

Click here to read the poem : the bluebird by Charles Bukowski, from his book: The Last Night of the Earth Poems.

Would you like to submit a roundup?

Click here to check out all our new features here on the blog!

Just pretend I folded this up & passed it to you under the desk,

Hope on the Peripheral by Ward Kelley

Hope on the Peripheral

Hope scrawls its name on the margins,
where it finds its room on the peripheral
skin of lovers in bed, where space is most

“Your neck smells like eternity,” the lover
will whisper. The one with the neck knows
she is incapable of such hope, but will
never say this.

Hope dashes into the street, an escaping
animal, setting an example for everyone
watching from the condos.

“Sometimes I felt like I was flying,”
says the old married woman, describing
falling in love fifty years ago, “I believed
I would forever possess those wings.”

There is much reason to hope when the body
is young, perhaps even more when the body
is ending, and there are many more clues,
many more wrinkles, that the uninformed
believe attest to experience. Instead within
these folds can be found – in several places –
where hope left its name long ago, on margins.

                – Ward Kelley
                   from Words Dance 5, Summer 2004

i thank

i thank

the women’s magazine that
says it stopped running articles on dieting

the loopy lilac print from the editors squealed
“we don’t want to perpetuate female insecurities”

i flip through the scented pages
admiring the glossy waifs
who live on air and compliments
arms akimbo on a 20 inch waist
perky plastic boobs that would please any man
and a frozen-frosted lip that says “i am beautiful”

articles about your body
how to become anyone but yourself
sculpt a stomach like hers
a face like hers
a life like hers

we’ve created an army of dolls
put together wrong

and they flash lethal images
at average women who now assume
they must have gracious breasts and wide hips
with nothing between the two

so–please–starve me
of affection until a man
can run his fingertips through the desert valleys
between my ribs

but do not lie to me
or pretend to do me favors
by avoiding the articles that help you
fly off the shelves

and do not feign concern for my confidence
that you were once able to deplete
you have already done enough

                – Michelledion Matthews
                   from Words Dance 3, Winter 2003

The Beatles in Five Parts by Corey Mesler

The Beatles in Five Parts

“I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is
to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit.
I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off.
I reply, ‘The Beatles did’.”

-Kurt Vonnegut

1. 1964

The same year
The Beatles were on
Ed Sullivan
Sartre won the Nobel Prize.
I was nine
years old.
I didn’t know the universe
was absurd.
All I knew was that
something momentous had
just happened
because there were angels
on the TV.

2. Beatlemania

“Have you heard the music that no
fingers enter into?”


The Beatles
spun straw into gold,
knew the secret name,
took the pearl
of great substance and
found its source
in the oyster’s meat.
The Beatles
were the last great gasp
of the godhead,
before it became again,
you know, just
another way to the path
of light.

3. Kingmingoarkulluk

He squats in the corner,
one of the children.
The holiday swirls around
us. Someone puts on
a Beatles record, something
from the innocence,
and he leaves his nook.
We all dance. It is the
hour of festivity. One
of the children calls his name—
she says it with ease, grace–
and he nods his head
to the beat, Let me
go on loving you, tonight.

4. Let it Be

Paul and George step
outside for a quick smoke
between verses of
“I Me Mine.”
“Sorry about the godliness,”
Paul says. George looks
out across the macadam
and says, “Ok, Pauly.
Let’s make a record.”
And they go back inside
where the others are
noodling, darkened figures,
still sick with ariose
energy. Still, you know,
for a bit longer, Beatles.

5. The End of the Year of Darkness

Do I dare redress the balance?
Attempt to re-tilt
the axis of this hellbroth year,
with its capharnaum and annihilative
old gooseberries? I’ve lost my
father; the world has lost its way.
The holidays were a
magnifying glass held up to the
blackness. It
magnified the blackness.
And I sit, huddled in bedclothes and
the grippe of depression
swirling through me, watching
the clock move
inexorably on. It moves on without
me, without you,
without half the Beatles. What is
lost is lost. My
wife says it still lives here and she taps
me on the chest where
my heart would be if my heart still worked.
No, it still works.
I redress the balance.
What I create is good. A good.
The world may be a maelstrom and I a small boy.
But in my hand is a sharp knife,
of love.

                – Corey Mesler
                   from Words Dance 4, Spring 2004

Meaning by Shane Jones


I’m making myself
Being hopeful.
Fitzgerald said
that to live
you must realize
everything is meaningless,
and at the same time
believe you can change that.

Last night
we laid in bed.
I know you were awake.
And so was I.
I looked at the ceiling,
jazz music
and a Paris nightclub.
I realized then
the importance
of your weight
next to me.
The amount of hope
I place in hearing
your breathing
and not my own.

                – Shane Jones
                   from Words Dance 5, Summer 2004