Updates Part 2! The 2015 Poetry Marathon

The second round of updates is here! First off we have a date when the sign up/application will go live. It will be June 2nd, otherwise known as next Tuesday.

Secondly, if you notice on the side our FAQ section and the About section have been updated.

Thirdly I can now share with you the designs for the poetry marathon certificates this year. The certificates will just be given out digitally this year as we are expecting a lot more participants but they will all be personalized with your name (and not say, W.H. Auden’s). The files will be high quality and easy to share digitally and/or print.



Updates Part One! The 2015 Poetry Marathon!

The 2015 Poetry Marathon will start on June 13th at 9am EST. This is a fact, but now we have another date and a lot of other information to reveal.

Participants can sign up for the half marathon or the full marathon like last year. Sign up should start within the next two weeks.

Sign up will happen through a short application process. Potential Marathoners will have to answer a very small number of questions and provide contact info. We will accept the bulk of applications, those rejected will be encouraged to re-submit. This process is just designed to eliminate anyone who is not seriously about completing the marathon or half marathon.

We will cap the number of participants at 500. We may not reach that number, but if we do, we will not accept additional participants for logistical reasons.

We will accept applications on a rolling basis, trying to respond to everyone within three days of their information being submitted.

At least a week before the Marathon everyone will be given access to a Facebook group (all previous participants are welcome to use last year’s group) and to a WordPress account on our main website. They will be encouraged to introduce themselves.

This year you can choose to be part of a group or groups on the Poetry Marathon website. There will be a Half Marathon group, a Full Marathon group, a few geographically oriented groups and you can even create your own group that can be public or private. The group page will make it easier to follow just a certain group of poets through the marathon. This is something we are experimenting with, so we are still trying to sort out the kinks here.

We are also very grateful to already have three volunteers to help us with the groups and with dispensing information. We are also looking for additional volunteers. Volunteers might find themselves in charge of a Facebook group, helping respond to applications, or addressing questions. If you are interested in volunteering, please email us at poets@thepoetrymarathon.com.

Regretfully we are not going to have an anthology this year. The main issue is that there will be too many participants for the anthology to include all participants.  We are also expecting our first child not long after the Marathon, so we will be rather busy. This makes the anthology logistically problematic. It may return next year but in a different, more curated form. We might run a featured poem (from the poetry marathon) program on the website for all of July.

We look forward to joining you in this year’s Poetry Marathon!

Thoughts, Ideas, & Questions about the Poetry Marathon 2015


The next Poetry Marathon already has a date. It will start at 9 am (EST) June 13th. However, there are other changes in the works.

Most of the changes we are making and all of the ideas we have are just theoretical at this point, so we are looking for feedback from past participants and from people considering future participation.

The major reason for the changes is that The Poetry Marathon is growing. Last year we had over 100 participants. That was with announcing it less than two full weeks in advance of the marathon and with minimal promotion. Obviously we are going to be more organized this year.

This year we are expecting a lot more participants. We are thinking around 500 is likely, although we are not sure what we will do if it exceeds that number (or if we will have to cap it) and so that affects many other things and will require some changes.

The three major changes we are anticipating are in the following areas: the Organization of the Website, the Organization of Facebook, and the Anthology. Below I will explain some of the things that need to change and how we are considering changing them

The Organization of The Website

All of the posts will still be made on one central blog. We feel very strongly about that. That in and of itself is a lot of work for Jacob particularly, as we grow there are more technical questions and needs.

Last year there was a scrollable list of names on the side and so it was easy to see everyone. That would not be possible or at least not be useful with many more participants, so we will have to find some way to organize people into groups.

A half marathon group would make sense but there will have to be more divisions than that, they may be made by geography, or by some other way, but it will have to happen. People might even be able to choose what groups they join or create their own groups.

The Organization of Facebook

Last year there was one big Facebook group for all the participants. It was a lot of fun. A great community was built. It is not going anywhere. Anyone who participated last year can still spend the marathon in that group. It will remain as is. However all the new participants will not be added to it.

New participants will be able to join groups based around geography or other factors. Old participants can also join these new groups. You can be a member of more than one group. We don’t know any of the details yet, but we know we will need volunteer leaders of the groups and even if there is a central group, we will need help answering questions, etc. If you are interested in volunteering in this capacity, please email us at poets@thepoetrymarathon.com.

The Anthology

The Anthology cannot exist as it did last year. It was a lot of work and it is not sustainable with more people. Besides it is prohibitively expensive in terms of time and money.

However we are considering having an Anthology that would be edited by Jacob and myself (our work would not appear in it) and everyone who completed the marathon could submit two pieces for consideration in the chapbook. We would accept 25 poems.

We would have an 8 month turn around time. Everyone who contributed would get one copy.

It is hard because I loved putting together an anthology that reflected most of the participants work last year. But if the anthology is to continue in any form it will have to be different. Other suggestions are welcome, but we are leery about charging anyone anything, because we do not want to have to get into taxes or officially become a non-profit.

Also we will still have the personalized certificate but they will only be sent out digitally. However it is very easy to print them out, or have a good printer make a copy for you. The printing was very reasonable for us last year, the international shipping, not so much.

The other changes that we know will have to happen this year are twofold.

The first is that we are going to need volunteers this year to manage the groups (which should be minimal work) on facebook. If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity, email us at poets@thepoetrymarathon.com

The second is that registration will end earlier this year, so that we can organize people into group and figure out how best to prepare the site, etc. Registration might have to be two or even three weeks before hand.

In Conclusion

There are a lot of things that won’t change. There will still be an emphasis on community. There will still be a full marathon and a half marathon. There will still be the blog. There might not really be any obvious differences for most people.

Thank you for putting up with this whole, very long document. Please comment with feedback and ideas, or email us at poets@thepoetrymarathon.com.


An aeolian enterprise;

perse-tinged zephyr,
the caliginous expanse
of night’s tresses pester;

coruscation in her eyes,
sculpt each venial qafir
to a penitent impasse;

as softness of lips whisper,

plot a subfusc surprise…..

Jamaican Reggae Ballad

Dye Dye Dye

Am in a loving mood

Sound string up

Sweat a run

Noise a Mek

Heart a race

Inna di love saga

Dye Dye Dye

Full up of Education

Yet not on a payroll

Change position now

Mi know yuh like 6:30

now a 12:00 o’clock

who can run will run

Opportunity scarce

Its a competitive world

look up mi riddim

Sound string up

People a RIP

People a Rob

People a Rival

Though this life

A get me down

Not giving up

Got to survive

dye dye dye

Am in a loving mood.



Reggae keeps me rocking

Poetic Valkyries and Viking Warriors

375784_2121537601434_1335656884_31913728_1893928340_n“Poetic Valkyries and Viking Warriors”

The little girl stood shivering,

Bottom lip quivering,

So secluded,the


She peers from her purgatory where she has been locked away.

Watching the monsters,

Demons, dragons,

And the fiends of hell,

Dance merrily,

Amusing the devil.

Suddenly, a midst the fiery dungeon.

Murkiness is turned to light.

There are Valkyries and Viking Warriors,

Armed to the teeth with magical weapons!

Slaying the unholy beasts,

They are here to rescue the little girl!

Strong, comforting hands try to coax

The little girl out of her hiding place,

They free her from the chains that bound her,

Oh do please avert your eyes, my beautiful saviors,

Or I will not come out,

For I am ragged and weary,

I do not want you to look upon my ugliness.

Scars have left me disfigured!

Come silly little one do you not see we all are scarred.

The exquisite Valkyries and Viking Warriors,

Grabbed the girls hand once again,

Dragging her into the light,

Banishing the villainous creatures to whence they came.

Hour 24

** Me **

I am kind.
I am respectful.
I wish you can be honest with me as I am with you.
I’m 4 foot and 11 inches.
I have dirty blonde natural hair.
It almost looks black.
I go to a school with a bunch of people who love drugs.
But, I stay away from that because I can’t ruin my future
In the marines, as a writer, photographer, and a motivational speaker.
I hope you know now I write because I love it.
Junior reserve officers training corps (JROTC) drill team is my other passion.
I write when I’m not doing homework, drill team or at friends.
I could write in my sleep.
But, when I wake up you wouldn’t be able to read it.
I believe everyone is beautiful even you males.
Ugly is not on a persons looks its a persons personality.
So, take a mass murderer for example he’s still beautiful but has ugly actions.
Get what I mean?
I love my family and family comes first.
Even if they are 450 miles away but distance is nothing.
I have anxiety, so with Drill Team it helps because it comes when I’m under pressure, stress, or sadness.
So, Drill helps a lot.
So, does a pen and paper.
The other things I have is social anxiety which I’ve had forever and didn’t know until last year.
I also, have insomnia, and I’m bipolar.
Yeah, all of things may suck but hey, I still live life like I’ll be gone tomorrow.
I have been writing since my freshman year literally, last school year.
I started and my first poem was almost 6 pages.
But, just the front pages.
Either way my friends and family love reading my poems.
And I love keeping people entertained.
I love all of you beautiful lovelies.

~April Sue Kraniak~

Hour 22

**Broken and Sacred**

She’s on her bed listening to music.
No one knows why but she is.

Broken and scared.
She saw a glimmer from your closest.
She opened the door.
There’s a little girl holding out her hand.
“Grab my hand I can take you where you belong.”
“What?” She said confused.
“I know you’re alone, confused, and depressed I can take you where you belong, but you have to take my hand.”
She takes the little girls hand.

Broken and scared.
Her head phones left on the bed.
With her soaked pillow.
Her mom comes in.
Sees that her daughter isn’t in the room.
She checks the house isn’t anywhere to be seen.

Broken and scared.
She’s following this little girl.
In this deep darkening place.

Broken and scared.
The two girls were never seen again.
Ever again.

~April Sue Kraniak ~

Hour 19

** My prince **

We were sitting in the room.
Staring into each others eyes.
Seeing love and happiness.
And fear.
There’s always the fear of us losing each other.
But, we know if we just leave it to us we won’t.
I’ll be your forever and you be my always.
We started kissing.
And then I pulled away and said,
“Please never leave
I can’t loose you.
I wouldn’t be able to live without you.
You’re my prince.

~April Sue Kraniak ~

Hour 14

**That Girl**

Do you see that girl?
Well, you know what she does every night?
She bawls her eyes out & cuddles with her stuffed animals because its the only thing she has of her family.
Your probably thinking is her family dead.
They’re not they just live away from her.
Well, when she gets up in the morning she puts on her smile like its her makeup.
She has a bad day just about everyday.
That’s why she goes home every night & practically cries herself to sleep.
She gets her hopes up saying the next day is going to be better & different.
She gets home & gets proven wrong.
She feels these things no teenage girl should.
She second guesses herself all the time.
When she gets a lot of attention in one day she thinks someone set her up.
She believed that cutting was the answer.
Well, now she is going to just cry.
She loves her life & knows not to end it for another.
She wants to be something in life so she knows she can’t do that if she’s dead.
She knows that people care but what she really wants to know why people have to be so mean.
She wants to know if you will be there when she needs you the most.
She wants to know if you really care.
If you really like her.
She wants to know why she has very few friends.
She thinks she knows why she has very few friends because people don’t try to get to know her, judge her on her looks, her loudness.
Well, you know what her loudness is speaking louder than ever right now she wants to fit in she wants people to stop judging her on her looks & loudness.
But people won’t ever stop judging other people because of what the cover looks like.
Everyday she has a bad day she thinks that the only thing she can do is cut.
Her blade is on her bedside table.
Everyday gets close to the ones who actually care her heart sinks, she pulls down the sleeves, she keeps it to herself she doesn’t want to hurt the ones she loves.
Once again she starts to cut because people have to be so mean.
Each one of those cuts has their own story.
Don’t say you love her if you don’t because she already has trust issues.
You have no idea what she’s been through.
She hopes the ones that care will sweep her off of her feet & save her.
She wants them to tell her “I know your not okay I understand if I was going through I would do the same keep everything to myself, cry myself to sleep, maybe cut myself.”
She wonders do they actually see me dying on the inside?
She just wonders.
She wants to be accepted for her personality, & heart.
Not her looks, the scars, or her loudness.
She just wants to be accepted.
She just wants to stop soaking her pillow every night.
But she won’t be able to while people are being so mean.
Get to know a person before you judge them?
No one gets that saying.
Don’t judge a book by its cover.
No one gets that one either.
Because if they did she would fit in perfectly fine.
She just wants to be accepted for her true self.
But for now she will stick with the friends who have been by her through all the bull crap.
The ones who really cares & has cared all along.
She will still have those trust issues even after people start to accept her.
She will still second guess herself.
She has trouble letting people in you know?
You don’t know this either.
She has always had trouble with this because everyone who said “I love you” she believed them & they all left.
Just one time she wants to know after you say those three little words you will stay.
Everyone uses those words so easy these days.
She thinks that other people think those words are as natural as peeing.
She wants that one person to prove her wrong.
She just wants that one person to come to her & say I draw just like you do.
We draw the same pictures on our arms.
We cry at the same story.
I want to help you because I know if we have each other we can help each other.
They will be the best of friends.
But for now she’s just waiting for that one person.
For now she will deal with the pain.
She will draw the same picture on her arm every time all the bull crap builds up.
But for now she will cry at the same story she rereads everyday of her life.

~April Sue Kraniak~

Hour 13

** Bacon **

I smell the aroma of the bacon.
I walk into the kitchen,
Helping, my mom with the Sunday breakfast.
I put the eggs in the frying pan and hear them sizzle as they touch the pan.
When the bacon was done we sit down at the table and enjoy the,
Hot, mouth watering, crispy bacon.

~April Sue Kraniak~

Hour 12

** Our Relationship **

From and hour and a half away.
We talk on Skype,
Making each other laugh.
Saying Iloveyou every five minutes.
Telling our hilarious moments just hear each other laugh.
Then one of us quits talking and it gets silent.
And just leaving us listening to each others breath.
Its so peaceful.
Then out of no where he whispers Iloveyou princess.
I whispered Iloveyou too handsome.

~April Sue Kraniak~

Hour 11

** Him **

He, has brown eyes and brown hair.
His laugh gets me every time on Skype.
He loves me for me.

He is smart.

If you saw him the way I do.
Well, then we have a problem.
Because he’s mine.

And I love him.
He’s romantic and cheesy.
But serious when he needs to be.

He’s scared I’m going to leave.
Even after I tell him I’m not.
He’s mine.

He wishes that one day we can finally meet.
He wants to hold me.
Kiss me.

He never implies it,
but I know he wants to ask me,
to never stop loving him.

The late night cute texts from him,
are so adorable.
I love him.

He, never fails me.
He makes me smile when I don’t want to.
He is there when my anxiety comes.

He, is the perfect man for me.
He is the love of my life, the one we want us to be each others firsts.
He is the only and always will be the man I love.

~April Sue Kraniak~

Hour 10

** She’s a beauty **

Shelby, you’re so beautiful.
I see so many pictures of her.
I am almost cry at how beautiful she is.
I just want to go over and hug her.
I want to go over there and open her heart up,
to see what’s inside.
To see if her heart is as more beautiful than her cover.
I open her up slowly not wanting to hurt her.
I hope she knows I’m not like all those other ones who have,
open her up, she letting them in, and then leave.
I tell her she’s never leaving my sight.
She’s just too beautiful for that.
She’s the love of my life.

Now, she is a 1967 Shelby Mustang, GT 500.
I have so many pictures of her from the original owner.
I am almost cry at how beautiful she is.
I just want to go over and hug her.
I want to go over there and open her heart up,
to see what’s inside of the hood.
To see if her engine is as more beautiful than her cover.
I open her up slowly not wanting to hurt her.
I hope she knows I’m not like all those other ones who have,
open her hood, she letting them in, take a drive, and then leave.
I tell her she’s never leaving my sight.
She’s just too beautiful for that.
She’s the love of my life.
I’m a girl, and so is Shelby.
Shelby, is so beautiful.

~April Sue Kraniak ~

Hour 9

** What am I? **

You wake up from no sleep,
or even a dead sleep from alarm.
Exhausted you slide out of bed.
Start your shower.
Go into the kitchen,
Take the spoon dip it in the silky shell shaped brownish things and let them grind and start its process like every other morning.
You take your hot shower.
Get dressed.
Come back into the kitchen,
Mixing the ingredients in this delicious drink.
You sit at the table staring off into space until you finish this magical thing,
That’s supposed to give you energy.
Some people it makes them fall asleep, some people it gives them energy.
And this is something people all around the world make every single day.
And then drink it because its good.
And gives energy.
Some, people think its insipid.
Like me.
I have no intention for it.
But, other people do.
What am I?

~April Sue Kraniak~

Hour 8

**Cinderella (Dark Twist) **

Imagine you grew up
Playing Cinderella.
Daddy was the king.
Mommy was the queen.
The two mean girls at school are the evil step sisters.

Now, imagine.
Daddy barely knows you cry your eyes out to fall asleep at night.
Because the evil step sisters.
Mommy is still queen but knows nothing.

Instead of cleaning the house on the night of the ball.
You are bawling your eyes out.
Making more cuts that will turn into scars.

Instead of finding prince charming you found
your best friends which are a piece of metal,
your pen and paper, and hoodies.
No, ball gowns and no glass slippers.
Just hoodies and jeans.

Instead of marrying prince charming,
you leave the note on the bed,
Mom finds the note and screams for daddy.
You never went to the ball,
You never met prince charming,
You never married him,
Daddy never walked you down the isle.
You will be forever missed.
Even by those evil ‘step sisters’
Prince charming was the boy in your class who loved you deeply.
You would have found out sooner or later.
But, now we will never know.
We love you Cinderella.

~April Sue Kraniak~

Hour 7


I read those
Dull, dark,
frightful words.
You have to stop doing this to me.
Do, your realize what you do to me?

My heart
dies & comes back.
Tears roll down my face.
They dry up.
As more and more come.
More and more flood out.

Stop, hurting me like this.
I can’t loose you.
Stop hurting me like this?
Its all I’m asking.
It hurts me more than you notice.

You have to stop doing this to her.
So, she’ll stop doing this to me.
Just, stop okay?
It hurts my heart worse,
than anything…
Please, stop?

Yours truly,

~April Sue Kraniak~