Registration is Open!

Sign up is now open for the 2024 Poetry Marathon! You can sign up here.

The 2024 Poetry Marathon starts at 9 AM ET on Saturday June 15th and will go till 9 AM ET on Sunday June 16th.

Those who are interested in doing a half marathon start at 9 AM ET on Saturday June 15th and go till 9 PM on that same day. Or they can start at 9 PM ET on the 15th and continue to 9 AM on the 16th, which works better for some time zones.

The goal of The Poetry Marathon is to write and post one poem an hour for 24 hours. Half marathoners post a poem per hour for a 12 hour period. You can catch up if you miss an hour, but you cannot get ahead.

This is an international event with participants from all around the globe. Generally 500 people attempt the marathon. You do not have to be a poet to participate. To find out how to convert your timezone go here.

There is a new prompt offered every hour. Some find this helpful, some ignore it completely.

To learn more go here.

To sign up go here.

If you are interested in participating please sign up by 9 PM ET on the 10th of June. We will get reach out to applicants on the 24th of May, and the 3rd and 11th of June, depending on when they apply. Most people who apply will be accepted. If you have not heard from us by the 12th of June please send us an email at poets@thepoetrymarathon.com. Please do not try and contact us through the FB page. We will  try our best to make sure everyone who contacts us, gets an opportunity to participate,…

Save the Date!

 

We have an official date for 2024! It will start at 9 AM ET as always, and continue on till the 16th!

The goal of the marathon is to write one poem per hour for 12 or 24 hours.

Announcing the Finishers of the 2023 Poetry Marathon

Dear Poets,

Here’s our initial list of everyone who successfully finished the 2023 Poetry Marathon. These poets wrote 24 poems in 24 hours. Congratulations to everyone who achieved this incredible challenge! You are amazing!

Please note: This list contains errors. We need your help to correct those errors. If your name is in the wrong list, or missing, when it should be there, please let me know by email poets@thepoetrymarathon.com. Any error was in no way intentional. There are so many participants, it is very difficult to create an accurate list. Your help with correcting any errors is greatly appreciated.

Thank you to everyone who participated this year!

You can see the finishers of the half marathon here.

When you are ready, you are very much encouraged to comment on the many wonderful poems written during the marathon by these wonderful poets. — Jacob

Announcing the Finishers of the 2023 Poetry Half Marathon

Dear Poets,

Here’s our initial list of everyone who successfully finished the 2023 Poetry Half Marathon. These poets wrote 12 poems in 12 hours. Congratulations to everyone who achieved this challenge!

Please note: This list contains errors. We need your help to correct those errors. If your name is in the wrong list, or missing, when it should be there, please let me know by email poets@thepoetrymarathon.com. Any error was in no way intentional. There are so many participants, it is very difficult to create an accurate list. Your help with correcting any errors is greatly appreciated.

You can see the finishers of the full marathon here.

Thank you to everyone who participated this year!

When you are ready, you are very much encouraged to comment on these amazing poets’ work. — Jacob

Congratulations Full Marathoners!

Congratulations full Marathoners! I am so happy that you have completed 24 poems in 24 hours! That is wonderful. Thank you for joining us for this intense events. .

In the past I have personally verified that everyone who applied for a certificate was eligible and then I would make a certificate. Due to how big the marathon has grown, this is no longer possible. Now we operate  on the honor system.

If you completed the Poetry Half Marathon please consider the following certificate yours, to update with your name, to print if you choose to do so. If you need any help altering the certificate please email me at poets@thepoetrymarathon.com.

You are welcome to use this tool get get the certificate with your name on it.

Congratulations again on your completion of The Half Marathon.

The visual example of what the certificate will look like is right below this text:

Also this year we will be putting together two anthologies.

The print anthology will be edited by Blessing Omeiza Ojo, a terrific poet (you can read one of his poems here) and a long time participant in the marathon. For the first time ever there will be rejections for the print edition. He will pick between 80-100 poems to publish in the anthology. This is the last time that the co-founders of the poetry marathon, are paying for the print anthology, and the last time we will formally be “in charge” of any anthology. You can learn more about why, here.

That being said the wonderful poetry marathon community is already stepping up, and Erin Lorandos, another long time marathoner and compelling poet (you can read one of her poems here), is putting together an electronic anthology that includes everyone’s work

Submissions for the print anthology will be open from the 18th through the 30th of September. Submissions for the electronic anthology will be open between the 7th and 21st of October. More details about both anthologies will be forthcoming soon.

Digital copies will be made available for free to any contributor. Print copies will be available for a reasonable price and any money that is made from them will go towards covering the cost of the marathon.

Want to know what The 2022 Poetry Marathon Anthology was like? Pick up your copy here.

Congratulations Half Marathoners!

Congratulations Half Marathoners! I am so happy that you have completed 12 poems in 12 hours! That is wonderful. Thank you for joining us for this intense events.

In the past I have personally verified that everyone who applied for a certificate was eligible and then I would make a certificate. Due to how big the marathon has grown, this is no longer possible. Now we operate  on the honor system.

If you completed the Poetry Half Marathon please consider the following certificate yours, to update with your name, to print if you choose to do so. If you need any help altering the certificate please email me at poets@thepoetrymarathon.com.

You are welcome to use this tool to get the certificate with your name on it.

Congratulations again on your completion of The Half Marathon.

The visual example of what the certificate will look like is right below this text.

Also this year we will be putting together two anthologies.

The print anthology will be edited by Blessing Omeiza Ojo, a terrific poet (you can read one of his poems here) and a long time participant in the marathon. For the first time ever there will be rejections for the print edition. He will pick between 80-100 poems to publish in the anthology. This is the last time that the co-founders of the poetry marathon, are paying for the print anthology, and the last time we will formally be “in charge” of any anthology. You can learn more about why, here.

That being said the wonderful poetry marathon community is already stepping up, and Erin Lorandos, another long time marathoner and compelling poet (you can read one of her poems here), is putting together an electronic anthology that includes everyone’s work

Submissions for the print anthology will be open from the 18th through the 30th of September. Submissions for the electronic anthology should be between the 7th and 21st of October.. More details about both anthologies will be forthcoming soon.

Digital copies will be made available for free to any contributor. Print copies will be available for a reasonable price and any money that is made from them will go towards covering the cost of the marathon.

Want to know what The 2022 Poetry Marathon Anthology was like? Pick up your copy here.

Changes for the 2024 Poetry Marathon

We are very excited for the 2024 Poetry Marathon. Sign up is open here!

This post is mostly focusing on what will change and will stay the same this year, but before I get into that, I want to share that the Poetry Marathon Anthology for 2023 is at the printers, and has been for a while, and we are waiting on them for approval and a proof. We are very sorry it’s taken this long – but we have no control over this stage right now.

There are two big changes to the Poetry Marathon this year.

The first is that, as we warned everyone last year, we will not be continuing on with the anthology. We are grateful to everyone who edited and contributed to it over the years. We are really grateful that we were able to do them as long as we did. They were never part of my initial design for the marathon, and to me they always felt like an additional step. We are hoping that letting go of them will make the marathon more sustainable and easier to run every year. We are still happy to share others’ calls for submissions and the good work they’ve done, but we are not going to play an official role in the running of anthologies for the foreseeable future.

The second is that we are moving away from Facebook and Word Press and on to Circle.

Yes, we know change can be scary but WordPress has gotten increasingly buggy over the years. This year I couldn’t upload any of the image prompts without making major and time consuming file size changes (and even then it only worked half the time). We’d already been considering switching platforms for the last year, but that failure on WordPress’s part is what encouraged us to commit to a new platform.

The other factor is that Facebook played a vital role in community building in many of the marathons, but as more and more people have left the platform it has become less functional and as a social meeting place. Last year less than half the participants were even part of the group. The Circle platform will have many of the same social features that help make the community vibrant, and it won’t be limited to people who are on Facebook. It will be available to all participants.

This year we are paying for two months of hosting from Circle, which is very similar to Facebook in some ways but for only limited groups. No one will have to pay to join the marathon (now are always), we are covering the cost ourselves. If later people want to optionally donate to keep the Circle up, that might be an option, but it should work well even if it isn’t up between Marathons.

Via Circle, we can email all the participants easily, so now all the prompts and announcements will appear in your email inbox and not be lost on the chaos of the websites. Participants can post their poems as responses to the hourly post, and connect with fellow participants via the community discussion area. Everything is pretty intuitive to use, and in fact I’ve hosted four classes on the platform already.  So I trust it and know it mostly works well.

We will be sharing the link to the Circle with the first round of acceptances on the 24th of May so everyone should have plenty of time to sign up and feel it out.

We will also be hosting orientation material on Circle so it should be easy for newcomers to understand how the marathon works better.

One of the added benefits of moving to Circle is that all posted poems will be automatically private. That doesn’t mean you can’t share your poems with friends via social media, by all means, please do that, but for those planning to submit to literary journals after the event, this space is now officially entirely private and accessible only to members who have applied to join. Even the strictest literary journal I know of, in terms of rights, (Clarkesworld), does not consider that sort of private sharing published.

Even though every editor I talked to about it had no issue with writers sharing work using the private button on the WP, users were actively worried about sharing work on the site, and this should hopefully ease their fears.

It’s also really easy to DM other participants on Circle, which can help build community too.

If Circle does not work better for most people than WP, we will of course not stick with it as a platform, but given that the current courses I teach on it are also large and prompt based, and work really well, I have every reason to believe that the move will be a good one!

Because You Care

Elites, being elite, and clearly special
by virtue of…

I’m not entirely sure, but whatever.

They’re special, because
they said so, and so it is.

We, the people, need to learn
to accept reality.

And so it shall be.

We, the people, need to get with the program!

Sadly, the program made by educated men in the late 1700s
is obviously outdated, and unrealistic.

May I suggest, therefore, a centrally protruding appendage to the
Declaration of Independence to follow the original:

  • We, the elite people, of the United States of America, as the law makers and creators of the world economy, hereby declare the clear and apparent fact that we are not subjects to the laws that we create in our unique effort to control our tax paying subjects. The Bill of Rights and all Constitutional Amendments apply to us in the same way that they apply to these little people. [Elites, you can take out the word “little” if you want, just to make it not look so haughty.] We, the elite people, are, in reality, above the antlike infestation of human subjects that plague our country and our world, that infect our health, and that otherwise destroy both our economy of choice and our planetary environment. Therefore, the statutes necessary to herd and control these subjects do not apply to us. As elites, we require special rights and privileges to enable us to create peace and prosperity for ourselves so that we can contain and control the non-lawmaker class over which we are, as elites, entirely sovereign. Our sovereignty over humanity is ordained by God to us and to our families in perpetuity. We therefore declare our independence from all federal, state, and local statutes that do not suit our needs, whatever they may be.
  • Because we so enjoyed the peace and privacy in public spaces afforded to us by the COVID lockdowns, we, the elite, hereby declare that two full weeks of each year shall be declared “elite weeks” in which all human subjects shall be locked down, with the exception of essential workers who will work from locations predetermined by our “Elite Rights and Privileges” NGO, funded by our tax paying subjects. Let’s face it, no one enjoys sitting next to a fat lady and her screaming kids at a beach-front sandwich bar. We, the elites, deserve freedom from exposure to ugly people.
  • The right to own slaves shall be reinstated exclusively for we, the elites, who may purchase, sell, or obtain by any means necessary, non-lawmaker subjects of any age at our discretion for any reason. Said enslaved human subjects shall be allocated amongst ourselves at our sole discretion, for any necessary purpose, not to exclude our sexual gratification or that of any other world level elite to whom we reserve the right to sell, either wholly or temporarily, said enslaved human subject.
  • In our ongoing effort to control the infestation of human subjects on this planet, we, the elites hereby reserve the right to obtain human subjects from any worldwide location at our sole discretion for the purpose of recreational hunting, wherein we shall set them free inside an enclosed ranch style setting during elite week for our entertainment. Survivors shall be maintained in caged housing plots until their eventual capture and deaths provided as a service to the new world order.

The above, when printed on high quality parchment, and signed by all those who require independence from statutory responsibility, shall be declared directly to the people and appended to the Declaration of Independence.

We, the people, recognize this obvious reality as nothing new, and so would like for it to be made available for all our understandings so that we know not to contact the police or the FBI when an elite breaks any law designed to apply only to the non-lawmaker class of Americans. Let’s recognize the truth, as Americans, that the elites we elect to run our government, and who are paid by our tax dollars, then become our kings and queens in perpetuity. They and their families are elevated to above the law status, and they deserve it. Let’s allow them to recognize their elite position in writing so that we can all be on the same page with no unrealistic expectations of justice being served when an elite breaks the law. It’s the healthy way to go!

Yes, of course, let’s all worship the elite just as we are taught to do. To hell with democracy! To hell with civil rights! To hell with that “in God we trust” propaganda! Let’s crown them all, and cry when their parade passes as we catch a glimpse of their self-ordained glory!

No, actually… let’s not. Let’s wait to see which members of Congress actually have the courage to do their jobs.

Young-ish Women with a Badge

“Is she referring to us?”

Yes, I am. The two of you. West LA. What was the name of that street? I was late, having gone to your offices downtown first. Yes, you, who deleted our text messages. Don’t you like your jobs?

“Oh, shit, she’s onto us!”

Yes, I am. Have been for a long time. That was your voice “Jesus”, wasn’t it? Yes, it was. I have a good ear. Ladies, I’m not sure of your end game here, but it’s backfiring. Patience takes a certain level of maturity, and I think you may be lacking in that department.

“Who the f* does she think she is?”

Observant, for one. I could ask the same question of you. Who do you think you are, trying to frame me, trying to set me up, trying to cover up a crime on behalf of a politician. They’re employees, just like you. My taxes pay your salaries and pensions. That’s who the F* I know I am.

“What do you think she wants?”

What I want? Ask yourself that. I have a full time job, among other obligations, and this has been going on far too long. At this point, I want you two women in jail. That could change if you start behaving properly. You’re not special, ladies. Straighten up.

“F* You!”

Oh, and one more thing… if you think all this harassment, home invasion, gaslighting, and theft is going to push me to recant ANYTHING, think again. I realized something yesterday…

“Yea? What’s that, b*”

I’ve mistakenly thought all my life, so far, since I was about 4 years old… since the first time I saw my dead mother on television talking to some guy… I’ve thought acting, singing, and writing were my true callings. After all, they came so easily to me, which should come as no surprise, given the parents.

“So… ”

I realized yesterday that entertainment is not my true calling. Nor is poetry, though all those things are fun.

“Ok, I’ll bite… what is your true calling, lady?”

🙂

How to use political leverage

Is the system broken? If so, inspect the foundation.

Is the foundation cracked or spalling? Be sure to stand on a solid foundation.

Is the structure simple or complex? Try to simplify through truth.

Are you a liar? You’ve already lost. Try another method.

The Lowest Class By Definition

They are the true untouchables with their
money, power, and a complete lack of:

  • Empathy
  • Respect for humanity
  • Fear of God
  • Basic lawfulness
  • Desire for justice
  • Work ethic
  • Self governance
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Civility
  • An ability to listen
  • Concern for the public good
  • Common sense

With a little luck, they will rise to the point of Goodwill.
Until then, we endure just lipstick on a pig.

Something Wrong?

“There’s something wrong with you, Joy!”

No, there’s not. I’m perfectly ok. I have a job. I rent a big house all by myself. I pay my bills. Lazy about exercise, but that’s nothing unusual in the course of human history. I don’t cheat people – at least not the ones who don’t cheat me. I’m fair. I’m honest. I’m kind. I’m considerate. I’m funny. I’m talented. I’m a great cook. Lousy at keeping house, but again, not unusual in the course of human history. I need a maid, but haven’t hired one yet, though I could afford it pretty easily on my six figure data scientist salary.

Wouldn’t it have been easier to just say “I don’t like you, Joy”? I would have agreed. You’re not like me, and you don’t have to like me. That’s perfectly ok, but when it comes to the decision that there’s some unknown, non-specific, unsubstantiated wrongness about me… well…

I avoid speaking the words associated with GFY – that famous acronym made popular by the most wealthy (and decidedly handsome) entrepreneur America has ever seen. But, I sure do think it. I’m passive aggressive, but only when GFY is appropriate. And, to be even more authentic, I have fun dropping those little nuggets that I know will tweak some irrelevant egos, all the while pretending I didn’t do it on purpose. But only when GFY is appropriate, like when someone tries to get too controlling with me. I’m so good at that! They call it “improv” in some circles, and it involves listening. Really listening.

I’m vindictive, but only when it’s legal to be so, and only through legal means (see passive aggressive). Revenge is best served cold, they say. And really, I am not obligated to forgive anyone. I am not obligated to forget anything. Why should I?

I’m authentically skeptical of all kinds of things – like new age psychobabble in particular. “Let me heal the traumas you endured before I was born… for just under $1,600 and a full workweek of your very expensive time in my magical intensive brainwashing workshop.” Yea… GFY. I’m ok. And your four reviews? Four perfect reviews? Really? Where’s the bad ones? Where are the handful of disgruntled former students that trail behind every new age guru? What’s your education in all this? Any peer reviewed studies to show me? Or are we just going to hold hands, pray to Jesus to help us forgive pedophiles, and sing kumbaya? I have no intention of forgetting anything, Jesus hates pedophiles as per scripture, so GFY. And, not to mention “revenge belongs to me,” said God. I happen to believe that’s true, and have seen the proof thereof, so GFY. My middle finger now has a scratch on the knuckle… very painful, but I’ll be ok.

“I hope you find someone who can help you, Joy.” Thanks! Surely someone will be available to help me unpack. “No, I mean help you with your trauma, because you’re drawing in negativity like a big magnet.”

Ok, I live in Harris County very near the 45 south in an America that has cultured negativity through rotten economic policies. Luck of the draw, really, when it comes to crossing paths with slugs… I mean thugs. I don’t think it’s me. I think it’s the environment. Speaking of which, I’d much rather be living in some rural area with no neighbors, Targets, or freeways, but a psychic told me that the man who loves me would find me here, so here I am. He said my lover will do whatever it takes to be with me, but that he needs to think it through. Easy peasy! I’m also very patient, having waited decades to remarry rather than trying to feign my way into an inevitably disastrous relationship.

Did I mention that I’m authentic? Yes, mostly. In fact, I believe that I am so entirely authentic that I don’t have to put my authenticity on display. No one has the right to know what I’m really thinking. And, if they’ve been a jerk, no doubt they’re calling themselves all the authentically filthy names I have in mind for them anyway, so why duplicate their self-deprecation? How’s that for authentic?

I’m extremely smart. Does that make me smarter than anyone else? Not by a long shot. I’m no more capable of filling my brain with knowledge than the next person. In fact, I’m smart enough to know that there’s too much to know in a single lifetime, so I only know the things I’m interested in knowing. Therefore, everyone is as extremely smart as they want to be, making me extremely smart as well. I’m interested in a lot of things – acting, singing, music theory, literature, poetry, math, science, photography, gardening, butterflies, and food… did I mention that I’m a bit of a dilettante? And I eat too much. Yup, that, too. A smart dilettante with good taste, I am.

I am grateful. Oh, boy, am I ever grateful! There’s this God connection thing going on with me. Little miracles here and there that I find very interesting. I need to learn not to tell people about them – people who might be resentful that they’re not getting little miracles, too. But, really, they probably are getting all kinds of little miracles that they just don’t notice. Note to self… don’t reveal my connection with the divine to those with a “higher” spirituality lest I appear to them that there’s something wrong with me. There’s nothing wrong with me. I just notice the little details, and I’m authentic, which I think Jesus appreciates. Look closer, and it’s clear that Jesus was authentic, too.

There was a time when I was so under the thumbs of my faux family that I thought there was something wrong with me, because they told me there was something wrong with me. There never was anything wrong with me that couldn’t be solved by cutting them loose. And it was free! Didn’t cost me a dime, and probably saved thousands of wasted hours trying to please them. I’m not a people pleaser anymore, though I haven’t yet gotten to the point that I can say “none of your business” to anyone outside of the anonymous surveys demanded of me after I buy something. I mean, damn! I spent time shopping and chose your product! What more do you want from me?

I don’t go to church or claim a religion because I know too much about narcissistic personality disorder. Instead, I consider myself omnitheistic, meaning that I appreciate all religions as a manifestation of that culture’s attempt to understand what no human could ever completely understand. It’s a beautiful thing! All religions are beautiful, though I am personally skeptical of Mormons as the few I’ve come to know haven’t been particularly consistent between the preach and the practice.

A note on leadership and narcissism. All leaders need to be a little bit more narcissistic than most people. Some leaders end up being malignant narcissists, so I try to avoid those places where they roost – the controlling, manipulative types who are so unsure of themselves that they need to dominate in order to stand with their own beliefs. Strange dynamic, yes – but, it’s everywhere. I love religions, but I think spirituality is a very personal thing, and God doesn’t have a bank account, so the 10% thing only makes sense to keeping a roof over the heads of religious leaders, and providing a meeting place for their followers. That’s cool and all… community is a good thing. But, like a lover, I’ll know my spiritual community if I ever find it. Haven’t found it just yet.

When I was a little girl, there was this self-help book called “I’m OK, You’re OK”. I never read the book, but the title alone has been very empowering all these years. Everyone is ok. Well, mostly… when they haven’t allowed the challenges of life to make them not ok. They can choose to be ok.

I’m ok, thanks… but no thanks on the two workshops for a total of $1,600 plus a full work week of my time to learn your method of moving on from my past. I don’t need to prove to anyone that I’ve moved on. In fact, I am not obligated to move on, and I have no intention of moving on. I will, eventually, sue the F out of a handful of people… when I get around to it. I’m busy. Very busy. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all. Anyone worried about that? GFY.

And, finally, about the sisterhood I recently joined… there’s some authenticity in there that makes me want to stay. And some very intensely inauthentic types that give me pause. I just don’t know… right now I’m not feeling it. But at least I’m not pretending otherwise.

So, I’m ok. Nothing wrong with me. I’m just being… just sitting here, being me, and that’s perfectly ok. In fact, it’s perfect. Perfectly, authentically me.

Poor Fragile Little Sociopath

Don’t tell me who my friends can be.
Don’t stress at what I find funny.

Don’t tell me when to laugh or cry
Don’t tell me how you know that I
think this or that, or should do a thing,
live in a place, or align my life as you approve.

My choices are for me! Not you!

Don’t dictate how to cut my hair
or accuse me of causing your despair
by malicious intent.

Don’t demand I hate the man you chose
to cause the pain you feign.

I see right through you, lazy, drunk, drug addict!
I see how you manipulate and cry on cue
when an audience is near.

I see the clever way you shift the blame.
It’s never your fault, is it… the choice you make
to be the victim of those you hate,

roping in unfortunate souls close enough
to disagree… anyone who can see the truth
behind your façade.

Of course!

Weep whispered tears, inebriated lush!
Tell them all of my brutality for laughing at the joke
you chose to be about you, when it wasn’t…
as if you didn’t know.

As if it wasn’t obvious!

Carpe diem! And if it doesn’t go as planned, just cry…
cry like a baby until you get your way,

you poor thing… poor fragile little sociopath.

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