Smiles… not that Bri and I are competitive— or love wins— hahah
But we thought it would be cool to have our own little joust here at dVerse where we put on the armor, grab the shield and lance, get on our horses and into a little (friendly) fight where we all can show off our skillz and entertain you a bit… smiles

So each of us selected a poem and we ask you to grab one line, either of Bri’s or my poem and write your own poem, based on the line you chose.

Here are the poems…

if i stay —
(by Brian Miller)

The boy working the register is dying
you have to be quick
to catch it

the skin etches one molecule at a time
& the cracks in our mask move with us
keeping illusions complete

he doesn’t
know this

as he makes change
a chip inside computes
& even tells him how much of each denomination
he should give back

we’ve lost our capacity
to count

& he’s too young
to understand all we go through
to find ourselves

in his line,
surrounded by news
of our modern gods — relationship
statuses, paternity tests
& impulse buys—

check your breath
you might need a mint—

one day the paint becomes too heavy
for the wall, when you cover it up
so often

“have a good day.”

“you too.”

& the receipt he hands me
crumples between my fingers & palm
into a small world

i discard in the can by the door

i need no reminder
the cost.


sketching on Portobello Road//the clock//is body-less
(by Claudia Schönfeld)

time’s measured in a thin line on a cat’s back
we sit on the floor//sketching on location

“what’s the difference?” she asks
“you could take a photo, draw at home–“

“it is not the same” he says
“on the street you’re in the middle of emotions, touch
temperature/the energy& tiredness,
& you will sense it later in the sketch–“

grapes of people in the midday heat
hunting between market stalls
fresh cooked food
from different nations, fruit and vegetables
we put ink to paper
spilling color washes from a box placed
on the lap/floor,

time stands still

tick //TocK//tiCk

some curious little kids check on our sketchbooks
“can i take a photo?” asks a chinese guy
we’re chasing lines//laughing//joking
with traders

later we will cross
tower bridge into the night
searching for cracks on boardwalks

toward midnight i walk up a plushy stairway
in an old house in the very heart of things
and cannot find my door
the cat grins

“i can’t remember” i say
&she purrs, a friendly smile upon her face
i try the first //psssshhh
second // a blond, russian girl appears
“sorry” i say “i can’t find my room”
“oh, it’s this one– round the corner”
she points sleepily

&that is where i lie
half-awake all night,
listening to the music//voices on the streets
the city’s scent
the waitress’ smile with meth-foul teeth,
my bridge

tick //TocK//tick
&time stands still
a stranger in the corner
with a piece of minty chocolate
on her lips


So get your armors&shields polished and pens going. Will it be Team Brian or Team Claudia — we’ll see you back here when Mr. Linky goes up at 3pm EST…