Category Archives: The 3:15 Experiment

August 3:15 2008 Entries Done! Now on to 2009…

I FINALLY finished typing up my 2008 August 3:15 Poems.Woo-hoo!

They were primarily about my stress level that year, writing/producing/directing a low-budget TV show for a boss who loved to bully, ruled by fear, worked people to the bone and spat them out.

But the final entry was different b/c I managed to get out of town for a wedding. So, at least the series ends on a positive note.

August 31, 2008

Nisqually Lodge, Ashford, WA

Oh noble neon abalone*
I am deep in the woods
I have escaped the drum and hum of
the big city and its machine
taken away to a wedding party a
festival of creative minds a reminder of what
my life was like before it was consumed

The monkey is now back inside
my heart not wrenching mind with
chatter to do hub bub    baloo

I am among friends and wine and roast
lamb on a spit     disco ball   little girls in
velvet dresses     baked apples w/a cherry on top
Bosnian mother astrologer godmother circus
ringleader pyrotechnic acrobat all playing in
the yurt w/ DJ wedding cake and 4 pregnant
bridesmaids   Amen   Hallelujah

I did have a former life, it wasn’t a dream
there is a home to come home to
what matters what matters is there
peace it together, baby
don’t forget     the labyrinth
of stones gathers moss     the tree
accepts hugs

*a reference to poet Lee Ann Brown from a present beau I wrote for her years ago (which is a poem formed using only the letters found in the person’s name)

The 3:15 Experiment is an annual collaboration of poets, waking each morning at 3:15 AM during the month of August to write.

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from August 3:15 2008

I was cruising Art Predator’s blog (highly recommended as a worthy distraction) and was inspired by THIS ENTRY of one of the poems she wrote for last year’s 3:15 Experiment.

I grew DETERMINED to get the rest of my 2008 and 2009 3:15 poems typed up and logged on the the official 3:15 site!!!

As I was doing so, I came across this little goodie from Aug 2008. I don’t recall writing it, I don’t recall if it’s from a dream or a TV show or a conversation. I just thought it was really cool.

3:15 AM
August 25, 2008

pulling 3 monsters in a red wagon
no one knows how she found them
dead or how they were placed   she
was all grins    speechless but sparkling
we take her in     traumatized she speaks
not for 13 years

one day she is looking out the window
like a cat she has always been
cat-like      she turns and asks
what’s for lunch?   and
who is T.S. Elliot?
her afternoons measured     out
like spoons               her words
ring silvery in the living room
we pretend not to be shocked at
her sudden vocalization
egg salad we say
famous poet we say

she turns back to the window
I prefer tuna

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August 11, 2009 – 3:15 – Seattle, WA

I’ve been typing up my 3:15 poems from this year (uh, even though I haven’t even finished typing up the ones from LAST year…) and this one is my favourite so far. If you don’t know what the 3:15 Experiment is, check out our FACEBOOK group or check out the Poets sharing their work on the 3:15 Experiment site.

August 11

Seattle, WA

I bet          no one but insanity
knows what it’s like to run amok
Big eyes from the galaxy     upon
him, ghosts from     the recent
past.

If all our moments came back
to haunt us,     where would
they sleep?
Moments moping under the
accelerator, biding time in the kitchen
recipe for repetition
undisciplined action

Spectators
They think the only direction
to go is up.     Could be
right, so late in the game
But she’s not taking
any chances.  All edible agents
are drawn and quartered, distributed
w/out much fanfare.
placing the lower quarter of an
idea in his mouth, he declared
all originality sin.

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August 14, 2009 – 3:15 (Vancouver, BC)

At some point in the month, I always start falling back to sleep before writing anything… then waking up and writing at whatever time it happens to be. This happens to everyone. Just keep writing if it does.

This one was more like a 5:15 poem.

Alas     sleep has kidnapped
my night     at least
I’m well fed
you have great waking skills
tumbling     waiting for
alarm     the sound of
shapes calling
shapes breaking morning
to father the day

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3:15 AM – August 8, 2009

I decided to share this 3:15 Experiment poem not because its one of my favourites or for its fine literary quality, but because it is such 3:15 language… that and I don’t remember writing it!

I remember writing, I recall my hand moving by some force, but I don’t recall any of these words (and some I’ve had to interpret as they were illegible), where they came from, or to what they were referring – other than the fact that my husband went bike-camping on Mayne Island and saw views of islands.

This is something that continually fascinates me about the experiment, that I could actually physically write, but not be conscious while doing it.

August, 8, 2009
Vancouver, BC

I have frozen in this
finite heat.  the islands,
the islands have mass and must wait.
temptation.  the islands have both the
call and response.  we were there.
come.

Witnesses may always refuse –
then we’re stuck hungrily
hiring the land.

I started on land & ended on air
I swallowed the clues
ingested     as my own DNA

The island lines up
my timing near-perfect

Bring her in.  Bring them
all in.
time for a game
a test of time.

milquetoast

The pieces are mulled over
the den gone.  Civilized votes any
confidence
a circular witness : a time beast

The water comes.  The room is
occupied.  We have the presence
of salt to slow them down.

And eyes on the backs
of our heads.

My favourite thing about it is the random word “milquetoast” that appears in the middle of the poem. In my journal I had started a new page and written that at the top, then drew a line underneath it.

You can still JOIN in the madness… there are 20 days left to participate in the 3:15 Experiment.

The 2nd Official 3:15 Experiment Anthology

The 2nd Official 3:15 Experiment Anthology

HOW TO DO THE 3:15 EXPERIMENT:

* Begin at 3:15 AM on August 1st (so set your alarms on JULY 31) . Continue each day until August 31.
* You may write any length, style, form, content, voice, rhythm, etc.
* DO NOT EDIT your work. This is raw stuff, baby. That’s part of the experiment. You are welcome to edit, collage, break apart the poems later for whatever purpose you choose, but please SHARE THE RAW STUFF with the rest of the group here or on the website once the experiment is over.
* (Optional) Do not read what you have written until the month is over, except to skim the work to make sure everything is legible.

TIPS: Do not use a felt tip pen unless you don’t care about ink stains on your bed. Many a poet has fallen asleep in the middle of writing. If you can help it, don’t even get out of bed! The point is to ride that dream state, that precarious point between sleeping and waking and sleeping.

(This is the first year I have broken the “optional” rule and shared poems during the month. )

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from 3:15 – August 1

This year was a first in all my years of participating in The 3:15 Experiment… I spent the wee hours of the first day of the experiment in the hostpital. Nothing serious, but I didn’t get back home until 2:30 AM, so had just gotten to bed when 3:15 AM hit:

August 1, 2009
3:15 AM Vancouver, BC

Awake at 3:15 this is not
how I wanted to start how I
wanted to feel     infected
3 hours in the emergency room
for a box of penicillin.  the bent ear
the booby-trapped chair.  two
nonagenarians. one forgetful
and the other deaf. she told
the same stories every hour    he
couldn’t hear so he repeated them
every hour    every our     repeated

what island, dear? How many
times have we gone to Cuba?
What is that sport our grandson plays?
That’s how I’d like my taxes spent.
Lousy Americans did wrong by Cuba.

our cat should have been in the
hospital – he had heat stroke
and child protection services took
Sally Anne away. screaming.
Bipolar lies kidnapped possessions
waiting room after hours a
midnight ride.

You can still join the Experiment. Feel free to JUMP IN at any time…

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Pick a Challenge, any Challenge

August is a fine time to work your creative mojo. Everyone’s doing it! And they’re doing it in the form of challenges and experiments. Below are a few that I recommend.

Please let me know if there are any more out there in the coming month/s and I’ll add them to the list.

The 3:15 Experiment

Anyone who follows my blog with any regularity knows that I participate in the annual 3:15 Experiment every year. Basically, a shifting menagerie of poets (and prose writers, actually) wakes up at 3:15 AM EACH morning during the month of August and writes. Our goal is to write while riding a 1/2 dream state. Magic happens. We have a Facebook Group now. Join us.

August Postcard Poetry Fest

Started by Paul Nelson and Lana Ayers, the Postcard Poetry Fest challenges you to send 31 postcard poems, one for each day of August. They START it NOW if you’d like to participate… and I’m not sure you still can, but you can go to their website or FACEBOOK group and ask.

The rules say that on July 27th (tomorrow!), you write an original poem right on a postcard and mail it to the person on the list below your name. Starting on August 1st, ideally in response to a card YOU receive, keep writing a poem a day on a postcard and mailing it to successive folks on the list until you’ve sent out 31 postcards. I’ve never participated but some year I think I’ll write my 3:15 poems on postcards. That would be fun.

10 shorts in 10 days

This is a little invention of my friend Tod McCoy and myself. It happens irregularly (whenever we feel like lighting a fire under our butts). We write either 10 short films or 10 pieces of micro fiction in 10 days. This August we’re writing short scripts. Anyone out there is welcome to join us. There is no official website and no official place to post them, although if you’d like to post them on your blog and send us a link, that’d be swell.

We’re starting on AUGUST 10 and running until August 19. The rules are simple: Write a short script (or story) per day. Badda bing, badda boom. In the past our short scripts have run about 3-6 pages (in standard format). If you wonder what I mean by micro fiction, check out any one of my 56 Flavours stories, most of which were written during a 10 day challenge.

The 3-Day Novel Contest

This contest has been running for 30 years. It wins. I’ve only participated once, but had a blast doing it. Some day I’ll dig out the novel and rewrite it. It happens over Labour Day weekend (Sept 5-7 this year). They also have a Facebook page. If you want to officially participate, and for a chance at fame and fortune, you have to register, which involves $50. If you just want the challenge of trying something new and don’t care about official registration, I suggest forming a group and holing up somewhere in a 24 hour coffee shop together. Oh, yeah, the object is to write a novel in 3 days.

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Filed under Calls for Submission, Collaborations, contests, flash fiction, inspirational poop, poetry, serious play, The 3:15 Experiment, writing exercises