Tag Archives: The 3:15 Experiment

Monday Potes: more 3:15ness

More middle-of-the-night workings from this year’s 3:15 Experiment

Aug 3, 2010
Vancouver, BC

measuring the good people of the universe
their birth    their celestial footprint

when she left she became star dust
arriving to see the aftershock
travelling unladen     as a dying wish

we sped past the farmlands
what’s left of them in the urban creep
fresh blueberries blocks from the highway the
super highway the burning desire

sun stroke us down     past the islands
ferry hopping                        past the passengers
en route from their holiday
get away     gotten     the stars      we too
become star dust     memories
it is the only thing to become
when all
is said and done

make me a shooting star
spotted by farmers across the galaxy
looking up after toil     after burn
let me burn up    burn out
light the way

Leave a comment

Filed under monday poetry thang, poetry, The 3:15 Experiment

Monday Potes: 3:15 Rides Again

I JUST finished typing up my 3:15 poems from this August. This may be a record for me. Usually I finish a few months before the next round.

What was so amazing, though, is I barely remember writing the last several poems. As well, as the month went on I obviously had a harder and harder time staying awake (the writing grew barely legible) and the work got a bit more surreal.

Below is one of my favourite poems from the month. I remember I was reading a dystopian novel at the time where they couldn’t see stars. Stars were the stuff of myths. So, without stars, what would poets compare their lover’s eyes to?

Aug 20, 2010 – 3:15 AM
Vancouver, BC

without the stars the life of us
is a very lonely place of singular
miracles spiders without wings but webs
birds without webs but songs     a gravitational
kingdom     a jungle-gym dictionary
cats without scales but purrs and claws
seahorses without fur but delicate curls
you without me but lost me without you
but dreaming without windows
sunshine and sunflowers even a moon
even without the stars your eyes
could be compared to sea
shine to dew on glass
to two moons were there
such a thing without the stars
less poetry about the stars
without stars just vastness
chilly witness    irritable reality
oh stars oh light
oh look the stars are like
your eyes


Filed under poetry, The 3:15 Experiment, truth and beauty, writing exercises

Gwendolyn Alley’s Middle of the Night Poems

I know I’m not the only one who has been urging Gwendolyn Alley to publish a collection of her poems. And now she has done it, created a moving story, over years of participating in the 3:15 Experiment, with this collection of poems from the middle of the night for her mother and young son.

I met Gwendolyn at the Taos Poetry Circus in 2000. At that time, The 3:15 Experiment had been running for 7 years and had been growing each year. The Taos Poetry Circus became and annual trek for both of us, and she became part of the cycle of experimenters.

Gwendolyn’s unflagging enthusiasm and dedication drew us closer together and she became one of our core “cognizanti” – co-editing the between sleeps 3:15 anthology and hosting a 3:15 Fiesta in Ventura in 2006. She was a natural addition to our core group, as she has a knack for bringing people together, artists in particular, for a common and higher purpose.

Gwendolyn has done so much for poetry and poets: organizing events, editing the work of writers, encouraging and mentoring writers. It’s about time we celebrate her work.

This collection is available now in limited run chapbook form from en theos press. A printed book will also be available later in the year.

For poets, for mothers, for those who marvel at our connectedness.

READ MORE about Gwendolyn and the “Middle of the Night” launch.

From “Middle of the Night Poems from Daughter to Mother :: Mother to Son”

August 1, 2003

it’s 315 time again
i go to lie on my side to write
but the baby is there
i can’t lie on the baby
it’s like lying on a watermelon
large and hard

the baby sleeps right now
no movement–i’m awkward
trying to find a way
to comfortably write i’m strained
as constrained as the baby at 29 weeks
we are alike today in that way
both trying to get comfortable
to get some sleep
the baby can see light
a red glow seeps through my belly
can hear sound but probably not
the crickets outside or
daddy making his going to sleep sigh
hmm mmm mmmm he says

the notebook too is pregnant
uncomfortable it doesn’t
want to open to bend back
to receive anymore
it too is slightly bent
out of shape its spirals
damaged well traveled but
empty of much writing

as i slide down scoot down
slip down off my pillows
losing my great grip on my place
the angle of the pen
the lightness of the ink
indicates betrays its discomfort
the pen is pregnant too
pregnant with poems with desire
to be a useful tool
yet more than a tool of transmission
a tool of transformation
i too am that tool
one of transmission of transformation
the baby in my belly
the pen in my hand

Also known as The Art Predator: you can visit Gwen’s very active blog at: artpredator.wordpress.com

For writing advice, personal or business, visit her at The Write Alley: thewritealley.com


Filed under on my bookshelf, poetry, random poop, The 3:15 Experiment, truth and beauty

Monday Potes: from 3:15

From this year’s experiment. This is the first 3:15 poem I’ve ever written from a hospital room. I had to take my husband in one night. (He’s fine, btw. He had a nasty virus.)

Aug 4, 2010

Vancouver General Hospital
Vancouver, BC

the moon is red
like a sci-fi planet
surreal in the night
out the emergency taxi window
three cats to the wind
then all windows vanish and replace
themselves w/white hum
disembodied voices test for cures
charts mark the anaesthetic blocks
to your hands and feet
you’re the patient under the sheet
you have a fever of 101˚
you ask if you are dead
not yet
on the TV a man kills
8 in Connecticut but you
are safe for one more red moon
rise             more red blood sun
the plasma rays reach out
touch earth skin
heat it like your neck
fevered and quiet
except for the occasional
moan                   what’s the occasion?
lying in a hospital bed
the familiar feeling of
a body breaking down
its limits
cosmic and uncertain


Filed under monday poetry thang, poetry, The 3:15 Experiment, writing exercises

Fragments at 3:15

17 more days until the 2010 3:15 Experiment begins!

Every year you think it may be the last, but you can’t help yourself. You must write. It’s like playing the same numbers on a lottery ticket each week. That poetic gold may come. You succumb. You buy a magic journal and pen. You set your alarm. You are a 3:15 warrior.

This year I know is gonna be awesome. I can just feel it in me bones.

I JUST finished typing up all my entries from last year and I pulled out a few fragments to share. The logic and wisdom of 3:15 half-dreamness. It never gets old.

from 3:15

it’s too hot to jump through hoops and
dog biscuits make more sense than

~ ~ ~

dream saboteurs keep me locked in an
office of noncommitment


the Doctor says make happy
before you fall asleep    make a
subconscious stew of feelings
of peace and love                I thought
this is me in my happy place
and still guns pointed at me
as if my blood would stop

a war


I bet          no one but insanity

knows what it’s like to run amok


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


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.


drawings that are purposeful
that show the ring to royalty
and unobstructed lustre offsets
become angles of the revolution


don’t go into the light I’ve decided,

no, no, stay right here   eat
sausage w/lentil soup.   be at
the poker game, mind games, keep
your mind bending     it’s exercise
stupid, this thinking.   buy
gas masks.  visit Hawaii.  Look for
a private island to return to, or live
in peace.     Go north.    Kick a
snowman.  brush your teeth.


what to do with a husband
what to do with fondue


everyone dressed to the nines
except me
about six-and-a-half.


my details like dust    mingle    in space
every time I look out now     I see space
I see us in it     hurtling     around the
sun     centripetal force     and here I am
a universe of universes     talking
to you     my random formations
hurtling     in their proper places
around the sun     all of us     me too.


I am a triangle maiden
mother crone (w/out the
mother) a childless triangle
an escape artist
put your love in a box
in a window     on the curb

Chalk on sidewalk
hopscotch     come home

I almost flew away
I could have if
I had enough speed

you can’t roll a triangle
you can’t plant
a triangle seed.


The 3:15 Experiment has a FACEBOOK PAGE. Check out the participants, cheer each other on, get the best advice from old hats, chew some 3:15 fat.


Filed under poetry, The 3:15 Experiment, writing exercises

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under poetry, The 3:15 Experiment

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


Filed under Collaborations, funny poop, poetry, The 3:15 Experiment

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

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

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.


Filed under Collaborations, poetry, The 3:15 Experiment, writing exercises

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.

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.


The pieces are mulled over
the den gone.  Civilized votes any
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


* 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. )


Filed under poetry, The 3:15 Experiment, writing exercises

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…


Filed under poetry, The 3:15 Experiment