Publication Announcement: Waking Up – Part 5

Deidre faces her mother in Waking Up – Part 5.

To read parts 1-4, visit my author page here.

**Content Warning:** This story contains depictions of and allusions to the abuse of vulnerable populations, such as those with disabilities, LGBTQA+, and children of abusive parents, and may contain content that some may find disturbing. Reader discretion is advised.

Remember where your happy place is!

The Poetry Of Jordan Pace

I’m excited to share and feature 4 poems by Jordan Pace. You may know him by his Twitter or his new book Perfectly Imperfect. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jordan as a fellow author in the Writing Community and through Coffee House Writers. I love these poems, and found myself paying special attention to A Serpent’s Kiss as I broke down the complete experiences described. That said, I’m going to save my personal interpretation of each poem and what I took away from it until after. Without further ado, let’s begin.


Tasteless Coffee

We sat side by side
It felt as if we were miles apart.
Our cups dangled
With our feet;
We watched as waves crashed against walls.
We talked for hours,
Our words felt like whispers
Was he hiding something?
I couldn’t tell
The breeze so strong
The faint smell of salt air
Losing my reason to care
I leaned forward, my full intention to fall
He caught me, his cup staring with an inviting glare
I arrived at it,
A feeling of curiosity washing over me
Why does his coffee have no flavor?
I look back again
I wonder
When did this space get so empty?
Who was I talking to all this time?


The waterside imagery steals me away and I, too, am sitting on that retaining wall, feeling detached from the person I am with – wondering if I knew them this whole time. The metaphor of time and conversation to waves eroding the relationship and details of the scene overtime hits me in a soft underbelly place I haven’t thought about in a while.


A Serpent’s Kiss

Lonely,
I am fine,
quiet inside.
a war rages on the other side.
there are cracks in my armor,
No perfect men wear armor.
You,
My imperfection,
a variable I cannot account for.
Your slithering, salty, sinking words burrow into me,
like a bullet lodged in a dead man’s chest
A bullet Cannot be pulled out without care.
I keep it there.
Holding fast to what remains of you,
unaware of its effects.
I see you in places you did not exist, a bad dream fades into reality.
As I lay on the bed,
there is nothing left to say.
I knew the risk and how it would end.
You watch over me, a serpent’s gaze.
Has the poison taken effect?


The narrator first begins with a self assessment – he is an imperfect man: a perfect man would need no armor. Worse yet, his armor has cracks that left him vulnerable to abuse in this mind trick of self blame.

As the narrator continues to describe this ex-abuser as a venomous snake, it becomes obvious how appropriate the comparison is. Some relationships are toxic like venom, leaving lasting wounds in the form of trauma. He holding it both intentionally and against his will.

But the narrator in the poem suffers the lasting effects of the relationship even if everything seems quiet on the surface. The lasting trauma is described as a “bullet lodged in a dead man’s chest” implying the depth of despair and destruction felt surrounding the trauma.

The last 3 lines may be the most impacting. “I knew the risk and how it would end.” The narrator describes the gut feeling paired with the inability to resist the relationship. It could be argued that with the comparison of the ex to a serpent, the narrator was hypnotized. “You watch over me, a serpent’s gaze.” The last line closes the poem with the hardest question of all – that of intent. “Has the poison taken effect?” Did the abuser intend this all along? Is this what they wanted?


Excuse me

Excuse me,
baby, I’m tired, your hips swing with energy to light my world for eons. Excuse my language,
But I think you’re a dime,
a definite “jack of all trades” when it comes to working
Excuse me for entering your life,
Then exiting, by mistake


Apologetically, there are short lived relationships that can feel bought or traded. The narrator then mentions leaving unintentionally, apologetically, even though there is nothing wrong with the other party. There are many layers of guilt here.


I WAS CREATED TO BE YOU

You cannot relate
to my pain-
molded by fires, created
through some ultimate desire.
A mold,
I was left to fill your desires
and when it did not work,
I was told to simply
“get over it.” My world
is torn asunder; my life
unraveled.

Years of work and effort made
to seem like less than
the step forward it truly was.

All because it didn’t work
for you? Was I never considered
in your equation? Was I even ever
a variable?

Lots of these things,
I will never, ever know,
but one thing’s for sure:
I may have to spend the rest
of my life defining myself.


To me, this poem screams of the struggles of the effects of a narcissistic relationship. I interpreted this as a parent-child relationship and what I call “bonsai children”. Bonsai children grow up with parents who carefully shape and mold every aspect of their lives so they are more like ornaments to benefit the parent more than individuals.


About Jordan Pace

Jordan Pace’s book Perfectly Imperfect is available for purchase here in paperback and on kindle. You can keep up with their writing on Coffee House Writers here. To keep most up to date, you can follow them on Twitter.

What did you think of these interpretations? Do you agree? Disagree? Did you find different meaning that I didn’t find? Let me know in the comments! Do you want to see more of these posts? Let me know by liking this post or commenting below.

As always, thank you for reading. Remember to keep supporting artists and authors during these crazy times.

So… Where am I? What’s Next?

Update: 11 May 2020

I’ve been trying to write this update for days. Every time I get a chance to sit down at the computer to try to write it I am called away from the computer because life is hectic for everyone right now. I finally wrote the first draft using my phone and many days later this is finally posted.

I had to take a step back for a bit. I have a box of books and I’m going to focus all review related efforts on until further notice. My schedule for 2020 has been taken down for this reason. Once I have figured it back out I will post a new, revised schedule.

I’m not accepting any new book submissions officially until I have 2021’s structure figured out – I’m working on getting that up. I am working on updating the website to reflect this as well.

I’m sorry to anyone whose books I haven’t ordered yet or hadn’t received yet. Though your book is not here, your books are next. I will be prioritizing books as I receive them and working through them as I have the energy.

Contest Updates

Later this month I will be posting the winning story from the writing contest. The winner is LHWesterlund. She wrote this awesome piece that I can’t wait for everyone to read 🙂

Writing Updates

What else is going on? I’m writing short stories. If I work my butt off I might finish 2 WIPs by end of 2020 instead of only 1. Woo! As always, check out my work over at Coffee House Writers. I have a serial going called ”Waking Up” currently discussing the main character waking up from a coma. The main character has to piece back together who they are, but nothing they’re being told is adding up. Check out: part 1 | part 2 | part 3

What Should You Expect?

  1. I’m going to start writing more often, possibly daily. These may be in the form of short blog style posts for my own sanity. You will see a new category called “Personal Blog”
  2. I will be trying to get back on track with the book reviews
  3. You will see a new category pop up for “Works By Guest Authors” – this will be where you can expect to see writing contest winners’ works.

Thank you for reading. Without you this would be words sent out into the void.

Short Story And A Few Additional Announcements

New Short Story

We’re back with a new short story: Part 2 of “Waking Up”, titled “On The Third Day.”

I would love to hear feedback on what impressions are on the story so far. At this time I’m trying to mimic memory, awareness, and the cognizance during the recovery process with the length of each new part. If this isn’t working I should know.

Let’s be clear: recovery from being in a coma and brain injuries is a very long process. I’m trying to recreate that for the reader.

Writer’s Block Challenge Update

Writer’s whose works are selected to be placed on the site will receive t-shirts of their choice from the selection of Bonfire t-shirts I made. When submitting your short stories please remember to include your t-shirt size and preference with your random number for the winner announcement on Twitter and the website.

Book Giveaways!

There are 4 book giveaways coming up. Each giveaway includes 2 books that have been selected and paired from our family library. The opportunities to win these will be announced over the next couple days relating to a treasure map challenge that will be cross posted on a friend and fellow author’s blog 🙂 Stay tuned!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy 🙂