May 13, 2021

"If I Were Police Commissioner"
I've thought quite a bit about the ramifications of municipalities negotiating contracts with so-called police unions. These associations consistently put Black, Indigenous, and other non-white people in danger by protecting racist officers, advocating reinstatement of criminal cops removed for cause, and fighting even miniscule reforms through lobbying and lawsuits.

But, one only negotiates a contract if one cares whether or not anyone else signs it. Otherwise, one writes the contract to meet specific needs and others have the option of signing. Or not. I outline key points of a contract that I believe could result in meaningful reform and a police force that actually served and protected all citizens of any municipality in "If I Were Police Commissioner" on The Big Smoke.

"Dinosaur" wins Third Place

When inspiration to write poetry about nature strikes, I tend to use short forms. In those particular poems, I capture an image, a sound, a brief moment in time. In order not to risk losing the Muse's gift, I record the sensory information before I attempt to figure out what form works for the words.

Years ago, I stumbled across a series of blog posts (NSFW) discussing various poetry forms by creative writing instructor Dr Ashley R Lister. I saved them all and refer to them when figuring out which form works for the descriptions I capture. For example, I discovered a Spanish form, shadorma, through his blog and six of those have since been published.

One of my more recent inspirations didn't fit any of the forms I use most often, so I went to the list and discovered this particular poem wanted to be a nonet. Less than two months after completing my very first nonet, I learned it placed third in the inaugural Cripendy Contest. It will be published next month by The Handy, Uncapped Pen, a blog/community for disabled and neurodivergent creatives.