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Meet Writer C. J. Prince

Originally posted on shannon p. laws | writer:


C.J. Prince, Author and Poet

The first thing I thought when I met C. J. about two years ago was “Who are you and how do I get to know you more?”  Love at first sight you might say.  Her colorful personality, bubbling energy and big smile are completely addicting.

This August she released her new poetry book “Mother, May I”.   Reviews are already out:

“A brilliant, intricately woven rendition of stigmas, family rules, love and pain that stains the soul.”  ~Una Bruhns, Poet, Creative Writer, Vancouver, BC, Canada

“…In this autobiographical collection abounding in images from BB guns to drowned kittens, the shadow cast by her mother, “born too early for the age of Aquarius,” inhabits the pages either as a bodily presence, a memory, or as a ghost who is “not here” but “everywhere…” ~Paul Fisher, Bellingham, Washington, author of Rumors of Shore


Congratulations on the release of…

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By cjprinceauthor


There was a nip of fall in the air.  Three golden leaves fell at my feet as I walked to the Community Center for the first ever Creekside Open Mic in Sudden Valley.  Too soon, says one.  Oh, for rain, sighs another.  Seasons change as something new begins.

Carol McMillan, poet and author, conceived of the idea and in the next moment it was happening.  Many poets drove from Bellingham to perform, including Elizabeth Cardarelli, Sam Bouic and Jim Milstead.  Local poets included yours truly.  Laurel Leigh performed a riveting short story.  Sudden Valley residents turned out with enthusiasm.

Creekside Open Mic will meet the third Wednesday of the month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

By cjprinceauthor

Writing Solo, Publishing with the village.


 Peachy Prince

The Muse swirls in, her rainbow scarfs shimmering.  

She whispers and is gone.  Catch it if I can.

That’s the solo part of writing.  The inhaling of words, the exhaling through the pen.

Collecting them, reading them, refining them, that all begins to engage the village.

Once I decide to publish some of the poems, I am helpless without the assistance

of others.  I am so grateful to all who helped me launch “Mother, May I?”

By cjprinceauthor

What do you See through Your Mask? 4/27/14

NaPoWriMo PROMPT:  And now for our prompt! Our early-bird prompt this year (on March 31) was an ekphrastic poem. This is something similar — a poem written from a photograph. There are four below, one of which I hope will catch your fancy. But if you’ve a particular photo in mind that you’d like to use, go right ahead. Happy writing!



What do you see through Your Mask?

It does’t look like a haunted house.

The bunny statue peeks

o’er varigated leaves, innocent

as the field pumpkin;  flowers

bloom in the well trimmed garden.


A seated skelton is only a prop, a seasonal

gag collecting dust in the closet

eleven months of the year, now

not even scaring kids

who trick or treat

to gobble candy

that will make them bones

before their day.


This neighborhood house

seems safe and warm,

not a place where walls tremble

or a single book falls

from a tightly wedged shelf,

not a haunted house.

Beware what looks safe,

My pretties.


C.J. Prince


By cjprinceauthor

River of Syrup: a homophonic translation April 23, 2014


Today’s prompt (optional, as always), is an oldie-but-a-goodie: the homophonic translation. Find a poem in a language you don’t know, and translate it into English based on the look of the words and their sounds. For example, here are three lines from a poem by the Serbian poet Vasko Popa:

Posle radnog vremena
Radnici su umorni
Jedva cekaju da stignu u barake

I might translate this into English as

Post-grad eggnog, ramen noodles.
Nikki in the morning,
jacket just stuck with brakes.

That doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it does give me some new words and ideas to play with. 


I selected an Urdu poem by Noor ka Noor, a rather long poem, and “translated” by sound the first two verses.

The Original verses:

Main nay kaha mayray liay kuch dua karo 
Uss nay kaha dua pay na takkia karo 

Main nay kaha zehan pay rehta hai bojh sa 
Uss nay kaha chup kay kaheen ro lia karo 

River of Syrup:

A homophonic Translation

  After Noor ka Noor


Main man says no kasha when manray stingray lies much two syrupy

Unless no kasha two pays no tekkie syrup hero

Main man says river pays rent high both yes

Us we no kasha chomp ok sheen rose like syrup


C.J. Prince


Northwest School Poem Today on April 21, 2014

NaPoWriMo PROMPT:   is a “New York School” poem using the recipe found here. The New York School is the name by which a group of poets that all lived in New York in the 1950s and 1960s. The most well-known members are Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, and Kenneth Koch. Their poems are actually very different from one another, but many “New York School” poems display a sort of conversational tone, references to friends and to places in and around New York, humor, inclusion of pop culture, and a sense of the importance of art (visual, poetic, and otherwise). Here’s a fairly representative example.

In following the recipe, you can include as many (or as few) of the listed elements as you wish. Happy writing!



Northwest School Poem Today on April 21, 2014

I forget how many years we gather

at my dining table highly polished with Enddust

on Mondays we sit, the five of us and write

for the past six or seven years

except now Pam is off to Barcelona

so sometimes it is four or three of us.

Where is Anny going?  Anny with a “y”

because it really is the “y” meaning “and”

In Spanish and I mistook it in her email

Zee the four pound Papillon  barks

when they arrive, not ringing the bell

and we will all forget for a moment

who has cancer and who doesn’t

and I’ll turn off the new age music

because Pam likes silence even

though she won’t be here we know

bodies still are smothered beneath the oso

landslide and grief lies in all our hearts

but not only  because Gabriel Garcia Marques

died or we can’t geta starbucks

the orange marmalade monster

will gallop across our written pages and even

Barbara will tolerate his insistent presence

for who but a cat can make us smile rather

than yell?  The Bellingham Herald rests unopened

for me to know the local disasters

because someone else jumped at Whatcom Falls

and was injured last week.  Linda will talk

of Passover and I will warn of the play

Women of Lockerbee I saw yesterday

Don’t you fuckin’ wanna ticket to Lady Gaga?

I need a cup of Wood’s Coffee chai.

Mercury rests silent at the bottom

of Bellinham Bay and a Cardinal Grand Cross

hangs in the heavens.

C.J. Prince   ©2014



By cjprinceauthor

POV: Future Step Brother 20 April 2014

4.20.14  NaPoWriMo PROMPT:   Our (optional) prompt. Today I challenge you to write a poem in the voice of a member of your family. This can be a good way to try to distance yourself from your own experience, without reaching so far away from your own life that it’s hard to come up with specific, realistic details. But watch out! This type of exercise can also dredge up a lot of feelings. So if you think writing in the voice of your grandfather will be too heavy, maybe try the voice of your four-year-old niece. Four-year-old problems might be a little lighter in scope.


POV:  Future Step Brother

Why doesn’t she leave us alone?

Stupid tagalong girl.

I’ll show her with my BB gun.

I’m a good shot as I stand

on the edge of the  frog pond

where we built the raft.

It was not her idea.

Stupid girl can’t take

yellow frog guts gushing out.

Can’t play marbles with her.

She wins and hides them.

Plays up to my mom

who thinks she’s a nice girl.

Stupid girl with red braids.

Good at mumbly peg too.

Where’s she get that stupid knife?

I hate the dumb girl.

She sleeps with a fake

German Luger

under her pillow.


C.J. Prince