Switch It Up – Poetic Brain Dump #soc

SOC = Steam of Consciousness 

  • Set the timer for 5 mins.
  • Get comfortable.
  • Type anything that comes to mind.
  • This is a way to clear the mind before starting the day or before going to bed.
  • This may not make sense to anyone but me (maybe, ha!)
  • The people mentioned are real people. The names may/may not be their real names.
  • This is unedited.


Switch it up. 

The bed has 4 aides and none of them are right or wrong. 

The bed doesn’t get you out of it.

The walls don’t talk.

The streets don’t watch.

The grapevine doesn’t echo.

Raisins don’t dance.

Lions don’t laugh…wait do they?

Our train of thought’s name isn’t Thomas or the little engine that could.

It is circus.

It is illusion.

It is zoo.

All of our thoughts are animals who used to be wild.

Used to risk takers.

Now caged. Taught to live as spectacles.

Taught that spectacle is safe.

A dog that will bring a bone will take one.

Because bones aren’t supposed to hurt anyone.

In fact, nothing is supposed to hurt anyone.

#theend #shellyism #soc 

New Poem: Bi-Somniac


fingers glide over keyboard like tires over rumble strips

anxiety humming birds tummy muscles

a beautiful growl for peace

Everything’s OK

at least while I’m awake



unsure of the intimacy sleep will bring

I obsess over sexuality

straight never wins

neither does gay

Kinsey scale weighs me imperfect


Intimacy with the sandman only sparks unanswered dreams

I don’t want to fall asleep in a hopeless place

being bisexual feels much like being awake

Why slumber?



Let’s not call it insomnia

Such words corner indecisiveness as sickness

I’ll have my emotion and eat it too

wait for my needs to cool

Sip OCD with mint leaves and chai tea



text my California masculine fever

then kiss the forehead of femininity

I am smiling in two different time zones

her sheets call me like intuition

his “I love you’s” coddle my ego

We are paradise in a hand basket



the sun slays the night

sexuality blurs

life focuses in on reality.

I can’t sleep off these desire

so why slumber?

choosing would be resting my case

I’m not ready to lay my head on either pillow.

I don’t really have to decide today do I?


Poems inspired by Classical Pieces

I have been invited to write a poem or story inspired by a classical piece and to have a talk with the audience about the poem before the piece is performed at an orchestra concert in February. Below is a video an orchestra playing “Bob Mintzer – Rhythm of the Americas I.”

Below is the poem inspired by Bob Mintzer – Rhythm of the Americas I

The American Moth Story By Shelly Bell

i cocoon burst;
furry body brown into winged pranced night flight;
daisies project yellow skylights;
clouds reflect pixie dust stepping-stones,
the ladybugs line up like red carpet.


my feathery antennas paint silly faces on the moon.
no more creeping,
no more crawling,
no more slinky caterpillar stalling.

i feel a mountain top away from the ground;
gulping the wind,
colorless and flat winged by birthright.
i am sister to beauty at first flap.
look at me now worms!

humans shake their empty heads saying “you’re no butterfly!
i flutter around their swatting egos.
Mama says:
“never envy what you’re not,
humans just wish they could fly.
hold your wings up high,
for your ancestors have existed 100 million years longer than beauty.”

everything man-made is subject to man’s break.
her pride smiles me into faith,
flight makes me kin to eagles.
bring me the world and I will soar right through it.
I carry the beat in my wings,
a bouquet of saxophones in my heart,
and belief in a God that knows how to orchestrate freedom.

Be at the concert for the poem talk! Visit the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Association website for info. http://www.wmpamusic.org/html/performances/phil.html

Pura Vida,
Shelly Bell

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Cry became ME (R.I.P. Wilhelmina Edwards)

I had it. The moment we all are NOT waiting for. The long walk home to an empty house feeling. The “pucker up to kiss sour candy unavoidable face scrunching” moment. The stuffy nose overwhelming sigh of reality moment. Revelation rearing, memory bearing minute. CRY BECAME ME!

Revelation: I miss my grandmother. Her birthday is Dec. 15th. (two days away). 

I thought I was cool until I went to lunch with a friend. The hostess and I got into a conversation, he asked me where I was from. I replied “I’m from North Carolina”  He says he’s from NC too! He mentioned had a lot of family in Raleigh and I asked what his last name was. He gave me the last name and I had to catch myself because I was about to say “I’m gonna ask my grandma if she knows any people with that last name.” I paused, he looked puzzled as if to ask “what were you going to say?” I shook my head to snap out of it and replied with one of the most common replies used right now….”oh, that’s wassup, ok then.”

I brushed the moment off not knowing that it would creep up on me again. Last night I was in a conversation about my passion to just be who I am and it happened! CRY BECAME ME! I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. All I could think about was how proud of me my grandma was when I published my novel. She made everyone she knew (a lot of mofos) buy my book. All she had to do was say “ay, look give me $15 for this book, my granddaughter wrote this book” and they did it. She also helped me get my book into the “Know Bookstore” which was a staple in Durham, NC. She told me to take the book ’round the corner to the owner and tell him I am Wilhelmina’s granddaughter. I was like “grandma, it doesn’t work like that.” She looked at me like “girl, go ’round that corner lika toldchu.” So I did and guess what….HE PUT MY BOOK ON THE SHELF without hesitation.

My grandmother was a free spirit. A happy woman. She was so proud of me. I wished I had the chance to tell her that I was dating women. Unlike my judgmental aunt and her judgmental Christian family she would have accepted me for exactly who I am no matter what. Some days I still need her to do that to help me deal with the rudeness from my aunt. I need her to say “chile don’t worry bout that, you gotta do what you gotta do for you. You know how she is.” I need her to just be there when I get home for Christmas. I just want to go to her house. I just want to laugh and talk to her. I just want to sneak miniature alcohol bottles from her cabinet and she give me that “uh, huh, whatchu been drinking….go get me one” look.

As the tears stream down my face at this very moment I realize I would not be the Shelly I am if it wasn’t for her daughter Stephanie (my mother). A woman of courage and my greatest inspiration. The woman who believes in me no matter what because her mother believed in her and believed in me. I miss you so much grandma. You are truly an asset to the next life you’re spirit has entered. All that come into contact with your spirit whether human or angel will truly be blessed as I have been. A special s/o to God for the opportunity to have a special grandmother like you.

R.I.P. Wilhelmina Edwards

Pura Vida,

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