Spoken Word

Open Mic

Wednesday, April 10


FPA-111 (the Black Box theater)

Come to listen,

Or come to read your work.

Poetry, Raps, Rants:

whatever you want to bring…


We’ll have… a competition – judges will award gift certificates, fame, and glory!


And… a non-competitive Open Mic where people can just read their work if they want to.


Sign up at the event (come early to make sure you get a spot).


More info? Contact Dave Champoux: dchampoux@hcc.edu


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creative writing at hcc…

Do it all.


(Poems, Stories, Plays, Spoken Word)


Creative Writing

with Dave Champoux

English 217.75

Fall, 2013


Online and  in the classroom

We’ll meet on Tuesdays from 12:30-1:45.

The second class session each week will be online – sharing your work and checking out links, posts, forums, and more.


You don’t have to be a Creative Writing student to take this course. You’ll LEARN Creative Writing. Just be open-minded and willing to try… We’ll take you through all the steps of brainstorming and journaling through lots of exercises and activities.

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Trilogy Part 2:

I was sitting by the window staring out over the expanse of white. The snow continued to fall, covering everything in cold hues. Fear rose up into my throat at the thought of being stuck in the house. Spring couldn’t come fast enough.

Though the groundhog said it was six weeks away, I’m still hoping for the best. I wanted to swim again, and listen to the birds chirping outside my window. I wanted to walk outside barefoot as the grass tickled my toes.

I can’t. The fear in me keeps me safe. The danger I feel is real and I cannot get rid of it.

I know as the snow melts away, the tombstones will emerge silently up like fingers clawing for freedom. It will always be a grim reminder of that horrible day. I want to remember the beauty of spring, but it is forever spoiled to me.

It was that day in April, many years ago now, that the horrible fire brought down the house. My husband and my two boys went up in flames, and so did my life. That’s why I dread the melting snow, and the announcement of spring.

Sunny warm days are nightmares to me now. I would rather be cold all the rest of my days than have to live one more sunny spring day without the loving arms of my husband, and the thumping of my children’s feet down the hallway in the mornings, coming to wake me up with giggles and kisses.


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For Everyone Snowed In…

At our last Writing Club meeting, we decided to mix up the Exquisite Corpse exercise, and try out Exquisite Corpse: Short Story Edition! The results were…interesting….to say the least. Here is Number One in the Trilogy:

I ran down the sidewalk through the rain. My left foot sunk deep into a puddle and my sock soaked up as much water as it could in that instant. Great, now I’m gonna have a wet foot all day. I curse as I see the bus I missed pull away.

In the back of the bus I could see kids thumbing their noses at me as the bus sped off.

I offered them an entirely different finger, kicked the dirt with my wet foot and started walking. Awesome! I was going to be late to school yet again. It was becoming a pattern for me and I simply couldn’t shake my string of bad luck.

As I walked the long distance towards school, I had a lot of time to think. What was with all this bad luck that I had been experiencing? Was there a curse that someone had put on me, and if so, why? Should I go see a witch doctor to reverse it?

Just then, my foot stpeed in thick mud, and my shoe stayed stuck in place. Fan-fucking-tastic, I thought. I reached down to get it out, but it wouldn’t budge.

“Maybe I should see a witch doctor!” I grumbled aloud as I tried to pull myself free. Very helpful drivers splashed water on me as they sped by. “Thanks, assholes!” I shouted after them.


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Listen – Ed Stathis

Listen to her talking,
The soft gentle breeze brushing the leaves in the trees
Listen to her talking,
The endless babble of water running over stubborn rocks
Listen to her talking,
The droning of returning bees floating over old gardens
Listen to her talking,
The snow geese honking past the silver moon at night
Listen to her talking,
The burdened waves of the sea;
Crashing on a misty morning shore
Listen to her talking,
The crickets and the frogs singing to a star burst sky
Listen to her talking,
The low rumble of angry distant clouds
Listen to her talking,
The winter wind howling across open fields

Now listen to her crying,
As we dig big holes into her body
Now listen to her crying,
As we pour smoke into her blue eyes
Now listen to her crying,
As we cut her fingers of wood to the ground
Now listen to her crying,
As we block her veins with dams and toxic sludge
Now listen to her crying,
As we spill her black blood into the ocean

Listen to her now;
Before she ever be silent

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The Surge – Robert Herrick

Slowly swirling from
the ocean’s depths,
like a leviathan lurking,
lurching and launching
the waves up to the
clouded sky, like a
whirlwind washing
the waters of the sea
tumultuously turning
and yearning to spread
its monstrosity to land,
falling with high winds
and sea foam and
briny sea waters with
salt and silt slamming
within the high waves,
and laying in remnant
upon roads and city streets.

History made by high
winds and waves and circumstance,
and yet its power removed the
power from many homes by
swirling slowly from the oceans depths;
the surge lurking in the tides
wearing away barricades
and climbing crest by crest
by trough and undertow as
bursts and gusts in the
cloudy skies, whipping around
cool rain, and calamity
calls down a callous hand
wave by wind by washout.

Terror comes as a surge from
the depths and sky making
some slip away into the
whirling wickedness
of the winds and
waters and waves.

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The Story of My Life – Marysol Camacho

As a child, my mom had to support four kids with a part time job and studying at nights. My mom have always been my inspiration. Being a single mother, having to work and then go to college at night, was very difficult for her, especially because we couldn’t spend time together, but I remember every time my mom got good grades at school, the first thing she used to do was say with enthusiasm, “My homework was harder than yours! If I did it, you can do better!” Oh I was so proud of my mom! My mom was my hero. I wanted to be as smart as her. My mom motivated and inspired me just like Mr. Escalante inspired his students.

My dad disappeared when I was young. Most of the time, we didn’t have anything to eat at home and our healthy meals were at school. Our clothes were old, given by my mom’s best friend or my cousins. All the money my mom earned from work went to bills and a little bit of food! I watched my mom crying at nights for us. I remember her always apologizing for not being able to provide what we need.

Twelve years ago in Puerto Rico, I was 16 years old and in high school. After being in a relationship for a year, I found out I was pregnant with who is today my 10 years old daughter. My mom requested my boyfriend to take care of what was gonna be his family. So I moved to his parent’s house where I was mistreated most of the time. Their house was in the middle of the forest. There was no public transportation around. My “husband” stopped bringing me to school. I lost so many classes, that when I finally found a ride, I wasn’t allowed to go to school anymore.

I felt lost, with no future. I didn’t know what to do. I was just an inexperienced child expecting a baby. My husband was a very jealous and insecure person. He didn’t want me to go to school or work. He was afraid that I would find someone “better” than him. He made me depend on him so I wouldn’t leave him.

When we first broke up my daughter was 1 year old. I was tired and decided to move out of that house. But where to go? I didn’t have a driver’s license or a stable job, and I couldn’t rent an apartment for me and my daughter. So I called my mom to pick me up. We went to her house, but she had more people living with her. My old room wasn’t my room anymore. My mom’s house was too crowded so my daughter and I moved out to my sister’s house. I found two jobs in restaurants as a waitress. I was happy that I had an income, but I wasn’t spending much time with my daughter. I passed my driver’s license, and bought an old car. I was saving for an apartment, but the money got stolen by my sister’s friend. This caused problems with my sister, therefore we had to move.

We moved back to her father’s house. He rented an apartment for us. I lost both of my jobs because of him. We had two more babies. We moved to Massachusetts, hoping all the time that he would change. I didn’t want my daughters to grow without their father like I did, so I put up with a lot of things. I was depressed, unhappy, and hopeless. I didn’t have a lot of experience. I didn’t know a bit of English. I even tried to kill myself twice.

One day, I told myself “enough is enough.” I couldn’t live my life like that anymore! I remembered my mom surviving with four kids, without help from the government. I said to myself what my mother used to say: “If she could do it, I can too!” I remember every morning when he go to work, I used to take my daughters to look for help. I went to a free ESL program in Holyoke. I applied for housing and food stamps. While I was waiting for my name to be called in the list for housing, I started to look for a job. All the interviews I had failed because I didn’t know much of the language. Therefore, to kill my time, I started to volunteer at my daughter’s pre-school (Head Start) for about a year.

When housing called me three years ago, I left him and moved out with my daughters. A few months later Head Start offered me a position as a Teacher Assistant. Head Start motivated me to go to school and even paid for my education. Now, I still work for them but as a Teacher! Isn’t that great?

Just like my mother, I work and then go to college at night. Yes, sometimes it is very difficult for me, not only because sometimes I can’t find a babysitter to take care of them while I’m at school, but because I don’t get to spend quality time with them. I have a very busy life between work, college, homework, and the house. I don’t get time to have fun with them! They might not understand now, like I couldn’t understand a lot of things as a child, but I know they will one day. Following my mom’s example, the first thing I do when I get a good grade is show them my work and tell them, “If I could do it, you can do better.” My mom and my daughters are my motivation. Just like Mr. Escalante’s students, I admired my mom for being strong when she needed and not giving up when things went wrong. Like my mother, sometimes I cry at night when my hope is fading, but then I remember all the times that my mom felt that way, got up and kept going, and all the things my mom did for us and how blessed we were for having a mother like her. I can’t predict my future, but there’s one thing I know for sure: If she could do it, I can do better!!

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