Announcement (3/24/2014)

Announcement:

It brings me great disappointment to have to announce that I learned on Friday morning that my cancer has returned, this time in my right lung. As of now, the only method of treatment is chemotherapy. I want to first thank everyone for their support in the last year during my first battle with cancer. I will remain persistently busy with work at Spilt Ink Poetry, diligently helping poets publish their work, as well as attending college. I look forward to releasing Spilt Ink Poetry’s Inaugural Newsletter in April, as well as working on the (re)publication of Melissa Medina’s first book of poetry. I am also collaborating on an erotic chapbook of poetry with Elizabeth Castaneda. Further, I have also signed on as an editor for Melinda Cochrane International Motivational Magazine: Summer Edition, 2014.

As I mentioned, I will remain actively involved in publishing, and I will reign victorious in my second battle with cancer. Thank you all again for your continued support, friends, family, poets and poetry lover!

Respectfully, Charles Banks, Jr.

 

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Beauty of Butterflies

I remember walking in haste
One sunny day in May,
As many of us often do—
Unattached from nature.
It was chance, I guess,
Or fate, I assume—though
I’ve always relied on the empirical,
That I stopped by this particular garden.
Rich in flowers and bushes,
It was like having an optical orgasm.
I fixated on a group of butterflies,
Five or six, resting on a bush with
Strange flowers. They were striking
Shades of red and purple and orange.
I found a connection with them.
“Maybe I am a butterfly!” I thought.
Maybe cancer is like the lifecycle of a butterfly.
Maybe my life before cancer is like
The caterpillar before the butterfly.
I remember smiling for the first time
In ages it seemed. I had something
To look forward to, life as a butterfly perhaps,
Colorful and vibrant, after the cocoon of cancer.

© 2013 by Charles Banks, Jr.
Writing as Curiosity
Published online at Cadence Collective: Long Beach Poets.

The Love I Desire (Writing as Curiosity)

 

beautiful-lovers-couple-lip-lock-kiss-hug

 

The Love I Desire

Boiled
Passionate
Unsolicited
Exposed to society
Unscripted kind of love.

Disobedient
Indisputable
Repulsive to others
Fourth of July kind of love.

Defiant
Eternal
Dangerous
Living-on-the-edge
Risky business kind of love.

Envious
Seductive
Unable to fathom
Soap opera kind of love.

© 2014 by Charles Banks, Jr.
Writing as Curiosity
All Rights Reserved

A Valentine’s Day Suggestion!

If you’re stumped about Valentine’s Day gift ideas, why don’t you try giving your significant other a copy of “A Rose in the Name of Love” which is better than any ring or bouquet of flowers! Need a little persuasion? Fine! Read the summary: “A Rose in the Name of Love is a collection of poems written by Charles Banks Jr under his two pen names, CURIOSITY and BLACK ANGEL. Featuring Jocelyn Him, A Rose in the Name of Love is a collection of poetry that paints vivid pictures of life’s trials and uncertainties through the eyes of two diverse people. A Rose in the Name of Love is sure to tug on the romantic and honest side of all readers.”
Need more persuasion? Fine! Read an excerpt from the book:
 
Old Love, New Possibilities
 
Life is beautiful
Just like you are.
 
So take the time to smell the
Candles that bless the air with a
Fresh scent.
 
Take the time to splurge a bit…
You deserve it.
 
You’re too beautiful to shed tears
And wallow in self-pity.
 
Take that frown of yours
And turn it upside down.
 
Though your road seems rough
With an emotional roller coaster
The road will smooth out.
 
Your pretty smile that lights
Up a room like a sunflower
In the summertime will shine again.
 
One lover lost and another
May appear. One door closes and
A chapter has finished.
 
Another door opens
And a different chapter is written.
 
Sometimes the signals are
Right under your nose, and the
Handsome frog is leaping in your
Line of sight.
 
© 2008 by Charles Banks, Jr.
Writing as Curiosity
Excerpt from A Rose in the Name of Love
Published by Lulu.com and Charles Banks, Jr.
All Rights Reserved.
 
Finally persuaded you? I knew I would… Here are the link(s) to the book, which is available on Lulu.com and Amazon.com. Prices vary. Happy reading and thanks for supporting love!!!
 
Sincerely yours,
Charles Banks, Jr (Poet/Hopeless Romantic)
Lulu.com: http://www.lulu.com/shop/charles-banks-jr-and-featuring-jocelyn-him/a-rose-in-the-name-of-love/paperback/product-3351138.html
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Rose-Name-Love-Jocelyn-Him/dp/1435741579/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391639309&sr=1-3&keywords=A+Rose+in+the+Name+of+Love
A Rose in the Name of Love

Succumb (Writing as Curiosity)

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SUCCUMB
 
Give in to seduction
Succumb to pleading hands.
 
Give in to temptation
Succumb to thy neighbor.
 
Give in to untamed passion
Succumb to new found ecstasy.
 
Give in to desire
Succumb to curiosity.
 
Give in to searing libido
Succumb to thirst.
 
Give in to the sizzle
Succumb to blazing flames.
 
Give in to tangled bodies
Succumb upon the balcony.
 
© 2014 by Charles Banks, Jr.
Writing as Curiosity
All Rights Reserved.

Two Days Left…

Happy Sunday, all! There’s only two days left to get a signed copy of Concrete Promises, my romantic chapbook of poetry at the holiday price of $5.00! Head on over to eBay or send payments via Paypal to spiltinkpoetry@hotmail.com!!!  http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=121244318324
- Charles Banks, Jr.
Here’s an excerpt from Concrete Promises:
HER VOICE, THE GENTLE SPRING RAIN

Her voice is the gentle spring rain,
Brushes of wind against the pure white sails
On the sailboat I made with my own bare hands.

Her voice is the ocean’s serene waves
Masturbating each grain of my anxiety;
Strokes of heavenly bliss as the illicit
Moans of pleasure escape the depths of pain.

Her voice is a timid lover’s sweaty palm,
A warm embrace I feel against
My cheek whenever I blush with doubt.

Her voice is the gentle spring rain,
Tears upon the window pane as
I stare below at the silhouette of a goddess
Departing into the midnight’s obscured lights.

Her voice is like sounds of 6:00 AM,
Love birds chirping in a nearby tree,
Tea kettles whistling on the stove,
A tender lover’s good morning salutation.

© 2013 by Charles Banks, Jr.
Writing as Curiosity

Excerpt from Concrete Promises
Published by Spilt Ink Poetry

Concrete Promises (Cover)

Concrete Promises Interview (by Carla Westbrook)

“Concrete Promises”Interview with Charles Banks, Jr.

(Poet, Freelance Poetry Editor, Flyer Designer,

Budding Self-Publisher, Blogger)
Interview by Carla Westbrook,

in association with Spilt Ink Poetry.

Concrete Promises (Cover)

The weather is overcast; a Friday morning in February, a writer sits under a dimly lit lamp in an El Segundo, California café. He is intensely writing away in a notebook, only looking up to accept a steaming hot cup from a waitress. Generously, he accepts the cup with a nod and goes back to his writing. It is a shock that he is able to go back to his everyday routine. Just a month ago, he lay flat on a cold operating table as doctors conducted a fourteen-hour surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his salivary gland. From afar, you could not tell, but as I approached and introduced myself, the scars from his cancer fight reared their ugly head. Unable to use the entire right side of his face, his ability to smile, temporarily disabled, Poet Charles Banks, Jr. has found the strength to pick up his pen again. And with some slurred speech, he apologetically and graciously accepted my battery of questions.

Carla Westbrook: So, you have a new book…

Charles Banks, Jr.:  Yep, looks like it (slight chuckle).

Carla: Book five. What can we (readers) expect when flipping through its pages?

Charles: Concrete Promises is a simplistic approach to love, written in an uncomplicated fashion. When penning this chapbook, I did not want the writing to be clouded by any fancy language or the message points somehow lost in the translation that occurs from the time the reader reads the writing and the interpretation of the writing.

Carla: You wanted it to be matter-of-fact?

Charles: Exactly.

Carla: I have followed your writing and read your blog for a couple of years now, and there is a level of drama involved, theatrics. Why go against that now?

Charles: First of all, I’ve always been dramatic. (Laughs) I think more so as a child. Now I can utilize that part of my being in my poetry. In regards to this process, I simply made the decision that I wanted to write about how we (human beings) want the experience of love to be, not how it actually turns out. It’s how you would feel when you first meet someone. It’s blissful, uninhibited bliss. Simple.

Carla: As I read through your book I could not help but reminisce about my own first experience with love, and I recalled a bit of naivety. Was it the same for you? Your first experience with love.

Charles: I think so, but that’s pretty natural. It’s a normal process to be naïve to the reality of what’s going on. Sometimes I think people subconsciously or unconsciously focus on the good parts of their significant other—the attractive parts. I think we become blinded by the blissfulness of it all in the beginning.

Carla: Have you ever been in love?

Charles: (Pause). I’m not sure. I’ve had two significant relationships of note. You know, I think I know what love is if I saw it in front of me. For instance, my grandparents will be celebrating 30 years of marriage this summer. They argue and butt heads all the time; does that mean they’re not in love? To me, love is all about compromise and sacrifice and trust.

Carla: Concrete Promises, in essence, dismisses the detriments to a relationship: the arguments, distrust, apprehension.

Charles: Yes and no. The book was written with the beginning of a relationship in mind. It documents some of the things that may get in the way. Curiosity spends a portion of the book trying to convince his significant other to trust in their bond. In a sense, he’s trying to save her from herself. Her distrust, her skepticism. He deals with some of his own internal doubt too.

Carla: Two poems come to mind instantly. Not Just Yet and Captain Savior.

Charles: Yeah.

Carla: Tell me about those poems.

Charles: Well, it took me quite a while to develop a finished version of both poems; ten or so drafts of each and two or three years of editing. They are key poems in the chapbook. Both help to display very real traits of a budding relationship: cautious skepticism and a sense of obligation to be a savior of sorts.

Carla: What do you say to someone who says your book might be ‘cliché?’

Charles: Funny. In a lot of ways, I’d probably agree with them. That was one of the hurdles I encountered while writing. I treaded along a very thin line, often times crossing over to cliché often. I would respond ‘Yes, there are a number of cliché moments, but it all plays to my intended goal for this book… simplicity. Love should be simple, in my opinion. Often times, that’s just not the case. But how wonderful it is to yearn for that. To imagine it. Maybe it’s just the hopeless romantic that dwells inside of me.

Carla: You recently experienced a life-altering event. Most all of us know of someone who has, or have personally experienced the horrors of cancer. How has this trying time affected you?

Charles: Aside from the obvious, it’s been a tough situation. I’ve seen more hospitals than I care to in the past couple of months. It happened so quickly. Up until November of last year, I was relatively healthy, and then in the blink of an eye, it seemed like my life rapidly began to change. I lost a lot of weight. The right side of my face became paralyzed. And the pain from the tumor growing on my jaw… definitely the lowest point of my life.

Carla: Has cancer changed your writing in any way?

Charles: (Pause). No. The doctors took a piece of my jaw, not my ability to write… to think, to articulate my thoughts. If anything, I’ve developed a slight paranoia, my senses have heightened. I am more in tuned with my surroundings. My eyes have been opened to small things I otherwise would not have seen or paid any attention to.

Carla: What’s next for Curiosity? The light-hearted, soft-spoken, tender character you have created.

Charles: Well, Concrete Promises is the first installment in the Spilt Ink Poetry Collection, which is a five-part collection of poetry chapbooks. I go back and forth writing as both Black Angel and Curiosity. Chapbook number two belongs to Black Angel, but Curiosity will be back in the third installment: Midnight.

· Carla Westbrook

Concrete Promises Update

Good evening, or morning, whatever it may be. I hope your lives are well and good. I am proud to announce that my chapbook, Concrete Promises has sold 30 copies in the first week. If you do not know, I am selling copies from my home at $6.00 a copy. I’d like to thank everyone who has already bought a copy of the book. It was a long, grueling process, filled with low points and high ones. The publication of it is definitely the highest point. I received a review courtesy of Julie Catherine, who graciously read my book and bestowed upon it, kind words. Aside from all things Concrete Promises, I will be celebrating six months cancer-free on the 28th of July. Thanks again to everyone who has sent well wishes my way. I certainly appreciate it. In honor of the landmark moment in my life, I will be posting two new poems Never Haste and No Vacancy. Hope everyone enjoys reading on the 28th! Thanks again everyone!

 

- Charles Banks, Jr.

 

Link to Concrete Promises Review: http://juliecatherinevigna.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/review-of-concrete-promises-a-poetry-chapbook-by-charles-banks-jr/

 

 

 

Concrete Promises (Cover)

Concrete Promises (Print Version) Available now!

concrete promises

 

Ladies and gentlemen, I am glad to announce that my newest chapbook of poetry, Concrete Promises is now available in the print version. I am personally selling copies for $ 6.00 a piece. It has been a long, six-month journey to see this project come to fruition. If anyone is interested in purchasing a copy of this chapbook of love poems, I am available on Facebook.com through my personal profile “Charles Banks Jr.” as well as Spilt Ink Poetry’s fan page “Spilt Ink Poetry.” Inquiries also accepted at spiltinkpoetry@hotmail.com. I’d like to thank everyone who has continued to visit my blog and support my work.

 

- Sincerely Yours, Charles Banks, Jr.

Link to my personal Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/charlesauthorbanksjr

 

Link to Spilt Ink Poetry’s fan page: https://www.facebook.com/SpiltInkPoetry

 

Link to Spilt Ink Poetry’s Tumblr.com blog: http://spiltinkpoetrynews.tumblr.com/

A Simple Reminder

Spilt Ink Flyers

Hey everyone, hope you guys are having a great day/night, wherever you are. I am writing to tell you once again about my new blog, the Spilt Ink Poetry Blog. It is dedicated to my new project, a five-part series of collections of poetry chapbooks. The first collection will be available as an eBook on Lulu.com in the next couple of weeks. If you are interested in buying the physical copy, you’ll be buying directly from yours truly. I will be providing signed copies of the book! Check out the blog if you haven’t already!

http://spiltinkpoetry.wordpress.com/

 

 

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Also, if you’re interested in my writing, I have another blog, dedicated to my past writings. It’s over on Tumblr.com. If you have a Tumblr blog, feel free to stop by and check out some of my older material. If you don’t have a Tumblr blog, feel free to check it out!  There are excerpts from my previous three collections of poetry and one chapbook of poems.

http://charlesbanksjr.tumblr.com/

 

I thank everyone for reading my blog and supporting my writing!

- Respectfully yours, Charles Banks, Jr.

 

 

Secret Affair (By Curiosity)

Picture taken from the WEB

Secret Affair

A naïve man was trapped, wedged in a real pickle.

He was aware of his truest feelings.

He begged for more in his bashful glances.

He hinted for more in his hushed remarks.

Oh, he definitely wanted more!

In confessing his desires, he broke the cardinal rule:

Never show emotions!

A slap in the face…

Then the truth sank in,

and he needed an ice pack for his left cheek.

He was merely a hold-me-over munch until lunch;

a clammy 3:00 P.M. appointment on a black leather couch.

But he aspired for more.

In spite of the shocking facts,

He wanted her beside him nightly.

Holding him…

Making him feel unscathed.

The naïve man knew his strings were being pulled.

Yet her inspirational aroma was too much to decline.

Touches of amorous lure

All trouble ceased to exist

Nothing else mattered anymore.

Intimate encounters by the fireplace.

Stormy nights wrestling between satin sheets.

Little did the naïve man know, it was all a prelude.

Morning’s first light came to his dismay.

He helplessly watched as she walked out his bedroom door.

She dashed across town as fast as her curvy stems could go.

She ventured back to the comforting confines of her condo;

to another man’s arms, no doubt.

© 2012 by Charles Banks, Jr.

Writing as CURIOSITY

Excerpt from Page 25 of “End of the Road”

© 2012 by Charles Banks, Jr. Cover Art Design by Selena Howard