Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home.

I’ll always remember you 2014

My mother was not sentimental. She saw the world in a very pragmatic way. If you were not feeling happy, well… just cheer up. If you were feeling ill… well, wait awhile. Things were bound to change. I wished I’d asked my mom more questions about her own level of self-awareness. Did she think about…

The Sound of One Voice Shouting in the Woods

 What is the sound of your own voice? — I have this innate impulse to apologize. This is not a permanent disposition by any means. I just happen to be “going through something” at the moment, and I feel exceptionally large and bulky: a bit like a Macy’s Day Parade balloon trying to navigate through…

Into the Zone – #reverb14, Day 4

Creativity is Subtraction art by Austin Kleon on Brain Pickings by Maria Popova

We are all lightning rods, conduits for that which the Universe wants born into this world. What energies did you channel this year? — While day 2’s post I sang my song of multitudinous life, there’s a hidden secret to what drives my writing. When I am writing, I am “in the zone.” It is…

It’s Just the Weather – #reverb14, Day 3

Just the Weather

It’s all too easy to put off loving where we are until everything is perfect. What can you love about where you are now? Blergh. If I were a weather man, that’s how I would describe the weather today. Cold, damp, rainy, grey. It’s all about the view. I look out my window and what…

I am not a finisher – #reverb14, Day 2

Day 2 – What unfinished projects from 2014 am you willing to release now? That’s the “story” I like to tell myself, though it isn’t true: I am not a finisher. I actually RECOILED at this prompt. It spun me down all kind of paths. Why? Because my life is a veritable trash heap of unfinished…

On My Mother’s Island

All of life is a thing marked and used.This is the island where my mother is still living. There is not a great deal of the “normal” here. We are just a bunch of hangers on. For those of us here, we are eating off the breadcrumb trail from whence we came. There is a lot…

Life is Terrifying

Cam's Head on a Platter
I can remember one of the first really scary movies I saw.

It was “The Giant Spider Invasion.” That classic 2-star fave came out in 1975. Which means someone in my family let me see that film when I was FIVE! If I recall, it was at the drive-in.

For years and years afterward, I literally RACED up the steps of our split foyer home, anytime I was caught alone on the lower level. Just beyond the doorway, I was sure a giant spider was lurking, ready to pounce.

I love the big, unreasonable scares of Halloween. I love that feeling underneath my heart, the pit of doom in my stomach. I love the ghoulish decor and horrifying costumes. I love “Modern Family”‘s special, and all the other Halloween themed fun.

I take a pass on new fangled “safe” fun, like Trunk or Treat, or going for a spin with the kids in their costumes around the mall. The street where you live may be scary place: the mall is 100 times scarier.

I’m intrigued by those who have a distaste for Halloween terror and frights. Whatever its roots — whether in pagan history or Christian hallows — life itself is terrifying. It’s filled with war, cancer, ebola, racism, rape and major league worship of criminals. There’s bullying, mean girls, political machinations and just plain natural catastrophe. Some days, a zombie apocalypse seems like it would be an anti-climax.

I guess that’s why I love Halloween… it’s the day the dead, the weary, the twisted, the frightened, the entombed, the maniacal — finally getting a chance to feel free.

Here’s a few of my favorite Halloween videos. Enjoy:

Andy, going through the Haunted House:

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From Shaun of the Dead, greatest zombie film ever.


After the End of the World

After the doctor broke the news to my mom and dad and me that mom would die soon, I held onto the 15 cent spiral notebook like it was a life raft. There isn’t enough time to ask and get answers to the really big questions in life before life says “I’m outta here.” It…

Alone is Where We Are

Randi Jane Davis Three Blind Men

The deluge came out in the general direction of Ridgefield artist Randi Jane Davis this past weekend at City-Wide Open Studios. Her painting (above), called “Three Blind Men” (in private collection) wasn’t the only wonderful piece of work I’d seen that day. But it was the one that reignited my feelings about aloneness. So Ms. Davis…

If I Bother to Look Up

This is where I’m writing, if you are looking for me. If I bother to look up, this is the view from my desk, where I work, over my left shoulder. I often don’t look up, because my head is “in the game.” I may be found checking FB now and then, or pausing to…

An Open Letter to the Generally Sad and Disconsolate

vast eternity by e. Howard

You’re not happy. You’re still all-you.Dear You, Hey. Are you feeling a little “over-seen” in these past few weeks? Yeah, I know how you feel. When “public” suicide happens, it’s so substantially private — so completely hidden inside the person who has departed — that it’s hard not to feel an equal sense of horror and…

This is home

Happy at Happy Joe's in LeClaire

Two flights, five burgers at the Atlanta TGI Friday’s airport location. A bag of gummy Lifesavers, and of course, the real lifesavers: four headsets, an iPad and two iPhones with digital movies. One hour’s drive, and we are home. By home, I mean. HOME. Not Iowa, the place I grew up. I mean: here. Connecticut.…

On Tagline, Angst and All you People

Sue Wired with Extra Angst- Courtesy The Guardian

In the off chance that one of the three people who reads this blog notices, the answer is yes: I changed the tagline. The new tagline is: Culture. Angst. Love. Why did I change it? Because I am always wondering: Is this blog about me? Or something else? Even after all these years, I was not…

Love, and Putting Out

The one true fact of being a girl is whenever or however you enter the world and, despite your best efforts otherwise, you are thrust into a world where you are expected to “put out.” Not just in the defined way you can imagine. In every way. Whatever we believe about our first world culture and equality in…