"sounds like he doesn't trust you"
my haunches coil, loaded with
fury, my lips curl back
to expose the gums, raw and
I could kill you
for reminding me
that this leash, although long,
is still a leash

"sounds like he doesn't trust you"
my voice rumbles forth with the
force of sunlight to the retina
bristles turn straight on the
back of my neck,
ears flat to my head
I could kill you
if only I could reach you
if I could touch you
taste you...

"sounds like he doesn't trust you"
my claws splay and scrape the ice,
saliva leaks from my starved mouth
remembering you and
resenting you as I
remind you that
I could kill you
you wisely stand back
though my leash holds fast

locked into place,
I consider my strength
I consider both hunger and heat
I consider the difference between
consummation and consumption
between fucking you
and fucking you up

"sounds like he doesn't trust you"
well, no
of course he doesn't
trust me

I would kill you
if he did


In which Alicen Grey writes about writing...

At Earth Words, my spoken word feature in India, someone in the audience asked me to post a blog about my writing process. 

I’ve been writing consistently since I was 11 – that means, for a decade. I was that kid who always carried a spiral notebook with me, and spent recess sitting under a tree, writing stories about princesses and unicorns (yes, you read that right.) A lot changes in a decade's time, so while I've never had a concrete writing process, I do have a bunch of suggestions and advice for writers who are just getting started...

Always be Prepared

Ironically, I almost never have a pen on me, so when I give the following advice, keep the words Do as I say, not as I do in mind: get yourself a real good pen – the kind with ink that flows easily so your wrist doesn’t hurt after a long writing session. I’m talking Pentel, Pilot, or – my personal favorite – Micron. And make sure not to let anyone borrow this pen, ever, because you’ll never get it back (trust me, I never learn). Pair this pen with a notebook of some sort -- spiral, marble, the world is at your feet -- and you're ready to receive inspiration. 

Receiving Inspiration

Probably the most frequent question my readers ask is Where do you get your ideas from?
While I can’t say I have one primary source of inspiration, here are a few of my muses:

1. Listen to music
Listening to music – and I mean really listening – feels like tapping into an unlimited source of creativity. It also helps me stay motivated to write longer projects (I’ll expand on that point in a little bit).
2. Drink tea
Stereotypical, I know. But there’s something about tea that helps my mind relax, and if you want ideas to flow in, you’ve gotta have a relaxed mind. Speaking of which:
3. Meditate
Some of my wildest ideas come to me while meditating. Whether it’s a chakra meditation, mindful breathing or prayer, getting your psychic energy balanced is essential to making art in any medium. To push this even further…
4. Suspend hypnagogia
Hypnagogia? What’s that? It’s that state of consciousness between waking and sleeping, where you’re half-dreaming but still conscious enough to be aware of your thoughts. Start paying attention in this space. Many accomplished artists report receiving their best work in this state – you might receive a poem, or a melody, or an idea for a screenplay. Keep a journal or recording device by your bed so you can record these dreamy ideas before you drift off to sleep and potentially lose them.
5. Collect words
I keep a small notebook of interesting words I hear throughout the day (cataclysm, arbitrary, acclimate, just to name a few) so I can use them later. This is especially helpful for writers who have a bad habit of using the same words in every piece.

Staying Interested

Okay, so I’ve got the inspiration. Now how do I keep it? Staying focused on a writing project can be tricky, especially if it’s a longer piece like an essay or novel.

What helps me stay interested in writing projects is to make sure I can sustain the same mindset for extended periods of time. It might help to consider where your inspiration came from – so, if it came from a particular film, watch that film again, or read more about the film, or watch other films like it. If your inspiration came from a particular song, turn on the corresponding Pandora station let yourself feel inspired by similar songs. If you need to get into the headspace of a certain character, dress up like that character, walk like them, talk like them…

Do whatever it takes to immerse yourself in the project, because once the inspiration is lost, it can be difficult to recover – or, worse, your project will start off one way and end up another way because of your shifting mindset.

The Actual Writing Part of Writing

The first and most important step in writing anything is figuring out whether you’re a hand-writing person or a typing person. I know I already biased you by telling you to carry pen and paper everywhere, so, sorry about that. You are totally allowed to use a laptop if you want (even though you’ll probably be scoffed at by old school hand-writers, like myself).

Once you’re ready and have your idea, start writing! There’s not much else to say here, except that some people like to write in silence, some in crowded coffee shops, some with music, some without, some with friends, some alone, some over the course of days and some all at once. Whatever you do, just write in as many places and at as many times of day as possible, until you figure out what makes your writing process the most efficient.

That Dreaded Editing Process

I hate editing. I hate hate hate editing. But, it must be done. Everything should be revised at least 3 times, in my opinion. You might even want to ask your friends to give you insight (as long as they’re well-read and not afraid to tell you like it is).
Oh, and keep every draft. Sometimes, revising a piece can turn it into something entirely different, so if this happens, you’ll still be able to keep the original idea and use it for something else later.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

Are you one of those writers who waits to feel inspired before writing something? Yeah, stop doing that. It’s bad for your health.

The way to get good at producing content on a regular basis is to write often. Once or twice a week, or even every day. Write good stuff, write shitty stuff, write okay stuff – just write. It doesn’t matter what it’s about, or if anyone ever sees it. The point is to exercise your creativity, almost like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets, and the more effortless writing becomes.

So, that’s basically it. If you need more suggestions, feel free to ask me in the comments section. I’d love to see what you’ve all been creating.


Alicen Grey


VIDEO: Salvation


trigger warning: graphic description of suicide

On September 24th 2014, my best friend contacted me, desperately seeking reasons to stay alive. I asked him if he could hang on until the next time I saw him, and he told me, “I don’t think I can even hang on until midnight.” The next day, I got the news. 

Writing has always been my sanctuary, my escape. But after my best friend’s suicide, I could barely make pen touch paper. I feared that writing a poem about him would be too final, and I wasn’t ready for closure yet. But somehow, I eventually allowed myself to turn my best friend’s legacy into this poem. 

I chose not to give this poem a happy ending, because the reality of suicide is that there is no happy ending. Not for the person who takes their own life, nor for the people they leave behind to pick up the fragments. Suicide devastates everyone involved. But this is precisely why we need to talk about it. I want everyone who watches this video to understand the horrific pain of grieving a loved one; I want everyone to know that there are thousands of people who carry this same pain everyday; and I want that to inspire us all to come together and create a world where fewer and fewer people have to feel this way. We need to live such that everyone who meets us walks away feeling uplifted. 

If you need it, here’s a list of international suicide hotlines. If you don’t need it, pass it around anyway. And remember: my heart is with you, always.


EVENT: WordFlow - A Spoken Word-Dance Collaboration

WordFlow: A Spoken Word-Dance Collaboration

During our live WordFlow slams, dancer and poet meet for the very first time when they walk onto the RoCM Dance stage. Audience members are privy to the exact moment that the collaborative piece is created and watch as artistic forms merge. 

Jan 23rd 2015 | 6.30-8.30pm
35 W. 67th Street New York, NY 10023

This event has passed.


EVENT: earth words.

earth words.

a night of poetry about life, loss and healing
with award-winning writer alicen grey

(as featured on TimeOut Bangalore)

Jan 1st 2015 | 7.30pm | Paradigm Shift
80 Feet Main Road, AVS Layout
Koramangala, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560095, India

This event has passed.
watch video