Welcome to Seven Word Itch! Here you’ll find samples of my poetry, articles, essays, reviews, interviews, and autobiographical quips.

Several months ago, I started a “word collection.” I cut larger print words out of magazines, glued them to small rectangular pieces of cardstock, and covered them with clear packing tape to “laminate” them. Some of the words are ordinary; some are unusual. I collected about 500 words this way and put them all into an old cookie tin. Then, when I wanted to write a poem but couldn’t think of what to write about, I’d pull seven words (seven being my favorite number) out of the tin and use them to generate a poem.

Enjoy!                                                                                                                                             Psyche North Torok

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7 Word Itch for August!

This month’s 7 Word Itch poem was one of the most challenging I think I’ve ever had. One look at my seven words and I was totally stumped as to how to make a coherent poem out of them.

The seven words are: beyond, tame, receptors, pimple, stay, graceful, games.

To be honest, I only drew the words earlier today, and so might have done better with more time. I may revisit this list later in the month to see if I can make anything more sophisticated than this poem: Continue reading

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Sylvia Plath and Writer’s Block

Anyone who follows my blog – or checks it periodically – will see that I haven’t posted anything for nearly a month.

And I had been doing so well! I was so proud of all the posts I’d managed to crank out since March. Then I suddenly found myself tongue-tied, as it were.

Oh, I’ve been writing. I write something in my journal nearly every day. And I’ve been working on some new poems. But I didn’t have anything blog-worthy to post. I had a few ideas for the blog. But nothing was really materializing. I wanted to write a piece about Sylvia Plath (poet and novelist, 1932-1963). I did some research, made some notes. But that piece didn’t materialize either.

And then I read about that period in Sylvia’s life when she had writer’s block. And I realized Continue reading

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7 Word Itch, July

I think this one could use some development, but, having promised you a poem for today, here you have it. Again, this month’s seven words are: sleep, be, religiously, happy, specialize, philanthropy, synchronicity. Thanks to those who contributed poems. Feel free to add more via the comments. 


After the Trauma

You specialize in numbness now,

the days and years
logged religiously
like Continue reading

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Seven Words for July!

Seven new words for July:

happy Continue reading

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First Flight

First Flight

They said good-bye without
waiting for the plane to take off,
without waiting for me to board.
I was Continue reading

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Shell Game

Inspired by a writing exercise I recently did  …

Lucinda picked the seashell up from the sand at her feet. It was fairly small, and felt warm and comforting in her hand. Perhaps this would help her hang on to some positive memory of Daytona Beach. There had been so much negative that had happened, so much drama, she was hoping she could distill at least a little something pleasant out of it. Continue reading

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The boy gazed in disbelief.

It looked like an ordinary houseplant, rather nondescript. It wasn’t very large; its leaves seemed slightly wilted, its soil wan and dry. The boy stared, shocked.

Had he imagined it? Continue reading

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