The Frankenpen! Calligraphy for Your Book of Shadows


Whether you want to spice up your journaling or make the most magical book of shadows you can, calligraphy is a fun way to go. It can be intimidating but if you love notebooks and pens, I would encourage you to give it a try.

I’ve found a way to combine an affordable fountain pen with the kind of high-end calligraphy that’s traditionally done by dipping nibs straight into ink. Dip pen calligraphy can be messy and definitely inconvenient, especially when you have to keep dipping after every few letters or words. Meanwhile, fountain pens are lovely but can lack some character. I have loved my Noodler’s Ink Ahab flex pen since I bought it, as it is a sort of happy medium between the two worlds. But look what happens when you put a dip-pen nib (The Brause #76 Rose nib) on the Ahab! The result is a “Frankenpen”, a pen that has been tinkered with to create a unique form and function.

I would definitely recommend this Frankenpen combination to anyone wanting to start out with calligraphy. It’s very affordable but might just be the best pen you’ll ever use.

Time Alone

Consciousness becomes

you. Given enough time, you know

all stones and bones defossilize,

enliven, and grow

again, again, again, spiriting

in cycles too vast for theories to vault.

You verb

to hide the fact you’re doing

time alone,

and there’s no escape

but to dream that eons entwine,

infinitely packed without a care

for paradox or spacetime. Here, you stroke

the everbefore-and-after

with your little hours; here, you reach

the gods of everything.

Heat Death of the Universe

In the last throes of the heat death

of what was once a universe,

everything flies apart.

Your body undoes itself, gapes

as the galaxies expand, cool, and thin

to mere suggestions.

The cosmos becomes its own

homeopathic remedy,

while your mind dissolves into space

to inoculate

me against your memory.


Fierce Gentleness

The gentle ones get called

the worst of things

(of course they take it lightly),

and they know victory doesn’t lie

in how loud you can be, how proud

or how abrasive, how brutal.

Authenticity shouldn’t be an excuse

to inflict one’s insecurities

on the unsuspecting. No, the wise are still raw

when speaking in varied dulcet tones,

knowing how to reach people at their level,

how to win an argument without arguing

at all. Real strength goes undetected

most of the time, but humbleness is

underrated besides. Why take oneself

so seriously, when everything

is infinitely meaningful

and infinitely meaningless at once?

Gentleness is no mere trojan file,

but wild freedom to live

thoughtfully, and keep youthful, longer,

watching more than talking.

When did authenticity come to mean bravado

and pride in your tragic flaws?

Othello’s sorry, but most asses aren’t,

as an ass continues to be an ass —

glorifying assery, throwing ass parades.

I don’t have to be loud

to be heard. People will lean in

to hear a whisper, and remember it.

Maybe even treasure it.




Human Effort

There are days when you try to be an amazing person

and days when you just try to be a person

at all, still breathing, holding on.

This is the face of someone expertly trying only to breathe

— you probably can’t see it in her eyes,

which is why all judging is but a waste of time.

This is a plea for compassion

for everyone struggling to exist.