Monthly Archives: April 2016

Some Monday

I prefer the kindness of uncounted syllables,

the warmth of socks fresh from the dryer, still fragrant

with familiar perfumes of fabric softeners, and

I prefer possibles to impossibles, as in,

 

“It is possible that we can be better,”

as opposed to “I will make this country great

 

whatever it takes” and the nightmares that inspires. I prefer

awakening to freshly-brewed coffee, cats moving about lazily

as cats do, naturally. In the distance, an engine revs,

a bird practices its song.                                   A telephone rings.

 

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Receding, Reconciliation

This prompt was to deconstruct a song by listening to it and emulating the movement, somehow, in poetry. The song I chose, as abstract as it might be to this poem, was Garbage’s “When I…

Source: Receding, Reconciliation

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The Day My House Burned

Write something you cannot remember: a memory of something – a story, an anecdote, a song, another poem, a recipe, an episode of a television program, anything, that you only partially or imperfectly remember. Write multiple versions, at least 6, of this memory.

 

I’ve been through versions of this memory my entire life. Narratives can absolutely be created.

 

 

The Day My House Burned

 

I needed my Batmobile, a toy I already had

The day the Happy Meal Batcave came out.

Batman and Robin needed a place

To park their car, after all.

 

The explosion happened while Mommy and I searched

Daddy’s garage, down the lane, where I left it. So I’m told;

I was three.

 

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Pastiche

Prompt

The Brazilian poet Manuel Bandeira created the cento “Anthology” (see below) using lines from his own poems, instead of employing the traditional method of cento-construction (in which you build a poem entirely out of lines from other people’s poems). Following his example, write a cento that is a self-portrait, or anthology of your life, utilizing lines and fragments from your own work.

Or, alternatively, create a “self-portrait” cento using lines and fragments from

  1. other people’s poems (the traditional method), or
  2. song lyrics, or
  3. prose (fiction and/or nonfiction)

*To see the basic stipulations for writing a traditional cento, see http://myenchiridion.blogspot.com/2008_08_01_archive.html

 

 

Cool.

 

I think if one is ever going to approach their old works playfully, then the motto shouldn’t just be “Murder Your Darlings,” but “Then Eat Their Bloody Corpses!”

 

Pastiche

–Riverfront debris, driftwood and half-crushed cans, I’ve reached for you,

Rumbling undertone, thunder threatening

A bone-weary woman with calloused toes.

They can’t even eat, really. They fuck themselves to death.

The sign on the church: V O T E Y O U R V A L U E S. Irony, folks.

But I am somewhere else: a temple near Ephesus,

My tongue runs dry the day we are wed.

On a branch nearby, a cicada slips its skin,

Anew.

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Spellbinder

The sixth National Poetry Month prompt from the Found Poetry Review is obviously a trolling “write whatever you want” post, but I do do Sonnets, so I chose to share a sonnet for a superhero I play on the Champions Online M.M.O.

 

 

Spellbinder

 

Awakened entities desert their tombs,

Their hunger obvious: unholy groans

While shadows stretch and yawn. The evening looms,

and criminals can feel it in their bones.

 

Perhaps the arcane arts will serve to calm

The angry souls who riot, rage, and fight,

And offer hope to innocents—a balm,

A beacon gleaming strong throughout the night.

 

But magic never manifests for free,

Nor can the dabbler comprehend its tomes,

Nor shall the master fail to pay the fee

When forces from beyond invade her home.

 

For years, the darkness has enjoyed its reign.

For years, she watched– but now she brings the pain!

 

 

 

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Receding, Reconciliation

This prompt was to deconstruct a song by listening to it and emulating the movement, somehow, in poetry. The song I chose, as abstract as it might be to this poem, was Garbage’s “When I Grow Up” Link.

 

Receding, Reconciliation

 

Raging, perhaps, about the blisters,

the fingers torn raw as they scratch

and claw against another self-sealed box

 

in yet another bout of autoerotic asphyxiation

gone wrong. As though it might go right

to the edge of chaos: your domain. No,

 

ours. I am complicit; I see that,

with my own childish insecurity –

You were drunk, but you called me a 10

 

and the drag queen said, “How generous of you

to think of him that way.” And I blamed you,

unfairly, so we slept separate for ugly reasons.

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Conflict

Prompt: WordBlocks

Words have multiple meanings. Meanings have multiple words. I think of wordblocks as a single-word stand-in to express multiple meanings, or an ambiguity of meanings. I use them in my writing all the time, and often generate them as a warm-up exercise before I write.

  1. Write a word.
  2. Make a list of other words that are related to this word, in meaning or in spelling.
  3. Combine these words into one wordblock sharing letters. (See pictures for example)
  4. Keep rearranging, adding, or subtracting words until you have a wordblock you like aesthetically both visually, and linguistically. A wordblock rarely looks great on the first try. Wordblocks have vast potential both handwritten, and typeset either digitally or with moveable letterpress type.
  5. Your wordblock can stand alone as a one-word poem, or be placed in a sentence. Try stringing multiple word blocks together. The result is a sentence that provides multiple ways to navigate it.

I’m not adept at digital manipulation, and the prompt’s examples were very visual, so I went with doing the rearrangement on the page until a concept “popped.”

 

Conflict

 

Convergence of community,

Confidence. Yes, please.

 

Today X told Y “You are less than I,

And thank your lucky stars I am merciful

Enough to let you exist.”

 

Community could be a warm word.

Confluence would be a mercy.

Crossing borders unscathed remains a challenge.

 

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