I'm pitiful, pathetic, a wash-up. It's god-damned national poetry month and I haven't posted a single ANYTHING to my blog since March. It's April 11, the whole world is a beautiful shade of purple and pink, and I am crossing things off my freaking to-do list, trying to make sure that what I post to one of my sections of English 201 "The Research Paper" I also make sure to post to the other two sections. But, but, but . . . honestly I have been writing poetry! Really! Quite a bit, though most of it in my journal, disjointed, and unfinished. So, honestly, I have nothing to share of any worth, but I do want to tell you about a great prompt I came across. (I should be crediting someone for this, but I don't have the exercise book I stole it from down here by the couch (and my desk is far, far away, as in upstairs)).
The writing prompt says to keep a list of surreal or notable images you come across, such as:
1. a Sealy mattress leaning against a freeway barrier;
2. a guy dressed up in a hot dog suit;
3. a pair of carnival ticket booths being hauled on a flat-bed behind a truck.
After you've collected a bunch of these, pick one and use the weird image as the central metaphor of a poem.
Oooh, but you're probably already getting plenty of prompts from the Writer's Digest Poetic Asides blog, where Robert Lee Brewer is pumping them out with a passion. I was thinking I would have time to respond to his prompts DAILY, but as it's turned out I couldn't so I thought I'd combine prompts, so my first poem of the month mooshed together prompts 1 and 2: an origin poem told by an outsider. Okay, sneaky, but it seemed a good solution until . . . well, we all have our excuses, right? But that doesn't mean you shouldn't keep at it, or make up for lost time; that doesn't mean you should accidentally on purpose loosen the hold on your helium balloon, stand there helpless as it drifts just out of reach.
But I do want to share, despite my utter lameness, my infinite bad-role-model-ness and don't ask me please to be your mentee, a poetry moment that took place in my own home despite my having to focus more on my job and kids these past several weeks:
We had some workmen in the house, non-native speaker workmen (except for the son, whose English was better than the rest of the crew's), and as two of the men--the son and his father--were finishing up their puttying job at the top of the basement stairs, I heard some Spanish, and then, very clearly, very slowly: DO I DARE DISTURB THE UNIVERSE? And then a whole bunch more loud and boisterous Spanish. It took me a second to figure out what was going on: why were these guys quoting TS Eliot? Then I remembered: I'd scotch-taped my National Poetry Month poster at the top of the basement stairs. And the poster had done, hopefully for the millionth time this month, its intended magic.
I sincerely hope your NaPoMoWrPoGoToPoReBeaPoGoGoGo is going much better for you than mine is. In poetry, m
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