Friday, April 18, 2014

Prompt # 30: Not Wanting

Write a list poem about all the things you do not want. 
Allow the list to travel, from the ordinary to the sublime.
Write one thing that you want to end the poem.

Prompt#29: Something old, new, borrowed, blue.

Write the poem that includes: something old, new, borrowed, blue.  Poem cannot be about marriage unless it's a Chagall marriage.

Prompt#28: Hear no Evil, See no Evil, Talk no Evil.

How does one dispel negativity?  Write this poem as an evocation.
Begin each line with the word: Let

Prompt #27: Go for a Walk

Go for a walk.  Pick up three things while your are out.  It could be a shell, or stone or feather, or
fallen bird nest, or wild flower. Or  it could be a walk in town and you pick up a map, a menu, a travel brochure.

Write your poem. Think of where you are and where your found objects have been.  Their age? Their endurance?  Their mystery?  And you?  What about you?

Prompt #26: Chores

Compare a domestic activity to a particular emotion.

Such as washing dishes to mercy, or vacuuming to boredom.

This will be an extended metaphor poem.

Brainstorm all the characteristics of the chore.  Think of good and not-so-good characteristics. Everything has good and not-so-good characteristics.  You want both because without both the poem will be lopsided.

Write your poem, either free verse or in a form of your choice.

Prompt #25: Hidden words

Make a list words that contains other words.

Example: Sparrows    has arrows.   Turn   has urn.     Core    has Ore.

Make a list and write a poem using your favorite ones.

Prompt #24: Small World Poem

Here are your categories: Under each category, write your first response:
Here's my example.

Bird                       Flower                   Color           Emotion        Action verb
Sparrow                  Lilacs                     Yellow            Joy                 Switch

Using these words and any other so your poem makes sense, write a small world poem.
No longer than six lines.

Prompt #23: Say What?

Write a list of expressions and/or adages.


 "I always know when to stop"

"Get out of my way, I'm in a hurry"

"I didn't see you standing there"

" That's how the cookie crumble"

Pick your favorite one and have it show up in your poem.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Prompt #22: Shoes

Take a good look at your shoes, create a poem naming all the places you've been with your shoes.
Consider using the Ghazal form.

Here's an example of a Ghazal:

A Ghazal called Desire

Dreamy, the tank swirls with this tale’s airy surface.
Along the glass, catfish whiskers skim the surface.

Water churned on the bubbles, blew
perfect O’s to her lips kissing the hushed surface.

Love began like this, long ago, in a pond
where she swam against its smooth surface.                          

Stones and mud grazed belly to bare belly,
hidden from those who looked below the surface.                                       

Staring at the tank’s natural light, she wants to dive
again, and break this hour’s surface.

She gazes beyond glass, and sees her sleek body
shadowing the catfish’s slippery surface.


This was first published on Ghazal.  Thanks, Gene Doty!

Notice the couplets have to be discrete (stand on their own as well as work together in poem)
Ist stanza has the repeat word at the end of its lines.  After 1st stanza, it's always the second line of each couplet that has the repeat word.

So the repeat word would be "shoes" for this challenge, or whatever you want to do.

 Could be boots, flip-flops, sandals, barefoot and so on.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Prompt #21: Femme Fatale

Write a poem in  "Film Noire," using the language of the 40's.  Invent your Femme Fatale.

** Time to watch: Double Indemnity.  Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray. 


Prompt #20: Silence

What is your silence?  Write a poems that describes your silence.
Where do you find it?   Is it warm or cold?  What does it give you?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Prompt #19: Get to Going Poem

Write a poem about your daily commute.  On foot, in car, by train, in subway, by bicycle, some things are always the same (name them in poem) and one thing will be different today (name it.  How does it affect the poem?). 

Now get to going!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Prompt #18: Something Small

Write a cinquain about something that is "small."

A cinquain is a form invented by Adelaide Crapsey in homage to haiku.  She was from Rochester NY.
The form is based on syllable count per line:


You may use simile (like, as or than) in your poem.  The lines may enjamb (flow from one line to next).
Cinquains are addictive.  Once you get started, it's hard to turn back.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Prompt #17:Ode or Anti-Ode

Write an Ode in honor of something. (see Neruda's Odes for inspiration).  If you not in the mood to celebrate; then write an Anti-Ode. Years ago, my students created fantastic Anti-Odes.  They focused
on what they didn't like. One student was totally creeped out by flies.  So hers was an "Anti-Ode to a Fly."

Hope all of you are keeping up with the challenge.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Prompt#16: Go Take A Walk

Divide your notebook page into four quadrants by drawing  a horizontal line  and vertical line on page.

By doing this you should have four boxes. 
Now create headers for each box.

In first box, the header should read: images; second box, sounds and smells, third box, things in action and fourth box any words seen (can be on buildings, billboards, people's tee shirts, posters, street signs, any signage)

Go for walk.  Write down  what you see, hear, taste touch smell , according to the categories of each box.

From the lists, create a poem  with cascading lines.  Enjoy your walk.

After you write yours, then read Frank O'Hara's "A Step Away from Them."  I love his Lunch Poems collection.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Prompt #15: You Do the Math

Less is more, or so they say.  Write about a time you felt free.
( Be honest. If not, be artful in your freedom.)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Prompt#14: Scavenger Hunt

Since it's Saturday, a day of errands.  Put your small notebook in your pocket.  As you go about your routine, look for images and write them down.  Images are concrete.  Everything we see, taste, touch, feel, smell (5senses).  Use all of you senses today.

Look for images in action.

Take your list.  Hopefully, you will have  8-10 (maybe more) and
create a poem.

Afterwards, distill your poem to a haiku.  See what happens.
Hopefully you will have two terrific poems. You may distill to more than one haiku.  It's up to you.

Saturday, Gray Skies and Chilly

A gray morning.   Yesterday, full of rain.  In the late afternoon, I went to the market to buy milk, bread, Stacy naked pita chips.  Three women, who passed me walking at different times, said exactly the same line: “At least, it’s not snow.” Fat cold raindrops plopping on our heads. We’re all dreaming of Spring.  I’m so out of sync because of the winter hanging on.  I actually think there is time left in this semester.  But, in truth, time is moving quickly.
Last evening at twilight, a coyote came in and snagged some of our chickens. At this point we’re not sure how many were taken.  The chickens scatter in a panic, hiding in the dark.  We were hoping they went under the porch.  The dark came on fast and we couldn’t see anything. This morning I saw one Brahma walking along the garden’s wooden fence. This is the season of hunger.  The fox and coyote have birthed their litters, and are looking for the quick meal.
I never get used to this.


I hope the daily poetry prompts have trigger some new poems.  The act of writing daily can be very soothing, especially now when  there's so many deadlines. I've carved out time to do this, too.
 ***If you want to see all the prompts you have to click on older posts.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Check Out The Poetry Storehouse

 I have had the good fortune to have several poems accepted by The Poetry Storehouse.

I love this site and what it offers all of us: the opportunity to read work, create a video or short film.
Thanks, Nic Sebastian!

Prompt #13 " I Got A Secret"

Imagine a body of water, sea, ocean, puddle, pool, river, pond, and so on. Include time of year, weather, smells in this environment and sounds heard.  ** Mind you, this can be a plein air poem, too.

While describing the water reveal the secret without saying the word secret.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

New Poem posted on Postcards and Prose

Recent Poem "Apple Trees in January" just posted on Postcards and Prose

Prompt # 12: Double Yolk: Good Morning to You!

1.Write a poem about the space between silence and speaking. What gives you the courage to speak or not.

2. Write a poem about your paradise.  To get started with this.  Brainstorm a list of words, phrases that describe your paradise.  Is this place  linked to your traditions?  Or is it a dreamscape?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Prompt #11. Eye of Storm

Write a poem that describes chaos without saying chaos.
Find an epigraph to introduce this poem.
Do not repeat the essence of epigraph because it's a gem in itself.
Use it as a jumping off point.

Prompt #10: One Small Thing Day to Day

Every day we carry something valuable with us.  Look in your purse, pocket, bookbag, on your person (ring, necklace, eyeglasses and so on), travel mug, clothing, edibles and potables.

1. Write a strong description of object.  
2. Look up and find at least 6 factoids about object.
3. Weave description and factoids together.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

SUNY Brockport Writers Forum April 2, 2014 at 8 pm in the New York Room, Cooper Hall, on the Brockport campus. Writers Forum events are free and open to the public.

Michael Klein
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Michael Klein

Poet and Memoirist

Michael Klein is a four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist and two-time winner (for Poets for Life: Poets Respond to AIDS and his first book of poems, 1990, which shared the award with James Schuyler's Collected Poems). He is the author of two books of prose, The End of Being Known and Track Conditions, both from the University of Wisconsin Press, and a recent collection of poems, The Talking Day (Sibling Rivalry Press). He lives in New York City and Provincetown with his husband, Andrew Hood, and he teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at Goddard College in Vermont.

Prompt #9: Palimpsest Poem

Palimpsest: a manuscript on which two or more successive texts have been written, each one being erased to make room for the next (World English Dictionary).

Write a poem that has "erasures" and starts over, creating layers that allows the poem's truth to bleed through. This poem would be an altered poem with blanked words or crossed out lines.

You could take a poem that's not working and alter it, leaving the edits visible.

Prompt# 8 Bi-Valve Poem

Bi-Valve poem - Write a list of "companion" phrases such as "Peanut Butter and Jelly," "Love and Hate,""You and I,"  "Night and Day," Oil and Water," "Doors and Windows," and so on.  Get a decent list. Write a poem with the first stanza about the first word and the second stanza about the second word.  See what happens.  This may turn out to be an exceptional prose poem.