I am participating in National Poetry Writing Month, where the goal is to write one poem a day for 30 days. During the month of April, I will be using the writing prompts at ReadWritePoem.org and posting the results.
Day five prompt (a little introspection or 50-word pick-up)
It wouldnt be poetry if there wasnt a little introspection, right? By now, you have hopefully received your list of 50 words from a poetry pal (or the mailman, your mother-in-law, your mechanic, your hair dresser ). Today, sit with your words. Read them out loud. Then, walk away. Close your eyes and try to recall 10-15 from your list. Write them down. These are your introspection words.
Think about why these particular words stuck with you. Is it their sound? Their meaning? Free-write on the meaning of these words to you. Not necessarily their dictionary meaning, but why they resonate for you.
Now, write a poem!
Turn On, Tune In(to) Language
I love them all: fierce, playful
monkey words; clear, round
word bubbles buh... buh
black, gooey tar words.
A susurration of sounds
hiss, hush, purr words.
Functional lamp words (never
seen until they cease
to work). Come to me,
forbidden words, my comrades.
I'll wear a hirsute hair shirt, pucker
my mouth into rectum. I'll offer
flowers to my Odalisque
words, reclining nude on couches.
With a bit of prestidigitation, I'll convert
apple into butterfly. (I once named a tabby
Apple, and he flew away from us.)
My ninja words will sneak into
your brain's Zen garden, and build
bamboo wonder. Flash!
The poem goes dark.
I finally get to use the words I collected from my friends list. In my free writing about the words I remembered from the list, I found that some of them popped into my head because they were "forbidden" words, offering up challenges. Others had evocative sounds that stuck with me. I love to learn new words, to play with their meanings, and so evolved this meta poem. Art lovers will recognize the allusion to this famous painting by Edouard Manet, called Olympia, featuring an odalisque (a nice way of saying a prostitute) with her maid servant.
You can't keep forbidden words out of the brain pan.