The penultimate day of the poem-a-day challenge! I think I say that every year, mostly because I love the word “penultimate.” I may say that every year too.
Because of regular life busy-ness, and the Edmonton Poetry Festival workshop and reading I have tomorrow, all I’ve managed today is another micro inspired by the 30/30 prompt “a slight change of plans.”
one slight change
can create an opening
for a substantial
The NaPoWriMo.net prompt for the day was to write a “duplex.” A “duplex” is a variation on the sonnet, developed by the poet Jericho Brown. Here’s one of his first “Duplex” poems, and here is a duplex written by the poet I.S. Jones. Like a typical sonnet, a duplex has fourteen lines. It’s organized into seven, two-line stanzas. The second line of the first stanza is echoed by (but not identical to) the first line of the second stanza, the second line of the second stanza is echoed by (but not identical to) the first line of the third stanza, and so on. The last line of the poem is the same as the first. Completing this was tough for me, partly because it’s an exciting, but challenging form, and partly because what emerged in the writing was a difficult topic. I’d say it’s definitely not ready, but my opening and closing line to share are:
Some memories are fluid, like water taking the shape of what holds them.
Today’s NaPoWriMo.net prompt is based on the aisling, a poetic form that developed in Ireland. An aisling recounts a dream or vision featuring a woman who represents the land or country on/in which the poet lives, and who speaks to the poet about it. The challenge was to write a poem that recounts a dream or vision, and in which a woman appears who represents or reflects the area in which you live.
It’s a prompt combo day, using the 30/30 phrase “opposite of history” and the NaPoWriMo.net prompt asking for a poem written in the style of Kay Ryan, whose poems tend to be short and snappy – with a lot of rhyme and soundplay. They also have a deceptive simplicity about them, like proverbs or aphorisms. Examples here with “Token Loss,” “Blue China Doorknob,” “Houdini,” and “Crustacean Island,” and my copycat poem below.
Today’s NaPoWriMo.net prompt is exactly the kind I love, because it got out of my usual poetic paths. Inspired by poet Betsy Sholl, the prompt asks you to write a poem in which you first recall someone you used to know closely but are no longer in touch with, then a job you used to have but no longer do, and then a piece of art that you saw once and that has stuck with you over time. Finally, close the poem with an unanswerable question.
What I wrote is still a work in progress, but I will share these lines:
Have you ever seen Frida Kahlo’s What the Water Gave Me? The scar across the right big toe?
The strange and intricate renderings of life and death? A maze of tendrils and shoots,
invading — the bathwater and perhaps her skin? Sometimes you feel like this to me —
The NaPoWriMo.net prompt today asked for a poem that anthropomorphizes a food. This may be cheating, but I had already done this a few weeks ago, when I looked over at my fruit bowl, and posted a tweet. Here is a short sorta-poem to go with a photo of what I saw.