Day 3: National Poetry Month

My Journally prompt today was “Grape Kool-Aid, halfhearted happenstance, and the memory of….” Whatever that means.

Here’s what I did with it. Whatever this means.

Halfhearted Happenstance

Even chaos slacks off on the job from time to time,
leaving you to drink your own Kool-Aid, believe
the revisionist memories you’ve made up to placate
guilts savored like a fine piece of asparagus dripping
in sauces you don’t quite recognize, don’t quite
know know whether you can make peace with.
Life and dinner parties don’t have to turn out
the way we plan, don’t have to arrange people
we love in clear relationships around a sturdy table.
But even days when you blink your eyes
and see everything change, lean forward
for another helping of new potatoes only
to realize that the person staring at you
to your left is not who you thought, and you
sitting there with the spoon in your hand,
shadow lurking over discarded napkin rings
are barely recognizable yourself. It should
feel more difficult than it does sometimes,
this sense that you can’t be yourself
inside yourself, that every routine taste
is a potential strangeness on a strange
and stranger plate. Put down the spoon.
Take a sip of iced tea. Talk to someone
other than the thoughts in your head.
It doesn’t matter who you think
you are today. Stop right now.
You are getting on your nerves.

Day 2: National Poetry Month

My Journally prompt today is “Like a cheap pair of shoes, ________ pinches at my day until….”

Here’s what I’ve done with it:

Like a cheap pair of shoes the desire to please too many people pinches at my day until I displease everyone with equal aplomb. I am digging in the dirt while you wait for my attention, neglecting plants as I look up, for a moment, to speak to you. Always it is the same. Bad news, impatience, fatigue, the probability of failing in ways we haven’t yet considered trying insinuate into the very air. There is much to be done. In that way, our disregard for each other does not change. But the sun is purple against the evening sky, and here I squat amongst drooping petunias to breathe.

(Let’s just call it a prose poem for now.)

Day 1: National Poetry Month

As promised, I posted a new writing prompt to Journally to kick of National Poetry Month today. I’m hoping to post a new prompt every day for the month of April. I’m hoping to keep it just weird enough to keep even me interested. You can follow the prompts on the Journally site or on the Facebook page.

Today’s prompt is “Even gravity has no hold on the foolishness of my…”

Here’s what I did with it:

Even gravity has no hold on the foolishness of my malcontent,
anxiety climbing like a cat toward the shrill mockingbird
it both stalks and fears, anxiety like the mockingbird’s song
falling in all directions at once. What goes up must come down,
they say, but how to measure which is which when you
have no point of origin?

I know I don’t have the time or the mental energy to write a poem a day for April as many of my poet friends are doing. I can provide some prompts, though, and I can write some pieces of poems. The value of writing a piece of a poem every day is so often underrated. Those over-achievers who write whole poems daily are just going to end up cutting 2/3s of what they write before they’re finished revised anyway. 🙂