OK. I just came across something that readwritepoem.org does in April: they encourage people to write a poem a day each day in the month and provide a daily prompt to guide/fuel this challenge. Certainly, there's more to it than that, but that's all you need to know for what I'm about to say. I really want to kick my butt in gear with my writing, particularly my poetry, and so I'm going to take up this challenge. Starting today. Each day, I'm going to post the poem I've written based on the prompt from readwritepoem.org's "napowrimo." This will be a completely raw poem, unrevised and unedited. Does two things for me: gets me back in the habit of writing at least a poem a day (harkening back to a glorious period of writing for me during college) and gets me over my unnecessarily perfectionist anxiety about letting anyone see what I write. I will do my very best to try not to apologize for what I'm writing for and ignore my need to preface these poems with disclaimers and the like.
Also, feel free to join me in this process and post your poem in the comments section here. Or don't post it--but you should do this too! It will be great fun, I promise. I'd love to read what you come up with.
Enough said. On to the prompt.
Here is the prompt for day #1:
- Put your iPod or iTunes (or other mp3 player) on shuffle. (If you don’t have a music player that shuffles, you can choose CD or album titles at random from your collection by writing several titles down on little slips of paper … works the same way.)
- Write down the first five titles that come up. No cheating allowed!
- Use all five titles to draft a new poem. They have to be used intact — you can interrupt them with punctuation, but you may not remove or change words.
Fun, right? Well I think so. I jumped on iTunes, set it to shuffle, and began my song title lottery. The songs that popped up are as follows:
- "Everything I Am" by Kanye West (I know, I know. Not much to defend here. Oh, has anyone read or read about his recent 70+ tweet ranting apology for the T-Swift debacle? That's not a defense for why he's on my iTunes--just a random aside.)
- "Father and Daughter" by Paul Simon (One of the songs I downloaded and offered as an option for Kasey's father/daughter dance as Jeremy and I sat in my living room organizing music for her and John's wedding)
- "Blue Orchid" by the White Stripes
- "Whatever You're Doing" by Sanctus Real (Gotta say, while this song isn't bad, I'm not a Sanctus fan. Used this for one of Kent's messages at Epic)
- "Lenny/Man on the Side" by John Mayer
As far as poetry inspiration, I was doing OK until #5. Darn you, Mayer, and your slash and funny names.
And the poem that surfaced:
my eyes open to darkness, my ears to the a.c. running like an '89 buick on its last legs. the stop-light red numbers on the clock are blurred from my terrible vision. i can't tell if it's too late or too early, just that you are not home yet.
i start picturing where you are, who you're with. maybe it's lenny/man on the side/"just a friend," maybe it's who you said you'd be with. seedy bar? sleek club? sappy movie? the possibilities…the stories…
whatever you're doing, i begin to play out each scenario. each smile. each laugh. each step away from home. everything. i am tired.
the nightlight yawns some faint golden light on the picture of your father and daughter dance five years ago next week. the blue orchid you had in your hair sits in the dust-covered scrapbook now, brown, black, and withered.