Monday, June 14, 2010

A few things, including a prompt.

I heard Devin Johnston, a writer and professor at SLU talk today. He was talking about poetry, and how really, it is a writing form much like condensed milk. (It is sweet and has a long shelf life because it has been condensed.)

He also said a few other wonderful things:

"Poetry starts as an instinct towards action"-- It's like talking a walk; kind of having a plan but seeing what you encounter on the way. So if your feet are itching to walk, go walk! If you're brain has an instinct to write a poem, get out a pen!

"don't romance me, just pour the drinks" i.e. poetry, unlike a prevalent thought, is not supposed to be flowery, it's supposed to be powerful. Like high proof alcohol.

"you pull your favorite word 'duvet' over your head."


As a prompt, I want you to write about poetry for as long as you can (for ten minutes), and then condense it as much as possible. go! Let it be stream of consciousness.

1 comment:

Leah Nixon said...

Poetry is blooming all over the city at this time of year. The blooms smell of old books, new pages, of coffee stains.

Of leaves of yellow notebook pads, of little kids summer feet, of doors full of cooled air. of salty perspiration, of tepid inspiration.

the color of the poetry bouquet is blue lined paper. is screen at night-dark. Is the color of freshly tanned skin, of pinked cheeks, of embarrassment, of crushes, of sun.

These days everything feels like nostalgia and carnivals and summer nights and stargazing at your eyes.

of cracked sidewalks and stubbed toes, so sworn promises that were tied by fishing line knots, and tree house ropes.

These days taste like cold cream, and cut sugar strawberries, they smell of pond slime and rhubarb, the take as long picking cherries.


old books,
new pages,
coffee stains.

yellow notebook pads,
doors full of cooled air.

salty perspiration,
tepid inspiration.

blue lined paper a mosquito-screen-at-night-dark.

freshly tanned skin,
pinked cheeks: embarrassment, crushes, sun.

vibrate with

stargazing at your eyes.
cracked sidewalks
stubbed toes,
sworn promises that were tied by fishing line knots, and tree house ropes.

cold cream,
cut sugar strawberries;

search for
pond slime,


lightning bugs,
melting stanzas.

blistering feet yearning for a wash in the sink.