Prompt 9 – write a self-portrait poem. Other artists study themselves to create compositions (not all of them exactly flattering either), so it is only natural that poets, who are word artists, write self-portrait poems from time to time. In fact, some poets make self-portrait poetry "their main thing." For at least today, make it yours.
I have a portrait in the attic
I call Dorianna
and it shows
how I at age 70 should look.
Dorianna has deep ridges around her mouth
lines embedded across her forehead
and jowls that hang over the waddle
under her chin
while I masquerade through my life
with almost lineless skin
smooth and soft to the touch.
I have nary a sag
Yes, even my boobs still perk up
While my portrait’s body
has a belly that rolls over her lap,
and hanging kimono arms.
What a shame she hasn’t
benefitted from my healthy diet
of berries, greens, and lean meats.
From the looks of her,
the poor thing doesn’t even know
what the word workout means.
Still every so often I climb those stairs
and visit Dorianna just to make sure
she is only a portrait
and not the real thing.
Prompt 10 – write a horror poem. Make it scary. Make it cheesy. Make it funny. Whatever you do link it somehow to horror. Who knows? Maybe someone will write the next great raven poem.
The Horror of It All
On Holocaust Remembrance Day 2010
I think about 29 miners
dead in a West Virginia mine disaster,
90 people including
most of the Polish government,
killed in a airplane crash,
and all the children sexually abused by priests
who have found ways to protect one another
from being punished for their transgressions.
And, just this week
I read about other young children
as young as 11
killing themselves because
they couldn’t withstand
their bullying classmates.
This is the 21st century, folks!
Let’s put a stop to the
the harms and crimes
that stain our lives
now and forever.
Prompt 11 – take the phrase "The Last (blank)," replace the blank with a word or phrase, make that the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Some examples: "The Last Train," "The Last Kiss," "The Last Time I'll Give Directions to a Complete Stranger," "The Last Dance," etc.
The Last Cigarette
I smoked my last cigarette
46 years ago
thanks to my ex husband.
He stood in front of the door
I needed to pass through
to get my after-dinner cigarette.
You don’t need it,
Some wives don’t have a lot of good
memories about their exes.
I am lucky.
I remember that
mine probably saved my life
when he prevented me
from smoking that last cigarette.
Prompt 12 – pick a city, make that the title of your poem, and write a poem. Your poem can praise or belittle the city. Your poem could be about the city or about the people of the city. Your poem could even have seemingly nothing to do with the city. But the simple act of picking a city will set the mood (to a certain degree), so choose wisely.
I never knew any hog butchers
or steel makers as Sandburg
liked to tout in his poem
I just remember the Lake
and the Art Institute
and the Museum of Science and Institute
and seeing plays at the Goodman Theater
while I was growing up there.
I’m going back for a few days this spring.
I’ll be sure to look for the hogs.