Archive for the ‘prompts’ Category

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NaPoWriMo Wrap-up and Bonus Prompts

April 30, 2017

The 2017 NaPoWriMo Wrap-up

 

“Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.

There is no happiness like mine.

I have been eating poetry.”

Mark Strand,

 

“Safety isn’t always safe. You can find one on every gun.”

Andrea Gibson

 

NaPoWriMo is done for 2017.   Congratulations!

You owe it to yourself to check out Brendan McBreen‘s just published collection of poetry from MoonPath Press.  Cosmic Egg.  Read a poem from it here.

Want a few more prompts for the next few days?

Here’s 6 more you can try.

 

From Brendan McBreen:

 

Prompt 31 –  Write a concrete poem, a poem physically in the shape of something.

 

Prompt 32 – Use consonance, pick a consonant and use it in each word of a line, pick another for the next line and so on. Try for eight lines.

 

Prompt 33 –  Write an ode to dentists.

 

From  me.:

 

Prompt 34–  Write an ekphrastic poem based on a work of Art you find on a random Google Image search.

 

Prompt 35 –  write a clerihew   (look it up and have at it)

 

Prompt 36 –  Use three words from each of the 6 quotes I’m sharing today to create a 6 line poem.

Here are the poems I’ve written from the 29th and 30th NaPoWriMo prompt

Day 29 NaPoWriMo Prompt suggested picking 4 or more Titles of current Best Sellers.

(I went a little crazy using most of the titles on the New York Times and Publishers Weekly Bestseller Lists)

The Burial Hour

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

‘The Fix’ is in!.

‘A Man Called Ove’, told too many

‘Fast and Loose’, ‘Big Little Lies’

collected in ‘The Black Book’

by me, ‘All By Myself, Alone’

because ‘This Fight is Our Fight’

not just ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’

who was ‘Shattered’ hearing of

‘The Killers of the Flower Moon’

In the ‘Lost City of Z’ by

‘Hidden Figures.’

‘The Women in the Castle’

thought they had told

‘The One Perfect Lie’ to

‘A Gentleman in Moscow’

But ‘The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane’

knew the ‘Dangerous Games’

played by ‘The Cutthroat’ and ‘The Whistler’

were part of the ‘Vicious Circle’

and there were ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’

it all led back to

‘A Man Called Ove’.

 

Day  30  Prompt suggested   Choose 4 lines from what you have written in the last 29 days. These lines become lines 1,3,5, and 8.  Write new material for the  2nd , 4th , 6th  and 7th lines to create your final NaPoWrimo 2017 poem.

 

Previously

By Christopher J. Jarmick

We pretend we’re better

sometimes by escaping with a pill, a smoke, a movie, a book.

Twice, I have changed my reflection.

adjusted the light, changed my focus remembered that place

where imagination meant understanding.

History teaches with every decision, with every belief, there is more to learn.

Walk through the woods, by the lake and ocean, touch living things with compassion.

My brother and I would make a pile of sand.

 

Keep Writing!

Teach you children poetry; it opens the mind, lends grace to wisdom and makes the heroic virtues hereditary.  –Walter Scott

Yet, it is true, poetry is delicious; the best prose is that which is most full of poetry. –Virginia Woolf

Poetry should surprise by a fine excess and not by singularity, it should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance.  – John Keats

Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat.  –  Robert Frost

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf 1927

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NaPoWriMo Prompt for April 29, 2017

April 28, 2017

DAY 29  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  Saturday, April 29, 2017

 

“So many things I had thought forgotten

Return to my mind with stranger pain:

Like letters that arrive addressed to someone

Who left the house so many years ago.”

Philip Larkin

 

The penultimate NaPoWriMo prompt for 2017 is here!

 

And it also happens to be National Independent Bookstore Day!    So make sure that you visit an independent bookstore and buy something today.   In Western Washington 19 independent bookstores have joined together to create a fun contest with prizes and rewards for participants.    BookTree the bookstore I co-own in Kirkland  is part of Independent Bookstore Day too!   We have authors, guests, special limited merchandise, and much more.  BookTree’s event page is here.

 

Day 29 NaPoWriMo Prompt

 

Pick 4 or more Titles of current Best Sellers  (there are several types of lists to choose these from) Choose 4 titles from the lists.     Use the titles (as close to intact as possible) in a poem 4 to 8 lines long.

 

“Sir, I admit your general rule,

That every poet is a fool,

But you yourself may serve to show it,

That every fool is not a poet.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 

Prompt 27 – suggested we write an Anaphora poem.

Here’s what I wrote:

 

An Anaphora Anaphora

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

Anaphora and a five-a and a…

Anaphora may be botched pig latin for a floral arrangement

Anaphora is a drug they use to knock you out before a major operation

Anaphora is a peaceful place the mind escapes to

Anaphora would make a great name – Anna-Phora Jones and the Cathedral of Chaos.

Anaphora better planet.

“Anaphora, I’m anaphora, Your anaphora, We are all anaphora.”

 

Poem Starter 123,321

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

Poem Starter ,

Poem Starter what are you?

Poem Starter,

Poem Starter; short, to the point

Poem Starter,

Poem Starter return to us soon.

 

Keep Writing!

BookTree Sitting Zone

IMG_0703

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NaPoWriMo Prompt for April 28, 2017

April 27, 2017

DAY 28  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  Friday, April 28, 2017

 

“This poetry. I never know what I’m going to say.”

Jalaluddin Rumi

 

Welcome to the 28th day of NaPoWriMo.

If you are anywhere near Auburn, Washington tomorrow

you should not pass up the opportunity to hear two former and the

current Washington State Poet Laureate as well as some other regional

poet laureates.  It will be quite the show- Friday Night.  Details here.

 

AND

 

On Saturday… 19 Western Washington Independent bookstores are celebrating Independent Bookstore Day.  Find out more about that here.

 

Today’s prompt was suggested by Brendan McBreen (he’ll be in Auburn Friday night….)

 

Write a poem about a sandcastle.

 

 “[Poetry] is the liquid voice that can wear through stone.”

Adrienne Rich

 

Prompt 26–  suggested Writing a couple of short poems embracing an absurd idea as a reality and perhaps commenting on popular culture, or language or history or if you must politics.

Here’s a few I wrote:

 

L.A. Salmon Run

by Christopher J. Jarmick

 

The Salmon in L.A. run,

but they don’t swim upstream;

No!

They drive

like everyone else.

 

Poem Starter 4217

by Christopher J. Jarmick

 

I just noticed something about

the word ‘artisanal’

It’s ‘art is ana’l squished together.

WTF!

 

Poem Starter 4247

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

Reality is now

something to

be negotiated

since many choose

to believe whatever

they feel like regardless of

its relationship with

the truth.

 

Poem Starter 4237

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

When in doubt

take the fork

in the road

and eat your soup

with it.

 

Keep Writing!

Another Talia created version of the BookTree logo!

BookTree FullSizeRender (1)

 

 

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NaPoWriMo Prompt for April 27, 2017

April 26, 2017

DAY 27  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  Thursday, April 27, 2017

 

The purpose of poetry is to remind us

how difficult it is to remain just one person,

for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors,

and invisible guests come in and out at will.”

Czesław Miłosz

 

Prompt 27  Let’s use anaphora in our poem today.

 

Anaphora comes from the Greek for a  “a carrying up or back,” and refers to using successive phrases or lines that begin with the same words.  It can resemble a litany, it can be as simple as using a single word in each line of your poem or using a longer phrase.  It was used by Shakespeare, and is used in a lot of the world’s religious poetry including biblical psalms.

 

“A poem begins with a lump in the throat; a homesickness or a love sickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfillment. A complete poem is one where an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”

Robert Frost

 

Prompt 25 as suggested by Brendan McBreen was to write an upside  down poem.

Here is what I wrote.

Not A Right Side Up Poem

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

1.

I am standing on my head

trying to write

a poem

(but not this poem),

About something said

that almost

led to a fight.

It’s too difficult to

continue

and writing upside down

is NOT an upside down poem.

 

2.

Read this poem while

Standing on your head.

I realize that doesn’t make

the poem an upside poem

either, however.

 

3.

You are probably light-headed

ater standing on your head

for a few minutes.

You probably believe in your

present state

that this could be

an upside down

poem.

 

*Brendan’s suggestion to write an upside down poem seemed interesting and challenging.  Still does despite this awful write I’ve come up with.

 

Keep Writing

Robert Frost

Robert Frost 1941 pd wiki

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NaPoWriMo Prompt for April 26,2017

April 25, 2017

DAY 26  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  Wednesday, April 26, 2017

 

“Poets are shameless with their experiences: they exploit them.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Welcome to Day 26 of our poem-a-day marathon in celebration of National Poetry Month.

Prompt for Day 26:   Write a couple of short poems embracing an absurd idea as a reality which perhaps comments on popular culture, or language or history or if you must politics.

 

“Poetry puts starch in your backbone so you can stand, so you can compose your life.”

Maya Angelou

 

The Prompt for Day 24  involved writing a poem about letters in the alphabet.

Here’s what I wrote:

 

Misprint

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

A book toppled off the shelf.

No one was near it.

I saw something moving on the floor.

It wasn’t a worm but could it be

a book fly?  A book ant?

As I picked up the book

I saw what looked like two eyelashes

moving on the floor

and bent down to get a closer look.

Two letters!

 

I was alone in the bookstore;

was I dreaming?

I looked away

then back at the

letters

making their way toward a space

underneath the bookshelf.

The letter ‘q’, and the letter ‘f’

moving together

almost as one.

‘Q’ and ‘F’?

What was this?

Were they escaping

from the book?

Has this sort of thing

happened before?

Did it happen often?

 

Perhaps the letters

were in love.

Perhaps love affairs between certain letters

was not permitted.

‘Q’’s are usually with ‘u’’s

they go together,

are almost always together.

But a ‘Q’ and a ‘F’?

This was an act of subversion.

 

I could understand

a  ‘Q’ and ‘X’…  they both

seem somewhat

anti-social… neither very

good team-players,

but certainly unique,

distinct.

A ‘q’ and  ‘g’ I could

see as a case

of opposites attracting;

But a ‘q’ and  ‘f’?

For several days,

I was in a daze

regarding the remarkable

thing I witnessed.

I forgot to keep track of the

book that the letters

escaped from.

And I realized

some day

a customer may come in

and talk about a misprint

they found

And I might be tempted

to inquire if it involved a missing ‘q’

And ‘f’.

I might be tempted to relate

my story

knowing it might  make me

sound unhinged.

Letters escaping from a book?

Letters magically alive?

Was I promoting something akin

to a conspiracy?

Did I really think there was

an alternate (or parallel) universe,

where the letters themselves

rise up against the traditions

and rules of grammar

and letter pairing?

And would that make the

father and mother of

this revolution

the ‘q’ and ‘f’

I observed

running off

across the bookstore

floor?

Best to keep

uiet  orever.

 
Keep Writing!

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou 1993 pd wiki

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NaPoWriMo Prompt 25 for April 25, 2017

April 24, 2017

DAY 25  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  Tuesday, April 25, 2017

 

“Poetry is a naked woman, a naked man, and the distance between them.”

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

 

Welcome to Day 25!  We are on the homestretch of NaPoWriMo 2017.  I hope some of the writes stretched your writing muscles and imagination.  Perhaps you’ll find it easier in the future to be inspired to create.

 

Today’s prompt # 25  was suggested by Brendan McBreen

Upside-down is the theme, write a poem.

 

“I am the poet of the poor, because I was poor when I loved; since I could not give gifts, I gave words.”

Ovid

 

Prompt 23   – suggested that we write a poem revealing an ugly truth.

Here’s what I wrote.

Ugly Truth

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

Our necks strain toward the scene

of the accident.

We want to see what we

really don’t want to see.

Scandals, bad news,

attract us like gnats to a bright light.

We like rags to riches stories,

but absolutely love, love love

when those on top

fall off their perches

and belly flop loudly

complete with juicy lurid details.

We pretend we’re better

than that whenever it happens,

we comment about it:

‘they were too greedy. . .’,

‘it was too good to be true’,

‘they never deserved the good fortune,’

‘kharma, baby, kharma. . .

And some always say:

I saw that coming ages ago,

I knew it was going to happen.

Yet for all our wisdom

we remain gullible

and more naïve than cynical.

We like shiny success.

Perhaps we think

some of the shine

will reflect off of us.

Hell, someone has got

to win the lotto, right?

Wish I could write more

but the police scanner is

blaring and there’s breaking news

on the television…..

 

Keep Writing!

writer woman thinking pixabay

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NaPoWriMo Prompt for April 24, 2017

April 23, 2017

DAY 24  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  Monday, April 24, 2017

 

“A poet is a man who manages, in a lifetime of standing out in thunderstorms, to be struck by lightning five or six times.”

Randall Jarrell

 

Day 24 is upon us.  7 days, 7 prompts left to go.

 

Prompt 24     Write a poem about the alphabet, or letters, or your favorite or least favorite letters of the alphabet, or a relationship you have with one or more letters of an alphabet.  The poem should be in English but the alphabet could be other than English.  You get the idea.

 

 “first of all nothing will happen

and a little later

nothing will happen again”

Leonard Cohen

 

For Prompt 22 Brendan McBreen suggested that for Earth Day we should find and use at least twelve words related to geology, and use them in a love poem (or anti-love poem).

Here’s what I wrote:

Geo-degradable

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

It didn’t seem the continental drift,

the erosion, the syncline, would happen to us.

It seemed our love was made of Cambrian cementation,

geomorphically solid (subject to occasional natural outgas of course),

but having survived some tectonic shifts

our subduction zone and unconformity were

of little concern, until the rockfall that

disturbed forever our core, resulting

in a Cretaceous crustal deposition

where we couldn’t even

agree on the exact location of the fault lines.

Earthquake, avalanche, tidal wave

and goodbye.

 

Keep Writing!

Leonard Cohen

leonard cohen