Whew! Week three is done–one more week to go. It’s been really fun to get feedback from my readers about these. I’m updating as I go on Instagram, if you want to follow there @michelledwhipple. I also just added a mom jean exposé to my Highlights.
If you asked me to explain what makes a poem good, I would quote Ted Lasso, “Well, Trent, I’m gonna put it the same way the US Supreme Court did back in 1964 when they defined pornography. It ain’t easy to explain, but you know it when you see it.”
Thanks again to @amykaypoetry for the prompts and the challenge!
Day 15: Write a Poem that Breaks a Curse
Famous Footwear I don’t know if I’ve ever been cursed, but I did work at Famous Footwear, for one day, once. Literally nothing about the cash register or shoes. Instead I learned how to greet people so aggressively they would know I could pick out their face in a lineup. Didn’t you know, everyone is a suspect? I was willing to sell shoes, But this seemed like it might Change me forever. I never went back. Breaking a curse is like this. You see the face of the devil In a new pair of Nikes And you run. In the opposite direction.
Day 16: Tell Us What You’re Writing
This is a poem about anger. People think poems are metaphors but mine are so literal you could lick the wallpaper. I’ve never been compelled to write fiction. A therapist would tell me to Name it. It’s anger, damn it! I’m walking in the dark and somehow the edge of the door is perfectly aligned so both hands miss what my face finds. That’s not a metaphor.
Day 17: Write A Haiku…or 7
I got a little carried away on this one. Seven separate haikus.
When my skin tires Of holding back the humours, I will still eat brunch. Loud like a sixties Floral maternity dress From Lord & Taylor. The white alyssum Will not be contained to the Terracotta pot. Four syllable words Are fun for a haiku poem. Enchilada—see! When the pink rose blooms It’s a miracle because I don’t water it. Haikus are supposed To be about nature stuff My brain IS nature. I’ve gotta crackdown On those screeching green parrots. If not, then who will?
Day 18: Write An Obituary
Obit after Victoria Chang $4 Ikea Frying Pan — died April 2, 2021. I just saved myself from near heavy metal poisoning by replacing my $4 Ikea frying pan. The teflon coating incurred a breach a couple weeks ago. At first, I thought maybe I hadn’t adequately cleaned it, but soon it was apparent that dangerous things could be leaching into my morning eggs through the tiny abrasion in the coating and the time to act was now. When I was younger, I would have thrown my head back and challenged the universe with, “What are you going to do? Give me cancer!?! Too late!!!” But now, I am aware that having multiple kinds of cancer might be worse than just the one. I upgraded to a $40 ceramic-coated model. Please send eggs in lieu of flowers.
Day 19: I Will Love You
I Will Love You after Lemony Snicket I will love you even when the story changes. When time falls short and expectations are thin and gray. I will love you in spite of the roses and because of the champagne. I will love you because this is my shot. I will love you when the milk is sour and the raspberry’s center has barely begun to mold. I will love you when the story changes again. When the hammock drops. When the stars glint wildly over glowing blue waves. When my feet are in the dust and my hair is in the sky. I will love you as the water so loves the touch of sandstone that it takes it with her as she flows.
Day 20: Update A Poem
This prompt was to take an existing poem and give it an Update. I chose Shel Silverstein’s My Beard.
Day 21: A Peek Behind the Curtain
Rainer Maria Rilke said, “Who has not sat before his onw heart’s curtain? It lifts, and the scenery is falling apart.” Amy Kay’s prompt was “What’s behind your heart’s curtain?”
Behind the curtain. Prepare for battle. No—it’s not a battle at all, I’m preparing to ask a question. The strangest question, not sure how to win if you want to win, what winning looks like. #winning—mostly old wounds dropping new blood on a different field. Different? I thought things might… I guess I was different. But things are not different. Some things never change until they evaporate or collapse. Between the fear and the grief a small fragment of hope. Funny word. Misappropriated. Not that things will resolve. I have GIVEN UP on resolution. Just that things might be slightly better than they are now. But there is also this bustling, enlarging piece screaming MORE. moremoremoremoremore Of life.