Full prompt here.
Our featured online magazine today is Couplet. This is a relatively new journal, with just two issues so far. Couplet focuses on publishing pairs of poems that complement one another. I’ll point out Sarah Gridley’s poems “Aquatic” and “Anchor,” and W. Todd Kaneko’s “How to Stay Safe” and “When Our Twin Sons are Born.”
Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a variation of an acrostic poem. But rather than spelling out a word with the first letters of each line, I’d like you to write a poem that reproduces a phrase with the first words of each line.
I enjoyed reading the featured poems for today. I especially enjoyed dating-tips-for-cyclops. There were lots of poems to read today as the recommended pages from Couplet held two poems and I had a brief read around the journal.
AQUATIC by Sarah Gridley was an amazing poem, beautiful lines and lingering images. I read it several times before I did a deep dive (apt for this poem).
A sanded dark centering on those floating, pointed stars.
A glass of water alone is sometimes sweet as Wisdom.
finding a sea tossing its ever after inside you.
It is the dream of light at the end of water. At home below the surface, it is the animal I lost sight of to remember how to be.
Next I read THE ANCHOR by Sarah Gridley
I felt the anchor as a ponderous
dart—an art of heading down and digging
in, of withstood frictions
Life is always either no more or not yet.
Another poem full of ponder.
When I arrived on Couplet I read a few poems and the next recommended poem was one of them.
HOW TO STAY SAFE by W. Todd Kaneko. Your son has a husky wail that cuts through the night. Your life is good but you don’t get enough sleep because no one is ever ready for a body to return to the soil.
I know people who hold these thoughts in mind and make future decisions by them. The atmosphere of this is brilliantly captured.
WHEN OUR TWIN SONS ARE BORN
A baby is not a thunder lizard,
but two babies are a swarm of fingernails and hunger for love in the darkest heart of the night.
love starved and panicked for extinction.
Next the prompt. I have written this way before – almost a reverse golden shovel. I want to find the right line to use as a starting point so I will be back later to post process notes.
I wanted to find a poet and poem I didn’t yet know, (that’s the NaPo buzz), so I searched for Contemporary Female Poets and selected the first list of 18 the internet threw me. I knew many of them. Then I came to Andrea Gibson’s collection and searched for Andrea.
Andrea Gibson: Activist and spoken word poet extraordinaire Andrea Gibson is on a poetic crusade in support of LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, social reform, the deconstruction of the patriarchy, a righting of the wrongs of globalization and capitalism, and a whole, whole lot more — and Gibson’s poetry is only the beginning. – By E. Ce Miller / Source: Bustle.com
I searched for poems by… and came across dianapressey.com which features video performance and review. I went for the 1st one, ‘The Nutritionist’. I know Button Poetry* and Button Poetry poets, I watched/ listened/ found words and then chose my line. I carried this poem four or five times before I chose a line. I have to agree with Diana – this poem describes depression so closely, it’s a brutally honest truth.
* Button Poetry is committed to developing a coherent and effective system of production, distribution, promotion and fundraising for spoken word and performance poetry. We seek to showcase the power and diversity of voices in our community. By encouraging and broadcasting the best and brightest performance poets of today, we hope to broaden poetry’s audience, to expand its reach and develop a greater level of cultural appreciation for the art form. © Button Poetry
I listened to the next video on You Tube ‘Maybe I Need You‘ – which had so many stunning lines that I almost changed my mind on the choice poem, but something lead me to ‘The Nutritionist’ so I decided to stick.
if I could get down 13 turnips a day said I would be grounded, rooted.
Said my head would not keep flying away
to where the darkness is.
focus on the outbreaths
the trauma said don’t write this poem,
nobody wants to hear you cry about the grief
inside your bones.
My bones said, “write the poem.”
I have never met a heavy heart
that wasn’t a phone booth
with a red cape inside.
In the end I went for:
my head would not keep flying away
to where the darkness is.
As my starting words:
and with a deep breath, dived in!
I wrote another grief poem, which I have decided to keep private, none of the lines work on their own, they all need each other. Just like family.