Excuses, Excuses

I haven’t posted any poetry in over a week, and, to quote Hotel Transylvania, “I didn’t do that.” Anyway, the motherboard on my computer died, and I’ve been working and helping my mom prep for my brother’s high school graduation party. Now that it’s all over, I will finally post the three writing prompts I responded to.


“Look up a word’s roots, and write a poem that explores or includes that information. Here’s a lyrical prose poem by A. Van Jordan that immediately mixes in the speaker’s own associations and memories.”

-Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”

From Latin: rapa

noun: a type of plant. Helpless, rooted. The men come and ruthlessly pull at its leaves and stems. It must submit, how can it move? Such a fragile thing used, broken, pieces taken. The men leave, and this half plant must face the world still.

First Door: Repeating Several Words

“I read her my poems and she said, ‘Oh, I am so sorry for you!’

I read her the newspaper and she said, ‘Oh, I am so sorry for everyone else.’

I read her a novel and she said, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry, I don’t like novels unless they have happy endings.’

I read her my old love letters and she said, ‘Oh, I am still so sorry for you.'”

-Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”

My repetition poem is based on an American Sentence I wrote as an exercise earlier in this experiment. It then turned into a game to drop one syllable each line. I don’t really like the prompt but I think the poem turned out alright.

Silence is impossible in a place that allows any children.

Silence is impossible in a place that allows sadness.

Silence is impossible in a place that has laughter.

Silence is impossible in a place that has death.

Silence is impossible in a place with love.

Silence is impossible where people fight.

Silence is impossible where we live.

Silence is impossible in life.

Silence is impossible hope.

Silence is impossible.

Second Door: Repeating the Opening

Anaphora is the repetition of an opening word or phrase like, ‘I read’ in the first example above. Anaphora is a powerful tool, used by Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsberg and legions of other poets.”

-Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”

I borrowed the first line from a classic novel to start my poem. Can you guess which one?

I am an Invisible Man

I am glass

I am present but not seen

I am not noticed

I am not happy

I am a person

I am a person who wants to be heard,

                           with feelings, ideas and dreams

I am brilliant

          but no one knows because

I am an Invisible Man

Third Door: Repeating the Ending

“In tradition of Alaskan Inuit poetry, the last word or phrase of a line gets picked up in the beginning of the next. So the lines might go something like:

I went down to the river

the river that flowed east,

east toward the sun.”

-Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”

We didn’t talk about the stories

Stories with hidden truths

Truths lie

Lie with dreamers deep

Deep in sleep

Sleep, child, and dream

Dream of future stories

Stories to become truths


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