Uncomfortable to Admit

“Write about your relationship with your racial/cultural identity. When were you first aware of being Asian, Caucasian, Jewish ‘different’ from other people? Did you grow up within a certain group, and/or as an outsider to other groups? See if you can recall a specific incident when you experienced your ‘otherness.'”

-Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”


I was raised colorblind

I don’t see race

Unless I’m the minority


I am Bella Swan

“Try to find a way to lighten a serious poem you’ve written with a touch of comedy. In almost every situation there is something humorous or absurd.”

-Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”


This isn’t a recreation of an old poem but it is another poem that fits into a theme that I’ve been writing about for several months.



I found my Edward Cullen

Tall with brooding eyes

He hungered for my blood

Hated himself for it

Loved me


A real life Edward!

How wonderful

How romantic


His very touch

Marked me

A way to show

How much he cared


A real life Edward!

How could you let him go?

Easy my dear,

I stepped into the sun.

Get Rich Quick (I Wish)

“The tension between form and content offers a great opportunity for poets. In A Modest Proposal, another eighteenth-century satire, Jonathan Swift presented a detailed, reasoned argument suggesting a solution should poor Irish children become a burden to their parents: Just eat the little ones. … With that as a model, write a poem proposing a solution to some terrible or difficult problem: war, animal testing, racism. Be serious at first, and then shift to satire.”

-Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”



Out upon the street

Voices raise

At the sight of beauty

Men feel strong, cool, powerful

While making women feel ashamed, scared, weak

Strong business women

Nothing better than strippers

Look, comment, don’t touch

She probably has mace

But a better solution

To say the least

Would be for women to charge

Admission fee

The show’s not free

You need to tip

Five dollars for a glance

Ten for a long look

Fifteen for every syllable uttered

Money is power

When women get money

They take man’s power

And a shopping spree

Dear Selena

“Write a poem – it doesn’t need to be epic length – in which you discuss something unimportant in a grandiose manner.”

-Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”

Oh dark haired wonder

With skin dyed deep by an artificial sun

How could this man

– he is barely a man –

be your lover

He runs wild with dogs and noble alike

Drinks the ale of common folk

While discarding the wine of gods

Drunk – he staggers


He is not above the law

As his record shows

And you mi’lady

have made your choice

The Third One Ducked

“‘A man walks into a bar …’ That’s the beginning of a joke with a lot of variations. Men, horses, skeletons, mushrooms, dogs, mice, and peanuts, in the universe of jokes, seem to require liquid refreshment. Go online and read some variations of ‘A _________ walks into a bar.’ Then fill in the blank and write a poem in which something funny happens to your character.”

-Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”



A beagle walks

into a bar

on two legs

Much to the suprise

of the bartender

of the patrons

of the dog

The dog pauses

to sniff the air

to lift a leg

as a salute

to the crowd

to the bartender

to the female obscured by shadows

A man nearby

nudges the beagle

says “Stay away from her

She’s trouble.

She’s a bitch.”

“I know,” says the dog.

“She’s my wife.”

Do You Remember This Joke?

“Choose a joke or riddle with stock characters. A priest, a rabbi, and a nun. A farmer’s daughter and a traveling salesman. … We’re not talking about political correctness here. You might think about stereotypes and racial issues as you look up jokes and riddles online. Find a joke or riddle that speaks to you, and then create your own poem based on its characters.”

-Kim Addonizio


I apologize ahead of time for this poem. It is probably the worst I’ve ever posted.



A naked blond walks into a bar

She carries a poodle

and salami

She lays the poodle on the table

A subtle indication of her intentions

Although, reticence is not a strength

The blond knows

She will never be forgotten

But no one will remember

Her face

I’m Laughing on the Inside

“Try your own version of the a poem that takes as its starting point the chicken riddle. Use the opening question to enter the chicken universe.”

-Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”



Why did the chicken cross the road?

Is that the preferred form of poultry suicide?

Or is it it called poultricide?

I suppose guns are too big

or heavy

or both.

Most everything else takes opposable thumbs

And maybe the cat couldn’t be found

The well was covered

And bird flu is more of a human thing.

The only choice left

Cross the Road


Or maybe she was crossing to reach a glimmer of hope.