Relative Numbers

“Do you feel slightly ashamed of some possession because it cost so much money? Write a poem persuading a reader that you were totally justified in spending this much. Then write another poem in which you challenge your extravagance.”

-Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”

Pretty Penny

Amount of money is not an issue as much as need versus want for me. Price doesn’t matter if I need an item. A cheap product can still cause me to feel guilt for purchasing it if I don’t need it.

Poem One

It was only $5

And it’s Christmastime,

And Anchorman is funny,

And I thought someone

Would bid higher.

The money went.

To the employee Christmas party.

I have money.

It’s a nice treat.

Poem Two

As soon as I saw my name

Regret rose in my stomach

Impulse bidding

In a silent auction

I don’t need this movie

I need to pay tuition

I need to buy textbooks

I need gas in my car

So guilt fills my mouth with bile

as I fish a crumpled bill from my pocket.

Photo Credit: <a href=””>JD Hancock</a> via <a href=””>Compfight</a&gt; <a href=””>cc</a&gt;


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