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napowrimo #20

April 20, 2010

It’s NaPoWriMo Day 20 — the 2/3 mark, the most-of-the-month-is-behind-you mark, the how-can-May-possibly-be-as-fulfilling-as-all-this mark.

Today, I’m using my phone-a-friend prompts at Kelli’s blog. Prompt #26 (there are 30 of them; I’m completing them in reverse) is this: Grab the local paper or go online and choose a headline from the science or lifestyle section of the newspaper. Write a poem with that as the title.

I started writing only to realize I was destined to beat volcano metaphors to death if I didn’t mix it up, so I turned to my journal and found a phrase that I had written down recently: “Can you be good enough to get to heaven?” (from a sign in front of a church) and notes about the following: impatiens (“touch-me-nots”), capuchin monkeys and clams (from the series Life), an erection (don’t ask) and a screen door.

My journal is a strange little beasty. If it is at all a reflection of my mind, we are all in a bit of trouble.




Forcing the capuchin in there seems artificial, but I like the comparison to what he does with the clam to what goes on with the Earth to what goes on in bed. Upon revision, I hope to make him a more natural part of this. Likewise with the final stanza. Sometimes the multi-source mix-up works; sometimes it struggles.

Tally: 22.0 = 7.0 RWP + 12.0 PAD + 3.0 Book of Kells. (Target is now 32.)

  1. April 20, 2010 10:48 am

    I don’t mind the capuchin, or any of the rest; this is wonderful personification of the forces at work. Your selection of images (impatiens! spinning plates!) never ceases to impress me.

    • April 20, 2010 8:12 pm

      thanks, joseph. that’s high praise!

  2. April 20, 2010 11:21 am

    I’m with Joseph! The lists you made for this and your hero poem #18 have created great pieces and you’ve blended the images wonderfully.

  3. April 20, 2010 11:46 am

    I want to hear you read this at an open mic just to hear you try to say “Eyjafjallajökull” (speaking of erections). I like the capuchin monkey in there (monkeys are my totem), but don’t like him raping the clam.

    • April 20, 2010 12:00 pm

      i can’t get mad at you for using the word “erection” (when i did) but did delete part of the message. keep it clean, mister. mixed company and all.

      about the poem — do you think it comes across as rape?

  4. April 20, 2010 6:35 pm

    Carolee fantasitc comparisons you have used here.

  5. Irene permalink
    April 20, 2010 7:51 pm

    Your comparisons are wild and good. I like the 2nd stanza and the rest of it. Volcano as woman. Interesting. Wait, anything you write is interesting.

    • Irene permalink
      April 20, 2010 7:52 pm

      Oops I meant the 3rd stanza in particular. I’m a bit blind.

    • April 20, 2010 8:11 pm

      wow! thank you, irene. (but rest assured, i write boring things all the time)

  6. April 20, 2010 7:55 pm

    Carolee, I didn’t think it came across as rape, and I love the exotic mix of different sources in your poem.
    About reading it an an open mic – on the radio here yesterday, they played several clips of different newsreaders trying to pronounce the volcano’s name, and suggested it would be a really good time for newsreaders to go on holiday! (but not to Europe)

    • April 20, 2010 8:11 pm

      i can actually pronounce the first part — the “Eyjafjalla” (mountain-island). the “jokull” part means glacier. on the news i’ve heard newscasters shorten it to “Eyjafjalla” and a couple of them have pronounced it in a way i can manage. i won’t know if it’s proper, but maybe i’ll get points for trying. 🙂

  7. April 20, 2010 8:03 pm

    I just spotted your promo for Big Tent Poetry – is this going to be on Facebook only? I’m not on Facebook, and don’t intend to be, but would welcome a new prompt site to succeed Readwritepoem.

    • April 20, 2010 8:07 pm

      Hi, Catherine! Big Tent Poetry is an actual website. We’re unveiling it on Friday (at the latest). Facebook is only for promotion and directing traffic to the site.

      Hope to see you there!

  8. April 21, 2010 4:57 am

    Rich, complex, and riveting. For me, “Each time…what you have done.” is the narrator expressing ambivalence and inner conflict. On the one hand, the initial impact of a damaged relationship is now accepted. But on the other, the sense of betrayal is still deeply felt. I really like that the scenario is so open-ended (including gender non-specific), so the stanza resonates as widely as possible with many subtle possibilities. “slaps” and “hard smack” might refer to physical abuse, an emotional blow, exiting the house, exiting an earlier form of the relationship. Or not. As with the whole poem, the reader is paid the compliment of having some work to do… G =)

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