Today’ prompt, “which comes from Holly Lyn Walrath, is pretty simple. As she explains it here: “Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. Then, after you’ve finished, change the title completely.” (Full prompt available here.)
One of my favorite books is Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. I reread it a few months back and already miss being ensconced in it. While searching for an illustration for this post, I came across the website of Lima-based artist Karina Puente. I hesitate to use her art on my website without permission, but wholeheartedly recommend checking out her Invisible Cities series. It’s a mesmerizing, intricate art project that does justice to Calvino’s book. I’ll keep going back to see what other cities pop up on her page. Meantime, the photo I’ve chosen to accompany today’s poem echoes its ending and is as strong a memento mori as they come.
Here’s the sentence I chose from the Invisible Cities, which provided a temporary title to the effort below: “There is no language without deceit.”
PS–As in past years, most of the poems written this April will remain online for a couple of days, after which they will be replaced by an excerpt, an erasure, or a thoroughly amateurish art piece that will only allow for bits of the original poem to peek through. At least, this is the plan. The reason being that, at some point, in the hopefully not too distant future, these drafts will undergo revision and begin their multiple-year pilgrimage through the slush piles of many a literary journal. So help me, O Muse. (OK, I totally plagiarized my own post scriptum from last year. Why amend something if it’s not broken?)
PPS–The posted poem has expired, but here are several creatures to keep you company (and a line from my poem as caption). I see a mother and child by the sea, with an elephant and a rooster floating nearby. What do you see?