NaPoWriMo, Day 8

Photo by Johannes Plenio via Unsplash

Today’s prompt challenges us to “read a few poems from Spoon River Anthology, and then write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead. Not a famous person, necessarily – perhaps a remembered acquaintance from your childhood, like the gentleman who ran the shoeshine stand, or one of your grandmother’s bingo buddies. As with Masters’ poems, the monologue doesn’t have to be a recounting of the person’s whole life, but could be a fictional remembering of some important moment, or statement of purpose or philosophy. Be as dramatic as you like – Masters’ certainly didn’t shy away from high emotion in writing his poems.” (Full prompt available here.)

Well, this is as close as I ever came to being haunted. I’m properly spooked and glad I didn’t set out to respond to this prompt at night. I didn’t suspect I had such predilection for necrophagy. The things you learn about yourself as you age. There are two voices here, one is the ghost’s, the other, the poet’s (I guess, mine??). The ghost is generic and unnamed. What precipitated this conversation was the question, what would ghosts miss from their former life–and what might poets, when they imagine themselves as ghosts (poets often do).

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’s another coral reef, with plenty of critters swimming about (and a line from my poem as caption).

Light is also forever as long as you can hold on to it.

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