Another Oedipus Story

Oedipus at Colonus by Jean-Antoine-Théodore Giroust, 1788 Another Oedipus Story The familiar dream follows himone busy Sunday into the thick of a crowd in a bazaar.Small words roll like pebblesin a pitcher, laughter like quickmoney from a loosened fist.He sees herds of white cows, endlesspastures, a city where the deadoutnumber the living. He sees a man he... Continue Reading →

Impending Heart Attack in the Doldrums on the Anniversary of Her Death

Photo by Nikolay Loubet via Unsplash The first draft of this poem owes its existence to false alarm. What I initially believed to be a heart attack was soon diagnosed as magnesium deficiency and corrected. What could not be corrected was my mother's absence, whom I had lost the previous year. I was in deep... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo Day 30, 2022

Photo by Ahmed Zayan via Unsplash Today's prompt challenges us "to write a cento. This is a poem that is made up of lines taken from other poems. If you’d like to dig into an in-depth example, here’s John Ashbery’s cento “The Dong with the Luminous Nose,” and here it is again, fully annotated to show... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo Day 27, 2022

Mass graves near Mariupol, April 2022Photograph: Maxar Technologies/AFP/Getty Images Today's prompt challenges us "to write a “duplex.” A “duplex” is a variation on the sonnet, developed by the poet Jericho Brown. Here’s one of his first “Duplex” poems, and here is a duplex written by the poet I.S. Jones. Like a typical sonnet, a duplex has... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo Day 18, 2022

Photo by Moritz Knöringer via Unsplash Today's prompt is "based on Faisal Mohyuddin’s poem “Five Answers to the Same Question.” Today, I’d like to challenge you to write your own poem that provides five answers to the same question – without ever specifically identifying the question that is." (Full NaPoWriMo post available here.) Here's my... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo Day 12, 2022

Photo by Zdeněk Macháček via Unsplash Today's prompt asks us to "write a poem about a very small thing. Whether it’s an atom, a button, a hummingbird’s egg, dollhouse furniture, or the mythical world’s smallest violin, I hope you enjoy your poetic adventures into the microscopic." (Full NaPoWriMo post available here.) Like yesterday, I picked an... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo Day 5, 2022

Sisyphus by Titian (1548-1549) Today's prompt challenges us "to write a poem about a mythical person or creature doing something unusual – or at least something that seems unusual in relation to that person/creature. For example, what does Hercules do when he loses a sock in the dryer? If a mermaid wants to pick up... Continue Reading →

The Meadow Is Filled with Stones

Photo by Tomas Robertson via Unsplash The Meadow Is Filled with Stones White stones, flat or round. Some of them boulders, some small enoughto fit in my fist—the instrument of a perfect murder. Blunt, faceless. If I kill and let the stone fallin this field, who’d ever find it? …There’s a farmhouse at the edgeof a Romanian village, lonely and thickwith shadows... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 12

Image from Lars von Trier's film Breaking the Waves (1996) . Today’s prompt challenges us to “write a triolet. These eight-line poems involve repeating lines and a tight rhyme scheme. The repetitions and rhymes can lend themselves to humorous poems, as well as to poems expressing dramatic or sorrowful moods. And sometimes the repetitions can be used... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 9

Photo by Max Kukurudziak via Unsplash . Today’s prompt challenges us to “write a “concrete” poem – a poem in which the lines and words are organized to take a shape that reflects in some way the theme of the poem. This might seem like a very modernist idea, but poets have been writing concrete poems since the... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 2

Photo by Walter Sturn via Unsplash . Today’s prompt asks us to "write a poem about a specific place—a particular house or store or school or office. Try to incorporate concrete details, like street names, distances (“three and a half blocks from the post office”), the types of trees or flowers, the color of the... Continue Reading →

The Rose

Photo by Neslihan Gunaydin via Unsplash : The Rose : This hand that holds the trowel, a rubber glove to hide thick-knuckled, restless fingers— you know it’s yours. Yours, also, the knobby knees, the narrow feet in muddy crocs, the loosened skin holding it all together—who knows however long? You are a waterfall of flesh and... Continue Reading →

In Illo Tempore / In Those Days

Arturo Asensio "Decorating Altamira Cave" : In Illo Tempore / In Those Days : The splintering happened slowly, one figment of soul at a time. When nothing was left, she took to drinking. It wasn’t all nectar and ambrosia. She enjoyed pain, blood, tears. Fear lay thick upon a world of her making. The creatures... Continue Reading →

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