Posted by: rationalpsychic | Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hey boys and girls! It’s time to write a poem!

I have been trying to get myself moving in terms of writing poems again. It’s funny how thinking in terms of prose can really dull the faculty you use to write poems.

I’ve been reading In the Palm of Your Hand, by Steve Kowit in an attempt to spark some thoughts and poetic impulses. It’s a good book with tons of ideas that I haven’t even touched yet.

I thought I’d try to involve you in a little participatory nonsense–merely for the sake of fun and the spirit of competition I hope it will ignite.

There are rules–guidelines, if you’d rather–to this bloodless exercise. Here they are:

  1. Poem must be at least seven lines long. Otherwise, its form is up to you.
  2. You must use at least seven of the ‘nouns, verbs, etc.’ listed below. One per line is a suggestion only, not a requirement.
  3. Use two of the prepositional phrases provided.
  4. Points are scored for: writing at least seven lines (7 pts.); using at least seven of the ‘nouns, verbs, etc.’ (7 pts., 3 additional for use of the word “quash”); using at least two of the prepositional phrases (2 pts.). Finally, one point each for any extra of the words or phrases provided. This gives a potential total of 20 points.
  5. Snappy titles are not required and do not earn points. However, they do garner respect and admiration from the crowd.

Enjoy the power of creation.

Nouns, verbs, etc.

blemish, wheel, accordion, pill, tame,

vanilla, fling, Bill, hand, four,

post, cinnamon, squat, Althea, quash (triple word score)

Prepositional phrases

on the shore, near the city, above your head, next to,

from this, under my, inside this, around his/her



  1. Inside this blemish, wheels spill, fling.
    Around his chest, sweater starts to pill, cling.
    Near the city, the vanilla king, Bill.
    Above your head he fans the flame, tame
    around his four hand accordion game
    pushed tight and squat, pulled huge and shrill
    still next to you on the shore, in every post.
    Under my spoon: cinnamon cereal — never toast.
    Milk may quash my hopes, but soaking, never kill.

  2. Oooooh. Katy sets the bar mighty high.

  3. […] read more 3 […]

  4. Bill peppered his vanilla with cinnamon,
    a bemused Althea watched next to a wheel,
    around his hand the cord to an accordion
    dangled, inviting music into his meal.
    She remembered their fling on the shore,
    tame and innocent, they were just four.
    Now they lived near the city.

  5. […] poem writing exercise Posted on April 9, 2008 by Dan (Fitness) Saw this over at Rational Psychic, its a very pleasant diversion.  (My own entry is posted over there in the […]

  6. My fling with Bill was tame in comparison
    to the invention of the wheel
    Yet so is everything for what mere blemish
    can quash the cinnamon
    bliss, the post vanilla smell from these hands?
    These hands have played accordion on the fours shores of Althea
    near the starry city above your head

  7. Accordion Serenade

    Bill woke up with a blemish
    Into his mouth he did fling a pill
    A vanilla white spot stained his hand
    He slung an accordion
    Around his shoulder
    Composed a tune to his Althea
    Played his song on a curb near the city

  8. Night smells of vanilla and cinnamon. Around her,
    accordion-pull of the waves, echoes of Arnold
    as they fling across the pier’s four posts. Near the squat city,
    wave-quashed sound. Hand over hand
    she pulls the sand-drenched wheel, plowing furrows
    on the shore. She’s taken the pills,
    left the empty bottle under my tame pillow, next to a note:
    dear Bill: nothing above your head…
    From this, she’s promised a new life.
    Inside this blemished moon:
    what Althea saves, she may yet destroy.

  9. When the Weather Won’t Cooperate

    Near the city, snow is a vanilla blemish on our day.
    Above your head, I fling a pill of white from my hand,
    Which lands next to a cinnamon wooden post,
    Sitting squat on the shore of ice.
    From this gesture, inside this moment, I pray you will
    Know that under my bravado, the wheel of my tame heart
    Is spinning around her axis like a gypsy called Althea
    Dancing to a wild accordion.
    Bill, I cannot quash the pounding.
    I aim four times more, and slip my mitten in your hand,
    And pray for more snow.

  10. […] are worth your effort!” So, I am especially grateful to The Rational Psychic for posting this fun poetry exercise on his blog. There are rules and points to be had. I think I got the maximum of 20 with this gem. […]

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