If you enjoy these prompts, please buy Porsha's latest book, I Shimmer Sometimes, Too from Button Poetry.
Parable. Tell the story of your parents meeting, not as the origin story of you, but as the conclusion to their own stories. Try and use a vocabulary you don't usually employ, be it fairy tale language, a technical support manual, a cheesy romance novel, whatever sparks you to tell a story in an unusual way.
My Mother. Ask someone important to you to tell you a story that you didn't previously know about them, but that they would feel comfortable with you sharing with others through your writing. Take their literal story and make it into something akin to a folk tale or a tall tale. Use their story to make them a legend.
I Am Neither The Poem Nor The Words, Nor The Letters, Nor The Images They Elicit. Go back in your own history to a time where you were extremely uncomfortable, not just because of the people around you, but because of the physical place you were in. Give yourself a mantra and running commentary to be calmer. Come out of our memory of the event feeling calmer than you felt coming out of the actual event.
The Electric Slide Is Not A Dance, Man. Take a physical activity, be it a dance move, a pattern for scoring in a sport, a repeated motion you have to make at your job, and dissect it as though it were something else competely. Tell us how a Flea Flicker is like being a wingperson for a socially awkward person, or how directing cars how to park at a concert is like having a political discussion with your family.
Aladdin's Genie Of Emancipation. What if you were a genie, freed by someone who plans on using your wish granting power to hurt others. What wishes do they make? How do you use semantics to give them what they ask for without giving them what they want?
Look At What I've Done! Most of us have killed bugs before. Why? What specific benefit did it afford you? Most ofus have also imagined killing someone before. Maybe not with any specifics. Maybe just wishing a person were dead. How do you reckon these behaviors with your morals?
Water. Dissect a stereotype people have about something that you represent. Be it your race, your gender, your occupation, the sports team you root for. Go in-depth with why it might be historically accurate, and why it may not. Here is my usual warning: If you're a straight, white dude, instead of dissecting your straightness, your maleness, or your whiteness, maybe dissect a hobby you enjoy, or if you belong to a subculture like nerd, bros, engineers, cosplay enthusiasts, maybe focus on one of those things rather than being straight, or white, or male.
The Muse For This Black Dyke Is A Dead White Man. There is something about all of us that will make another type of person uncomfortable. It'sprobably their own bullshit, and not yours. Still. Rationalize hat makes them uncomfortable in a way that glorifies you, while not necessarily making them any more comfortable.
A Brief Antecdote... There have been a lot of positive cultural changes in the twenty-first century. Yes, there are still plenty of people being fucken awful and fighting changes, but let's leave them behind for this one prompt. Give us a not-widely-known history on why a single positive change has occured. You can start with the oppression of a culture you belong to, if you'd like You shouldn't start with the oppression of someone else's culture. And if you think there hasn't been improvements for your straight, white, maleness, look up the history of unions and how they've improved living conditions, or the history of medicine and how they've allowed for healthier lives.
Un-Named. Tell us the history of one of your name. Be it your first, middle, or last.
Black Spells. Center a poem around a togue twister. Untangle it in a way that people won't expect.
After James Brown. Pick a musician you enjoy. Someone whose catalog you know inside and out. Now, base your poem on their biggest hit. The thing they are most known for. Why is or isn't it a great representation of that artist?
(Again), Retell the story from the "I Am Neither The Poem Nor The Words, Nor The Letters, Nor The Images They Elicit" prompt. This time, imagine you narrowly avoided having to be in that situation at all. How does that change things for you?
I Milly Rock On Any Block. Take the subject from the "The Electric Slide Is Not A Dance, Man" prompt and praise or bury the actual physical activity, mildly hinting at the secondary subject matter that you associated it with.
An ongoing conversation between writers and the text that they're reading.