Today's prompts come from the third section of Wanda Coleman's collection, Bathwater Wine. Bucky Sinister was the first person to recommend her work to me, and I loved that first book, Mad Dog, Black Lady, so much that I went out and bought as many of her books as I could.
Firesong, 1964: Choose a historical figure who you associate with a color. Deconstruct both the color and the historical figure, and see if you can intertwine the deconstructions.
Mojave Winter: How are your clothes like punctuation or pieces of grammar?
A Rage Revivified: I don’t know how many types of knots there are. It’s probably finite. But there are knots to tie shoes, knots to dock boats, knots to braid friendship bracelets, knots for ties, so many, many knots. Focus on one type of knot. What is it supposed to do? What tasks would it not be good for? Is there a weight to the knot that would cause you not to use it?
Provisos: Ghost Line: when the book is closed/the words starve
Bad Eyes & The Wrong Prescription: There are shoes built for certain dances. There are clothes that evoke certain styles of music. Which type of clock is in a person’s work or home speaks volumes. Build a correlation between an item of clothing or an appliance and how it relates to a person or a type of art.
Essay On Language (5): Logorrhea is speech that is so repetitious that it becomes incoherent. Incoherent speech repeating itself not for purpose but for repetitiveness’ sake. Everything speech repeated until its purpose is incoherent. Incoherent everything. Repetitive speech for purposes’ sake. Use logorrhea for your own purpose. Repurpose repetition for the sake of incoherent speech. Speech the purpose’s repetition for speech’s sake.
Dangerous Subject: How do you prepare to keep yourself safe when you walk into a situation you suspect will be dangerous? This can be the type of attire/equipment you use before climbing or riding a bike, or can relate to how you prepare to avoid a difficult conversation.
I Imagine The Angels Of Rage: Find a poem with a very distinctive form. Unapologetically steal the form for your own poem (but credit the poet you stole it from). Decide whether there are parts of the form you can strip away until the poem is solidly your own, or if you like it as is, in which case, always refer to it as “(Title Of Poem) after (Poet’s Name) (Original Poem Title)”.
Regurgitations: Think of a story you heard in your life from several different sources. Maybe a friend’s parents were divorced, and the friend, the parents, the neighbors, and your own parents all had wildly different explanations for it. Maybe a favorite teacher disappeared from your town, and the school wouldn’t talk about it, so the kids all made up their own mythology. Tell us all the different versions of this story you heard. Make up some of your own, while you’re at it.
Love Bandit (2): Write a series of half pick-up lines or backhanded compliments. Interweave them into new meanings. For example “You must be tired because I can see my reflection in them.” or “If I were a watermelon you’d be the best a man can get.”
Espantelepsis: We’re all going to die eventually. (Eeyore face) Imagine there is an afterlife that allows you to see the places and people you left behind. Except you have no concept of how much time has passed since your death and when you are seeing them again. How does this affect you?
Sunset Liana: Describe your relationship with someone using only physical objects you’ve shared. You can talk about a bed you shared, but not what you did in it. A kitchen table but not what you said at it. Your DNA but not what you’ve done with it.
Woman Alone But Not Lonely: There are people who make food using highly detailed recipes, and those who just wing it. If you are a recipe person, describe an event in your life where you uncharacteristically winged it. If you’re a winger, describe something that you absolutely have to plan out before you attempt it.
Marriage By Capture: Write a dialog about sex, in which neither person mentions sex, but that is clearly what they’re discussing.
The Ron Narrative Deconstructions: Ghost Line: I called the wind. It called back
Negative Portions: So many poems are heartache. The lover that ripped my heart out. You tore out my heart. There’s a hole where my heart used to be. Etcetera ad nauseum. Ok. So let’s say someone did tear out your heart. Did they replace with it anything? Did something grow their of its own accord? Don’t let that space remain hollow, tell us what is there now that the heart is absent.
I Died With My First Blow & Was Reborn Wrong: Remember that part where we all die. This time, let’s say that reincarnation is real. But that you can see what your next self is doing. And they are FUCKING it up. Address them. Tell them how you would do better.
Intruder: Break into someone else’s poem or collection of poetry. Rearrange things so that they’re more to your liking. Leave. What have you brought back with you?
An ongoing conversation between writers and the text that they're reading.