1. Medical History
Your family's medical history is one way to get a feel for who you are and where you come from. What other list-style poem ideas can you come up with to define your history? A list of your ancestors' and family's jobs? Hobbies? Mapping out where they lived?
2. A Violence
What trait expected of your gender/someone your age/someone from your family/someone with your occupation/someone with your gender attraction do you not only Not Meet but have No Desire to meet? What does it say of you? And others?
2.5 A Violence
Ghost line: "You look just like/ your mother," he says, "who looks just like a fire/ of suspicious origin." A body, I've read, can sustain/ its own sick burning, its own hell, for hours.
3. Candelabra With Heads
Yesterday, I was sent a link to an Icelandic museum's necropants, a pair of pants made from the skin of a dead relative. The practice is believed to only exist in folklore, and not in real life, and was supposed to bring wealth to the person who wore their ancestor's skin. This gives a new horror to the phrase "Don't judge a person until you've walked a mile in their skin."
Using a grusome image, tell a story from your family history.
Palindrome Poems are poems that are written to a pivotal line, at which point, the poem is then rewritten in reverse order. Create one on the subject of your choice.
4. Hysterical Strength
What supposedly incredible experience do you find an ordinary occurence necessary to get through life?
Center a poem around a color. Use this color repeatedly in images. Deconstruct the color. Reconstruct it.
6. It's Not Fitness, It's A Lifestyle
The rise of social media has given us a wider understanding of how people use their prejudice against people for no other reason than to make themselves feel powerful by hurting complete strangers rather than listening to them or having a conversation. What prejudice have you felt or imagined levied against you as you were just going about your life? (If you're a straight white dude, you can write about the prejudice people have against your job, your age group, a specific community you belong to [poets, cosplayers, wrestling fans, etc.], the city you live in, etc. DO NOT write about prejudice people have against you for being a straight, white dude. No matter how much you believe it's true, nobody wants to hear that bullshit.)
7. Happy Birthday To Me
Reflect, specifically, on the most recent year of your life. Without making references to any specific incidents, how did you feel during that year.
8. The First Person To Live To One Hundred And Fifty Years Old Has Already Been Born
If you had the opportunity to be immortal, or, at the very least, several centuries old, what would you do with all that time? Would it be worth it?
9. In Igboland
Ghost Line: I want / to learn how to make something/ holy, then walk away.
I hate to brag, but I'm a one-man parade,/ Jehova in drag, the church in a dress./ Outside these walls I may be irrelevant,/ but here I'm the Old and the New Testament.
You are unlikely to write a more powerful brag than that. But try. Write a stanza or two focused on a talent or body of knowledge you have, then close the poem with an epic brag about it.
11. Heretofore Unuttered
Tell about a time when you were happy to go unnoticed.
Use asonance, internal rhyme, and alliteration to make a soundscape a listener would be happy to be lost in.
12. Cento For The Night I Said, "I Love You"
Write a cento using at least five sources. Remember to give credit. Credit the original authors. Make sure you've credited your sources. For the love of all that's holy in writing, mention the sources you borrowed from every time you read the poem out loud or write it down. The boundary between cento and plagiarism is HUGE and THICK, and it mainly centers on giving appropriate credit.
13. Virginia Is For Lovers
Tell about a time you massively misunderstood something a friend was trying to subtly tell you. How did you react when you finally figured it out? Was it something you needed to atone for?
Base a poem on a popular board game or video game that you enjoy. Or one you hate. Give time to what most appeals to you.
15. C ue
Take a poem from the previous fourteen prompts and make an erasure of it.
An ongoing conversation between writers and the text that they're reading.