Today's prompts are from the first two sections of Jon Pineda's Little Anodynes, which kept showing up as a recommendation based on other poetry books I'd ordered, so I decided to check it out.
1. First Concert: This is a pretty literal prompt. What's the first concert you remember going to? Nevermind how it relates to the type of music you like(d). What details of the concert do you remember that aren't related to the actual songs? The smells, the view, the community of people. What was it like?
2. Prayer: When was the first time you experienced public nudity that was not your own. Something that felt out of place, be it a streaker, a person getting changed on a beach. You can start with how you feel, but what about how they felt? Were there other people around? Do you remember whether they seemed to be reacting similar or differently than you?
3. Notes For A Memoir: Another literal prompt. Write down a small detail of memory that you think would make an interesting aside in your memoir. Don't expand on it yet, just give us the kernel.
4. Strawberries: Have you ever held a baby? It doesn't have to be a baby human. Puppies, kittens, cubs, alligator hatchlings, whathaveyou. What was it like? Do you have any desire to do it again?
5. Ceiling And Ground: What's something you threw away in the spur of the moment that you know you can never have back? Have you ever needed it since?
6. Collectors: What was something you treasured as a child that, as an adult, you now don't consider valuable?
7. Silence: Is there a pet or person who you once thought was important to you whose name you've since forgotten? Tell us a story about them.
8. The Ocean: Have you ever picked up a conch (or similarly sized) shell and put it against your ears? Did you hear the ocean? If not, what did you hear? If so, what did you imagine that meant? What do you wish you could hear if you were to find a conch shell right now?
9. Sealed Letter: One of my favorite Calvin & Hobbes serials is about him eating a shocking amount of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs in order to get a beanie hat, which he waits impatiently for. When the beanie arrives and isn't as great as he'd hoped, he, like many children and all cats, ends up playing more with the box than the toy. What's the most disappointing thing you've ever waited for? -or- if that's too much of a downer, What's the most fun you've ever had with a cardboard box?
10. There Is An Edge To Each Image: Have you ever had to get stitches to close a wound? (Whether or not it's from snitching is inconsequential) Do you still have a scar from it? I've had a small divot in my forehead since I broke it open on the edge of a coffeetable when I was three years old. I mostly forget it's there, but sometimes when I look in the mirror, I remember precise details about that night that I don't think I would ever remember if not for the seeing the scar. What's your scar story? Try and stick with physical scars. Emotional scars are a different prompt.
11. Distance: You've almost definitely seen a commercial or infomercial about a poverty stricken area where a supposed charity organization asks you to make donations to help save a child's life. How do those commercials make you feel? Have they always made you feel that way or has your reaction evolved over time?
12. Ellipses: When you're high up on a mountain, or ascending in a plane (or a hot air balloon if you're freaky like that), and the world seems super zoomed out so that the people look like ants, or maybe the houses look like ants and the people have shrunk invisible? Write a poem that zooms out on the world that way, like you are so far above it (literally, not snobbishly) that it's difficult to make out its consequence.
13.. My Place: Describe your laughter or the laughter of someone you love.
An ongoing conversation between writers and the text that they're reading.