For the last few months, I've returned to my habit of writing poems at the bar during the open mic. This is extra challenging because I work behind the bar and, thus, have to frequently stop writing to get people their drinks.
This past week, I was in the middle of writing a poem when I came up with a line that I thought would make a great title. The problem? I have no idea what I'm going to write under that title.
This week's prompt is to write a poem made up entirely of titles of poems that you wish you could write but don't have any ideas for.
This is a variation on the form poem The Cento.
Cultural Appropriation is a serious issue. There are certain words you shouldn't say, certain items of clothing you shouldn't wear, certain songs you can listen to but probably shouldn't sing at karaoke.
I've heard some good poems about not being culturally appropriative over the years. But let's take a low grade risk and try something fun. Write about a minor appropriation issue that affects you and how it's your own thing that other people can't use.
For example, maybe nobody outside of your family is allowed to call you Junior. Perhaps only the people who are also born on February 29th are allowed to make fun of you for having your tenth birthday when all your other friends born that year are turning forty.
Remember this is about SMALL group appropriation of things that aren't serious. If your idea is about race, gender, sexuality, or ethnicity, you're not actually using this prompt. If you're doing it about a nationality, you'd best be from that country and your issue should probably not be based on an actual stereotype. Oh, and if you're 1/96th Navajo, and you're not involved in any actual tribe or nation meetings, you'd probably better write your poem about how only people who wear Converse All Stars are allowed to call them Chucks or something.
Only Gothamites are allowed to wear Batman on their kicks, brah.
Ok, so the prompt isn't necessarily about manspreading on public transportation, but after Valerie Loveland read her guide for how to read books on the T, it got me thinking. There should be hundreds of different guides for proper behavior on public transportation.
Write a guide for bus or train etiquette that you wish existed. Bonus points if you manage to get the MBTA to print it up and hand it out in stations.
Local poet, workshop facilitator, and Emily Dickinson impersonator, Tom Daley, is well known for his poems in the voice of his mother. He also wrote a series of poems using aphorisms that I really enjoy. Create your own poem of aphorisms (a terse saying, expressing a general truth, principle, or astute observation, and spoken or written in a laconic and memorable form) or else deconstruct an existing aphorism and make it your own (as I have done with the title of this post).
Pictured left: The other queer artist named Tom Daley.
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