Tag Archives: Poetry Daily

More Poems Day 6

3 Feb

HailThis one didn’t come easy but it finally landed. A strange one with some potential when I go back for revision. Inspired by February 3rd’s poem at Poetry Daily, “My Knife,” by Dennis Hinrichsen, from Rip-Tooth, published by University of Tampa Press. First four lines as teaser: I keep a little Lear in my back jeans pocket / a little sorrow / like a doll or jackknife / to slice away at storms

Working Title: Hail Storm
1st Sentence: None of us had ever seen hail before.
Favorite Sentence: The laughs were rude, they sounded like barking, they split the air and felt wrong, wrong.
Word Length: 338

Photo by Mat Fascione 3/2008.

An easy one!

2 Feb

HawkOh thank goodness. I can’t remember the last time I got a gift shorty. I did have to spend some time thinking about the prompt poem I got from Poetry Daily, “Hawk” by Nick Norwood, from Gravel and Hawk at Ohio University Press, but then my mind started associating this to this to this until I stumbled on something that took hold and it was a joy to write. First four lines of the poem as a teaser: Lost in the woods with an air rifle, / a boy supposed to be after birds, / amazed by vines and wintering trees, / resigned, I fired my chambered pellet

Working Title: Last Night
1st Sentence: Last night I grieved for you.
Favorite Sentence: Last night I held your heart in my hand while I killed you, over and over, all the while rubbing my cheek against the bark of the redwood trees we will not see together, hearing the rush of Italian or French I will puzzle through without you, brushing from my hair the Maui sand that you will never feel.
Word Length: 716

Photo by Dori 1/2008.

An Odd Start

1 Feb

White BirdsToday’s prompt poem from Poetry Daily is “Five White Birds,” from LSUP’s Under the Pergola by Catharine Savage Brosman. With this shorty I got myself into a situation I had neither the time nor the brain power to get out of, nor did I have time to scrap the story and try to develop something else. So I spun for a bit and then wound out to an ending. The result is a shorty that is not just strange but, sad to say, pointless. I’ll go back to the idea for this one and the initial situation. I just need time to determine what should happen. Next! The first four lines of the poem as a teaser: Having seared the sky, the sun—a brazier—
 / smolders through the crumbling clouds / upriver; to the east, rich mounds of smoky / vapors, signifying rain tomorrow, drift on.

Working Title: Twizzler Pentimento
1st Sentence: I reported to her office at exactly 3:00 pm, as requested.
Favorite Sentence: She opened a pack herself, peeled off a strip of candy, and began to gnaw on it, looking at me with eyes narrowed.
Word Length: 1,106

Photo by Angela K. Kepler.

Out with a Whimper

31 Jan

NougatI finally enjoyed two days of a little spark yesterday and the day before but today, sadly… no spark. I hope I have a really good week soon to make up for these late doldrums but who knows, maybe 9 months is the outer limit of how long I can write something every day and mine a little gold here and there. In any case, congratulations to me for completing my 9th month today! The treat in the picture is “artisanal nougat,” which looks like that Torrone candy I love to get at Christmas. I think a hunk like that is sufficient for celebrating another month. Excuse me while I don my dinner napkin. The day’s lackluster shorty was inspired by the lovely poem “Forecast” by Karin Gottshall, published at Crazyhorse Fall 2012. I found it at Poetry Daily. Here’s the first stanza as a teaser: I remember, before the snow started, / thinking I wish it would start. The sky darkened

Working Title: Snow Sculpture
1st Sentence: For going on five years, now, she would sculpt only with snow and only outdoors.
Favorite Sentence: She lumped, piled, packed, and patted into place a vision as it rose before her.
Word Length: 448

Photo by nonolilli 8/2012.

Poetry Day 2

30 Jan

The Iowa Review CoverThat’s more like it. Another shorty that doesn’t sing but it’s got potential, it’s about something real. After days of lackluster word-pushing, that’s what I need right now, a few pieces that remind me of why I write. Today’s piece was inspired by “Rapprochement” by Geoffrey Nutter, published by The Iowa Review, Winter 2012/13 (pictured here). I found the poem at Poetry Daily. Your teaser in four lines: I awoke as from a dream. And I rose / near dawn, boiled and drank the blood-colored tea / sweetened with berries and wild honey, / and started to compose a lengthy list

Working Title: Fantasy Dining
1st Sentence: Scott said that he would love to do pizza and beer with Benjamin Franklin and find out once and for all if the electricity stunt with the key was made up.
Favorite Sentence: I want to have a meal with the sixteen-year-old you, when you had that teenage mix of stupid and whip-smart, when you weren’t scared, yet, of putting your hands out to feel the shapes of things, to blurt anything on your mind.
Word Length: 605

The Iowa Review (Winter 2102/13) cover photo from iowareview.org.

New Lease on Life + Poetry

29 Jan

HandThere is one good thing about the flu (and it’s certainly not worth it): Once on the road to recovery, everything you eat and drink is delicious, and everything you do is exciting because it’s so easy. Yesterday I straightened up the kitchen and felt incredibly happy that I had the energy to do it. I wanted to wash that dish—and I did! The day’s shorty isn’t great but it has a bit of spark and that’s enough for me right now. I’m going back to prompts this week and will be using the site Poetry Daily again for my inspiration. The day’s inspiration poem is Dispatch Detailing Rust, by Adrian C. Louis, published in New Letters, Volume 79, No. 1. The first four lines as a teaser: I was merely on / the cusp of growing / old when I shook / his hand, my enemy’s

Working Title: Art
1st Sentence: She lifted her hands and squinted into the light.
Favorite Sentence: A little lingo-lasso, and we’ll rustle ourselves a better profile.
Word Length: 316

Photo by Striatic 7/2009.

Poem Series Day 7: Bye Week 18!

3 Sep

A friend recently expressed confusion (and a little contempt?!) that I reward Daily Shorty milestones with virtual treats. Occasionally the treat is something I acquired and photographed before inhaling it but typically, no, these treats come from Wikimedia Commons or friends kind enough to remember me and snap a photo before inhaling their own delights. In my defense I can only say that I love looking at these pictures. And that if I I ate all of the treats decorating this site I’d have to exercise twice as much as I do already, and these old knees can’t take it. So enjoy with me this gorgeous fruit tart, which caps a week of shorties inspired by poems posted at Poetry Daily. Today’s shorty was birthed by the haunting “Horse People” by David Mason (Southwest Review, Volume 97, Number 3), which literally gave me chills. It also gave me my favorite shorty of the week, which I wrote in a daze immediately after reading the poem for the first time. First four lines of the poem as teaser: “Quanah Parker’s mother as a young girl / saw her family lanced and hacked to pieces, / and was herself thrown on the hurtling rump / of a warrior’s pony whipped to the far off”

Working Title: Hair Color of Moon
1st Sentence: Too many John Wayne movies on Sunday afternoons.
Favorite Sentence: He is the noble savage but also the thief of little blondes, also cannon fodder for the likes of Mr. Wayne.
Word Length: 383

Photo by Kimberly Vardeman, May 2008.

Poem Series Day 6

2 Sep

This one took forever to write. Might be a keeper with a good revision but I was glad to be done with it for now, after a long night. I took my inspiration from one specific and very simple image in the poem “Men Swear” by Matthew Thorburn (from Every Possible Blue, CW Books). Who knows why the phrase and image lingered: yellow pocket square. Here are the first four lines of the poem to tease you: “I misread on the UP escalator / at Macy’s and things go downhill / from there. Now starchy / as a white shirt, now neat as a pleat”

Working Title: Stalker Angel
1st Sentence: As stalkers go, he was a good choice.
Favorite Sentence: A few shouts, some jabbering, a tangle of suit coats and salt-and-pepper hairlines converged on the boy and Mr. Apperson.
Word Length: 2,322

Photo: Yuji_Naka_Tokyo_Game_Show_2008.jpg: switchstyle; derivative work: Tachymètre & Leovilok.

Poem Series Day 5: Maria’s back!

1 Sep

Ahh, another excuse to post a picture of my darling Maria. Bad lighting and apologies for the husband’s foot, but you can see that she is ridiculously adorable. Today’s shorty was inspired by my current favorite of the terrific poems I’ve been pulling from Poetry Daily as prompts for my writing, “6220 Camp Street” by Amanda Auchter, from The Wishing Tomb, Perugia Press. First stanza as teaser: “The morning of the strange wind, / I opened tin cans, / scooped chicken livers into pie plates. The city”

Working Title: Operation Rescue
1st Sentence: She ran it through her head while she was showering, watching TV, making a grilled cheese, pedaling to nowhere on an exercise bike: UP in one smooth motion, sneakers on, shake pillow from its case, fetch cat carrier from laundry room, stuff pillow case into carrier, grab Spinnet and put him into carrier, car keys, purse, OUT.
Favorite Sentence: We rehearse the mother-living-fuck out of the fastest decamp this side of a panty-raid and all is right with the world.
Word Length: 1,264

Photo taken this summer by Pat, who forgot to move his foot.

Poem Series Day 4: So long August!

31 Aug

I could fill this whole box with complaints about the day’s shorty, which I worked very hard on and yet it refused to be anything but a pretty, preening piece of crap. Instead I will congratulate myself for finishing my 4th month of the Daily Shorty challenge! That’s a THIRD of my year, folks! Have a red velvet cupcake on me to celebrate. The wonderful poem that inspired today’s shorty is “The Meantime” by Craig Morgan Teicher, from To Keep Love Blurry, BOA Editions. The first four lines as a teaser: “It’s easy to overjoy a window with brilliant flowers / but what if long-longed-for time suddenly bubbled / over the lip of the clock, as if each day doubled / due to a lost job or loved one slaughtered, leaving hours”

Working Title: Noon
1st Sentence: Tuesday.
Favorite Sentence: She watched the sand sift, tiny breaths of particles at a time, falling through the hour glass from possibility to past.
Word Length: 1,736

Thanks to my friend Mark and sister Amy for taking this picture.

Poem Series Day 3

30 Aug

What I can say so far about using poems as prompts: I’m producing stories I feel I would never have come up with on my own. That was only rarely true when I used place and photos as inspiration. I wonder why? The day’s shorty was inspired by the poem “Minor Devastations,” by Andrzej Sosnowski and translated from the Polish by Benjamin Paloff. The poem comes from Lodgings: Selected Poems 1987-2010 (Open Letter, University of Rochester). First stanza as teaser: “Everyone is on the lookout for minor devastations / in themselves and in others. And throughout the world. / And it’s nobody’s fault. Angelic gehennas, / genes, as in genesis. Lawsonia and henna.”

Working Title: Me, in Limbo
1st Sentence: For fifty bucks he paints a watercolor of who you really are.
Favorite Sentence: No one, her entire life, had ever asked her to wear uncomfortable shoes.
Word Length: 600

Photo by Flickr user Tu Foto, January 2007.

Poem Series Day 2

29 Aug

Two shorties inspired by poems, five to go. I was very happy with this story and worked hard to find the right ending, but it never came. Right now I’m thinking the last third of this one is likely to be replaced in revision. The poem that inspired this shorty is “Heroic Sentences,” by Kimberly Grey, published by the Colorado Review, Summer 2012. First four lines as a teaser: “Little crumbs and tree and bone / and all that’s left of time inside / our bodies and I am insatiable / when it comes to saving you,”

Working Title: What Say You?
1st Sentence: My friend Lorna and her soon to be ex-husband Bill held a funeral for their marriage.
Favorite Sentence: Lorna had called from Italy at 3:00 in the morning—what, three years ago, now—drunk on limoncello and bawling about how Bill hated cheese and said she should grow her hair long.
Word Length: 1,142

Photo by Jgromine1, May 2012.

A Week of Poem Prompts!

28 Aug

My weeks at Daily Shorty start on Tuesdays. I just finished a week of stories inspired by place, and that followed a week of stories inspired by photos. Now poetry. Many thanks to the folks at Poetry Daily, who post a terrific poem every day. I have made a small contribution as a proper thank you and I hope you will do the same if you are as wowed by their site as I am. Today’s poem is “Looking into Motion’s Larkin” by Lee Rossi, published in the New Orleans Review Volume 38, Number 1. First stanza teaser:  “No matter how slowly you read the life / it speeds past. His parents wed. Soon he’s born. / Then school, and Oxford, a taste for porn. / Then jobs, the many women (but no wife)”

Working Title: Not the Moon
1st Sentence: When we were kids, Jackie’s toys were newer, shinier, their colors more intense.
Favorite Sentence: My mother believed smiles cost her something and that woman thought of little else but price.
Word Length: 417

Photo by Oliver Herold, July 2007.