I am feeling less than talkative this morning, so today: a couple of photos and a major prompt.

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Having next to nothing to do with this particular piece (…sorry) this prompt is inspired by my sons, who are each writing poems today and require prompts for this activity.

(follow these directions, step by step: do not read ahead!)

  1. You will need 6 sheets of paper and one pen or pencil. Gather.
  2. On the first page, write a list of your five favorite words: these do not need to be related in any way.
  3. Write each word at the top of the 5 other pages of paper.
  4. Under each word, on each page, write a small list (3 or more items) that touches on why that word is one of your favorites. This could be a memory or a description; make it as vague or as spot on as you choose. A single word or a paragraph.
  5. Once you’ve finished a list for each word, consider ways you could scramble the writing you have just created. Use the information you’ve collected to create some poetry.
  6. Are you confused? Consider the words ODE and ELEGY. Consider how you will pay tribute to your own favorite words. Do you want to tell a story? Tell a story. Do not feel limited by line breaks. Make lists if you like them. Tell lies if you prefer. Prose poetry is also at your fingertips.
  7. Make 3 poem-like-attempts.
  8. Now, (oh, did you think you were done?) read through what you’ve got and please eliminate any words or lines that do not strike you as necessary.
  9. Now, please write a new poem using only your favorite lines.
  10. Revise as necessary.
  11. Title this poem, “Enigma: ____________” (fill in the blank as you wish).

Other news: I received my contributor copies of The Austin Review yesterday evening. It is beautiful and bite size. I am considering doing something a little different with this journal. We’ll see, but I think I might add a little review of each piece in here, as I read it. The journal is small enough to allow this and I just like the idea. Sincere thanks to everyone at the review, and especially Michael Barrett (twitter: @michaelcbarrett).