As I'm certain you're aware, some people consider 13 an unlucky number. "Friday the 13th" is thought by many a particularly unlucky combination of day and date. In my hometown of San Francisco, there is no 13th Avenue; between 12th and 14th Avenues lies Funston Avenue. Some buildings around the US have no 13th floor, a fact that led to the name of one of the early psychedelic bands, The 13th Floor Elevators, who had a hit song titled "You're Gonna Miss Me" in 1966, one of my favorite rock songs ever. Not many people know the song features the jug as an instrument, the electric jug.
While fear of the number 13 is widespread enough to have its own clinical designation — triskaidekaphobia (cool, hey?) — some people consider 13 a lucky number. When I was a teenager, a soul station in the San Francisco Bay Area, KDIA (1310 AM), called itself "Lucky 13." According to Wikipedia, "Colgate University [in New York] considers 13 to be a lucky number. They were founded in 1819 by 13 men with 13 dollars, 13 prayers and 13 articles." And, of course, the American flag has 13 horizontal stripes, representing the 13 original colonies.
Okay, on to poetry. Today, Robert Lee Brewer suggests "a comparison poem. The poem could compare one person with another, or it could compare one thing against itself. Or it could take a comparable direction" (Poetic Asides). For day 13, Maureen Thorson's "(totally optional) prompt
There are small traces of the two prompts in the poem, I think. It begins with the suggestion of a walk aroud the neighborhood, and I suppose if one compares the different happenings in each line, they grow more and more massive. Mostly, though I was working with the number 13 and various phobias people might exhibit, collected here under the triskaidekaphobia umbrella.
Well, that's all for my baker's dozen. See you tomorrow for the close of National Poetry Month's second week? Please comment below. Ingat, everyone.
#amreading: SKELETON HILL, by Peter Lovesey
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