Monday, April 28, 2014

Day 28 ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2014


Day 28. We're 14/15 done with National Poetry Month. Crazy, huh?

"Official" prompts today. Robert Lee Brewer: "a settled poem" (Poetic Asides). Maureen Thorson: "Today I challenge you to find a news article, and to write a poem using (mostly, if not only) words from the article! You can repeat them, splice them, and rearrange them however you like" (NaPoWriMo).

I decided to create an erasure poem to satisfy Maureen's prompt, and it took up an inordinate chunk of the day. I found a "news" article and used only the words in it. So basically a found poem. The article is "Jennifer Aniston's Brief Romance Revealed!" by Jackie Willis, from the website Yahoo! TV. I've retyped the article below and circled the words I'm keeping. You should follow the red lines to get the sequence of the narrative. If you need to see the erasure poem larger, just click on the image. I was able, just barely, to mix in Robert's prompt as well, basically in the last sentence. It was very difficult to accomplish.

Hot Teenage Romance Settled


The poem is really the altered page above, but to help you read:

They dated back in the day, a romance based on 17-year-old
smoldering. To we immaturions the torrid romance seemed
extra hot. [N]ow married they can offer little dirt.

—Erasure Draft by Vince Gotera    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

I do want to make sure to point out, just so there's no misunderstanding, that the cool phrase "To we immaturions" is not mine. It was coined by Jim Nelson, editor of the magazine GQ. Of course, since it's a found poem, and more specifically an erasure poem, I didn't coin any of the language.


And now on to Alan's poem: "I got out early this morning," Alan tells us, "and looked around; I mowed grass all day Saturday, and the yard got a good drenching last night from one of the thunderstorms moving through the region this week. Being outside so early in the morning reminded me of being ready to go outside as soon as possible when I was smaller. I cannot recall seeing a mimosa here in my part of East Tennessee, but the further south I drive, the more I see them."

Mimosa

A forked mimosa grew some yards away
from our back porch; I never climbed it far
because its branches would not bear my weight,
but I could climb it high enough to see
its yellow gum ooze from the breaches torn
through outer bark, the stress from violent wind
or maybe me as I shinned in it. Late
most afternoons, I saw its fans of leaves
fold closed; some mornings, I might catch the sun
and watch the leaves respond to light. July
would bring the last of its red blossoms, puffs
of pink unlike most flowers everywhere. I sawed
its broken branches off; my fingertip,
like rays of light, could make its leaves fold, too.

—Draft by Thomas Alan Holmes     [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

Ah yes, I remember getting leaves like those to fold up when I was a child. I like in your poem how the speaker's finger, the body, really, is likened to light. Bravo, Alan. Nice blank verse sonnet, by definition unrhymed.

Mimosa Tree
Won't you comment, please, friends? To make a comment, look for a blue link below that says Post a comment and click it once. If you don't see that, look in the red line that starts Posted by Vince, then find the word comments and click it once.

Ingat, everyone.  


POEM-A-DAY 2014 • Pick a day in April: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30


3 comments:

Thomas Alan Holmes said...

Vince, I appreciate your posting that image of the mimosa. They just don't look like any other tree I was accustomed to seeing back in Alabama--they were exotic before I knew the word "exotic," even though I saw them every day.

Thomas Alan Holmes said...

I confess that I did not realize my poem has fourteen lines until I read your comment. April is wearing me out.

Vince Gotera said...

Great, Alan. Thanks That's excellent that you are writing in 14-line chunks without knowing it. Your inner poetry machine knows, though.

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