Friday, April 10, 2015

Day Ten ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2015


Day Ten. Yesterday was 30%. Somehow, though, part of me wants to think the tenth day is 30%, not the ninth day. For a guy who had once strongly considered a math major — can you believe it? — that's terrible. Yeah yeah. National Poetry Month is 33% gone. (Actually 33.33333333333%.) The great thing, though, is that there is still 67% poetry to go. (Yeah, I know . . . 66.66666666667%.) Extend those 3's and 6's as far out as you want!

Maureen Thorson's NaPoWriMo prompt: "Today I challenge you to write an abecedarian poem — a poem with a structure derived from the alphabet. There are a couple of ways of doing this. You could write a poem of 26 words, in which each word begins with a successive letter of the alphabet. You could write a poem of 26 lines, where each line begins with a successive letter."

Robert Lee Brewer's PAD suggestion: "For today’s prompt, take the phrase 'How (blank),' replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: 'How to Write a Poem,' 'How Mechanical Pencils Work,' and 'Howling at the Moon After Midnight in the Middle of a Thunderstorm.'"

"The combination of prompts today," says our friend Alan, "has led to a curious result. Maureen Thorson on her NaPoWriMo site invites participants to write abecedarian poems today, and Robert Lee Brewer on his "poem a day" site invites "how to" poems today. Naturally, a poem about how to write an abecedarian poem has to happen, and I'm offering some (likely unneeded) advice to Vince. I'm thinking a coloring book with my examples should follow next."

Abecedarian Advice for Vince Gotera

It is a contrived form
that struggles in our language;
we do not have so many words
that start with Q, X, Y,
and Z, so I will help you.
Write abecedarians
about Republicans.
It’s not that hard. First, resist
all profane labels; keep
to pure, descriptive terms.
Don’t go the easy way, with A
for assholes — name-calling won’t
have the same effect as fact.
Write anti-intellectuals,
then birthers and climate deniers.
Follow up
with exceptionalists and fascists,
then gynephobes to sound timely,
and homophobes for hard truth.
Consider making each line one word
of a descriptive term,
suggesting that they are
Hellbent
in
justifying
KKK-
like
manipulated
nationalis
t
oppression.
I trust you most of the way,
but plutocrats and quaestors
should get you through the middle
part; don’t forget useful adjectives,
like regressive, strident, and,
purely for truthful shock, timid
(because calling them teabaggers offends them),
and return to the nouns,
usurers, villains, and whores.
Then close in a flourish
with xenophobes, yahoos,
and zealots. Think of it as
a mystery — figure out the end
first, and work backwards. Real words,
not onomatopoeia,
and fearless dictionary work
keep you extra honest.
No yabba-dabba-do-ing,
please, and you’re welcome.

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

Thank you, Alan, for your heartfelt instructions on writing an abecedarian. Which you very complimentarily said might "likely [be] unneeded." Merging the abecedarian and "how_____" prompts also, I offer you in turnabout some advice on how to be a grouch (likely unneeded, as you said about your suggestions above). Just kidding, buddy.

How to Be a Curmudgeon

Alan,
being snarky

can be a
difficult

endeavor.
First,

give up
heaven.

I mean that.
Just decide

Krampus
“love” trumps

manners,
niceness,

or any and all
pleasantries.

Quit
romantic

sentiments, even
to your beloved.

Uproot
vigorously

whatever might
X out

your
zest in nastiness.

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

In the third line from the bottom, I had at one point the word "expunge," but then, Alan, I recalled your fine suggestion that there should "not [be] onomatopeia" in getting the alphabet into the poem. So who'd a-thunk it? Your advice was in fact needed, Alan. And much appreciated.

Just want to clarify, friends, that I mean no offense to Alan. All completely fictional. Just trying to get through the alphabet!

And now I've got a surprise guest poet. My girlfriend Kathleen Ann Lawrence rocked the abecedarian form today. She wrote three one-word-per-letter abecedarians in about a half hour. That's phenomenal!

Breakfast
 

Almost
before
coffee
dawns,
excited
fools
gush
heartfelt
intentions.
Just
know,
love
means
never
operating
possessively,
quixotically,
regarding
sweethearts.
Take
umbrage —
valentines
wielding
xylophones
yield
zealots.
                                Bath
 

After
bathing,
carefully
dusting
every
feminine
gear
honing
imagination.
Joyously,
Kathleen
leans,
meeting
naked
opportunities.
Posing
queenlike,
rhyming
song
to
unsung
visions,
wonderfully
X-rayed
yearning
zooms.
                                Beauty
 

As
beauty
curdles,
dying,
each
fear
grasps
her
insecurities.
Judicious,
keen,
loving
messages
nurture
onerous
probing
queries,
risking
sanity.
Together,
undeterred,
vexing
wrinkles
’xuding
youthful
zaftig!

—Draft by Kathleen Ann Lawrence    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

Kathy's first serious abecederian-making is tremendous. Brava brava brava! Three bravas for three abecedarians!    I particularly like the apostrophe used in place of the opening e in "exuding" to keep the alphabet use classic and clean.

Friends, won't you comment, please? Love to know what you're thinking. To comment, look for a red line below that starts Posted by, then click once on the word comments in that line. If you don't find the word "comments" in that line, then look for a blue link below that says Post a comment and click it once. Thanks!

Ingat, everyone.   


NAPOWRIMO / PAD 2015 • 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


5 comments:

Thomas Alan Holmes said...

I didn't know you were going to trot out a ringer, Vince. I bow to Kathy's affinity for abecedarians.

Bruce Niedt said...

I liked all of these. The one on my blog was inspired by watching my granddaughter (who's not yet 2) beggining her discovery of the alphabet.

Kathleen Lawrence said...

Alan, you're the ringer!! I'm surprised Vince posts all of your poems! Your talent is stunning!

Kathleen Lawrence said...

Alan, Me again. Vince is worried that from my comment you won't understand that I was trying to pay you a huge compliment. :-) I was also trying to tease him that he should be jealous because you are so good. Of course, everyone that knows both of you and your poetry realizes that you each are creative geniuses in your own right. I love getting to read your work everyday in April. If only the month were a little longer.

Vince Gotera said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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