Wednesday, April 1, 2015

National Poetry Month / NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2015


Hello, NaPoWriMo and PAD fans!

If you don't know what I'm referring to, those words unpack as "National Poetry Writing Month" and "Poem-a-Day." They both refer to the same basic project: writing a poem every day of April, National Poetry Month in the US. NaPoWriMo is headquartered at NaPoWriMo.net, helmed by Maureen Thorson, and PAD's home is the Poetic Asides blog, written by Robert Lee Brewer.

If you've followed my April shenanigans before, you'll know that I try to combine the NaPoWriMo and PAD prompts whenever possible in my single poem of the day. It's my way of having fun with the whole shebang. Okay, then, here are the Day One "official" prompts.

Maureen Thorson's first NaPoWriMo prompt is "a poem of negation – yes (or maybe, no), I challenge you to write a poem that involves describing something in terms of what it is not, or not like. For example, if you chose a whale as the topic of your poem, you might have lines like It does not settle down in trees at night, cooing / Nor will it fit in your hand."

Robert Lee Brewer's first PAD prompt for the season is "write a resistance poem. There are many forms of resistance, including militant resistance, resistance to new ideas, the resistance in exercise, and maybe even a little resistance to starting a new project. I hope you don’t resist the urge to write a poem today."

I was successful today in combining the two prompts in what one might call a geek anthem, esp. for Star Trek and Doctor Who fans. Hope you like it!

Resistance Is Futile

Friends, we are not who
you think we are. No, we are
not metal men, two-

by-two, steel shoulder
to steel shoulder, goose-stepping
down your streets. We are

not angels weeping
stone tears, just waiting until
you blink. Not reaping,

that’s not what we will
do with you. We harbor you
no ill will. Futile

resistance, who said that? You
are safe, dear ones. We love you.

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

This poem is in a form I invented, the terza rima haiku sonnet. I've called this a "terzaiku sonnet" in the past, though I'm not really in love with that term. Anyone got a suggestion for a form name? Basically, four 5-7-5 haiku stanzas (haiku in form, not substance) with an ending couplet that has 7-syllable lines. Rhyming in terza rima, often via slant rhymes. What do you think? Comment below?


Just like last year, I am pleased and honored to present, all month, the PAD/NaPoWriMo poems of my writing buddy Thomas Alan Holmes. Alan teaches in the Literature and Language department of East Tennessee State University in Johnson City. I know Alan through Facebook and hope to meet him f2f, as the kids say, "face to face." I think you should bring me out to Johnson City to give a reading, Alan, ole buddy.

Here is Alan's Day One poem. By way of introduction, he says, "I have not seen a prompt to suit me today, but I am feeling the after-effects of the recent Appalachian Studies Association meeting here at ETSU."

Lyric

If I should sing an Appalachian song
and never mention mining coal, deny
a legacy of stripping land, decry
a handicapping poverty, the wrong
committed with disinterest among
empowered generations, no ally
to working people, making law apply
extraction’s terms, their exploitation long,
deliberate, and scarring, can you hear
a wearied resignation? Like the air,
an elemental setting seeming clear
until contamination, unaware
as we may be to find it first, I swear
it’s there, it’s there, it’s always there, it’s there.
Photo by Jeff Hardin

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

Wow. That's all I can say. I'm continually amazed by your writing prowess, Alan. I don't know many people who can whip up a Petrarchan sonnet, at such short notice, like you.

Friends, won't you comment, please? Alan and I would love to hear what you think. To comment, look for a red line below that starts Posted by Vince, 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.

Ingat, everyone.    Happy National Poetry Month!


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:

meenarose said...

Vince:

Your poem was amazing. The ending totally caught me by surprise.

Alan:

Consider me blown away. I am so glad to run into your work and read it. It reminds of Kaia Sand's "so He Raised His Hand" poem depicting the dogged activism that helped free Oregon from nuclear power plants.

Cheers
Meena

Vince Gotera said...

Thanks, Meena! Those are nice words, especially from a fellow poet.

Thomas Alan Holmes said...

It looks as if I have combined the prompts without having looked at them. I'm afraid that I am a morning writer, Vince, and when these prompts show up later in the day, I just miss them. I will likely catch up in one way or another somehow (that's about as vague a resignation as I can manage).

I appreciate your comments and Meena's comments. I spent last weekend at the Appalachian Studies Association conference, which met this year here at East Tennessee State, and some issues have been plaguing me since I read At the Edge of Empire: The Backcountry in British North America (by Hinderaker and Mancall).

Now, I have to consider going sci fi, if only to avoid the cliche of the dominance of gothic mindframe in Southern and Appalachian writing.

I'm looking forward to day two.

vstefani said...

Thank you, Vince. I know you wrote your poem just for me. And I love it.

Blogger said...

I have just downloaded iStripper, so I can watch the best virtual strippers on my taskbar.

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