Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Day 13 ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2016


Day 13. A baker's dozen. With unselfish largesse, an added item, a baker can turn bad luck to good, for both customer and seller.

Maureen Thorson's NaPoWriMo prompt: "The number 13 is often considered unlucky, so today I’d like to challenge you to beat the bad luck away with a poem inspired by fortune cookies. You could write a poem made up entirely of statements that predict the future ('You will meet a handsome stranger'), aphoristic statements ('The secret to getting ahead is getting started') or just silly questions ('How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?') Or you could use a phrase you’ve actually received in a real fortune cookie as a title or first line. However you proceed, I hope you will feel fortunate in the results (do you get it? Do you get it? Rimshot, please). Happy writing!"

Robert Lee Brewer's PAD prompt: "For today’s prompt, take the phrase 'Last (blank),' replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Possible titles include: 'Last Word,' 'Last Card Catalog,' 'Lasting Impression,' 'Last Train to Duluth,' and so on."

Jed is first up today. By 8:00 A.M. he already had both prompts covered.

Last Fortune

He who laughs last, laughs best.
(That’s not a fortune.)
I’m watching you.
(That’s just creepy.)
You will soon have wealth.
(Yeah, right.)
Your lucky lottery numbers are…
(Hm. Why not?)
I’m still watching you.
(That’s still creepy. Even with the money.)
Your true love is waiting in the Bahamas.
(Maybe she is.)
I told you, didn’t I?
(You sure did.)
But she’s cheating on you with the butler.
(Dang her!)
There’s a better girl in Waikiki.
(I’ll go and see.)
No, not the redhead. The brunette.
(You haven’t failed me yet.)
Marry me. I mean her.
(Sure.)
The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.
(What did you say?)
Someone is following you.
(Where? Who?)
Someone close to you will inherit money.

—Draft by Jedediah Kurth    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

I'm up second, an hour later. Here's my blending of "fortune cookie" and "last _____" . . . hope it's not prophetic.

Last Fortune Cookie

Strange pain up left arm.
I crack open this fortune
cookie . . . "YOU WILL

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

Third up today is Alan, working with a "last date" idea.

Fortune Cookie Last Date Warnings

If her laughs sound like her mother’s
she will laugh only as often.

A man who fights his father
also fights his sons.

Can you forgive this one
much more than you already have?

How you hold your elbows
reveals your truest heart.

Will this one sleep
in the passenger seat?

Can you stop seeing
the broccoli bud
lodged in that smile?

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

Next is Ven with a hilarious "last day" scenario. Wicked fun!

Last Day as a Fortune Cookie Fortune Writer

Children are sexually transmitted diseases.
You will die alone with soiled underwear.
Confucius says: nothing. He’s dead. You will be too someday. Maybe soon.
Your ears are the wrong size.
Most people that have ever lived are dead. You’re going to die too!
I hope you choke on this fortune cookie.
Laughter won’t save you.
Nothing about fortune cookies is truly Chinese. Stupid American.
Everyone thinks your eyes look weird.
Fact: successful people don’t read fortune cookies.
You look fat in that.
Did you order the “chicken”? HAHAHAHAHAHA.
You’re not funny. Not even your Mom thinks you’re funny.
Dying really, really hurts.
Most of your friends secretly hate you.
All smiling is rooted in fear — you grin like an idiot.
Way less people than you think will attend your funeral.
I’m just a cookie and even I can tell you have no idea what you’re doing.
They’ve found you. Run.
You have weird feet.
Life is a lovebank, but you’re overdrawn and the debt collectors are coming.
You’re 10% uglier than you think, even with your bad self-esteem.
You’re so self-absorbed I could weep vanilla tears.
Wait . . . . . wait . . . . . wait . . . . . wait for it . . . . . . . you just wasted two seconds of your life.
Everything you’ve ever done hasn’t mattered.
It doesn’t matter if the glass is half full or half empty when it contains piss.
No one has ever really loved you and no one ever will.
When you die your life will flash before your eyes and you will remember reading this — it will eat up
                precious seconds you could have spent on something beautiful.

—Draft by Ven Batista    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

Sarah also writes about a "last day," but of a very different kind.

Last Day

“You have 24 hours left to live.”
The crispy honeyed shell crackles and falls
to the floor as your nerveless hands spasm
relentlessly. You remind yourself cookies
can’t actually tell fortunes, preordain
fates, or change the course of history. Yet,
what if the sun will set and never rise,
this day of golden hours breathe its last,
your story reach its final stanza, one
last hurrah? What if this is the end;
to be ushered out with painful eye rolls,
couch-potato hours logged, and loneliness?

Weigh your options on the societal
scales of correct and acceptable choices:
ignore this prophecy of unlikely
doom or decide to heed this angel’s cry.

What does one do on their last day alive?

Go, stand on the street corner and decry
the evils of society. Gather
the masses; hungry for a martyr. Preach
to them a message of your own beliefs.
For once, don’t hide behind political
walls and archaic turns of phrase; admit
the truth and free your caged mind-song at last.

Buy that package of Oreos you’ve craved
since starting that awful diet. Better
yet, find the most expensive restaurant
in town and gorge on rich roasts of meat, sweet
concoctions of a confectionary
quality, dizzying wine… Don’t regret
a single bite: a prisoner’s last meal.

For the romantic at heart, run across
city streets and through rush hour traffic,
to the coffee shop where the smiling blond
barista winks at you every Tuesday.
But when you shove your way to the counter,
instead of ordering the 2% chai
with a shot of hazelnut, let words
of utter adoration tumble forth
and splash over her gleaming green eyes, lit
in soft strains of muted silver sunlight.

Perhaps you’re the type to rob death of joy:
to flip the game board, drive the nail into
your own temple. The golden cookie crumbs
become blotches of bright red on the floor.
Walls spin as white-flecked pills spill down your throat
and the dry bitterness becomes heavy
in your chest. The thoughts crowd closer, doors flung
wide open by this slip of flimsy skin.
Find a sanctuary; the oaken cross
somber and watchful stands, lined in velvet.
Fall to your knees and plead with a savior
you couldn’t possibly stop running from.

One day is a span of infinity.

Maybe we have something in common. Day
draws to a close and this glass orb glows blue
and gold in the brilliance of a slipping
star. In the wash of technicolored notes,
I slip in my headphones and let pounding
rhythms cushion the sound of earth sobbing.
Then, into the pale horizon, I run,
without stopping, feeling every harsh breath
twist its way through my flesh, letting life pulse
fully in every human particle.

The last day, I will run and not look back.

—Draft by Sarah Smith    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

Thanks for the poems, friends! And friends out there in the blogosphere, thanks for reading!


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 2016 • 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


4 comments:

Bee said...

Nice :-)

Vince Gotera said...

Thanks, Barb. I just added mine to the mix.

Bee said...

I like it, but it's creepy, Vince! Of course, that's my anxiety talking lol

Vince Gotera said...

Barb, come on back. They're all here now.

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