Monday, April 18, 2016

Day 18 ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2016


Day 18 . . . 3/5 of the way done with National Poetry Month. Sad a little but also glad for the poems that are happening.

Maureen Thorson’s NaPoWriMo prompt: "Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates ‘the sound of home.’ Think back to your childhood, and the figures of speech and particular ways of talking that the people around you used, and which you may not hear anymore. My grandfather and mother, in particular, used several phrases I’ve rarely heard any others say, and I also absorbed certain ways of talking living in Charleston, South Carolina that I don’t hear on a daily basis in Washington, DC. Coax your ear and your voice backwards, and write a poem that speaks the language of home, and not the language of adulthood, office, or work."

Robert Lee Brewer’s PAD prompt: "Another Monday, eh? For some, Mondays equate to ‘back to the office’ day. For today’s prompt, write an office poem. Maybe this is related to your work, but maybe this is a poem at a dentist’s office, doctor’s office, bank office, office in a car factory, or some other type of office."

Photo from Bit Rebels
Pondering how to meld the ideas of home and office, I found online a special kind of home office, a "traveling" one, or at least the look of it. A Hungarian designer salvaged half of the front end of an old bus and moved it into his bedroom, where he built a home office inside it. Pretty crazy, huh? I suppose you can't probably work at this desk without thinking you're headed somewhere, out into adventure. (You can read about this cool project here.)

I've written a kennings poem on this topic. You may recall I wrote one of these on the 14th. Not really mixing the prompts as much as merging the two settings suggested. Kennings poems are usually riddles but this one is more of a meditation.

Home Office in a Bus

Windshield-cleaver
Desk-rethinker

Headlight-shiner
Bedroom-driver

Laptop-flyer
Forward-looker

Destination-imaginer
Destiny-seeker

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

Jed went "rogue" today, not going with the prompts. He wrote this poem before he saw the prompts and thought he better not push his luck today, as his first couple of lines here suggest.

Too Risky

When I’ve written well,
I fear to write more.
I would not spoil
With some error
What was well done
As I’d begun.

Half finished illustrations
Grace the margins
Of church programs.
Not forgotten, but abandoned.
Because they were too good.

With words I’ve learned;
Write more. Change is easy.

With words I’ve learned,
The second part can start again.

With words I’ve learned . . .
“Part” and “again”? Do those rhyme?
The grammar’s strange.

With words I’ve learned
I can keep what I’ve earned,
And what came to me for free
Because I’m lucky.
. . . Or from Heaven.

The rest I can change.
I can do it again.

With a drawing,
One more line
Can spoil the whole.

With life, with a friend,
The wrong word can end
The whole thing.

Why not stop now?
Why not save the trouble
Of drawings spoiled?
Of friendships ruined?

“I liked you.
Goodbye.”
(I’m lonely.)

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

Alan merges the prompts today with an evocation of how men talk at work, a memory of the "sound of home." The poem is also a wonderfully observant character study.

Shoptalk

When Cecil Bullard sold for Romine Fence,
Decatur, Alabama, he would pull
to ditches when the fenceless cornfields reached
the roads and take a stolen armload home.
I heard that he seduced the women down
the tracks and in the segregated part
of town, but he would not have talked about
that stuff with me around, because he did
not know for sure how much I understood,
a skinny, bookish kid who figured out
why men would fetch me ice-cold Nehi grape,
prevent my seeing beer in that old fridge
in that dry county, only miles away
from Tennessee and other liquor laws.
They asked Dad once to leave me in the truck.
“Now, Carlton,” I could hear them through glass slats
of open casement windows, “don’t you think
that boy might tell more than he knows?” And I,
outside, would see the sign, “Good fences make
good neighbors,” know where I had read that line
before, and know that Cecil Bullard might
have offered women discounts, but he stretched
the payments so that they were never paid
in full, and his commissions never stopped.

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

Sarah is going "rogue" today . . . off the prompts.

Rainy Day

Pieces of a missing puzzle,
Dancing just beyond our reach.
Bits of raincloud on the window
Dripping down from stuffy eaves.

Steam from fogged up cider mugs
Clings to frizzled straying hairs.
We tie the blankets round our necks
Then fly up and down the stairs.

Yellowed ivory clunked out notes
Make ballerinas spin and sway
While mud splashes on wooden porch
And keeps us inside all the day.

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

Ven today tells the story of his home, his office, his home/office.

I had a home-office once.

Tiny voices rise and fall
muffled by my office door.
What game are they playing?
Are they doing red light-green light
without me?

Pixels on a screen in front of me
Sounds of joy and laughter above.
Sir Francis was probably right.
“impediments to great enterprises,
either of virtue or mischief.”
Indeed.

But please, I can’t resist that call —
the sounds of home, of love,
of my children laughing,
for no good reason at all.

I open up that office door
and unscrew all the hinges.

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

Thanks for the excellent poems today. And thanks for reading our work, everyone!


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


2 comments:

vstefani said...

Love the poem, Vince, and the home office bus!

Unknown said...

Thanks! I'd love to have one. I wonder how much it would cost to get one of those from a junkyard?

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