Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Day 19 ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2016


Day 19. Another prime number . . . the 8th in the month so far.

Maureen Thorson’s NaPoWriMo prompt: "Many years ago, 'didactic' poetry was very common – in other words, poetry that explicitly sought to instruct the reader in some kind of skill or knowledge, whether moral, philosophical, or practical. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write the latter kind of “how to” poem – a didactic poem that focuses on a practical skill. Hopefully, you’ll be able to weave the concrete details of the action into a compelling verse. Also, your 'practical' skill could be somewhat mythological, imaginary, or funny, like 'How to Capture a Mermaid' or 'How to Get Your Teenager to Take Out the Garbage When He Is Supposed To.' Happy writing!"

Robert Lee Brewer’s PAD prompt (two for Tuesday): "Take on one (or both) of the following prompts: Write a cool poem. Or . . . write a[n] uncool poem."

All five of us melded the prompts today, somehow or other; sometimes we mashed up all three, counting Robert's two prompts: "how-to," "cool," and "uncool."

How To

I’m not sure.
Does it involve refrigerators?

Sunglasses.
And flashes of brilliance.

Arrogance.
Without seeming like an ___.

How about
I tell you how to not.
(Be cool.)

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

Jed, that's very funny. "Does it involve refrigerators?" Well, in a manner of speaking, yes.

Ven's poem is funny too but in a fashion that's diametrically opposed from Jed's.

How to be Cool

Step 1) Give zero fucks.
Step 2) Repeat step 1 until death.

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

Sarah gives us a list of how-to recommendations, also quite funny.

How To Definitely Make New Friends and Be Super Popular

Grow up in an ultra conservative
family. Develop a knack for always
arguing your point and obsessively,
relentlessly, finding a way to be
right. Attend a state-sponsored, liberal school
and refuse to succumb to peer pressure
in every critical discussion-based
class, paper, organization . . . . Oh wait.

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

Alan is very tongue-in-cheek today in his humor. Bravo! A fun poem to format in HTML.

How to Be a Cool Poet
(in Nineteen Steps So Far — a found poem)


[W]rite a foolish poem.

[W]rite a what he said and/or what she said poem.

[T]ake the phrase “Three (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.

[W]rite a distance poem. As a runner, I automatically think of running when I think distance. But hey, there’s long distance relationships. Or why not get beyond geographic distance and consider distance in terms of time or emotional distance. Or some other interpretation.

  1. Write an experienced poem. Or . . .
  2. Write an inexperienced poem.

[W]rite an ekphrastic poem.

[T]ake the phrase “Urban (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.

[W]rite a doodle poem. In my mind, I’m thinking of how I like to doodle when I’m talking on the phone or sitting in a meeting.

[W]rite a hide out poem. When I was a kid, we’d build “hide outs,” I guess from our parents or other kids.

[P]ick an emotion, make it the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles might include: “Happy,” “Sad,” “Angry,” or well, there’s a universe of emotions out there.

[W]rite a defensive poem. The first thing that springs to my mind is getting defensive about an accusation, which may or may not be true. The next thing I think about might be people or animals defending themselves. Or defense in sports. Or defense in the court room. Or well, there’s a lot to defend in this world.

[T]ake on one (or both) of the following prompts:
  • Write a serious poem. Or . . .
  • Write a silly poem.
[T]ake 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.

[W]rite a time out poem. There are moments in my life that I wish I could take a time out. For instance, it would’ve been nice earlier this year when I had pneumonia . . . .

[W]rite a poem with at least four of the following eight words:
  1. flat
  2. ring
  3. lavish
  4. vessel
  5. paper
  6. blacklist
  7. gaudy
  8. tooth
Of course, ambitious poets will immediately try using all eight words, but four will do if you’re just trying to get through today’s prompt.

[W]rite a poem about (or at) a food establishment. . . . Have fun with it, and if you need to do a little research, go out for something to eat.

[W]rite a haiku. Simple as that. Or well, if you’d prefer, write a poem about haiku; I’ve done this before. So that’s an option too; or write about poetic forms in general.

[W]rite 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.

  • Write a cool poem. Or . . .
  • Write a [sic] uncool poem.

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

I merged all three prompts while addressing an important dilemma of my teenage years.

How to Be Cool in 1967 San Francisco
If You're a Filipino American Teenager


You gotta know how
to pimp, walk a swinging strut.
“Don’t fuck with me now,

I’ll lay your ass out!”
Dashikis and ironed jeans,
black Cuban-heeled boots.

Or . . . work pants from Ben
Davis, blue Derby jackets,
suede desert boots, pin-

striped button-down shirts.
Hope you’re cool enough, little
honorary white.

Caught in between, brown, uncool,
can you solve that race riddle?

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

This is a terza rima haiku sonnet, a form of my own invention. You should try it! If you do, let me know how it goes, won't you?

Speaking of San Francisco and the past, my old high school, St. Ignatius College Preparatory, today published a poem of mine. They have been publishing on their website poems from alums during National Poetry Month, and I'm the "Poet of the Day" for April 19th! (Click on the image below and you can see it; click here to go to the actual webpage.)
The poem they published is my sonnet "What Matters," which won first place in the Rhyming Poetry division of the 84th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition in 2015. Published in the book Writer's Digest 84th Annual Writing Competition Collection, 2015.


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:

Jedediah Kurth said...

Congratulations on the recognition of your recognition.

It must feel very rewarding to have your award acknowledged like that.

Vince Gotera said...

Thanks, Jed.

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