Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Day 26 ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2016


Day 26 . . . we are creeping up — no, we're racing up — to the end of National Poetry Month!

Maureen Thorson’s NaPoWriMo prompt: "I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates a call and response. Calls-and-responses are used in many sermons and hymns (and also in sea chanties!), in which the preacher or singer asks a question or makes an exclamation, and the audience responds with a specific, pre-determined response. (Think: Can I get an amen? to which the response is AMEN!) You might think of the response as a sort of refrain or chorus that comes up repeatedly, while the call can vary slightly each time it is used. . . . The call can be longer than the response, or vice versa. But think of your poem as an interactive exchange between one main speaker and an audience."

Robert Lee Brewer’s PAD prompt: "For today’s Two-for-Tuesday prompt: (1) Write a love poem. Or . . . (2) Write an anti-love poem."

Got my poem done early today, merging all three prompts. Not even 6:00 A.M. yet!

Echo
Scene: young man plucking daisy petals
and calling out across an echoing ravine.
She loves me!
She loves me!

She loves me not!
She loves me not!

She loves me!
She loves me!

She loves me not!
She loves me not!

She loves me!
She loves you NOT!

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

Jed also merged all three prompts today.

Surprise!

You made me breakfast?
That’s so sweet.
I love you.

    I love you, too.

And folded laundry?
Ooh, so neat.
Why, thank you.

    I love you, too.

And look, the bathroom . . .
It’s so clean
It sparkles!

    I love you, too.

And there’s no cobwebs
Anywhere.
Fantastic.

    I love you, too.

Wait, you ate the last
Piece of cake?
I hate you.

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

In Alan's poem, the call and response is between Prince onscreen in his 1984 movie and Alan's speaker's 2016 self commenting on the action. As for "love" and "anti-love," read on . . . it's complicated.

I Watch Purple Rain for the First Time in Twenty-Six Years

Dearly beloved
(I know this part with the organ music, I have heard it so many times),
We are gathered here today
(and it sounds as if a wedding ceremony is about to start, when later The Kid’s father warns him, “Don’t get married”)
To get through this thing called life
(and now we are off the rails, because this thing is no wedding in a conventional sense) —
Electric word, “life”:
(as in “I Sing the Body Electric,” because you hope that your man Prince has read a lot of Walt Whitman and knows those lines, “O my body! I dare not desert the likes of you in other men and women, nor the likes of the parts of you, / I believe the likes of you are to stand or fall with the likes of the soul [and that they are the soul] . . .”)
It means forever and that's a mighty long time
(Sometimes it has seemed long, Prince, and sometimes it doesn’t, so do not think linearly).
But I'm here to tell you
(all of us)
There's something else:
(wait for it)
The afterworld,
(ah, man, if you thought that the Boss was the first to offer sermons during such concerts, then now you know better — get out that Live in New York City album and listen to Springsteen preach his version of this bit during “The River”),
A world of neverending happiness
(so that you never know that you are happy, being in an eternal, unchanging state — if only Prince had read Blake, too).
You can always see the sun, day or night
(which means that you don’t know when night is, either).
So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
(he’s supposedly performing this song in Minneapolis)
You know the one, Dr. Everything'll Be Allright
(I preferred Dr. Roberts from the Beatles’ song myself),
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
(because a doctor will tell you how soon you are going to die),
Ask him how much of your mind, baby
(if you trust someone whose mantra, “Everything’ll Be Allright” will tell you the dead truth about your mind),
'Cause in this life
(as opposed to the Afterworld, one assumes),
Things are much harder than in the Afterworld
(I knew it).
In this life
You're on your own
(which is what the doctor will not tell you),
And if the elevator tries to bring you down,
Go crazy, punch a higher floor
(which we hope the Kid will do, by finally playing the song by Wendy and Lisa onstage, which will symbolize his coming to terms with the overwhelming misogyny of this movie, where there is the persistent risk of date rape, where a woman gets thrown into the trash, where we see two different men strike two different women, where a cut-music impresario tells his women’s group to wiggle “their asses,” and where, between musical numbers, I could not keep from wondering how an audience was primed to accept the interstitial material linking the musical numbers together. Go crazy).
—Draft by Thomas Alan Holmes    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

Here is Ven's call-and-response poem for the day. Several telling calls-and-responses.

Coupling (in honor of the TV show that I am flat out stealing this idea from)

“Where are you going?”
“I’m just off out the pub for a bit.”
“Oh ok. You want me to come?”
“It’s up to you.”

“Which one of these chairs should we get?”
“It’s up to you I don’t mind.”
“Where are you going?”
“Restroom.”

“It’s up to you, honestly, I don’t care.”
“You must have an opinion,
it’s important. Where are you going now?”
“I’m just gonna lie down for a bit.”

“We both chose this. We decided together.”
“Yeah, but it was always up to you really wasn’t it?”
“So what do we do now?”
“I guess I’ll leave for a few days you know. Think things over.”

She finally doesn’t ask “where are you going?”
He finally doesn’t say “It’s up to you.”

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

Thanks for the wonderful poems, Ven, Jed, and Alan.

A friend posted this meme on my Facebook yesterday. This has been making the online rounds for some time now, but it continues to be one of my favorites. Never fails to crack me up. “Rhyming is a gateway to sonnets”!   
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:

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

Good for you! I'm running slightly behind, but we've had some cold weather, this morning it's blowing snow, and I figure I'll find some time!
(ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

Vince Gotera said...

Thanks, Jennifer! Sorry you've got snow.

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