Waiting 4 the Bus

Waiting 4 the Bus
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Poem 23

Number 23

: Life, the Universe, and Everything

42 is an interesting number. It was the number of hours Juliet slept after drinking her potion. Alice in Wonderland has 42 original illustrations and rule number 42 requires that all mile-high people must leave court immediately. An episode of Doctor Who entitled “42″ is shot in real time and lasts 42 minutes. And, most importantly, Douglas Adams chose the unassuming number as the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything in his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. So let’s try to write some poems based on this little number.

1. Choose one, simple, unassuming word. Fork. Grass. Dog. Chair. Whatever you like. Then write a poem where this one simple word becomes the answer to a difficult problem or question.

2. If you are age 42 or older (I’ll never tell), write a poem about something memorable that happened during that year in your life.

3. Be a modern-day Juliet. Without all the dying. Imagine that you sleep for 42 hours straight. When you wake up, what will you have missed? What part of your life will have passed you by while you slumbered? Use your imagination.

4. Doctor Who can time travel in the Tardis, his spaceship that takes the form of a police box. Write a list poem full of 42 things that you would do if you could time travel.

42 anomalies in time

I am a traveler in time

Facts and fates in the palm of my hand

I am bound by the laws of time

And of course I aim to break the law

Things to do;

I'd tell myself the things I learned about happiness

I'd get a dog

A robot dog

I'd eat more fruit

Play the lotto

Win the lotto

Go to Vegas

Buy Vegas

Tear down Vegas and terraform the desert

Learn how terraform the desert

Never start smoking

Make a plan

Don't follow the plan

Institute solar energy in 1964

Stop 3 mile island

Stop Chernobyl

Stop the cat woman movie

Stop reality television

Stop Miley Cyrus

stop a bullet in Dallas

stop in the name of love before you break my heart

Talk to Kurt Vonnegut

Talk to  J D Salinger

Talk to the animals, but that doesn't count, it's not very timey Wimey

Write some poems

Say thanks to Jimmy Carter

Save a butterfly

Save the rainforest

Save the world

Conquer the world

Did I. Mention that I'd get a dog

Or a pony

Or a masters of the universe cat that changes when I yell "by the power of Grayskull"

Be smart

Smarter than you, anyway

Make good art

Find true love

Get my heart broken repeat that cycle until it ends differently

Go mad

Go mad by Einsteins definition

Tell Einstein what happened

Stop the planes

Stop the hype

Stop and breathe a little bit easier


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Poem 22

Number 22

Madras. Checkered. Variegated. Houndstooth. However you name it, plaid has been a fashion staple for years.

Today’s prompt will use the crossed paths of plaid to inspire a poem. Follow the directions to weave a new draft!

1.Write four lines of text. Here is an example:

A slice of citrus light illuminates a single spot in the still pond,

one lotus, pink, blooming like a first kiss.

My eyes adjust to the morning dim, all goodness and promise,

nothing to cloud my mind, new-birthed from sleep.

2. Pick two or three vertical lines downward through the poem and write those “lines” out horizontally.

slice lotus eyes nothing

light blooming morning mind

spot kiss goodness sleep

3. Weave the new abstract lines into lines that will be placed in between the first four – then put them in place.

A slice of citrus light illuminates a single spot in the still pond,

each petal a slice of silk. The lotus, alone, eyes nothing – just

one lotus, pink, and blooming like a first kiss.

My eyes adjust to the morning dim, all goodness and promise,Round red

the light a blooming lotus. This morning, I don’t mind the light,

nothing to cloud my mind, new-birthed from sleep, drawn

to this spot, this invisible kiss, this goodness before I sleep.

4. If you want to get really crazy…Go through and choose two or three more vertical lines. And repeat. 

If you are not crazy, then just play with the draft you got from the first time around!

Fire danced in the burnt shadows behind her eyes

Danced as the soldiers of punctuated light

Smoldering as ashes in an abandoned campfire

Burnt ashes smoke white and clean

Sunrise punctuated by the smoke and flash of a fresh cigarette

Before the abandoned epiphany flash state reconfigures until

Orange and light wipe clean the mental slate bringing redemption

Highland Park Poetry Pentathlon

POETRY PENTATHLON - Inspired by the merriment and mayhem of Chicago's Waiting 4 the Bus annual competition, Highland Park Poetry is pleased to offer the 2014 Poetry Pentathlon: North Shore Edition. This is a judged reading where contestants earn points in 5 poetry challenges for writing ability and performance style. The event will occur on Friday, June 13 at The Art Center. We're seeking judges, scorekeeper and participants eager to show their stuff - see attached flyer for details
Winner of this showdown wine the right to compete in the big show at the end of August

Monday, April 21, 2014

Poem 21

Number 21

Balloons. Bubbles. Planets. Cheerios. Rings. Merry-go-rounds. Hula Hoops. Superballs. Bowls. Oranges. M & Ms. Skittles. Lifesavers. Life preservers. Frisbees. Clocks. Drums. Cupcakes. Donuts. Wheels. Tires. Bracelets.

Round things rule. And circles are also symbols of connection, of cycles, of continuing. So today we will use this simple shape to inspire a poem in one of four ways.

1. Make a list of round things (or use the one above.) Choose two or three of the items that come from different “categories” – for instance, I would consider balloons, bubbles, hula hoops and Frisbees all part of a “childhood” category. Write a poem that features these images.

2. Write a poem about a cycle: the water cycle, circadian rhythms, crop rotation, animal migration, lunar phases…you get the idea.

3. Write a poem that circles back on itself, either in language or in ideas. For instance, start and end a poem with the same line. Or start with an idea and follow it through free association until you can get back to the original thought, perhaps slightly altered. (Here is a sample of one type of circle poem, written by a teenager.)

4. Get inspired by Joni Mitchell’s “The Circle Game.”
Round red
Ciar burning flesh
Red balloon
And I'm floating
Floating on the ocean
Floating on the esrth
Floating in space
and tones 
and bell
And suns
And burns 
And cigars
I'm sitting here
But not crying
I have 37  perfectly round burns
In varied shades of red
I have 37 perfect balloons
I will float
Float over the ocean
And you'll never touch me again