A poem game for lost artists

The more I work my way through The Artist’s Way, the more I am reminded how writing used to be fun before there were rules and judgments and an internal editor screaming “NO! You’ll never win a Nobel Prize for this silly story! And only Nobel stories are worth your effort!” So, I am especially grateful to The Rational Psychic for posting this fun poetry exercise on his blog. There are rules and points to be had. I think I got the maximum of 20 with this gem. Feel free to play along:

When the Weather Won’t Cooperate

Near the city, snow is a vanilla blemish on our day.
Above your head, I fling a pill of white from my hand,
Which lands next to a cinnamon wooden post,
Sitting squat on the shore of ice.
From this gesture, inside this moment, I pray you will
Know that under my bravado, the wheel of my tame heart
Is spinning around her axis like a gypsy called Althea
Dancing to a wild accordion.
Bill, I cannot quash the pounding.
I aim four times more, and slip my mitten in your hand,
And pray for more snow.




Filed under Links, Writing

4 responses to “A poem game for lost artists

  1. I like the poem. 🙂

    The Artist’s Way is good, though I felt it got slightly redundant after a few chapters. You might also like, “Art and Fear.” It’s short — you can pretty much read it in a sitting — and a really good motivational read.

    I’m no good at poetry, so I’m not going to touch the exercise, but next time there’s a prose game, I’m in. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the plug. I will have to total up those points at the end of the month. Some folks still need a chance to write a poem. However, even without producing an official number, I know that your score is high: you used “quash” in there for a triple word score. Cheers!

  3. I came here looking for another poetry exercise! I’m going to have to figure out another thing to post in the poetry line.

  4. I did another poetry exercise. This one involves a few lines as scaffolding and asks you to fill in the rest.

    I couldn’t help myself: I used the word “cinnamon” again.

    I think I did this because about ten years ago I did a “poetry-on-demand” table at the local arts org. An older woman, very well-to-do and highly cultured, asked for a poem about China with a few details. I mentioned something about the smell of cinnamon. She was a bit perplexed. She hadn’t mentioned it but it was a big memory for her.

    Four years ago I visited Guangzhong in southern China–the next-to-last stop out of the country after adopting our daughter. What did I smell? Cinnamon as we walked past dozens of cinnamon trees near the White Swan Hotel.

    My nose is psychic, I tell you.

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