I hope you guys are in the mood for a little dash of ridiculousness, because man, do I have a treat for you tonight!
I do not write poetry. I just don't. I appreciate poetry-- I've had to remind myself not to lick the pages of my John Donne anthology in public-- but my thoughts and feelings and emotions (even the best ones) simply do not translate into a world without punctuation rules. I've worked on it, I've taken classes, I've stared frustratedly at botched pieces of notebook paper and willed them to become art, but it has yet to work. Sadly, I've somehow found myself enrolled in a workshop intended for people who, like, know what they're doing. My strategy so far has been to write prose and then go back and add haphazard line breaks and delete all the periods. My professor has actually liked them, by some crazy, demented twist of fate... but I still cringe every time I glance at my class folder. But what better way to overcome anxiety than to dip your whole head into a freezing cold bucket of it?
I'm sharing this one with you because the prompt is awesome, and I want to invite you to write your own original poems under the same guidelines. So I can selfishly read them and feel like some kind of proud aunt. You can leave your poem as a comment, or just comment with a link to your own blog. I'll pick a favorite and then praise the hell out of its author in a future post. Are you down? Will you do this with me? Cool.
In your poem, include at least fourteen of the following items: a statistic, a dish eaten cold, three forms of heat, a smell you can't forget, a line from a movie, something out of a textbook, two things you wish you had said, a reference to an aunt or uncle, some kind of moving vehicle, two words beginning with R and ending with "-ion", a stage direction, two distinct hours of the day, an historical figure, an adhesive, an animal only seen up close in the zoo, a slang expression ("call it quits," for example), something really bad that you did, something that undermines or negates everything else you've said.
Is this punishment for when I was ten
and I scratched my brother’s arm so hard
that it left permanent half-moon scars?
Is that why I saw my eleventh birthday come
and go without receiving a single piece of parchment
stamped with the imprint of an owl’s beak?
They say revenge is a dish served cold,
and goddamn it, I am freezing.
I belong in a toasty wand-knit sweater
with my blocky first initial on its front!
I belong with my legs tucked under me
on a red couch next to a furnacey fireplace!
I belong gulping steamy potato leak soup
that I charmed out of the kitchen after hours!
Where are all my adventures?
Where is my 8AM air tingling my cheekbones
as my thighs hold tightly to a wooden handle?
Where is my midnight foray into the forest
under my friend’s dad’s uncle’s old cloak?
Where is the unforgettable smell of butterbeer,
all caramel-colored and homey and in my throat?
For Merlin’s sake, just let me in!
Let me in or I’ll use the Expoximise charm
and glue my ass to the front gate!
Let all the “deserving” eleven-year-olds watch
as I lean, center stage, gate-to-ass like a zoo elephant
and yell all the things I should have said!
I should have sent them my own letter
and been like, “Dear Hogwarts School.
I am pleased to inform you that you have been
invited to accept me into your establishment!”
I should’ve found Dumbledore’s email address
and said, “Hey, buddy. I’ll set you up on Grindr
if you let me be a Gryffindor!”
Whatever. Out of everyone in the world,
.0355% of us are special enough for your castle,
and I was supposed to grow old and jaded
without you. Was that the plan?
Well, I found a loophole!
You didn’t admit me, but I snuck in!
And every time I open those heavy,
beautiful books, I will have the adventure
and the food and the burgundy sweater!
And even longer than my brother
will have half-moon scars,
I will have my own personal magic.
I can't wait to see what you guys come up with. I may never even reach angry-eighth-grade-diary-scribbler levels of poet talent, but at least I just posted the phrase "gate-to-ass" on my blog. I hope you all have a lovely day. I'll see you guys soon!