Prompts for Red Wolf Journal Chapter 8


I don’t know about you but September marks a turning point, like we’re finally cruising toward the sunset and hallelujah, at the end of the tunnel there’s Christmas and an expectancy of a new year, and a feeling that we’re not where we were when we first started out, that we’re even transformed–a little or a lot–while remaining the same. Meanwhile there’s still art to console us, because God have mercy, we’ve grown older, haven’t we? Anyway, on to art.

Prompt 40: I seem to have fallen on the wayside of writing in the past week. So what to do? I found Chagall’s art and went with it. I imagine you think that writing a poem is some ponderous thing and try as you may, you’re getting yourself into stitches. Why? Why can’t you just go with the flow? Try going with the flow with Chagall’s painting and see what happens.


Marc Chagall, Birthday

Prompt 41: I’ve always been fascinated by Wallace Stevens’ line and wanted to throw a poetry fragment into this thing. So use a poetic quote when you write your ekphrastic poem to Botero’s painting. I think it’s fun to do crazy stuff like that in poems.


Fernando Botero, Couple Dancing

Prompt 42: Ok ok so it’s another Chagall painting. There’s just something joyous about his art that sweeps me up. When you were a child, did you not look forward to the circus coming to town? As Chagall did? Something so dissolute about a circus, don’t you feel? Theatrical. With a strong dose of clownish anarchy. Well you get the idea. Now go capture that feeling in your Chagall poem.


Marc Chagall, Au Cirque

Prompt 43: Wyeth’s famous painting is totally riveting. That sparseness with multitudinous grass. That girl in a sweet pink dress strangely twisted toward the farmhouse. Fortitude. A story waiting to unfold.


Andrew Wyeth, Christina’s World

Prompt 44: Hey people, I finally found a picture to write to. It’s a Hopper, no less. I wrote this down in like ten minutes. Gotta go.


Edward Hopper, Second Story Sunlight

Prompt 45: Ok people I’m doing another Hopper. Can one ever be done with Hopper? Not until you’re done I guess, and I’m not. Really I’m not. You know I’m always thinking about this fake world. And you know what’s real? It’s when you start to read the world as all gestures. The gestures may lead one to the truth. That’s how the light gets in.


Edward Hopper, Hotel Lobby


Prompts for Red Wolf Journal Chapter 7

Hey everyone,

Is summer transitioning to fall? My friend who’s gallivanting in London says it’s getting cold. Is the changing season mirroring changes in your personal lives? The landscape changes. Our selves change. Nature is an agent of change and so are we. This leads us, interestingly or not, to our next prompt.

Prompt 34: Art draws upon life for its material. To be true to life, it draws a realistic landscape. What sort of landscape, that’s entirely up to your imagination. We draw upon templates and then insert a subject, an agent of change. Think about it for a moment. Then come up with a poem.

Prompt 35: Let’s just do another take on a landscape. Only it’s got to be green. The moors or something. Nothing except green. Maybe some stones. A fence. Well, go on. Write something that’s evocative of such a place. Picture’s via Magpie Tales.

image 100

Prompt 36: Sigh…what does the poem express? What is the art of expression? How do metaphors do their work? Take those metaphors–wood, steel, corsets–and run with them. They are wicked little devices indeed.

Prompt 37: One of my oft used metaphors is a boat. I don’t know why but I like it. So go ahead and use that as a metaphor in your poem. To make art is to be metaphorically speaking. So keep practicing doing that. A boat makes a crossing. There’re many crossings in life. In fact isn’t life a journey, tempestuous and calm by turns, over a great unknown body of water? So what is your next port of call?

Prompt 38: Art is about seeing through the artist’s eyes. It’s vision enjoined by the artistic filter, a diffused way of seeing, of mastering the chaos. If you looked at Robert Polidori’s photograph, “Corner of Law and Egania Streets”, you’d be assailed by a sense of eerie calm. Yet it was chaos that he photographed out in New Orleans post Katrina. You see the broken roof, door and fence, the fallen lines and branches. The objective disarray belying the calm. Why does art do this? Think about it. How does the artist make sense of despair? Let your thought inspire your poem.


Prompt 39: Hey if you’re still following me, I was thinking about how art structures. The desultory narrative, the veering into new characters, new directions. Then it all ties back to something, usually at the beginning. So the prompt is to write about structure. I was thinking something else about it. Then I lost the thread. Mainly because the story wanted to write itself. That happens a lot in art, when you kind of lose yourself, because of the way language and the threads pull you along.