Prompts for Red Wolf Journal Chapter 17

Hi there,

Tired of prompts are you? I’m not really tired thinking them up but am I tired of doing them? Hmmm. In any case we’re on the home run I think. Maybe the cold is all you think about these days. I don’t know. You tell me. The Internet is a really strange place where you can engage and disengage as you will. I feel disengaged with the prompting circuit where you’re supposed to visit and give comments. No thank you. The terms of my engagement is that you write and then contribute to a thematic body of work. That’s what I’m most interested in. Collaboration.

Prompt 93: Write a poem in which you are out at sea, in a place of no name, before you make landfall. Maybe it’s a place where beauty is present only by being absent. Or where beauty is apparent but there is only absence. Sure you’ve been in a place like that.
Prompt 94: I was thinking about David Bowie’s “Lazarus”. It was released on 17 December 2015 as an advance single from his twenty-fifth studio album, Blackstar, which was released in January 2016. The music video was shot in November 2015 in a studio in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. David Bowie died on 10 January 2016. I also read news that Bowie curated posthumous albums. Basically the bloke lived out his artistic vision up to the point of death and beyond. If you’re a true artist, you ought to do that. There is no other choice. So go on, do your Lazarus poem. If you like, be inspired by the image by Francesca Woodman via Magpie Tales


woodman francesca

Prompt 95: There’s this quote I read: “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished.///That will be the beginning.” Louis L ‘ amour said it. I’ve no idea who he is and I am not about to find out. Instead I’ll ask you to write a poem inspired by his quote. Alright? Alright.

Prompt 96: We look upon objects as artefacts. They embody cultural meaning. Words are artefacts too. Okay, poems I’m thinking of. Have you ever wondered, considering the infinity of poems one is capable of, where the heck they come from? Is there in fact a collective unconscious as Yeats believed? That we could retrieve this pool of meaning through reading, isn’t that marvellous? How the hell are we supposed to retrieve than through reading and writing, you tell me? So reflect upon all I have said. Write, see what you’ve retrieved.


Prompt 97: You’ve probably recognised the title borrowing Dickinson’s line. Borrow it for yourself. Or is the word, leverage? I’ll reproduce the whole poem for your edification and imagining for your own poem. For it is this house that we inhabit, isn’t that so?

I dwell in Possibility

I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –

Of Chambers as the Cedars –
Impregnable of eye –
And for an everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky –

Of Visitors – the fairest –
For Occupation – This –
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise –

Prompt 98: It seems some days since I wrote. Sometimes you just feel the need for a reset button. Don’t you? Writing after all is an act of courage, and of faith, and all of which would be pointless if not for love. Lover of truth, aren’t we all? Isn’t that why you bother to read at all? So let your poem come to some point of truth. An epiphany of sorts. What, you do have epiphanies don’t you?


Prompts for Red Wolf Journal Chapter 16

Hello poets,

A new year means new poems. I mean, it can definitely mean new this and that, but also this: a new sheaf of poems. That is a given for us poets. It’s like you’ve been given a blank white sheet to start over again. I think the amazing thing is that your writing may start to shift. Shift because you are evolving, and so the writing too evolves. So make sure you rake the earth and plant the seedlings. A prompt can be a seedling too, should you decide to write to a prompt. The overall aim though is to see beauty in the living. Where on earth is the beauty?  You tell us here.


Prompt 87: Every poet loves an ekphrastic challenge. That is true. Because every picture tells a story right? This one’s a real challenge by Rattle. Only two winners. Darn! Oops, well. You might like to try it anyway just for the heck of it. The winning isn’t the reason for doing this. You know that already but you also want the icing on the cake. Well aren’t you full of hubris, you over-achiever you? Is that the point? Yes? Then you fail to see the real point. The real point, as I’ve already said at some earlier point, is (fill in the blank).


oil on linen  48x78 1986

oil on linen 48×78 1986

Ruth Bavetta, “Chronicle”


Prompt 88: Like Narcissus, we love our own reflection. I meant it more metaphorically than not. So the world is a reflection of us, the friends, the things you surround yourself with. It is an effing mirror, isn’t it? They make up your world, your issues. And there isn’t just one world is there? There’re worlds…like multi-verses. And in fact, you are a world unto yourself. My head hurts thinking about this. It makes me real dizzy. Think about worlds and write your poem, okay?


Prompt 89: The prompt’s vacation. But with a little help from this image via Visual Verse. The site’s blurb says: “Visual Verse: An Anthology of Art and Words. One image, one hour, 50-500 words. The picture is the starting point, the text is up to you.” I like that you need to write within an hour. I wrote mine in a couple of minutes. As I usually do, 99 percent of the time.



Prompt 90: I was reading off Robert Peake’s blog and found this quote which said, “There is another world, and it is in this one. ” —attributed to Paul Éluard. That’s your prompt. Robert had done a review of his 2015, in poetic terms. I don’t have much to show. Except to say I have completed a year of Red Wolf Journal in 2015–Spring, Summer, Fall issues, all done; Winter issue, doing and soon done. I don’t think I will repeat what was done last year (heh).

But the theme of the Winter issue has stuck with me, grown into me somehow. I feel if I’m to continue to write and edit, I would like to see more beauty. It is hard to see. Not in the immediately apparent way, anyway, what and how the world truly is. I would like that to be the continuing theme of Red Wolf Journal throughout 2016. I feel that I’ve not seen enough of it. That we have not. And we should and ought to. The sum of your life is measured by what and how you see.

Prompt 91: A naked woman is beautiful right? I googled and found out Ed Ross took a lot of artsy photos in that vein. They’re kind of tastefully done. You’ll probably find them riveting. This pic via Magpie Tales is just one of the many portraits taken by Ed. The prompt is, well…naked beauty. You’d probably want to lionise it or something. And if you haven’t been, go look at the concrete poem by Christopher Oak Reiner, ok? I found it riveting.



Prompt 92: C D Wright died. Alan Rickman died. David Bowie died. Celine Dion’s husband died. Truth is, everyone dies. Which sort of steps up our guessing game of what the fuck did we come here for. The work that we do of course. C D Wright’s poem, “Our Dust”, addressed it for me. Which is why I ranted a bit, okay a whole lot. The prompt is, what the fuck did we come here for?