I’ve been thinking, everything is process. So if you’re living a writing life, you kind of use everything from your real life as a feed into your work. It has got to be that way. Also, whatever you read too becomes part of your mental landscape and that gets into the work too. You don’t get nothing out of nothing, do you? And then the work–how unpredictable it is. It has got your wings, but it flies to a destination you’re not even privy to. That’s how it works too. All terribly mysterious if you ask me. As mysterious as life itself.
Why am I doing these prompts? It’s to help you write and submit your work to Red Wolf Journal. If you’re a practicing poet, you might want to try out these prompts and see what new work comes to light.
Prompt 99: Actually the color of the season is red. Peony red, that’s the color of the Chinese New Year. Whatever. We’re as far off from the English landscape as you can get. I’ve been looking at leeks as in real food, as I’ll be cooking them this weekend. So this is about the connection between art and real life. Where you fit in some of the details from real life, but really, the story in your poem gets off on its own steam and is anything but. So go ahead, use a bit of color from your real life, and try to literally reference colors in your poem–blue, green, light blue, red, whatever. Here’s an image via Magpie Tales should you want to use it. It started me off–blueness.
Image by Adolphe Valette via Magpie Tales
Prompt 100: All quiet on the Eastern front. Rain but no storm. Bliss but no bliss. Yet it’s still noisy inside. Know what I mean? Since life is an effing paradox, try and write about that. True, true. There’s only gray and more gray after a certain age. No I am not being ironic. What are you laughing at?
Image provided by Elena Sands, for further inspiration if desired.
Prompt 101: Jorge Luis Borges in an interview with The Paris Review said that “a poet has maybe five or six poems to write and not more than that. He’s trying his hand at rewriting them from different angles and perhaps with different plots and in different ages and different characters, but the poems are essentially and innerly the same.” I am guessing he’s right. And so my poems seem to be of the yearning type. What about yours? Think about it and write yet another same different poem, will you?
Photo by Caroline Knopf via Magpie Tales for further inspiration if desired.
Prompt 102: Alright, time to ask da question, why do you write? Why do you create art like an artist or a musician? You do it as a matter of practice, so why? Leonard Cohen, in answering, had said, “It begins with an appetite to discover my self-respect. To redeem the day. So the day does not go down in debt. It begins with that kind of appetite.” That kind of nails it for me. What about you? Well now you’ve got to answer it in a poem. No rest for the wicked!
Prompt 103: Write a poem in which not much is happening. That seems a daily thing. Not. Much. Happening. Waiting for the big adventure or something. Then it seems one of the nicest things is to lie in bed. Reading. I get sent off to these stories in bed. That’s what I like best.
Prompt 104: So my thoughts have veered toward death. Is death a taboo subject? Memento mori (“remember that you must die”) is a poetic motif. What must one fulfill before death? Let your poem refect on mortality and immortality. My writing, like yours, is an immortality project. Of course it is. Our poems become our living essences after we die.