Prompt for RWJ, Prompt 321

Have you had the experience and no words? I mean, all along you were trying to say everything in words. But when you say there’re no words, it seemed that the real thing is huge, it’s like a gargantuan thing. Or the scenery, it’s beyond words isn’t it? That’s because words are really secondary, not primary to what’s out there. What’s out there? It’s better shown in a picture or a moving image than in words. Might one think of words as inferior then? And my answer is, not if the words nailed what is happening so well that they became the net that gave meaning to the experience. And anyway can we go for prolonged periods in a wordless state I ask you? So for this final prompt for the Spring/Summer 2017 issue–submission closes today guys–it is to write about language and how we use it to show experience and that includes the feeling that went with it. Yup, you have today to write if you so desire.


Prompt for RWJ, Prompt 320

So guys we’re indeed drawing to a close. In about a week, the Spring/Summer 2017 issue will be all wrapped up. Next Friday 25 August to be exact. I’ve been waiting for this day. The bar’s closing up. Don’t ask me what happens next. I’m thinking of those vintage places–so many–whose occupants are mostly dead and well, you know. Are you sad? Nah. Maybe just a little. I’d need a little time to reflect. At least we’ll be thought of as vintage. No seriously I’ll keep doing these prompts. I like doing them. You can still send in poems, prompted or otherwise, to the journal. It’d be like a free and easy tour. Kind of. Of course you can always submit to other places, more legit ones maybe? I don’t know. You decide for yourself. I did say I’d be putting out poetry collections. But that’d be taking place at a much slower pace. So yes if you’ve got 30 poems and I like them all, then yeah. Collections, guys. Stay prompted. For today write about something that has a sense of an ending.

Prompt for RWJ, Prompt 319

Love is always a good idea, isn’t it? I’ve been reading stories about love and it’s always about illusions. It’s a kind of obsession that is ultimately illusory. What is true love but real love? And that’s about not having any illusions. It’s about pain rather than excitement. Real love is painful. It is kind of like thinking about the other person’s mortality, and your own, and then dealing with each other in tenderness about it. It’s about emotional support. It’s never about physical ecstasy, although that seemed to be a selling point. Think about the idea of the labor of love.

Prompt for RWJ, Prompt 318

Time flies. Soon I’ll be wrapping up our Spring/Summer 2017 issue. It’ll be our final thematic edition. As they say, I’m taking a sabbatical. I could still be writing poems and prompts though, if you’d like this sort of thing. We’ll see. As Cyndi Lauper sings,

“And once we start the meter clicks
And it goes running all through the night
Until it ends, there is no end.”

I’m aware that it’s not entirely natural to write at will to prompts. So if you don’t do prompts then you can still send in your newly written poems. We’re starry eyed and we like it that way, right? I could always put those under the unprompted section. Anyway for today, write about the stars.

Prompt for RWJ, Prompt 317

Who’s your role model? There’re plenty of famous cliched ones but maybe someone you know or follow. Maybe it’s someone you follow on YouTube? Maybe it’s someone who come across as unpretentious, even self-deprecating (not self-aggrandizing)–what? You tell me. What makes a person a role model? There’re so many people who put themselves out there in social media these days so who do you follow, why do you follow them. What about the people who are constantly travelling and then posting on Instagram or whatever? I mean, one day the guy is in Lebanon and the next he’s in the Maldives and then Italy and what-have-you. I think, hmmm, could he be in some kind of Faustian deal? For today, write about a character in social media.

Prompt for RWJ, Prompt 316



You must be familiar with René Magritte’s C’est n’est pas une pipe. Means “this is not a pipe”. What he meant is it’s a representation. But isn’t the drawing so realistic? Yet it is not a pipe in real life. It is really a symbolic thing, not a real thing. But isn’t language itself symbolic? Is it then not real? Because it’s abstract? Where does real authority come from then? Why does language behave as a real construct then? We already know how arbitrary it is. Yet we need to name things for them to exist for us, don’t we? Don’t we? So that being so, is the world really a construct? That we can deconstruct? What does this say to you? What about poetry? Isn’t it a kind of thinking in images? Perhaps reality is a pipe dream after all. *snort*

Prompt for RWJ, Prompt 315

I felt ill yesterday for no rhyme or reason. Maybe it’s all the junk food I’ve been eating. It was a kind of nausea that presages death, that’s how it was. All I wanted was sleep. But I’ve come back from the dead now. Good as new. Maybe. I slept through the entire National Day parade. Reminds me of the time it happened during Christmas and I slept through the entire Christmas party. Not good. So guys, try to eat healthily ok? For today, write about illness.