If I believed (#22 NaPoWriMo Prompt)


NaPoWriMo Prompt: And now for our daily prompt (optional as always). I’ve found this one rather useful in trying to ‘surprise’ myself into writing something I wouldn’t have come up with otherwise. Today, I’d like you to take one of the following statements of something impossible, and then write a poem in which the impossible thing happens:
The sun can’t rise in the west.
Pigs can’t fly.
The clock can’t strike thirteen.
A circle can’t have corners.
A mouse can’t eat an elephant.
The stars cannot rearrange themselves in the sky.

If I Believed

The sun could rise in the west
Etched by a pig with wings
As the clock struck thirteen.

My hand could trace a circle with corners while I
Watched a mouse cleaning its whiskers
By its pile of elephant bones.

I could look up and
Find the stars
Rearranged overhead.

I could believe these things,
If I believed I could live without you.

Selfie Self-Satisfied Selves (#21 NaPoWriMo Prompt)

Moonlight selfie
Burning lungs, a scramble up
Twilight stairs, Huffer’s Hill. Your world.
Your arms around me,
Warm against summer chill–12,000 feet.

Wrapped in a celestial cloak,
Wyoming fade to black.

I breathed gortex, mountain, you.
My cheek, your coarse whiskers,
Our vista private, infinite,

In the gloaming below,
Elk, moose, deer, marmots, wildflowers, waterfalls.
This moment.

Long waves light
Faces so confident in our “us.”
Our future.
Our choices.

We hung the moon overhead.

(freewrite paragraph) I remember the air burning my lungs the last bit as we scrambled up the twilight stairs of Huffer’s Hill. You were showing me your world. Your arms were around me, pulling me close and warm in the chill of a July night at 12,000 feet. In our celestial hood, we watched the glow fade from the distant Wyoming skyline. I breathed in your scent, a mix of gortex, and deodorant, and you. There, wrapped up in you with my cheek brushing your whiskers, on top of the natural world, we were complete. Our grinning eyes searched out the elk, moose, deer, marmots, and wildflowers of Colorado incognito in the growing darkness. The photo is the moment. We are self-satisfied in our happiness. The long waves light up our faces exuding confidence in us, our future, and our choices. We reached up and hung the moon over our heads.

I followed Brim’s first prompt for a freewrite about a selfie.  Then, because we are so self-satisfiedly happy in this photo, I decided that it fits within the narcissist prompt.  Using a form of the elimination technique from yesterday’s prompt, I ultimately came up with the poem. These ideas have been so fruitful and fascinating.

NaPoWriMo Prompt: And now for our (optional) prompt. In her interview, Brim provides us with several suggestions for generative writing exercises, and we’d like to challenge to today to tackle her third one, which is based in the myth of Narcissus. After reading the myth, try writing a poem that plays with the myth in some way. For example, you could imagine that imagine the water is speaking to you, the narcissus flower. Or you could write a poem in which the narcissus berates the Kardashians for stealing their neurosis. Or a poem that comments on the narcissism of our time, i.e. beauty and body obsession, etc.

Disobedience (#20 NaPoWriMo prompt)

Quivering desire, every fiber of your being longs to touch me. Trembling to contact, ecstatic connection.

I whisper, “Get off the couch.”


The NaPoWriMo prompt today asked us to rebel in some way. We could choose something as simple as writing out of our usual style. I typically avoid humor and stuck to traditional form with longer, more narrative-based ideas.

The Way to the Grocery Story (#19 NaPoWriMo prompt)


Following the NaPoWriMo prompt to write a paragraph, then extract from it in iterations until I arrived at a poem was a great (!) experience! Using the idea to give directions to the grocery store unexpectedly (though it shouldn’t have been) allowed me to describe where I live. Enjoy: I certainly did writing it!

Take a right at the pavement.
Left is the way of adventure:
Snowmobiles, cross country skiing, trails
Doggy Disneyland.

Slow down at the curve, the snowshoe rabbit
Waits too close to the road and
The children with their saucers
Careen towards the car.

At the horse, full-size and plastic, turn right.
Left is the way of national parks:
Moose and elk and rivers, an
Outdoor mecca.

Eyes on the road now:
Left is ancient upheavals
Curving clenched fists, mirrored in the lake
Capped in white as if reflecting their age.

Stay straight
On the curves and windings that
Trace the shoreline
Like a wistful finger, remembering.

At the “T” turn left.
Right is the way of hot springs,
Wafting sulphur:
The scent of an ancient promise.

Stay straight.
Notice new buildings on the left,
Rising out of a killdozer razing:
The sight of a new promise.

Still straight.
Curve on the overpass
Where Amtrak slows beneath
With the wending river willows.

Eyes on the road now:
Not the white runs over
Brown hills, just
Water turned to recreation.

See it on the right?
Behind the improbable
McDonald’s and Subway?
Alone in the field of sagebrush?

After the half of an hour
Spent (right, right, left, right)
Past ancient heights and watery lows
Whoosh through the unexpected doors.

The paragraph: You have to prepare to go to the grocery store from my house. It’s 30 minutes away on dirt and paved roads. The view is amazing, National Forest Lane, a national park, a bowl really with large lakes and high mountains. The towns have their own small claims to fame despite the rural, out-of-the way quality of our county. So take County road 4 to Highway 34 to Highway 40. You’ll find the grocery store at the bottom of the hill that leads to the ski resort.

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