04/17: Inspired by Manifesto by Phillip B. Williams.

PROMPT: Think of one thing you’ve struggled with over the years. It can be as big as “gender” or “family” or as small as “a peanut allergy.” Put that aside. We’re going to draw a map here. Take a thing that is some way essential to your life. It can either be a literal thing (a car) or symbolic (a wanted poster), as long as it’s a real and tangible object. Write it at the top of a page. Now we’re going to draw two lines beneath it, and for those lines think of two real and tangible things that make up that object (an engine and a wheel for a car, or ink and paper for a poster). Write two lines below each of those and do the same for them (rubber and metal for a wheel, pigment and water for ink). Stop here, or keep branching off as far as you’d like until you find yourself repeating. Now write a poem about that thing you’ve struggled with, but framed around that object and the breaking down of its components. How does a car relate to your relationship with your mother? How does a wanted poster tie into the way you love?

04/25: First, read “grand re-opening of the nostalgia factory shut down for dangerous working conditions (it’s my birthday)” by Marty McConnell.

PROMPT: Write down:

1.) Three emotions beyond “happy,” “sad,” or “angry.”

2.) Three important people in your life, past or present.

3.) Three places people live (city, town, village, farmhouse, etc.).

4.) Three promises you have made yourself or others.

5.) One thing you can’t see in the dark. It doesn’t have to be real. Pick one of the items from #1, and one of the items from #3. Write about “the [1] [3]” – Melancholy City, for example, or Furious Kingdom. You might be the mayor, or you might be just another citizen. Either way, the three promises from #4 are laws in this place, and the thing from #5 is a statue somewhere in this place. What happens there on an average day? What happens when one or more of the people from 2 visit this place? Explore this in the poem.


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