finis August 31

Quickly’s On Vacation

Write. If you can’t think of anything: read someone else’s poetry. Then re-write it.

dance water August 29

Pulling the Plug

  Now where was I? This is our last prompt for a while. Taking a not-so-quick break. Here’s a thing. A skeleton of a portion of a poem by Marvin Bell. I want you to fill in the blanks. One word to the blank (the first is for a title). I stopped in mid-sentence– you […]

image August 28

Form, Plus…

A while back we tried the Cascade form, and that didn’t destroy you–did it? Let’s tempt fate. Here are two more forms that use repeated lines. Trimeric Trimeric \tri-(meh)-rik\ n: a four stanza poem in which the first stanza has four lines and the last three stanzas have three lines each, with the first line […]

cuba_Siboney_29 August 26

Change is Still Good

This weekend, we’ll wind Miz Q and send her off to her own bunny business for a while. For now, in light of the US finally normalizing relations with Cuba, these representations of the island. Does one of these suggest a poem?

day 6_Bragg August 24

The Deck

Okay. All those lists. By now you ought to have 100 words. If you don’t have that many, (or any at all) get your listing pencil out. If you have too many, thin them down. What you want to wind up with are words that resonate with YOU. Meaning, sound, maybe just they way a […]

1280px-Nighthawks_by_Edward_Hopper_1942 August 22

And the Rest

If you looked at the link to the page that more or less explains where these list-y exercises are going, you will have noticed that a few things here are a bit different. This is going to be another. But, Quickly, what we’re working toward is a personal lexicon. When we finish, what you ought […]

IMG_3577 August 21

Abstraction (Lists)

Abstractions. You could say that all words are abstractions, and written words are even farther removed from what is real. There is no APPLE–at least not in this reality–no TREE like the trees in stick-figure drawings, a lollipop stand-in for all trees. We’re not going any farther in that direction. It very quickly becomes head-spinning […]

IMG_3681 August 19

Change is Good

I hope one of these images gives you an idea or two.      

image August 17


List-y List List (If you’re just arriving, look back to the two previous posts when you’ve a mind to) Sight. Sound. Touch. As before, make a list for each of these senses. Save the lists. Today: Write a touch.

image August 15

Sens-able Nose, Telling Tongue

Yesterday we made a list or two of moving words. Today, it’s lists for taste and smell. These senses aren’t high on the list of human talents, still, not only can we detect and identify chemical compounds in remarkably low concentrations, they are powerful triggers for memory. Old, primal stuff. If you can get it […]

dance August 14


Aside: I have a lot of books of writing prompts. Most of them just give me ideas. They’re the “Why didn’t I think of that?” sort, and most people seem to like them. The ones I really like, though, are the ones that make you crazy. They have fifteen or twenty piddly little steps and […]

image August 12


Write a poem of joy. Not a happy poem, or a cheerful poem. Joy isn’t that small, and you know that. If you’re like me, this may be hard. Root around. Find some something that resonates like all-get-out, bang it with a log, and wrap your arms around it. If you need a kick in […]

image August 10


I envy people who are happy in their lives. Nothing all that wrong with my life but the way I’ve lived it–envy is in my nature. Dissatisfaction. I have a large share of the I-Should-Haves.  Write a poem that rises from the negative. Some thing or attribute you lack, or choice you wish you’d made. […]

image August 08


And you knew this was coming. Take one of your title/last line pairs from yesterday, start at the bottom, and write your way up to the title. You have the last line, write the two that lead into it, and the line before that, and the line before that. Make some of them end stop […]

finis August 07

(almost) Free Day

A while back we played with titles. Just lists of titles. If you still have that list, you might want to pull it out. You could also use a dozen or so book titles, or songs, and pretend that they are the title of a poem you’re writing.   Write the last line for that […]

IMG_3008 August 05

Fool Me Once

  FOOL     That’s your prompt.

My Three Granddaughters August 03

Domestic Paint

How about a picture?   Edmund C. Tarbell was born in the Asa Tarbell House, which stands beside the Squannacook River in West Groton, Massachusetts.[1] His father, Edmund Whitney Tarbell, died in 1863 after contracting typhoid fever while serving in the Civil War. His mother, Mary Sophia (Fernald) Tarbell, remarried a shoemaking-machine manufacturer. Young “Ned” […]

image August 01


Use the word “TEAPOT” or write about drinking tea or use one of these images     

IMG_1953 July 31

Two-line Sonnet

We aren’t going to try to write ghazal.

WWWW July 29

Word. Wordwordword

What we see on Facebook. Someone I follow noted that his poem had just gone live on the journal Eclectica. I looked, and liked what I saw. One of their features is the Word Poem. They offer an occasional four-word prompt. The words for the next issue (deadline September 1) are: name, domestic, nothing, and […]

27m July 27

Prime the Pump

[This is one of my favorite retreads] “Poem Starting with a Line by _______” is your title. POEM STARTING WITH A LINE BY ______Look around. Read some New-to-You poetry. I usually begin with the poem-a-day and follow the links for further reading; doesn’t matter how you browse, though. Just look for a line that […]

pride-and-prejudice-title-page-3 July 25

Form + (1)

Cascade + Pride and Prejudice As forms go, the Cascade is a pretty easy-going guy. No counting syllables. No rhymes. Your lines can be any length you like. It’s not jangly with repetition, either—there’s plenty of room between a line’s first appearance  and its second. I couldn’t explain it more clearly than the folks at […]

IMG_0048 July 24

For the Love of Something

Pull out your trusty thesaurus (or and write down some synonyms for “amateur.” Take the one that’s closest to your idea of the word, and the one that seems least well related, and one more. Plop each of those in the search box and get the nearest, farthest, inbetweenest, AND an antonym. Get twelve […]

brers July 22

The Trickster Revision

The Trickster (Revision) Tricksters alter the status quo. They refuse the rules. Create and destroy. They don’t have to question authority–they are by nature challenges to heirarchy. If a trickster is moral, that may not be easy to see. Tricksters aren’t all that consistent. Or they may be playing a long game. Tricksters upset the […]

IMG_3315 July 20

Here’s the Plan

Not THAT much of a plan. For the next few weeks I’ll be here Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday. If the computers don’t melt into little plasticized puddles around me. If you have friends who need the occasional odd-ish prompt, tell them to drop by.

20140320-121647.jpg July 20

Monday is a real dog

Your prompt, should you choose to accept it:

cropped-img_3288.jpg July 19

That’s MUCH Better. Let’s Get To It.

A little rest, and good as new.  So…     What have you been up to? First, for yourself, write a quick paragraph about some recent excursion. Maybe you went to Venice; maybe you went to Walmart. Don’t worry about background. Don’t explain. Narrow your focus to a slice that might be framed by a […]

image June 30

Polish and Brag

Show us your pride.

image June 29


Revise a poem from earlier this month. (or last month, or the month before. one that has had a chance to cool and get a little dust on it) Treat it like a stranger (Suggested ways of meeting a stranger) Write it out as if it were prose, but with no caps or punctuation. Just […]

poetry June 28


Add to a prompt from the past week either 1) A phrase blue plums crushed ice in a white bowl ankle deep, and clear they pass one by one third person singular if you ask –OR– )2( one of these images

image June 27


Start with: Three animals, OR “vegetables” (any plant-things), OR minerals Add any three of the following words mash gnaw gulp filter crystalline scaly domed joints spare lettuce glaze cork Write your poem.  

20140320-131126.jpg June 26

What Is: Is

Begin by stating something (as solid fact) that you believe to be untrue.  Then illustrate it.  (Can be “factual”, as: the grass is red/ it matches my patent leather shoes.  Or you can get into politics, religion, food–weighty subjects) Keep it fairly short. That’s stanza 1. Stanza 2. State the opposite as fact, and illustrate. […]

time June 25

Shapely Stanzas

Here’s the Minute Poem. Looks nice on a page. Poem in three stanzas. Syllabic. (Count syllables, not feet) No rhyme, etc required 8 syllables 4 4 4 (twenty syllables per stanza) Repeat x2 for a total of 60 syllables. Minute poem. Get it? Beware. They can be habit-forming.

IMG_3008 June 24

Stone (Nail) Soup

Borrowing time: Time to do some appropriating.   (Suggestions. Use one, all, more. Come up with your own ideas?) Borrow a title.  Maybe someone posted one yesterday. Maybe a song is stuck in your head. Look at your bookcase. It’s a title. Think about things you’ve read recently. A theme you liked, an image, a […]

IMG_3327 June 23

Cheap Thrills

An almost free day. Make up some titles. Spend a while—ten minutes minimum, but as long as feels good—writing nothing but titles. Play free association. Turn off your censor. Title, title, title. Don’t worry about the follow through. Of course, if you’re lucky you’ll find some titles you’d like to read the poems to. Doesn’t […]