Good Morning.

I know I said I would buy you an ice cream. How about a trip to the used book store instead? (If you’d rather, though, you can write about disappointment.)

Below are some random book titles. Avoiding any that are familiar, pick one or two that appeal to you, jiggle your curiosity, or send you off onto a tangent. Maybe you want to rewrite one of the titles? [for instance: I misread Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge as “Notebooks of the Malta Laurids Bridge” and was fascinated.] Change anything that you want—I’ve already removed the initial “The” from several, but you can go much farther.

Okay? Imagine the book(s) in your hands. Covers. Paper. Weight. Smell. Dust?

Decide on one and open it, somewhere in the middle.

Using the title alone as your guide, write the poem you would find there.


Year of the Flood
Ottoman Centuries
Death on the Installment Plan
Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge
Monarch of Wit
Shoot the Kids
Prisoner of Grace
Life of an Amorous Woman
Language of Vision
Travels with Herodotus