This is for Andree, it's a variation on the page 123 meme for
poets--anyone can do it but it does take some time. I did this today,
this morning, but I recommend taking more time with it for best
1)choose a book (mine is Marge Piercy's Three Women (Excellent book!)
2)go to P 123, Look for the first interesting word or phrase:
"Increasingly Silent All Day" (you can go on to the next page if
necessary)(Short words are quicker!)
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V
W X Y Z
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26
For each letter of your word or phrase, add that letters number of
pages and count down that letter's number of lines and write down the
first interesting phrase BEGINNING with the LETTER. Continuing adding
pages, and if you get to end, continue from the beginning. Or just
open any page randomly. Do NOT use a poetry book.
I=123+9= 132 p132, 9 lines down: insane desire to flee, to run off
into the misty morning and vanish
N=132+14=146, p 146, 14 lines down: nothing else, she waited until
Monday afternoon when everyone else was out of the house.
C=146+3=149, p149, 3 lines down: could no longer handle ordinary (clothes)
R=149+19=168, p168, 19 lines down: religiously, full of tales and dreams
E=168+5=173, p173, 5 lines down: Expect the brightest spot in her life
A: All he needed he could fit in a backpack
S: Sensible and cool. She liked to keep him on edge
I: I'm good for you, I only have to charm everyone, it was the
excitement she craved
N: Nothing's going on, not something she should spring on him, not fat
G: gently by the elbows as if she might fly apart. Grinning
S: Stood staring, seeing through her lashes. Scared. Bleak
I: I was innocent. I was depressed
L: Love had been a roaring inside her
E: Enjoy other people's pretend lives
C: Coward. Failure. Tried to kill herself.
E: Eyelids fluttered several times. Opened a slit. Moaned.
(Yours of course will look different.)
Now comes the hard poetry part. Now that you have a start, you can
change anything you want, look up new phrases. You can keep the
acrostic form, but if you do, try to make it not be obvious. Or get
rid of it. Revise and Edit till you have a poem. Feeel free to take
a week or two at least with this meme. Try to keep at least some part
of the original words or phrases.
I want to flee, to run off insane into the misty morning and vanish as if
nothing else mattered, as if everyone was gone from my life, as if I
could no longer handle ordinary relationships, as if love didn't
exist. I am not
religious, but spiritual maybe and full of tales, dreams and fantasies, always
expecting love to be the brightest spot in my life, and full of
laughter. If only
all I needed could fit in a backpack. If I could just be
sensible and calm. But life keeps me on edge. Remember love? Why can
I no longer charm you? Once I craved excitement, adventure.
Now, nothing happens. At bedtime, only sleep. Not even sleep. Hold me
gently by the elbows—I might fly apart. Stop frowning. I'm
scared. And bleak. I stand staring, seeing your lips through wet lashes.
I'm not innocent. I'm depressed, angry, hurt. Lonely.
Love roars inside me. Of course I still love you. But I don't
enjoy pretend lives, and silence! Distances. Touch me. Am I a
coward? A failure? I want the opposite of suicide. Give me life! Kiss my
eyelids! Butterfly kisses, moans of delight. Shhh, just hold me.
And here's another:
Crazy you mutter the blues festival city's a mess ugh such a mob you look
over the boisterous crowd from a frowning face frown more deeply your
main gripe's the noise the surging swarm of humanity your
principle goal's to keep from slipping into the unruly streets
listen blues and laughter shrieks of joy but you shrink back
anticipate jostling pickpockets thieves and hustlers
insist always on security on your own way you would
never admit you'd prefer to hide inside turn on the TV watch the whole
thing canned later say yes you saw the sweat on the bass player's lip come on
stop grumbling lean closer enjoy with me this dancing pageant of people.
(Both poems by me, Mary Stebbins Taitt. the first one is brand new.)
the H in H-Acrostic is from HARVESTED--meaning you start with harvested phrases.
The robin is from Thursday--they've been here about two weeks now.
I tag Andree, Michael, Pam, Leaf Lady and anyone esle who would like
to play along.