On April 1st, I composed:
I don't always compose poetry,
But it's April, the poetry month!
So here goes nothing, as I see
Hope you like my first attempt
...That doesn't quite rhyme
Or make any sense
But is a tweet
These days, poetry writing comes when I have time on my hands. When I have to wait for a while, for example, I'll whip out my phone and go to Twitter and find a poetry prompt and, rather like a brainteaser, I'll knock out a quick few lines of verse - sometimes prose, depending on the prompt. Lots of poetry or "very short story" prompt accounts on Twitter. Given the tweet format, short poems work best: limericks, couplets, quatrains, haiku, etc. When Twitter expanded tweets to 280 characters, the poetry world really exploded.
Sometimes I have to wait
Even if I fear being late
So out comes the phone
Like a dog's well-chewed bone
Tapping here and there
Entertaining myself ...somewhere
Usually it's tweets I do
Some for me, some for you--
Until I hear my name
And the world stops being the same
The only problem I encounter on that platform is the evil of predictive text which often ruins a perfectly fine poem in the nano-second I click tweet.
One of my favorite prompt places is @vss365 which means "very short story". With a daily prompt, I test my creativity. Eschewing the usual definitions and usage of the given word, I'll try to go for the bizarre or a pun. For example:
On April 22nd, I composed this one, playing on the prompt word "vague":
This tweet probably gonna be a little #vague because coffee out and sky being fuchsia with tens over twenties when Koolio was on the ramparts with Z.#vss365
This example may remind some blog readers of my love of purple prose. Twitter poetry is perfect as an outlet.
Her #ephemerality left him only a wisp of hope teetering on the edge of her grave, a sense of a scent of a scene long evaporated.
Because there is such a thing as a "prose poem" in the many genres of poetry, I consider these "vss" to be a form of poetry even though they tend to tell a story, which is the point. However, I still compose more traditional poetic forms - such as these "haiku":
Teachers serving students
Rather be writing
A vampire novel than this
Customer service lecture
I'll play on Twitter
I was stuck in a mandatory lecture/chastisement session and took the opportunity to complain about having to be there. While I know these are not haiku in an authentic sense, they fit the 5-7-5 syllable pattern which most people would call haiku.
However, to be authentic the haiku must have some reference to the season or to natural beauty while presenting a question and answer form. Anything about modern life or thoughts of love or (in my case here) disdain would more properly be called a senryu.
On April 7th I composed a more traditional poem, using rhymed couplets:
I blogged today
That's enough, I say
But others disagree
They don't really know me
I write when it's right
I sleep when it's night
That's how I roll
I'm not a troll
This is my Sunday verse
Not quite a weekend curse
Ready to log off now
Ready to take my bow
Again, I had time to kill so I just sat back I thought of how I felt, what I thought of my feeling, and how I felt about that. The rest was just finger tapping. Sometimes I'll incorporate into a poem what is actually happening, such as when I was pressed to give a lecture about writing and publishing on the excuse of my third vampire novel coming out, this time as a limerick:
Today is the big reading session
Reading from my new book is my mission
The words will be spoke
As long as people stay wokeUntil I'm the last one to be leavin'
Not every day in April was a good day for poetry. But I even managed to use the non-poetic aspects of life to my advantage. The point is that anything can be fodder for a poem. And even a bad poem is better than no poem. For example, I composed the following on a bad Monday morning (April 15):
Monday is probably the worst day to write poetry
It's worse than Tuesday or ummm Wednesday
And not as good as, ya know, Thursday
Friday is good
Sometimes a thought comes to me which is too profound for some kind of frivolous rhyme scheme and out it comes (using the prompt word "veneer"):
Not every artist has a thick skin.
Most have had layers shaved off
Sharp tongue lash by sharp tongue lash,
Until only the thinnest #veneer remains
To protect the soul from the final straw.#vss365
Sometimes I'll try my luck at other short prompt ideas, such as @hangtenstories, where the goal is to write a story based on the prompt but only using 10 words. It is often a challenge and I have committed a few faux pas by composing wonderful stories which - whoops! - have a lot more than 10 words. Here is one I scaled back to ten words, using the prompt "fathom":
Ishmael only dared to go 20,000 #fathoms under the sea.#hangtenstories
I like to go for irony in these short stories on Twitter. It's in my nature, anyway. Looking for the unusual, the side view, the unthought thought, the hidden seam, the mangled lexicon - such as this doozy for "maelstrom":
He used to storm through a room, like any other male. But when he was drunk, when he couldn't type correctly, he would write #maelstrom and slur the words together. Even so, they all knew what he meant.#vss365
And... well, because Life is full of life events, I composed a poem sharing my feelings about something real in my life (but not actually about vests; the prompt was "vestige"):
You adore the rest
So I always wear a vest
Mostly when I'm out West
But that's no reason
To say it's not in season
Or rag on my quirk
Wearing vests to work:
A mere #vestige of my art
A desire that we'll never part
Yet your posts online
Tell me it's time
If you are into haiku, I recommend @haikuchallenge, which also gives a word you must use in the haiku. Here's one I composed on April 20 (prompt was "apart"):
#Apart from haiku
He writes long epic novels
And nothing between
(C) Copyright 2010-2019 by Stephen M. Swartz. All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog, whether text or image, may be used without me giving you written permission, except for brief excerpts that are accompanied by a link to this entire blog. Violators shall be written into novels as characters who are killed off. Serious violators shall be identified and dealt with according to the laws of the United States of America.