April 16, 2017: Poetry Writing Prompt – Jon Wesick

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Jon Wesick.

The Assembly Line of Surprise

Step 1 – Choose a subject to write about. This should probably be something about being human such as a mental state, emotion, or social issue. Often this is abstract.

Step 2 – Choose an object to compare it to. It’s best if this is something very different than in step 1. Concrete things like machinery give good imagery. The more outrageous the better. Congratulations! You’ve just created a metaphor.

Step 3 – Make two columns on a piece of paper. List the parts of the subject step 1 in the first column and the parts of the item in step 2 in the second.

Step 4 – Map items in each column to those in the other. Choose the most interesting mappings. These will be phrases in your poem.

Step 5 – Put these phrases together into a poem.

Let’s “cook up” an example. Steps 1 and 2 – Compare despair to a microwave oven

Step 3 – Table.

Despair
Fatigue
Sleeplessness
Irritability
Emptiness
Loss of libido
Gloom
Despondency
Hopelessness
Futility
Microwave Over
Klystron
Turntable
Brwoning dish
Observation window
Contro panel
Timer
Defrost function
Auto cook menu
Number pad
Start/stop button
Tomato sauce caked on walls
Sparking when tin foil inside

Step 4 – I’d map sleeplessness to dried tomato sauce, irritability to sparking, and libido to the defrost function.

Step 5 – Put mapping into a poem.

The microwave oven of despair
cooked my dreams into a dried, unchewable mass.
Sleepless nights obsessing about the impossibility
of chiseling the dried tomato sauce of gloom from its walls.
My love life, a frozen turkey
with no defrost function.
Each minor irritation, the forbidden strip of tin foil
sparking and crackling while the timer counts down
to disaster.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/poetrysuperhighway

#napowrimo #poetry

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