NaPoWriMo Day 17 Prompt 18

From Chris Jarmick, a long prompt for a short poem this time:

“Prompt 18—Write a poem of at least 6 lines (but no more than 8 lines) using at least 4 of the 6 words from your list. List? What list?

Create your list of 6 words following these instructions.

You need a novel or non-fiction (not poetry or children’s) book of at least 200 pages.

Turn to page 21. Go to the 5th line and write down the first 5 letter word you find. (if the first five letter word doesn’t appear until the sixth line that’s okay, write it down. (if you don’t want to use a person’s name or a word that has an apostrophe in it—that’s okay, use the next one you find).

Turn to page 37. Go to the 10th line and write down the first 4 letter you find.

Turn to page 55 Go to the 15th line and write down the first 6 letter word you find

Turn to page 75 Go to the 4th line and write down the first word more than 4 letters long

Turn to page 120 Go to the 8th line and write down the first word more than 3 letters long

Turn to page 191 Go to the 2nd line and write down the first word more than 5 letters long.

(If any of these pages don’t have text on them, go to the next page that does have text and follow the instructions to get your word.)

These are your 6 words. No matter what they are, use at least 4 of them to write a poem at least six lines long. Yes, try to use all 6 words. Your poem should be 6, 7 or 8 lines long.

Use at least 4 of the words exactly as they are on your list.

Show us the six words after the title of your poem.
By Poet
(words used: words, poet, daikon, cumquat, eggplant, grapes)

At the end of your poem, tell us what book it is from.”

Unusual Vocations
By Poet
(given, head, seemed, wasn’t, clippers, demonstrable)

given the size of what seemed
the head of the piece
but wasn’t
we figured that clippers must be used
in a demonstrable way
to prove the existence of reality

Dress Codes: of three girlhoods- my mother’s, my father’s, and mind by Noelle Howey

A Way of Holding
By Poet
(match, went, places, song, candle, century)

Match went places
singing songs
lighting candles
it was his way of holding on
the century slipped by
but Match still held on

A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle

Of Writing Haiku
By Poet
(Shiki, three, haikai, lightning, there, without)

Shiki wrote haiku and tanka
I do not believe he did any haikai
three lines of haiku out there somewhere
like lightning
without light
just ever-present there-ness of electricity

The Haiku Handbook by William J. Higginson

Round With Little Spots
By Poet
(clock, with, grains, crystals, what, almost)

I found the clock
with a rock almost in it
what kind of grains do they sell
in places where rocks and clocks
get along?
whatever it is, it must have some kind of crystal aura…

A Guide to Rocks and Fossils by Arthur B. Busbey III, Robert R. Coenraads, Paul Willis, and David Roots

I like the idea of taking six or so arbitrary words and doing free-writing containing those words, many interesting ideas can come from that, but the six line limit did not work for me. Maybe the free-write can be edited down to a concise good six lines or so, but that comes later. I should do an exercise about writing a ghost story poem… that could be interesting, but not right now, later…


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