Tuesday, February 26, 2013

IMUNURI prompt: Sonnet

by Sir Phillip Sidney
This week, try your hand at a sonnet.

William Carlos Williams didn't like them. He famously said, "Forcing twentieth-century America into a sonnet--gosh, how I hate sonnets--is like putting a crab into a square box. You've got to cut his legs off to make him fit. When you get through you don't have a crab anymore."

But sonnets, and poetry forms in general, do something to our thought process, no matter where or when we write. They ask us to slow down, mull over the words we choose, and find ways to say what we want that fit the recipe of the form.

Putting aside the first words that pop into our heads for new words—synonyms, parallels, other examples—that fit the form can even unveil surprising associations and directions and ideas that we might have otherwise discovered in the free flow of free verse.

To review, a sonnet has:
- 14 lines
- typically the same number of syllables in each line
- often, a meter, such as iambic pentameter
- a rhyme scheme
- a "turn," or change of perspective, occurring around the beginning of line 9
- often, a subject related to love

This week, you might discover new ways to tweak, subvert, adapt or supercharge the sonnet form. Consider the recipe and consider your creative impetus. Combine, mix, bake...

keywords: sonnet, poem, your name

some rhyme schemes:
- abab cdcd efef gg (Shakespearean)
- abab bcbc cdcd ee (Spencerian)
- abba abba cde cde (Petrarchan)
- take fourteen small pieces of paper and write the letters A through G, two times each, on these. Shuffle and deal your rhyme scheme. (Angele McQuade showed me this).
- aaba bbcb ccdc dd (I made this up just now)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Bath view

Mirror submarine legs in foreshortened view,
hairiest in the middle, tapering and
plumping; two knees like balding pates—I see you—
swelling junctions of ankle; ten stubs reddened
by heat. This body bears this body I use.

This body chooses to treat this body kind,
to soak its aging paleness without staring,
to coax my collected coils toward unwinding.
Look at this furred belly skin, orangutan
contours and twin volunteering nipples, too…

When you fall into the sound of words, meanings
go blurred; as now in this undersea body
i’m getting unthought and undiscovering
what all this flesh and hair and structure could mean.
Through the surface emerges a dripping hand.

I feel its weight from inside. Two eyeballs see
this gesture of matter I think of as me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Prompt: The Empress Has No Clothes

and now for something completely different...

Our naked bodies, fleshy, opulent or lean [we are what we eat: broccoli calves and cauliflower palms]

the volumes of personal herstory (history) [impaired range of motion at the wrist from broken arm in '95]

and tugs ticks kicks clicks [the groans of morning, subluxation sounds near the shoulder]

my ancestors in the mirror [potato farmer girth and strength]

Near spring time, as we rise again from the earth like green sprouts and reach the root toes of our being into renewal, write a poem from your body. [cf Empress card in the Tarot]

Feeling gutsy? Stand in front of a mirror, naked, and write the poem. Or just visualize: wax poetic about your elbow. This is about sense, not sex. Go natural, be a naturalist (british). Perhaps nekkidness can serve as a kind of vulnerable-making revelation. Write what happens. Scribble scribble.

Tags: empress, moniker, poem

Image:  Catal Huyuk [Turkey] goddess, with Demeter, Great Mother images - Empress Card from Vicki Noble and Karen Vogel, Motherpeace tarot

Shortsale, five lots, near the river, six years untended

Upside down your tendrils floop
out like hair in water
[i learn to give a dog a bath.
what a to-doo]

Plants abide by gravity's guidance?
Kiwis scale three-story walnut trees
ivy vines as thick as wrists clog
the old nutmaker

We talk to someone with a machine
so powerful you need a license
that can clear a swath through blackberry two story tall
canes like fists, only bunnies roam wild here

Are we the interlopers in this jungle?
He says as he enters the dense undergrowth:
"I hear CCR in the background starting up."

I think, in the wet, one thousand rotting kiwi ferment,
in the deep green shade below the choked magnolia, the
feral berry hoving up to celestial height:
Where will the bunnies go?

I hope, though we appear,
wield our machetes, we are
not destroyers\not-destroyers.

Sometimes, the-great-unmaking
must precede

Monday, February 18, 2013


Eagle Falls Meadows

I meandered for hours
through Eagle Falls Meadows
its docile sidewalks
escorting me 
past jade lawns and 
driveway boats.

Behind carport doors
galaxies of gear
whole universes
of stuff
glimmered like
styrofoam stars.

Children pedaled
glossy bikes 
through safety's 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

What those are

These are them.
A bowl of white, faintly luminescent,
bite-sized lozenges, anonymously
planted in the communal kitchen, sat.
They resembled some kind of hard candy,
rough-edged and smelling faintly of spearmint…

The species toxoplasma gondii—
one parasite that alters behavior—
gives Infected rats the audacity
to approach felines, which are the preferred
mating grounds for the gifted parasite.

Cats eat the emboldened carrier rats
piloted into their paths by the worm.
What made me gobble one of those bizarre
white things? It tasted like a freezer burned
moth ball rolled in crystalline NutraSweet.

Somehow my body suppressed the dire urge
to spit in the sink. No, I swallowed and
quickly filled and drained a glass of water.
The next morning in the kitchen, my hand
reached for the bowl again. I scooped up four

of the casings. Repulsed at the notion
of eating them, I slipped them into my
pocket. Later, at home, in the garden,
I felt them there. I’m sure there’s reason why
I buried them in the earth and then turned

my attention away…
What’s caught my eye
now is that alien object growing
by the fichus—that whitish, three-inch high
spiraling spire like no earthly living
thing I’ve ever seen—and I understand!

My will is bent to a greater knowing,
and the transmitter is humming, glowing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

IMUNURI prompt: object renewal

Marcel Duchamp
There's an improvisational game where a group of players puts a selection of random objects into a large bag.

A player pulls one out—say it's a ballpoint pen in the shape of a gold railroad spike. The player then uses the object in a 3-second scene, but not as a pen nor railroad spike.

Instead, she places it vertically on the ground, balancing it on the flat end so the point sticks up into the air. She then gives a Godzilla roar and kicks over the "skyscraper."

Now it's the next player's turn. He scoops up the pen, looks sadly at it and says, "I thought I wanted this so badly, but I never should have killed the last unicorn."

The next player takes the gold railroad spike pen and holds it like a hypodermic needle, saying in a soothing voice. "Now, this will only hurt for a minute, and then you'll never have to worry about catching whooping cough."

Eventually, a new object is drawn and players continue to improvise unfamiliar ideas around the familiar (or unusual) objects.

The game is reminiscent of Marcel Duchamp's famous artwork "Fountain." A urinal, out of context and turned on its back becomes a decorative water feature. Placed in a museum exhibition, it becomes a work of art.

This week, write about a familiar object in a new way. Use it for something beyond what the manufacturer was likely to have intended. See it as a work of art, or a unicorn horn, or a skyscraper.
What wonders can you release from the mundane props of your life experience?

keywords: objectify, poem, your name

Ten Bad Pickup Lines

I found the ten lost tribes of Israel
dancing behind your eyes.

From your dark wet tendrils:
ten Lord's a leaping!

From which of the ten
space-time dimensions
did you descend?

I'd give ten years of my life
and my ten-gallon hat
for one tenth of your
sweet attention.

I'd break all ten commandments
for that ten-foot pole
you won't touch me with.

First and ten.
Your ball.
My tackle.

I'm that tenth sad bowling pin
knocked sideways
in your gutter.

I'm hauling down I-10, good buddy,
after you.

You're such a discrete semiprime.
I'd call you a perfect ten.

Ten generations between
Adam and Noah.
Let's not wait that long.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Crystal Geyser Natural Balance Blue Moon Fat Tire

Thursday, February 7, 2013

f a b r i c a t e

f       a       b        r        i        c        a        t        e

a                                                                        t
b                                                                        a
                            o              i
r                                  r  c                                  c
                    d          i          l         n
i                           c        i        e                          i
             n                 i          l               t
c                                  r  c                                  r
         i                                                     e
a                                                                        b
    w           o           n           d           e           r
t                                                                         a

e        t        a        c       i        r       b        a        f


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

ten again

ten again

ten ten ten
           ten ten ten


ten ten ten
    ten ten
          ten ten


ten ten ten
    ten ten


Haiku too

Haiku too

thermocouple heat
indigo raven wing clap
translucent heart beat


beat wing indigo
translucent thermocouple
clap raven heart heat


translucent heart wing
indigo thermocouple
raven heart clap beat


beat indigo heart
clap raven thermocouple
heat wing translucent

Kayden revisited

Kayden revisited

in the sandbox
turned hot water
for me!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

IMUNURI Prompt: Ten and Ten and Ten Again

Oh, don't stop!

This ten-word spark feels rich and rife and has ignited and whizzed off in so many interesting directions!

Let's keep it going with another round of posts or multiple posts holding to the short-short poem idea.

Now that we have ten-worded and ten-word-plexed, you could experiment with new directions inspired by your IMUNURI peers, for instance:
  • Your words could be a repeated chorus as in Scooter's "ten word repeat: wind carries me home"
  • Your words could play on a repeated letter or sound as in Janice Sandeen's "Cant to Ten"
  • You could turn the expectation of how to read a poem on its head like *J*'s "Room and Board"
  • What you can do with words and their sounds and their arrangement! Just look at Ed's "Cheap Trick"
  • You could make an animated GIF poem like Daniel Ari's "delight of discovery," with screen grabs or a graphic program, and a site like GIFninja
And here are some more possible directions--in addition to all of those that you will think of yourself.
 It's pretty amazing what we can do with ten words, give or take. Let's push into new territory with short exformations of thought and language. Test the boundaries. Try stuff. Let the brevity of poetry open up the hugeness of its possibilities.

In short, keep doing what you are doing, IMUNURI poets, and even more.

keywords: poem, your name, tenagain