In lieu of diving fully into NaNoWriMo this year because of priorities in and around grad school applications, I have decided to partake in the Poem-A-Day Challenge. As you may have guessed, this involves writing a poem every day throughout November. Luckily, the good people at Writer’s Digest are providing daily prompts to get me started. It is already November 3rd as I wrote this post, so I will have some catching up to do. Catching up is half the game in NaNoWriMo, so this should not be unusual for me. Once the PAD challenge is complete, I have been instructed to gather 20 or so of my favorites (after revision) to submit as a small chapbook to the good folks at WD.
Since I’ve been languishing a bit in the creative energy department as I shift gears toward GRE preparation, Statements of Purpose, and research into the stupidly high 12 schools to which I’m applying, I hope that this challenge will help me break through my own bs-brain-barrier to the rich stewy sap of inspiration buried within. Much like NaNo, there is little room for the editorial side to creep through. These poems will by necessity be more rough, but that’s probably a good thing in the end.
Those interested should read up on the challenge at the Writer’s Digest website: http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2013-november-pad-chapbook-challenge-guidelines
Here is my response to the Day 1 prompt: an appearance (something or someone that appears out of nowhere)
into your gyro: marinated lamb, tahini and feta,
but something new this time. A five-star secret sauce
starts as a low burn on your tongue’s tip,
quickly catches and spreads like wildfire raging
through your palate. At first you taste garlic
and some middle-eastern spices, but the midsummer’s
sun abominates distinct flavors. You sweat, red-faced
with a flowing nose; a tickle tingles your skin
and then: oblivion. Your mind clears and you open
to the moment of the possible. Nirvana? Not quite;
too fleeting, but you find some peace within
that takes you away. Ebey’s Landing, where the
circling mountains meet at the trailhead
when the sky is clear and the world is visible.
Baker, Rainier and the Olympic range each stare,
and the emerald-white waves snarl on the shore below.
The gold wheat-field waves in the September breeze and
she smiles to see it all for the first time. Light drapes
the dimple shapes behind smoke-curls as she spins
in the axis of your world. Exhale and return to neon-
lit tubes and a mural of painted cedars with a single cartoon eagle.