P&W Prompt 4: What You Focus On When He’s Away

This week’s Poets & Writers prompt:

Make a list of objects. One thing should be from your desk, one from your closet, one a body part, one a thing you covet that belongs to someone else, one enormous, one slippery, and at least one that makes an odd or evocative sound. Now, describe each using a simile. Do this twice for each one. Using as many of the similes as you can, write a poem with a title such as “Checklist to Survive a Nuclear Winter” or “Things That Have Nothing To Do With Grief.”

So, I started (obviously) with the list and corresponding similes:

  • Postcard Michelangelo’s The Furies

Like anger caught on film

As universal as love

  • Brown leather motorcycle boots

Like freedom

Like cool carved in leather

  • Red hair

Like a peroxide bottle mask

Wicked as only slutty girls can be

  • Nothing

Like everything in a vacuum

As big and eternal as the night sky

  • Barn

Like a rickety wooden fallout shelter

As unimposing as it is grand

  • Carp from the pond

Like nothing but bills in the mail

Like the last spoonful of porridge from the pot

  • Tree frog

Like a barbaric yawp from carpenter’s apprentice

As still and sullen as the moon

ANY_ITEM_HERE

After that, I came up with a title and tried to arrange and order the list as well as make the similes work in a sort of disjointed narrative:

ANY_ITEM_HERE

What You Focus on When He’s Away

The brown of your boots: distressed freedom, like cool harnessed in leather.

How you wear red hair like a mask, the slutty wickedness put on.

The Furies etched in ink like anger caught on film: universal as love.

The carp in the pond: the last spoonful of porridge from the pot.

The barn, like a rickety wooden fallout shelter, sits unimposing and grand.

A barbaric yawp from the tree frog as still and sullen as the moon.

Nothing. Everything in a vacuum as big and eternal as the night sky.

ANY_ITEM_HERE

Finally, I shaped the lines. It’s still a pretty rough draft, but here’s where it stands:

ANY_ITEM_HERE

WHAT YOU FOCUS ON WHEN HE’S AWAY

The brown of your boots: distressed freedom, like cool harnessed in leather.

How you wear red hair like a mask; the slutty wickedness: a put on.

A postcard: The Fury etched in ink like anger (anguish?) universal as love.

(Only) carp in the pond: the last spoonful of porridge from the pot.

Unimposing, the barn covering you like a rickety wooden fallout shelter.

Surprising sound, a barbaric yawp, from the tree frog: still and sullen as moon.

Nothing. Everything in a vacuum as big and eternal as the empty sky.

ANY_ITEM_HERE

I’m still toying with the idea of adding dividers. I had each stanza numbered for a minute – didn’t like that in the end. I’m considering putting times, dates or seasons in between stanzas to break them up…still don’t know if it needs that or not. That’s it for this week!

2 thoughts on “P&W Prompt 4: What You Focus On When He’s Away

  1. Thanks, girl. This one feels really, really rough. I’ve never been any good at those list poems. I’d love to see yours if you get around to writing it! xx.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s