September 11, 2009


by me

Say "prompt" and the whole room groans.
Squeaking chairs under
fidgeting limbs, rustling
clothes atop sweating
skin, and the whirring,
stuttering hiccough of the mind.

It seeks to court creativity
and instead flirts with stock responses,
bats its eyes at end rhyme and free verse,
concocts a mighty stick with which to beat
the horse-corpse known as cliché.

It seeks desperately for that shining letter,
the word that says, that demonstrates, that--
when all else fails-- at least
breathes. But poke the body with the mighty stick
and all it does is twitch.

So say "prompt" again, please, just once more,
and though I may only birth another horse-corpse,
a shell of a once-meaning,
I will this time make it stand--
on wobbly legs, yes, and unsure--
but stand and not twitch.

My response to a prompt posed in my poetry class. I'm not so good with the prompts. I'm working on it.

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