Workshop Scraps

All of the following are writings/musings/prompt work/scribbles straight out of my poetry workshop journal. These are unedited, rough, messy, and sometimes dumb. I just thought you all would like a glimpse into how my brain works when  I don’t have the luxury of the backspace key. I’ve tried to recreate the whole page for you, including what I’ve underlined, striked out, blocked, and hugged with parentheses.

1) Journal Prompt:::: the poem “In Tornado Weather” by Judith Curmin.::::

I’m driving with my foot to the floor, heart stopping as speedometer climbs.

[breath catches in my lungs as the windows roar open/ the wet wind clings to my skin and tangles its fingers in my curls]

[lightening splinters the sky, electric gold plummets to the horizon and a crackling wave shoots across the beaten pavement]

I can smell the rain, heavy and gray, speeding down the highway toward me. It’s a veil stretching over hazy yellow lines. The world beyond is black, twisted, and just for me.

poetry is beginning to write in the depths of the storm

Long necked bottles are being held to lips as cords are webbed between metal and plastic. A practiced hand strikes strings and a note screams into the smoking bar.

Without language I would die. To sit sedentary, like a toadstool on forested floor, my gills leaching in only what filters down to me.


2) Journal Prompt: Things seen/heard/smelled on a train ride through your favorite place

Kissing Camels|Pikes Peak|Florissant fossil beds|cinnamon sugar donuts|horses|oiled leather|dusty leather|elk rising over hill|11-mile-canyon|forest fire graveyard|bear|bird seed pouring|tires over rock|tires over cattleguard|Colorado sky blue|foxes|turkey|deer skitter|deer pick|outhouse|bluejay screams|chattering squirrels|Continental divide scar|ghosts of Cripple Creek|gaping mine mouths|wood burning stove|echo|white noise of snow|Manitou Mayhem

Pikes Peak looms screams out cinnamon sugar clouds, impossibly sweet hot chocolate

Mother Nature tells whispers to the Continental Divide, “You are my rock scar.”

bird seed rains into metal tin, mine mouths gape open and casino town ghosts pour out,

Fiery fingers snatched at the covers of long sleeping giants echoes of yesterday clung to dusty leather and the kissing camels sought safety in each other’s dwindl sunset embrace


3) Journal Prompt: “Cannery Row” John Steinbeck (or was it Updike?)

Saints Angels Whores “Sons of Bitches”

I sleep with saints-angels-leaders-dreamers-devils-and-demons. Alone in my bed, they run – fly – scream – shove – laze – wallow – and – crawl through my dreams. I am their martyr – savior – creator – lover – wife – and – child. They sling mud-guns-glitter-spit-swears-kisses-and-fire. They are my children-venom-parents-cancer-death-and-life.

They are my characters.


4) Prompt: About an Art piece

From the viewpoint of the artist (in this case, the artist is Vincent Van Gogh and the art piece is his painting ‘Starry Night Over the Rhone c. 1888):

They do not know I am here.
Every night they come
out of their shops,
to light the windows and
the boulevard.
I watch them from
across the water
their tiny flames
flicker on the ripples
of silver fins.
An old couple, too
together to notice
I am here,
walks the bank.
I do not know this
The stars grow
dim as the flames
grow higher
Two boats, two
small wooden crafts
bob together in the dark
water and air.
I do not know
who pilots them.

Leave a Reply

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

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s