Today, from napowrimo, the suggested prompt is to take a favorite poem and find a very specific, concrete noun in it. After choosing the word, put the original poem away and spend five minutes free-writing associations – other nouns, adjectives, etc. Then use the original word and the results of the free-writing as the building blocks for a new poem.
Perhaps my favorite poem of all time might be John Berryman’s “Dreamsong 14.” Here’s the line from which I will pull my concrete noun:
And the tranquil hills, and gin, look like a drag
And from this lovely line I will choose the word “gin.” I couldn’t begin to tell you why this particular word strikes my fancy at this time. #whole30.
Here’s a brainstorm on “gin.”
Gin and tonic
Gin martini, dry, with an olive
gin with a hard g, slang for going
or “one more ‘gin,” as in once more again
Sloe gin, Cold gin, the rock band Kiss
no drinking for 30 days
my first drink after 30 days
It’s day 21
Gin sounds like Jen or Jenny
Rhymes with din, fin, sin, begin
slight rhymes: men, been, ben, again,
the farmer’s market
Okay, enough of that. Let’s write a poem. Here’s an attempt at a formal structure that totally breaks down at the end. Sorry.
In 9 days I will be able to drink gin
according to some dietary regimen
that prescribes 30 days without sin,
at least of the alcoholic variety.
Who’s to say my first drink will be gin?
–as there are other choices, bourbon,
to be precise, a fave, gin coming in
a close second, a balance of dark and light.
It’s not like I’m counting down to gin.
I think I might live beyond 30 and again
another 30 without a drop of gin.
But this is not what I want.
I am looking forward, that’s all.
I don’t think that juniper brew,
that olive on a stick, that action
with the shaker and the dash
of vermouth could ever seem
to me a drag. Gin, like the tranquil
hills: Let there always be
comradeship between us.