NaPoWinMo http://www.napowrimo.net/ decided to give us a break for the seventh day by tossing us a seven-section prompt. I used to cringe when I saw this type of thing; now, before I’ve finished reading all the way through them, a scenario begins playing in my mind. It’s like playing tetris. The pieces (words) fall down and I simply have to scramble to twist them into position before they reach the bottom. Perhaps I am growing as a poet.

What interests me is where those scenarios come from. I don’t control them or create them. No conscious thought is involved. The shape of the scenarios dictates how emotionally vested I become, and that dictates the depth of the poem. I’m ambiguous when it comes to the existence of my muse, but I always treat her with respect.

Below are the prompts for today. Let’s let them fall and see what comes out the bottom.

1) an example of synasthetic metaphor — one that describes one sensory perception using adjectives more naturally suited to a different sense (e.g., “a red noise,” or a “a bitter touch”)
2) a fruit
3) the name (first or last) of someone you knew in school
4) a rhetorical question
5) a direct address to the poem’s audience — “Reader” or “mom” or “Michelle,” or maybe just “You”)
6) a word in a foreign language
7) a reference to a game of chance (darts or pool or the lottery or etc).

By Mike Patrick

Flickr image by tonijennifer

Did you hear about Brinda? (3 and 5)
It’s all over school.
She was pregnant you know,
she was somebody’s fool.

Doesn’t she know,
this is 1964?
Things like that
can’t happen any more.

She was top banana, (2)
Miss Popularity.
She’ll never live it down,
she lost all dignity.

She left town on Friday
after a taste of the blues. (1)
Didn’t say adios or goodbye; (6)
she knows what’s taboo.

Brinda got an abortion
from some back-room quack.
That’s throwing the dice; (7)
she’s lucky she got back.

Brinda’s nothing now,
she’ll never clear her name.
Wouldn’t you hate to live your life
with the burden of that shame?

Well, that’s what shook out. It is more juvenile than I would have liked, but in 1964 I was a juvenile; however, that was the prevailing meme on out-of-wedlock pregnancies. Times change.

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  1. vivinfrance says:

    Wow! That’s such a good response to every element of the prompt. Chapeau! ( French for hats off to you)

  2. earlybird says:

    I’m in awe! I couldn’t have done that in a million years. I’m glad you gave the full explanation. Fascinating. Chapeau indeed.

  3. Great job getting it all in. I just posted mine and I have no idea where it came from. Coulda been channeling Brinda!

  4. ladynimue says:

    Ok so now I know what I need to do with the prompt ! I am stuck with few unattached scenes in my head ..

    This was a sad tale .. It is still sucha taboo for Indian society .. you can’t imagine the drama it creates 😐

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