Wednesday, April 9, 2014

PAD Day 9: Gimme Shelter

I just got the new issue of US 1 Worksheets, an annual poetry journal published by the US 1 Poets Cooperative, a long-running group out of Princeton, NJ. They always have a great launch party in the spring, but unfortunately, other family obigations made it impossible for me to go this year. The journal is great as always, and it contains my poem, "Interview with a Metaphor." I've had several poems pubished there over the years, including "Postcard to the Ex", which they nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2012. Thanks to Nancy Scott and everyone else who do such a swell job on this handsome publication that's always jam-packed with fine poetry.

Today's prompt from Poetic Asides is to write a "shelter" poem. As you'll see, I took that prompt rather literally. NaPoWriMo's prompt is one I suggested the other day to blog-mistress Maureen Thorson, and it's one of my favorites: Take a random song list (from your mp3 player, CD player, favorite radio station, Spotify or Pandora, etc.) and use the titles of the next five songs in a poem, in any way you wish. I find this a great "fall-back" prompt when I'm stuck for something to write. (Thanks, Maureen!) So here's my "shelter-playlist" poem:


It’s to keep our family safe, my dad says.
I don’t understand why we need another basement.
Mom buys 50 cans of vegetables, hoarding it for home.
Every day on TV they talk about the “Cold War”,
and it’s not even wintertime. Dad shows me the new room.
There’s just one door and no windows, and metal shelves
with cans of food, a transistor radio, blankets and flashlights.
There’s powdered milk and bottled water too.
I guess that means the milkman won’t leave bottles
on our porch if there’s a war. Sometimes I dream about war,
sometimes I dream of Willie Mays. Dad says I worry too much
for a little child. Walking home from school, I watch the sky.
Sometimes I wish I was born in a UFO.

[Playlist songs:
"Milkman" by EMA
"Sometimes I Dream of Willie Mays" by the Baseball Project
"Hoarding It for Home" by Mates of State
"Born in a UFO" by David Bowie
"Walking" by The Dodos
"Little Child" by the Beatles
Hmmm, I just realized I used six titles. I think "Hoarding it for Home" is the title that really suggested the fallout shelter theme.]

1 comment:

Vince Gotera said...

Bruce, enjoyed the song list prompt. Your poem using that method inspired me and I used that along with the "shelter" idea from Poetic Asides. I've been mashing up both prompts each NPM day, as I see you have been too, and on Tuesdays, mashing up three, using both of Robert's two. If you want to see: Thanks! I gave you a shout-out on Day 9 with a link to Orangepeel.