Friday, April 17, 2015

PAD Day 17: Another Two-fer

Well, I wrote two poems today, but I'm not entirely happy with the results. Today's prompts from Poetic Asides and NaPoWriMo: 
(1) Write a "swing" poem, and 
(2) Write a "social media" poem, using material from your own Facebook or Twitter account, blog, etc. 

I don't think I really succeeded at combining the two prompts, but I guess I'm more satisfied with this one, which was written just for the Poetic Asides prompt:

Congressional Playground

They dedicated it today on Capitol Hill
so the kids of senators and congresspersons
can learn what their mommies and daddies do.
Here, they can seesaw up and down on the issues,
slide down from integrity to scandal and shame,
spin on the merry-go-round without getting anywhere,
sit in a seat on a chain and kick their feet Into the air,
and depending on which way the wind blows,
swing to the left, swing to the right.  

The second one was an interesting exercise if not wholly successful.  I decided to take every tenth word that I've posted in my Facebook account in 2015 and use them as a "word bank" for a poem about social media. Since I'm not the most prolific poster on Facebook, it wasn't a ridiculously long list, but I eliminated the more common, throwaway words like "the", "in" and "for" as well as repeated words (though I kept "poetry" and "poem").  Here's my list:

honesty ever neither wait tricky yesterday grab CD's stereo Sue Bell album great corkboards wife poem while Roseanne also stay Cabot Sporcle beginning man other why know Collins former municipal exhibit how poetry included want

And here's the poem, using all the words and then some. ("Sue Cabot" is a fictional person, and so is my persona, to an extent.)


Dear Sue Cabot:

I unfriended you yesterday.
In the beginning, we were soulmates,
sharing our poetry and offering critique -
I liked your honesty. We also had a mutual love
for music - we discussed favorite CD's and great albums,
even reminisced about our first stereo.
We both liked a Billy Collins' poems,
Roseanne Cash's songs,
Sporcle quizzes and Candy Crush.

Then you started to swing to the Right.
I may never know why you waited till now
to show your biases: "Obama is a Muslim";
"Vaccinations are evil", and other such things. 
That was my warning bell -
maybe we weren't so alike after all.

I'm just an average man with a wife and three kids,
and a job in municipal government.
While I think we should all be included in the dialog,
I can't stay friends with you when your views
grab me by the throat like they do.
How did you ever get this way?

Social media is the public corkboard of our age.
We can post and exhibit anything we want,
but even when we take down our notes,
remove the tacks from the surface,
the afterimage of the words remains.
We need to think of the repercussions;
We're neither blameless nor anonymous anymore.
Online friendships are tricky - one ill-advised comment
can bring it all crashing down.

Your former friend,

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