Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Creativity Exercise: Make a List!

Don't groan over the post headline. I'm not talking about a "to do" list. This is far more fun ... this is poetry! List poems aren't as structured as the old 5-7-5, but they open the door to amazing poetry.

And don't tell me you can't do it, because we can all make a list. Read this example, then give it a try.

Among the Things He Does Not Deserve
by Dan Albergotti
from The Boatloads.
© BOA Editions, 2008.

Greek olives in oil, fine beer, the respect of colleagues,
the rapt attention of an audience, pressed white shirts,
just one last-second victory, sympathy, buttons made
to resemble pearls, a pale daughter, living wages, a father
with Italian blood, pity, the miraculous reversal of time,
a benevolent god, good health, another dog, nothing
cruel and unusual, spring, forgiveness, the benefit
of the doubt, the next line, cold fingers against his chest,
rich bass notes from walnut speakers, inebriation, more ink,
a hanging curve, great art, steady rain on Sunday, the purr
of a young cat, the crab cakes at their favorite little place,
the dull pain in his head, the soft gift of her parted lips.

Once you've made your list, go back and look at where Albergotti breaks his lines.

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