I’m hosting this week at http://www.ethicalela.com, so here is my prompt and my poem for today:
In The Last Avant-Garde: The Making of the New York School of Poets by David Lehman, readers learn that Joe Brainard went to spend the summer of 1969 in Vermont, where he began writing short anaphoristic snippets of memories, all beginning with the words, “I Remember,” thus defining a new poetic form.
Raise a Glass to the Literary Avant-Garde by writing an “I Remember” verse today. Ponder! Unearth! Ruminate! Reminisce!
Reminisce: This can be a time and place in your life that you want to revisit, that will bring you joy or comfort in these unprecedented times.
Ponder! Unearth! Ruminate! Or this can be a time and place in your life that you want to re-imagine with new eyes and perspective. Maybe you will write this from another’s point of view.
Imagine: Spring into the future and imagine what you will or want to remember. Or go for fiction — write something sci-fi, fantasy, or fairy tale-ish.
Your poem can be as short or as long as you need it to be today. A few lines will do. Give yourself permission for “good enough.” And give yourself permission to reject this idea all together and write whatever you need today.
The Family Circle
I remember clutching her warm hand as the death rattle beat the drum of her final march
deferring to my brother, “I picked the spot. You pick the plot”
I remember pleading, “Lord, I need a sign she can rest in peace”
confessing I’d prayed for a sign: a majestic bird in flight, wings outstretched, assuring peace
I remember fighting tears, wanting to shoot three birds circling overhead
resisting the urge to punch my brother, who was fighting his own tears……of laughter?
I remember eyeing him, raising one questioning brow, tightening my lips, muttering obscenities
wondering if he was drunk as he whispered sideways, “She showed up! With her parents!”
I remember feeling the full force of her humor, her sign: sending buzzards in place of an eagle
I remember my animal-loving mother – prankish and ever-present. Even now.