Posts Tagged ‘poetry challenge’

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Death by exasperation  by Robert Williams

I have always been a fan of poetry challenges and this one was a doozy. The leader of our group, the Last Stanza Poetry Association, showed us some weird art by Robert Williams and challenged us to write a poem about them for the next meeting. I chose to use the titles of the paintings.

Here’s the list: Death by Exasperation, Pathos in Paper Mache, The Fraught Proposal, Purple as an Inexplicable Color, A Farce on an Extravagant Scale, Fast Food Purgatory, Wooden Spirits Persist Where Termites Fear to Tread, Swap Meet Sally,  Flight of the Lost Dodo, Art’s Triumph Over Substance, A Carouser’s Ode to Sentimentality, Mathematics Takes a holiday The Notion that Lurks Inevitably Between Two Adjacent Thoughts, Irene Interfacing with an Astrodynamic Epiphany, Greater Concerns than Mere Puppetry, and Gimme,  Gimme, Gimme.

 

Here are my poems 

IN THE MORGUE
By David Allen

“It was a death by exasperation,” the coroner said.
“She just couldn’t take the fraught proposal that
Her whole life was just a farce on an extravagant scale.”
“Yeah, Swap Meet Sally believed she lived
In a fast food purgatory,” the reporter said,
Looking over the coroner’s shoulder.
“I knew her from her days at the lumber mill,
She thought it was haunted. Said it was
where wooden spirits persist, you know,
where termites feared to tread.
How old was she?”
  “I don’t know,” said the coroner.
“With her, mathematics takes a holiday.
“What’s that lying next to her?” the reporter asked,
Pointing to a torn paper lantern.
A note said it was a pathos in paper mache,”
The coroner said. “It was titled Flight of the lost dodo.”
“Gee, it’s sort’ve art’s triumph over substance. No?”
Who knows,” the coroner said, rearranging the corpse’s arms.
“Look at this. I call this position Irene Interfacing
with an Astrodynamic Epiphany.”
“Do you always play with your subjects?” the reporter asked.
“There are greater concerns than mere puppetry. No?”
“It’s my way of defining the notion that lurks inevitably
Between two adjacent thoughts,” the coroner answered.
“Hmm, interesting,” the reporter said. “Let me try.
C’mon, gimme gimme gimme. “
 

Here’s my second poem:

ROUGH STUFF
By David Allen

I’m in a fast food purgatory
Eating in a McDonald’s
Because I needed to use the free wifi.
But, as I read my email,
Rednecks at the nearby table
Are talking loudly, proudly
About Trump’s most recent tweets.
If I stay here I face
Death by exasperation,
For this a farce on an extravagant scale,
And I feel I will be the punchline,
Considering the fraught proposal
That I am about to deliver to the Trumpites,
Harsh words purple as an inexplicable color.
I search my mind for the perfect phrase
That will shame them,
Hoping to be so clever that I’ll create
The putdown to art’s triumph on sustenance.
But, as I am about to deliver the notion that lurks
Between two adjacent thoughts,
The Trumpers get up and walk out,
Leaving trash on the table,
And I merely scribble my feelings
In my notebook, a pathos in paper,
Remembering my own foolish behavior on
Drunken nights.
My silence is a carouser’s ode to sentimentality.

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STORIES
By David Allen

Sharing stories with poet friends
Topics taken by rolls of the dice
(If you didn’t like the first, you got to roll twice.)
Some tales met with gasps, others with grins.

Pat witnessed an alien craft
Light up the Midwest night sky
Later suspecting meteor reports were lies.

Joyce’s dad lost a finger to a circular saw
Judy saw a red pirate ship sitting offshore.

Tom delivered meals on Thanksgiving Day
Jenny almost died from morphine taken to chase pain away.

Cathy’s first kiss from a slobbering boy
Put an end to thinking love would be a joy.

Linda’s college rooms were painted wild colors
Turquoise, blue, and green walls clashed with each other.

Judy’s big night pout was a Nutcracker affair
Jenny’s drug store sold liquor and comic book fare.

Joyce remembered a drunk knocking down all the pins
Pat shoveled walks and cut grass to fill his book bins.

Judy’s dry cleaner’s hot air beckoned the bees
Jenny’s waitress job made her toes bleed.

Jenny’s brother cut down a tree, pocketing Christmas money
Pat brought a man purse from Europe and people looked at him funny.

Cathy’s band placed first in the entire state
But bringing up the rear was the majorettes’ fate.

Linda’s favorite item at the Indy drug store
Was raspberry sherbert, she always wanted more.

Pat’s dad found huge wooden type to declare JFK was dead
Cathy’s practical joke was to season sweet potato doughnuts with pepper instead.

Tom partied and danced at a Grateful Dead concert
Where a pretty girl yakked despite the “Shut Up and Dance” shirt.

Joyce shyly sand in her church choir
Pat’s art class dance set a teacher on fire.

Linda thought being banned from her daughter’s medical exam was jive
Cathy remembered a family split when she was just five.

And me, I told several stories from my wayward life
Cross country driving, divorcing my wife,
Jumping from a plane for a story, but missing the shot
VW broke down outside Barstow, the desert was too hot.

(NOTE: This was a poem challenge for the Last Stanza Poetry Association)