|Structured Poetry Exercises
|Lesson Three: Point of View|
|Write a poem from the point of view of someone other than yourself or from the point of view of an inanimate object. Experiment with first person, second person and third person points of view.|
An average joe comes in
and orders thirty cheeseburgers and thirty fries.
I wait for him to pay before I start cooking.
He ain't no average joe.
The grill is just big enough for ten rows of three.
I slap the burgers down
throw two buckets of fries in the deep frier
and they pop pop spit spit . . .
pass . . .
The counter girls laugh.
It is the crucial point-
they are ready for the cheese:
my fingers shake as I tear off slices
toss them on the burgers/fries done/ dump/
refill buckets/burgers ready/ flip into buns/
beat that melting cheese/ wrap burgers in plastic/
into paper bags/ fries done/ dump/ fill thirty bags/
bring them to the counter/ wipe sweat on sleeve
and smile at the counter girls.
I puff my chest out and bellow:
"Thirty cheeseburgers, thirty fries!"
They look at me funny.
I grab a handful of ice, toss it in my mouth
do a little dance and walk back to the grill.
Pressure, responsibility, success,
thirty cheeseburgers, thirty fries.
My stick fingers click with a snicker
And, chuckling, they knuckle the keys;
Light footed, my steel feelers flicker
And pluck from these keys melodies.
My paper can caper; abandon
Is broadcast by dint of my din,
And no man or band has a hand in
The tones I turn on from within.
At times I'm a jumble of rumbles,
At others I'm light like the moon,
But never my numb plunker fumbles,
Misstrums me, or tries a new tune.
|Lesson Four: Describe something
that strikes you as odd.
|This could be an object, person, situation or event. Use details to engage the reader's imagination and sensory perception.|
|The Assassination of John Lennon as Depicted by the Madame Tussaud Wax Museum, Niagra Falls, Ontario, 1987
Smuggled human hair from Mexico
Falls radiant around the waxy O
Of her screams. Shades on, leather coat and pants, Yoko
On her knees- like the famous Kent State photo
Where the girl can't shriek her boyfriend alive, her arms
Windmilling Ohio sky.
A pump in John's chest heaves
To mimic death throes. The blood is made of latex.
His glasses: broken on the plastic sidewalk.
A scowling David Chapman, his arms outstretched,
His pistol barrel spiraling fake smoke
In a siren's red wash, completes the composition,
And somewhere background music plays Imagine
Before the tableau darkens. We push a button
To renew the scream.
The chest starts up again.