Heart, Soul, and Rough Edges — A Gypsy Journey of Words and Wonder

Six Trillion + 642 Ways to Write a Poem

Blog Post - The Storymatic

Yup. Take “The Storymatic”, with six trillion story/poem ideas tidily arranged in a tasteful box smaller than a grocery-store size block of cheddar. Add a book, “642 Things to Write About”. Send them to your favorite aunt whose Muse has been MIA for the past year or so. Stand back and wait for the fallout. Giggle when you get the call and hear that auntie’s Muse came out of hiding long enough to hyperventilate. Wait for the first poem to pop out. Smile, knowing you jump-started the process at just the right time. This is what my darling niece did for me.

The Storymatic is similar to refrigerator magnet words. In this case, you draw two gold color cards that you combine to create a main character. (Like “daydreamer” and “taxidermist” — two cards I chose at random.) THEN draw two copper color cards to lead you into your story. (Mine were “”handcuffs” and “yet another get-rich-quick scheme”.) Now, you can start writing, using these four cards as prompts.

Blog Post - 642 Things to Write AboutSince I live by the motto, “Why be difficult when you can always be impossible?”, I’m mixing the Storymatic prompts with one of the 642 things to write about. I page-flipped to “She’s lying! This is what she really wants most in the world.”

So, Darling L — here’s what your aunt came up with for her first poem. And, wonder of wonders, a second, deeper one:

The Real Truth?

Part 1: She Lied

When I was a little girl
I was the constant daydreamer
rarely slept, even as a child

always somewhere else
in my head
in my heart

handcuffs of time and place
kept me from drifting
too far from  — what?

For years, my Dad
tried to feed his family
on hopes and smiles

Never at home in his home,
yet another get-rich-quick scheme
slipped away, and away again

My life turned inside out,
a taxidermist nightmare
of guts where freckles should be

when he died
away from home
rotting in the jungle

I said I wanted everything
to be as it was
before. I lied.

What I really wanted
most in the world
was a different life
from start to end.

Part 2:  The Real Truth

She’s lying. Does it all the time.
Daydreamer lost in all the possibilities
Soft, porny handcuffs she can escape
but leaves in place
because it’s easier this way

Maybe one of her wild ideas
will fly today, another
get-rich-quick scheme
that really does work

Reverse taxidermist process
— bringing back to life
all who were close to her —
just for a day or two

To say a proper goodbye
To say what she was too scared
To utter when the time was right
Then, to release them, one by one

This is what she really wants
more than anything else in the world.
To let go with love and compassion.
Closure. Rich beyond money, at peace.


The “642...” book not only has interesting ideas, but was written in one 24 hour period by the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. As the compiler, Bo Bronson, wrote on the first page, the idea sprang from a discussion among a few folks; an email asking for ideas went out, and great writing prompts came pouring in from thirty-five writers. A day later, the finished manuscript was delivered to the editor.

I loved these words in that intro: “…I tell the story because it’s a lesson in hidden potential. You never know what might happen. … And it doesn’t even have to be your own idea. You just have to get creative and plunge in.” That, my friends, is like showing up — and sharing. You never know what can happen. Our book, LIFELINES, is one such creation.

The Poetic Muselings have traveled far together during these past several years. Besides our book, we’ve all worked on individual projects — written and other media, as well as dealing with a variety of health issues. We are looking at our collective work efforts on this blog, and considering changes in 2014. Not sure what direction we’ll take.

We thank you, our readers, mentors, friends, colleagues, guest posters, and critics, for being part of our world. May the New Year bring us all joy, contentment, success in our adventures, and connection with those who are important to us.


PS: I challenge you to write a prompt poem to share in the comment below.



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