I'm still reading on the Spoon River Anthology (nearly completed) and plan to begin Bicycles by Nikki Giovanni this evening.
I fell in love with the prompt over at the official NaPoWriMo today and decided I had no choice but to write with it.
The prompt went something like this: Find an Emily Dickinson poem – preferably one you’ve never previously read – and take out all the dashes and line breaks. Make it just one big block of prose. Now, rebreak the lines. Add words where you want. Take out some words. Make your own poem out of it!
I decided to use the poem They Shut Me Up In Prose. Once I coped and pasted this poem to my word document, my own poem just jumped out of my fingers...it really sort of wrote itself. Maybe it's just this tiny little town I currently inhabit, or the closed-minded lot that live in these parts, but my poem really is directed towards the degrading, stifling, dream-stealing stereotypes put upon women (especially those from devout, religious families).
It's not meant for controversial attention (nor am I looking down upon anyone who believes differently than me). Actually I hope when people read this poem, they'll see the need for uplifting and inspiring the youth of our young ladies. I hope they see the importance of encouraging our girls to reach for the stars, to forge their own, unique ways into this colorful world!
Anyway, here is my poem:
Former Housewife Sings the Blues
The world swings it’s iron door,
Shackles my namesake to
Some delusion television void.
The wealthy evening news personalities
Like to make jokes about
Who’s screwing who,
Never mind the wars in Jordan,
Or the false prophets who
Glue my mouth shut, a box of prose,
While they carefully circle the edges
Of life like little girls
At a Saturday scout gathering,
Quick to accept that life is meant
For fresh cookies and French braids.
Eager to please the rough faces
Of tired blue-collar fathers,
Are forced-fed bullshit morals
Of obedience and Godly favor
By the dish-clothed fingers
Of dreamless mothers who cry
Only when no one else is watching.
These are the voices of our youth,
lonesome women who pass each other
with sad smiles at the local grocer,
attend PTA meetings and meekly
agree that there should be
no flag football for the girls,
veto any votes in favor of
the Hairspray musical or
Modern Poetry and Art Through the Ages.
They entertain shaded living rooms
In proper ankle attire,
believing out loud
(while quietly in doubt)
That their existence is but
A worthy shadow in the box
Of a new King James Version Bible.
They set their dreams inside closets
With doors too heavy for further exploration.
Sad ladies who forget to wear lipstick
To the Sunday gala, yet hope
Some wealthy insurance salesmanMay still ask them for a dance.