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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

NaPoWriMo Days 11 and 12

For Day 11:

Today, I challenge you to write a poem in which you closely describe an object or place, and then end with a much more abstract line that doesn’t seemingly have anything to do with that object or place, but which, of course, really does. I think of the “surprise” ending to this James Wright Poem as a model for the effect I’m hoping you’ll achieve. An abstract, philosophical kind of statement closing out a poem that is otherwise intensely focused on physical, sensory details. Happy writing!


I turn away from the window,
Toronto slowly spinning;
I see him gazing at me
and my nervousness slowly fades
when his dark brown eyes
stare into my amber eyes.
For five minutes I had stared
and studied the Toronto skyline,
too nervous that I would say the wrong thing,
but this is a moment I’ve wanted for too long;
just spending time with him face to face—
and he smiles back at me.
Just like old times, I smile and laugh
when I mention a building
looks like something we’d find in Dubai.
He laughs, his father is a doctor there now,
and he starts teaching me some Arabic again.
I take off my coat; Courage the Cowardly Dog
reveals himself from my shirt—
“That was my favorite show growing up!”
“Mine too!”
We chatter on about our favorite childhood things,
some hopes and dreams, and I show him my camera,
as I capture the gold coy stenciled on the window—
is that him smiling at the scenery too?
It feels like I’ve known him forever offline,
like rifts and waves never came ashore
our anxieties seem to wash away, though;
and as the bison bangers and mash
(he let me pick the dish we’d split,
and the dessert too—whatever I wanted)
was being brought to our table,
he begins to express that
if I was staying a bit longer
and he had more money,
he would take me to a lot more places
in downtown Toronto,
Spadina, the art sections, everything;
but we’re both grateful for this time
as Toronto slowly spins around us,
I’m glad the bridge didn’t burn.

Rough for Day 12:

Finally, our prompt for the day (optional, as always). Have you ever flipped to the index of a book and found it super interesting? Well, I have (yes, I live an exciting life!) For example, the other day I pulled from my shelf a copy of on old book that excerpts parts of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s journals. I took a look at the index, and found the following entry under “Man”:

Union Station: we depart the bus terminal and debate where to eat.
Skyline: seeing the tower in the skyline.
We head west to the CN Tower, even if it's a few blocks away.
Financial District: the tall buildings are illuminating.

I'm not a big fan of the index poem. I think this will be a good exercise for my book.

On Saturday I will post my synopsis of Toronto! I had a blast! I'm so happy I met Moe as well!

I saw the moose dressed as a montie and had to have a group picture in front of it! :)

The coy fish on the window I was referring to.


  1. I wish I had your gift for poetry. It just never clicked with me. I'd like to try harder though, as I'd really like to work my way up to songwriting.

    1. I remember I started out as a short story writer - I HATED poetry in middle school. Then in high school I took a poetry class and it clicked in 11th grade. I still love writing short stories, but poetry is more my thing now.

      If you ever need help or someone to proof something - just e-mail me. :)

  2. An interesting challenge you're taking... (Eep, I might be back later.)

    1. Thanks, Claire. Will get my book done next month.