Happy Monday! How is NaPoWriMo going so far.

Today, another short, simple prompt: As your persona, write about returning–or imagining returning–to your childhood home.

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Write a poem in which the persona is taking a journey.

This could be a short walk. It could be by train or ferry or car. Maybe they’re driving, maybe they’re in the backseat.

The important part is that the person is moving. Everything around them is changing. How are they changed?

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The poems in this week’s poetry pick, What Sound Does It Make by Erin Malone, starkly, quietly, lovingly questions everything–especially the roles of wife and mother, especially love.

Consider these lines from “Directions“:

Stranger, one whole side
of my face is sliding.
I can’t smile right. A hillside, this body

isn’t what I thought. Like a foreign country

Already, I am haunted and I can’t stop reading. Or there’s the “knobby baby” in “And Then“:

In the windows we were drawn:
I held my knobby baby
in dawn’s automotive light.
A fleet of cars sailed by

I want to show you the whole poem. I want you to read the whole poem (click the link!).

Finally, I’ll share these images from the beginning of the title poem, “What Sound Does It Make”:

There are pieces everywhere, splinters
like the glass she shattered against the sink
just now. She keeps an eye

on the baby roaring in the corner,
practicing his lion. She keeps an eye
on the floor, diamonds

letting blood from her heel.
Prints litter the kitchen.

I think it’s those “diamonds // letting blood from her heel” that stay with me, and the repetition of “She keeps an eye” and the taut compression, the tension between the everyday and the scary places are hearts and minds go even when we don’t want them to.

I couldn’t find that poem online, but you can get the chapbook for ten bucks from Concrete Wolf Press.

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Talking to yourself. Talking to God. A confession.

This poem is the persona’s soliloquy–as in a play, what he or she would tell an audience when none of the other characters are listening.

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On day 7 we, as our persona, wrote a letter to a friend.

For today’s poem, the person writes a letter to an antagonist or rival.

A side question:

Do you say persona or person? I realize I keep switching back and forth. It’s a persona poem–but in some cases, the persona was a person. Or am I overthinking this?

A minor confession:

I confess that when I first thought of this prompt, my persona’s rival was Ann Rutledge, even though Ann was already dead. Why? Based on the poem by Edgar Lee Masters in Spoon River Anthology.

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