Stand-alone poem prompt 9: Fractured narrative

Let’s take a break from sequences and write one poem–a poem that stands on its own.

And if you’re just joining us, this is a great day to start (you just need an event to write about).

Yesterday, we explored endings–what happened, and what might have happened.

Today, we’ll look at narrative in a different way. Tell the story of the event you’ve chosen, in couplets, from the beginning, through the middle, to the end.

Why couplets? They make nice chunks that you can move around.

So let’s do that now. Rearrange the couplets to take them out of sequence. Like a movie, with flashbacks and premonitions. What tensions do these shifts surface?

When I think about my event, I imagine this poem will be at the very beginning of the book–both a prologue and an anchor for the reader. But I wanted to go boldly into the sequences, do some digging around, and then take a break.

Or if you want to extend the sequence, and you don’t mind messing everything up…

You’ve written about what happened on the same day in other years. What about events that happened in the same month or season of the same year? I realize that this might go best right after the timeline poem, and if you’re linking lines, that messes them up, causes some rewriting. But this popped into my head after I intercepted an intruder on the front porch late last night. The front door was closed, he wasn’t actually in the house, it wasn’t dangerous, just scary. But the adrenaline switched my brain on full power, and I thought of this idea. If it seems random or disruptive, I’m chalking it up to that.

Favorite line

Yesterday, I had trouble with this one. Other endings. It was easier to think of other beginnings, what if certain things hadn’t  happened in the first place, if different decisions hadn’t been made. That said, here’s my favorite line from yesterday:

Found the books clean, the sky bluer than they remembered.

Were you able to imagine different endings? What was your favorite line from yesterday’s poem? Feel free to post it in the comments.

One Reply to “Stand-alone poem prompt 9: Fractured narrative”

  1. I can’t give you a single line from last night’s draft because I ended up writing it using the form of a choose-your-own-adventure book and it doesn’t separate out very well, given all the page numbers I threw in 🙂

    I liked your line here.

    And I’m trepidatious about this fractured narrative but will jump into it soon.

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