Poetry Spots Such as #SlamWords on Twitter
by Beth Boldman
If you have decided that writing poetry is the creative outlet for you, where do you go to find inspiration or encouragement? Once again Twitter can solve this need, and the one I have chosen to focus on this month is run by a wonderful and creative woman who goes by the handle (Frozen) Storm@MadQueenStorm. She runs several poetry threads, but the one I love the most is #SlamWords.
At the beginning of each month, Mad Queen offers poets word and picture prompts that she designed to encourage some very interesting, unique, and entertaining poetry.
Just a few weeks ago she presented to about 20 to 50 writers the 20th edition of #SlamWords. Each round has a theme, and this last one for February was: “Heartstrings and Other Lethal Things.”
Mad Queen breaks the experience into 11 rounds; each round has its own word prompts such as “bleeding ink,” “razor-wire tourniquet,” and “twisted ribbons.”
The participating poets will take these prompts and write poetry or some very short stories. Some are funny, some are dark, and some are brilliant. I enjoyed writing my efforts.
Here is my example of “bleeding ink.”
Netted helmets rushed out
of Higgins boats
into French sand.
German lead sprayed
the front ranks;
to claw through high surf
& up the beach.
Some left arms & legs,
others lay gutted, bleeding
deep red ink as a marker.
The Mad Queen has 22,100 followers and with 787 following #SlamWords alone. I personally follow more than 40 of the poets participating in this poetry prompts.
She also has an encore group of rounds on the second of the month, with prompts such as: “scraped raw,” “broken promises,” and “poisonous whispers.”
Here is my effort for “scraped raw:”
He was a warm light
in a window
on a frigid night
a lighthouse warning me
of dangerous shoals & riptides
threatening to overwhelm
& dash me
He never scraped me raw
or fed me to ravenous wolves,
yet he saw me
as a friend,
Among the prompts the Mad Queen offers up interesting words, very similar to words of the day, except you are encouraged to use them in your poetry. The one I preferred during this round was “la douleur exquise” which means the heart-wrenching pain of wanting the affection of someone unattainable.
I used it in this poem:
You seduced me thru the veil
that separates us—time/space.
I felt you watching me
fall in love w/a photo of you
in that uniform,
un cou de fou
French would say
la douleur exquise
I will never touch you
Like they did
in Somewhere in Time
I die a little bit daily.
What I love about being part of this poetry corner is the instant feedback the poets receive about their efforts, plus the comments of admiration, often given by the Mad Queen.
She is usually the first to offer a kind remark or say she is a fan of a particular poet. She makes writing on this thread a sheer delight.
If you want to join the melee in March, you might need to have the following nearby: a dictionary, a thesaurus, and a rhyming dictionary.
You can get new rhyming dictionaries from Merriam-Webster for $14.01 or used ones for $11. Another is Webster’s Rhyming Dictionary, which new is $4.99. The Complete Rhyming Dictionary: Including the Poet’s Craft book for $7.19—this one is very good and has features that are desirable. All the dictionaries I suggest are available on Amazon.
The one I use the most was published in 1936, The Complete Rhyming Dictionary by Garden City Books and edited by Clement Wood. It was my grandmother’s, and I like to think when I use it that I’m carrying on a family tradition of writing poetry started by her, then my father.
Poetry has everything a writer could want, you can express yourself in a story format or you can put your thoughts to rhyme. Either way, you post your work to Twitter and it will be read, which is the goal of every writer.
Please try Twitter if poetry is your thing. I would be more than happy to read your efforts on my feed @beboldman.
When you have the right instruments, and the ambition, poetry will be written. Remember to try everything, for when you do you will surely find the format that will fit.
I hope you find success, and see you at #SlamWords on March 1, 2019.
She told him she understood
why he had to leave.
She pressed her hands on
his wan & tormented face,
saying, "I'm letting you go."
He cried as he lay there,
she grabbed one last look
as he died w/a fistful of tears
& a glass of loving memories.
About the Author
Beth Boldman lives in Idaho and as a retired high school teacher, she enjoys writing novels and poetry. She graduated from Brigham Young University in 1986 and taught school for 27 years teaching such subjects as English, History, and Government.
She has written 20 novels, which are available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited by B.E. Boldman. She enjoys reading, music, crafting, and shopping with her sister.
You can read Beth’s column on the 3rd Friday each month here at Pandora’s Box Gazette.