Prompt 433: Borrowed Poetry–The Magic Carpet

A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us no
Or where to go
Or say we’re only dreaming

Now that you’d awakened tell me
your religion–did I suspect
that you already knew
the lore’s secret?

I stepped onto the carpet
confirming a cry–
how we have to go on remaking
perfect magic.

There you are Aladdin.
A whole new world when
in myth do we fly
lanced by stars.

Prompt 433: Have you seen Guy Ritchie’s remake of Aladdin? It’s got a Bollywood flavor to it that I like. And that song, “A Whole New World”…definitely a favorite. I still remember first reading the story of Aladdin–that phrase, ” old lamps for new” stuck with me. Only this time the lamp is perched in a cave, and Aladdin must not be tempted by the jewels in the cave in order to get to it. The lamp’s the real prize, if you knew the secret. Fumbling Aladdin didn’t and he got his three wishes. You have to go watch the movie to relive it all again.

If you like write a poem inspired by a poem, a movie, a book, a piece of art or music or performance and submit to Red Wolf Journal. We all like to be inspired too. 😀

Prompt 432: Borrowed Poetry–Strange Weather in Tokyo

Life is austere, my friend,
so we ducked inside a bar
to drink sake, eat edamame
and tofu and cod, sometimes
smoked oysters.

It was a way of being alive,
you know. That’s how she got
into the orbit of Mr Matsumoto,
her old schoolteacher, bereaved,
and went mushroom hunting.

She asked every so often,
what on earth am I doing.
When he said, you’re such a
lovely girl, she was content;
time had stopped for them.

It felt so empty and full
all at the same time. Three years–
that was the time they had.
You were kind to my dad
his son had said.

Prompt: This one’s inspired by Hiromi Kawakami’s Strange Weather In Tokyo. It was such an easy read compared to my previous book, The Milkman. Like Japanese food or haiku, the writing is spare and yet breathes like fresh linen. There were some surreal bits in it, the part where Mr Matsumoto met his wife’s doppelganger. It was said she was good at magic. She’s dead though. And that’s why people live lonely lives. Till love develops between him and his ex student who goes to the same bar as him. She had chosen him over a younger man too. You get the sense from the story that love transcends and it’s the only way that allows us to. When it ends (as when he died) you look into an empty expanse. Oh sigh…

If you like write a poem inspired by a poem, a movie, a book, a piece of art or music or performance and submit to Red Wolf Journal. We all like to be inspired too. 😀

Prompt 431: Borrowed Poetry–King of Thieves

In an old hermetically sealed vault
were the diamonds-FL-those the ones
par excellence. Says the old retired
ex whatever, so the young one knew
which ones to pocket.

What’s bizarre was the team he’d
picked for the heist, the laidback
archness of the geriatric burglars
who’d pulled the whole thing off
sans nerves of steel.

It’s vapid, inert, of course
a tiny demented. Perhaps, I don’t
know, Marilyn, it’s more of a jaunt
turned sour and dodgy, to-relive-
again sort of thing.

It’s rather pointless if you
end up in jail but being either
deaf, diabetic or post hip
replacement, they’d rattle off
those walls sooner than later.

Prompt: King of Thieves is an old school bank heist, as unslick and unglam as Ocean’s Eleven was not, a British counterbalance to the American movie. I rather enjoyed it though, even if. Perhaps the audience I was amongst can identify with the antiquated lot on screen. As one of them was snoring off in a discussion in the movie, there was this person snoring in the row behind me. What, life mimicking art? Anyway it was all very British and very old school, which was strangely my cup of tea.

If you like write a poem inspired by a poem, a movie, a book, a piece of art or music or performance and submit to Red Wolf Journal. We all like to be inspired too. 😀

Prompt 430: Borrowed Poetry–Milkman

The story began to stir itself
in that shortlived between-the-pages
way. But O the effort! The drone of
a voice direct yet oblique,
the stifling bombshell of
a book titled “Milkman”.

Aberrant meant everything politicized.
In cold smooth callousness
the killings–the beheaded cat,
slit throats, gunning down,
the rumors that fly in your ear,
taken for gospel.

When true milkman returned
mother had her second chance.
The other Milkman whose name
it was, he was killed right after
asking middle sister to wear
something feminine, a nice dress.

Through all that yowling
what sustained them all?
Love, yet what is that,
you asked while learning
the form of it yourselves.

Prompt: I finally finished reading Anna Burns’ Milkman. The story is set ostensibly in Northern Ireland in the 70s, the time of the Troubles. The telling of the story is by an 18 year old girl, nameless, referred to as middle sister. Everyone is nameless and referred to in epithets like “maybe boyfriend”, “longest friend”. That becomes a strength–her unique phrasings–but also a drag in terms of long sentence structures. Which part do I like best? The denouement, because the novel is like one long stream of consciousness, going on for hours on end so it’s torturous but at the same time you do get occasional tiny pins of pleasure out of it. More pain than pleasure? Probably true. Is it of literary merit? Yes definitely. But as one reviewer said of it, you wouldn’t recommend the book to someone you love. A central theme is love. Do you go for the one you love or do you settle? For if you did, middle sister would call it ‘wrong spouse’.

If you like write a poem inspired by a poem, a movie, a book, a piece of art or music or performance and submit to Red Wolf Journal. We all like to be inspired too. 😀

Prompt 429: Borrowed Poetry–Aubade

I’ve been spied upon.
Perhaps that will be at an end.
The predation, does it end?
Or is it unyielding?
Is it nearly full, so the river’s
bursting of the banks
will be full scale
escalation like that?

The bird’s devotional, an aubade
rising with it,
such as you are finally
yourselves?

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

When love ebbs–it does not, it’s voracious–
we’ll be nearly blank.

Note: The italicized quotation is from Pablo Neruda’s “If You Forget Me”. You can read it here.

If you like write a poem inspired by a poem, a movie, a book, a piece of art or music or performance and submit to Red Wolf Journal. April is national poetry month in the US so maybe you want to write a poem?

Prompt 428: Borrowed Poetry–At Eternity’s Gate

Which iteration of cherry blossoms?
Does it matter spring comes
after winter, how one thing
led to the other?
Marilyn I go with my head
and heart.

I watched At Eternity’s Gate
and found the loneliness
of Van Gogh. In Arles he’d painted
in a storm. Like how you’d
lost yourself in art in fast
furious strokes.

Paul Gauguin, he’d taken
the opposite measured route.
When he left Arles, Van Gogh
cut off his ear. I’m not sure what to
call it–madness you’d say–
emotional neediness?

In art as in life,
whether you call sorrow
a deep ravine, or a bird,
flitting as shadow, we’d smile and
laugh considering the other.
That’s how I think anyway.

Prompt:

Inspired by a biographical drama of Vincent Van Gogh’s final years. Isn’t it tragic that he was an impoverished artist who never found commercial success? He’d been put in this world to portray subjects in nature in their ephemeral beauty in his own unique perception, to leave art for those not yet born. This was an impressionistic film by Julian Schnabel released in September 2018. I caught it on a plane from Tokyo to Singapore.
If you like write a poem inspired by a movie, a book, a piece of art or music or performance and submit to Red Wolf Journal. April is national poetry month in the US so maybe you want to write a poem?

Prompt 427: Borrowed Poetry–Are You Too Good At Goodbyes?

There’s salt in your wound–
I know I know now you’re
hermetically sealed. Impervious.
Hanging onto tragedy,
quickly glancing away.

It’s that Sam Smith song–
the one about being too good
at goodbyes–ahh that was
a suggestion, something wrapped up
thrown out the window.

Does it require nerves of steel?
Always–Marilyn downing a spoonful of
handkerchief pasta, added for good
measure, there’s something else
going on, whichever’s the way
.

She arched her brow in that
preposterous way so we both
absolutely had to laugh.

Prompt: Hey poets, where do you get your inspiration? I give you a piece of music. It spins you into a mood. Then you sort of riff around it and come up with some lines you call a poem. It’s good practice if nothing else. At least you’re being a creator. Your life wants you to create. Create or you’re nothing. Even God was pushed to create. Well, okay, we’ll not speak for God. You’re just being asked to create. Submit here if you like.

Prompt 426: Borrowed Poetry–Queen Anne’s Rabbits

There was an enormity of space
in the castle, an echoing in
the tapestries, a story in
the high windows and folds of
curtain, a cruel shaking.

There was a depravity, bungling
the soul’s aura in a travesty,
yet it’s yeast-like, a burgeoning
of allegiances but to who?
The queen of England?

Maybe the panning of the camera
in bold omniscient strokes meant
it was too much, much like
irreversible damage.
Like seventeen rabbits.

Or too little of surprising tenderness.
This is mad, you’re mad. Mad logic then–
Queen Anne crushes her stooge’s head
the way Abigail had pressed a heavy
foot over her precious!

Prompt:

Inspired by Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite . If you like, you could write about this or any movie, then submit to our Fall 2019 issue. Read about it here.

For those who’ve not watched the movie the seventeen rabbits represent Queen Anne’s children all of whom have died.