Editors Blog

2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 4

For today’s prompt, take the phrase, “100% (blank);” replace the blank with a new word or phrase; make the new phrase the title of your poem; and then, write your poem. Example titles might include: “100% Beef,” “100% Cotton,” “100% Awesome,” “100% Etc.”

Here’s my attempt:

“100% Poem”

Start with an incredible metaphor
that takes the breath from angels
and break your lines at random
angles to keep your readers off-balance,
if not interested at least confused

(possibly amused), and then,
drop an obscure reference to a line
in a poem by a poet that most
readers have never heard of
because that is how you roll

through your poetics and spin politics
as a web that holds together in one
age to the next, which basically means
it’s human–because while
everything around us

changes in dramatic ways
we–the humans–struggle the same, and it
helps to hear that voice who knows
we want to always do better than this.

*****

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507 thoughts on “2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 4

  1. ratgirl

    100% on the Pain Scale

    We found a rusty wheelchair in a drama room prop closet
    While we were supposed to be practicing “Our Town”, which bored us to death.
    I still remember the feeling of control, the curved grip of wheel rails in my palms.
    I laughed a little too loud for backstage, trying to master a 360 spin.
    I didn’t know I was playing with suffering, like a sharp-edged tin toy
    with helicopter blades that could bite to the bone,
    doused in bright rainbow paint and the smile of a unicycling duck. Innocent
    as white bread, I hadn’t yet learned how
    pain could hold its victim to the bed, sure as duct tape strings
    burn your lips when you try to scream. How it holds your arms
    with ziptie vicious teeth.

    How, doctor, would you like me to convert this into numbers? How do I translate
    its hand over my mouth while it shakes my spine like a dog toy
    and demands that I say its name with gratitude
    for sparing my life even as it forces me open and spills
    a tsunami of fear into my belly, where it grows a web of tenticles
    that slip comfortably into my skin and wear it like it owns me?

    Dare I say it’s a 10 on the pain scale, or have you been taught a hair-trigger
    snare for exaggeration? A terse certainty it’s the mark of a drug seeking junkie?
    And have I done enough tricks to impress
    Upon you, or will you again look at this shamed child
    Certain she’s exaggerating when she tells you, “seven” instead,
    Lying against myself to earn your trust?

  2. Marian O'Brien Paul

    100% Means . . .

    100% means all
    or nothing which raises
    the question of fallacy
    the “either/or” to be
    exact – not
    to mention the 99%
    who wish the 1%
    would comply
    and pay equal
    taxes thus making
    the tally 100% but
    remember that old
    Ivory soap ad touting
    the “99.99% purity”
    of that cleansing bar?
    Doesn’t the missing
    00.01% make
    it impure? A quibble
    you suggest? Are you
    quite 100% sure?

  3. cstewart

    100 Per Cent

    Whenever I want to write, I sit down and do it.
    Or get to it as soon as I can from where I am.
    The same with art-making.
    I get to it as soon as I can from where I am.
    But sometimes where I am is very far away,
    And the trip home is a constant, thoughtful, vigil.
    That is always with me and pushes me forward.
    To that place where I have always belonged.

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