Welcome to the first in a regular series of Friday postings–the SPAM poetry prompt of the week. I started saving weird subject lines from SPAM and PHISH e-mails when F&W established a program wherein we review a daily list of blocked e-mails to see if any need to be un-blocked. Since I oversee four different company mailboxes, that’s a lot of SPAM. Of course, some of the wording really is colorful, so I started saving choice subject lines in a Word document with the thought that I would someday make up poetry prompts from them.
That day has arrived. Each Friday I will post one of these prompts. Here are some general guidelines:
1) Prompts are simply to get you going. Don’t feel you have to stick to the wording, directions, or spirit of the prompt if your writing begins to take you in a different direction.
2) If you don’t like my “take” on the prompt, make up your own!
3) Do not post your poems in comments if you hope to submit them for publication or as entries in a poetry contest. My view (see Published is Published below), shared by many poetry editors and contest coordinators/judges, is that poems posted in “comments” are considered published. Whether you agree or disagree, consider whether this is really the venue where you want to share you work.
4) I promise to subject myself to–er, try to create something from these prompts as well.
If this all turns out to be one miserable exercise in lame-isity, I will stop. Polite comments will suffice; threats and petitions will not be necessary.
So, here goes with prompt #1:
Don’t want no short sausage man.
Yeah, we know what they’re really talking about. But let’s regard this statement literally, i.e., don’t want no short man selling sausage. Why not? Who is he? What does he look like? Where is he selling the sausage? In a butcher shop? At a festival concession stand? On a street corner? Why don’t you “want” him? What don’t you want him to do?
After you’ve thought about it (or not–thinking too much can be the bane of creativity), try using this line as the start of a nursery rhyme, nonsense verse, or blues poem. Or simply follow your free-writing and see where it takes you.