Friday SPAM poetry prompt #907

SPAM prompt line: Over 800 models


Maybe it’s because it’s “fashion week” in New York (which I only know because I heard David Letterman mention it), but this line jumped out at me. Ye gods, 800 models! That’s an awful lot of bony knees and sharp elbows in one place.


Or maybe that’s not the case at all. Who are these models? Where are they, and why are there so many of them? Is it the world’s largest runway show? Some kind of protest? A convention or conference? Are they skinny fashion models or plus-size, or a bipartisan mix? Are they male or female? What are they wearing–or not wearing?


Write a poem about these 800 models. Give your imagination a workout; try to avoid the stereotypes regarding setting as well as people. The models could be children, although 800 child models sounds like a frightening kind of chaos. And yet, maybe that’s your poem.


By the way, I was once in a children’s fashion show. I think I was 11, and I wasn’t fat yet. The show was at a PTA meeting in St. Cecilia’s cafeteria–but we had a runway. A local children’s clothing store we couldn’t afford to shop in called the Pink Pixie provided the clothes. It was the first time a brush blush ever touched my cheeks, and I was fascinated. My mother and grandmothers either used cake rouge or simply dabbed a bit of their dark lipstick from their lips and massaged it onto their cheekbones. I was totally forgettable in my blue corduroy jumper, but my brother stole the show. A cute five-year-old in a sailor-like outfit, he toddled onto the runway with his finger in his mouth and captured the hearts of every mother there. We each got a pink balloon at the end of the runway, handed to us by a pair of teenage girls dressed as pixies–in green, which didn’t seem consistent with their branding. We didn’t get to keep the clothes.


Anyway…if you want an extra challenge, integrate the “over 800 models” phrase into one of the repeating lines in a villanelle.


Of course, maybe you imagine 800 models of cars, or 800 model planes, or 800 models of refrigerators or washers. If you want to take it in that direction instead, go right ahead. No one but you will ever know.




Check out previous poetry prompts here.


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