2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 29

Look: I know what today is: It’s “Black Friday,” and there are all kinds of sales all over–people getting into fist fights over the most popular toys and deeply discounted hotdog rollers and stuff. I get it, I understand. But if you want to get an amazing gift for friends and family without leaving the comfort of your home, why not order a copy of my debut poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems? Click here to learn more.

Also, look below: I have a few more writerly gift ideas beneath my prompt, poem, and bio today. Speaking of today’s prompt…

For today’s prompt, write a commercial poem. This prompt makes me think about the commercialism decried in Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown, but there are any number of ways to attack a commercial poem. I have complete faith in everyone here being able to take this prompt in wild, new directions.

Here’s my attempt at a commercial poem:


The commercials proclaim, “Tell a buddy,
bring a friend… Don’t you dare miss it.” I’ve heard
it my whole life, it seems. Happy hunters

and knife throwers skip hand-in-hand to buy
and sell. As much a part of the landscape
as Tom Raper’s RV’s and Marion’s

Pizza, Bill Goodman’s Gun & Knife Show brings
friends and buddies together–a comic
convention forged of black powder and steel–

if only for a moment, paranoid
theories are exchanged, big purchases changed,
and exploits shared of time spent on the range.


Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and was born in Dayton, Ohio, in the shadow of the Wright Brothers, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and, yes, Bill Goodman’s Gun & Knife show. He’s also the author of Solving the World’s Problems, which makes a great gift for friends and family (see above). Robert is married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poets (four boys and one princess). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


Here are some other great gifts:


You might also like:

  • No Related Posts

150 thoughts on “2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 29

  1. taylor graham


    In this darkest season of light,
    a store window’s draped in deep-royal
    to display a pricey pair of shoes
    (private collection) and a scarf in silver
    gossamer. Other items by special
    order. Out here in the cold, a group
    of carolers is singing the gift-wrapped
    joys of Christmas. As they move on,
    their music drowns in traffic-din.
    There may have been angels, but now
    not even an echo; no more
    returns of song, the cheerful
    sound of light, alleluia in the midst
    of dark, this rush to holiday.

  2. cholder

    A Nod to Edgar Allen Poe’s, The Bells

    The Sales

    Hear the retailers with their sales
    Friday sales!
    What a thrill their ad reveals!
    Oh the ring, ring, ring,
    Throughout the store!
    The happiness it brings
    Hear the register cha ching
    Time with the family a bore;
    Sounds of the season,
    Meaning forgotten, the reason,
    The promise of savings never fails
    Oh the sales, sales, sales,
    Sales, sales, sales, —
    From the ringing and cha changing of the sales.

    November PAD Challenge, Day 29: Write a commercial poem

  3. seingraham


    Her brother the lawyer
    said it best
    In his eulogy when he
    asked the question
    “Can poetry make
    a difference?”
    Poets and other writers
    had spoken before him,
    had recited poems: hers,
    theirs, famous ones
    But no-one had raised
    this fundamental
    What was the worth
    of a poem?

    In simple eloquence he
    spoke of her dedication
    to the kids who ended
    up in his court room
    How she had written
    entire books of poems
    specifically about
    the kids that came
    up before the courts

    “The invisible ones,” he
    referred to them the same
    way she had
    and went on to say how
    much it had bothered her
    The way the courts ignored
    those on trial
    There was much bowing
    and scraping:
    To the judge, to the photo
    of the queen, to the lawyers
    But to the kids?

    Eyes don’t even meet their
    eyes; it is as if they
    are not present
    Never mind that they are
    supposedly the reason
    for the proceedings

    The eulogist went on
    to say that one
    poem had been read
    so often and by
    so many lawyers and
    judges alike
    that now, the youth
    are acknowledged
    several times during
    the proceedings

    And he talked about
    other poems that
    addressed the heartbreak
    of family court,
    about parents arguing
    custody a week before
    Another about a tiny
    child stretching her
    arms across the aisle
    trying to hold both
    her parents’ hands
    at the same time,
    become the healing
    bridge right there
    in the courtroom

    Poems that are being
    read in court with
    seeming regularity
    Because they are
    Because they are
    Poetry that has

  4. Michele Brenton

    Who says poetry can’t have mass appeal?

    The once-boy-now-a-man wizard frowned
    “Tell me I will always find
    you my eager willing slave
    for whatever kink may come to mind.”
    The vampire beauty licked her lips
    “Slave is not what I planned to be
    that sounds to me the wrong way round,
    I usually stand in mastery.”
    Outside a zombie werewolf howled
    its canine love in foetid breath
    devotion dogged ever true
    lasting past sickness and past death.
    The TARDIS landed in full song
    carrying the current Doctor who
    arrived in time to make things rhyme
    conveniently in his box of blue.
    Then some explosions let’s say three
    enough to add some energy
    without which this poem would not
    have much to root you to the spot.
    Chuck in some Star Trek – Captain Kirk
    sexual smouldering in his smirk
    (a subliminal flash of Miley’s twerk)
    and to finish the whole thing some steampunk
    and we might just be able to sell this junk.

    Michele Brenton. 2 December

  5. Yolee

    Star of Bethlehem

    It was the bright billboard
    wise men followed to obsequiously
    present a king with expensive
    items acquired not because frenzied
    ads urged them to hop on a camel
    and shop but because the sign
    would never blacken
    the rest of their Fridays.

  6. Nancy Posey

    Shopping List

    Black Friday, Cyber Monday,
    Premature Thursday,
    Small Business Saturday.
    Christmas carols already
    old and tired, played since
    the day after Halloween.
    What to buy for children
    who have plenty,
    who need nothing?
    Something readable,
    something musical,
    something huggable,
    something never shown on TV.

  7. Domino


    I don’t pay attention to the commercials
    I tell myself,
    but somehow when they come on
    I find myself humming along
    to the annoying jingle.
    It has inserted itself somehow
    into my mind, a persistent
    recurring tune
    playing over and over and over
    drowning out whatever other
    thoughts I had before
    it came along.

  8. taylor graham


    Chill breeze through an aisle of liquidambar – Loki pulls me past gold-crimson chimes weaving shadows across sidewalk cracks and white shoulder-striping. The rest of the world is shopping. Kate came this way, leaving her glove as token. Black Friday-deserted school, rows of closed doorways promising treasure, passwords to the prize, an unlocked mind. Imagination’s truant. Loki pulls me across a quad littered with saffron-yellow leaves, and out the other side. Here’s Kate sitting under a tree.

    grand old valley oak –
    squirrel’s dream of fallen acorns
    polished chestnut-gold

  9. DanielAri

    “These messages”

    How do you spell relief?
    Plop. Plop. Fizz. It’s two all-
    beef patties special sauce
    lettuce, cheese, pickles–and
    I can’t believe I ate

    the whole spicy meatball.
    I want my baby back,
    baby, you’re in good hands
    for a snack sneak attack.
    It coats, soothes, relieves–pink!

    Wear a belt–wipe out crack.
    Beer makes you smart–it made
    Bud wiser. Bomb their ass.
    In and out urge. Rough trade.
    I’d rather be bowling.

    Old-fashioned lemonade–
    Bet your ass I’m Swedish.


  10. Benjamin Thomas

    Poof the PAD is gone

    It’s gone
    Like the wind
    That thief

    Although it spent
    Thirty days with us kindly
    Lending a hint of muse
    From november’s inspiration
    To soothe feed a nation starved of poetry

    Assembled they scatter
    Now back to their own pasture
    Each to his own matter
    Of heart and rhyme

    Although dispersed
    Widely to the four corners
    Poets populate the face of the earth
    And in due time they will
    Return with a vengeance

  11. Walt Wojtanik


    We are the product of our words,
    the sum total of our collected works.
    And all the quirks and nuances that
    grace our poems give them veritas
    and great worth. Where else on earth
    can poets be heard word-for-word,
    to much fanfare. And if we dare to
    present ourselves, all our shelves
    will be filled with worded wonder.
    We are under the spell of each other,
    poetic sisters and brothers and all
    the rest in our minds we are all
    a commercial success!

  12. Lori P

    What’s wrong with it?

    Itty bitty video man
    with ideas bigger than your dreams
    had to dig in a trashed couch on the curb
    for coins to buy breakfast
    sat in the hallway for an open wifi and made
    everyone amazed

    one who understands that
    trying everything means finding
    what works

    but he couldn’t try if we didn’t support him
    he reaches you because of us,
    the big companies with products
    everyone has heard of

    we need him because he gets you
    and he needs us for now

    he’ll out pace us one day
    but until then let him touch your soul
    and buy our products because
    at least
    we understand where the future is heading

  13. DWong

    Holidays for Sale

    Happy Holidays!
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Happy Shopping
    should be the greeting.

    Sale today!
    Buy decorations!
    Halloween not yet,
    but bows, balls, angels?

    Only this Friday
    starting this Wednesday.
    They gripe, whine about

    as they sit stranded
    with a conductor
    who cries, shaken
    by the change in life.

    Dollar signs and sales.
    Perhaps less of these
    and more shows of love.
    Maybe then he would

    have decided that
    the sale was nothing
    meaningless without
    his life.

  14. Missy McEwen

    whoops meant “without you” at the end

    aaugh meant without you

    TV Commercial Love

    Make me believe
    I need you.

    Make me want
    to own you, spend all

    the little money I do have
    all on you.

    Make me hungry
    for you.

    Make me think
    that the one I have isn’t good enough,

    that you could do more
    for me, than all the other

    I had
    in my past.

    Tell me how
    everybody wants you.

    Tell me my life
    would be better if I had you,

    that I couldn’t
    live without you.

    1. Missy McEwen

      Sorry to keep posting this
      but I typed it so fast. Too many errors. It bugs me:

      TV Commercial Love

      Make me believe
      I need you.

      Make me want
      to own you, spend all

      the little money I do have
      all on you.

      Make me hungry
      for you.

      Make me think
      that the one I have isn’t good enough,

      that you could do more
      for me, than all the others

      I had
      in my past.

      Tell me how
      everybody wants you.

      Tell me my life
      would be better if I had you,

      that I couldn’t
      live without you.

  15. Missy McEwen

    TV Commercial Love

    Make me believe
    I need you.

    Make me want
    to own you, spend all

    the little money I do have
    all on you.

    Make me hungry
    for you.

    Make me think
    that the one I have isn’t good enough,

    that you could do more
    for me, than all the other

    I had
    in my past.

    Tell me how
    everybody wants you.

    Tell me my life
    would be better if I had you,

    that I couldn’t
    live with you.

  16. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 29
    Prompt: Write a commercial poem.


    Now’s your chance; get it half-price!
    This offer’s only good today.
    For a limited time, no shipping fees.
    Buy one, and the second’s free.

    As if there’ll never be another sale,
    as if this chance won’t come again,
    as if you could never find this thingamajig,
    as if you need it, from juicer to MIG.

  17. Broofee

    The shrine

    We entered
    A Fancy, marmor covered, parfumed
    Shrine of today.
    All sorts of signs flashed me
    As soon as I walked in.
    Shoes, toys, chocolate, jewelry
    And even fried fish to go.
    People with coffee cups in their hands
    People buying boots
    Selling lace panties
    And silk.
    She needed a jacket,
    She wasn’t one of those
    Who needed to spend the whole afternoon
    In there.
    So we walked around
    Until we found a perfect fit
    And then had lunch on the top.
    Beefsteak, potatoes and lettuce
    No fancy
    Japanese food.
    Thank god
    She didn’t like those either.
    With Christmas around the corner
    And a book fair that I still had to go visit
    It seemed everywhere we turned
    Someone wanted our money.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.