Yesterday, I mentioned how guest judges Daniel Nester and Vince Gotera suggested possible poetry prompts. Well, today’s guest judge, Jericho Brown, is only one who requested a specific day to be a guest: Today, April 14. I’m not sure if this is because it’s the day Pulitzer finalists and winners are announced, or if he has a thing for sonnets (14 lines), though it really could be as simple as it’s his birthday! No, really, it is his birthday–so say happy birthday and buy his book, Please.
For today’s prompt, take the phrase “If I Were (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Possible titles might include: “If I Were President,” “If I Were Smarter,” “If I Were a Little More Sensitive,” or “If I Were Born on April 14.” If I were you, I’d get poeming about now.
Learn how to get your poetry published with the assistance of the 2014 Poet’s Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer. This book is filled with listings for poetry book publishers, chapbook publishers, magazines, journals, online publications, contests, grants, and more!
Plus, it contains articles on the craft, business, and promotion of poetry. There are interviews with poets, original poems, and so much more!
Here’s my attempt at an If I Were Blank poem:
“if i were any more good looking”
the sun would explode into a black hole
& i’d be the event horizon that draws
the universe in upon itself
women would oooohhh
& men would aaaahhh
it would be impossible to keep a date
because it would be impossible
to get anywhere without numbers
& underwear tossed in my direction
lucky for me my dna stopped
just short of perfection
because if i were any more good looking
i wouldn’t be able to find a mirror
cloudy enough to pull me away
from my wonderful reflection
i’m not sorry for what i lack
because my deck’s already stacked
& besides from my point of view
if i were any more good looking
i’d be looking a lot like you
Today’s guest judge is…
Jericho is the author of Please and the forthcoming The New Testament. His first collection Please won the 2009 American Book Award.
Jericho taught at the University of San Diego until 2012, when he became a professor at Emory University (in Atlanta, GA).
A former speechwriter for the Mayor of New Orleans, Jericho has had his poetry published in several publications, including The Iowa Review, New England Review, and Oxford American.
Learn more here: http://www.jerichobrown.com/.
Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!
Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If you’d like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.
Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. He once ran into Jericho in a stairwell before a reading (and Jericho was super nice). Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.
If I were you, I’d check out these other poetic posts: