Listen to strangers talking

You know that with a 30 day blogging project, sooner or later you’re going to have a list post. Today is the day. Here are some ways to find inspiration when you are lacking:

  • Read some poetry: You can either read your own poems or someone else’s, but take the time to think about how you would do things differently.
  • Listen to strangers talking: Coffee shops are good for this, so is talk radio.
  • Go to an art gallery: The nice thing about getting inspired by a different medium is that you don’t have to worry about unintentionally copying someone else’s work.
  • Listen to music: I tend to avoid music with lyrics, but go with what works for you.
  • Go for a walk: The nice thing about walking is that the pace gives you time for observation.
  • Go someplace new: It can be as far away as another state or as close as a street you’ve never driven down.
  • Get some exercise: Exercise clears the mind and gets the blood flowing to the brain.
  • Read the news: There’s always something going on in the world that is worth writing about.
  • Read the tabloids: There’s nothing more imaginative than the stories in the tabloids, especially the Weekly World News.
  • Start a dream journal: The beauty of dreams is that they incorporate elements of your life in new ways. Embrace the alternative you.
  • Use the random link: The random link on Wikipedia will lead just about anywhere. If you don’t like what you see, hit the button again.
  • Take some pictures: Find a subject worth taking pictures of, and you’ll find a subject worth writing about.
  • Paint: If you aren’t feeling creative in one medium, find another medium. Engage the creative parts of your brain.
  • Try some automatic writing: Just start typing off the top of your head. The longer you can keep it up, the more interesting the revelations will be.
  • Pick a central topic: Find one broad topic that you want to write a series of poems about. Picking a central subject gives you a starting point for your ideas.
  • Make an idea list: Just start writing down ideas for poems. Keep listing potential topics until you get excited enough about one to start writing.
  • Find some privacy: It can be hard to write in a noisy, crowded room. Sometimes you just need to be alone.
  • Meditate: I’ve already written about the benefits of mediation. A simple one is to sit staring at a candle. Just focus on the flame.
  • Call an old friend: One way to bring back memories is to call an old friend and get to talking.
  • Find a partner or mentor: Finding someone else to talk about poetry with will help you focus your thoughts. It will also increase your commitment to your work when you find someone to hold you accountable.
  • Find a group: Poetry groups can be good and bad. If you find the right people, it can be a great place to develop ideas and get feedback. If it’s a bad group, just get the heck out of there.
  • Take a class: A poetry class is a good way to give you inspiration and commitment, but any kind of class will help give you new things to think about.
  • Set a deadline: Pressure works for some people. Set a deadline that is fair and appropriate and live up to it.

Today’s Poetry Prompt

Try one of the inspirational ideas from above before you write your next poem.

8 thoughts on “Listen to strangers talking

  1. Screwtop Head

    Gibberish and flibbertigibbet and bouillabaise–O my

    I played scrabble with a woman who liked to shop in her dictionary for words, making me waitwaitwait & denying the spirit of the game besides; Christ was i desperate/how many ways of abasement were there, in the pursuit of bachelor fun?? Shall I be grateful for the ebbing of the hormonal wild horses, as kurt v was? Yes and nonono.

    is zeus any more improbable than jehovah? both decline to return calls.

    fellow–fell, owe–folio–fallow–ratio–the rest is left as an exercise for the reader

    a bite a segment to be chewed digested disunited brewed unneeded andor toxic launched downstream the rest augments a paunch

    a tongue dispenses words and fluid daytona swiftness wit of druid slidey glidey all abubble many ways to get in trouble

    a masterpiece awaits your strings much like an actor in the wings if autonomic systems freeze before you make it–Tragic! SEIZE the day.

    a date a laugh a kiss another this is my dad my mom my brother here’s the best man here’s the ring the kids the house the fall the spring the withering of skin and motive creature comforts make devotive the calendars new years will usher trickled time becomes a gusher look your lover in the eye and say i love you then goodbye

    so since you’re not there yet, how about a little appreciation?

  2. Dream: Death in a Red Corvette

    My dead sister was driving the sports car.
    She sure looked different from when I saw her last
    She had all her color back; a wild blond frame about her face.
    The wind rolled all around us and she was doing at least 120 mph.

    She laughed and the wind sort of pulled her laugh back to us
    Where we sat in the back seat not sure how afraid to be.
    She always only had one good eye and was a little spacey
    And this being dead seemed to free her up to take more risks.

    It was a red convertible with white leather seats.
    The dashboard glowed with multicolored lights galore.
    Someone was drinking a coke now next to me.
    I started to not care if they spilled it on me.

    I saw a car go over our heads and we were rolling upside down
    She was still laughing and making signs that we should all just relax
    We were all in her hands and here she was already dead
    So what was there really to be afraid of?

    It was good to see her wild, young and free, laughing.
    Her death last winter had been more serious than a terrorist attack.
    There were few smiles or laughs at the wake and funeral
    She had been too young and the idea of cancer had swept us all away.

    I liked waking up thinking about this freed, wild young woman
    In the red Corvette, with the top down, doing 120 with one good eye.
    Screw all those hold-your-breath tests and biopsies.
    This was the way to die. I take it as a sign she’s happy where she is.

  3. Only with you

    You find it amusing
    That a rational career gal
    Actually watches sappy movies
    And even though I deny it
    You know that I am touched
    You know that I am sentimental
    You know so much about me

    You find it amusing
    That a cold logical person
    Actually tears at films and books
    And even though I deny it
    You know that words can easily touch me
    You know that songs can easily seduce me
    You know so much about me

    But did you know that I am so
    Because of you
    I am so
    Only with you?

    And you think you know
    So much.

  4. i heard a song
    just the other day
    that made me feel
    the other way
    the song had sound
    the song had meaning
    it captured my heart
    left it just a beating
    the drumbs were so compelling
    it made my feet thump
    my hands clap
    my soul rejoiced
    i began to laugh
    the song was so good
    it moved me so much
    i had to play it again
    to reach my soul
    so gospel has it

  5. Into thin air

    I met an angel once, I did,
    a’glow with warmth and heart.
    The clock and I stood still, enthralled,
    amidst the boisterous bustling crowd,
    adoring the celestial air that set him so apart.
    When the cherub shot me his dazzling smile
    it lit up the entire room,
    the skyline and the golden moon
    on that night-time urban isle.

    How can I be so sure, you ask,
    if angels are quite rare?
    My answer is that only one
    as kind and true and fair
    as he who set my cheeks alight,
    could disappear so suddenly,
    aided by the souls of kings,
    on gilded angel’s wings.

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