Tonight, at the monthly poetry group we drew two scraps of paper from two plastic bags. Each scrap had a line from a poem typed on it– from one bag we had a line we had to use to begin a poem, and from the other bag we had a line to use somewhere within the poem as long as it wasn’t within the last three lines. At first I didn’t like what I created, but it has been growing on me. I think I’ll tuck it away for a week and work on a revision. Here’s first draft:
-No Title as of yet–
I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
the way slice bread is famous,
the way a tire iron is famous,
the way a paper clip is famous—
not the way that lands Brad Pitt in People,
not the way that lands OJ a book deal,
not the way that makes Sharon Tate famous.
I want to be famous, like Wonder Woman,
a normal woman until she spins
into a skimpy American flag outfit
using a lasso to get the truth,
bracelets to stop bullets,
but at the end of the day she takes off her glasses
to rest her head on a pillow in her middle class home.
I want to be famous like the locations of fieldtrips;
then add up all the zoos and aquariums–
add all the pitter-patters of feet,
the “no you can’t feed the ape,”
“no you can’t feed the elephant,”
“no you can’t feed any of the animals.”
I want to be famous,
like the columns of the Lincoln Memorial,
which you walk through to see Abe.
~ Dustin Brookshire, 3/15/07
First line, “I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous…” is from Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Famous.” The second line I drew was “then add up all the zoos and aquariums,” which is from Billy Collins’s “Insomnia.”
We’ve been going strong for about six months; it has been exciting. We might have something special going on for National Poetry Month, which is next month!