Broken Mansion

Thank you FPR for engaging us in a month of fascinating poetry born from your twisted prompts ! The last and final prompt #30 came from Doug Luman.

Write a poem using “phonewords” made from the letters found by translating a phone number which is significant to you. For example, if I were to use 1-800-Flowers’ phone number (356-9377, after the 1-800), the translation would give me a possible letter bank of def,jkl,mno,wxyz,pqrs—any words that use these letters are fair game for my poem. For example, using these letters on this flower text gives me the words which constitute the following poem:

Follow my eyes. See folds of seeds. Does old me know
elder words for joy, or lore from newer woods. See
woe. See Eden. See snowdrop. See poor me. See moon.

Handily, at http://www.appliedpoetics.org there’s a function for accomplishing this constraint. Navigate to “Numerology,” find “Phonewords” and proceed! But, before you do, note that this generator assumes a maximum of seven (7) digits, so there’ll be at least three letters you won’t be able to use.

Here’s what I came up with.

Source : Random text from mithilareview.com

The phone number used was 9426073496

Her home
a bare garden

a corner gardener

rooms of shadow

Smears of grey
on a drain corded by black

Dipping branches of her body
in the singing of a crow.


Metallurgy Of A Relationship


Image courtesy Wikipedia.

Beth Ayer’s prompt at FPR today (prompt #29) asked us to write a poem from a text source on a subject completely unfamiliar to us. In the spirit of heading into darkness after all things unseeable and obscure, write a poem using a text that could  be from quantum physics, thermodynamics, mathematics, aeronautical engineering – or something else altogether that to you speaks in incomprehensible language. Choose a text or texts and begin selecting words and phrases as they spark associations. Write a poem using the collected words and phrases. Let your imagination fire, and don’t worry about what these terms mean in their original context.

I chose a Brittanica text on smelting/metallurgy.


Metallurgy Of A Relationship

Smelting love from weary everyday ness
from the simple-compound ore of years of companionship
Sometimes heated beyond melting point
Sometimes bereft of air drafts
Furnaced by a coppery wisdom 5000 years old,

We must turn carbon to diamond
Disallow the gangue of indifference to creep in
Remember always the molten matte of our bond…
Remember, that amidst the slag-heaps
Precious silver has been separated from lead for many years now.

Source text: http://www.britannica.com/technology/smelting




A marvelous prompt today #28 by Jenni Baker, founder editor of FPR. I loved it! Who wouldn’t like to hear what their poem sounds like as music! Thank you for an amazing, creatively engaging and elegant prompt Jenni! Merci beaucoup!

I used a book titled The Fraud Of Feminism by Earnest Belfort  Bax from Project Gutenberg. I just plodded on through all the steps because I couldn’t wait to get to the music part. Here’s the poem and the link to the music at the end:


A buzzard craving body, blood and bones –
a community.

A barest corpuscle convulsing
becomes a crime.

Deprecating emotions, depraving ephemeral
evil excludes goodness.

Dock experience elsewhere
Ensure endeavors are blessed

Feeble femininity baselessly flogged
Fathers cry for daughters born.

Girls don’t be frail, Grind –  a gift always
For growing, for goodness, for greater good.



A 1 beat quarter note, b 2 beats half note, c 2 beats half note, b 2 beats half note, b 1 beat quarter note,  a 1 beat quarter note, b 1 a beat quarter note, c 4 beats whole note.

A 1 beat quarter note, b 2 beats half note, c 3 beats dotted half note, c 3 beats dotted half note, b 2 beats half note, a 1 beat quarter note, c 1 beat quarter note.

D 4 beats whole note, e 3 beats dotted half note, d 3 beats dotted half note, e 4 beats full note, e 2 beats half note, e 2 beats half note, g 2 beats half note.

D 1 beat quarter note,e  4 beats whole note, e  2 beats half note, e e 2 beats half note, e 3 beats dotted half note, a 1 beat quarter note, b 1 beat quarter note.

F 2 beats half note, f  5 beats whole note, b 3 beats dotted half note, f 1 beat quarter note, f 2 beats half note, c 1 beat quarter note, f 1 beat quarter note, d 2 beats half note,  b 1 beat quarter note.

G 1 beat quarter note, d 1 beat quarter note, b 1 beat quarter note, f 1 beat quarter note, g  1 beat quarter note, a 1 beat quarter note, g 1 beat quarter note, a 2 beats half note, f 1 beat quarter note,f  2 beats half note, f 1 beat quarter note, g 2 beats half note, g 1 beat quarter note, g 2 beats half note, g 1 beat quarter note.




Skeptic DNA


Prompt 27 by Greg Santos gave us a choice of four techniques to write our poem. The four prompts were:

Dialogue with Ghosts
Find an audio recording of a dead poet or musician. Play the recording. Start writing words that jump in your head, lines of your own. Write a 10-14 line poem using the words you jotted down, either in response to the original poem/song or a completely new piece.

Reverse Poem
Find a draft of a poem you’ve already written. Rewrite your new poem backwards, writing the last stanza first and so on. The new order might reveal something new and exciting.

Table of Contents Poem
Use the table of contents of any book to find each line for your found poem.

Online Erasure Poem
Go to Wave Books’ Erasures website to find online source texts, with excerpts ranging from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick to The Voyage Out by Virginia Wolf. The cool website lets you click on any word or punctuation mark to make it disappear. You can save, print, or email the newly sculpted text when you’re done.

I’ve chosen to use the reversal technique for now:
I’m having fun with silence
And with the chimerism in my soul
I know I can fold the paper of my body
if I try

The reader in my fingertips
tells me that I’ve turned gaunt with missing
emancipated with longing
and that the warmth under my skin is coming unstitched

The heart I saw in your eyes
The mouth I saw in your words
was the house of original sins
It knew the futility of endings.

I’m addicted to beginnings
It keeps me afloat
I am many individuals
I hope one will fit the moment

My DNA is a skeptic.




this is the original poem written three years ago:


My DNA is a skeptic
It gives me many individuals
Hoping one will fit the moment
Help me float
It keeps me addicted to beginnings
Knowing the futility of ends
It houses original sins
Draws my eyes to the lips in your words
To the heart in your eyes
It puts a reader in my fingertips
That tells me that the warmth stitched under your skin
Is gaunt with missing, emaciated with longing
Tells me that if I try, I can fold the papers of my body
Into an origami canoe, row over to faraway shores
Have fun with silence and the chimerism in my soul




Doing Venture

Prompt 25 by Nancy Chang Long went like this:-

Find a poem in its original language. You can use Google for this. For example, entering the phrase “poems in french” into Google brings up the two links below, each of which show poems in their original French. (One of them also shows poems in Vietnamese as well). However, both links also show a translation into English—don’t read the translations!
If this is your first homophonic interpretation, then a selecting a shorter poem is probably better.
Sound out the poem and “translate” it based on what you hear. A couple of methods you can use to sound out the poem are:
To sound out the poem aloud by yourself. This might be doable if the alphabet being used is something you can sort-of recognize.
And/or use Google Translate (https://translate.google.com/ ): Paste in a line or phrase or word of the poem in its original language. Select the language to be translated if Google doesn’t recognize it. Once the language has been detected, a little speaker icon should appear below the text you pasted in. Click the speaker icon and Google voice will read what you entered back to you.
Of course, your translation won’t be exact—getting words anywhere near the ballpark of what you think you hear is good.

I had a blast doing this homophonic poem ( Vietnamese to English ) and of course came up with utter nonsense. Sharing the fun that I had here and also posting the original poem:

Những Kẻ Xa Nhau
Đừng viết nữa! Em buồn, em muốn chết
Hè đẹp xinh, anh vắng, chỉ đêm đen
Vòng tay em quàng lại chằng tới anh,
Tay đấm ngực, như đấm mồ hoang lạnh
Đừng viết nữa!

Đừng viết nữa! Biết rằng cho đến chết
Ôi, hỡi Trời… hỡi anh biết, em yêu!
Dù vắng anh, em vẫn hiểu anh yêu
Như cảm thấy trời cao chưa vói tới
Đừng viết nữa!

Đừng viết nữa! Em sợ trong tiềm thức
Giọng nói quen anh vẫn gọi tên em
Suối nguồn kia đâu uống được hở anh!
Cho nét chữ thành dáng người sống động
Đừng viết nữa!

Đừng viết lời ngọt ngào không dám đọc
Như tiếng anh vương vãi khắp tim em
Lời anh như lửa bỏng, nụ cười êm
Chiếc hôn đó đốt hằn tim em cháy
Đừng viết nữa!

Traduit par Lý Lãng Nhân
Madison, AL, 2 juillet, 2007



Thank you now
Doing venture with rainbows
Made up the arc meridian
What they quite like to change and
Damn now your dam go home now
Doing venture

Doing venture beer drunk shouldn’t chat
Oh ho trio, can bet am you
You come they trio ciao true of toy
Doing venture

Doing venture am so strong them truck
Going no queen and can go ten them
So go care young duck go write song dong
Doing venture

Doing with alloy got Kong damn doc
New tang ah wrong why captain
Loy and new Lurabong new curio
Chic home dot hard time am check
Doing venture




Suffocating Ashes

Travis McDonald gave us prompt #20 and God, I’ve never worked so hard before to build a word bank. To describe the process briefly, we were asked to compile ten pages of text and then delete all words that appeared more than once. Then we had to use the remaining words to build our poem. Here’s what I’ve got to show for my labor! 🙂


A personal world full of freedom

and isolation to overcome the mental noise.

A medallion soap of clear-curtain light, a washcloth of betrayals

propped on the tub’s edge, leaving the bare branches of arms tingling

An inverse view of birds, like an x-Ray

so that every black line, every atom tells a story of suffocation

Silence a broken link of duration

addressing messages of shadows and suffering

And oppressors with changed masks

showing that there is no end to greed

These are the Sufi ashes of human shudders

disappearing into the waning blue of our souls.



Moving Bricks

Prompt #19 by Michael Leong asked us to fiddle around with existing texts in a manner that made them speak to us differently. He said that when we spoke  of “translation” we usually referred to the process of turning a text that was written in one language into another language. But if one thought about translation more broadly, one could imagine a diverse range of experimental processes that could spark new writing. All one needed was  to find a source text and invent a method of transforming, altering, or changing it. For my poem, I used two paras of text from Inside Degrees by Ellias Lonsdale and came up with this:


Moving Bricks
A love so deep
so formidable
In every breath

It leaves the adversary
cradling something essential –
the intent ingrained in cosmic designs

Being here, doing what you need to do
in your filament of inner Light
the old mind fells great oak trees of time with a golden knife

This self mastery
included in the consummation of lifetimes
is destiny’s drama – the tireless pursuit of knowing perfection

Often overall quiet,
we are moving
all the bricks

Sliding simple and straight
in poignant and moving spirit
building a circle of neat houses

Mapping out a blueprint
designing a Great Escape
the route of which is Perfect

Integral things loved and accepted
a strange bargain;
knowing the inner sap of all the trees in the world.



Luminous Sores

Prompt #18 given by Amaranth Borsuk gave us three exciting and amazing tools to play around with text and reinvent poetry. For now I’ve used only the Abra app but I fully intend to use the other two and write more poems with those. That said, im not sure if I’ve explored the Abra app adequately…but for starters , this is what I came up with.

We shed paper shredded scars against the weather
Against ice
To flaunt our delicate remains
To drape in crepe
A fetish lattice of sheer, sheathed sucked sin skin veins
A prick seam of open sores
Bloody rarities
A stripped self
Whipping off eggshell veils
Lisping a disjunct entity
Inward sprinkles of gooey extras
Priggish in a carnival world of lust
Pillage, spillage on earth’s plain pudge
Rainbowords d r i b b l e daintily from sky’s open snout
As crystal lips commence sweet talking.


The Solid Lines Of Disappearing Things

Jeff Griffin’s awesome prompt at FPR today inspired this poem. I’m afraid I had to skip the last three prompts but I’m so glad to be tackling today’s prompt #17


The air, the tree house
that once knew love is now weak in the knees
and in the time it took those moments to become page weary
to turn from solid lines of tree trunks to smoke

A world fell.

Somewhere in the twilight age
the shaved head of jasmines ride the desire
to bloom on wet branches of August
but they have lost touch with themselves

We cannot become ourselves again.

You and Varanasi
where human heads sink when alive and float when dead,
where seemingly harsh, bladder-bright yellow crystals gleam,
are disappearing thoughts

A male world is full of dirty jokes.

Hospitals do not care
children continue to laugh off mestizos
and we do not know EVER if we want to laugh or cry
but Swifts come every day

Watching the middle-aged man finely tune his deck of life.