Monday, April 30, 2012

WordParty Poetry Challenge - Day 30 - Work Poem

Day 30
by Ingrid
Work Poem

Sadly, today is the last day of April, which means this is the last prompt I will be posting for National Poetry Month. I hope you have enjoyed the challenge and encourage you to send your poems to

I also hope that you will come to the WordParty on May 15th and read some of what you wrote during the challenge.

Let’s face it: writing poetry is hard work. Revising that darn poem for the 23rd time, trying to find the right word, sound, rhythm, meaning, yes it can be challenging. But as poets know, the unnamable mystery, beauty, and magic that a poem can offer is so worth the work.  

So, for this last prompt, write a “work” poem. Take it however you like: don’t have a job but want one, did have a job but lost one, have a job but hate or love it. Write about how you avoid work, or how you are always late to work, or someone at work you admire or dislike.

With Love and Poetry,


by Bernadette Mayer
why am i doing this? Failure
to keep my work in order so as
to be able to find things
to paint the house
to earn enough money to live on
to reorganize the house so as
to be able to paint the house &
to be able to find things and
earn enough money so as
to be able to put books together
to publish works and books
to have time
to answer mail & phone calls
to wash the windows
to make the kitchen better to work in
to have the money to buy a simple radio
to listen to while working in the kitchen
to know enough to do grownups work in the world
to transcend my attitude
to an enforced poverty
to be able to expect my checks
to arrive on time in the mail
to not always expect that they will not
to forget my mother's attitudes on humility or
to continue
to assume them without suffering
to forget how my mother taunted my father
about money, my sister about i cant say it
failure to forget mother and father enough
to be older, to forget them
to forget my obsessive uncle
to remember them some other way
to remember their bigotry accurately
to cease to dream about lions which always is
to dream about them, I put my hand in the lion's mouth
to assuage its anger, this is not a failure
to notice that's how they were; failure
to repot the plants
to be neat
to create & maintain clear surfaces
to let a couch or a chair be a place for sitting down
and not a table
to let a table be a place for eating & not a desk
to listen to more popular music
to learn the lyrics
to not need money so as
to be able to write all the time
to not have to pay rent, con ed or telephone bills
to forget parents' and uncle's early deaths so as
to be free of expecting care; failure
to love objects
to find them valuable in any way; failure
to preserve objects
to buy them and
to now let them fall by the wayside; failure
to think of poems as objects
to think of the body as an object; failure
to believe; failure
to know nothing; failure
to know everything; failure
to remember how to spell failure; failure
to believe the dictionary & that there is anything
to teach; failure
to teach properly; failure
to believe in teaching
to just think that everybody knows everything
which is not my failure; I know everyone does; failure
to see not everyone believes this knowing and
to think we cannot last till the success of knowing
to wash all the dishes only takes ten minutes
to write a thousand poems in an hour
to do an epic, open the unwashed window
to let in you know who and
to spirit thoughts and poems away from concerns
to just let us know, we will
to paint your ceilings & walls for free