Saturday, November 23, 2019

Tobi Alfier - Happy Almost Thanksgiving


Whether you’re cooking, traveling, or expecting company, my guess is you’re gonna be pretty busy this coming week. We’ll save “Growing Your Writing” for next week and just do something fun.

Thanksgiving/ Holiday Prompt:

Write anything: either a prose poem, a free-verse or form poem, or a short piece of fiction from the viewpoint of an orchestra.

Let the cook be the conductor and see where the prompt takes you.

            Maybe all the different dishes are the instruments

            Or the pieces of each table setting are the instruments

            The empty chairs might be a theater waiting for the audience to arrive

            Maybe the different dishes are the audience

            Or the guests are the audience. Describe them

            Describe the musicians. Maybe they are the different dishes

            Is there wine? Maybe the wine is the conductor’s baton

            Is it buffet or sit down?  What is the buffet line, guests or food?

from wikipedia
If you can, see the cook greeting everyone in the kitchen, wearing a white apron and holding a ladle in one hand as she directs them to pour a glass of wine, or

carving a turkey with a knife/baton as long as a tree limb, the slices falling off silent and even as the anticipation builds up, guests being directed to tables dressed with fresh flowers and chafing dishes, or

the violins of roasted asparagus tuning up with the flutes of snap peas, the twinkle of triangle bubbles, the percussion of stuffing overlaid by the horns calling the traditional dishes to sound out the key of C.

If not, what can you see? 

The beginning of October I wrote about Odes, and quickly riffed an Ode to Mashed Potatoes:


Think about the silky smoothness of them on your tongue,
the way you can make a well for the gravy
and it’s a reservoir just for you and your spoon.

How they’re like the desert clouds softly floating by
out the window, a bed
with the softest flannel sheets caressing your palate

as you dream of turkey and stuffing,
cranberry sauce five ways,
and the matching pumpkin pie—

softness waiting just for you—
before you grab your sleeping bag,
go out on the porch to watch for falling stars.

If something like that works for you, write that. 

Write it before the holiday or after the holiday.

Take notes during the dinner if you want (but please don’t write on anyone’s cloth napkins…grab a notepad from next to the phone). If you write anything you'd like to share, PLEASE add it to the comments! I'd love to see what you came up with!

Be thinking about it, have a wonderful dinner, drive safely, use potholders if you’re cooking, and remember that the next day, a turkey sandwich on egg bread, with mayonnaise, lettuce, and a pinch of salt is the next best thing to heaven!!!! xo


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Tobi Alfier's most recent collection of poetry is Slices Of Alice. She is also co-editor with Jeff Alfier of the San Pedro River Review. Don't miss Tobi's columns on the craft of poetry: insert your email address in the "Follow By Email" box to the right of this article and you'll be notified every time a new article appears.


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