Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NaPoWriMo #14 - #fail

What in the world is a Cleave Poem?


Nicole Nicholson has a big challenge for us on Day 14: Write a cleave poem. What’s a cleave poem, you ask? It’s three poems in one.

The whole idea works something like this (quoting the creator of the form, Dr. Phuoc-Tan Diep): “In its most basic form it is three poems: two parallel ‘vertical’ poems (left and right)…[with] a third ‘horizontal’ poem being the fusion of the vertical poems read together.” He goes on to say, “One of my aims was to examine how something can be more than the sum of its parts and can be 3 in 1: synergy, fusion, co-operation, dialectics, marriage, interdependence, teamwork and The Trinity.”

More info can be found at The Cleave (including samples) and at the “cleave” entry at

Happy writing! (Editor’s note: A good idea, for those who fear the cleave is too challenging: Try a short one or simply try a form you have never tried before.)
I know that I don't have any excuses here since I don't really have to follow the prompt if I don't want to. But that's the name of the game for me this year: follow the daily prompt. This time, the editor gave me an out and it was my choice not to take it. But exercises like these make me not ever want to write poems as exercises again. (ugh!)

This writing exercise felt like something between Mad Libs and the NY Times Sunday crossword puzzle. #fail

In a nearby village       the soldiers gather, hopeful to find food or water while

a young girl listens to   their hushed groans grow roots. A discarded shoe sits in

a jewelry box               the residue of life once joyful like a

tune, a little bird’s        delicate carcass whispering a

monologue, a              deathwish. Perhaps a

telegram announcing   something better than purgatory, hell with

a mother’s hopeful       prayer


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