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Poem-a-day Challenge: Day 1

13 October 2010

The lovely ladies at Big Tent Poetry have challenged us to write a poem a day for seven days on the subject “new to you.” They described this to mean getting our inspiration from a poet or poem that is new to us, so today my poem was inspired by the lines “If this were a novel, / it would begin with a character” from Billy Collins’ poem “The Great American Poem.”

If this were a novel,
it would begin with a character
sipping soy flat white at Gino’s cafe
on South Terrace, Fremantle.

She’d be writing in a black notebook,
trying to ignore the babies ga-ga-ing
back and forth from the tables
on either side of her.

If this were a novel,
she’d be writing the middle section
first. She’d think she knew where
her characters were headed, but they would
surprise her in the last three pages.

If this were a novel,
a tall white man in dreadlocks
and a cowboy hat would be making eyes
at her from across the street.
He’d be gay, and just looking for a friend.
They’d become lovers anyway.

If this were a novel,
a fly would keep landing on her earlobe
and she’d keep brushing it off.
The chattering babies would leave
with their parents, the characters in her novel
would surprise even themselves,
and the gay dreadlocked cowboy would fall
in love with her best male friend, leaving her
back where she started, sipping soy flat white
at Gino’s cafe, writing.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. 13 October 2010 19:27

    Great repetition and rhythm. I wanted to stay across the room and watch her for a long time.

  2. 14 October 2010 00:47

    Wow, Mallery! This turned out great. I love the way it cycles back to the beginning.

  3. 14 October 2010 00:48

    Hi, mallery! Welcome to the gong.

    This piece has a great, fun spirit. Love it. 🙂

  4. 14 October 2010 08:11

    loved reading the story you told.. it has a great flow that keeps one interested and the twist was great… day 1 free fall

  5. 15 October 2010 21:08

    Mallery, Bravo: I think you have written a novel – the best kind.

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