Terry Wolverton produced the following fevered writing based on four prompts provided by this month’s collaborating poet, Angela Peñaredondo.
There he was, sheepish and handsome on the elevated platform.
He was the latest to achieve sainthood. He had beat out several others for the honor and now he was ready to be ascended. There was a huge crowd gathered below and they were all taking pictures with their cell phones. He waved to them, a little nervously. It was only now starting to occur to him that he was actually going to be catapulted into space, and there was no coming back. He suddenly remembered about human sacrifice—wasn’t that supposed to be an ancient rite, not done anymore?
Secrets of the Velvet Worm Slime.
People think my talents are natural and god-given. They don’t know how hard a woman has to work to cultivate these kinds of gifts. If I told you my secrets, I’d have to kill you, because not everyone can handle this kind of truth. I didn’t learn it from my mother, that’s for sure. An old Romany woman took me under her wing when I was small. She saw something in me, she said, that shouldn’t go to waste. It was hard to breathe in the fumes of her garlic breath, but it was worth it in the long run.
A Garden & Honey Dos.
The garden is an endless taskmistress, relentless in her needs. She will devour your sunlit days and still she needs more. There is always a weedy corner to rebuke you, a tree in need of pruning to shame you. There is always an invasion of insects to make you feel powerless. Bees come and buzz among the blooms, but they too are insatiable, always in need of fresh blossoms. They keep their honey elsewhere, no reward for you, only sweat equity and a sense of failure.
Dis-Assembly lines: gestures, situations and surveillances.
The women are being taken apart, their legs unscrewed from their hips, arms detached from their shoulders, breasts lopped off and put into jars for safe-keeping. The factory is busy; it now runs around the clock, enough work to occupy three shifts. The heat of the furnaces makes me sweat and at midnight, the line speeds up and they ask us to work faster. The foreman always watches, alert for any signs of resistance. The women must be disassembled and if we won’t do it, he’ll find a scab who will.
Readers are encouraged to write your own poems inspired by the prompts or the fevered writing and post them to comments. The best poem we receive this month will be awarded a $25 prize.