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I have been writing to prompts quite a bit over the last year and a half, usually at an event I sort of host at our library on Wednesday nights. Word has spread, and we now have a regular attendance of eight to thirteen. Sometimes I write poetry but usually I write short scenes.

Lately I find myself writing to prompts from my readings. I read actively. I write down whatever triggers something in me. I sometimes analyze verb usage. And I make notes of interesting prose. The other day I found myself contemplating Paul Simon’s lyric “slip sliding away.”

“Why do the words slip and slide go together so well?” I thought. Is it because they mean the same thing and reinforce each other or is there something lyrical about them paired together. Uh oh, poem alert. I began writing down all the words I could think of that rhymed with slip and slide. Interestingly I came up with 19 for each. I intended to write a poem then and there, but I hit a wall. Or the second half of a playoff football game. I set my notepad down.

Yesterday I saw it sitting next to my chair, so I picked it up. I read a few words, put it down, and did something else, nap after a long day at school. Two lines ran through my head, and I knew I had the start of a poem. But I slept hard. When I woke, I had no recollection of ever wanting to write a poem. So I wandered around the house aimlessly — dinner, talk with wife, put wood on the fire, FaceBook. Important stuff.

Then I saw my notes. The concept of a poem remained, but the words weren’t there. I took the notes to my computer, sat, and began writing. Five minutes later I had a poem. I don’t know if I am happy with it. It feels dark and is rife with sexual innuendo. I don’t think the words make complete sense. Maybe someday when I know what I am doing I will revisit it.

I slip upon your surface
We have nowhere to hide
The grip of life binds us
Our fate is not denied.

I sip your tribulation
A feast upon my bride
I dip into salvation
The future opens wide

Your hip, it quivers
As you lay there on your side.
Your lip, it shivers
Something in us died.

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