For today’s prompt, write a doodle poem. In my mind, I’m thinking of how I like to doodle when I’m talking on the phone or sitting in a meeting. I used to doodle in my classes when I was younger. So for a poem, I’m thinking this could start off as something small that stays small or builds to epic proportions. Doodle around a bit today. If needed, start by describing something close at hand or within your current field of vision.
Today’s prompt was difficult for me. I think it’s because doodle is a rather abstract word. Yes, I can picture a page of doodles, but doodles themselves have little form or substance, no consistency but randomness. How the heck does one write a poem about doodling?
I began as I usually do, by mind-mapping. I failed and proceeded to writing out some paragraphs. I failed. But one never fails when doodling, when searching for inspiration or material in ones mind. Writing words and ideas triggers other words and ideas, and with persistence, ideas will take shape. I decided to write about this mysterious process. It ended up very doodley.
My Creative Process
There is a path, a snaky, windy, whiney path, but wines
and beers, and the spirits of the mind cannot guide it
Structure and form cannot contain, Yankee Doodle
is no Dandy, but a ball and chain
a weight, on
my pen drops the ideas
I Park her on, eau Claire fountain evanescence, pen pages
shaded, dotted blue moles
kin endlessly, demands
shaded output, makes more sense
than a manuscript, unscribbled and unfeathered
But it’s not going to happen
if I keep sipping the Brew’s early morning prompts
There are names worked into this poem (in Oulipo fashion?). Noodler’s Ink company is hinted; Clairefontaine paper; Moleskine paper; and Parker Pens. This is a big reason the poem is so scrambled.
Number two was written after a walk downtown. I walked past a man who was sitting on a bike and facing an aluminum framed bank sign. He was scratching it with a metal compass as if writing on it, as if doodling. I couldn’t resist. I didn’t title it.
I watched a man scratch a letter to Jesus, on an aluminum picture frame
A bank advertising salvation of our money
He used a metal compass with sharp edges
For gripping while being lost in the woods
Save this city, save the likes of me
It was an update on Einstein, relatively speaking
Nothing more than doodles, only he will ever read
I could tell by the way, his tongue hung over his lip
he was neither genius nor fool
Number three was written around late afternoon while pondering doodling. I asked why not write a poem as I doodle? So I began doodling. I chose short sentences and a form I recently discovered from We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks which I recently read in Poet’s Companion.
My doodles, over
Cheap paper, but
A good pen, writes
Simple phrases, when
The mind wanders, sideways
I can’t write off the edge, shift
The bottom of my page, always
Lots of room at the inn, for
Lost sheep, when
The stars are bright, lowing
Is not allowed in bus stops, honk
If you love Jesus, bark
Back at that chained dog, pet
At your peril, shoot
Only if you need to, fight
For what’s right, spit
In the dirt, hunt
Lost gold never, found
Under the cushion, bent
Are the supports, rusty
Are the springs, wayward
Is the mind, home
Is the end of the page
Each line has a caesura and each is also an enjambment. This forms a firm, repetitive, and obtuse rhythm. And because I am doodling, the poem rambles wherever the images took me. Writing on paper, Jesus in the inn, a bus stop, a chained dog, dirt, under a sofa cushion, supports and springs of something heavy, and back to the page. A typical doodling session. If one doodles with words.As I do.