From Blackout Poem Bit to Flash Fiction, 1

Lately, I’ve been yearning for a flash fiction prompt that does for storytelling what Poets United and the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads do for poetry. If my medical situation wasn’t as shaky as it currently is, I would’ve probably tried to bring a few short story writers together and start something. Alas, that’s not the case; however, keeping in mind that words help those who write them, I’ve decided to self-prompt… with your help, if you don’t mind too much, my Wicked Luvs. 😉

Those of you who follow me on Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter know that I’ve been birthing quite a bit of blackout poetry these last few weeks… about one Poem Bit a day. I’m enjoying the process. But often, I’m left with a deep desire to grab the spark of a blackout poem and expand its flame.

I’ve decided to collect each week’s blackout poetry, and publish it on Fridays. Why, you might wonder? Well, because I would like you to decide which of my Poem Bits should become a flash fiction tale (of 313 words or fewer).

Below, I’ve included the blackout poems I’ve created this week (in reverse chronological order); your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to leave a comment letting me know which of the Poem Bits you would like to see expanded. So: 1) Which poem you wish me to develop into a story? 2) *optional* Why?

On Sunday or  Monday, I will turn the Poem Bit with the most votes into a short tale.

“A Sickness”
Lying is a sickness,
to the spirit.
– blacked out from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind

“Eyes Full”
I see you,
eyes full of wonder
power and words—

– blacked out from Music and the Classroom Teacher

“Be Human”
Wreak havoc.
Fall in love.
Attack certainty.
Be human:

Challenge all assumptions.
– blacked out from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind

“Wrong” (One-Line Poetry)
A child taught to disparage will be mean… and wrong.
– blacked out from Music and the Classroom Teacher

For images of the listed Poem Bits… visit me on Instagram.

A Sickness, by Magaly Guerrero

Blackout Poetry and a Silver Whale Tail

I know… I’ve lied. I’m not back in New York City yet, and I’m blogging. But what can I say? There I was, rewriting a story that found its setting (and some characters) rewritten at the last minute, when my mind decided it needed a slight change of pace before writing on… just a minute or thirty.

The slight change of pace… If we don’t interact on Facebook or Instagram, then you might not know that I’m writing Blackout Poetry… again. I blacked out a few poems, some months ago—after my occupational therapist suggested that it would be a good idea to do something of the sort with my hands. But I had to stop (the Muse and I felt unethical about blacking words out of Isabel Allende’s City of the Beasts).

Then, the other day, my Mother-in-Law was going to donate one of her college books to the local library. The biding was lovely, the pages were lovely, and to birth poetry out of words in a book that might go out of circulation soon would be all kinds of awesome. Also, I love that the book had been put to use by someone I care about. I’ve been blacking out a poem every night before bed; great exercise for hand and mind.

“Speak Value”
Speak Value, by Magaly Guerrero
Speak Value,
or you’ll live exotic
to common-sense.
* from the intro page of Caring for Your Book, by Michael Dirda (1990)

The following trio comes from Music and the Classroom Teacher, by James L. Mursell (1951):

“Catch a Dirge”
Catch a Dirge, by Magaly Guerrero
Do catch me

a dirge,
a brightly colored jig
(lively music)–
a story.

Wonder, by Magaly Guerrero
Wonder much,

experience proof
and far-reaching possibilities;

be free.

“I saw music”
I Saw Music, by Magaly Guerrero
I saw music

(heads and bodies,
arms and hands)

I felt free
(gently and subtly)

So… there you have it, my Wicked Luvs… blacked out poetry by moi… an inundation of ellipses… and, of course, the promised Silver Whale Tail…
Whale Tail Sculpture