This poem is a collision of two poetry exercises and the minutiae of my daily life.

I got new glasses, and in the first few days they simultaneously made things clearer and sharper and enormously distorted shapes and perspective; I also wasn’t happy with how I looked in them.

As I paged though a book of prompts, I came across a photo I’d looked at before of a large prickly pear cactus. In the background was an ocotillo bush I’d never seen before, but the glasses helped me pick out. I jotted a few lines of description of the ocotillo, but nothing came of it until I crossed paths with another prompt that called for writing a syllabic poem. I counted, and all of the lines I’d written were within a syllable of one another. All that combined with thoughts about vision, distortion, clarity, and appearance and attractiveness to become this poem.


I put on the corrective lenses
That are reteaching my eyes to see
In the clichés of horror movies:
Looming trees, reaching branches, madness,
Distortion, reality dropping
Away at the frame’s perimeter.
Look: In the book of exercises
Is a photo, an ocotillo
Not yet in its blooms of lipstick red,
Twiggy, plain, thorny, uneventful,
The ugly duckling that will become
A flock of cardinals when it rains.


(photo: Wikipedia)


2 thoughts on “Revision

  1. I liked your poem, but also your own comments. I’m not sure what “prompts” are but that you describe your process for writing is interesting to me, since I am also exploring how to write and not just “to write.” Thanks.


    1. Thanks for the visit and the comment!

      Prompts are writing exercises that don’t take you through a long, detailed process, but simply issue a few instructions, or often only one. In this case the prompt was “Write a syllabic poem.” There was discussion of what that is, but no other instructions but that.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s