Welcome to the first edition of Poetry Poker, our new weekly feature where someone, usually one of our staff or writers, plays Poetry Poker first, and you get to play along the comments.
Not familiar with Poetry Poker? Read our post that explains how it works and what the rules are. A simple overview is this:
The author is dealt five cards. They must create a poem using those five words. They can change the form of the word to fit the poem, like swim to swimming, but cannot change the word itself, like night to knight. No cards or words can be discarded or traded.
Okay, so here goes! Today’s five words are: Prize, Thrill, Joints, Freaks, and Recreation. Below is today’s poem. Create your own in the comments, or send it to us at [email protected]
The cars line up at the starting line, engines revving.
There are lookouts, just in case the cops or someone else
gets wind of the fact that there is a race going on.
Some come race for the thrill, others for the prize.
That’s not why he is here. He’s not looking for cheap
recreation or the recognition of these few
so clueless in their young lives. He is here because
he cannot begin to think of being somewhere else.
The humidity here is not his friend. His joints ache, his
knuckles pop as he reaches for the shifter.
His hip throbs as he presses in the clutch, his ankle
aches as he pumps the throttle and the engine roars.
They call him many things. The old man, over the hill.
But they rarely say anything bad about his car.
The insults are more like terms of endearment
said as they look at him with sad faces.
This will be his last race. The doctor says he can’t
do it anymore, and he knows, running his hand
over his bald head, that it is true. He doesn’t tell
the other racers. They don’t need to know.
Everyone freaks out when they hear the word
cancer. So he doesn’t say it aloud. Looking through
the windshield, he sees the flag raised.
Suddenly he is dizzy, his vision blurs.
He hears the words, though. “Driver ready?”
He cannot answer. They come again.
“Driver? Driver?” Blurry vision becomes darkness.
From far away, he hears one last faint word:
This is our attempt. How about yours?
Would you like to be a guest poet on Unbound Northwest Poetry Poker? Send us an inquiry at [email protected]
Repose, decked in robes of crimson
Beckons the mindless eye
Dreams poised on the edge of reality
Sequestered, waiting, in the untested Joint
Sweeping askew, obscurant Freaks
Poised each, a particular Thrill
Prize of proportions, hope and hate
Odds without end
Sequestered ages, each to our own
Scream frustrations from liberation
A Recreation of meaningless things
For all to haplessly play in….
Great job! Thanks for playing along!
the house where doom abides
There is a house not far
It never is
Grown over with thorns and thistles
Time has lent a clever hand
To paint hopelessness on sodden boards
Where rusty nails embrace prickly things
Holding eternity at bay
She lived there
Amid the dust and rust
Patient in her hope
Steadfast in her desire
Wonton in her longing
Only yesterday she spoke forth
A beckoning finger of temptation
Joints swollen to toil
And lured me from my dreams
Her eyes betrayed my prize
My lungs stole my breath
Held fast her time slowed
To crawl and grovel at her feet
Boney knobs whose treasure
A trove of thrills to thrill my yearning
Bade me kiss my obeisance
Foul taste made more the sweeter
I prize my desire more
Her yard is littered
With history in branches swung low
Warped, gnarled from weights of hate
Where recreation was blood
And a prize torn from flesh
As freaks masqueraded as human beings
Amid beguiling laughter
Faint shadows bent low
As only history tells it
Her finger beckons to recount the tale
Of horror lent from this house
A place of doom
Made more so
By the lie to refute it
She beckons her tale
And swept away
I live it so…
Great job! Thanks for playing!