5 minute madness — a National Poetry Month post

I’ve told you before that my critique group plays a little five minute game every so often called Crap on Paper, or more commonly known as COP. Set the timer. You have five minutes to draft a poem on the topic of the day. Topics can be generated by choosing the first thing that comes to your mind, by opening a book and pointing to a word, or by randomly dialing a telephone number and asking the person who answers for a suggestion. Sometimes that last one doesn’t go over so well.

Today’s COP topic was chosen using the book option. (Randomly pulled Susan Taylor Brown’s HUGGING THE ROCK off my newly organized bookshelf, randomly opened to page 113 and pointed to the word “pictures”.) Five minutes starts now:

School Pictures

No matter how much
I plan for this day,
my hair always ends up
in wild disarray.
My shirt’s always stained
with that afternoon’s lunch.
My smile’s always crooked.
My back’s always hunched.
It looks like on purpose
I tried for my worst.
It’s always this way.
I think that I’m cursed.

So, there you have it. Not exactly the best poem you’ve ever read. But if you look, you’ll find a couple of places I can make better word choices or rephrase to make the meter a little smoother. Especially that next to last line.

Five minute poems aren’t about perfection. It’s the fastest way to get a quick draft down on paper without ANY pressure. You can always revise after the five minutes are up!

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10 thoughts on “5 minute madness — a National Poetry Month post

  1. Yes, amazing that you did that in 5 minutes. Wow, your 5 minute poems and Laura Salas and 15 words or less, great brain jumpers.

    And I’m tickled you pulled my book off the shelf. 🙂

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