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Writing Prompts: A Song that Gets Stuck in your Head, Detente, Ode to a Smell [April 20, 2013]

April 20, 2013

I’ve been wanting to write for awhile now, and having so much trouble. It’s hard to know exactly what I want to say. I don’t know that there’s anything I necessarily need to get out right now, but there’s a lot I’ve wanted to talk about. Maybe that’s the difference. I talk myself out of writing unless I absolutely need to, and that’s a problem.

I’d been looking forward to getting together with the Olives today for weeks now. If there’s anything I miss about college, it’s spending a lot of time with these people just thinking and reading and writing and talking about literature. Literature is missing in my life right now in a profound way, and it’s hard to recapture that feel of working on a lit magazine and taking lit courses. How do you replicate that in your daily life?

Anyway, we all got together and did three prompts. Here they are:

Prompt # 2: A song that gets stuck in your head (this one was vaguely inspired by Selena Gomez’s pop hit “Love You Like A Love Song” which, whenever Spotify plays it, becomes my JAM. I will sing along to that ridiculous, art-less wench and LOVE it.)

I love you like a love song, baby

Like three minutes and fifty-two seconds

Of concentrated bliss

Over-produced saccharine sweetness

A crescendo, chorus, and bridge

Of longing

I love you like something cheap and disposable

No longer pressed


Into vinyl

Just left to the digital ether

Just floating into the public consciousness

One download at a time

Getting stuck in your head

On the tip of your tongue

Like a cut on the roof

Of your mouth

I love you like a love song, baby

Like something someone wrote with

Six other men

Designed for profit

Not prophecy

Engineered and auto-tuned

To within an inch of its life

I love you like a love song, baby

Nearing the end of its trial run

Running out of its 15 minutes

And fading, slowly, off the radio

Less and less plays each week

Ending up a one hit wonder

In a compilation of has-beens


Prompt #3: Detente/Relaxation of tensions


Cold war

Cold shoulder

Luke-warm glances

Brushing hands, knuckles, fists

Softly against each other

We’ve been locked in place

For what seems like so long

Fingers itching to pull the trigger

Guns half-cocked but unaimed

Waiting for someone

To fall



I’ve been waiting to hear your voice

On the phone

For you to break scene

Tell me you were kidding

You didn’t mean it

You’re back for the kill

And waiting to bite down

“I’m here to make you better”, I told him

Here to push you

Pull you

Screaming into the future

Give you a dose of reality

Of the hard truth

Waiting for you to meet me

Blow for blow

Because I’ve had enough of winning

Enough of shooting fish in a barrel

And I’m ready for my equal

Someone who matches my stride

As quick on the draw as I am

We’re fighting


We’re pulling our punches

Glancing off each other

Clashing enough to clang, softly

Send out sparks

But it’s all for show

Just an interlude before

We throw our weapons down

And tumble into bed

Into each other

Prolonging the bloodshed

By other means


Prompt #1: Ode to a Smell


I love lemon Pine Sol.

I do not love mopping, no.

I do not love the

Highly pressurized

Contents of a can that will


Lead to an even bigger hole

In the ozone layer.

But. God. Damn. Do I love

Lemon Pine Sol.

Fuck regular Pine Sol.

I have no time for Evergreen

Trees growing so far

From me

Give me some citrus!

Some sunshine on a cloudy day!

Throwing my windows open to

Clean the dishes, the floor, the walls

I will drench Everything! Everything!

Everything! In lemon Pine Sol.

Call it clean and then

Sit my ass down just to

Revel in the smell.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Karen permalink
    April 20, 2013 9:57 pm

    I enjoyed ode to a smell…I read it aloud, with feeling, to Jack, who just doesn’t get it like I do

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