Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Multiple Choice Love Poem
(with 1024 Possibilities)

Today was full of
a)   low lying clouds
b)   jazz tunes played by silver saxophones
c)    desperate rain
d)   sailing ships in full rig

and my heart returns to you,
a)   flying kites on 90 mile beach
b)   painting my toenails purple
c)    slicing the ends off my sentences
d)   walking through the clouds

to tell me
a)   the train timetable in Spanish.
b)   how to make sushi.
c)    how each glitter means yes.
d)   to tango with the tea towels.

How could I refuse your invitation
a)   to walk my fingers with yours on that map of Paris
b)   to fold origami tigers at midnight
c)    to eat decadence from a sundae glass
d)   to write manifestoes from last year’s birthday cards

when you are to me
a)   the equation I never understood?
b)   a year of summer haiku?
c)    a shot of vodka in the spinning dark?
d)   a moody picnic complete with rain?

Today was full of
a)   urgent travel plans to other hearts
b)   flamenco dancers stripping in the mall
c)    jigsaws with missing pieces
d)   French horns blaring out of breath

and missing you. 

Catherine Bateson, c. 2003.

I wrote this as an example of an exercise I set during a writer-in-schools residency I did about ten years ago. I still love the idea of creating an almost d.i.y poem! So, if you want to do your own, decide on a theme and start writing! I had a maths teacher at the school work out the possibilities for me, so if you stick to this format, you'll create a poem with 1024 possibilities, too. Good luck!

When you've written your own poem, hop over to the Tuesday poem blog and have a look at what's on offer there - I'm saying there'll be a 1024 poems, but there is a great selection. The feature poem this week is a cautionary prose poem by Australian Hal Judge, chosen by this week's editor, P. S. Cottier. In a way, 'Someone forgot to tell the fish' is akin to a multiple choice poem. It also raises writing possibilities. Write a poem 'Someone remembered to tell the fish'....Have a poem-filled week.  

Apologies to everyone for inadvertently publishing this on the hub - mea culpa. Many thanks to Penelope for picking it up so quickly!


Penelope said...

I like this; it's a little like a psychiatrist's test to see which options one picks!

Ben Hur said...

Funny, I started a poem in much the same fashion many years ago, but it's still an unfinished draft. I guess we get use to multi-choice tests etc. and we think why not a multi-choice poem. I love it.

So have a Happy World Poetry Day.

Andrew Bell

Ben Hur said...

Hi Catherine,

Happy World Poetry Day.

Andrew Bell