The Art of the Very Short Poem: Riddle poems

This week I took a class at the Lighthouse about writing very short poems. I am a fan of twitter poems, so my hope was to learn a few things. I did. It was a great class. We talked briefly about riddle poems, poems that describe an object or present it in metaphor. My riddle poem isn’t that hard to figure out, but I like the way it sounds. Leave your guess in a comment. Here it is:

This morning it was a mess,
but with a blur of innovation
it whirred into a helicopter.
For now. And tomorrow–
a tractor, a transformer, a skyscraper,
a whim from the fast fingers
of a child.

The Art of the Very Short Poem

I recently took a class on very short poetry at the Lighthouse Lit Fest. One of the prompts Lynn Wagner had us do was to highlight words from longer poems to create our own very short poem. Fun exercise. I’m not normally a fan of found poetry, but this one turned out okay. I chose to use Emily Dickinson’s 788. Dickinson’s words are in gray, and I’ve highlighted my choices. I’ll post a few more later this week. Enjoy!

Publication – is the Auction
Of the Mind of Man –
Poverty – be justifying
For so foul a thing
Possibly – but We – would rather
From Our Garret go
White – unto the White Creator –
Than invest – Our Snow –
Thought belong to Him who gave it –
Then – to Him Who bear
It’s Corporeal illustration – sell
The Royal Air –
In the Parcel – Be the Merchant
Of the Heavenly Grace
But reduce no Human Spirit
To Disgrace of Price –

The Teacher Poet: A (very) Short Tanka Series

The gurus at Tweetspeak Poetry have issued the challenge of writing a resume as a poem. So here’s my resume, in case anybody is hiring:

The Teacher Poet by Joel E. Jacobson

(1)
high school student
interprets literary classics
incorrectly–
said English teachers
I loved to hate

(2)
knowing little
about myself or careers,
the college plan
changed and changed and changed,
rough drafts to discover purpose

(3)
desert wanderer
working as a corporate trainer–
a teaching mirage?
Shouldn’t drinking be a symbol
for knowledge and a full life?

(4)
English teacher
responsible for classics
he read in his youth;
these graduates’ embrace
years later, understanding

Kindle Book on Sale!

To celebrate National Poetry Month, my chapbook, “Water the Mud (Kindle Version)” is on sale for $0.99! (I tried to make it free but the system would have nothing to do with that…sorry! I tried!) Search for “Water the Mud” on your Kindle (or Kindle App) or click here. The sale is good for the month of April. Tell your friends!

Thanks for supporting your local poet!

Blindsided: Writing Prompt from TSP

Every Day Poems posted this photograph as a prompt on their facebook page.

Blindsided
by Joel E. Jacobson

It’s when I’m already running late
that I hit every light red,
that I get stuck behind
the only guy in the state
whose 10-under-the-speed-limit-
bumper-sticker message to me
is that I need to celebrate world peas,
Darwin fish eats Jesus fish,
I should wish for coexistence–

by the way
that irony
is not funny
to me
today–

My one, true desire
is for you to get a flat tire,
pull over, and suffer
for your rush-hour sins
of being a hindrance.

Full of haste, I jerk the wheel
to fly around the hippy imbecile
when I hear the honk and squeal
and swerve back into my place in line.

My heart pounds like my mind did
moments before being blindsided
by the slap of flapping wings
in the face of judgement.

Now Available: Water the Mud

Water the Mud: poems by Joel E. JacobsonI’m pleased to announce that “Water the Mud”, a chapbook of 11 poems exploring grace and compassion, is now available for purchase. These poems first took form this past summer when I collaborated with artist Nicole Brown to respond to a series of sermons about Jesus, the stories he told, and the people he interacted with. “Water the Mud” is available here. If you would like free shipping, you can purchase a copy of the book through Amazon or download it straight to your Kindle.

As a side note, this chapbook is not copyrighted, but rather it is released under a Creative Commons license, which means you, the reader, have the freedom to use these poems to inspire your own creative work, whether it be musical, visual, or another poem. The only requirement is to credit the original author. Isn’t that what art is about–sharing and creating rather than hording?

Fantine: A Poem

Fantine
by Joel E. Jacobson

When Fantine falls
into the snow, incapable
of making herself
worthy of even the poorest
men, we pity her,
beg her not to sell
her teeth; then
we practically
kiss the feet
of Val Jean
when he swoops in
and snatches her
from the claws
of Javert.

When the harlot
falls before Jesus,
wipes away
the city muck
with her face,
we’ve already
judged and locked
her out–
and we already know
that Jesus
will forgive her
if we’ve been
reading along.

What we don’t know,
sitting at the dinner table
in awkward, interrupted
silence, is the aroma
of forgiveness, wafting
about her empty,
alabaster jar.

___

This is the final installment of the Storytellers project. Keep your eye out for the chapbook this fall!