Pull-Apart Poem Prompt (Contest!)

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In honor of the new year, I offer a twist on the usual week's worth of writing prompts.

Instead, here's a poem written by yours truly. I'd love to see you pull out a line or two to use as inspiration for a poem or story of your own. Or, if you feel moved to post a response--in poetry or prose--to the entire piece, please do!

Pot Sweetener: I'll choose a couple of favorites for $25 Amazon gift cards! So, put on your inspiration caps and get cracking! Contest entry deadline is extended to January 10, 2014!

Looking forward to your brilliance and wishing you inspiration, good health, and joy in the new year!

-- Lorin




Annus Incendia
by Lorin Oberweger


“The object of a New Year
is not that we should have a new year.
It is that we should have a new soul.”
-- G. K. Chesterton


Janus hesitates
in the doorway,
yoked to metaphor
and in no mood to party.

Inside, white clothes flutter
and wan Gatsby faces
pass with trays of delicacies
too delicate to taste.

Sighing, he worries
a stem between his fingers,
wishing his gifts were less
obvious, heart less stingy.

But he has come as he does
every year, to caper in his
fool’s hat, to offer the wrong
woman a liquid midnight kiss.

After all, a deal’s a deal.
If any year deserves a lock,
and many bolts, it’s this one.
He breathes, then knocks.

Atoms of welcome swarm
him like fireflies in the drafty
yellow room where clocks
have come to wind their last.

He lets his jacket sail away
and produces for his hostess
a bottle and a sharp red box
of Strike Hard matches.

To burn this last year down?
comes the question.
No, he says, tongue now wet
with champagne.

To set the next on fire.