Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What is a Ten-By-Ten Poem?


I'm not saying I invented it.  Not saying that at all. The world of poetry is huge.  Somewhere someone at some time in history or today is using the same form.  But I didn't get it from anywhere.  It just made sense.

The Ten-By-Ten.  Ten syllables per line.  Ten lines per stanza.  A nice little hundred syllable machine for performing poetic work.

It's like a shortened sonnet.  A square window.  Anyway, I've written about it for Bright Hub.


Then read this:

Terror

Two dudes walk down stairs, around the bend, bounce
Into a pair of ladies. Eyelashes.
Green eyes and blue. Brunette and blonde. Done up.
Bright smiling teeth, earrings twinkle like ice,
Flowers and gems in their hair, showing throat
And neck, dresses fit right, curving from top
To bottom. They whisper and climb the stairs.
High-heels. Calves. Tassels on skirts, hips swishing.
“Come down off the ceiling,” Will says to Chance,
Slugs his shoulder. “You sprang like a kitten.”

“Those things scare me to death,” Chance says. “Spooky.”
Will gets more beer. “Those things? Explain yourself.”
Chance sips. “What if they don't like me? Say no.
I talk to the next girls. They don't like me.”
Will throws up his hands. “Who cares? Their problem.”
“But wait...” Chance holds up one finger. “What if
It works?” He takes a deep swig. “She likes me,
Wants to have my kids, a house. My whole life:
Me and her?” He looks around at sculptures,
Paintings, dresses and suits. “That's scary stuff.”

The chandelier hangs with glass slippers, lit
With neon tubes. Will shrugs. “I don't think 'scared'
Is the right word.” Chance lifts his eyebrows. “Oh?
Increased heart rate. Sweaty palms. Trembling hands.
Adrenalin. You start hunting for doors.”
He leans against the wall. Looks left and right.
“You're creeping through the jungle. A tigress
Leaps out and stares you down. How do you feel?”
He kills his beer. Hands in pockets, he drifts
Past tasteful male nudes and cryptic abstracts.

They re-climb the stairs, stroll the mezzanine
Over a sea of slick-haired gents in silk,
Ladies with pearls, curls, and plunging necklines,
Pairs towing each other from art to art.
A canvas covered in bright red lip-prints
To form a field of flowers. A collage
Of scavenged kitchenware, pot-shards, hot-glue.
“You know, I didn't meet Jane being scared,”
Will reminds Chance, who laughs. “You got lucky,
Captain Braveheart. Pulled her name from a hat.”

Will shrugs. “So I scored a hot lab partner.
Had the nuts to ask her out.” Chance nods: “True.”
They stop. The brunette and blond have found friends,
Chat and giggle in a ring. One's pregnant.
They rub the bump, coo, and pass ultrasounds.
“Feel that kick?” Chance makes eye-contact, blushes.
“Going for more drinks,” Will says. “Good luck, bro.”
Chance takes his hands from his pockets, freezes
Between the group of girls and the back door:
“Emergency Exit. Alarm Will Sound.”

Now write your own for me.  If I like it, I'll put it here.  Put it in the comments and I'll have no choice.