Many writers use writing prompts. At Litnivorous we see a particular prevalence of prompts during National Poetry Month. One poet by the name of Ben Trigg went Googling in search of poetry prompts, when he typed in “poetry exercise” Google offered him a link to “poetry weight loss.” Just the sight of that phrase was prompt enough for Ben and he later wrote this poem. We feel that he really captures the spirit of writing in this piece, both the moment of creation and the work (the editing) that comes after.
Poetry Weight Loss | Ben Trigg
First thing to go are the –ing words.
They are the potato chips of language.
You never just go walking.
You go walking while listening to music and thinking about eating later.
One is never enough.
The buttery confections heart, soul, and moon will be saved for a splurge day.
Moderation cannot contain them.
Limit intake of other clichés as much as possible.
Pure avoidance of the empty calories is difficult,
Use of adjectives should be restricted to one per noun.
Think of how good your svelte descriptions will feel in the long run.
Remember to edit regularly.
Do not underestimate the value of a good workout.
When you’ve reached your goal, celebrate.
Dress your poem up in a fancy new title,
take it out for a night on the town.
Still need some convincing that writing prompts can be useful? (Read: fraking awesome) Go check out “Where I Keep My Friends” by Daniel McGinn. This poem was based on Prompt # 1 The List Poem. See? If that doesn’t convince you to give it a go we don’t know what will!
Unless otherwise noted, our writing prompts are authored by our editor, Danielle Mitchell. Scroll over the Writing Prompts tab at the top of this page for a drop down menu that lists each prompt.
.Ben Trigg is the co-host of Two Idiots Peddling Poetry at the Ugly Mug in Orange, California. He has performed throughout Southern California, parts of the Northeastern U.S., and in Texas as part of the Austin International Poetry Festival. His first full length collection Kindness from a Dark God came out on Moon Tide Press in 2007. He was published in the Orange County/Long Beach Poets Anthology, Incidental Buildings and Accidental Beauty, and the California Poets Anthologies So Luminous The Wildflowers and Blue Arc West. He is currently satisfied with his lot in life, and is trying to figure out how to write about that.