Intro to Creative Writing: Assignment One
Directions: Write a poem
with perfect meter and rhyme. You will be
graded by the syllable. Write
a poem in which your father loves you
and does not disappear or yell.
Write a poem with sturdy stanzas and lines
like a good home where your mother
makes biscuits and cornbread from scratch,
where she is lucid, warm, and sane.
Write a poem where no one
goes to hell. Write a poem about your brothers
in which you don’t desert them
to deliver yourself. You will be graded
by those you do not
jilt, dump, ditch, abandon, cross,
Write a poem in which no girlfriend
offers herself beneath
stars, the near-mythic beauty of her limbs,
for your long, empty truck-bed
of need. You will be graded by how you please
the constant stars. Write
a poem in which you cure cancer,
emphysema, pneumonia, strokes, diabetes,
vascular occlusions, and bad dreams. Then
burn it with gasoline.
Now write another poem, a different poem,
with crooked lines
and misspelled words, appalling grammar, cliches
of human hurt—show all your
work. You will be graded by
the stumbling drunken mess of your hurt.
This poem is due today and today
and today. Write it now
on a napkin, post, barn, pond, or patch
of hidden skin. Do not
forget to name the indelible verse,
to render, save, and send.