Tuesday Tryouts: The Headline Poem

This poem was written in response to Margo’s Tuesday Tryout.  In a nutshell, here is Margo’s prompt:

Grab your newspapers, magazines if you have them, and scissors.  When I do this exercise, I like to clip out the headlines until I have a pile to work with.

There is something pleasurable about moving things around and seeing what happens. And, it’s easier to do with pieces of paper.  Play with the headlines until you find connections … ironies … stories … good nonsense … If you want, cut the headlines down. Maybe one makes sense cut in half with the two halves in different spots.
When you have the headlines you want to use, and you may toss as many as you wish, write them down in your notebook. At this point you may delete words, add words, do whatever is necessary for the poem you can see in the headlines you have kept.
Listen for sounds, rhythms, connections, end line breaks. Take advantage of what you see/hear. Use punctuation to help tell the story, or convey the truth of what you have found.

I clipped headlines from two of my favorite magazines: Equus and Saveur    …and I ended up with a poem that has nothing to do with horses or food.  Go figure. 


The way he said my name
 scorched my heart.
I was nuts about him.
My Southern charmer, my secret admirer,
 who gave me love with the works.

It was dreamy good
 until the winter of discontent.
He began standing on ceremony.
There were sudden personality changes.

He left me alone,
 standing outside the crowd looking
 down the crossroads, wondering
 about motivation and his strange habits.
About why he threw ice
 on the ashes of my scorched heart.


4 thoughts on “Tuesday Tryouts: The Headline Poem

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