Monday, June 30, 2008

CAPS and Microsoft ® Word

At a recent “Poetry Workshop,” one of the topics of discussion was the traditional convention of capitalizing the first word of every line in a poem. Most of the poets assembled for this particular workshop were not devoted to the traditional forms or norms. Actually one admitted that the only reason for the capitalization all along the left side was that Microsoft ® Word automatically capitalized it.

I’m sure many poets have faced this annoying problem as well. Well, I’d like to help. Here are your instructions for turning off automatic capitalization in Microsoft ® Word.

Note: I’m using Microsoft ® Word 2002 for this instruction series, but it should be the same in most versions.

1. Open Microsoft Word.
2. Click on the menu option named “Tools” (located above the typing area).
3. Click on the drop-down men option named “AutoCorrect Options. . . ”

4. On the AutoCorrect tab, uncheck the option named “Capitalize first letter of sentences.”
5. Click OK.

6. Get back in the habit of hitting the Shift key to capitalize where you actually want capitalization.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Spontaneous Poem

This week’s challenge came from Joe Bronzi, comedian extraordinaire and my best friend from childhood. We grew up together in Poughquag, NY. As can happen between childhood friends, we lost touch in adulthood. But . . . we’re working on a reunion of sorts sometime in the near future. Check out Joe’s comedy on his MySpace page:

Here’s the challenge:


Sign me up, sure. Here’s a suggestion, too – A Flying man dreaming he is sleeping.


Here’s the resulting poem:

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

When I defied gravity at five
my Pa dubbed me bird-boy.
I got my kicks hiding Ma’s apron
on the tip of the weathervane’s
rooster beak. I could fly out
the window at night
flutter over to the lake
where bats swoop and wheel,
swim and then dry myself with velocity.
Afterward I could sleep
under the covers or over the mattress
like a butterfly on a crib mobile.
Now I would give up my levitation gift
even sacrifice my X-ray eyes
for one night of innocent sleep—
oblivious to bald, evil geniuses,
rampaging aliens armed with kryptonite,
this nightlife of mighty labors
while slumbering Lois wraps her legs
around a pillow.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Catch-Up Spontaneous Poem

Here's a challenge I received awhile ago . . .

Okay… here’s something for you.

- mutant

- breakout

- painting

- script

Thanks! linda

Linda Ames

GPS Newsletter Editor (
CVWC Publicity/Webmaster/Graphic Art (

OK, so here's another one for Linda, who based on her emails has been one of the biggest fans of this Spontaneous Poetry stunt. Thanks for your support and encouraging words, Linda.


Observe the new form of fruit
which had nothing to do with innovation.

Its mutant difference from all other fruit
was spontaneous like ketchup

splashed on white paper and called
a painting. Not even Tropicana could script

the creation of this violet skinned fruit
filled with gallons and gallons of bruise

tinged juice—one tree bears enough
to quench the thirst of all of Baghdad.

If only we could bring it to market,
extinguish the breakout of fighting

amongst the marking team
tasked with naming this Juicy Fruit.

I already have received the challenge for tomorrow’s “Friday Spontaneous Poem”, so please hold any new challenges until mid-next week. It’s nice for a change to be caught up!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Spontaneous Poem

From: Emery Campbell

Hike Eith,

Interesting. I once entered a similar sort of challenge contest in which one was to write a poem incorporating the following words:

exaggerate, wind, dirt, raisin, game, chicken, garlic, cream, chimney, and soda.

It could be any form but it had to make sense.

If you show me yours I'll show you mine (nudge, nudge, wink, wink...)


OK. Here it goes, Emery:

The Greatest Form of Flattery

Chimpanzees under attack exaggerate
their screams and the more cinematic ones wind
up channeling Tarzan. These exacerbate
quandaries of the immaterial mind.

‘Who’s imitating whom?’ stirs us to dig dirt
to crush clods in search of the golden raisin.
‘Well enough’ is never left alone. It hurts
to pray when answers are trapped inside resin.

A chimp would never booby trap the chimney,
bait Santa Claus with cookies and spiked soda.
Our vocal cords and thumbs have made us cagey,
plotting murders while prone in a pagoda.

The chimps have moved on to a banana game
they wring the peels as if choking a chicken.
When bananas go extinct who will they blame?
Moot point when the baby chimps cry and sicken

while onlookers lunch on stir-fry with garlic
sauce and one of us humans orders up cream.
A sip of tea to go with man’s oft cyclic
icing up of ‘nice’ into a cube of ‘mean.’

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Spontaneous Poem in a Child's Voice

This one was written under the influence of Brod Bargert, a children’s poet who writes in children’s voices. Catch the distinction here. His poems are not only FOR children. They are poems children can perform, because they are written FROM A CHILD’S POINT OF VIEW. Check out his work at

The children’s poem genre felt very appropriate for a poem written for Jean Mahavier. For years now, Jean has been involved with the Poetry in the Schools program through the Georgia Poetry Society. Thanks for your dedication to bringing poetry to children, Jean!

Here’s the prompt:

From: Jean D. Mahavier

Here's one for you:

Five pounds in two days? No way!


Remember to click the scan of the poem to enlarge.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Feeling Sad? Feeling Blue? Play this Video, It's For You!

Justin Blackburn, poet, mystic, voice in the wilderness, delivers a very important message. Don't miss it! It's for you.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Jollyship the Whiz-Bang: "Cleaning up Coney Island"

I'm planning a vacation to New York and was researching Musicals in New York City when I came across this bit of strangeness. The music and lyrics woke me up and amused me. Perhaps you'll enjoy it too. But be forewarned some of their material is, well, bawdy. Think Devo, Frank Zappa, and They Might Be Giants for an idea of their genre.

For more strange samples visit

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Spontaneous Poem

This week’s prompt comes from my friend Todd. (Apologetic note: Jean and Linda, please be patient. I’m sorry it’s been taking me awhile to get to your requests. I hope to attend to them this weekend. Todd’s request came earlier and was misplaced.)

I suppose Todd thought I was ignoring his request, thus the challenging tone of the re-request I got:

If you're not up to the challenge of incorporating:

(( greased pole climb ))

(( town square ))

(( courthouse clock ))

(( sunburn ))

...then I'll wrap that one up myself, since it's drawn from a pretty specific summer memory of mine when I was about ten years old. Your call; let me know either way.

Well, Todd. I’d sure like to see you write this poem also. But here’s my crack at it, buddy! And thanks for the positive feedback and encouragement too!

One last note: If you ever have difficulty reading the scans of these poems, you can enlarge the view by clicking on the poem. If that doesn't help enough, drop me a line. I'll fix the problem somehow.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday Spontaneous Poem

I didn’t prod anyone for a prompt this week which resulted in no new prompts. However, I do have a backlog of requests from the last two weeks, so I’m working through those in order of reception. Waiting in line are Linda Ames and Jean D. Mahavier. I’ll get to those requests as time permits.

The prompt I took on this week comes from my Mom, Ronnie Badowski:

animated suspension (not the other way it is usually said)
worm hole

Sarcasm Before and During the Leap

Give that genius a polished Red Delicious
whomever it was thought
to dive from a bridge
wearing a network of suspenders
hooked to tether of bungee.
Clearly she has the same kind of beautiful mind
as the guy who invented lederhosen
or the one came up with scuba gear
or ice fishing. So ingenious to eat
around the worm hole in the apple
all the way down to the edge of the core—
at least get something in you
before that plummet, that fall
towards the ravine, the rapids, the ice
bugs impacting against your pupils
but unable to feel it
your whole body is a sensationless
windshield the sky draws away from.
Only madness could aspire
to this animated suspension
as the cord lengthens out
and the ground pauses near your nose.
You are drawn back
but not enough to breathe
to get out the words
I want my apple back.