Tweetspeak Poetry Prompt 1: One Must Have a Mind Of

From TweetSpeak’s Poetry Prompt Free Mini-Series. Sign up at their website to get prompts in mail.

Based on Wallace Stevens’s PoemThe Snow Man

Start a poem with “one must have a mind of . . .” and choose a word
to complete that first line and explore through sensory language.
For example: One must have a mind of salad. One must have a mind
of seahorses. One must have a mind of roller coasters.

The Window Woman

By C. S. E. Cooney

one must have a mind of quarantine
of clean, sterile surfaces, a surfeit of paper
supplies, sustainably made, bamboo or DIY

and have been altogether distant for so long
so calm, so detached, watching the world through
glass, listening to the far-off song

of a cactus wren, and the mangy cat in the Bermuda
grass, filthy and desperate, eyeing the hummingbird with
lust, one eye crusted over, one ear bent, tail broken

there is the sound of muted traffic, and the smell of
not-as-much smog, mosquitos batting at the screen
like small anxieties, homing, homing in on heated blood

and protected I sit, quiet, contemplative, not much
different than before, yet trammeled, yearning for more
resigned, a watchdog, slavering for signs of my time


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2 responses to “Tweetspeak Poetry Prompt 1: One Must Have a Mind Of

  1. This is so much of the place you’re in now; I love it. This is not a New York poem; this is an Arizona poem–the cactus wren and the bermuda grass (details that make me think of the poem you linked to on Facebook; the incantatory magic of concrete nouns; love them). I like your poem very much.

    • csecooney

      Thank you, Francesca. I’m not often in the mood for prompts, but I think–I’ve been missing poetry. And this is a way back in.

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