Happy third day of Na/GloPoWriMo, all!

Our featured participant for the day is clayandbranches, where the “road not taken” prompt for Day 2 gave rise to a poem with a moon, a moose, and other arresting images.

Today’s featured reading is a live event that will take place tomorrow, April 4, at 3 p.m. eastern daylight time, involving the poets Sandra Beasley and Teri Ellen Cross Davis reading from their new books, Made to Explode and A More Perfect Union.

And now for our prompt. This one is a bit involved, which is why I’m giving it to you on a Saturday. Today, I’d like to challenge you to make a “Personal Universal Deck,” and then to write a poem using it. The idea of the “Personal Universal Deck” originated with the poet and playwright Michael McClure, who gave the project of creating such decks to his students in a 1976 lecture at Naropa University. Basically, you will need 50 index cards or small pieces of paper, and on them, you will write 100 words (one on the front and one on the back of each card/paper) using the rules found here.

Don’t agonize over your word choices. Making the deck should be fun and revealing, as you generate words that sound “good” to you. The fact that the words are mainly divided among the five senses should be helpful in selecting words that you like the sound of, and that have some meaning personal to you. For example, my deck contains “harbor,” “wool,” “murmur,” “obsidian,” and “needle.”

Once you have your deck put together, shuffle it a few times. Now select a card or two, and use them as the basis for a new poem.

Happy writing!

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