Poetry Workshop Results

img_1331Saturday I helped lead a poetry workshop at the 2017 Holly Springs Arts Festival with my friends and fellow poets Tara Lynne Groth and Chris Abbate. Tara Lynne passed around some old postcards to inspire our poems and I demonstrated how to use dice and a Roget’s Thesaurus to get random prompts. Chris told us about autobiographical poetry and had us make a memory map which we then used to write a poem.

Here’s what I wrote with minor revisions. It’s as true as any of my poetry.

My appendix perforated
and it was worth the pain
to miss two weeks
of high school
in January 1981
extending Christmas vacation.

I recuperated in pajamas
and a recliner,
playing Circus Atari,
thick pixel clowns
smashing square balloons,
8-bit splats when I failed.

To my surprise
I felt a strange
damp warmth in my lap
and found viscous fluid
the color of aged leather
oozing from my incision.

Home, alone, afraid to move,
for fear my guts would spill
out if I walked to the phone,
fixed to the wall, and rotated
the clickety dial to call
for help.


Obviously I survived.
The wound resealed
after the goo had gone.
My scar remains
and the story
was worth the pain.

About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
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2 Responses to Poetry Workshop Results

  1. JeanMarie says:

    Love the line: “It’s as true as any of my poetry.” Good job on the poem too. A memory map sounds really cool. Glad it went well.


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