Poem Tryouts: Eat This

24 Nov

7:47 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Sink the Bismarck sung by Johnny Horton

Hello, all. I almost forgot, I am so busily running errands through my head. My brother and his wife arrive this evening. However, you before sheets and towels.

Every year, during NaNoWriMo, I talk about the importance of eating for character development. Then I try to do a variation on what is basically: ‘Describe a scene where…’. So, let me talk a minute on the subject. It is not easy to show a character’s personality without a string of adjectives. The easiest way is through actions and interactions. One of the best of these is a scene where the character is eating, either alone, or with someone, or at a party. Think about it a moment. Think of different meals and what someone might learn about you were they to watch your approach to eating. Think of other people you know and how they eat and what you learn. Heck, go sit at a coffeehouse and watch people. What judgments do you make based on how they eat and drink?

As Skip and I were just in New Orleans, and I was thinking about this prompt, I noticed the differences in the way we approach food and drink. If you were with us when we hit Felix’s Oyster House, and you ordered a half-dozen of these briny delicacies, what would we have seen? Do you jab a fork into the oyster, dunk it in sauce and move it to your mouth before it falls? Or do you pour sauce on the oyster, lift the shell to your mouth and slurp? When drinking a Bloody Mary at Maspero’s, where they believe in a varied assortment of condiments, do you ignore the toothpicked vegetables until your drink is done or do you eat them first, one by one, before your first sip? When eating beignets at Cafe du Monde, do you try to remove as much powdered sugar as possible, before taking a bite of the hot and crispy pastry, or do you bring the heaping whole to your mouth, powdered sugar be damned (along with your face and clothes}.

You get my point. NaNoWriMo-ers, you know what to do. Poets, pick a scene you remember, or envision, of a single person eating. Don’t tell us what the scene depicts about the speaker, or character, but allow us to know through your description. The scene can be a part of a larger story or the sole focus. First, or third person. You can even wait until Thanksgiving, if you are celebrating, and see if there is a likely candidate for your poem.

I’m giving us Thursday off and I will see you next Tuesday for an image prompt (which this would have been in the normal course of things).

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours whether you celebrate or not. Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 24/11/2015 in exercises, poetry, writing


Tags: , , ,

9 responses to “Poem Tryouts: Eat This

  1. Misky

    24/11/2015 at 8:57 am

    A very happy thanksgiving to you, Margo. I wrote this one this morning for b, but it fits. I’ll keep my eyes open for material during the next few meals.

  2. georgeplace2013

    24/11/2015 at 9:42 am

    Happy Turkey Day, Margo, and to your fam.

  3. julespaige

    24/11/2015 at 6:53 pm

    Happy Gobble all.
    Wrote this Flash Fiction for another prompt.
    Closest I’m going to get to food right now. It was a busy day.
    Creamed Corn and Peek’n Pie (BeeBee)

  4. Hannah Gosselin

    24/11/2015 at 7:20 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Margo! Thank you, for the prompt(s) as always…and I’m thankful for you…I always love a glimpse into a “Margo” day. :)’s

    Here’s one about my dad.

  5. purplepeninportland

    24/11/2015 at 10:22 pm

  6. markwindham

    25/11/2015 at 9:28 am

    another with no happy thoughts, a good exercise though.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. writersdream9

    25/11/2015 at 4:09 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving ot everyone here! Great prompt. Here’s my trip down memory lane!


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