THE STORMING BOHEMIAN PUNKS THE MUSE: the three word line prompt

When I began writing this column, my editor and I discussed various approaches to muse punking. On several occasions, he suggested I explore actual writing exercises. You know, assignments, like they give you in a workshop. Describe the assignment, do it myself, and invite readers to do the same. Do it myself? Practice what I preach? Expose my efforts to the musing public? Sometimes, I think Evan is out of his mind.

I have realized, however, that sooner or later as I ran along I would hit the dreaded writer’s block and have to stretch my muscles to avoid injury.

So, today, we’re jogging around that block with an exercise I learned from the remarkable young poet Stellar Cassidy. It is deceptively simple.

Here’s the prompt: Write a poem for which the given structure is three words per line.


Rolling Down Hill

Push past boundaries
Circle the carousel
Gallop through memories

Suburban teenage runaway
rolling down hillside
in anonymous park

cough syrup high
endless cigarette butts
all night walks

donut shop sleeping
afraid to know
i am afraid

can i survive

today I want
to get naked
and be loved

we all want
to get naked
and be loved

who told us
we were ugly

who dares say
our hairy asses
are not beautiful

or the flesh
of our chests
over our hearts

you’ve always wanted
to be touched

i’ve always wanted
to get naked

to get away
to get free
to get whole
to get holy
to get you
to get me

and we all
ride the carousel
and we all
long for love

and we all
fight for freedom

galloping through memories
escaping our pasts

rolling down hills
into our futures

into our deaths

singing our holiness

never giving up


Now ask yourself, dear reader: are you feeling lucky, punk?

– Charles Kruger
The Storming Bohemian