Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blank

Poem written by Via-Anghel Magahum on Thursday 12, November 2020

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This was a prompt from a writing workshop I attended. We read Wallace Steven's Thirteen ways of looking at a Blackbird. The prompt assignment was titled thirteen ways of looking at a ____. I procrastinated and completed the assignment an hour before the class began the next day. I decided to be clever and take the prompt literally. It ended up being the class's favorite.

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I Some say that blanks are infinite. Others see a merely broken line. The untitled-ness is peace. II I was a blank. A simple line, That small something could be anything III The ____ and the empty space They belong together evermore. The ____s all dance together But they were without words. IV Is there beauty to something that has no meaning? Is a sentence the only way? V Small lead marks decorate The thin sheet of snowy color. Dust particles come together Like love and woe. I traced the bit of dots That formed no picture. VI I know of people who don’t see. But they do understand. I know, too, that they try to form Words, worlds, waking sketches. VII When there were words it meant nothing. The words smiled, wanting the envy of others. VIII I see a ___. I long to touch it. Feel my fingerprints graze it. IX The blank shifted slowly in the paper. It longed for the kiss of the ink. Fear though overtook. No purpose, no worries. Only feeling. The feeling can be good. X The ____ is changing. Is someone causing chaos? XI Blanks detest change. Such dramatic fixing of simple things, Don’t settle well with the untamed. XII Untouched and unloved. The paper remained a virgin. Is that what the misread are? XIII There were solitude and stoicism. It was a clear sky. The clouds drew a blank.

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    This is really very creative. If my writing teacher would have given me something like this, I would bombed. Excellent job.
    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!