“Put this in my toaster”—the Domestic Bliss Prompt

Yes, Valentine’s Day is coming up, and, yes, it is a holiday that is dreaded, mocked, celebrated and ignored sometimes all by the same person at different stages in life. Nonetheless, let’s add some romance to the February rain (and, sorry, everyone else, snow). Let’s skip the first message/text and the first date and just leap in to a marriage in all of its domestic erotica.

 For the first prompt, take the first line from Luisa Muradyan’s “Marriage” as a fill-in-the-blank exercise and choose another verb to complete the infinitive phrase: “Marriage is a lifelong commitment to” ________. From that line, extend the metaphor throughout the poem as Muradyan did. 


Btw, Ilya Kaminsky is a great poet to follow on Twitter for posted poems and interesting discussions, and I absolutely love this poem.  The full poem is below:


For the second prompt, use the line “There is honesty/in the oatmeal but not the Greek yogurt” as a ghostline just because that line made me laugh. Here is where overblown claims (innuendo intended) about pomegranates, cranberries, acai, etc. can come in handy.   

For a third prompt, create a list poem listing all the places where love poems are. The title could even be or some variation of the line “There are love poems everywhere.” Again, give credit to Muradyan for the inspiration.

For a fourth prompt, write a poem using the following words: “ritual,” “forbidden,” “ashamed,” “calling,” “wash,” “honesty,” “ancient,” and “aisle” but again change the religious context. What other subject matter could these apply to.  

For a fifth prompt, use a quote and apply it within the poem. I love how Muradyan follows the quote with what each partner does repeatedly (and therefore are).  Perhaps write a poem using the quote “Life must be understood backward. But it must be lived forward” by Søren Kierkegaard and write a narrative poem in flashback. 

For a final prompt, turn a routine domestic task—such as grocery shopping as Muradyan did—into foreplay and afterglow. Put all the dirt into cleaning house, make a striptease of laundry, turn your oven on for baking.