Ben Trigg’s poem “Lunch with Cleopatra” inspired the next anthology theme for Moon Tide Press. Make a list of five mundane tasks or places and make a second list of five dead celebrities. Look at both lists and see what sparks for you.
If after choosing the person and the event, you still need help, research that person. Ben observed that all of the research he did into Cleopatra doesn’t directly show up in the poem, but, as you may notice, it does seem to provide a subtext here. The poem itself is thoroughly modern. Experiment with time and setting. See what works.
Do remember to be respectful. While “At the Theatre with Abraham Lincoln” is attention getting, try to go beyond the initial shock value if the poem does dwell on the subject’s death. Fall in love with your subject; honor the person as if you were their best friend and you are the greatest best friend in this century or any other. Or perhaps center the poem on yourself if doing so is more appropriate. For this prompt, I wrote “Rock Collecting with Virginia Woolf” after reading her suicide note, but the subject matter is my own struggle, and I hope I have treated depression with the consideration it deserves.
And here is a picture of Ben Trigg—the merrier co-host of the Two Idiots Peddling Poetry reading at the Ugly Mug, worst threat issuer for going over time, and the greatest best friend. Btw, an expanded version of his book Kindness from a Dark God is forthcoming from Moon Tide Press, so buy it!