Tag Archives: Stirring

PPP&P #3 Spring 2017


PPP&P spotlights recently published work from our sister journals at Sundress Publications: Pretty Owl Poetry, Rogue Agent, Stirring, and Wicked Alice. Much like the astrology practiced in Telangana in which a parrot is used to pick some cards as luck for the customer, Prasanna hopes her picks will bring luck (and inspiration) to our readers.


Pretty Owl Poetry

In “Room of Rind and Pith“, Grace Arenas waxes about the ‘room of discord’ and the beauty found in decay:

     half-chewed and spat.
Room of weeks-gone bread
and rainfall, egg shell,
forsaken seedling

Choose a little glorified subject and wax poetic on its power.


In “The Sensorium of the Cyborg“, Laurin DeChae introduces ‘i’ the machine. Notice the tug between the familiar ‘I’ and the unfamiliar ‘i’.

where there is _______ i sees _______
now you see her, now, now,
i doesn’t want to be here.
i doesn’t want to be
but i was made to machine,

Redefine or introduce a conflicting doppelganger.


Rogue Agent

In “Timetable“, McKenzie Lynn Tozan talks of split second decisions that can mean experiences lost or g(r)ained.

I gazed at a tree
and knew if I didn’t start climbing,

I’d never get another chance.

Write of an instance where you ‘seized the moment’.


Alessandra Braya‘s “Rebirth” had me musing: How to render her line:

You flayed me and found a hummingbird perched as a
pendant amid my ribs,

Lean into a flight of imagination.



Andre Collard begins his “Elegy with a Red Wagon” with:

In floodwaters, the fire ants
of South Carolina will link their bodies
to form an island, floating
over drowning cars and streetlights
like a funeral.

This is such an evocative beginning, that I looked up this phenomenon. Now I am all ears for what the poem has to say.

Share a local phenomenon so the reader can vicariously travel.


In “J’aime La Règle Qui Corrige L’Émotion“, Michael Sandler‘s writing moves from

guise and form, billowing
to winged image then back to cloud

This perfectly matches the image which inspired this poem: George Braque ‘reviving wings’ in his illustrations.

Think Einstein’s love for music and physics and build a bridge between writing and a different art form. Contrast or draw a parallel.


Wicked Alice

Cassie Ciopryna provides a respite from the ordinary life with an astronomical statement in “That Would Be the Cure“:

meteors out of your skin onto mine

Put your telescopic ‘powers of 10’ lenses on to discover something anew.


In “I Lose Him Near the Lumber“, Amy Lee Heinlen shows both the highs and pitfalls of hazardous occupations in brief and simple language.

smell of potential
and death

Write a poem with a tone contrary to the subject.



Feel free to reply and share your responses to Prasanna’s prompts in the comments!


PPP&P #1 Winter 2016


PPP&P will spotlight work from our sister journals at Sundress Publications: Pretty Owl Poetry, Rogue Agent, Stirring, and Wicked Alice. Much like the astrology practiced in Telangana in which a parrot is used to pick some cards as luck for the customer, Prasanna hopes her picks will bring luck (and inspiration) to our readers.


Rogue Agent

Jim Elledge’s “Identifying the Dead begins with enumerated bodies, fragile like a just beginning-to-fall house-of-cards, with fire as the Domino wave starter, and then moves neatly onto lined-up ‘clothing and personal effects’ and absent bodies. Because of the source—quotes from police reports, I was reminded of Robin Coste’s Voyage of the Sable Venus which is “a riveting narrative made up entirely of titles of artworks from ancient times to the present—titles that feature or in some way comment on the black female figure in Western art”.

Find a list or a report from the past that speaks to you and recreate the scene.


Up until reading Sonya Huber’s “What Pain Wants,” Eula Biss’s Pain Scale was the definitive word on pain for me. Hubert flips how how pain is viewed by making pain the subject and antihero of the poem.

Pain wants you to put in earplugs because sounds are grating.

Pain has something urgent to tell you but forgets over and over again what it was.

Flip your subject.


If I hear a sound in the middle of the night, I wonder who’s up this late and what are they up to. And in a moment like that, Jessica Alderman’s poemLa Limpieza,” finds a parallel in a public tragedy that is likened to an everyday action: cleansing.

Crack open a Spanish dictionary and start off with a word whose sound you like.


It is not everyday that I read a poem that begins whose title is a science term.Half Life,” by Gretchen Miexner is perfectly titled, showing how a long poem can be tethered from the beginning to a singular idea, maintaining the reader’s focus. (With a good mix of alternating surrealism, this poem did not need the boost of an interesting title, but short form bias is the bane of digital age!)

Write a long poem with a scientific title that roots your poem to a singular idea.


Wicked Alice

Poetic snapshots, Kelsey O’Kelly’s “bad sangria(and others) take off from the here and now in this digital life, but end up in far reaching places like history and space. (Wait until she reaches Pluto!)

Write a cozy, earth nostalgic poem.


In her poems what to bring to a die-in” and “cajol,” Amber Flame’s genius lies in her smart use of limited anaphora for only part of each poem.

and if not your guns, then your wide screaming mouths
and if not your screaming mouths, then your gasping tears
and if not your tears, then your fist clenched in anger
and if not your fist, then your hands raised in surrender.

By repeating the phrasing ‘if not your ____ then your ____’ in the first and (‘let it …’ in the second), Flame melds a musical quality into her writing.

Use repetitive lines as a diving board to set the rhythm for your poem.


Pretty Owl Poetry

Recycling is a poem which shows an artist’s enthusiasm at learning a new concept. In this case, “Recycling” echos the new practice of Capsula Mundi while also echoing the traditional ideas of bodies returning to earth “ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” Even with a great rocket-like velocity, an idea needs more for that momentum to make the readers say ‘again,’ like a toddler does. Stephanie Cawley‘s poem manages this with contrasts like slant of light/mirrored curves:

pulp made not from trees but old atlases

But old atlases themselves were once made from paper, another stunning contrast. Recycling itself can result in contrast, depending on what is placed before/after.

Write a poem of contrasts

Write a poem of contrasts with enthusiasm for a new concept.


In Portrait of Girl Falling,” Emily Anne Hopkins crafts a cadence which lends additional meaning to words even when they are repeated consecutively.

She knew a girl who went blind
in this business. Lost balance.

The building up of rhythm is delightfully contrary to foreshadowed fall in the title.

Pick a hard sound like “B” or “P” for alliteration. Line up those drum soldiers and see what march your poem is capable of.


Feel free to share your responses to Prasanna’s prompts in the comments below!