I am taking Jill's online poetry workshop. For the first week, we discussed about Prompts & Ideas. I edited my poems with their posts.


The cranes are crowded in my mail box.

Seventeen blue
papers lay scattered on the floor. Buddha
folds one more for my shiawase.

He whispers, What did you expect?

My mother rings

a bell from her wheelchair. I change
her diaper.

A sudden noise
comes from Buddha’s stomach. He brings

me an apron. I open

the refrigerator and reheat
steamed rice and smoked mackerel.

From the white plates,
he feeds my mother and the origami

birds...........I wring

their necks.

My favorite prompts from the Online Workshop:

#1) Backwards
Like Sarah’s idea, I like to flip my poems as well. And then I kill my favorite unnecessary words and reorganize stanzas & line breaks.

#2) Ekphrastic
Like Tanya’s idea, I also like writing about art/paint. My obsession is Modigliani. I would definitely have a date with him.

#3) Steal attractive words from books
I also like stealing vocabulary from many authors.

I have borrowed and adapted words from Christine Garren, Franz Wright, James Wright, Louise Gluck, Jack Gilber, and others (my favorite poets are very similar to Charmi’s). In addition, I love to randomly open Botanical Guidebooks and use plant names in my poem.

#4) Combine my old poems
When my poem is not strong enough, I put a couple of my old poems together. After I choose the poems, I change narrative voices, rearrange lines into different stanzas, and try to create a seamless patchwork.

#5) Translate articles from Japanese into English
I adapt the strongest phrases into my poems. However, I should be careful that the poem is not just a translated article. I try not to forget adding imagination and poetic inspiration.