Write Away, Write Here — Oct. 10

Alright, so as I’ve no doubt mentioned before, every Wednesday evening is “Write Away!” at the UW, where eager wordsmiths run through a trio or quartet of semi-random prompts for about fifteen minutes apiece, then share the results (no self-criticism beforehand!). I’ve shared the fruits of this group in the past (“Fyrewrit,” for one), but I thought to myself: why not start posting this stuff on a weekly basis? So straight from this last Wednesday, here we go–(mostly) unedited, (generally) uncensored, and (largely) unfinished:

18th Ave NE” [Prompt #1: Write something based on a classified ad]

At first, the alleyway that bisected the brownstone buildings of 18th Ave NE seemed a woeful picture of the effects of gentrification clashing with overblown artistic sensibilities in Seattle. Specifically, it was a rectangular strip of reinforced windows opaque with spray paint and dumpsters in practically neon shades from the same, but at the narrow path’s center was something unlike anywhere else in the city: an apartment in Paris.

This is to say that between 5266 18th Ave NE (Dave’s Pizzeria) and 5270 18th Ave NE (Flannery’s Tavern), there existed a casual spatial anomaly wherein what appeared to be the greater studio of a lavish French condo suddenly grew into existence as one entered the alley’s epicenter. The well-polished floorboards merged with the crooked surrounding bricks like two Lego sets jammed together by a thoughtless child, and a solitary window that should’ve looked into a chrome-filled kitchen instead faced a metropolitan skyline filled in no small part by an outline of the Eiffel Tower, above a modern computer desk and chair. With enough time, the surroundings as a whole would fade and shift into a full loft apartment, with a simple exit (and further defiance of physics) achievable by exiting through the front door and into the pizzeria restroom.

And yet there was a caveat: the sight would only become apparent to those in active need of a new apartment, which was how the phenomenon came to the attention of Laura Chance, fresh off a lease in a higher-priced University District complex and more than a little curious as to the numerous local police reports of inebriated homeless people claiming to have found solace for the evening in a public art exhibit on 52nd…

18th Ave NE, Part II” [Prompt #2: A hypothetical response to said ad, though it was apparently supposed to be for another ad.]

The story behind Laura’s investigation of, introduction to, interest in, payment for, and eventual exhaustion with Seattle’s only Parisian apartment is one that need only be addressed in regards to its final phase: Ms. Chance simply got sick of the place because the window to the outside was a good twelve hours ahead of the time zone in Washington state, she was taking too many credits already to bother learning French to take advantage of the computer, and she was at times paralyzed by the possibility that a garbage truck driver living on his friend’s couch would plow through the lot while she was dusting the varnished redwood bookshelves.

Instead, let us turn our attention to Max Smith, the neurobiology major who encountered a listing which read: “$750-850. UTILITIES and internet included. Available Now.”, accompanied by a short list of contact info and the address. It was this early that Max felt confused, for priding himself on a block-by-block knowledge of the neighboorhood that rivaled that of Google Maps, he knew that there was no actual building at 5268 18th Ave NE, at least not anymore.

If anything, the call to Laura was a matter of correcting her misprint, but the girl’s assurance that she was not mistaken piqued Max’s interest, sleeping as he had been for long enough on the top bunk of a bed in a dorm room with all the square footage of a dwarf’s tornado shelter. That Friday, he went on over…

Anda Mir” [Prompt #3: Inspired by some poem about “The Tarantella”, which reference someone named “Miranda” throughout]

Does anybody really call their daughters Miranda anymore?

Maybe it’s just as well, since it

mostly makes me think of George Miranda,

then Carmen Miranda, and I

get confused and wonder why we named a law

after a woman with bananas in her hat.

That, or Miranda Cosgrove,

who last I heard was playing pop music

as only the Disney brand can manufacture.


And after that, I start thinking of anagrams:

I ran mad, raid man, an ad rim,

and so on, ad nauseum, ’cause it just goes round

and round in circles like a silly shaking head—

Mirandamirandamiran—damn, man, that’s enough

of that.


We need to bring back Crystal,

or Stephanie, if indeed they ever left.

A good name is hard to find,

at least when you always have one in mind.


I am Rand. Mar a din.

Dammit, I’m doing it again.

Hey, does anybody call their daughters Amanda anymore?

I hope so.

It’s an adamant decision, after all.

Newspaper” [Prompt #4: Group Poem – Newspaper. Everybody comes up with some lines on the topic and we read ’em one at a time in a circle. These are my lines.]

Got a dollar? I want to hear what this ink and shredded wood have to say.

If computers rule, one will still blow down the street when the world ends.

Politics are a joke—Garfield is serious business.


  1. Heehee, “Anda Mir” does fun things with language.

    I also like that you used the phrase “casual spatial anomaly.”

  2. Yeah, I haven’t gotten a chance (excuse?) to fool around with anagrams in a while, so that was a fun exercise.

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