Write Away, Write Here — Oct. 17

A Device” [Prompt #1: Describe Something Without Saying What it Is]

The device is a complicated one, but its movement is a simple and fluid work of art to the observer’s eye. Fine belts press around blunted sawblades of greased metal before releasing into a parallel free run across the air, again and again. They power dual circuits of vulcanized rubber, from which slim bars radiate back to their cores like aluminum starfishes. Above the frontmost, a bracing pair of softened apertures extend, equipped with their own additional feedback control via a set of curved extensions which arrest the sawblades and starfishes. In the creation’s middle: a hollow support pipe, its complement below ensuring in tandem that the structure will not collapse.


(It’s a bicycle)


Squirrel Poker” [Prompt #2: Something About My Button of Squirrels Playing Poker From Tau Sigma Honor Society. It was a slow night like that. Also, no editing allowed, but I’ve fixed an incoherent tangent or two here and there]

When the Genetic Manipulation Project for Lesser Mammals (GMPLM) was begun, nobody could’ve foreseen the consequences of its widespread application, outside of the scientific community. Nobody, that is, except for the marketing minds of the nation’s biggest sports networks, which took a previously winning combination—spectator sports + inept combatants—and ran with it in a brand new direction: “Animalympics”. Specifically, squirrel poker.

When the program began, a number of remarkable ideas jumped out at the well-paid and respectably-dressed research team at ESPN: goat horseshoes, for one, or perhaps buffalo ice skiiing had potential. But squirrel poker—squirrels playing cards, in general—was shown to have the most potential in test screenings. For one, the intelligence of the rodents was such that, while capable of understanding basic instructions, the rules of the game, and rudimentary trash talk, their poker faces were lacking—or rather, their poker tails, for the large and bushy tail of the squirrel (who, unlike the chipmunk, preferred the sport naturally to backgammon and cribbage) would swiftly betray their hand when a well-held suit wouldn’t. Additionally, the hands of the squirrel were readily opposable for such a task, and besides, they didn’t even have to engineer a new deck to go along with it; those miniature super-travel-size cards worked just fine.

So within a month, televised Squirrel Poker (the title didn’t need anything else) was a nationwide phenomenon. Eventually, however, with the threat of slumping ratings, measures were taken to ensure vitality and relevance. They started giving one squirrel—a particularly laudable performer—miniature sunglasses and a hoodie; the existence of a possible cheating system was leaked to the news for the sheer sake of controversial publicity; a squirrel with abnormally large feet was marketed as a mascot for Coors Light, whose banners featured prominently on the wide shots of the stump of a prematurely-chopped oak where the squirrels played their rounds for the world to see (Try new acorn-flavored Coors! Squirrel away responsibly). Most importantly, though, they began looking for the program’s inevitable successor, for while network television was caught in its usual cycle of sweeps and seasons, the scientific advancements behind this remarkable turn of events was slowly evolving.

They began looking, and they found it in the Next Big Thing: sloth ping-pong. The possibility of a crossover to ensure favor—sloth vs. squirrel poker—was not left unconsidered, but the logistics on getting the sloths in question (who, since their intellectual broadening, had become notorious for just smoking pot and playing with K’nex sets) into the “Octagon” with the three or four squirrels was deemed an unnecessary expenditure. When all was said and done, the two programs were aired simultaneously, to see which the public preferred.

As it turned out, novelty and morbid curiosity notwithstanding, poker squirrelsstill held strong over their slower counterparts. Meanwhile, the fruits of competing networks—CNN’s ParrotReport and VH1’s 90’s Lemur—were no less of a failure.

“Babies, Lemons, and Paper” [Prompt #3: Group Poem – Babies, Lemon, and Paper. Some video people were laughing about beforehand, I don’t know. Special thanks to Cali Kopczick for compiling the full text this time! Every fourth line is mine.]

Gianna stared down at the blank sheet of paper.

Sunny sweet sour juice

The paper croaked as it stretched itself in two

Single bottomedly keeping the diaper industry, uh, afloat

She was horrible at arts so she knew she was already doomed—but she attempted drawing the baby anyways.

They only tell you it’s a bundle of joy or else it’d be orphaned.

Laced with citric icy invisibility

When life gives you some, throw ‘em back and say “no, you have them!”

It had turned out quite well! Until her mother said, “what a beautiful lemon.”

Write on me fool! Write on me!

Peek. It stared. Boo. It stared. Paper, citrus, stare: they knew.

I beat rock, but we teamed up together to stop scissors.

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