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  • suzannahwatchorn

New hybrid piece, "Me & The Medium" & a prompt

Vibe: sardonic, skeptical, hopeful

Rejections: 7

So, what do you want to get out of your reading today? she asks, followed by
Okay, amazing—a response she’ll give many times. I tell her I’m in the midst of
ugly transformation: I am the golden goo inside the chrysalis, dissolving, digesting myself
longing for the day I gain wings and antennae. The spirits, she reports, describe me as
methodical, a person that could write system process manuals, an excellent employee—
except there is a heaviness that surrounds me. Like spiritual smog? Was there, she probes, an ending, a sudden change that inspired my awakening?

Read more at The Broadkill Review.

What form would you call this piece? Look at it. Look at it again...

When I showed an early draft of this piece to my writing group, no one noticed that it was actually a series of acrostic poems (where the first letters of each line spell out words). Once I asked more directly what they thought of the acrostic form, some people still couldn't see it!

Those that did said that looking at how I was constrained by certain word/line choices enhanced their reading experience, so I wanted to know: Should I label this piece "acrostics"? Someone pointed out, smiling, that it's not like anyone would know what they had missed if they had missed it. True!

The acrostic felt like a random choice at first. I had typed a transcript of a recorded session with a medium (pandemic got me exploring all kinds of things...) and I tried doing collage, erasure, dialogue in poems... None of it was interesting. Because much of the conversation was pretty mundane, I needed the form to exert more pressure on the content.

Acrostics aren't as complex as, say, a sonnetbut I came to like the role of the acrostic here because it fits with the questions I wanted to pose about simplicity and truth. I also just like it when I have the opportunity to defend an oft-dismissed writing tendency :)

If you want to get into formal poetry, my first recommendation will always be A Little Book on Form: An Exploration Into the Formal Imagination of Poetry. I read it cover-to-cover in early 2023, and while it didn't turn me into a Formal Poet, Esq., I did move forward more confidently in my poetry experimentations.


Write an acrostic poem like we did back in the good old days! This time, challenge yourself to do complex words or phrases. Stay open to interesting diction (style and vocabulary choices) and enjambment (continuation of a sentence into a new line).


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