The Prisoner of Grace

Written for Quickly

Below are some random book titles. Avoiding any that are familiar, pick one or two that appeal to you, jiggle your curiosity, or send you off onto a tangent. Maybe you want to rewrite one of the titles? [for instance: I misread Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge as “Notebooks of the Malta Laurids Bridge” and was fascinated.] Change anything that you want—I’ve already removed the initial “The” from several, but you can go much farther.

Okay? Imagine the book(s) in your hands. Covers. Paper. Weight. Smell. Dust?

Decide on one and open it, somewhere in the middle.

Using the title alone as your guide, write the poem you would find there.


Year of the Flood
Ottoman Centuries
Death on the Installment Plan
Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge
Monarch of Wit
Shoot the Kids
Prisoner of Grace
Life of an Amorous Woman
Language of Vision
Travels with Herodotus


Beware the stalker
who roams and romances
women. Meets, greets,
mistreats. He might
be tall or short,
dark or light,
heavy or thin.
He wants to win. He
had a girlfriend,
but at month’s end
she broke it off. He was
pissed off, began
his stalking career. She was
on to him, caught him,
and that’s how he became
the prisoner of Grace.
Now he’s escaped and could be
the next man you date.

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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