A great writer that I once workshopped with is Julianna Baggott. She is running a summer writer's boot camp at http://www.bridgetasher.blogspot.com if anyone is interested.
I've been working on it daily and when I write something delicious, I'll post it here. I found one exercise on day two to be amazing. I thought I'd post it here if anyone wants to try it.
She had you go to the table of contents of a poetry anthology you've never read (her example used Sharon Olds) and pick a poem. Then write a poem with the same title (without reading it of course). She says that tables of contents can be great prompts.
I love the poem I wrote. I chose the title "The Unborn." It was great that I didn't read the poem before because the actual poem is BRILLIANT. I still like mine, but I love hers. Here are the two...
The Unborn- Christie Gardiner
In a way
they've ruined my life-
or at least what I thought it was.
I hear them at night when I'm falling asleep
sitting up with that sick mother feeling...
little empty whispers
slip and slither through my ears.
I've given them years
The Unborn- Sharon Olds
Sometimes I can almost see, around our heads,
Like gnats around a streetlight in summer,
The children we could have,
The glimmer of them.
Sometimes I feel them waiting, dozing
In some antechamber - servants, half-
Listening for the bell.
Sometimes I see them lying like love letters
In the Dead Letter Office
And sometimes, like tonight, by some black
Second sight I can feel just one of them
Standing on the edge of a cliff by the sea
In the dark, stretching its arms out
Desperately to me.
9 hours ago