Poetry prompt: Clytemnestra’s Man-Killing Axe

New prompt, written in under 5 minutes!

They call it the Man-Killing Axe,
went famous not for chopping firewood
(which it did extremely well)
but for being lifted by a woman
who was said to have gone crazy:
blood, blood, and a head
in the bathtub. We can only guess
she took it by the beard
and tossed the axe aside.
They call it the Man-Killing Axe,
for Clytemnestra used it; a kinda
family heirloom for women everywhere
who fall asleep in a bed that isn’t theirs
(and they’re lucky not to be handcuffed
and they’re lucky to have covers
or a single flat pillow)


but what did the axe
call her when she killed its master?
bloody palms have left their mark
in the tender wood; but what did it call her,
and him, and them, watching, silent?
It goes with the tub, among the things
used daily, thrown away yearly; metal,
tubs, hot water, steaming pans.


It went on. They call it
the Man-Killing Axe; and I’ll make
this the Matricide Casserole; and the curtains
will be the Brother Choker!


Poetry prompt: the lyre and the plectrum

New prompt, written in under 5 minutes!

I pinned a photo i bought
in a museum i visited a few years ago;
it’s called « the Lyre and the Plectrum », no figures. Fresh grapes
and cups of all sorts, precious metals, lay near them both:
there is a skull, and music sheets, and a mirror
with an ornate handle.


how easy it must have been to compose
– because at the time, i suppose
poetry was a melody, one that came in mind
surrounded by rarity –
when back in the day everything was worthy to look at – how easy
it must have been! and i look up – the walls are white,
plaster-white; my desk and all i own
was mass-produced. How can i compose
in such conditions? i say
as i keep going
and dream about the past;
the lyre and the plectrum
still lay, lifeless, before me.

Poetry prompt – liquorice

Another prompt, written in less than 5 minutes. 

I’m serenading my cat, about childhood stories
while he sleeps on his cushion; for I have no one to talk to
who wants yet another gruesome anecdote? I say, chuckling,
a glass of champagne in hand, with my high-heeled shoes
and sequined dress, or am I wearing a tux? the company
smiles knowingly, ready to laugh, what I have to say
is captivating as always –


« you see I was a rather odd child – and loved black paint
I painted all black pictures, of cats, that I called houses;
of cats, that I called family; of cats, yet again,
that I called friends. And so
I’ve always loved liquorice, that long rubber band
that nobody wanted! They would fight
for brightly colored paints and candy
while I waited, patiently, for them to be finished
for the battle to be over – and I got the leftovers
black paint, liquorice
shiny dark matters, that I cherished
oh, how I cherished you! »


the company is all gone. No notification on my phone. My cat wakes
up, and stretches; then goes back to sleep. It’s late, on a
Wednesday evening; all my pearls, all my friends, my handsome clothes, my fine china –
where are you?
my slippers never answer; really, they never do – and my cup of cheap tea
is cold, half-empty, on the table.

Poetry prompt – stele

And another prompt – poem written in less than 5 minutes. 

Once upon a time lived a woman,
fair and young, then old and gray;
and one day, as we all do,
she died, alone, in her bed.
Her children bought her a pretty stele,
of fake marble; and two hundreds and seventy-four years later, a cat
spent hours laying on it, rolling
in the sun – the stone
was warm and so were cemetaries.


He was a very polite cat. He greeted
anyone who came to see dead relatives
or passed friends; his tail up, purring loudly
he accompanied them all to their goal,
and accepted some pets, his eyes half-closed; but ultimately
he came back to the forgotten woman’s stele
and rolled in the sun.


But cats, even them, have to die; and when he did
people bought for him a little stele, right next to the old
broken down tombstone, her name faded away;
and some days, when it’s sunny and warm, you can still hear
a faint purr where the cat’s stele stands.

Poetry prompt – waves

Another prompt – written in under 5 minutes!

“and left – and right
and down – and up!
I’m battling, for air,
between two waves, or three
no, really: so many
I can’t count.
and up – and down! the shore
is so far! and right – and left! my arms
are sore. I see two dots,
away, on the beach; but will I ever
leave the waves? and up – and down,
they claimed me, at least my body,
what a delicate color to die in!
and left – and right –
and down – and up –
will I ever
leave the windy shroud
of waves?”


I say, sitting in my shower,
flapping my arms, panting –
the waves are distant; but how pretty
to die in a stormy sea!

Poetry prompt – flowers

Lixandre dared me to write a poem about flowers in less than five minutes – here is it (quick sketch) 

the whole room smells of jasmine; I picked them up for
the love who never came.

the air lits up: roses and lilies, given by
the love I quickly forgot.

dust and dust and dust still, chiseled stone, and violets for
the love I never met.

rotting in their old china vase, daffodils, fading yellow, heart of white
but who put them on my table? who, daffodils, that won’t dry? my love
doesn’t know any flowers!