22 things to add to a poem that acts "as if" it feels neglected.

  1. An unexpected acorn.

  2. The movements of a mother’s face as she repudiates longsuffering.

  3. A long-suffering velvet recliner.

  4. An unexpected metaphor or description of joy. I’m thinking of when Ross Gay wrote that something “truly filled my heart with flamingos.”

  5. A subversion of the word “rapacious”.

  6. A hex.

  7. A historic earthquake or volcanic eruption that family members have mentioned.

  8. A Xerox copy of something.

  9. An explicit reference to another poem in which you are referring to a poem by someone else. In the poem about colored pencils.

  10. A furry mammal you haven’t anthropomorphized for the purpose of the poem or pleasure.

  11. A tired O. The opposite of an ecstatic O. An O that generates suspense.

  12. A line from a poem by Mary Jo Bang.

  13. The word “syntax” in scare quotes. Possibly with reference to a body part.

  14. A sin tax dressed up like a poll tax.

  15. An I-statement that suffers from non-sequitur.

  16. What Ross Gay calls “an event illegible except for its unfathomable beauty”. Which may involve fireflies.

  17. An invented business establishment or office. Like the “Bureau of Sad Endings” that appears midway through a poem by David Berman.

  18. The word “busted”.

  19. A melting glacier. Or any effect of climate change that appears quietly, desperately, ominously in the background.

  20. A risk management heat map.

  21. A word from R. A. Villanueva’s “Sonnet 146”.

  22. Something he said to you and never took back.