It’s only words (and words are all you’re getting, unless you win the competition)

I’m typing this a mere fistful of hours before the insanity of the 24 Hour Poem competition gets underway, while contemplating the awesome agglomeration of words that I’ve gleaned from the five books up for grabs.

At this point it may be worth mentioning that I got very little sleep last night, as I kept waking up with new ideas for words to include. (Flamingo, for example. Blame Alice Fraser.) Or dreaming that it was Friday already and I’d forgotten to put them up. Or that I had put them up, but that the Cookie Monster (not a euphemism – the actual Cookie Monster) didn’t approve of the words I’d chosen and was sitting on the end of my bed, telling me so at great length. (No, it makes not sense to me either. Welcome to my brain.) I gave up trying to get back to sleep at 5 am or thereabouts.

I know the sort of thing I want to inflict on the participants: words that  are interesting, or that have multiple ways they can be used. Verbs that can be nouns, or vice versa. Or words that you can swing an entire poem from. Words that open up possibilities. Words with “great capabilities”, to borrow from the illustrious Lancelot Brown. But they also have to be words that provide a challenge. So that there is some friction between them, some ingenuity required to make them work together.

In the end I gave up and just snuggled on the couch with a hot water bottle, a notebook and assortment of pens that mostly didn’t work (@#%) and the five lovely books to leaf through and jot down words that made my poet’s spidey senses tingle. Words that make me go hmmm …

Or, and lets be real about this, words, the prospect of inflicting which, fulfilled my schadenfreude quotient for the week. Because there do need to be at least one or two genuine challenges (even if not as bad as “absquatulate”).

In no particular order, here are some that were on the shortlist but not in the final ten:

commonplace
crisp
scaffold
wheeling
tattoo
paper
letterbox
communes
mouth
circumference
bald
brace
pulley
intaglio
delete
bunts
vantage
mask
fascia
recoil
insects
pepper
audibly
clay
last
fact
ancestry
lame
twitch
bolt
machinery
rust
incarnadine
pliant
happenstance
ribcage
six
underbelly
fastidious
skew
thwarted
mammalian
scupper
defoliated
salt
placid

See how mean I could have been?

How much, right now, do you wish you knew how evil I have been?

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