I actually started and re-started this challenge a number of times, not finding the right object. I'm sure if I'd really worked at it, any object would do. Chris Lehman used a strawberry - something passionate and organic and beautiful in its own right. He always makes it look so easy. But any object SHOULD do, right?
Wrong. Poetry works from a wellspring of passion, like all writing. Heck - like all learning - like all art.
No matter how many times I wanted to write odes to my Starbucks cup, the well was dry (well, except for the coffee - but that didn't last long.)
After much hemming and hawing and false starts, I started looking at what I was writing with and what I was writing on. The fountain pens I use are a relatively new fixation for me. I have only been using them consistently for the last two years. However, I have long had an affinity for yellow lined notepads - standard sized, not legal. I have always found them the most pleasing to write on. I wrote my first play and a good portion of my first novel on those yellow pads.
So, here it is. My poem about an object (Not a Red Wheelbarrow):
Yellow Writing NotepadsBy Jessica WisniewskiIt is not a sunny yellow.It is a serious, post-it note yellow,business-like, but still welcoming.The “best” ones have thick, slick pages,like stationery for stodgy lawyersbut I prefer the cheap ones.The pages are softer, more cloth-likeThey drink in the ink of my fountain pentheir thirst blurs the edges of my marksSo that the letters of my words bleed slightlyInto the serious field of yellowJust like the 28 inkpen blue linesMarching down the page, left to right, in tight formationLike rows of soldiers, waiting for their ordersThey leave a window of open field at the topFor titlesFor doodlesFor notesFor namesThe platoon of precision is interrupted, bisectedBy dangerous double lines of red, a barrierSet to the left margin; top to bottom, unbroken,But breaking the page to protect that left spaceWhat lives there to protect?My afterthoughts?My asides?My corrections?My additions?There are no holes to mar this first, but secondary columnNo expectation of attachment to other pages in a binderMy thoughts can flow together – or not – with the liftingOf this finished, filled, fully realized pageSliding against itself to reveal the ghostsOf my previous thoughts through the translucent sunlightOf the paper, revealing a new, clean field to sowAwaiting the plow of my penThe seeds of my thoughtsBleedingWeavingGrowing togetherTangling and Tumbling across the page.