Rooster and I went out to breakfast at a local restaurant yesterday morning. They have a picture hanging on the wall of Italian Prisoners of War during WW II being led down the street in shackles. Word Daddy whispered that I should write a poem about that photo and a conversation between old guys at a liar’s table. If you’ve never attended one of these meetings, you should. You’ll realize none of these guys know a thing about what they are talking about after you’ve listened for five minutes. Once you get past that, a writer will understand that they have a front-row seat to a wonderful exercise in dialogue. I call this poem Stalking Salinger.
I researched dialogue poetry online without wanting to give my muse credit for an original idea, and I discovered a form of dialogue poetry already existed. There weren’t any hard or fast rules, only general suggestions. I decided to write out a firm set of rules I plan to use for my dialogue poetry. It is now time to get on with Stalking Salinger.
Rules I used to write Dialogue Poetry and Stalking Salinger
- My Dialogue Poems will consist of a conversation between two or more people.
- They will be a reflection of different opinions and views.
- The conversation should be controversial or argumentative.
- I plan to use poetic elements and techniques, but no rhythm or meter rule exists. Free verse is acceptable.
- The dialogue might be tagged or untagged. “He said” or “she said” might or might not be used.
Okay, so I’ve set down a few rules. I hate to give Word Daddy any credit, but he did whisper a good idea into my ear. I plan to have fun writing in this style.
Stalking Salinger “Mr. Salinger, can we talk for a while? I’ve read your books, and I like your style.” I said. “I don’t know, I have wood to chop, And I like my privacy. My character Seymour was into poetry. I mostly wrote short stories, For the New Yorker.” He said with a smile. “Oh, please, can’t you take a minute to stop? I am so tired of sending out all these queries. Honestly, I’m a very hard worker.” I said, wringing my hands. “Frankly, my dear, I have other plans, Like smoking another cigarette. I have more important things to do Than to bother with you.” He said, looking away from my eyes. “You know that is just a pack of lies, Try to see this from my point of view. I have an absentee muse, Who drinks way too much, And has an extremely short fuse. You have such a magic touch. Words seem to flow from your fingertips.” I said, stomping my foot. “I don’t know, maybe if you cleaned my chimney soot, I might give your request some consideration. I enjoy my privacy, did I mention?” He said, scratching his head. “You have a deal, even though I dread, Climbing a ladder, I’m afraid of heights.” I said with a sigh. “Go ahead and give it a try But you are such a continuous talker, In my opinion, you’re turning into a stalker. Maybe I should call the police. A moment of silence would be a sweet release.” He said as he turned to walk away. “Don’t you have a single word to say? To an aspiring writer that’s traveled so far I’m broke and don’t have gas in my car.” I said, standing in place. Salinger cringed and slammed the door in my face.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
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