Books Magazine

P&W Prompt 16: J. Gabriel

By Gabrielscala

This week’s Poets & Writers‘ prompt:

Write a poem that explores how you were named and the meaning of your name. Include at least one bold lie.

This is an especially interesting prompt for me because I had my name legally changed when I was 28. So, in essence, I named myself. Here’s the first (and only) draft:

J. Gabriel

I’m one of those people with an initial
for a first name. J. Folks want to know
what it stands for. Sometimes,
I let them guess. You’d be amazed
at the names they come up with:

Julianne, Josephine, Jezebel. Really,
one guy actually thought my name
was Jezebel. Maybe that should tell me
something. Sometimes I tell them
the truth. Sometimes, I lie. Like

with Jezebel. That nameless guy at the bar
probably tells stories about how he met
a real-life Jezebel who went by the deceitful
middle name of Gabriel. What a contraction,
Jezebel Gabriel.

The truth is: my name is not Gabriel either. At least,
it wasn’t. You’d be amazed at what can be done
with twenty-seven dollars and a courthouse.
I could be J. Rock Star if I wanted, or just
J. Rock if poets were as infamous as all that.

As it were, Gabriel was a name born
in my father’s dying. As if his halting breath
was mine. As if that first name grew shallower
with his slow leaving until it could only stand
as a letter, a specter of a name, carried
on the backs of angels.

I like the way the poem opens and maintains a humorous tone until the final stanza where it turns in a more serious direction. At first, I titled it “J. (Jezebel)” – liking the whole Jezebel section of the poem. But, in the end, it didn’t fit with where the poem goes. I don’t really like “J. Gabriel” as a title either, and I think there’s a pretty big shift in terms of rhythm between the poem and the final stanza. And I don’t know what the reader is able to decipher out of the poem – is it clear that I changed my name after my father’s death? I think so, but I’m not sure. Is the turn too hard? Maybe. It’s a poem I’m going to continue working on. Maybe something will come out of it. Who knows?

;-)

As always, I’d love to see your own attempts at this fun prompt. Kudos to P&W for this one!

****


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Delta Responds to Me About My Complaint

    An update for all of you: after I posted my story two days ago on Monday about having filed a complaint with Delta when my seat next to Steve on a recent... Read more

    8 hours, 21 minutes ago by   William Lindsey
    LGBTQ, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Mastering the Waves of Ketosis

    Mastering Waves Ketosis

    See the picture on the left below? The kids are wading into the ocean and aren't very far into the ocean. My son is getting smacked in the face by a wave. That... Read more

    8 hours, 48 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • DeBelle Gel Nail Lacquer - Sparkling Dust | Review

    DeBelle Nail Lacquer Sparkling Dust Review

    DeBelle Sparkling DustStay Connected I am a person who always loves to see her hands with nail paint on. My Love for Nail Paints will never fade away 💖 and... Read more

    9 hours, 19 minutes ago by   Niharika Verma
    HAIR & BEAUTY, LIFESTYLE
  • 7 Business Lessons You Can Learn From A 7-Year-Old

    Business Lessons Learn From 7-Year-Old

    Parents, it’s never too early to start nurturing entrepreneurial talents in your kids! As an active business advisor and angel investor, I’m convinced that we... Read more

    9 hours, 20 minutes ago by   Martin Zwilling
    BUSINESS, CAREER
  • 3 Things You Need to Do to Protect Yourself from Ransomware

    Things Need Protect Yourself from Ransomware

    As we become more and more dependent on internet, the dangers coming from the cyber world are increasing too. You may rest in the belief that it won't happen... Read more

    10 hours, 20 minutes ago by   Jyoti Arora
    GADGETS, TECH
  • Time to Buy Your Tickets to the World’s Largest Low-Carb Conference

    Time Your Tickets World’s Largest Low-Carb Conference

    This will probably be the world's largest international low-carb conference ever. Low Carb USA 2017 will be held in San Diego on the 3rd to 6th of... Read more

    10 hours, 40 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • What I Wore: Adventures in Style [Sponsored]

    What Wore: Adventures Style [Sponsored]

    As Gwynnie Bee's featured influencer for the month, they asked me to take an item from their collection for a spin that I would not normally wear. I like to... Read more

    10 hours, 50 minutes ago by   Wardrobeoxygen
    FASHION, SELF EXPRESSION, SHOPPING

Magazines