May 24, 2010
By Carolee

This week’s prompt

What turns you on?

You don’t have to tell me. No. Really. You really don’t have to tell me.

But for this week’s poem, write about aphrodisiacs. This may or may not be the right time for your narrator to confess what gets her, um, going. It may be more fun for your narrator to be a persona in some bizarre imaginings. You may want to write about aphrodisiacs literally as herb, food item or other substance. You may even want to invent an aphrodisiac. You can set a scene in which a character or your narrator experiments with aphrodisiacs (maybe he makes his own special brew or maybe someone tricks him into drinking a love potion), or you can illuminate us on the science or myth of aphrodisiacs.

Both Wikipedia and this gourmet food site have lengthy lists of aphrodisiacs, and LiveScience has a cute little slide show with photos and text. As you internet poets know, the web has thousands of suggestions that can inspire your suggestive poems!

Have fun, circus-goers! Report back here Friday (or over the weekend) with your funny, crazy or — watch out! — sexy poems.

How prompts work under the Big Tent

We post prompts on Mondays, and you have all week to write your poems, based on our fabulous prompt or any other inspiration. Come back on Friday when you will find a “Come One, Come All” post where you can use the comments section to 1) leave a link to your poem or 2) leave the poem in its entirety.

You’ll have all day Friday (and all weekend!) to post your work and read each others’ work. Take your time. Enjoy all the poems that are new to the world.

Some hints

Hint: We’ve set Big Tent Poetry to Central Time.

Hint: An easy way to check on new post comments is with RSS reader, if you use one. Here’s the address:

Hint: Since we’re a new site, and you’re new to it, your comment(s) will be held for moderation for your first few posts. We’re checking the filters often, so don’t despair! That said, if it takes more than a half a day to see it come live on the site, do email us at info (at) (But be patient, okay?)

Circus etiquette

We figure you know how to play in the poetry community, but here are the basics:

Be nice. Have fun. Remember we aren’t a critique forum. We want to support each other as we bring more poetry into our lives. Only provide critique if someone specifically asks for it.

Although we love seeing our badge in the sidebar of your blog, we would appreciate it if you would also link back to the site in each of your poem posts. Linking within your post helps people travel back and forth from your site to the Big Tent Poetry site, and it helps perpetuate Big Tent Poetry “findability” in Google searches — and that helps us all.

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26 Responses to “ MONDAY PROMPT/ May 24 ”

  1. Julie Jordan Scott on May 24, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Wow. That gourmet food site is so very thorough – - amazed by the careful reporting on each food considered to be an aphrodisiac… and the Brittanica article. When I first read the prompt I was going to rebel and NOT talk about food, but after skimming this material (and now printing, to have beside me as I journal and take notes over the next few days), I am thinking food has to be a character in my poem… THANKS for the inspiration!

    • carolee on May 24, 2010 at 1:42 pm

      a girl’s gotta eat!

  2. James Barger on May 24, 2010 at 11:50 am

    This should be a very interesting week! I’m curious as to (if not slightly afraid of) what everybody will come up with ;-)

    • carolee on May 24, 2010 at 1:41 pm

      have no fear! (she said nervously)

  3. Dave on May 24, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    What turns you on?

    Poetry. Duh.

    • carolee on May 25, 2010 at 5:40 am

      excellent answer, dave!

      • Dave on May 28, 2010 at 11:29 am

        The corollary: discovering that someone you like writes bad poetry is a huge turn-off. I’d go out with a fundamentalist sooner than a bad poet.

        • Carolee on May 29, 2010 at 4:25 pm

          oh, my. that’s severe! maybe we should do the antithesis to this prompt some day. turn-offs. :)

          • Amy Barlow Liberatore on May 29, 2010 at 10:03 pm

            Turnoffs are SUCH a turnoff, though… I mean… oh, never mind! I would sooner go out with a bad poet than a fundamentalist, but I guess that’s because there’s one in my family, hee hee.

    • rob kistner on May 26, 2010 at 3:19 pm

      That’s a good start Dave…

  4. Amy Barlow Liberatore on May 24, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    Anyone who cites long walks in the rain, cuddling, or ANY references to Barry White will incur the wrath of the Poetry Gods. Everyone knows those are only good at pageants, anyway!

    • rob kistner on May 26, 2010 at 3:17 pm

      Ahhhh, somebody needs a {{{hug}}}… I can’t stand walking in the rain, the squishing in my shoes drives me crazy. Cuddling “after” is cool. Barry White SUCKS!! That said, I might find a few sentimental, and definitely some sensual things that turn me on, but the poetry gods have been pissed at me for years — so I’ve nothing to lose anyway… ;)

  5. carolee on May 25, 2010 at 5:41 am

    oh, thank goodness you made these rules, amy. we do not want to anger the poetry gods.

  6. rob kistner on May 26, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    I promise I will provide detailed insight into what turns me on, if you promise you will let me post my link… ;)

    • carolee on May 26, 2010 at 7:17 pm

      oh, dear. we may be in trouble. is it too late for me to blame someone else?

  7. Rallentanda on May 27, 2010 at 1:49 am

    Well Carolee,you will pleased to know that I have written a G rated poem about a hamburger
    to counteract all the rest of the X rated ones!

  8. delicious « lost in translation on May 27, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    [...] notes: In response to Carolee’s prompt over at Big Tent Poetry. Aphrodisiacs are love-enhancing foods you want to put in your mouths and in your poems. I thought [...]

  9. Rallentanda on May 27, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    I think I might also do a Barry White poem as well. Thanks for the suggestion Amy!

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  13. Amy Barlow Liberatore on May 28, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Warning: Not for the faint of heart, nor anyone who dislikes references to electrical means of self-satisfaction. Don’t say you haven’t been warned… oh, and if you like Billy Preston’s music, that’s a definite PLUS.


    • Carolee on May 29, 2010 at 4:37 pm

      i like your disclaimer. it made me want to rush right over the poem, though, instead of scaring me away.

      signed, one of the degenerate ring leaders


      • Amy Barlow Liberatore on May 29, 2010 at 10:01 pm

        Hey, the right ones will rush right over. Everyone else is forewarned – and will have skipped this prompt entirely anyway! ;^)

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