First of all, you guys made me cry and I’m so happy and I had so much fun reading your writing!! I got 200 submissions! SICK! It was so fun picking favorites! Thank you for your bravery and vulnerability. One little reminder: these prompts are about writing NEW work. It is very cool to have a collection of old pieces of writing in your catalog that are not related to the prompt, but let’s write new stuff! It’s fun! I promise!

Here are my picks for favorite submissions:

-Amanda Hawk (she juxtaposed her name with her body which I thought was super cool and original)

-Salla Junetunen (broke down their name with the feelings of each syllable. Sounds have connotations! COOL!)

-Donny Winter  (his poem was multi-layered, but one of my favorite layers was about seeing his name published as a writer, which stuck out to me because names are also tied to recognition! Like when you win an award, they don’t call you by your moon-child-spirit-self, they call you by your name.

-Troy Osaki (Just read this: “America has taught me to be less foreign- an unmarked atlas of where I am from. A Japanese accent pronounced like a small war in my mouth conquered in english”. LIKE SHUT UP AMAZING UGH)

-Annabelle Zaluski (Journey she had with her name from first as a little girl, to teachers in school, to then hearing her partner say it- names grow with us- they evolve and we evolve with them. Neat direction!)

Now to this week’s poem and prompt!

ONION-VISION by Shira Erlichman


A man who forgets himself is poor at making bread.
That is a cookie fortune I never got.

Three virgins in the sack are like three happy vowels: aoe!
That is also a cookie fortune I never got.

The mountains have really big hands.
Once more folks, a cookie fortune I never got.

Don’t turn around – there are babies being made.
That is, again, a cookie fortune I never got.


The bubble bath was filled with lemons when I kissed her.
A secret, just nobody’s secret.

The extra pillow is to hump.
Somebody’s secret, someone close by, maybe right here.

I lick every scented marker in the set.
Gregory “Long-legs”s not-so-secret in fourth grade.

Every bad thing that ever happens to you
is either a thermometer or barometer.
A secret I wish someone had told me sooner.

I am not brave.
The heart’s secret.

I am too brave.
The heart’s secret.


A dishwasher that plays the dishes as notes.
Uninvented Invention #23

A holidiary where everyone shares entries
in a highly ritualized public format.
Uninvented Invention #68

“Burn the water” – a blues song revealing
the impossibility of abandoning those that abandon us.
Uninvented Invention #104

A miniature movie-theater suspended above the forehead
during sleep to, of course, project movies to a loved one.
Uninvented Invention #19

Walking campfire: built small and safe enough to store
in the breast pocket and familiar to all, so all may sing along.
Uninvented Invention #859

Onion-vision, so we may see sadness as it is, artichokes
as they are, sound, muscle, the truth as it is.
Uninvented Invention #44

Word-kites: you tie them to what you say
and they go wherever they want to go,
like, a tree-tangle or your mouth, some hot moon like that.
Uninvented Invention #960

So here is my challenge to you:

What is your uninvented invention? I want you to avoid the literal type of invention, like a different kind of soap dispenser- BORING- though I myself have tons of inventions! my drummer, Heather and I came up with something called “Shoe Party” and I would tell you what it’s about but I can’t because it’s genius and we’re going to go on Shark Tank someday and Lori Grienier is going to put it on QVC and we’re going to be bagillionaires and everyone will have “Shoe Party”.

INSTEAD- Everyone knows that the best inventions solve problems or make things easier, so I’m asking you to write a metaphysical invention for a metaphysical problem. Are you having a problem in your life? Are you going through grief? Are you having trouble communicating? Is there someone else in your life that could use a metaphysical solution? You can even think bigger- go global! What could solve world issues? Go magic! Go surreal! But I want you to think really carefully- spend your whole day observing people, observing yourself and think about this issue you would love to magically fix- and think about the name! Naming your uninvented metaphysical invention is half the fun.

Just like last week, you can submit your writing to marylambertsing@gmail.com.

Love you guys. You are inspiring.



I can’t breathe/Make me a paintbrush, lungs

I lay in a too-large bed watching the sunset in a hotel high rise,
decadent truffle wrappers strewn on the sheets
of the most comfortable bed I have ever laid on
Newly purchased clothes haphazardly hurricained around the room
narrowing my eyes
angry about a fly 
that is now dancing a mating ritual around my kombucha
Simultaneously I read the headlines from my friends
about another body killed without accountability

If this were two years ago
I would be skipping work
marching alongside my friends
Writing poems,
Asking questions about allyship,
Burning with the desire for political justice, for social justice,
For human rights.

But I’m a pop singer now. I have fans. And a record label.
Not to mention a persistent insect asshole roommate that won’t leave my delicious beverage alone.
After all, I wouldn’t want to let the fans down by speaking out.
It could offend people. It could make them uncomfortable.
After all, people only want to listen to my music, right?
Not be force-fed my ideology or stance on human rights

But when I think about it-
Isn’t being a plus-size, bi-polar, crop-top wearing lesbian inherently political?
If not me, then who?
If not now, then when?

1. The word “indict” means simply to bring to trial.
Just because you didn’t mean to kill somebody doesn’t mean that they are not dead by your hand.
2. Drunk drivers never mean to hit families
3. Sometimes I get drunk
4. Sometimes I get drunk with my own privilege
5. Perhaps talking about race isn’t easy. Perhaps the conversation should be about police accountability. There are a lot of necessary conversations. Perhaps we should talk about the asshole fly trying to weasel itself into my expensive drink.

6. Yes. All lives matter. This conversation is not about white people and the thirst to be included, white people. This conversation is about being a person of color and that relationship to authority.
And the naiveté of some whiteness, along with the concept of being “colorblind”
is endearing at best
Segregation ended in 1954, but there is no statistic I can give you
that says systemic racism ended just because you were born.
I appreciate your soft youth, your hunger for peace
If you are indeed “colorblind” my loves,
How could you ever see the vibrance of any canvas
Of Magritte or Basquiat or Picasso
Or the world around you

Reality is terrifying.
Humanity is frightening.
But when you see the dark
with full eyes, wide as all
You have the gift of illumination
To see also the facet of humanity that is starkly beautiful
That is the core of humanity’s magic
To stand shivering in it’s wake
Aware of your own humanness.

7. I want to be a paintbrush
I want to paint this beautiful sunset on the eyelids of every single one of them surrendering mid-death
hands up
i can’t breathe
My sheets are twisted around me
My sheets are crisp and rich and the building is tall I am sweating in my own privilege
and the fly is back.
Did I mention the fly
Did I mention the fly was black
Did I mention the fly was a black man
I didn’t kill him
I went on the patio of this high rise
and wrote this
while the sunset held my hand with unfiltered indigo and pomegranate
Did you see it too