Poetry Month Challenges Day 2: A Surreal B-Movie

An Idea Forms by Maria L. Berg 2023

Fight or Flight

As I mentioned yesterday, one of my ideas for my contradictory abstraction is that they are all part of the fight or flight response.

The fight or flight response is an automatic physiological reaction to an event that is perceived as stressful or frightening. The perception of threat activates the sympathetic nervous system and triggers an acute stress response that prepares the body to fight or flee. These responses are evolutionary adaptations to increase chances of survival in threatening situations.

Psychology Tools

The fight or flight response occurs when stressful or dangerous stimuli activate the Sympathetic Nervous System. Signals start in the spinal cord and travel along neurons to the eyes to enlarge the pupils and improve vision; the heart to increase heart rate and circulation; the lungs to relax airway muscles and improve oxygen levels; to the digestive tract to slow down digestion; and the liver to activate energy stores. These physical changes can improve eyesight, reflexes, endurance and strength. Psychologically it improves focus and attention to find the source of threat and identify paths of escape.

I’ve created this continuum of fight or flight to make a visual representation of where I think my contradictory abstract nouns fall between fight or flight, and homeostasis.

I hope to expand on this chart throughout the month and use it to find surprise connections and contradictions.

Today’s Images

Thinking of the nervous system, I thought it would be fun to play with neurons as an abstract design.

Impulse by Maria L. Berg 2023

The Prompts


Today’s prompt is a little complicated, so I copied it here:

The Romanian-born poet Paul Celan once wrote a series of surrealist questions and answers. Here are a couple of examples:

                What is forgetting?

                                An unripe apple stabbed by a spear.

                What is a tear?

                                A scale awaiting a weight.

Today’s prompt asks you to begin by picking 5-10 words from the following list. Next, write out a question for each word that you’ve selected (e.g., what is seaweed?)


Now for each question, write a one-line answer. Try to make the answer an image, and don’t worry about strict logic. These are surrealist answers, after all!

After you’ve written out your series of questions and answers, place all the answers, without the questions, on a new page. See if you can make a poem of just the answers.

Poem A Day

Today’s prompt is to write a B-movie poem.

I had some fun putting these two prompts together. I chose owl, thunder, generator, longing, cheese, song, mercurial. “Generator” inspired me to use the Synaesthetic Metaphor Generator to inspire my answers. Then I used the thesaurus to find similar words that start with the letter “b” to turn my surreal poem into a B-movie soundtrack.

The Poem

This B-movie Soundtrack

A boisterous baritone beam of blahs
balances on a bumpy berg,
boasting the bad bleak blisters
of baseless besprinkled bothers,
blue bangs that blend blandly
betwixt the beady burnished bumps,
the buzz between the beach and the butte,
beyond the backdrop, the bluster before beauty’s beard
a bedraggled bang below the belt breaks baggily
a bright, bouncy, burning, bold barrage of blows out of the blue,
but the breakneck bouquets that breathe blushes
buck buoyant baritones

2 thoughts on “Poetry Month Challenges Day 2: A Surreal B-Movie

  1. Pingback: Poetry Month Challenges Day 16: The XY Axis of Fear and Control | Experience Writing

  2. Pingback: Poetry Month Challenges Day 7: Fear and Faithfulness | Experience Writing

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