An EPISTOLARY poem, also called a verse letter or letter poem, is simply a poem written in the form of a letter.  It can be addressed to anyone—a lover, a deceased grandmother, an older or younger self,
a newspaper editor, a pesky telephone solicitor, even God Himself.
Or anything—a season, a childhood toy, a diary, an abstract concept
like love or evil or justice.  To whom (or what) would YOU write?

Me?  This morning, I lifted my heavy, aching head from the pillow and cursed the wildly bouncing barometer for the ruckus going on behind
my eye sockets.  Before shoving the perp into the back of the cruiser
on a one-way trip to Urgent Care, I’d offer him one last chance to do
the right thing.  Possibly, I’ve been watching too many cop shows…


Dear Sinusitis,

Recent weather changes
have increased pressure on us
to arrest your activities.

Be assured, whichever
cavity you may have infiltrated,
you will be flushed out.

So much as a sneeze,
and your cover will be blown.
There’s nowhere to run.

Dozens of Suda-FEDS
are patrolling the perimeter,
prepared to dispatch

a specialized SNOT team
of highly-trained germ warriors,
armed with Z-packs

and authorized to strike.
Consider this your final warning:
Quit phlegm-phlamming!

Cough up the hostage
and come out with your hands up,
and nobody will get hurt.

Fail to comply and you’ll
end up cemented inside a Kleenex
at the bottom of a landfill.

The Booger Police

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  1. chevvy8 March 19, 2017 / 4:03 am

    Brilliant! I love it Joan – not the sinusitis of course. A great form to use on just about anything!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan March 19, 2017 / 5:36 pm

      Thanks, Chevvy. Epistolary poetry is turning out to be a lot of fun. And I think my ultimatum scared off the sinusitis, I feel much better. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • chevvy8 March 19, 2017 / 5:45 pm

        You know I drafted something after reading yours but this one needs to stew a little. I love the idea that you can write your rants quite nicely in this form. Mine would be a protest hence I need to sit on it a bit.😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Just Joan March 19, 2017 / 6:59 pm

        A great idea for Morning Pages when you can’t think of what else to write… a nice, long, satisfying, private rant. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Joanne Miller March 19, 2017 / 2:46 pm

    Absolutely one of the best descriptions of this condition I’ve ever heard…. and so funny too. Once again you have arranged your words to paint a perfect picture, and my head is also hurting with you. I’ve sent it along to my daughter who is presently suffering as you describe.
    Joanne M.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan March 19, 2017 / 5:39 pm

      Thanks for the visit and comment, Joanne. Anyone who’s had sinus problems knows EXACTLY what I’m talking about here. Hope you and your daughter heal quickly. I think I scared mine off, for the time being anyway. 🙂


  3. circumstance227 March 19, 2017 / 6:28 pm

    Love the image of a “specialized SNOT team” going after phlegm-phlammers. Let justice roll down!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan March 19, 2017 / 8:13 pm

      I can picture the SNOT Team, wielding their antibiotic pistols with arms extended, elbows locked. Pivoting, carefully checking each sinus passage, hollering “CLEAR!” Methodically capturing Wicked Blob O’Phlegm who is snuffling in the corner, waving a white handkerchief. Case is heard in reality TV court by no-nonsense Judge Loogie. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. L. T. Garvin, Author March 19, 2017 / 9:01 pm

    What an amazing poetry form, Joan. Another one that I’ve not seen before. Your poem is so funny and entertaining, although, alas, I am too familiar with the experience. So many cute phrases in this one, Suda-Feds, SNOT Team, phlem phlamming. Great job! I hope you are feeling better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan March 19, 2017 / 9:19 pm

      Thanks, Lana. I actually am feeling a bit better; hot ginger-lemon tea does wonders to loosen things up. I’m hoping to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most poetry forms ever showcased in a blog. Just kidding. This form seemed vaguely familiar… then it hit me, the ones I’d written in the past began “Dear Diary.” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • L. T. Garvin, Author March 19, 2017 / 10:58 pm

        Ah yes, Dear Diary… I wish I still had my teenage diary, I had to throw it away because my sister kept invading my privacy. I like the letter form, I may have to try that one too 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Peter Klopp March 20, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    The form and style of the poem are great to express one’s beef with any issue in life. I learned something new today. I like your poem addressed to Sinusitis.


    • Just Joan March 20, 2017 / 4:43 pm

      Thanks, Peter. Rants are just one of the many things this versatile form can do. It could be a tender letter to a child, a wisdom-filled letter to your younger self, a letter full of things you need to tell a deceased parent or grandparent or pet in order to have closure, etc. It can also be combined with other forms, for instance, making the body of the letter a sonnet or an elegy. As always, thanks for reading, enjoying, and commenting. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Quirky Girl March 20, 2017 / 8:39 pm

    Soooo…Did it work? Did the SNOT team have to intervene? Oh, the suspense!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan March 21, 2017 / 11:21 am

      I successfully scared them off… no SNOT team or antibiotics were necessary. But I feel like they are lying in wait, planning another attack, so the Suda-FEDS remain at their posts for now. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. K E Garland March 20, 2017 / 10:00 pm

    Quit phlegm-phlamming??? lol This is the best line Joan and so appropriate as I’ve just been hit with a cold from a little kid :-/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan March 21, 2017 / 11:17 am

      Thanks, KE. Sorry to hear you are under the weather, hopefully the phlegm-phlammers and their friends will vacate the premises soon. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Elan Mudrow March 25, 2017 / 12:55 am

    I’ll have to try my hand at this so-called episiotomy poetry, I mean epistolary poetry.


    • Just Joan March 30, 2017 / 8:18 am

      Thanks, Elan. It’s a fun form for many, many subjects. I look forward to seeing your take on it. 🙂


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