Basketball at the YMCA: Six Word Memoirs Slice of Life #sol18 8/31

My kid in full Westbrook attire:
Shirt, shoes, socks, armbands, attitude, intensity.
Guards kid who channels Kevin Durant:
KD shirt, shoes, shorts, socks, shot.
They all rep their favorite players
Kobe, King James, Dame Dollar, Harden
Jordan is the constant. Ubiquitous, universal.
Everybody wants to be like Mike.


Shot is flat. Forgot to jump?
South Gym smells like swimming pool.
North Gym smells like dirty socks.
A clank off the rim. Denied.
Hard foul. A flurry of cursing.
Sneakers squeak ball bounces net swishes


Kids divide into shirts and skins.
But two skins leave shirts on
It looks like seven on three.
Confusion abounds. “Which team are you?!”








22 responses to “Basketball at the YMCA: Six Word Memoirs Slice of Life #sol18 8/31”

  1. alexpapp Avatar

    This is brilliant. Parsing it down to six words per line makes everything feel so profound.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thank you! I was frankly feeling a bit bored at the Y yesterday but got much more engaged when I pulled out my writer’s notebook and started jotting down six word lines!

  2. Mallory Krueger Avatar

    I love this idea for a slice!! It makes great poetry. I need to try this format out this month. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thanks! It was fun to write. I think it needs one more little cluster of six-word lines to round it out and bring it to closure, but this was all I had time for today!

      1. Mallory Krueger Avatar

        No, I think it’s great the way it is!

  3. edifiedlistener Avatar

    Very clever use of the 6 word memoirs. I appreciate the confusion at the end. Admittedly, I am confused. Which team indeed?

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      It cracks me up that it happens every.single.time. Someone’s always yelling at someone else for refusing to take their shirt off!

  4. arjeha Avatar

    I really like what you did with this. I wouldn’t think of writing something like this where each line has the same number of words. It would be a great exercise to use with students.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I don’t usually write poetry but there’s something about the six word format that’s both doable and poetic–at least for me! I usually use the form a few times a semester with my students, and they always surprise me with the depth and power of their lines!

  5. Leigh Anne Eck Avatar
    Leigh Anne Eck

    I love this form! Having a daughter who played basketball and now coaches, I have spent many hours in a gym. I can relate with everything from the sounds, the smells, …well, maybe not the shirts and skins! 🙂

    I love the confusion!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      So many hours spent watching basketball! The gym feels like a second home to me by now!

  6. carwilc Avatar

    I have written six word stories, before, but I have never grouped them into a bigger story. Way cool!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Once I start writing them, I find it’s hard to stop, and then somehow they sound better to me when I put them together. It’s a fun format for sure.

  7. Michelle @litlearningzone Avatar
    Michelle @litlearningzone

    Agreed! I contemplated a six-word memoir for a slice, but couldn’t narrow it down enough, but grouped together! Brilliant! Love that challenge too! Did your son help you out with some basketball lingo? Or did you fly solo? Impressive!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thanks, Michelle! We are all basketball all the time around here. We spend hours at the gym, listen to basketball podcasts on the drive home, and then watch basketball until bedtime! My son is truly obsessed. Sometimes I think I hear basketball announcers and buzzers in my sleep!

      1. carwilc Avatar

        My younger son, K, did competitive basketball and we had a similar lifestyle for years. Surprisingly, I really miss it now!

  8. mel marie Avatar

    I am so going to try this. Definitely inspired! Must have made basketball even more fun to be writing these in your head 🙂

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I was bored that evening, and it definitely helped to pull out the writer’s notebook and start jotting down these six word mini slices.

  9. Trina Haase Avatar

    I love the rhythm of this poem, especially the alliteration and assonance! I really like the idea of grouping your six words into a larger piece – genius!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thanks, Trina! Totally stolen from some other slicer a long time ago, no doubt!

      1. Trina Haase Avatar
        Trina Haase

        I love all of of the ideas to emulate from fellow bloggers!

  10. […] with no real answers, to write short, to write really really tiny (like I ever do that. I even turn the six-word memoir into a longer piece!), to write personal, to write half-baked thoughts that really need a little […]

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