What is Otis?

Otis is a writing prompt created by Otis Richard Cronshey during the early days of facebook, back when it was a whole other world over there. To strip it of esoterics and lay out essentials: It all starts when twelve ‘seed’ words are selected. The writer, or Otis, then uses these words to create a poem, or otis (otises may become poems or parts of poems but don’t usually start out that way). Using one word per line, the word may be placed anywhere in the line, but its form cannot be changed, unless you are playing “soft Otis” in which things like rules don’t matter.

Ok, so what are the rules again?

Use the twelve “seed” words in the order given, one word per line. You may use the word anywhere, but may not alter the form of the word. When you are done with your twelve lines, select twelve new words from what you’ve just written for the next Otis to work from.

And why would I want to do this?

To dissolve boundaries, to grease cogs, to get out of your own way for once, to connect to others using machines but not in the way machines are typically used to connect to people. Try it. You might surprise yourself.

try your hand, befriend the ape