Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Writing Exercise # 10

On the eve of NaPoWriMo , I give you this final exercise ("final" as in "I will be writing poems and wrangling children for the next thirty days straight, so don't come lookin' here for any prompts in that time!")

But before that, I should mention that I was in Detroit eleven days ago for the Women of the World Poetry Slam and it was amazing; full of female voices from all over the country, a rare and invigorating event that I cannot say enough good things about. I have some spectacular up-close pictures of the Heidelberg Project and we met a gentleman who promised to light a fire in honor of my making the final stage at WoWps. I wish I could go back and collect his match as a souvenier, because it ended up being quite magical! I will be posting pictures from the trip, hopefully by the end of next week.

Okay. Enough of that business. Here's the prompt:


1. A person (real or imagined) that you have not seen/heard from in a long time

2. the first object(s) that comes to mind when you think of that person (it could be the Zippo they always carried, a specific brand of shaving cream they always smelled like, a tube of red lipstick and an emptied shotglass...)

Write a poem or story about how this person(#1) has now been replaced, in your universe, by a sculpture of objects (#2)

It is up to you to decide the shape of the sculpture. It is up to you to decide if that sculpture walks, sleeps, eats, moans, goes grocery shopping...

If it can speak, would you finish a long-lost conversation with it?
What would you offer it? What would you add to it, if anything? What would you take from it? Where does it live? If it works, what does it do for a living? Does it know who it is the ghost of? Does it know its real name?


Of blood and doormats

Her voice cracks from her mouth like a lobster. The organ hisses its good-bye song. A hive of blood and doormats, she tippy-toes down the aisle in a dress made of broken water and shotgun shells. Two mothers weep in the front row, noses pressed deep into their corsages. The limo driver polishes the rearview mirror as the groom's twisted arm squeals I do. I do.

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(This exercise was inspired by Khara Koffel's exhibit and, specifically, "The Delicacy of Meetinghouse Road.")