Thursday, September 23, 2010

Writing Exercise # 24

Well, I haven't written off of a ghost line in quite some time. If you don't remember the rules, here they are.

Today's ghost line is brought to you by the inimitable Erica Miriam Fabri. She is one of my most favorite homegirl poets. The line is from her poem "The Secret Language of Symbols." It is also the longest ghost line we've ever used, so let's get to it:

"You told me you came from a place
where stampedes of horses hunt in the valley of your ribcage."

- - -

So here's the drill. I want you to write a biographical poem for someone you despise. Write the truth of them. Use as many sounds and colors and aromas that you can think of. If you need help, try making an imagery table before you start. I like the idea of continuing the "you told me," but you don't HAVE to, of course. Instead, you can just start at the beginning. Conception is always fun: "You were spun like a web in the upper right corner of your grandmother's house." To know or design the origins of another is a great way to build empathy. Imagine George W. Bush's first kiss was with a mirror in the middle of a cornfield. Doesn't so much of his life suddenly make sense?

Okay. I've fallen off a little. Forgive me. Back to the exercise:

Assume you know everything about this person. The weather they were born into. Their first day of kindergarten. Their first love and how/why it ended. You know their favorite place to hide. So don't make this easy for yourself. Come up with some doozies. Get as juicy as you can get without drowning your couch. Oh yeah. And when you're done, give it to them. And if you can't do that, tape it to the inside of a bathroom stall. Or slip it under a peach at the grocery store.