Thursday, April 14, 2011

Writing Exercise # 40

Let's go, folks.


1. Write down something you do well. A skill or trait you know is TIGHT. Do you know how to love your woman proper? Do you know what it takes to make the perfect tamale? Are you good at forgiving? Flamenco? Lying?

2. Three rules you live by. They can be anything: don't flat iron wet hair. Don't kiss with your eyes open. Always eat the upper right hand corner of the birthday cake.

3. List three things that could have destroyed you BUT DIDN'T.

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Alright. You have a lot of options here. This can be an instructions poem. This can be a praise poem. This can be a wicked ghazal or a message in a bottle buried in your backyard.

Write the magic, spectacular voodoo of you. Is this skill expensive? Did it cost you anything or anyone? Does this trait happen without you even trying? What does it require? Do you need small hands? Do you need to be alert? A good listener? Full of nails? Incorporate one or all of your rules (#2) to live by. Understand how they tie in with this power, how they amplify your ability to do this thing well.

Don't forget to work in the moments from #3 with the rest of the poem. It's okay if they appear as non sequiturs. Or if they are incorporated into the skill. Or if they are what drive you to be such a badass husband/taxidermist/educator/chicken soup maker/guitarist/kisser. It can even be your opener. "I survived a plane crash, and now I knit small sweaters with a steady hand."

Do you!!


(This exercise was inspired by the unstoppable Honorée Fanonne Jeffers and her poem The Gospel of Barbecue.)

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P.S. along with yesterday's exercise, I posted a little request. Check it out. There is a limited edition mini-chapbook involved!