Five Not-So-Easy Pieces

Day Five. I’m exhausted. Words are rolling around in my head and thumping against the sides of my skull and making my brain hurt. This is not necessarily a bad thing.

My hands aching from hand-drafting three to four hours a day, however, IS a bad thing. I may have to give in and use my computer tomorrow or Thursday during class.

I now interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you Good News!

My collaboration with Belgian video artist Marc Swoon Bildos Neys is now live on Vimeo here. I wrote lines based on titles and film clips as a prompt from Marc – he put the two together. His work is experimental and (I think) quite beautiful, so I am happy to be a part of this pairing.


Parts of two new books I purchased in my quest to read (and learn more about) long poems: David Kirby’s The House on Boulevard St. (new and selected poems) and Galway Kinnell’s Book of Nightmares, which every teacher I have ever had has suggested but I have somehow not read.

Listened To:

  • Jack White – Blunderbuss (running)
  • Neko Case – Middle Cyclone (walking around – catching up on emails)
  • MaybeSheWill – Sing the Word Hope (writing)
  • Alabama Shakes – Boys and Girls
  • Chromatics – Kill for Love
  • Four pages of material for a long poem about women
  • a free write from the first line “Standing behind me as I write is…”
  • a piece with a first line from Russell Edson (goal: to follow the wild claim of the line without taming what follows)
  • an epistolary free write where topic shifts were randomly introduced
  • a piece inspired by advanced mathematical formulas left on the blackboard
  • a memory piece about a place we have bever been (Ilyinka) with a laundry list of details to invent, including a wisdom line or proverb from the area.
  • about to start homework assignment based on a random line from a Diane Ackerman book – “whose roughness made it easier for us to grasp”

And, although it was in the 90s today, there was a wonderful breeze and the shade was actually quite comfortable, so I spent a lot of my writing time like this:


2 thoughts on “Five Not-So-Easy Pieces

    • Thanks, Maureen! It was a unique process, to compose lyrically and try to tie the three titles (provided by Marc) together in some cohesive fashion through language the way he did with image.

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