Saturday, January 29, 2011

To-Do List After An Hour of Writing in The Ballard Library, 1-29-11

To-Do List After An Hour of Writing in The Ballard Library, 1-29-1

  1. A bad bird poem from Sadie's dream of crows. Reference: Great, black beating wings, molting as a metaphor.
  2. Look up the Latin name for “pig”. Write about the difficulty of skinning after slaughter; the incessant need for a blowtorch and patience.
  3. Ponder: Depression as a preponderance of passion; too much energy, nowhere to go. Include these words: Light's edge, gobsmacked, implacable, mourning.
  4. List the ways that pigs and birds are different. Who gets to leave the body. Which is a thing released, which is a thing bound inexorably to flesh. Make it unpredictable.
  5. Think of skin as bald, like ice cream. Think of it as melting, as alkaline. It’s too early to consider what emerges.
  6. Best form for all this a villanelle, as contains within its very rhythm a haunting repetition, etc.
  7. But not a bird emerging after all. Rather something red and wild, all hair and feathers, screaming, perhaps. Don't say "perhaps".
  8. Something about skipping off down the sidewalk, the body slithered out of like a cheap coat. (Don’t say “cheap coat.”)
  9. Include this clip: Outside the window as you write, a homeless man picks up a bright purple bag left in the bushes. He shakes it upside down, but it’s empty. He leaves it; continues on.

--Kristen McHenry

Image from:


Tumblewords: said...

A wonderful creation of nine valid vlsuals that give rise to a collage of photos! Number nine is a particularly vivid scene!

gautami tripathy said...

This is so interesting...

singular thoughts

barbara said...

Fascinating process. any one of those could make a good response to the sketch.

Anonymous said...

I like the progressive nature of the list.

Deb said...

Fabulous poem. Love the self-referential litany. The notes to self about what to do and not (don't).

I envy this poem. Having read it several times. :-)

A lot.

Anne Harrington said...

Kristin: i wish i knew you when i worked at the Hope. This is so much better than the staff meetings, etc.