Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Festifall Writing Activity Sentences

At our Festifall table, we had set up a writing activity where people drew one word each from three different cups containing adjectives, verbs, and nouns, and wrote a sentence on-the-spot using the three words. Many people participated, and we ended up with a lot of sentences. Here are some of the highlights:

Your lips inspire me to be lazy.

I lied when I said I was jealous of your body.

Her lips appear soft, red; in a word, delicious. I hesitate to think of the colors feelings emotions evoked by the simplest of contact with them.

He conquered my curves with alarming finesse.

There was something quite inspiring and sexy about the way the vomit pooled on the floor.

If I wake up past tomorrow morning, I'm limp and lost, because I obviously slept with a hooker.

The lesson my mother taught me is a secret which I only think about when I caress my pet cat Celia.

Though subtle at first, the trickle of spring melt soon turned into a roaring river that seemed like it would never stop.

yourself out of embarrassment, naïve girl.

I am thoroughly embarrassed by the orgasmic reaction to the passage of linear time. Alas!

Commandment XI: “Thou shalt honor and caress thy tender guitar.”

I discovered delicious intestines inside me.

While you conquered “Love Me Tender” on your mandolin, I chopped vegetables for stir-fry.

Indulge in the morning, though your limbs may be limp.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Hi everyone!

Neil and I went to the Summer Hopwood award ceremony today to see Bethany get recognized and read her prize-winning poetry. It was a small, but classy ceremony, and Bethany read two excellent poems, the first of which was one of the earliest poems she had brought to Writers' Community to workshop. I have to say, listening to her read, I felt so incredibly proud of her, and realized again how thoroughly she deserved to win. Once more, congratulations, Bethany!

So, seeing this prestigious award ceremony and all, I've been thinking a lot about what makes writing *good* writing. We had a discussion along these lines on the blog some time ago, I know, but today my modern poetry professor read us a quotation by Matthew Arnold that tried to answer this very question. Here it is:

"For the creation of a masterwork of literature two powers must concur, the power of the man and the power of the moment, and the man is not enough without the moment."

Arnold meant it in the historic sense of time and place (my professor used it in reference to Yeats writing about the Irish rebellion against the British), but I think "the moment" is also an interesting way to describe that flash of inspiration that sometimes comes over a writer. Indeed, that's how it works for me; I'll have "a moment" of clarity and deep feeling in which I'll jot down some words, and then have hours and hours of that muddled second-guessing process we call "editing". What do you guys think?

And lastly, since I've promised to write and bring a poem to the next meeting, I have, of course, been thinking particularly about poetry. This is not the form that comes most naturally to me--and yet, as a reader, I feel like nothing is more "natural" than a poem well written. It's hard, as a writer (I guess I should say "as a poet") to figure out what you want to say, and how, exactly, it can be said most effectively. To give this ultimate question some perspective, I will end this post with the last few lines of Marianne Moore's poem "Poetry", in which she outlines, consisely and perfectly, exactly what a reader should expect from "poetry":

"In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand,
the raw material of poetry in
all its rawness and
that which is on the other hand
genuine, you are interested in poetry."

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Eastward, Onward, Forward

Strolling down Magnificent Ave.
With cane and coat and keys.
walking eastward, onward, forward,
in search of boundary.

Mile one is done, as is two,
Now I'm working on three.
I'll keep on going with steady gait
Until I'm ready.

I don't yet know how far i'll go,
the trail has yet to tell.
But I'll continue 'til I'm there,
or 'til my feet should swell.

I'm walking eastward, onward, forward,
steady on my path.
Never a better road to travel
than down Magnificent Ave.

(Draft one, please comment)

The Derelict

Move along. Nothing to see here.
Nothing but this mendicant man.
He's been begging in the same place
All day.

"Spare some change, sir?
Have a good day."
That's all I ever hear him say.
There's a sigh in his eyes.

Some time soon I'll join him.
Some time soon, I say.
Maybe another day.

I'll buy him lunch or coffee.
Hear what he has to say.
But not today, no.
Another day.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

On a String

Here's his black hair
His brown eyes are open
His nose is here
His lips are smiling
He's wearing a blue shirt
He's wearing black pants
Here are his sneakers
And here's a pin
And the doll cries

Comment on anything, including title, punctuation, etc.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Anyone have preferences/requests for when meetings should be this semester? Also, we could all put our class schedules on M-Schedule and then find out that way when we're all free. I'm pretty much free for anytime I don't have class.