Day 23. How’s your mood? Up or down? I guess half of you would be up and half of you would be down. That’s how the world works. Half the earth in daylight and the other half in darkness. I’m in the part that’s in darkness. Then there would be the ones who would be both up and down. Maybe they’re bipolar or something. I think in a way we’re all bipolar. We harbor the extreme moods as well as the mild, pleasant ones, and depending on the trigger we let the one out. That’s why we need spiritual practice. A center of gravity that is all calm. So when was the last time you were real moody? Because, you guessed it, Robert wants us to write a poem that uses the phrase “Last Blank-Insert Anything Here”. If you have forgotten what happened the last time, tell me your current mood please.
Ah a fable. Storytelling with a moral. You know, like “The Tortoise And The Hare”. Everyone knows that one. Its moral is something like “Slow And Steady Wins the Race”. It’s a worthy moral. Just like us who are writing poems in the whole month of April, right? Do you think you’re mercurial like the Hare? Taking catnaps? Do you feel like the Tortoise? Steadfast and diligent. I guess if you managed to complete the course, you’d be that one. I feel tortoise-like in that aspect. But in the other aspect, in the aspect of swiftness, I feel like the Hare. I write super fast. So that makes me a hybrid. Am I off point? The point, my dear, is to write a fable.
Day 21. I’m officially weary. Nine more days to the gate, and yay, I’ll be done with this kind of poeming pretty much! So Robert decided to have mercy on us and asked for an object poem. Too easy peasy? Only, why stop at one object when you could have a list? A small list or even a rapturously long one. Why? Because desire doesn’t cure itself. Just when you think you don’t need one more thing, you see and you need. It feels like a seizure, if you know what I mean. This wanting. It’s human nature is it not? Damn you, human nature!
Day 20. By now you should have filed your tax return. Now that was a task, mundane, boring, necessary. So thank goodness there’re other things that are more real. I mean, taxes are real but they’re not really real, do not figure in the meaning of our lives. What is the meaning of our lives? They lie in stirring stuff, the stuff that sets your heart on fire, palpitating. First there has got to be a sexual awakening. I don’t know about you but it seems to me that sex is a necessary part of one’s becoming. We’re err.. sexual kittens. I was just reading about a character’s sexual awakening, and this was what was said: “Sex seemed to me all surrender–not the woman’s to the man but the person’s to the body, an act of pure faith, freedom in humility. I would lie washed in these implications, discoveries, like somebody suspended in clear and warm and irresistibly moving water, all night.” (Alice Munro, Lives of Girls and Women). So Robert Brewer wanted a task poem. But you could be a rebel and write a sex poem instead.
Day 19. I can’t wait for the drum roll when the end is near. Oh the discipline! But rather than hemming and hawing, let’s just get on to business shall we? What I like about Robert Brewer’s prompts are their simple open-endednes, so it’s entirely open to interpretation. Memory is a bit like that. It’s open to interpretation so one person’s memory of the same thing is different from another’s. This is called subjectivity. It’s my favorite thing about literature. It calls to question memory itself. Is memory a fiction of the self? The self must be made up of memories for it to remember itself. What do you remember? Oh right, Robert’s prompt is to write a memory poem.
Day 18. I waited all day, had to wait all day, having no idea what Robert Brewer would have asked for. Yet when the prompt came, it seemed so right. He asked for a death poem. Or a life poem, but no, death it is. What? Do you deal with it? How do you deal with it? Do be do be do. I know it’s a serious topic because it’s the-end-of-the-world-as-you-know-it. But people, like things, run their course. When death stares you down, do you feel like you’ve ran the full course? If you’re going to be undone, have you done everything you’d wanted to do, and of course it’s impossible to do everything so to rephrase, do you feel you’ve lived the life you were meant to have lived? Because it would mean you’re somehow ready to die? That it wasn’t all a mistake? Your life.
Perhaps Robert Brewer watched someone dance. That’s why he asked for a dance poem. Dancing is one of the best things in the world. It’s best to do it while you still can. Because sadly, there’ll come a day when you no longer can. With each year your body rusts a little or a lot. Dancing is your body in lithe movement. There’re all types of dance too. So dance the form that your body likes. For instance I’m not much into hip hop. Too funky. I rather like lyrical dance. Surprisingly I find belly dancing the hardest to master, alternating between feeling entranced and repelled, and maybe both at the same time. I’ll stop rambling now.