(This is a short exercise I did for a workshop. The prompt was to write a story that took place over 10-15 years in two pages using only three-word sentences. Definitely worth a try). I told stories. They started small. Built with Legos. Sometimes with nothing. Sometimes I’d sit. Looking out windows. I’d start talking. Four years old. An only child. I’d start talking. Not to anyone. I’d talk whenever. Talk to whoever. Anyone who listened. And I listened. When people talked. They told me. Four years old. I’d talk whenever. My head moved. The film projected. People told me. And I listened. What they said. It helped me. Leaving was possible. Stories were possible. Because of them. Because of others. Because of listening. My brain talked. Whenever it could. The film projected. I saw people. I wished constantly. I wanted expression. Language found me. I learned quickly. I told stories. Built with Legos. But Legos disappeared. An empty room. My favorite toy. Everything happened there. My friends loved. I loved them. They were siblings. But the walls. The walls lasted. Blank, empty walls. The film projected. My brain talked. Picture and sound. Far away things. Places colorful, distant. I told stories. By myself, happy. Happy to leave. Loving my home. Loving my parents. Still loving rooms. An empty room. Nothing was there. Nothing but me. I was everything. Everything I’d heard. First grade, writing. Teachers named it. Called them “stories”. An “active imagination”. My leaving, named. Imagination, beautiful word. A sudden realization. Others knew them. Others felt them. Others heard stories. Had their own. I fell quickly. I loved people. I talked whenever. 7 years old. Anyone who listened. I slowly grew. I held fast. Loved and sang. Happy wherever, glad. Glad to listen. Glad people talked. Satisfied, being there. 11 years old. In sixth grade. Writing I hated. An obligation, chore. Meant for schoolwork. Fancy a girl. Heart gets broken. Sixth grade heartbreak. The sharpest kind. Ignored the walls. Forgot the rooms. Remembered the girls. Always remembered girls. Remembered my friends. 13 years old. Got a phone. Remembered my inbox. Remembered my grades. Legos long gone. &nb
Greggory Cullen Wagner
after Don DeLillo
Is all that will be known of where we haven’t been still
pasted in mud clay of elm and maple walls logs stacked
to the rafters the roof views a farther news
spoken when the axe bites to gather feed and fuel
beside a wagon with no wheels no river abandons the way why
would anyone stop here might it have been the dawn
sky with petticoats on incomplete without a suitor
for the new day a cantor for the new mass a procreator of hair
dressed in dirt vestments
whose idea was it to stand still in the revelation of light
no broader than two or three paces broader than ten or twelve paces
as broad and as wide as the number of paces required
for the rest of your life things will flash and die the elements conspire
against us what does the wind know of distance
the sun know of day the clouds know of shadows on rainy parades
of earthbound transparencies who waltz anyway what does it take
to pick up a rock toss it higher than mountains at that fool yellow moon
faraway nightlight of well furnished tombs the bully of wolfmen
who taunts little dog laughter truant dishes and runaway spoons
kitties and fiddles and bovine balloons who dented this imperfect circle
and called it a heart a slapshutter window
shattered apart by the impatient crave for more
seasons and psalms and thunder and calm blessings
JesusGodAlmighty where are your poor
bone jointed troubadours of blood woes song
who build busted branch second chance twilight teepee fires
content to watch planets which don’t seem to move at all?
I happen to love this exercise. Type for a pre-determined amount of time assuming you have no backspace key and your fingers will catch on fire the second you stop. This is what two minutes in my head looks like: The road isn't what I was missing. Close. not quite. Something that moves, sure, but not quite a motorcycle. Music does so much to my brain. Perpetually confused. Perpetually lacking in courage. music solves both. Courage. The great ones had the courage to move the way they wanted. Presented the fundamental threads their own way. universal audience. Found the rhythms that reached them and hurled them in every direction. Ultimate courage, facing everyone's response. Intensely personal. Trust. They trusted something. Ultimate courage, ultimate faith: That not only does one person's voice matter but that MINE matters, and that I'm accountable for its dispersal. Horrifying concept. Irrational. But only irrational because of personal effacement and sense of personal weakness, not genuine lack of worth. In which case, self-effacement is irrational. Self-hatred, irrational. Self-destruction, irrational. Self-deprecation, irrational. If worth is unknown, but depends on participation multiplied by an individual's self-concept, then to willingly nullify either variable with zero is an irrational act, and ultimately ineffecient.Participation X Self-concept = Personal well-being, feeling of self-worth and satisfaction(P) X (S) = Value (personal)Participation without self-affection is worthless. Self-concept with validation is groundless. No value without either. Either can be nullified by zero. MUST attempt. MUST believe yourself worthy of the attempt. Must fail.
This started as a writing exercise where a character revealed a secret. I cleaned it up a bit, and is now a really short monologue on having just a bit too much distant affection for another. Also note that this reads a little smoother when read aloud.
Alright, that's enough excuses.
I wrote this poem as I looked out my window at a gentle snowfall. The purpose of the poem is to capture my feelings about snow at that moment, regardless of what I thought about it at other times. Let me know how you think it could be improved!
evinced only by the stimulation in a sway,
in an eventual chafe;
the short-lived breath of renewal passing through.
inoutinout — the wounds reminisce.
they smile wide in nostalgia
and weep a salted pink.
serein, and she remembers.
he had a likeness to sand, slipping
like time; she had a soul like a soldier,
still going, searching back
confidant lost in combat:
I'm making a choice to be out of touch...leave me be,
he said, he said, he said—
but the essence burrowed deeper than realization
could dig, than acceptance could seep;
it stole away like an infidel,
as a memory withstanding
the rotted, pungent stench of
as a hope doused in impossibility, still kicking.
its place of seclusion pernicious to the touch and
thumbed only when honesty supersedes sensibility,
a phantom ache where you did reside:
soulmate, dry your eyes
you were my shadow and now
I walk unbalanced,
the sun ceases to exist as its evidence
and you have outlined my convictions
For William Blake
with eyes of struggle
watch the wind blow history
from limb to limb
as experience foliates
leaves fall to deteriorate
in the soil of the retina
to plant innocence
in blooming vision
as the future oxidizes
events start to accumulate
in the wind breathing on my limbs
This is a poem about my grandma who passed away a few years ago, i usually write a lot about her.