A Writing Exercise:
Susan Buller in my writing group told us as an exercise, she had written down her idea as fast as she could write, without stopping. I am not sure if she wrote it in longhand, or on her computer. Following is the poem she wrote:
Sincerely startled by a sultry wind
gaping into two holes
frosted onto five loaves
of compressed sadness
Sorrow and longing
every single note
I sing on a wing that belongs to someone else
I wonder will my time ever come
Can I ever discover
what has taken me this far
on such a stargazing expedition
on the winds of someone’s brother
or someone’s mother
or a preacher’s lost place
little ants eating away at the knowledge of tomorrow
Knowing there will be sorrow and sorrow and more sorrow
when we see into our lives yet one more time
We wreck havoc on our tempered steel bones
Wreck postures with
hunched backs and backs packed
full of bitter waste
bent on bars of steel to hard to manage
with out a brace of some kind to prop it up
a conflict of interest demands a little smile
of faltered ego
Tattered treasure of temples on hills
where no one lives or wants to live or will ever see
Sadness of sorrows spent in search of someone’s lost song
listening to nothing on a lead-filled wall
Tomorrow will gleam its own future
prepare for its own downfall
weep its own destruction
Another mourner weeps into a wind that is
flung out into the limits of silence
A cry no one hears, no one cares, no one mourns
A cry of desperation in proclamation of their own losses
Their own travels into nothingness
of sorrow and mourning
And what is left, dear friend
is the death of a dream life.
by Susan Buller
Susan’s poem is full of surprising imagery, and shows how the intuitive mind makes associations through a metaphoric process, so suited to poetry.
A variation on this exercise, given by John Rybicki in a class I took several years ago, was to write in your own handwriting, a one hundred fifty word sentence.
It may be that writing in long hand is another way to access your right brain, or intuitive mind. Judy Reeves in A Writer’s Book of Days, advises this way of recording thoughts in daily journaling which nourishes creative process because handwriting is more directly expressive of the right brain or intuitive mind and more connected to the senses.
I have also used The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron for at least 15 years, intermittently, journaling by hand.
The Artwork on this post is the Copyright © of Ruth Zachary.