Oh hey Spring.
Yet another idea from Writing Down The Bones: a “spontaneous writing booth” at your local/church/neighborhood flea market/garage sale/get rid of all your junk event. Luckily for me, I read this chapter just a few short weeks before Gordon-Conwell’s annual Flea Market! So guess what I’m doing this Saturday.
A spontaneous writing booth.
So, what I’ll be doing is charging some tiny amount like 50 cents a poem, and people can come up and give me whatever topic they want and I’ll write about it. There will be no promises of beauty or hilarity or nonawfulness, just a poem, whatever comes out on the page.
I practiced yesterday.
I spent 10 minutes or so just thinking up random topics and spitting out a poem about them. It was pretty fun actually.
For instance, let’s take airplane. I was imagining a little boy giving me the topic.
I wanna be an airplane
Way up in the sky
Dancing through the clouds up there
Floating way up high
I want to feel the raindrops
Before they reach the ground
To look at birds from far above
And hear the high up sounds
And if I were an airplane
I’d fly right home to you
I’d love the wind, I’d love the sky
But still, I’d love you too.
Or a cherry.
I feel the juice
down the side of my mouth
to my chin
I ignore it
as I taste
the bitter sweet
of my first cherry of the spring
it is red
it reminds me
how young I still am
but sweet, so sweet
So really I have no control over what comes out when I think of something, it just sort of happens. Natalie Goldberg says this is great writing practice, and also a great way of letting go of your writing, because you write it, and then you immediately give it away. No copies for myself, no coming back to edit, no throwing it away if I hate it, just writing, and giving.
It is also just another way of putting myself out there. I have no idea if anyone will offer me 50 cents for a poem. I could sit there all day and sell a couple of old sweaters. But I’m hoping at least some little kid will come up and want a poem about Batman. Whatever happens, I’m doing it, and it will be a good experiment no matter what it looks like. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.
Oh, I was also thinking about doing a 25 cent discount if the customer would write me a poem in return. I think that could add a little fun to things. Who knows, maybe someone secretly wants to be a poet and this is their big chance.
p.s. Baby G is a boy! We’re pretty excited.