Workshop #2 New York School of Poets Exercise

Happy Leap Day!

Today Kyle will post our first prompt for an out-of-class exercise, but I also thought it would be useful/interesting for us to see one another’s results from the workshop exercises here as well as on our individual blogs. I’ll add another post with Workshop #3’s exercise.  We’ve also had a friend from UCDavis added to our blogroll as she has done this first workshop exercise (found the prompt on bgexperiments).   We might well have others join us!

Add your result as a comment–I’ll start us off.

Here’s the original prompt:

1. Write a question.

2. Write down the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the following:
Day of the week
Time of day
Body part
Means of transportation
Article of clothing
Song lyrics
Street name
Children’s toy
Historical event
Rock group
Thing you find in a hardware store
Musical instrument

3. Another question.

In five minutes, write a poem opening with the first question, closing with the second question and including as many of the responses to the words as possible. Think about how to get from the first question to the second.

Five minutes.

5 Responses

  1. Camus to Sisyphus

    Why does the owl sit in our tree
    on Tuesday at 3:00
    of all things, in the day

    Why does Klimt
    throw teal grapefruits against the window
    in Prague
    while he rides the train to visit
    his mother?

    Why does the street sign
    hit your shoes with sadness as you push
    your burden up Elm Street?
    Hey, don’t walk on the grass,
    it’s cheating.
    Rather, play the viola with burning tires.

    Why does Canada’s arm
    slap down across the border
    as though it holds some kind of rosy oval

    Does it know something we don’t?

  2. Why would you do that?

    Monday evening, the sky
    a Monet blue,
    caught in twilight
    and ribboning through the clouds.

    Memories drift up
    from inside the house
    the smell of baked ziti
    a violin song, settling on the ear
    fear in the basement.

    Under the silver clouds
    and ethereal sky,
    they become a meaningless amalgam,
    tossed in with yucca plants
    under an Arizona sun,
    wandering down Last Chance Gulch,
    the sound of Phish against a Mt. Helena

    Knowing it will all recede.

    When are you going?

  3. “What do you call that color?”

    She sat with aqua, turquoise, navy, cerulean — let’s call ‘em blue — earrings

    contrasting some flowy light-yellow scarf.


    Unlike my tomato-sauce stained eyes

    and thumbtacked jeans –

    think with blood from the pressure it took to fit into THIS.

    (I once lived on 36th street in Seattle, WA where it would rain on Tuesdays and where, at precisely 6 o’clock, I would watch my watch and listen to airplanes soar in the sky blue sky and — “Nothing’s gonna change my world” — miss out on seeing turquoise (decided) jewelry girl.)

    Cylinders changed everything.

    Pumping in cars and drinking me away from that place I wasn’t meant to be –
    to (w)Here in this little shop with the turquoise woman –

    (blue) tears glistening — asking me to put

    the money in the bag or she’ll shoot.

    Why did I forget to drink coffee this morning?

  4. Why can’t you shave your neck?

    She glared at the tiny specks of black escaping his shirt collar.

    It was Thursday evening and the sun had just melted away to produce a velvety-blue twilight.

    Where the sun had previously glared as bright as if reflecting off Ghiberti’s bald, golden head, the light changed from orange, to salmon, and was now a deep shade of violet.

    Why can’t you ever smash all the lumps out of the mashed potatoes?

    His kneecap bumped the leg of the table, sending condiments and bowls of food wavering where they stood and caused the whole breakfast nook to vibrate.

    Why do I need glasses?

  5. […] the New York School Posted on April 7, 2008 by kflagg Hi guys — this made me think of the New York School exercise we did at the beginning of the semester. I’m not sure if any of you have read much Frank […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: