Friday, June 5, 2009


for Dorothea Lasky and Thom Donovan

This exercise needs nine consecutive days. Take nine books of poetry by LIVING POETS ONLY, but choose books of poetry you turn to again and again. Choose the order of the books for the nine days, then place an oak leaf (preferably late Spring leaf) in the first book. Sleep with the book under your pillow. Next day take the oak leaf from the book and bite a chunk off and keep it in your mouth. Find a recording of wolves howling from natural recordings, or even a recording you made yourself of friends howling. But if you make the recording, direct your friends to a Rallying Howl, then a Defensive Howl; let them decide what that means. Listen to the recording on headphones and go outside chewing your leaf, keeping the book on you, in a bag, under your arm, between your ass cheeks, it's up to you. Walk where there are people, walk where you can find THE MOST people. Keep chewing with the howling while studying faces and arms, studying how they move with one another, move around one another. Take notes, take as many notes as you can. When you're tired of chewing your leaf move it between your teeth and gums, but don't spit, swallow, don't spit. Remember that this leaf has been soaked in the book while you were dreaming. This isn't about appropriating text, it's about text absorption, the leaf taking on vibratory elements. Take notes about how the leaf tastes while thinking about how the book made you feel the first time you read it. SUDDENLY look up and find someone you are sure would howl a howl you would recognize as one of your tribe, your pack. Take notes about them to you in your world. Repeat this exercise for the nine days, a different book each day, the same leaf though, it's important to keep the same leaf, the leaf building layers of absorption. Now take all your notes from the nine days to make either one poem from all the notes, or nine different poems, it's up to you. If you use all the notes for one poem choose at least 2 FILTER WORDS, but if you write nine different poems choose at least 2 different FILTER WORDS for each poem, keeping in mind that the filter words are merely filters and guides for shaping. Don't worry about poem length, length is more important in bed than the poem.

Click HERE to read (Soma)tic Poetics Outline
Click HERE to see the book (Soma)tic Midge