for Sharon Mesmer
Take a white helium balloon with a red string into a private room where no one can see you or bother you. Don't even let them know you have it, and hide it in a closet when it's not in use. You need four consecutive days for this exercise. DAY ONE chew your favorite gum while naked in bed, or on the floor, but on your back, arms behind your head, legs spread apart, relaxed with your balloon on the ceiling above you. After your gum is sufficiently chewed and soft, stick the end of the red string into the gum, then shove the gum into your navel. WORK IT IN THERE. Relax again with the balloon above you, now attached to your navel. Navels are scars from birth, scars which are the center of gravity. Take notes about your navel now filled with gum and balloon string. MOTHER FED YOU through this before you were born, chocolates, spaghetti, tangerines, mayonnaise and turnips and cashews and pickled beets! You processed shit and other excretions through this YOU LIVED THROUGH THIS HOLE WITH THE BALLOON NOW HOLDING ON! Take many notes. DAY TWO sit naked on the floor while holding the balloon to your forehead, rub it into your third eye, bouncing your head gently into it over and over. Hum into it while thinking about your day, especially something that might have irritated you, hum LOUDER when irritating thoughts come to mind. Take notes. Now tie the red string around your penis, if you don't have a penis tie it around a dildo inserted into your vagina, or around your thigh, then walk around with your balloon bouncing above you. Read a favorite VERY FAVORITE book of poetry, stopping from time to time to take notes about reading this book naked with your balloon attached to you. How is it different reading this book naked with your balloon? Now read your favorite poem in the book backwards out loud, last word first, even read the title backwards. Take notes. DAY THREE cut a little hair from your head and pubic hair, and tape it to your balloon. Let the balloon rest on the ceiling while you sit on the floor naked, looking up at your bits of hair above you. Bring your balloon down slowly and study the hair and let it float back to the ceiling. Bring it down again and WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT WHAT TO DRAW draw spontaneous drawings with several different colored magic markers. Let it float back to the ceiling. While it's on the ceiling take notes about what you've just drawn. What does it look like? How do you feel about what you've drawn? Take notes about each color and how you used each color. Bring your balloon back down by the string and study it closer. DAY FOUR smear snot or blood or semen or pussy juice or ear wax or piss or vomit or shit or spit or sweat or whatever excretion you have available onto your balloon. Hold onto the string as it floats above you. Relax on your back on the floor. Hold the string by your toes with your legs extended. Look at the balloon with binoculars. What emblem is this? What Jolly Roger? What letter of love or apology is this? What declaration? Take notes, take notes. Slowly let the air out and put the balloon with all the hair and drawings and secretions into a sock, and put the sock under your pillow. In the morning take notes about dreams you had, especially if the balloon appeared. Your excretions had just been floating above you the night before, what was in your dreams? Take notes. Now take all your notes and use THE FILTERS "River" and "Basket" to shape your poem.
Click HERE to read (Soma)tic Poetics Outline
Click HERE to see the book (Soma)tic Midge