a collaborative (Soma)tic by CAConrad & Ryan Eckes
--for Pattie McCarthy
We created this (Soma)tic exercise together, then performed it separately. Then we wrote the poem together via email. That first poem is “BEFORE ABSINTHE.” Then we spent the evening drinking absinthe together and writing a new poem off the first one, and it’s titled “AFTER ABSINTHE.” Here’s the exercise:
Burn sage over the area where you will be meditating for the exercise. Coat your face with the smoke, infuse your hair, FILL THE ROOM WITH IT!! Place rose quartz over your heart while lying flat on your back, eyes closed. Be quiet and still for ten minutes. Move the rose quartz to your forehead, have pen and paper within reach so that you can begin writing. WRITE down the message your heart told the rose quartz to tell your head. Every single day for five days after writing with the rose quartz, maintain your position on your back to taste a different spice. Dip your finger in cayenne, next day, cinnamon, next day salt, next day oregano, and next day black pepper. By the second day, after writing, notice if the cinnamon sent you in a different direction than the cayenne had taken you. Take your pulse, write more and then prepare for part two.
Go to the internet, find the e-book L&O by Pattie McCarthy and click on FULLSCREEN view. Put your cursor on the page-scroller, close your eyes and randomly move your mouse up and down for a few seconds, stop and open your eyes. The first line that you focus on, remember it. Go outside for a walk to the park, repeating the line to yourself every few seconds. As you walk, try not to think about anything but what's immediately in your view, every few seconds saying the line to yourself. After a minute or so, let the line transform by adding the names for what you see during your walk or by substituting words from the original line with words for the things you see during the walk. As it changes, feel free to sing the line to yourself or whistle it. Once you get to the park, sit down, get comfortable, say the new line to yourself a few times. You can say it like it's a question, then an exclamatory imperative, or however you like. Wait for the first animal that comes near you, seems to look at you, and say the line to the animal. Take notes. Every day, for five days, choose a different line from L&O and walk to a different park, changing the line.