Thursday, April 17, 2008

#17 a collaborative exercise created by Kendall Grady, CAConrad, and Monica McClure

Open a closet or bureau or drawer or glove compartment or hidden shoe box. Pick out an old item of clothing. Maybe it looks like another decade. Maybe it's a childhood relic. At least one year must have passed since you have seriously engaged this item. Now wear it. Accommodate this item on your body even if you can no longer wear it as intended due to changes in the item's condition, your physical self, the weather, etc. Now grate one large carrot. Put the carrot in a new, clean nylon stocking and tie it around your head with the bulge of carrots against your upper lip where you can smell the carrots, and drops of their juice trickle into your mouth. Sit down in the sunlight, facing the sun with your eyes closed for fifteen minutes. Meditate on something you used to eat as a child. Think of the first thing you ever wanted to eat. Was it dirt, Styrofoam, play dough? Eat it slowly and in small doses. What is it like to believe that what you are eating is food? Pretend it is nourishment. Think about the material making changes in your body. What is it like to chew something into something else? What is that thing you eat when there is nothing else around? A tortilla and peanut butter? Now eat that thing and think about making something of nothing. While eating, move the carrot bulge to your forehead. The old item of clothing you found should now be tied around the arm you use to write with. Keep chewing while you write your poem!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


(This is primarily for poets living outside tropical regions) LOCK THE DOOR AND UNPLUG THE PHONE, KILL all outside interference, you must NOT be interrupted because YOU are about to build and ignite your BANANA WORD MACHINE, and once it gets started it doesn't like to stop, for anyone, for any reason! You need: a banana, and pictures of: parrots, boa constrictors, leopards, jaguars, banana trees, men and women carrying bananas to trucks for export, OR anything else which has to do with banana production, or wildlife or anything else native to where bananas grow. No music. No noise. If there is noise use ear plugs. Strip down naked and sit on the floor with your pictures, your banana, pen and paper. Smell the unpeeled banana while looking at each of the pictures you have chosen to build your BANANA WORD MACHINE. When you settle on your favorite picture slowly open the banana, staring at the picture. Imagine this picture ALIVE at the moment it was taken and BE THERE, slowly opening the banana skin, smelling, taking small tastes. When you have absorbed the picture thoroughly, and feel sufficiently transported mentally, get comfortable on your back, then slowly rub banana into your skin wherever you most want to, but make certain to coat your solar plexus, throat, and THOROUGHLY coat your forehead. Feet, genitals, ass, and wherever else you most want to of course since this is YOUR OWN PERSONAL BANANA WORD MACHINE! Slowly chew a little of the banana, and put the skin on your chest as you stretch out on your back with your eyes closed and FILL YOUR BODY with the LOWEST possible HUM you can muster! SUSTAIN THAT HUM! Then relax in your quiet, hum again, keeping eyes closed. Slowly chew a little more, smell, then just relax in your BRAND NEW BANANA WORD MACHINE! When you feel quiet, and your muscles quite limber, slowly massage the banana into your forehead, slowly, softly at first, then deeper and FASTER in a circular, clock-wise motion. THEN SUDDENLY SIT UP inside your BANANA WORD MACHINE and write write write write write WRITE! HUM and massage your forehead again to keep your BANANA WORD MACHINE fully in gear and energized! Write, hum, massage, relax, repeat, repeat, keep going, keep going, you, are, writing, in, your BANANA WORD MACHINE! You will write some of the BEST poems of your life TODAY! YOUR BANANA WORD MACHINE! LOVE YOUR BANANA WORD MACHINE! Yellow splendor!