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!