poems, etc.

this week's writing exercise

No Zelda's this week, so let's do a little writing exercise: freewrite on "animals are intermediaries between the physical and the spiritual"

animals are intermediaries between the physical and the spiritual, the remind us that we are naked apes, mammals, that any connection we have with the universe comes down to us through ancestors who were less sophisticated, more immediately connected to eating and fucking and trying not to get eaten, to the things we don't talk about in polite company

my old quotes collection

Every so often, I engage in a little net ego-surfing - type "Tom Swiss" into Google or Yahoo and see what comes up. I've found a few other notable people named Tom Swiss this way, but since I've been on the net much longer than they have, most references are to me, mostly from old USENET or mailing list posts.

Today I stumbled across an old version of my collection of quotations, must have posted it to USENET way back when. Share and enjoy.

reading at the Harford Poetry and Literary Society

This afternoon, I did a reading at the Harford Poetry and Literary Society. In itself, that would be mildly interesting, a different crowd than my usual audience, skewing quite a bit older and more academic. But what's really cool is that I was invited by my former 7th and 8th grade English teacher, Alan Reese. Very groovy.

work in progress

Something I wrote after Zelda's Sunday night. Needs polishing but I think there's something good here:

Wednesday mornings now I go running
almost a year now
not far, about three miles, halfway out then turn and come back
(out downhill, back uphill)
nice paved path, on pleasant days I pass moms with strollers, old people out walking

before I turn around and run back I turn off into the woods for a few minutes, along a trickle creek

sometimes, right about there
I feel him running with me

December 17th's Zeldas exercises

December 17th's Zelda's Inferno exercises:

1) connecting 3 phrases (from random texts):

- why aren't I happier than this
- if you are excited about it
- hold tight to the memories

perversity of the brain
it holds tight to the memories of pain, humiliation, frustrated desires
while moments of joy and love slip through like water through a leaky flowerpot

walk through the fields of paradise and your boots stay clean
but mud and dog shit will always stick to your shoes

the popular theory of Christmas is joy but look beneath the veneer

Zelda's Inferno exercises, December 10

This week's Zelda's Inferno exercises:

1) take a assertion from a previous work and negate it. Take that as the starting point of a new piece.

it's not that the stars are afraid of the sun
and run out of the sky when it comes up
(the sun after all is one of them, part of the Fraternal Order of Hydrogen Fusers, member of the union)

Zelda's exercise, Dec 3

This week's Zelda's exercise: a poem portraying the self as an inanimate object

a drop of rain
I am separate for a moment
distinct from air ground ocean wood

I have my boundary, my undoubtable inside and outside
I hold together, even as I change shape

I reflect the world around me

I am falling toward a destiny I cannot see, cannot fully know as I am now

a drop of rain a drop of rain a drop of rain
small by myself, almost insignificant
but always part of a larger movement -
as unique as I am there are many like me

when I come in winter I am adorned, beautiful;

sitting in Leadbetters, 26 Nov

"Roses, roses" says the man with an armful of blossoms, walking up and down the bar. It may be just about the only word of English he knows.

There's a whole group of them, maybe from an extended family, I see them often talking to each other in a language I don't understand. Sort of modern Eliza Doolittles, selling flowers to the relatively more well off, helping guys pick up girls.

(Somewhere at home I have tucked away a dried an withered rose that a beautiful redheaded girl bought for me from one of these guys, in this very bar years ago, something I could never just throw any, would have to toss into a sacred fire to get rid of.)

Zelda's exercises, November 26

My output from this week's Zelda's Inferno:

1) write a piece using the following three phrases (selected from random texts):

check out the wow factor
even the amateur chefs among us can accomplish
that's the key, having a good staff

look inside and
check out the "wow" factor
of the inside of the mind

with a little focus
even the amateur philosophers among us can accomplish
a beautiful remodeling of the mind
repainting the windows of the skull

Zelda's exercises, November 12

My output from This week's Zelda's Inferno:

1) the "IQ test" exercise. In this one, we all make up multiple choice questions with some odd and interesting possible answers. We answer our own questions and those that others in the group pose, then write a poem based on the selected answers.

My questions:

why don't we see stars in the daytime? *they're afraid of the sun and hide / it's too bright to see them / we choose to ignore them / a government conspiracy

why is there a hole in the middle of a doughnut? to allow them to cook more evenly / *to symbolize the emptyness at the center of everything / cooks skimping on dough / a government conspiracy

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