Zelda's exercise, Oct 22

Posted on: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 11:13 By: Tom Swiss

Another set of Zelda's Inferno exercises:

1) given three phrases (selected from random texts):

I remember when it was so clean
maintaining close family ties
in order to live well

connect them in a poem:

to live well, I am starting to think, is less
about the outside than about the inside -
(hardly a stunning revelation but one that in this world must be repeated over and over
antihypnotic counter-charm against advertising etcetera)

seen too many terribly unhappy people who
"had it all"
money house girl kids if they wanted fancy car vacations but
we learned later of
late-at-night misery in a dark house

I remember when it was so cleanly laid out
the future
get a good job, money, house, there'd be a girl
have kids maintain close family ties slowly get old grandkids repeat ancestors' story
generations of lather rinse repeat

instead slow dawning realization that I can't stand 9to5 commutes cubicles office bullshit
can't believe in one girl forever
will not repeat ancestor's story
must write own

hard to write your own story
not knowing how it will end
originality so often leads to crap, much safer to steal and adapt
(like that old fraud Shakespeare stealing stories, like me stealing from Beats and Transcendentalists to make my poems)

we are always on the lookout to stories to steal
fads cults religions partyline bullshit
a set of labels much easier than a story:
Christian liberal punk rocker, gay Republican Buddhist Goth, whatever
yes even Zen Pagan poet hacker freethinker, myself not least of all a story thief

these stories we tell are where the insides meet the outside
brain as storytelling machine we feed it with the stories we steal
and try to paste together a pleasant plot

2) poem from a wordlist:

slippery svelte voluptuous sweaty cunnilingus pink surrender soft flirtation submissive embrace bondage

watching the soft flirtation of moonlight on water
slippery surface gleaming as it rises to meet voluptious Luna
subtle submission to tidal bondage

but the water pulls on the moon also
changing its orbit
locking its rotation until one side always faces earth
dominant moon also surrenders to the embrace