writing exercises, jan 28, 2013


as soon as you have completed the assigned physical activity, write without stopping until told to find an ending place. avoid using the words “I” and “me”.


You think that you body is a stranger, that we are grappling for each other in a desert, that your mother gave you the gift of a body only to let the world take it from you— with the laughter of young women, the fear of small boys, the cradling passage of time in a small room with smaller windows. you wake up not knowing anything and your body protests against the day, and memory floods in like some great weight of brackish water. we come bearing debris, there are many kinds of weight and we have forgotten lightness.


There is a place that has been forgotten, is lying fallow, fallowing, wallowing, watering itself apart without company. The nest before a single bird is born. The echo of time perpetuating itself. The blood, singing sharp and loud and unheard. The veins of everyone here have not forgotten, but we are losing the code. Sleep with boughs above your door to keep the wicked out, do not learn the names of places inside your mouth, the secret workings of each tooth and its grinding like a saw mill. Let the hair fall where it may. Bury the bodies in simple earth while singing. Learn all the old songs, realize they were already familiar. Time continues to drip, on, on on.


“Don’t stop,” she said.

“But this is where we get off,” he said. “The stop. For the museum.”

“I know,” she said. “But I like the view from the train, when it’s high up and is just the right time of day. The glass on all the buildings does something lovely.”

“Alright,” he said. “We can just keep going until it loops back around, it’ll be dark by then and then we can go.”

“Thanks,” she said. “You’re sweet.”

“You’re funny,” he said, but he was smiling.


“Don’t stop,” she said, “please, I have so much more to say, and I just want you to keep rubbing my back and listening.”

some words I wrote after doing a lot of crawling across a floor the other day.