15 April 2020

We’re exactly halfway through NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo, and I am actually pleased with my progress for once. I love the prompt for today, which challenges us to write a poem inspired by our favorite kind of music. I will definitely attempt this prompt in the future, but today I just worked on a few more anger erasures. I am not in a particularly angry mood, but I am still interested in these Wikipedia erasures I have been doing on and off for about a year and a half.

Today I used the Wikipedia entries for anger, coping strategies, suppression and anger, physiology as my source texts. (Spoiler alert: Suppression doesn’t actually seem to be a super effective strategy for coping with anger.) Also, these erasures came out very dense, with tense little clusters of words that seem to reflect the inherent tension of the subject matter. So, maybe have a nice sip of something while you read.

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While I wrote, I listened to No Need to Argue by The Cranberries, which contains one of the ultimate anger anthems of my generation. Which is Generation X, if that was not already abundantly obvious.

 

8 April 2020

I am very excited about the NaPoWriMo prompt for today. It suggests using a line from a poem written by someone else as the seed for your own. If you’re familiar with my work, then you already know my writing practice often involves incorporating material from other texts either through a form like a cento or an erasure or through direct quotation or allusion. I thought I might be able to use today’s prompt to address my (now dreadfully late) homework assignment from my friend’s daughter (that is, the writing assignment in which I must use the words emphasis, sunflower, and scissors), but I lost a lot of my afternoon to the unnecessarily ardurous process of safely and ethically procuring groceries and household essentials without risking too much exposure to the world outside my apartment.

I have a medical condition that compromises my immune system, so we are trying to limit our interactions with others. But we still need to eat and blow our noses and such, so someone still needs to venture into a grocery store/drugstore scenario. It seems to take an unreasonable amount of time to plan for one of these scenarios, and now our town wants people to wear face masks when they go outside, but, of course, we don’t have any face masks and cannot easily obtain any without, you know, going outside. (Even if we were outside, though, where would we get face masks? It’s a quandary.) Suffice it to say, I am saving today’s NaPoWriMo prompt and my assignment from T for a less frustrating day.

Today, I made two more anger erasures, using the Wikipedia entry for “anger, cognitive effects” and “anger, expressive strategies,” respectively. When I read the poems over, they sounded like reports from some type of sinister human trial that violates everything I learned about conducting research with human subjects in my research methods course. So. Fair warning to you.

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Today I listened to Garbage’s self-titled album (circa 1995), but once I started working on these poems, I switched to Plans by Death Cab for Cutie and the relatively halcyon days of 2005, the year Charles, Prince of Wales married his true love Camillia Parker Bowles and the BBC rebooted Dr. Who.* Good times, good times.

*Other stuff also happened in 2005, including Hurricane Katrina, the death of Pope John Paul II, and the launch of YouTube, but I was trying to end on a positive note, y’all.

6 April 2020

Today, the NaPoWriMo prompt asks us to write an ekphrastic poem that uses Hieronymous Bosch’s triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights as its inspiration. This prompt felt exhausting to me for no apparent reason. I woke up in an extremely foul mood, hating everything and everyone. Moods like this always remind me of Edith Wharton’s novel Summer because in the opening scene the main character steps outside and says, “How I hate everything!”

The first time I read Summer that scene resonated with me on a deep, primal level, and I think of it often.

So, I feel a bit like Charity Royall today, even though she detests working in the library and I adore working in the library, and I did not use today’s prompt. Instead I started working on a little erasure series about anger, using sections from this Wikipedia entry as my source text.

Feels cute. Might delete it later. Might do a hundred more erasures titled anger. Might listen to the Captain Marvel soundtrack a thousand times in a row.

How about you? What emotion are you experiencing today? What are you listening to? What are you writing? What will make you happy tomorrow?

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