9 April 2020

I am so intrigued by today’s prompt for NaPoWriMo! It invites us to make our poem more concrete by forming it into a shape that reflects its theme. I spent a lot of time reading Windowboxing by Kirsten Kaschock, the poet mentioned in today’s NaPoWriMo post, and I am now officially obsessed with her/her work and the portmanteau. Sadly, I could not figure out a way to make my poem concrete in the way I wanted to, so instead I made it virtual af by using Canva to form my poem into an Instagram post.

That’s the poem I made (for the gram), and it looks nothing like what I pictured when I first read the prompt. I wanted to find a way to create the shape of my poem with its actual text, the way my friend Jessica does with some of her handwritten poems (example below). But I wanted to this digitally because I don’t have any interesting paper in the house. I played around with a couple different design tools, but this task definitely falls outside my current skill set. Someday, maybe.

jessicasmith_StandingRock

Today I listened to Under the Pink (1994, yo) by Tori Amos while I worked on this poem-post. In college, my favorite song from this album was “Pretty Good Year,” but now I think “Past the Mission” is my favorite.

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.

8April2020_Anger_CognitiveEffects

8April2020_Anger_ExpressiveStrategies

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.