Day 187 12/29/13: Poetry Exercise: The Alphabet’s Spine

Had a great time at an Artist’s Way workshop this afternoon.

In addition to inventorying our creative triumphs and horrors, we used each letter of the alphabet to write a word or an entire line. These off-the-cuff exercises are great because you might find a gem of a line that you can use later on. Writing like this also reminds me to loosen up, to stop thinking, “This is good,” or “This is bad,” but to say instead things more appropriate to the time, energy, etc. that the piece took to write like: “this writing has a nice sort of galloping spirit to it,” without it having to be “good,” or a product. I admit,  X was hard. Xenophon, (a student of Socrates) wrote a famous treatise on horsemanship, and though using him was a bit of desperate stretch, it opened the poem up in a new direction that I could keep pursuing beyond the end of the alphabet if I so chose.





Elementary instruction, but

Far off in the misted glade

Geometric shapes resolve into

Horses carrying messengers.

In another life perhaps,

Joyously you awaited them.

Knowing you had just the right fragment

Learning first how to translate and

Maybe someday becoming the words themselves

No matter if you’ve forgotten alchemy

Or another lost art,

Perhaps still there on the edge

(Quiet) of remembering  or

Re-envisioning how it was or went

Somehow, even now, all is not lost.

There is still something there.

Understand you can still see or

Visit those places once outside now

Within and maybe a third space will open

Xenophon spoke of the unlikely

Yoking of instinct and sense and

The Chariot of Zeus (1879 illustration from St...

The Chariot of Zeus (1879 illustration from Stories from the Greek Tragedians by Alfred Church) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Zeus changed forms so to enlarge his own myth.