Sunday, May 11, 2008

Weekend Workout - bonus poetry and a shout out to Eckhart Tolle

I haven't given you all a weekend writing workout in a while, so I stopped in with a bonus poem for the Wishes, Lies, and Dreams class at Puget Sound Community School.

My assignment this time is to go someplace where there are lots of people and just wander around, being quiet, and listening to them all. I think buses are great for this. So are malls. Listen to everyone's pain, fears, worries, suffering, silliness... Your job is to empathize with them all.

I've been having a great time observing others after reading Eckhart Tolle's book A New Earth, which I think is a useful tool for writers. Forget books about writing for a moment and read a book about being a human suffering inside of an ego. Should give you insights for great character development.

During or after you do this listening exercise, write a poem that begins with the lines "I listen..." and see where it takes you.


I listen to angels
on the bus wearing
narrative eyes - I've lost
my fearlessness the charm
of youth once wombed in an
immortality of ideas
I am now offered seats
sweets - and less hours in a day
The bus driver tells me
about how his sister smothered
the dashboard of her car
with stuffed animals

I had a car like that I say
Allen Ginsberg rode shotgun
when I gave him a ride home
from a party
elixired on poetry
an incident my keeper of
memory adores

A bodhisattva sits next to me
remembering his dinner
Chinese ladies with bags of aluminum cans
chat loudly and the bus lurches
tumbling us madly forward laughing
as we touch - we know
each other now
a bird of souls
a playground of misfits


Julia Smith said...

'I am now offered seats
sweets - and less hours in a day'

Oh my - you too, Danika? The problem for me is that I'm now grateful to be offered the seat, instead of confused by it! Wonderful poem - I definitely keep my ears open during any time spent out amongst the masses.

Anonymous said...

hey you forgot to sign up for the train!

lots of fun moments in the narrative eyes, i travel to ride that way

have you checked out readwritepoem yet? you should check their prompts...

i was thinking it would be fun to offer to do a prompt for them re 315 to encourage the participants to do the experiment this year

it'd be fun to have the whole month of august be experiments!

i really want to do a experimental conference here in 2010...i'm trying to get to laynie's conceptual poetry and its others may 29-31 in tucson...gonna post info on my blog when i get a minute

Danika / OpenChannel said...

AP -

I know, I keep doing that... writing the poem and then forgetting to sign up at the train. silly me.

I keep meaning to check out readwritepoem, I will definitely do so.

I've gotten a few random requests to join 3:15 this year. We STILL need to get that website developed properly!

I'm down for 2010... just make it after MARCH as we've got a ginormous Women In View conference up here in conjunction with the 2010 Olympics.

Anonymous said...

I am so greatful to Eckhart Tolle and Oprah for turning me onto Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor and her beautiful book ""My Stroke of Insight"". Her story is amazing and her gift to all of us is a book purchase away I'm happy to say.

Dr Taylor was a Harvard brain scientist when she had a stroke at age 37. What was amazing was that her left brain was shut down by the stroke - where language and thinking occur - but her right brain was fully functioning. She experienced bliss and nirvana and the way she writes about it (or talks about it in her now famous TED talk) is incredible.

What I took away from Dr. Taylor's book above all, and why I recommend it so highly, is that you don't have to have a stroke or take drugs to find the deep inner peace that she talks about. Her book explains how. ""I want what she's having"", and thanks to this wonderful book, I can! Thank you Dr. Taylor, and thank you Eckhart and Oprah.