From My Commonplace Book - 31 - long list poem

from Mille et un sentiments

by Denise Duhamel


401. I feel open to writing in general.

402. I feel open to free writing, sestinas, and haiku.

403. I feel open to sonnets and canzones, villanelles and pantoums.

404. I feel open to collages and centos.

405. I feel open to memory and my dreams.

406. I feel open to recipes and headlines and found poems of all kinds.

407. I feel open to nonsense and I feel open to sense.

408. I feel open to lists and inversions.

409. I feel open to squirting KY Jelly on my brain, if necessary, to get things going.

410. I feel open to reading the slaves.

411. I feel open to reading the masters.

412. I feel open to taking long walks and clustering.

413. I feel open to taking a nap to see what happens.

414. I feel open to mopping the floor, to see if the gray deadlocks in soapy water remind me of Ophelia

415. I feel open to revision and revisionist myth-making.

416. I feel open to bribing a Muse.

417. I feel open to begging.

418. I feel open to melodrama and understatement.

419. I feel open to calling a friend and asking for advice.

420. I feel open to collaboration with children or adults.

421. I feel open to sulking.

422. I feel open to silk worms, the way they create no matter what.

423. I feel open to painting, knitting, making a cake.

424. I feel open to making anything at all.

425. I feel open to humiliation.

426. I feel like opening the dictionary just to look at some words: galaxy, cucumber, scissors, tintinnabulation.

427. I feel open to using these four words in a four line stanza:

the cucumber peel in the sink was the first tip-off
that something was wrong
then the terrible tinnabulation of the galaxy
like scissors preening the fur of a small dog. . . .

428. I feel open to poems within poems.

429. I feel open to giving away my secrets.

430. I feel open to looking like a fool.

431. I feel open to crumpling up what Ive written.

432. I feel open to starting all over again.

433. I feel open to free fall and thudding.

434. I feel open to soaring.

435. I feel open to simile and metaphor.

436. I feel open to synecdoche, synesthesia, and sin.

437. I feel open to miracles and mariachi.

438. I feel open to machismo, Mary Poppins, Milk Duds, and murder.

439. In other words, I feel open to alliteration.

440. I feel open to assonance as well.

441. I feel open to acting like an absolute ass.

442. I feel open to riding the back of an ass, if I can somehow get a poem out of it.

443. I feel open to sitting on my ass in front of the TV with the sound off to see if that sets off any sparks.

444. I feel open to writing about asses and their different shapes.

445. I feel open to my own desperation for subject matter.

446. I feel open to the fact that maybe there are already enough poems in the world.

447. I feel open to becoming a train conductor.

448. I feel open to specializing in yoga or suntans.

449. I feel open to getting out of my own head and learning to kickbox.

450. I feel open to going back to the Warhol museum in Pittsburgh to see the punching bags Warhol made for Basquiat.

451. I feel open to punching bags with the face of Christ.

452. I feel open to punching God just to see what it feels like.

453. I feel open to taboo.

454. I feel open to the international sign for toilets in Spain a stick figure sitting on the can.

455. I feel open to being discreet.

456. I feel open to other international signs for toilets, the silhouette of a woman in a skirt or a man in pants.

457. I feel open to making a Play Dog Garcia Lorca.

458. I feel open to doing Pablo Nerudas Etch a Sketch portrait.

459. I feel open to writing Sylvia Plaths name on a Lite-Brite board.

460. I feel open to cartwheels and Scrabble.

461. I feel open to using all the words from a finished Scrabble game in a poem.

462. I feel open to writing a poem using only words from the Official Scrabble Dictionary.

463. I feel open to rigor.

464. I feel open to cheating.

465. I feel open to misinterpretation and mistakes.

466. I feel open to the tee shirt in Miami promoting the Popes visit. Instead of I saw the Pope (el Papa), the shirt read I saw the Potato (la papa).

467. I feel open to seeing the Potato.

468. I feel open to the Holy Potato and its Holy Eyes.

469. I feel open to Mr. Potato Head dressing in a popes gown.

470. I feel open to Mr. Potato Pope and his views on abortion.

471. I feel open to Pope Potato the Second.

472. I feel open to La Papa Segunda.

473. I feel open to as many languages as possible.

474. I feel open to translation.

475. I feel open to poems of political protest.

476. I feel open to prose poems and open to stanzas.

477. I feel open to couplets about chicken cutlets.

478. I feel open to terza rima about tiramisu.

479. I feel open to anecdotal poems about childhood.

480. I feel open to putting the names of poets in spell-check just to see what alternatives pop up.

481. I feel open to Dorianne Laux becoming Darwin Lax.

482. I feel open to Ai becoming Ax.

483. I feel open Elizabeth Bishop, Molly Peacock, and Jean Valentine passing through spell-check unaltered.

484. I feel open to caesura. I feel open to lines that bleed into the next.

485. I feel open to meter and counterpoint.

486. I feel open to landscape poems with sheep dots and goat spots and mountains that look like sleeping giants in profile.

487. I feel open to small white milk teeth of first-graders and mentioning them in poems for good luck.

488. I feel open to mushrooms and mushroom clouds.

489. I feel open to clouds of smoke, clouds of dust, and clouds of pink cotton candy fuzz.

490. I feel open to ritual and magic.

491. I feel open to abstraction and the five senses.

492. I feel open to Mad Libs and liberation of all kinds.

493. I feel open to turning Oscar Wildes famous quote into a Luscerean word square:

All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.
All bad feelings spring from genuine poetry.
All genuine poetry springs from bad feelings.
All genuine feeling springs from bad poetry, etc.

494. I feel open to how the word look looks like look, the two os two round open eyes.

495. I feel open to becoming a nonce word.

496. I feel open to my own goose bumps.

497. I feel open to the little stuck-up hairs on my arm.

498. I feel open to pushing an idea too far.

499. I feel open to holding back.

500. I feel open to closure and the lack of it.


Denise Duhamel (born 1961, American) explores how -- somehow, oh please -- to get a poem written in her Mille et un sentiments, a handsome little book approximately 4 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches, about the size of a to-do list pad.

Denise Duhamel is known for her wit and, according to her Wikipedia entry, often travels the country to perform at readings.

Comments

That is a long list Poem Merry - all the opposites - don't think I could be open to things like "free fall" though (it's a heights problem !). Seriously I've looked into the information about her and respect/reputation etc. Particularly noted she speaks of loss of ego in composing poetry - this idea/experience is more eastern so intrigued.
 
Thanks, Enid.

From what I've read, Denise Duhamel likes to collaborate with other writers, so I can see how in collaboration ego would be put aside. I should find out more; I should read more of her work.

You have a problem with heights? Me too! And I know exactly when it began: the summer of 1988, the same time when all sorts of things began to go wrong. I mean, my health crashed.

Ok, you and I will decline the assignment to climb to the top of the fire tower to write a poem. Just thinking about that makes me queasy.
 
Thanks for that excellent poem! It made me laugh, so genius. Speaking of heights: I read somewhere that Dr. Cheney recommends that us ME/CFSers do bungee jumping. Something about equilibrium being restored. Anyway...thanks for posting Merry :)
 
Hi, Nico. That's great that Denise Duhamel's wackiness made you laugh.

Your wackiness makes me laugh. Bungee jumping! Dr. Cheney really said this?

Enid, are you ready to bungee jump? To better health!
 

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