Greetings, citizens of the world. Cate here. I’ll be practicing greetings for a long while.
I hope you’re having one of those meeting-people-unexpectedly-and-receiving-them-warmly kind of days that can be hard to come by. But when you’re on, you’re on.
Possibly you’re wind-stung and flushed because it is so cold out. You look good red, don’t worry.
Here’s a writing exercise to try. Write a statement so bold your reader can’t help but accept it based on the authority of your voice. We could all use some more declarative sentences in our lives. Let me elaborate. Take, for example, how Matthew Rohrer opens a poem called “Beautiful Things” with the line: “When we say something is beautiful/we mean we can laterally bisect it.”
I want to read the rest of this poem because 1) a part of me unconsciously desires to affirm what the poet says, 2) it’s a unique, curious statement but it’s not outlandish and 3) this promises an explanation will follow. And 4), let’s not kid ourselves, it’s Matthew Rohrer. (He teaches in the Creative Writing department and I suggest applying for one of his poetry classes before worrying about where your next meal is coming from.)
Now then. Take this statement and disavow it by the end of the poem. Either blatantly or let it slowly unravel as the line count grows. (or Don’t. Just affirm, affirm, affirm.) Make it at least 20 lines.
Then pack up your notebook and TAKE TO THE STREETS! Find a friend roaming around and read it to him or her. If he or she is aroused by your intelligence and prowess, send it in. That turns us on too.