As I continue my understanding of why we create and what purpose it serves I continue to fill a toolbox of endless shelves with techniques, prompts, exercises in expanding our creativity… And while I am compiling most of these techniques and understandings in order to share them with my partner – it’s important to me, to others, that a more public access to these techniques and prompts are available.
I know your methods my friend, I know your framework.
I know this red door…
The hallways, allways, like walking into a bead of dew on Indra’s Web and seeing, and being that being with a panoramic view of some absurdist’s infinity; I am home. This is where the filaments of Whitman’s spider land and cast, cast, cast themselves in and out of balcony windows from the swing that keeps us playing, keeps us young.
In the eleven-hundred block of Decatur St. in New Orleans I stand in the kitchen of John Lambert’s apartment – I know I cannot function as a whole unit without this place, without him. We are yolks of the same egg, I ask him –
“What are we writing this time?”
“Why is the kite behaving the way it does? Is it trying to be a flock-less eagle? And if you were this kite; if you the juggler were this kite, if you the poet, the carpenter, the shaman were this kite – how would it relate to itself within the framework of your belief system?”
“This shaman, for example, encountering the flight of a dandelion seed head…
“…the prompt is projecting the self into the kite, the chair, glass, the dandelion…”
“The juggler… He sees the dandelion seed in flight before him; the wind is a juggler too; he feels jealousy at the ease of the wind’s ability; he is grateful that it would be willing share its technique; they share methods without speaking.”
“Yes. This is the prompt exactly. How do you, I, we behave as this object while existing within our belief systems? I am this kite and I possess the belief system I understand now. I am glass – with the same context.”
[John pulls his notebook out, flips a page, smiles, rolls a cigarette, hums a small laugh and reads…]
in the land where we are glass
we give thanks to make it home
unbroken, crowded with the reflections
we collect come end of day
I set down the glass box i’m always carrying
you draw too close for me to see your edge
as you peel away the panes
dropping explosions, whispering
“I’ll clean-up the mess later”
we click into a sheet
double-backed and carousel
as a threat to the furniture
the glass cat mrowls and darts away
“the floor” i moan
we drop together, we slide
into the stained glass kitchen
here your hair is a church
my face a prism grinning up
“what are you smiling at?” you beam
I dare the stupidest thought
blushing chromatic, for i had imagined
a land where we were unbreakable things
“sounds much too safe” you chide
and i nod, quite certain
how boring, no fear of breaking
in the act of love–no real test
of another surface against one’s own–nor ever
the measure of what a mirror can take…
“Do you see? Everything is poetry waiting for us to write it, correct? Then everything is a mirror waiting for our projection.”
“Yes. The flora that bears fruit as an artist, for example; what Roland Barthes called, “the death of the author,” here, the tree speaks, “I have built this thing of myself – take it and do with it what you wish without me.”
The prompt then can be extended into any object or stimuli whatsoever. I found myself driving across the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway on my way to an ASL convention and as an interpreter I found myself provoking my surroundings with how they would act within the framework of needing to hire an interpreter for communication means. The clouds in the above picture were an easy call; they would hire a poet to convey their message, their intents.
I considered the crepuscular moment on the French Quarter from the perspective of a writer of haikus searching for its perfect kireji; that precise expression that indicated a cutting and joining of thoughts and content and filled its readers with awe. It was in that 4 a.m. growl where the night was turning into morning. I considered this further and found unconsciousness attempting to find the same thing and it was in that involuntary, effortless and automatic instinct where we wake up from sleep.
What is the chess piece going to convey about its purpose if it were a carpenter?
I, joyously, came upon the idea of how an entomologist would behave if she were a bartender and all her clients were spiders; tossing the balled up and thumb and forefinger squashed remains of last night’s drunks at their webs – knowing their tipping is the most gracious of all – she gets to keep living.
The chair, if it was a priest?
The painting if it was a mathematician?
The cigarette if it were a scientist?
If Siddhartha were to watch a symphony?
If the Buddha himself were driving down an endless I-79 South?
What would their poems convey?