Thursday, July 14, 2011

Some stuff for Naropa Summer Writing Program

Assignment # 2- Meditate on a piece of trash and then describe it and make it beautiful or alive for the reader.

Vision of an Ashtray

Gray, white, and black dusting of ash lines the base of the aluminum basin.
Watermarks stain the metal in shades of brown, gray, and black.
The pallet dulled with age.
The interior of the can is also stained.
Black smudges spot the walls like constellations.
These are contrasted by a galaxy of white dots, gray debris and sticky, old gum.

Occasional smoke wafts from ill-stubbed cigarette butts.
The smell is at once pleasant, and acrid.
It evokes memories of years as a smoker.
The taste of the inhale, sweet and harsh.
The aftermath, where my mouth felt coated,
As though I had licked the interior of an entire ash tray
Yet somehow-- still attractive.

I am struck by all the colors.
Whites, beiges, dotted with yellow,
Shockingly green filters
With names like Camel.
Warm brown scattering of ancient tobacco crumbles.

Assignment # 5: Think of garbage—contamination or containment. Imagine an elaborate contamination control. Consider: What am I contaminated by? What do I contaminate? What might you do to keep what you wrote from leaking?


hide the HIDEOUS

They built our new school
on top of an arsenal.

hide the WASTE
bury it
entomb it in concrete

proclaim it clean
proclaim it safe
make it a wildlife preserve

plant native prairie grass
RED, wildflowers grow
bursting from “clean” earth

protect the animals
bring back the buffalo
DARK, silhouettes against pale sky

bring the children
MULTICOLORED, multi-cultural, multiplying--
free public education

free water for everyone
fresh from under the arsenal
certified SAFE

Contained by concrete.

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