05 November 2009

How to defibrillate a poem (before it's too late).

1. Fold the poem in half. Put it in your underwear drawer. Not in your drawers; in a drawer. Close the drawer. Go for a walk. Choose someplace ugly, filled with sorrow. Extra points for a locale that includes profuse multi-sensory information (ripe, overflowing Dumpsters, putrid crab apples piled on a lawn). While on the walk, feel sorry for yourself until you become distracted by the above. Upon returning home, wash your hands, then finish the poem.

2. Select a very sharp pair of scissors. Put those scissors back where you found them. Select the dullest pair of scissors that you can find. Cut your stalled poem into strips. Invite some outside source (clothes dryer, pet hamster, favorite lover) to mix up the strips for you. Dump the strips on the floor. Blink three times. Reconstruct poem from the strips.

3. Why is your poem worth defibrillating? Can't answer this question? Then perhaps you should put it in cold storage instead.

4. Read the poem aloud three times, in different voices. One of these voices must be Scottish (do your best). Then, throw the poem away. Take the garbage out. Salute the sanitation workers as they dump your trash onto the truck. Return to your desk and recreate the poem from whatever you remember. Finally, eliminate any mention of haggis that might have seeped in during the process.

5. Journey to your favorite office supply store. Do not purchase any Hello Kitty stickers. Instead, select a package of highlighter pens. Five colors will suffice. Ponder the poem. Consider its various elements and/or techniques. Give each element / technique a name. One technique must be named "Just Me Being a Shithead." Highlight the various elements / techniques in their own colors. Then rewrite the poem using only one of those elements / techniques. Feel free to color the entire poem orange upon completion, if that satisfies you.


Stephanie Goehring said...

Love this, particularly the bit about "Just Me Being a Shithead." Oh so many poems I should have named that.

Suzanne said...

omg LOVE this. You rock, Mary.

Dana said...

But I will *always* purchase the Hello Kitty stickers.

Penultimatina said...

Thank you!

And yes, Dana, I will always purchase them too. ;)

David Regenspan said...

I appreciate the gentle humor of this post.

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