Sunday, November 27, 2011


Jessica's latest post is just what I needed. I knew in advance that much of today would distance me from a laptop or any other means of blogging, and that I was at risk of blowing the blog-every-day goal with only a few days to go. Yet last night, awake at 3am for no good reason, and again this morning, in a few spare minutes before leaving for the train station, I sat in front of a blinking cursor on an otherwise blank page. I could not bring myself to post a bunch of garbage just to post something. My readers are not going to return to this page if there's a risk that they're going to get something like, "Today I am going to New York City. TTYL!" So I waited.

And here I am, again with no ideas of what to write. I have no pictures to even share, because I've been using film this trip and the pictures I took with my phone yesterday are kind of ugly--just blurry shots for documentation purposes, with museum signs and strangers' elbows intruding into the frame.

In what was really just a form of stalling, I went to my Google Reader feed, purportedly to look for some kind of inspiration. And I found it in Jessica's latest post! which directed me to a panoply of prompts on another website. Click the link above and see for yourself.

I like this one, which fits with the rushed nature of my day and my writing. (I only have forty-five minutes until I've blown it for the day, unless I decide to allow myself to post by midnight West Coast time.)

Write a 10-word sentence that sums up your day. Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

This reminds me of an exercise assigned in an advanced poetry seminar I took at Rutgers. The assignment was to write "imagist" poems, short poems of some limited length (three lines? ### words? I'm not sure) and, for a wordy person, it was actually a blessing. Rather than try to fit every relevant idea into a poem, it forced me to focus intently on one detail. If I were to write a series of imagist poems about today, for example, I might focus only on the lights of Times Square and camera flashes all over the city.

(As a side note, these lights stand out to me because something weird is happening with my vision lately--I keep seeing bright flashing lights that aren't there. They are usually on the side of my vision. They seem to correspond with some actual light source, like a distant television in my neighbor's house that is nearly a block away. I am going to go to the eye doctor as soon as I can. Glaucoma runs in my family and maybe I can get a weed card! Or maybe I'm just tired, and maybe also I am spending too much time looking at computer screens.)

Today was flashing lights and wishing I had hand sanitizer. (10)

The Morris-Essex Line made me nostalgic, but not for TriMet. (10-a compound word is only one word.)

Why does the Metropolitan Museum of Art close so early? (10)

I wish I had one more day in New York. (10)

I found the cleanest public toilet ever in Central Park. (10 - prosaic, perhaps, but for some people this is a real concern!)

Not to end it on a toilet-related note (I mean, the entire post dedicated to that topic was enough for one person's blog!), I would like to tell you about the beer I had that was made with and tasted like sweet corn! I think that Heartland is a strange name and concept for a brewery in the middle of a city, in Times Square, no less (which--and I can't take credit for this as it was in fact said by a clever friend--is like walking through someone's bad MySpace page) (I couldn't seem to get a sentence about the down to less than eleven words), as opposed to being in an old farmhouse or something, but I'm limiting my criticizing because corn beer is a weird concept, too, and it was well done. When I got to Penn Station today, drinking corn beer in a bar decorated with chiefly rural Americana--in Times Square, no less--was not on the list of things I thought might happen. Well, New York is a surprising place.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Glad my post helped!! Love the 10 word prompt!