Swimming Piece 1

Imagine that all of the air around you is actually water.

Attempt to surface.

Wilt Chamberlain Piece 1

Imagine Wilt Chamberlain churning butter.

Imagine that the Big Dipper is using a standard-size butter churn, despite the fact that he is 7’1”.

Imagine the pain shooting through up and down his spine as he is hunched over the churn.

Feel with him the humiliation of being Wilt Chamberlain, the greatest player in NBA history, being forced to churn butter in such a stooped and painful condition.

See the tears drip from Wilt the Stilt’s eyes as he endlessly churns. See him mouth the words,
“How much longer?”

Think of the inhumane cruelty involved in putting him there.

Go to your refrigerator and take out a stick of butter. After the butter softens, place a candle in the butter and light it, saying aloud “Thank you Wilt Chamberlain,” then blow out the candle.

Place butter back in refrigerator and later use on pancakes, toast, coffee rolls or wherever butter is used.

Railroad Piece 2

Find an isolated set of railroad tracks cutting through a woods.

Walk down the middle of the tracks.

Stop at the one mile point.

Imagine the tracks behind you represent your past and where you have been.

Imagine the tracks in front of you represent your future and where you are going.

Walk boldly and confidently into your future.

After 100 feet, stop and let the monkeys you’ve been juggling fall to the ground.

Smile as you watch them run away, then continue on your journey.

If they do not immediately run away, throw as many bananas as necessary into the woods to the left of the tracks, and then run like hell into the woods to the right of the tracks.

Railroad Piece 1

Think of how the conductor of the train will feel after he has realized he has run you over.

Soup Piece I

Find a friend.
Buy a can of soup.
Remove the soup from the can.
Play catch with the soup.

instructions for salt crowbar

acquire a crowbar. replicate it in salt.
go to a locked place that you always
wanted to enter. attempt to pry open
the door with your salt crowbar. if it
breaks before you are inside, repeat
this process until you are where you
want to be.

Performance Poem for Frankenstein Mask


Instructions:

  1. Acquire a Frankenstein mask.
  2. Find a poetry open mic night on or near Halloween.
  3. Read the poem in a Frankenstein voice while wearing the mask.

Suggestions:

  1. A decent Frankenstein voice can be achieved while speaking with your teeth clenched firmly shut.
  2. Practice. Practice. Practice.


 

(to the audience)
Hello. Frankenstein writer too.
(hold up poem)
Frankenstein write poem.
Title of poem is “You and I Are One”

 

(point to audience and self)
You and I
(bring hands together in front of you and interlock fingers)
are together.
(point to audience and self)
You and I
(hold up index finger)
are one.
(hold up index finger of right hand far to right and keep it there)
Not one
(hold up index finger of left hand far to left)
and one –
(bring index finger slowly together in front of you
to form a single index finger and raise it reverently to sky)
but one.
(with increasing volume and emotion while raising fingers higher and higher)
One.
One!
One!!
(point to eyes with “V” made by index and 3rd finger)
My eyes
(point to audience with index finger)
see
you.
(point to audience with “V” made by index and 3rd finger)
Your eyes
(point to self with index finger)
see
me.
(make 2 “V’s” with index and 3rd fingers of both hands
and have them scan the room)
We look
with
four
eyes?
(shake head)
No.
(bring hands in front of body and form
the outline of an eye and hold it there)
We look
with
one eye.
(rotate the eye around in a confused manner)
What does
one eye
see
when looking
at itself?
(move eye against chest over the heat)
It sees
love
(nod head happily)
in the heart.

 

(point to audience and self with index finger)
You and I
(hold up index finger)
are one.
We have
(point to heart)
one heart.
You and I
are one.
we have
(point to stomach)
one stomach.
(for the rest of this section,
point to the appropriate body part)
One kidney.
One pancreatic duct.
One ear drum
One Achilles tendon.
One femur.
One scapula.
One Adam’s apple.
One Broca’s area
One Wernicke’s Area
One small intestine.
One large intestine –
also called
the colon.
One Grafenberg’s spot –
also called
the G-spot.
One anus –
also called
the rectum –
also called
the butthole
or
asshole.

 

(put hands with palms upwards close to each other in front of body
then move them to either side in a motion broadly encompassing everything)
Everything
you and I have
we have
(hold fingers interlocked together in front of body)
as one.
(mimic using a manual can opener)
One can opener.
(mimic casting a fishing rod and for remainder
of this section, pantomime the use of the items in question)
One fishing rod.
One flyswatter.
One vacuum cleaner.
One motorcycle.
One remote control helicopter.
One accordian.
One yo-yo.
(make high-pitched airhorn sound)
One airhorn.
One screwdriver.
One pencil sharpener.
One Rubicks Cube.
One fire extinguisher.
(pause nervously and
deliver each new “fire”
with an increasing sense of fear and panic)
Fire?
Fire?!
Fire!
Fire!!
Fire!!!!!!!!!!!!
(run out of the performance space yelling “fire!”
in a highly agitated manner
and do not return)

This poem was performed before a live audience at the Kelly Writers House on the Penn campus on the evening of October 30, 2013 in almost exactly the manner described above, including running from the building wearing a Frankenstein mask and screaming “Fire! Fire!”

Kelly Writers House tapes all of their events. So at some point in the future, there will be a video of this performance available. I’ll try to link to it when it goes up.

Folding Experience

Take 3 sheets of 8 1/2” x 11” paper.
Fold them in half (top to bottom).
Place one under a stack of bibles.
Place one between 2 volumes of an encyclopedia.
Place one between the pages of a book of poetry.
Wait a week.
Unfold them and lay them flat on a table.
Observe which is the least folded.
Write your hypothesis for why this is so in an unlined pocket-size Moleskin notebook while eating a peach by a river.
If you are dissatisfied with your insights, repeat this experiment using parakeets instead of paper.