Monday 25 April 2011
In that kitchen, a writing exercise (NaPoWriMo, day 25)
Three days of NaPoWriMo, I've begun anew an exercise I came across in a listserv's archives: Begin with "In that kitchen," continuing writing until you're stuck, and when you reach that wall, write "In that kitchen" again and continue accordingly for 10-15 minutes; this becomes the first draft of a prose poem. In my three pieces, the kitchen is always the kitchen at 220 Arlington Drive, Normal, Illinois, the kitchen I knew as my family's from the age of five, the kitchen I may not see again if the house is sold soon. I was surprised to feel how much a kitchen can be the axis of a family; I suppose ours especially, as it was connected to the garage on one side and was open to the dining room on the other. For those struggling with coming up with a poem a day, I strongly recommend the exercise and urge people to try it with the kitchen they knew in childhood: it's amazing what strands of relationships, family, place, and development arise and mingle.