Listen to Rosa Alcalá read “You Rode a Loop” (CW: catcalling and street harassment) three times. The first time, just listen, comfortably seated. The second time, listen in any position with your eyes closed. The third time, listen with your notebook, and jot down any language that sticks with you or you are drawn to (you don’t need to why, trust your gut). Now make a quick list in your notebook of all the loops you’ve know (be literal or figurative, it doesn’t matter). The point of the list is to jog your memory and not censor yourself. After you make the list, spend 15 minutes (or whatever time you have) freewriting about one or two of those loops. Remember the point of freewriting is to keep your pen or pencil moving and not censor yourself. What happened in the loop? What was the loop? How can you create movement in this loop? What can you make manifest on the page by way of imagery (sounds, touch, taste, smell, and sight)? Make note too, of what Alcala calls “pinpricks” in memory if you are writing from memory. Read your own creation out loud three times. Afterwards, say, “Good job (insert your name), you wrote something!” Now go take a nap or go outside if you can.
This One is For Kids and Adults!
Read the comic “Oofland” by Malka Longabucco (see below). Read it three times out loud. First time, regular voice, second time shouting, third time silly and wild. Discuss or think about the nature of Oofland. What happens there? Why does it happen? What is Oofland anyway? Who lives there? How do they feel? Now take as much time as you like to write your own Oofland story or create your own Oofland comic. Make a mess! Get mad! Get sad! Get however you feel, but don’t yell at your parents! Yell at Oofland!
When you are done and feel like sharing, please post on Instagram under the hashtag #oofland
Read “Pause” by Mary Ruefle. Read it a couple of times or once. Decide to keep some kind of feeling log, like crying (as she does or happiness or rage or frustration or jealousy, whatever feels like it needs charting in your life). Keep it for as long or little as you like, but do try to notice any patterns or lack of patterns. Once you feel you’ve had enough of that, do some freewriting. What emerges out of your log? What can you see about yourself, your feelings, your moods, you whatever? What is emergent or refuses to emerge? Or don’t freewrite and decide to turn the log into a performance of some kind. Use puppets, pets, yourself, your kids, utensils, whatever you have handy. If you’d like to post it to Instagram, hashtag it #feelinglogperformance
Submit your responses, epistles, and poetic experiments to PARTY LINE to be considered for publication in an upcoming issue here.