The Poetry Project

Writing Prompt

Matt Longabucco

First, get a little high: read some poems or this incredible lecture by Eileen Myles, smoke weed, take three Claritin, whatever works. Then mask up and head out, ideally to some liminal zone — trainyard periphery, cemetery fringe, river margin — away from other people. You’re going to write on the move, so you’ll need to rig up a system where you can easily get out your pen and some paper held against a stiff backing. Or use your phone, but if you do, it’s only fair, be prepared to keep some of the autocorrects and weird capitalization that will inevitably occur. Now, for every block you walk, write a line. If in the country, every furlong. You have a whole sweet block to figure out what each line is going to be. Transcribe it from your daydream, splice it from an inner monologue, or describe something actually seen. Ladle it from memory. Remember how jealous you got that time? And hid it, like a worm. This depopulated world you’re traversing is the arena of your stumbling being. Soon it will teem again, how could it be otherwise. Resist the impulse to coin adjectives. Summon precise verbs, like splice and ladle and summon. There’s no need to overtly mention capitalism, but if you buy something, that’s an aesthetic choice. You can’t say Everything, but definitely try to evoke it. Include any uncanny utterances you overhear or receive while abroad.

Submit your responses, epistles, and poetic experiments to HOUSE PARTY to be considered for publication in an upcoming issue here.

House Party #9