Experimental Forms: Writing
Inspired by Christian Bok's univocal lipograms and Anne Carson's short talks, these class exercises for Professor Steve Matanle's CWPA 786 class at the University of Baltimore's MFA program resulted in a strange wordplay that felt both constrained and freeing. Who knew?
By Eva Quintos Tennant
Midnight, I find him with this bitch, licking lips, writhing hips.
Dim light, still I sit, livid witch, flipping switch in blinding fit.
Blinking iris, sitting fixed. Did I grip glinting shiv, instilling fright?
Might I slip, trip, killing this sinning, sick prick?
Might I split his timid ditz, trifling twit, stripping tight, bright pink skin?
Slit this skirt, crippling flirt.
Nigh, I will trill, shrill nihilistic sighs.
First, I will find him hiding his limp, wilting will, thinning thirst.
If I twitch, I will nick this insipid, frigid, prig.
Kidding? I might. Grinning, I will finish fight.
Nix spitting swill. Ditch hitting thrills.
Inking tidbits in hindsight, mind is prism in flight.
Drinking in crisp wind, I skip, skip, skip in vivid light.
Spirits high —
Copyright 2018, Eva Quintos Tennant, all rights reserved.
On Schrodinger’s Cat and Inciting Incident
Anne Carson’s pastiche of prosaic poetry has fans and detractors wondering why she interrupts her “crystalline” narrative with “so much formal detritus.” Because she can. Unapologetically. The fated feline may be dead, or perhaps it may be alive. So much depends upon the box that contains it. Much like the red wheel barrow glazed with rain water. Methinks. Pythagoras would concur, esti ou, esti nai?
The moon is full the night he insists she get out of his car. The light so bright, it covers everything it touches with a soft white glow. Like a dusting of snow. Almost. But she knows she won’t feel any melting flakes dance on her tongue if she sticks it out. Whose idea was it to kiss snow anyhow? In the woods behind her house, do the deer and raccoons feel the moon on their backs? Thinking it’s snow? Somewhere gray grass is illuminated with snowy moonbeams, lighting the path for no one.
Van Gogh and Gauguin painted side-by-side for just under two months. In a studio they shared in Arles, he dipped his brush into dollops of ochre and umber to fill canvas after canvas with heavy, drooping heads of sunflowers. For his friend. Beloved friend. The one who truly captured his heart. His mind. Before synapses began to misfire. Two days before Christmas, found the razor in his hand. For his friend. Beloved friend. Wanting to pierce the flesh. Opted to lop off his own ear instead. Tell Theo. Honeymoon over. Despair sets in. Was it his razor or Gauguin’s epee that severed the lobe? Pact of silence. Loneliness ebbs and flows for two years. Bullet to the gut will end Vincent’s pain eventually. But not before Starry Night is born. The child of madness and creativity. Sunflowers transformed into golden orbs against swirls of cerulean, cobalt. The view of sleepy Saint-Remy-de-Provence hours before dawn. Outside his asylum window. Facing east. For his friend. Beloved friend. Transcendent torture of his oeuvre finally at peace.