The room you spend the most time in is the focus.
For a week, live with as many straight lines as you can find. Bring in other objects and furniture. Wear a square hat if you have one—and stripes on your clothes, lots of solid, unbending lines.
Each day, stop to look at the lines. Draw the lines on paper, just as you see them in the room. Take notes for a poem. Before going to sleep, look at the drawing and imagine where the lines belong in the room. Take more notes for a poem.
Next week, replace as many of the lines as you can with curves. Also, draw curves on paper to tape over the straight lines that remain. It is perfectly legal to give stiffness a wavy overlay.
Each day, look at the curves, absorbing them. Then move your body back and forth, a tree pushed in one direction by the wind, then another. Before going to bed, stand with eyes closed, imagining the room of curves, then move and sway again before writing notes for a poem.
Gather 9 small objects, which could include a sock, a scarf, a grocery receipt, a photo torn from a magazine, a spoon, or a pencil.
Place the objects in a bowl or hat, then walk forward in a straight line while throwing them over your shoulders behind you onto the floor. Do not look where they land until you are finished.
Now walk alongside the 9 strewn objects, narrating your interpretation of this map aloud. Take notes for a poem.
Walk alongside the map again, this time singing its story as loudly as you can, then sit and write.
The 3rd walk is silent, caressing places on your body that correspond with each of the 9 objects. Take more notes for a poem.
Go into the bathroom, get naked, step into the shower.
Do not turn on the water; stand looking at your shampoo container, your dry rag that wipes away the filth of your life. Study these things you use to wash your body.
Close your eyes, imagine washing. Leave nothing out. Get between the toes and behind your ears. Imagine massaging your scalp and rinsing-rinsing, rinsing your filth away.
Step out of the shower and vigorously dry your body with a towel even though you are already dry.
Put on your clothes, look in the mirror and scream, then laugh.
Go into another room to take notes for your poem.
With an orange Magic Marker, draw a 9 on your naked chest, then conceal it with clothes.
Go to the library, to their public restroom. In a stall, take off your clothes, wet your index finger with your mouth, and trace your orange 9. You have successfully charged the number. Now get dressed and go to the books.
Slowly walk down an aisle with eyes closed, touching the spines of books. When you feel the one you want, stop. Take it from the shelf, hold it to your lips, and whisper a question.
Close your eyes, open and close the book 9 times, then read where you stopped. Take notes for a poem.
Repeat this until the books have said all they need to tell you today. Then go home, get naked, wet your finger to trace the number on your chest again. Take more notes.
Find something colorful outside the grocery store. I found bright blue chewing gum smeared on the parking lot.
Get close to it; study the color with a magnifying glass if you have one. Take notes for a poem.
Go in the store, look for the color on a product label. You will find it. Take your time. A perfect match for the blue chewing gum was the blue half-moon marshmallow on a box of cereal.
Take more notes for a poem. What intersections did these two objects with the same color make for you? The gum and half-moon marshmallow were the intersections of temperature and texture for me. Take more notes for a poem.
How many times a day are you not saying and doing what you want? How often do you refrain from saying “fuck” because someone in the room might be offended?
Every day for a week, crunch your toes when you want to say “fuck,” but you don’t say “fuck.” Each time your boss makes you angry and you let it slide, crunch your toes.
Relocating behaviors and feelings in one part of the body for notes for a poem, yes.
At the end of each day, study your feet, suck them, kiss and massage them, soak them, take care because they have been absorbing the brunt of your dishonesty so that you may remain loved and employed.
Take notes for a poem. Each day after loving your feet, take notes.
Write your mother’s name and your name around your navel with a purple Magic Marker. Purple is the color of transformation, the color of being fed through the hole in your abdomen so your cells can proliferate and shine, transmuting mucus into love.
Hold a small mirror to read the names backward as mirrors will do to words. Your lips are a time machine, saying the coded names in reverse. Take notes for a poem.
Say aloud, “My lips are a time machine,” then chew a piece of food and spit it into your navel. With paper and tape, keep the food in there.
Walk up to a stranger on the street and pronounce the names backward, then walk away.
Remove the tape and paper, clean the filth out of your hole, take more notes.
Peel and cut a banana lengthwise. Put one half in each of your socks. Put on your socks, then put on your shoes and get out the door. Bring a noisemaker: a whistle, kazoo, or tambourine.
Go to town, you with your banana toes, banana toes, squish-squish. Take notes for a poem.
3 times on your visit to town, stop, squish-squish. Take a deep breath. Can you taste banana? Now use your noisemaker to celebrate the moment, and yell 3 times, “TIPTOES KNOWS, SWEET, DELICIOUS, MMM-MMM-MMM BANANA TOES!”
After each of the 3 celebrations, squish-squish, take notes for a poem.
Water’s structure is altered by sound, absorbing the buzz, bark, and other songs of the world. More than half of the human body is made of water, making our flesh highly sound absorbent, affecting our mood and concentration.
Fruits and vegetables are over 90 percent water. Very little of their bodies are not water. Take a carrot, or an apple, or a peach; carry it everywhere with you. Let it hear you sing, whisper, laugh, cry, poop. Let the carrot become a vibration of you before you eat it. Chew while taking notes for a poem.
Another day, place a piece of vegetable or fruit on the floor. Arrange stereo speakers or a laptop next to the food. Cover them with a large basket, then pile on pillows, towels, and blankets. Now play your favorite song as loudly as you can. When it is over, eat your food while writing notes for a poem, chewing slowly. Chewing music that is structured inside the body of the food. Swallow a song and write.
Clean a crystal by resting it on dry sea salt for 9 hours.
At dusk, dig a hole and tell the crystal you are burying it for the night and that you will be back the next day. In the morning, dig up the crystal, sit on the ground, writing notes for a poem while holding it in your other hand.
Another evening, explain to the crystal that you will bury it in the center of a chocolate cake. The following day, fish it out and hold it in your nose while writing. Suck it dry, write, resting the crystal in different positions on your tongue.
If your crystal is smooth and has no jagged or sharp edges, you are ready for the next step. Lubricate the crystal while explaining that you are going to insert it into your anus for the night. The next morning, hold it while writing notes for a poem.
Each evening for a week, go for a walk. Stop 3 times to narrate what you see 360 degrees around you into a recorder on your phone or another device.
Try to list what you see, “A cat crossing a roof, a car playing Lady Gaga parked below, a blue postal box, a LOTTERY sign flashing in gas station window.”
When you see one object on your walk that holds your attention, closely examine it while narrating what it looks like. Where could it have come from?
Go home and sit on the floor inside a dark closet. Listen to your recording. When you reach the part about the object you had carefully scrutinized, do not focus on what you narrated but on why you aimed your attention at the object in the first place. Take notes for a poem.
Get a clear drinking glass, a pitcher of water, and a black Magic Marker.
Make a black line on the middle of the drinking glass.
Place your face near the glass on the table. Pour water while carefully listening and watching it hit the mark; do this 3 times.
Pour the water a fourth time with eyes closed, letting your ears remember the mark. You have successfully braided your eyes and ears.
Now sit back, close your eyes, and listen to the most immediate sounds in the building. Let the layers reveal themselves, shifting to what you hear further away, then further.
When you feel you have heard everything, wait. Sit there a little longer, listening for the faintest of traffic in the sky or a faraway rumble. Take notes for a poem.