Welcome To My Bed

Magic Morsel: Ekphrasis

At times, it's necessary to empty your head of all personal imagery and just let writing become the mechanical process.  I've heard tell of both Ernest Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson re-typing great novels by other writers to learn the movement of genius.  I've never gone so far myself (though it intrigues me to think what I might make after such an exercise).

But last night I did a little exercise.  After retyping a scene from the novel (no editing allowed in the process), I was in a very floaty, empty-headed working mode.  I tend to create best with nothing current immediately on my mind.  Then I did an ekphrastic experiment(ekphrasic writing is done as a direct response to another art object)--a song came on in shuffle, and while listening to it several times over I brainstormed images based on the musical features.  The guitar line was lonely and wandering.  The drums sounded like the slow turn of gears.  Before I was sure of what was on the page in front of me, I'd written a three stanza western.

Here's the song:


It would be interesting to see what other people would write in response to the same song, though I haven't quite thought through how that might be collected.

Anyway, I plan on doing this at least once a day.  It's an effective trap door out of always writing about myself, or at least an escape from the ever-larger manuscript of hospital/death poems.  Maybe for National Poetry Month (April), my project will end up as thirty ekphrastic poems, each a response to one of my favorite songs.