Friday, January 3, 2014

Goodreads and Erasures

First day of my own personal writers residency went fairly well. Since it was my first day back in Vegas I had to complete a few chores--grocery shopping, ordering my books for next semester, etc. But I still managed to get some writing and reading done.

I started working on one thing I've wanted to do since last semester, which is make an erasure of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper." To be perfectly honest, I've always thought erasures seemed a bit pretentious. Oh, I'm just going to take this great piece of writing, get rid of some stuff, and call it art. However, when I was preparing my presentation on "The Yellow Wallpaper" for gothic class, I noticed several words that repeated frequently throughout the story. Oddly, "yellow" does not appear nearly as many times as you'd think it would. "Creep," on the other hand, is abundant. I was curious as to what would happen if only those words appeared, with perhaps a few other words here and there that the chosen words modified. A punctuation mark or two thrown in for good measure. And the thing is, I think it might be good. Obviously, I'm still editing it, but it's definitely creeping me out, which was the idea. Plus, it sort of tells its own story--less about crazy wallpaper and more about writing, strangely enough. It's way too long to post here, but let me know if you want to read it.

Someday I'd also like to write a critical paper about the frequent use of the color yellow in gothic fiction. Why are you even friends with me?

In other news, I finally made myself a Goodreads account, since I am both a book addict and a social media addict. Sorry if Facebook has been spamming you with updates about my Goodreads account. I have to fix the settings so that it doesn't post every little thing I do. I'm excited about the account, though, since I've been meaning to keep better track of the books I read and my opinions about them. This seems like a good way to do it.

Right now I'm reading lots of things, but last night I started Milton's "Paradise Lost," simply because I've never read it. (Admittedly, I was supposed to read it in my undergrad Renaissance Literature class, but, you know, sometimes you just don't have time to read everything you're assigned.) Thoughts so far: Satan seems pretty rad. Also, I remember a professor telling us that Milton read every book he could get his hands on before writing "Paradise Lost" because he felt that he couldn't tell this most important story about the fall of man without ingesting as much of man's knowledge as possible. Or something like that. I suspect this is true, since the poem is littered with references to other things. Sometimes I think he sacrifices story a little too much just to show off his vast knowledge. But who am I to critique Milton?

Speaking of poetry, it's time to post my second poem of my personal month-long poetry extravaganza. According to Zach I'm no longer allowed to call it shitty poetry, and so it shall be. Also according to Zach I should think less in terms of sentences when I'm writing poetry, but I only read his feedback after I'd written this poem, so sorry about that! (But I like sentences. How do you not write in sentences?) I decided to write a tritina, because apparently that's a thing. I stumbled across the form when I was posting the information about sestinas in my entry yesterday. Hope you enjoy it.

Cookie Exchange

Candy, cookies, sugar so sweet
in my veins. It made me sick,
relentless syrup. I was scared

I'd die. I know I'm scared
of that a lot. But words so sweet
are not nutritious. I may be sick,

but your sticky lies are sick,
too. Aren't you ever scared
your gooey gifts aren't sweet?

If I'm not sweet, then you get sick--we should be scared.

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