The assignment: Pick a work or phrase at random, let mind play freely around it until a few ideas have come up, then seize on one and begin to write. Try this with a non-connotative word, like “so” etc. (from Bernadette Mayer’s Please Add This To The List)
I settled on the phrase on my coffee mug, “Let it Be.” Quickly into the exercise I wondered, what is IT in this phrase? I turned IT into an acronym: information technologist, impending tests, icky tacos, incanting toads, inky trails, infinite troubles…I made a list of 25 or 30 nouns that IT stood for. Then I wrote a poem using some of them.
LET IT BE
Let ink trails be the secret way
into a world waiting to save us
from ignorant tyrants.
Let those trails lead us to intelligent trees–
the ones that know better than us
with our immovable theories and our
We–the imitation truthtellers
causing incessant trouble
wasting all the important tissues
on our indigo tears.
Why can’t we be more like
those indifferent trapezoids–
not interested in even, parallel lines
not caring to reach infinitely upwards?
Let incanting toads be what finally
sings us to sleep
so we can dream better dreams
imagining terrains that believe in us.
Let invisible threads reveal themselves
so we may see how we belong
connected, tethered to each other–
vulnerable to violence yet
also to the inviting touch of another.