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 a way in
to a world of intelligent trees
who incubate theories
in their subterranean information thoroughfare.
Let indifferent trapezoids be
a model for how to live–
never interested in even, parallel lines
never caring to reach infinitely towards the sky.
Let Indian takeout be
what saves us from eating
icky tacos again.
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 be revealed
so we may see how we belong
connected, tethered to each other–
vulnerable to violence yet
also to the inviting touch of another.
Let indefatigable toddlers be
given inside time to quell their irritating tantrums.
Let indigo tunics be required attire
for ill-tempered teetotalers
Let insufferable Todd be
forced to drink iced tea
while we imbibe tequila