Tag Archives: Louise Bourgeois

I Want Tuesday Tryouts

9:55 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield

Hello! Now we know what happens when my husband is on a field trip with eighth graders: Margo becomes slothful. I don’t remember the last time I woke up late.

Today’s exercise is an interesting one as it asks us to consider all our wants. Sit a while and think about it [if you are like me, have pen and paper handy — if I don’t jot, I lose it]. Then list every single I want you can think of. Go into freewrite mode if you want [hehheh], but get them all down, no matter how mundane, cliché, reprehensible [no one else has to see the list], out of reach, or silly [to you]. Aim for a page, at least.

Look back through your list for categories, or patterns. Pull together the wants that seem, to you, to go together. Consider how you feel about what you want. That may or may not inform your poem.

Write a poem using as few, or as many, as you feel like. You can use I want as a refrain, or, if it makes sense, pull the phrase out, once you know where you are going with the poem. As far as form, that depends on what it is you find. I can see a case for a long sprawling free-verse, a haibun, a tightly constructed sonnet, a cascade… form = content. Don’t decide until you see what you have to work with.

The I does not have to be you. The list tells you what you want to write about on the topic of wanting. You take off from there. You can even add wants that fit but you hadn’t listed. Whatever works for the poem, remember.

The spur for this came from a list written by sculptor, Louise Bourgeois. I was fascinated that she had so many, yet, I suspect she hadn’t even begun to plumb the depths — like I say, at least a page when you are jotting. I would not look at her list until you think you are done with yours. Only then, visit. [ignore the Facebook sign-in and scroll down a bit]

Short and sweet [see, I can do it!], but should be interesting. I will see you Thursday for serendipitous things; Friday for the roundup; and next Tuesday for self and emotions, part 1.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 11/09/2012 in exercises, poetry, writing


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