3/30: Don't Pick Up the Phone

We all have people in our lives who are bound for trouble.  Cousins, family, friends, whom everyone knows is going to have a bad ending, and that they'll bring it on themselves.

List a few of them.  Or maybe just the one.  The one you know who's heading in the wrong direction and it's just a matter of time until you receive that late night phone call telling you what you always feared has happened.  It doesn't have to be death.  It can be wherever it is you see them heading, bad marriage ending in divorce, arrest or imprisonment, a long distance call from a foreign country, but something has taken its inevitable turn for the worse.

We're going to throw them a party of some kind.

Start a poem after you've received this imaginary phone call.  Invite friends over for a wake, or a party to show them out in style.  Take it places where it can't possibly go.  Pass beyond logic and allow the surreal to invade.  Look for joy or humor in whatever happens in this narrative.  It's heavy enough, look for the light in this darkness we're creating.  Have this person show up at their own wake.  Surprise, we're ok!  

Keep writing until you surprise yourself, until you've told them the one thing you always meant to say, or forgiven them for some mistake or you just decide it's time to dance.


Follow the link to an interview with Natalie Diaz plus the poem No More Cake Here at poetrysociety.org.  Read the interview or the poem, or her thoughts about writing the poem.  All of the above.