A Micro-Play (responding to COVID-19) #1MPF
Saw an opportunity to write and submit a 150 word micro-play responding to current events on Facebook. It's due today at 5pm (EST, I imagine) so coming right up, but you can learn more about that HERE if you want to write/send something fast. Here's the original version, a little longer than what I cut down to send them.
I hope everyone is staying safe, healthy and managing okay during this wild time.
Much love and goodness to you all.
Inside an apartment. ZOE and CAM, any age/race/gender, together in front of their laptops. They’re sort of talking to each other but sort of to themselves.
CAM: It’s the uncertainty more than anything, all the unknowns.
ZOE: I know.
CAM: How long this will go on, when we can go back to normal…
ZOE: I think I’m such an introvert but then this happens and I realize how everything we do depends on being in a room with people. And you, we’ve both lost shows, but all your gigs, your income…
CAM: Maybe I’ll play music again but maybe not live?
ZOE: I still have a job, but the stress of moving all my classes online is…
CAM: Maybe we'll live on Zoom all our lives...
ZOE: And what if the internet breaks?
CAM: And you’re adjunct so there’s no security.
ZOE: There’s no security for anybody.
CAM: You’re right…there’s no…anything...
Cam gets lost, falls into skin and starts to float away, out of the chair/floor.
ZOE: Cam! Don’t float away!
CAM: Can’t help it...
Zoe reaches up and pulls Cam down with big might, keeping Cam grounded.
CAM: Whoa. Thanks Zoe.
Cam struggles to stay on the floor and grips onto Zoe.
CAM: What do we do?
ZOE: Let’s. Look outside.
They do. Cam opens a window as Zoe holds them down.
ZOE: Look at that squirrel, what’s he burying?
CAM: A walnut?
ZOE: A chestnut?
CAM (like a dirty teenage): Chest-nut.
They both laugh.
ZOE: Smells fresh.
CAM: Like spring.
They hold hands, watching outside. They float away, in a different way, a present way, staying here in this moment but up in the clouds too.
END OF PLAY
with notes inside
the moment panic started
a quake in my ribs
the salad bar closed
the drive ranting
up nightly hyperventilating
assignments, the project, too much caffeine
heavy emotions absorbed from love
nobody ever proved that cold hands mean warm heart
the chill of rain
tiny violets on the grass
in Philadelphia it's 80 degrees
bricks in the green room
eons caught in the space between cracks
permanent marker on my favorite pants
I notice that what I want to post here change cyclically, seasonally, as my interests do. Normally I'd post what we did in my last Drop-In Writing Workshop today, but now I'm feeling more satisfaction letting what takes place during those events happen ephemerally in that room at The Cabin. As I read through my old notebooks more quickly these days, fragments and raw rough writings are how I'd like to spend these pages at this time. I know that could and will likely change again in the future/ I'm getting better at listening to my curiosities as they shift, instead of forcing myself to stay with one format or another because it's what I've been doing previously.
tall, wide, broad like desert
heavy, rough, dusty salmon
same as Arizona foothills
surrounding that strange acreage
overwhelmed with lush grass
eat those boorish, massive walls
mouthfuls at a time
chew them up, grinding, smacking
inside i'm glass shards, rigid up/down
giant pane, expansive sliver
coated in spray paint
my chest a brittle wall
my shoulders, torso
on one side the loud mistakes
within that secret shames
hiding hurt hushed
on the other my face
sliding glass doors
a place to escape
At first I thought I wouldn't share these this year, but now before we get too far into 2020, here are some of my highlights from 2019. It's good to look back.
Here are my three big goals for 2020 and 2021:
3 Big Goals for the Next Two Years:
2020 is my year of finding presence, rather than worrying over the future or running reels of the past through my brain. That's my intention, anyway...we'll see how it goes :)
from rock to rock
grab onto boulders
hands grip sharpness
a long look out
the vast Pacific
all about tourists
we'd fit right in
but we're the homeless kind of travelers
my partner behind me
his white Chevy one-ton
all he touches belongs to him
but right now
I belong to the sea
could drift to ocean
but I'm hungry
don't smell good
the bay opens
purring at me
I step further down
to clean dark blue
find somewhere to soak
and wrap up in kelp,
sun dips past horizon
but I'm hungry
hit by a flood
I don't miss the benzos I used to take
swimming through JELLO
head sucks in water
wavering back and forth
head filled with stupid
a journey to sea bottom
under a log
I hear a beeping
followed by a shimmer
it was a car, then music, then magic
like a hallucination
I was here, then I wasn't
snot in my nose
I'm not here to impress anyone
thank goodness, today
I might fail right back under the covers
I used to like being sick
The Art of Subtraction
This Tuesday at The Cabin, we focused on creating through deleting.
There is an abundance of creative material, talk and words out in the world today.
Some people think there are too many words.
Some artists think the best thing to do about this is take away, rather than add.
We can create by subtracting, stripping down, erasing.
However you feel about this, much of our work as artists and writers
is about taking the parts of the world that matter to us and leaving out the rest.
I'm a big fan of Austin Kleon -- his books, his weekly newsletters, his art.
He's famous for his books on the creative process,
like Steal Like An Artist, Show Your Work and Keep Going.
Before that, he came out with a book of Newspaper Blackout poetry,
where he finds poems embedded in New York Times articles.
We all have the same alphabet and words available to us.
Now we can do something with the words someone else put down.
We don't have to start with a blank canvas.
I've always wanted to bring this process into a Cabin workshop and did so Tuesday.
We talked about Kleon's work, I showed the above and below videos and
we perused models of newspaper blackout poetry examples through this website.
I only wish I had stumbled upon this video tutorial in time to share with the group:
Regardless, we had Sharpies, pens and fat markers ready to go.
I handed out the 20+ newspapers I'd been collecting.
(Thanks to my friends, neighbors and colleagues for their contributions!)
We tore through them -- mostly Idaho Statesmans but one New York Times.
We focused on scanning articles as Kleon talks about, instead of reading.
We put boxes around words we found, loved, and wanted to keep.
Then we blacked out the rest.
Before Tuesday, I'd done this in one other workshop, with 3rd and 4th graders.
This process was especially useful for the students who didn't like writing.
(At least, those who didn't at first.)
I've found the most successful poems have more words blacked out.
They transform the articles, as Kleon says.
They play with them as writing partners,
rather than summarizing journalism.
Transforming is one way to make something new, something all your own.
To steal like an artist.
You can consider making copies of your own work too.
Then black out, erase, cut up – choosing what few words to stand out.
We spent a lot of time making blackout poetry -- a good 30 minutes.
Some made a few pieces.
It was a bit like working on a puzzle or a collage.
I found the process very calming, also,
different from the cathartic feelings I can experience
when I put a lot of words on a page.
Almost everyone shared one of their poems.
Then we took our favorite poem, or a line we liked especially,
and used that as a launching point.
Writing that line on paper, we then wrote something new out of those words.
Some wrote new poems, some stories, reflections.
When you make newspaper blackout poetry for yourself,
think about what's fun about it,
what you can use from this exercise in your own work,
or perhaps discover that this is your new favorite way of writing.
My poems from Tuesday:
crossing the latest dread bridge
And one for Idaho's recent Election Day:
Maybe it would be good to combine these two.
Enjoy blacking out words, erasing and deleting.
Thank you for writing with me.
the drive to your house
and your door creaks
i wait for you in the pregnant clouds
but no hurry
late night skin
far into dream places
i sense us together
rising in the not too cold
when I make our tea
leaves fell off maples
i jumped in the damp
and grew up into a small dog
we looked at the stars
who took me across country
me the always new girl
too many men bought me too many drinks
the haunting night called me into its bars
and my lungs filled with water, clutching iron
he took me away in a van
i discovered the weight of my cranium
and feared i'd go off a cliff
finding the moon, lassoing it,
i saw the you glow in its spotlight
and pined closer
i got off the love train for a while
and found my breath stuck in my sternum
i stayed too too long in the bathtub
i found hope in sweaters
we found places speaking to us
and spoke back singing
i took a lot of classes
i fell from security
the way i wrote got faster sharper
i found relief in mossy woods
i felt temperatures rise in my face
i looked up and saw you
thanks for being t/here
New Project Survey
My amazing sister Kate Kraay and I are collaborating for the first time on a theatrical project. Well -- besides the times we performed renditions of fairy tales with our brother for our parents when we were growing up. I remember playing Gretel opposite my brother's Hansel when I was six, with Kate graciously taking on the witch's role...
Now we're a little older, devising a new play/performance/thing together and could use your help as we begin. We'll be exploring the effects of stress on the body, women's bodies in particular, in comparison with the effects of stress on our planet, stress caused by humans in particular. Your insights through the survey questions below will be most helpful in giving us more direction, context and research.
You are welcome to take this survey whoever and wherever you are. Though we are most interested in responses from individuals who identify as womenx, non-binary, transgender or gender non-conforming, if you are a human who has lived in this world, we appreciate your answers. And if you know someone who may have a lot to say about these questions, do consider sharing it with them. Thank you!
Learn more/respond below, save the form for later on a new page or share it using this link (https://forms.gle/8qw4ReXwR6vnYywA9). Thank you so much for your time and insights! If you have questions, feel free to reach out through my contact page.
Heidi and Kate
Process notes on a work in progress. This page serves to invite you into the way I work, with intermittent posts to show you the hows and whys on the whats I make, as well as prompts and ideas I bring to certain workshops. There will also be some raw, rough content found in notebooks written years ago, previously posted on: