FREEWRITING EXERCISE #82

Photo by Thomas Tucker on Unsplash

Always a catch before the deluge,
a notch high in the throat. Always
another head popping up at the
shooting gallery, another round
nestled in the barrel. There is some
predictability to this life, and only
a few likely ways for us to die. My
poetry no longer surprises me, so
I stopped calling it poetry and let
it take me by the hand. Bring me
down those unmarked alleys, you
unnamed, savage things! Handle
me roughly! Do not let me go
easy, drag the bitch out of me
and spit him into the pavement.
I want to see that motherfucker
glisten in the grimy moonlight,
the sheer shimmer of his smile
all cobblestone and patchwork.
If I call out my own weakness
will it follow me like a dog or
run free into the night like a
freed long-chained hound?
I want to see it disappear,
but I am inking my arms.
I am dipping my body in.

Freewriting Explanation: Every day, Valen shall use 5 minutes to write completely unprompted and uninterrupted, letting the words lead the way. There is no end purpose to each piece, but rather, the pieces are allowed to develop naturally in their own way. The pieces are then uploaded without edits.

FREEWRITING EXERCISE #81

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I wanted more to do with this patch
of dirt, this sad unsquaredanced
bald spot, where no grass grows
and where the spotlight shadow
of the neighbour’s fence stops
shy of this stage. I wanted to plant
a tree, where I could have built
a treehouse, because we know
colonialisation comes in steps,
and what better place to see
the same grey house replicating
itself in every visible direction?
When I feel like knocking on the
door to Death’s shack I think of
redecorating, I vase dead flowers,
pretty little things stuck in their
dying makeup, I throw away
stacks upon stacks of poems
by people I no longer care about,
because my capacity to relent
has relented, and given way to
ugly ugly humanity, and must
now take names at the door.
I’m kicking a can around,
walking in circles at 3pm,
the pebbles of a more
interesting possibility
rattling about inside.

Freewriting Explanation: Every day, Valen shall use 5 minutes to write completely unprompted and uninterrupted, letting the words lead the way. There is no end purpose to each piece, but rather, the pieces are allowed to develop naturally in their own way. The pieces are then uploaded without edits.

FREEWRITING EXERCISE #80

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Perhaps the trick to this is not to come into the experience expecting to walk out of it somehow more clever, with better hair or a more slender body. After all everything’s a trick of the mind, really, even the arbitrary flip-flop coin-flip box-office-crashing rotten-tomatoes-smashing nature of good and bad, because what’s really good at all anyway? There’s some clever guy, probably an academic or a philosopher or something like that who said the more you try to be happy, the less you will be. I say that’s something someone who’s already given up would say. I mean, if you never try to be happy then you wouldn’t even notice how un-happy you are. Perhaps the trick to getting through life unscathed is to use plenty of cliche – liberally. To sprinkle your morning coffee with words shaken out of the nearby newspaper, or BuzzFeed article, to tear off with your fingernails each and every label on every can of food you own. Can’t be too disappointed when there was never any level of expectation. I don’t open a silver cylinder expecting guts of beans, I open the tin to find food. I don’t go out of the house expecting to be surprised anymore, I find surprise. How can I be depressed when I don’t have any thoughts? Check my pockets. They’re full of nothing. Tell my therapist I’m leaving on the first cruise out o this country. Tell my dog I am taking her for walks until I can do it blindfolded. Tell the government I am doing alright. Tell my mother that I wished I were better to her, but no-one knows what that means.

Freewriting Explanation: Every day, Valen shall use 5 minutes to write completely unprompted and uninterrupted, letting the words lead the way. There is no end purpose to each piece, but rather, the pieces are allowed to develop naturally in their own way. The pieces are then uploaded without edits.

FREEWRITING EXERCISE #79

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In this version, I am sitting
quiet in the forest behind
my house, my path back
having long been covered
with snow. The trees are
quiet brushes in another
man’s bathroom, the lake
the frosted-over mirror.
My hands are heavy with
the weight of longing, and
so cold from the wintry
air. It was not the best
idea to have run out
in boxers, bedroom
slippers and a beanie,
but life is to be lived
spontaneously. Imagine
that, to be able to do
whatever you want until
one day you inevitably die,
that’s a thought so devoid
of poetics I could bend
over and spit my guts out,
a red persimmon split
over the bank. A man,
I forgot his race, or name,
crawled into a cave and
slowly slept to death.
“Green Boots”, they called
him, the climbers who
came thereafter only to
use the soles of his feet
as a marker for the path
they had to take. Some
days from now I will
see that I have not been
free, but rather, I have
been locked in freedom;
I have seen the rules.
It’s time for me to go
back inside, back into
a warmer place, a
house I don’t quite
want to know.

Freewriting Explanation: Every day, Valen shall use 5 minutes to write completely unprompted and uninterrupted, letting the words lead the way. There is no end purpose to each piece, but rather, the pieces are allowed to develop naturally in their own way. The pieces are then uploaded without edits.

FREEWRITING EXERCISE #78

Photo by Cristofer Jeschke on Unsplash

Idle, the hands rest on the sides,
in grasp of air, filling pockets
with sands of time and other
vagrants; I am finding a way
to turn the meaningless into
indecipherable monomania,
the repeating-repeating-re-
peating of a long-loved scotch,
and the quiet call of a morning
bird before it flies into glass;
What is life but to run forward
with your eyes closed, and
what is love but to lean in
with your eyes closed, and
feel the rush of twenty storeys
or more beneath your chin;
Stay awake now, the bus is
taking a while to drop its
numerous pilgrims but soon
enough you will be there;
I am afraid of running
out of meaning, my hands
returning to playdoh on
weekends, pink putty in
the head, a dearth of ideas
for a party long-departed,
the spirit of a party still
cleaning up the mess
left by two errant youths
in a bedroom cabinet,
I am worried that I am
actually the world’s most
boring person, who must take
to fiction, lengthy poems and
artsy websites to hide all this,
to hide, to hide; I sometimes
fear I’m losing the plot with
my line breaks, and my
almost-arbitrary use of
punctuation, as though
to say that these periods
no longer hold power
over me, my days
unbounded, limitless
and oh, so dreary.

Freewriting Explanation: Every day, Valen shall use 5 minutes to write completely unprompted and uninterrupted, letting the words lead the way. There is no end purpose to each piece, but rather, the pieces are allowed to develop naturally in their own way. The pieces are then uploaded without edits.

FREEWRITING EXERCISE #77

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Sometimes I have little to say / crossing the stream that runs / behind the backs of houses / I watch my self in the puddle / a coin-mirror lying belly-up / a glimpse of what could be / Nowadays my eyes are itchy / and I go into town goal-less / with my pockets full of soot / and my head full of sand / Perhaps I will go to school /don a mantle of education / letting my words bloom / like an elephant’s bum taking a poo / It’s not like I don’t give a fuck about anything / I do give a fuck on the down-low / and when I can afford to / I donate some to charitable causes / It’s more like being trapped / in a cask by an old friend / In every conceivable reflection / I make sure to seek myself out

Freewriting Explanation: Every day, Valen shall use 5 minutes to write completely unprompted and uninterrupted, letting the words lead the way. There is no end purpose to each piece, but rather, the pieces are allowed to develop naturally in their own way. The pieces are then uploaded without edits.

FREEWRITING EXERCISE #76

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a spine like a keyboard / the blacks
intersecting the whites / ridges like
a bookshelf / tracing the line with
a careful finger / I am brought back
to road trips in Iceland / the un-
certainty of an off-road track /
our wheels caked deep in snow /
the burst tyre / our car a drop of
blood on a canvas / night in
all directions / and the miracle
of another car passing in the
dark / it was a statistical
improbability / how two cars
may meet when neither should
have been / your face a field
covered in tomorrow / your
body a conduit for my body /
there is too much warmth
here / which is to say that I
want more / how we let ourselves
fall into the bank / our shape
imprinted into a book / only to
be slowly filled in again / God
as the slowest writer / what
it must be to see your plot
of sky whited over / correct
this fault / make it even / make
it so / how you are a solution /
to a problem no-one knows

Freewriting Explanation: Every day, Valen shall use 5 minutes to write completely unprompted and uninterrupted, letting the words lead the way. There is no end purpose to each piece, but rather, the pieces are allowed to develop naturally in their own way. The pieces are then uploaded without edits.

FREEWRITING EXERCISE #75

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justice sits in the tennis court /
tennis a sport of reciprocity /
returning a salvo barrage /
the broad side of a warship /
sent into a murky water /
one drop of ink dilutes /
the hazy milk of memory /
a fog lifted to be worn /
cloaked in the night I leave /
I leave peanut shells on the patio /
A murder of crows is a church /
A murder is an act of god /
God lives in the hands of men /
My hand is too small to hold /
To hold an opinion, my body works /
This body of politics has not yet died /
To die is to forsake tomorrow /
Tomorrow I will write another poem /
A poem on the back of a cannonball

Freewriting Explanation: Every day, Valen shall use 5 minutes to write completely unprompted and uninterrupted, letting the words lead the way. There is no end purpose to each piece, but rather, the pieces are allowed to develop naturally in their own way. The pieces are then uploaded without edits.

FREEWRITING EXERCISE #74

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I am at the weigh-in / the men
carry my pound of flesh / hung
jury sitting in the rafters / eyes
like pigeons / their faces like
pigeons / the going rate for
excision is silence / the cost
of living is silence / the last
hot-blooded rebel had his
arms pulled off at the hinges /
the house of his boyish body
torn down and auctioned off /
to be served on that silver
platter / for the people who
you think you know own it /
knives knives knives knives /
a shave near the femur /
anything if most of us
can live happy / or at
the very least / quiet

Freewriting Explanation: Every day, Valen shall use 5 minutes to write completely unprompted and uninterrupted, letting the words lead the way. There is no end purpose to each piece, but rather, the pieces are allowed to develop naturally in their own way. The pieces are then uploaded without edits.

FREEWRITING EXERCISE #73

Photo by Nhia Moua on Unsplash

Having given out the last of his
pocket change to the homeless man
sitting outside his house, with his
cardboard manifesto in hand, the
lung came home empty-handed.
The lights were off, because the
eyes did not pay the utilities, having
resigned themselves from their
jobs at the publishing house.
Now they walk about taking
in the dark like they were
hungry for it. Dropping his keys
on the kitchen table, the lung
opens the fridge to find the tongue,
who wanted to simulate how it would feel
to go lonely and without embrace.
On the television, the mouth spits
headline after headline about the
recent crime committed by the
nose, who smelt iron bars
and forged a knife to cut
through a family of hairs.
Sitting quietly in the dark,
the static of the television
filling the room with buzz,
like an errant insect, like
the wilting of a summer flower,
the lung is waiting patiently
to tell the heart to help him.
Recently, he has been losing
his way home. Journeys on
the subway lead to streets
he does not recognise;
Fresh Love on the Chopping Block road,
A Body without Organs street,
Please Hold Me avenue.
The lung feels lost
without the heart.
He can only breathe
slowly now, taking in
all the nothing left in
her wake, all the nothing
there is in a quiet home
in an unassuming suburb.

Freewriting Explanation: Every day, Valen shall use 5 minutes to write completely unprompted and uninterrupted, letting the words lead the way. There is no end purpose to each piece, but rather, the pieces are allowed to develop naturally in their own way. The pieces are then uploaded without edits.