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Wednesday Writing Exercise II

June 18, 2014

We had some time left over at the end of class, so I used an exercise out of Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge’s fabulous book Poemcrazy:

“It can be easier to write about the centre of our houses than the centre of ourselves, yet the process can take us to the same place.
Shut your eyes and fall back. Enter your childhood house and wander through. Where do you find yourself wanting to go? What seems like the centre of the house? …
Include smells colours, sounds and comparisons. What do you hear people saying?”  

In the centre of my childhood home I play with my toys in front of the gas heater. I’m pink and steamy-fresh from the bath; my hair still damp. I like my bath toys so much I’ve brought them into the living room with me. There’s a blue rubber whale and a wind-up dolphin. I sit cross-legged on the floor, as close to the heater as I can get away with, and repeatedly wind up the dolphin, watching its little plastic flippers whir frantically round.
My parents are watching TV – the news, which I find boring and worrying in equal measure. Iran and Iraq are at war. I don’t know where Iran and Iraq are, so I don’t know if the war is likely to come here. If it isn’t, why do we need to know about it? Another thing I don’t understand is why my parents have to watch three news broadcasts on three different channels in a row, when they all have the same stuff on.
After the news is Yes, Minister. I know it’s a comedy because there’s a laugh track, but I don’t understand any of the jokes. I make my whale swim through the ocean of deep, blue-green shag carpet.

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