Reading Lyrics Essay

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2) Pack the prosaic form full of meaningful images. * You should remember that both creative nonfiction and lobster mushrooms, like all fungus, feed off of dead matter, are in turn fed off of. Sometimes appalling creatures have nested inside it – sometimes stuff you knew was there, sometimes stuff you forgot was there, sometimes unexpected stuff you uncover. But most are happy to share the fruits of their labors, the fruited mushroom, the finished product, however fraught. ‘Collection’ works doubly hard here: Rankine gathered anecdotes of racist moments people of color have experienced when they felt most safe, amassed quotes from CNN reporting on Hurricane Katrina, collected World Cup audience transcripts, curated images of art that speak to the experience of being black in America.

Use Table Mountain, and the man who was every bit as selfish as your friend said he was and left the windows open while you froze, who didn’t hug you when you got the news. And I finished this essay in time to post on Tuesday. You might be cutting through a mushroom when a centipede or earwig or worm crawls out of the hole it’s burrowed into the flesh. As she explains to an interviewer: The entire book is a collection of stories gathered from a community of friends and then retold or folded into my own stories.

Or, you may play the part of parasite – cloak your work, make it take the appearance of another form: an essay disguised as a list, a letter, an index, a diary. Rankine’s ‘not strictly nonfiction, but not fiction either’ approach to short prose pieces (most log in at a page or less), to my mind inhabits the world of lyrical flash nonfiction. As Marcia Aldrich writes, “The lyric essay does not narrate a story so much as express a condition – often named, sometimes called human, but still to us unknown. It helps me know how to read the spaces between things. I don’t exactly expect disdain when paying for my bagel. ” as it relates to mind-numbing moments of injustice—the aftermath of Katrina, for example, or juries letting supremacists off with a slap on the wrist for killing black men.

It reverses foreground and background, cultivating leaps and juxtaposition, tensing between the presentational and the representational.” Rankine seeks to , a word that in its etymology means ‘to stand between, among; to be close to’. It seems obvious, but I don’t think we connect micro-aggressions that indicate the lack of recognition of the black body as a body to the creation and enforcement of laws. It’s well worth checking out how she presents her visual, collaborative video, spoken, and multi-genre work in a graphic format that frames and reflects her subject matter.

You need your glasses to single out what you know is there because doubt is inexorable; you put on your glasses.

The trees, their bark, their leaves, even the dead ones, are more vibrant wet. Each moment is like this – before it can be known, categorized as similar to another thing and dismissed, it has to be experienced, it has to be seen. *** Some nice braided essays: The Search for Marvin Gardens by John Mc Phee Buzzards by Lee Zacharias *** Seriously. No special equipment is needed; this is an excellent starter essay you can make at home. If you decide in the future you’re ready to pluck it and make something of it, it will be there, mushrooming. You don’t have to reveal the source of your mushrooms. This has never happened before in the award’s forty-year history. 1) Choose an existing form, such as guidebook, grocery list, rejection letter or recipe. Lobster mushrooms are much more valuable than the mushrooms they infect – about a pound fresh, or dried, at last check. Few enthusiasts do, going to great lengths to conceal their sites by lying, covering their tracks. Thought it eventually won the Poetry Award, the dual-genre nod was the only one appropriate to the hybrid nature of the collection. In Rankine’s case, pronouns become a transitional space for a reader, especially if he is white; through his imagination he inhabits this racialized ‘you’, but at the same time the very foreignness of this experience serves to highlight the fact that he as a white person has never been treated this way. That paying rent with your art money feels like finally growing up. The blurring of ‘you’ and ‘I’ is disorienting; this painful impossibility echoes in the narrator’s refrain of A condensed layering of the self is what lyric flash holds in its heart. That you probably can come up with five hundred words about margarine and even feel proud of making it sound like something people would eat. Or to your best friend whom you will have to congratulate as sincerely as possible. The words making their own spaces, running rampant past line breaks, trampling the meter, shoving their way to the discount dactyls of Prose Black Friday where all the words are on sale. The security guard makes you show him the inside of your alliteration, standing between you and the door of random magnetic words, demanding you focus this piece. Right now you’re stuck in Walmart, the pond of the first line paved over. Beloved of poster-poem makers, these tiny walls of text breathe to the edges of the page and then retract–they can only stay so long, say so long, hit save, it’s done, sunk like a wrong-shaped stone. Perhaps passages from your journal, or the journal of a more famous writer you wish to look inspired by. *** Inside the braid could be a mini-collage, or a list, or a hermit crab. No mushroom, no matter how valuable it might have seemed, is worth this toxic invasion. Pick up the mushroom and examine the damage – how deep does it go? If there’s too much damage, go back to a); otherwise, continue to c). If you can’t deal with the mushroom now, it will come back. The girl, looking over at you, tells her mother, these are our seats, but this is not what I expected. Perhaps a definition useful to the essay, or a quotation. If there’s not repetition, it’s probably a collage. A little crab scootching into a new shell, growing to fill it, taking the contours of the shell as its own. It will always come back, popping up whether you want it to or no, because it’s part of a larger system, mycelia feeding on what’s rotten, what lurks, always, beneath the surface. The mother’s response is barely audible—I see, she says. , was nominated for both the poetry and nonfiction categories of the National Book Critic’s Circle Award. Poet William Carlos Williams wrote, “It is difficult/ to get the news from poems/ yet men die miserably every day/ for lack/ of what is found there.” How can we express our griefs, our outrages, our complicated hearts, if not by breaking silence, breaking into song? and co-editor of the textbook/anthology of the same name, pays tribute to CNF pioneer Judith Kitchen on his blog this week. The rain this morning pours from the gutters and everywhere else it is lost in the trees. Did that just come out of my mouth, his mouth, your mouth? Steinberg acknowledges Kitchen for being “one of the first people who wrote, taught, and could speak with authority on/about what we’ve come to describe as ‘creative nonfiction’.” She certainly was, and Judith was among the most generous of literary figures as well.


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