After watching Ralph Lemon’s How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere?, we were asked to make our own creation using the language of loss and ‘no form.’ These concepts are definitely uncomfortable because they challenge our notions of art, movement, and creation. How can I create something that doesn’t have form?
I wanted to explore poetry using the language of loss with no form. Emily Dickinson is one of my favorite poets, and she writes a lot about grief and death. I took three of her poems and took out words so that I was left with mostly verbs and occasional nouns. The idea is to reflect a stream of consciousness through the journey of mourning: incomplete, not always coherent, raw and descriptive. I tried not to linger on the words or overthink the process to minimize my instinct to make sure the words I chose ‘made sense.’ I associate poetry and words in general with some sort of form and meaning, so this was especially challenging for me. It goes against grammar rules and what we’re taught in school, but that’s the point— grief isn’t restricted by the same rules as our brain. Once I had my new poems, I wrote each one out in how I pictured a stream of consciousness to look— no pattern or shape, and without a linear progression. Sometimes it’s upside down or backwards or sideways. It wouldn’t necessarily make sense or have meaning to an outside viewer. But since the journey through mourning is personal, it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else.
Here are the links to the actual poems: