The first week of the writing program of the Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts consists of poetry--lots of poetry.
The second week consists of fiction.
The third week: public readings.
Sound fun? So far it is.
Today we listened to an amazing jazz pianist perform live for us, along with a classical bassist and a drummer. It was truly inspiring, as was his speech about what it means to be an artist following this. His name is Harry Pickens, and is is absolutely incredible. Look him up.
We then broke up into our discipline studies in our discipline studios. Creative Writing started with a 25 minute free write in response to the morning performance. Then we read some poetry. Then we wrote so. And so began the continual cycle.
My first several free writes wouldn't have sold for free if I'd tried. They were crap, garbage, useless. But such is writing, no?
Later we talked about metaphors, obstacles we've faced in life, and what it was that made us who we were. It wasn't until these prompts that I finally created something worth reading aloud to the class. A good thing too, since we were then required to--no longer on a volunteer basis.
We were to write an invocation poem modeled after "Invocation" by Aracelis Girmay. And this is what I wrote:
Coming and GoingAdditionally, we had to write using randomly generated metaphoprs. The one assigned to me was: the chair is like a storm. Here's what I did with it:
-Nathan R. Petrie-
Come Julia, Ryan, Shirley.
Come Charles, Bill, Eileen.
Come Butler, Hardings, Dunlaps;
a child’s needs your wing.
Come pen and paper, Franklin.
Come gravel grounds of play.
Come swing sets, soccer, zoo trips
on anxious days of rain.
Come tacos, pizza, Fruitloops.
Come Reese’s, Skyline time.
Come forest, creeks, and mountains;
mature this child of thine.
Come jazz and improv saxes.
Come buildings, old and new.
Come euchre, and come castles;
come more—there are too few.
Come Gandalf, Aslan, Potter
Come Dickens, Dekker, Frost.
Come Joseph, and come David
before this child is lost.
Come Alpha and Omega.
Come Logos, El-Shaddai
Come Elohim and Father—
stay with me or I die.
Come take these things and make me, me,
then let me find myself in Thee.
His first day in townCheck out my estimated word count! Not too shabby. Nothing is typed so....
was his first day in middleschool.
And as he lumbered into class--
small earthquakes rippling the tiled floor as he went--
sweat raining off of him,
he worried about teachers, about classes, and about friends.
He found his seat--reflecting the sun at the front of the class.
He would survive.
He slumped into his seat and crashed
into the floor,
wincing like lightning at the thundering laughter,
as his new chair shattered--
like the shattering of storm clouds--
Like his pride.
Strength and Courage,