Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt includes some arts and crafts. We are challenged to create a “Personal Universal Deck” of words, then use some in a poem. I also listened to an audio recording of Michael McClure giving a lecture explaining the deck. Sadly, it ends right before he’s going to discuss things that can be done with the deck. Some aspects of creating the deck that I found interesting are the words are to represent both your good and bad side in concrete basic grammatical units, and come from a meditative state. He describes the deck as creating an arranged derangement which echoes day one’s prompt.
Over at Blogging from A to Z C is for Card trick. After I create my Personal Universal Deck, I’ll have to teach it some tricks. My Janus word for today is critical which can mean vital to success (a critical component), or disparaging (a critical comment).
The April Poem-a-Day prompt is to write a communication poem. So I guess my card trick will be opening a dialogue with myself through the Personal Universal Deck without being too critical, or perhaps I will find the Deck a critical component of personal communication.
Not trusting myself to truly choose the words from the list at random for the cards, I typed them up, printed them, cut them out and put them in a vase. I selected two out of the vase without looking, then pasted them to a card, one right-side-up at the top, and one upside-down near the bottom.
This aspect of the deck–having a word upside down–made me think of tarot cards in reverse direction. I thought about the “reverse position” of the words and what that might mean.
I’ve previously talked about Plotting with Tarot. Since there weren’t really instructions for how to use this new deck once I made it, I thought I would try applying some similar ideas. I was inspired by Michael McClure’s instructions to meditate on the past, present, and future to find the words, to use Arwen Lynch’s card draw in Mapping the Hero’s Journey With Tarot: 33 Days To Finish Your Book. The first card represents the present, the second card drawn represents what happened directly before the first, and the third is what happens directly after.
A Familiar Laugh
Her laugh, cut off when you entered the room,
continued to ring in your ears.
You would know that critical cackle anywhere.
So many tears shed
because that laugh was infectious
when at your expense.
Moments before you entered the room,
you had stared at your rain-soaked self
in the odd, corroding mirror in the hall,
and recognized not a dampened mess,
but a sparkling creation.
She is but a grain of sand
in your boot
as you climb.