I find writing scary. Threatening in some obscure way. Yet, I also feel writing is best mind-altering thing ever created. The ultimate scary writing act, to me, falls dangerously close to Natalie Goldberg’s spontaneous writing booth. The idea of writing a poem — without rereading, without editing — for a stranger, in the moment, and then giving away whatever you create to that stranger without knowing what becomes of it.
A writers-in-residence program at New York City’s La Guardia Airport Marine Air Terminal (Terminal A) is recreating something quite similar to Goldberg’s booth. The authors (Gideon Jacobs and Lexie Smith) behind Landing Pages write complete stories “over the duration of the participant’s flight” and deliver them electronically upon the traveler’s arrival at her/his destination.
I write these daily poems to simulate that edge of the pants writing feeling.
(found poem from Landing Pages)
I am going to ask you a series of questions.
Please take your time in answering.
Did she wink? I kept asking under my breath
but who was I talking to if not myself.
I gripped the edge of the table
squeezed until my hands shook.
They still looked like hands at least.
We shared a small, specific space
while she spoke to me. I kept thinking
these floors, my floors, were incredibly
sensitive. I got the sense of watching
and being borne upon. All the while,
in my mind’s eye, the road side
was lined with heads.