No Prunes but Maybe Pruning
Folger's coffee, mono-syllabic poetry, and gleaning every inch of my house.
Objective: hastily-scraped plastic tiramisu container & my rolled out yoga mat
The first time is rebellious. I’ve picked two objects this week instead of one. Anyway, there are no rules to this thing yet, and hopefully won’t ever be. These two objects are maybe only ideologically similar. They remind me of the act of pruning, which can initially seem a woefully futile task. We prune to make empty space, to increase fruitfulness. But patience is needed as we wait for sprouts, and sometimes we are left with just a hole in the ground.
I felt pruning to be a somewhat contradictory event: I didn’t scrape the entirety of my tiramisu and left it there, open. Soon mold might grow. I failed to roll up my mat after stretching last Thursday, but now that patch of my floor will not catch dust. I am trying to grow at home, with a lot of empty space, but I do miss the growth that happens among crowds and trash outside.
To listen: Algote Oho and his Sounds of Joy. It’s a good dance tune. His video for the song Mam Yinne Wa is kind of a tutorial. Oho is a Frafra gospel artist from Bolgatanga in Northern Ghana. The sounds remind me of a rubber band ball.
To watch: I am grateful to my friend Adrian for his recommendation. Alfonso Cuaron’s Y Tu Mamá También is charming, even if it ultimately is about teenage boys, raging hormones, and the often sudden collapse of life and death.
To watch or listen: Brit Marling, who created the OA, gave a Q&A with Yale Photo last week (thanks to my friend Isabel for letting me know). Anyway, it’s extraordinary. You really believe her when she describes the potential she is stuck inside a Folger’s coffee cup. It’s not over, Season 3 of the OA is just real life.
To try: Lately, I seem to only be able to work within parameters; it helps my focus. The other day, I thought I’d try writing a mono-syllabic story. You could try it too. Here is a list of ticklish sounding mono-syllabic words, like schtroumpfed.
To read and also try:
To marvel at: There is this girl Lily Wise who is 5 yrs 10 mo old. Her dad, Jeff, helped her make a website. She posts questions, briefings, and feelings by telling them to Jeff. Here is “Beds” though my favorite is “The Bad Day” but I think you should read that one in private.
Ruth Wilson Gilmore’s lecture on Covid-19, Decarceration, and Abolition is now online in three parts.
Nine home movies from MoMA’s “Private Lives Public Spaces” exhibition.
Inpatient Press is giving away 5x$500 grants to anyone working in the creative field. The application is a simple Google Form, and they will pick at random on April 27th. This takes off the pressure of being “good enough” which feels nice. It also seems they will be doing multiple rounds. (Thanks to my friend Minsoo for the tip.)
There is a Microfiction Challenge going on. It sounds potentially gimmicky, but since the theme of my week seems to be assignments, this could yield nice results. It’s a small fee to register, and prizes for writing are $100-$2,500.
I tried hard to not be wordy, but it happened anyway. Sorry. I hope future ones can be more visual, or even wordier, or even handwritten. Next week is Raina Wellman’s letter. She’ll probably teach you tons. If you liked anything from this week’s letter, or have watched, read, listened to something due to it, send me thoughts? Thank you!