Day 2 Prompts

1. The Kierkegaard Inventory with Dire Straits

“Forgetting is the shears with which you cut away what you cannot use, doing it under the supreme discretion of memory….When we say that we consign something to oblivion, we suggest simultaneously that it is to be forgotten and yet also remembered.”

Soren Kierkegaard

Make a list of fifteen things you don’t want your loved ones to forget about you. Don’t be afraid of being sentimental. In fact, listen to this song by the Dire Straits, “On Every Street,” as you make your list. Think about your injured looks, the way you laughed that time when choking on shrimp, the color of your eyes when the moonlight hit them while skinny-dipping, tell the singer what to look for when his eyes cross the street trying to find you.

Now pick five or ten of these things to create a list poem or inventory flash, a sort of “10 Things You Should Never Forget About Me.” Describe why these things matter. Give us details, connections, pulse. Address it to someone or to everyone. This is yours.

2. Death and love

In an interview with The Paris Review, author Luisa Valenzuela compared death and love as themes:

“Death is the ultimate mystery, which, alas, love isn’t, so it’s more enticing as subject matter,” author Luisa Valenzuela said in an interview with Paris Review where she compared death and love as themes, adding: “We are always trying to have the last word over what will finally have the last word over us.” Start with this last sentence and free-write. See what happens. Write that sentence at the top of the page and go where it wants. Take us with you. 

3. Hang a rose from the ceiling

In Northern Europe, it is customary to hang a rose from the ceiling above a table if what happens beneath it is intended to remain a secret. I bleached my hair after mom died. I could not stand the reflection of her naive daughter in the mirror. What self-altering thing have you done to wrangle with loss? What is the name of the ghost of the person you’ve been? What does the ghost say after hanging the rose above the table?