Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Weekly Workshop: Obsess Much?

Obsessions can be fertile ground for writers. Mary Oliver's obsession with the natural world infuses her body of work, and Richard Siken's obsession with a certain person produced his wonderful debut, Crush. A close read of Stephen King's work will reveal obsessions with, not murderers or monsters, but beer, dogs, cars, doing the laundry and mowing the lawn. My own obsession with CLUE, both the board game and the movie, led to my chapbook A Classic Game of Murder

The Conservatory

I can see your face through the grapefruit leaves

black against your skin.

Juniper berries in the alcove where you grabbed me.


The basil here is purple, pinched at the ends.

We must rip out the bad spinach to save the garden.


The hoe, the rake, the scissors.

Fertilizer like liquid amethyst.

A murder in insecticide, in chrysanthemum,


in the slant of light born from the slant of the sun.

I will protect my orchids.


A smell like roses, or old books.

Sunflowers look down with black faces,

at a certain hour their shadows mark the loose brick


and you have become the sundial,

that stripe across your left cheek: almost evening.

What strange obsessions do you have? What do you thrill over, day after day? Write a list, then choose one, however odd. The passionate and insightful results might surprise you.

"The Conservatory" first appeared in Cold Drill, Issue 37.


jared david said...

incredible imagery...especially the last two stanzas. i'll take this one to work and try to picture something other than mud today

The Storialist said...

I really enjoyed this, and your project sounds awesome!

Hmm...I am an obsessive people watcher. :)