My mother is a genius
for calling me
at the right time
at the right place
in the right mood
to tell me everything
she ever told me
and raised me upon
and I already knew
and knew that I knew
and I knew so well
that I wrote it into
a short story
two hours ago.
And I will rip my hair out
for another round
of this preaching to the choir.
The Fundamental Theory of Human Behavior by Mama:
(1). Null Hypothesis: The only person you have the ability to know and control and change is yourself. You have no ability to change other people.
(2). Alternate Hypothesis: Through your presence and actions, you have changed other people's behaviors and perceptions. But this change is fundamentally INDIRECT. You are present and tell a story, but the person who receives the story must be OPEN and willing to listen, and willing to change. Increased frequency of encounter of an idea will increase the likelihood that the idea will catch. For example, Brittney Spears is chronically in everyone's faces. So, by default, we think about Brittney Spears.
Another point. I have the ability to change people's behaviors in very slight ways. For example, me and my car occupy space on the freeway. All individuals proximal to my spatial-temporal postition will behave such as to avoid crashing into my car and maintaining a level of dynamic co-existence with all fast-paced elements on the freeway. Simple as that!
This morning was a very intriguing poetry reading by students in Dr. Barry Spacks' College of Creative Studies Course. I get little tingles down my spine when the students make "insights" or new ways of looking at things in our everyday life that we may just take for granted. For example, a student mentioned how her grandmothers hunched back "made a cave for her heart" or another student described the antipastoral climb to Mount Whitney with a bunch of hikers carrying their own sewage in bags. That was a classic! I want to experience that! Wow! Such an anecdote can feed into the "Tragedy of Nature in a Box" essay I have stewing in my computer. But some other day. You have to put one foot in front of the other, and one word behind the next. It is a slow climb out of a rabbit hole to discover the true, evolving structure of yourself.
As for "details" in my life, I had a "timely" phone call incident with my mother that just amplified my frustrations--for I had not jogged and released any energy at that point of the day--and the only way I could vent the incident was through a poem. I read it to my father, who could sympathize immediately, but I think he was making sure that my mother was not around to listen to the conversation. And when she was, my father's response were very "stunted."
I think poetry is a form of fundamental building block that to longer pieces. The accumulation of little "absurd details" in everyday life can lead to the formulation of a whole new world!
Dr. Spacks mentioned how these poetry readings allow us to pick apart our experiences and then even incorporate these experiences into our own poetry.