Sounding our barbaric YAWP over the roofs of Baltimore since 2000

Zelda's Inferno exercise: "pain is always required"

Zeldas Inferno exercise: connect those lines

"Worry was not mine", and "But pain is always required"

worry was not mine
i had put it down somewhere and forgot to pick it up again
fear was not mine
for I saw what was to come
suffering was not mine
mutually exclusive with acceptance
but pain was still there, sure
pain is always required
part of the package deal

anger was not mine
I no longer had time to be angry
and hatred was not mine
I knew the other too well
greed was not mine
I already had everything
but being alive, pain --
pain is always required

disbelieve the one who promises freedom from pain
there is only one way out of that
and there's too much to do first

the question is not the existence of pain
it is, what will you do about it?

suffering, worry, fear, these are optional
but pain --
pain is always required

Zelda's Inferno exercise: "breathe. relax. accept."

Zelda's Inferno exercise: write a poem from the following word list, based on the word "exercise":

stretch "feel the burn" pain breathe sweat muscles mountains water run strain jockstrap "sports bra" gym yoga "downward dog" scream fish endurance hospital relax

scream, if you must, but then

relax the shoulders, no need to hold them up and tense
relax the chest, no need to hold it tight
relax the neck, no need to hold it forward, let the head sit above the spine

mountains of doubt appear.
ok. breathe. relax. accept.
muscles of the legs complain of the strain.
ok. breathe. relax. accept.
boredom. distraction. desire.
ok. breathe. relax. accept.
strange voices.
ok. breathe. relax. accept.
again, boredom. distraction. desire.
ok. breathe. relax. accept.
angelic visions.
ok. breathe. relax. accept.
demonic threats.
ok. breathe. relax. accept.
anger. fear. regret.
ok. breathe. relax. accept.
confusion. heartache. worry.
ok. breathe. relax. accept.
triumph. failure.
ok. breathe. relax. accept.

there is no other medicine.

Zelda's Inferno exercise: "we could save billions annually"

Zelda's Inferno exercise: free write on one or more of the following phrases:

recess begins to have islands of kids
the freely flowing wine
.we could save billions annually
give up the secrets
not just on the local level

we could save billions annually
says the bodhisattva
every single sentient being
signed sealed and delivered from their suffering
Jizo prying open the gates of hell
but you have to bring the people out one at a time
to save one billion people annually
he'd have to save about 32 every second
he's either got to move fast or have a lot of help
so let's all lend a hand
we could save billions annually
and not just on the local level
all throughout the universe
whereever there is intelligence there is a concept of time
whereever there is a concept of time, there is a projection of the
future and a memory of the past
whereever there there is a projection of the future and a memory
of the past, there is the possibility of fear and of regret
suffering is not the unique inheritance of this bunch of apes
that much more work for the bodhisattva
work not just for the Earth-store bodhisattva but the
Mars-store bodhisattva and the Alpha Centauri IV
store bodhisattva
we could save trillions, quadrillions, quintillions
all in a single instant

Zelda's Inferno exercise: Google ad stories

This week's Zelda's Inferno exercise: Google ad stories, as described here. The point: 'to litter the internet with stories where stories have not previously been." The format: a title line, up to 25 characters, which may be part of the story but must also stand alone as a title; then two lines of up to 35 characters each. (If published as an ad, there is also a by-line for the author.)

Stopping at an ATM
Instead of $20s, the machine gave
him the secrets of the Cosmos.

Boy meets Girl
Boy sells soul to the Devil for her
love; learns no soul means no love.

Life's Ambition
Joe wanted to be a writer. He
practiced until he realized: he was

One fine March day
spring's first blossom pushed a
susceptible man into enlightenment.

Once up a time
there was a foolish boy who loved
everyone. Surprise - he ended up ok

Zelda's Inferno exercise: "moving down the street at a dancing pace"

Zelda's Inferno exercise: write a poem from the following randomly-generated wordlist (from

drop project dancing umbrella minister costing
pace candidate baffled conviction good action

moving down the street at a dancing pace
leave my baffled convictions behind me
drop loose the past that was taking up space
let it all go until I'm free

now freedom is good and freedom is great
but not something you can hold on to
lock it in a box and it disintegrates
you can't carry it with you

now that you've got your freedom
how will you hold on to it?
now that you've got your freedom
how will you hold on to it?

Zelda's Inferno exercises: the process of measuring and recording thought / the courage of the flesh

Zelda's Inferno exercise: I. write a poem that is a list of things (abstract or concrete)

the bees that died to bring you this honey
the slush seeping into my running shoes
the frost on the glass of a streetlight
the reason why I keep around pens that are out of ink
blue ink
the first use of the word "sitcom"
the third word I misspelled today
the process of measuring and recording thought
the women I've gone to bed with, and the intersection of that
     set with the set of women I've loved
the tarnish on my guitar's strings
a chocolate soda
the nerve impulse of an itch over my left 7th rib
a string of costume jewelry beads
the slowly building urge to urinate
a wistful sigh over a certain woman
worries about money and business
the anticipation of spring
the news out of Egypt
the stubble on my cheeks
reflections of reflections
things too vague to name or label
a face that looks familiar but, upon further consideration, is
     not the person I thought
the process of aging
an abundance of Mikes
a small soda belch
a chilly draft
my inability to fingerpick guitar
the nature of this poem
the shop in Osaka where I bought this hat
colored chalk
the bag of dry dog food sitting in my kitchen
the outdated temporary "No Parking" sign across the street
and the desire for some interesting thing with which to end this poem

part II: connect those lines! Drawn at random from those contributed by other participants: "Fear danced my soul backwards while my body remained" and "The path was darker now as I turned back once more, smiled and continued down the road"

Zelda's Inferno exercise: "the glistening brittle bones of winter"

This week's Zelda's Inferno writing exercise: write a poem from the following wordlist based (in theory...) on the idea "trees in winter": shopvac um glistening storage brittle sappening waiting bones reaching creaking shelter gripping

the road cut thru Sideling Hill
even here, where man has moved (part of) the mountain
the laws of the season hold sway and

the glistening brittle bones of winter
reach down like seasonal stalactites
gripping the rock face

wait only a few weeks and they will flow away
the stone, in its way, flows too
so much more slowly

it's a question of perception --
look quickly enough and fire is solid
look slowly enough and stone is fluid
compared to the vacuum of space, air is nearly as dense
as the ground
the speedy neutrino zips thru the empty spaces and sees
lead as no harder than gossamer

does this winter seem cold? ask the night side of icy Pluto
(planet or not)
or the day side of rocky Mercury

but here the ice and rock are together
like models of each other run at different speeds
an artistic scientific display for anyone driving by

Zelda's Inferno exercise: "loud ideas in his musical eyesight"

Zelda's Inferno exercise: write a first line about the perception of emotion through the classic five senses. Then we mixed them up and everybody got one to use as a first line for a poem.

My first line: Unrequited love coated his tongue like the fuzz you get with a cold, deadening the taste of food.

The first line I drew: "I bounced some loud ideas off the side of his musical eyesight." I varied it a bit...

loud ideas in his musical eyesight
looked purple as they bounced off the side
and into the brain

jagged chords smelled like ammonia and pine oil
cleaning the floor of his heart

while a sweet bass line
soothed his nervous stomach

and all came into harmony

Zelda's Inferno exercise: "the quorum of my self has been assembled"

Zelda's Inferno exercise: write a poem from a random wordlist, from

quorum occurrence development antithesis combination concentration neglect self harden sweating inhibition transit

the quorum of my self has been assembled
the voices in my head put to debating thesis, antithesis, synthesis
concentration is a lie, this is disputation
developing a suitable parliamentary procedure as I/we go along
trying to neglect no perspective, sweating the details
putting aside inhibition
arguing freely with my/ourselve(s) in every combination

what to do? what to do? what to do?
that which I ask you three times is a true question

Zelda's Inferno exercise: "I celebrate myself"

Zelda's Inferno exercise: write a "Song of Yourself", a poem in praise of your own highest nature.

"I celebrate myself, and sing myself," said old Uncle Walt
So why not you and me?

Me, I am proud to say that every star in the Universe is attracted to my body
I am loved by dogs
The sun does not hide its face from me, nor the flowers their scent
And the moon herself...well, a gentleman is discrete

I have seen the Clear Light reflected in the faces of every person passing by
I have fought the forces of evil, and they have not yet vanquished me

I have seen the Daibutsu at Nara during the New Year's festival
And been the plaything of the Goddess of Chaos
And been led by a mysterious woman to the top of a sacred mountain

I can use chopsticks, and play Louie Louie on the guitar
And fold an origami crane (if I have the instructions in front of me)

And no one is closer to the Divine than I am.

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