[lit-ideas] Re: Sunday Twofer

  • From: Julie Krueger <juliereneb@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 13 May 2012 14:03:58 -0500

I like very much the hole-in-the paper exercise.  I think I'll use it this
week with some of my language & writing students.

Julie Krueger

On Sun, May 13, 2012 at 1:46 PM, David Ritchie <profdritchie@xxxxxxxxx>wrote:

> When "off" and "on" blur together, sometimes I wonder whether a
> well-defined job delivering the mail would be a fine thing.  And then I
> remember Charles Bukowski on the subject and my own experiences as a
> consumer.  For want of seven cents recently--there was a rise in price I
> missed--the post office confiscated my letter, held it ten days, returned
> it to my box.  By this time my brother-in-law's birthday was two days away,
> and since he lives half a world away and doesn't "do" e cards there wasn't
> much possibility that he'd be amused or cheered on the right day.  I
> thought of creating a fuss in my local post office, but when I got there a
> couple were having a loud argument in the parking lot, one fit for t.v.
> (which may have been where they learned the moves), and that was enough to
> put me off.  I paid the missing seven cents; they re-sent.  The card
> arrived in nine more days, which was first class.  Meanwhile, I ordered
> some nineteenth century books and an up-to-date, backlit reading device.
>  The first were to come by "media mail," the second was regular.  None
> arrived on time.  My current theory is that our guy leaves packages for his
> relief, allows them to cluster.  Why do all that heavy lifting when you
> have seniority?  Sure enough, these two packages and another all arrived on
> POET'S day, Friday, which is I believe when our guy goes fishing, or writes
> laconic stories.  (Piss Off Early, Tomorrow's Saturday).
> An exercise proposed by a candidate for a job teaching writing at our
> college consisted of tearing a hole in a piece of paper to create a window
> on the world, a point of view, a frame for observations.  We were asked to
> take a few minutes then to write what we could see and what we thought
> about what we could see.  Here's me, "My point of view is not still.  When
> I am god-like and above the top of the frame I see stains and smudges on
> the table, marks, variance in value.  These do not mean much to me.  What a
> crap pen this is.  Now I scrunch down.  Another of these crap pens comes
> into view, or rather the black and round end is what I see, also about a
> quarter of an inch of whiteness.  When I really get low, I see Arvie
> [African-American] eating his lunch from a white, ceramic container.  None
> of this is accidental.  I choose the point of view, and in that selection I
> refuse other possibilities.  So now I wonder about connections.  I spy a
> white slip of paper, a white stain on the table, possibly left over from an
> attempt to use white-out.  Ah, in the distance, yet more white.  My points
> of view and what I see..., it's all really quite white.  He's asking us to
> put our pens down.  No more might for me, or this pen."
> David Ritchie,
> Portland,
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