The online poetry course I’ve been immersed in for the last 10 weeks ends tomorrow. It has been extraordinarily illuminating and I feel I’m only just beginning to absorb some of the things it teaches. I’ll miss it, not least because it has resulted in a massive spike in my own poem making, something I really don’t want to lose.

So I’ve decided to employ Bernadette Mayer’s Writing Experiments to help keep me focussed. Thus, I’ve written all her exercises on index cards, cut them out, and put them into this:


which, as you can see it’s a Salt-Pig – I have removed the salt. I’d completely forgotten I had it (it’s from my old house and doesn’t quite work in this one) but going through old photos this morning reminded me so I looked it out from its hiding place in the kitchen, and voila! It now has a new purpose. And the exercise I pulled out today was:

Write only in questions

so here goes:

What is it that is so distinct in the flavour of a passion fruit?

Why does chocolate grip?

When will it stop raining?

Why is the sky?

How will the pattern form?

Will she return?

At three o’clock what will happen?

When will the world?

If peanuts then what?

Will a room make a real difference?

Why is purple so irritating?

Where is it?

What would happen if all the TVs exploded?

What price life?

Who will do it?

Who is too cold to think right now?

Does someone always have to suffer?

Can it be saved?

Is a pickle necessary?

What is the purpose of curtains? 

If we fall like Rome…?

Why is pain so limiting?

Is the plumping of cushions indicative of economic prosperity?

Why is collaboration so worrying for some?

What really is between a rock and a hard place?

That will do, goodness knows what, if anything, will come of it, but I suppose that’s the point. Why do I aim to do this every day…?

Published by Eryl Gasper Dick

I am an artist and writer living in southwest Scotland. I freelance as a Literature Ambassador (for Wigtown Festival Co. who run the Scottish Book Town); as a creative writing teacher; and a content provider, populating people's websites and marketing materials with perfectly honed, clear sentences. When I'm not gadding about supporting writers, lit events, businesses, and students I write fiction, non-fiction, and the odd poem. I avidly believe that creativity is the answer to the problem.

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