Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Inklings Prompt, 11/1: Creation Myths

The prompt is simple: write a creation story, or else write about the beginning of something.

We used these two poems for inspiration:

In the Beginning

There was the famous photographer, Walker Evans,

who started by photographing old signs and ended

by filling his bathtub with them and washing

himself in the kitchen sink. There was the Harlem

man whose pet tiger cub grew so big that first

his family and finally he himself fled

the 12th-floor, three-bedroom apartment in the housing

project, returning every day to fling raw chickens

through a crack in the front door. Love displaces

everything. All over the city the signs peer

from beneath modern facades, fade in the sun and rain

high up on sides of buildings: BEST QUALITY TWINE. Ghosts

on brick, cockeyed atop demolition dumpsters, tin

worn delicate as paper, pale lettered—mint,


INQUIRE ON PREMISES. If you stare at them words

are faces; everyone who ever spelled them out,

ever debated whether to buy twine or rent

an apartment fades up into view wearing shadowy

Homburgs, black veils, parcels in their arms, the winter

air freshening for snow. Or imagine the face

of a tiger waiting behind a thin metal door,

your furniture demolished, your family living

on friends’ floors, your neighbors smelling urine and fur

and losing their tolerance, a policeman

rappelling outside your windows with a dart gun.

Imagine a hunger for the invisible world

so deep it must have existed before you were born.

--Anne Pierson Wiese

Creation Myth

God Created the world over the span of four years.

He would get all excited about it & work really hard for a few days

& then he would watch some movies & get out of the mood

of staying up late crafting mountains & deciding where to put all the Shell stations.

He would hang out, popping pills & listening to the coda from “Layla” over & over again.

But then he would be cooking eggs or cleaning the toilet & think Fuck! The world!

And for a couple of days he would work really hard again.

It was during these active periods that he created New Zealand & piano concertos.

After four years God was updating his livejournal & wrote

it may not be good enough, it may not be the best world ever, but it’s my world & I’m just sick of tinkering with it, so I’m going to give it a name & call it done & move on to something else.

He did this. He called his world Des Moines & got in bed to take a nap, but he accidentally set the alarm for AM instead of PM

& he never woke up again & this is why there is only one world

& why it is called Des Moines.

Des Moines consists of single-family homes & several different retirement residences.

Des Moines consists of 8 hospitals.

Des Moines consists of new construction, replacing previously rural farm fields.

Des Moines feels like warm lake water.

Des Moines has some nice shopping; it is the nexus of God’s will.

All things in Des Moines are made up of the five elements:

1. badly bleached hair

2. shoeboxes full of old mix-tapes

3. extremely old wrenches and/or mistakes

4. water

5. dirt

--Mathias Svalina

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