Day Three: Life in 100 words

Today we were to light a candle, remove people and pets, make a list of 100 words, divide them into pairs, write them on 50 cards a pair per card, and use a few to write a poem. A proper grand slam.

Prompt 3: “I’d like to challenge you to make a ‘Personal Universal Deck,’ and then to write a poem using it. The idea of the ‘Personal Universal Deck’ originated with the poet and playwright Michael McClure, who gave the project of creating such decks to his students in a 1976 lecture at Naropa University. Basically, you will need 50 index cards or small pieces of paper, and on them, you will write 100 words (one on the front and one on the back of each card/paper) using the rules found here.”

First, it might be that it was not meant to be shared but here is my deck, for the analysts. I’m curious about everybody else’s.

There is a word missing in the Touch section. The screen was too big and it was cut out like this: Slam!

This was the computer-generated divination of the words I was supposed to use in my poem:

And now, the poem.

Life in 100 words

Tsk tsk tsk,
so lazy.

The best part of my morning
was seeing that 
for making my card deck 
there was also
the online option.

Next, I ignored the part 
about the candlelight
and no pet for company.

I carefully selected my words,
paired them up
and made the virtual cards,
but then the divination
made a mess of them, 
shuffled up all the words again,
and I was left
with pairs 
selected by the computer. 

So much for the free will.

I stare at the screen angrily
as if it weren’t I who is to blame.

I mean, who would put vinegar
together with laughter
but a computer?

How about book + card?
I’d never be so see-through 
and pair these two.

I wipe a wave of sweat,
remove kale from my pants
(sand! I mean sand!),
and take a deep breath. 

No, despite it all 
I will not start over
and cut out my cards
in the flesh, 
nor sit petless 
hugging my words,
all the moments
that added these words
to my deck,
all the times
that I wrote in candlelight
in my green room,
brand new,
dreaming of all the future
that was about to become the past,
and probably of Nutella.

Nutella had this campaign years ago where they set different names in their trademark type. A certain young girl was on a visit with her parents and the smile of the hostess is due to Ema’s words upon seeing this: “But I don’t like Nutella.”

Now I see that my two favourite words, appreciate (which is sneaked into Sights) and apologise (which is infiltrated into Sounds) never got a mention. Ah well, next time.

In the wildflowers of Tuscany.

And finally, if you’re curious about Eddie among my words, he is singing in the band I love and saw live about ten times. (Whereas Jeanette is Ms. Winterson.)

The show from Hyde Park in 2010, where my friend Darja took this photo, was broadcast live last night for free, just as Luka with his band of b-ball thieves was thrashing the Knicks. I had on the sound of the first and the visual of the second. Talking about perfect night out.

He was already singing It’s a world wide suicide back then.

(The concert is still available on Pearl Jam Facebook site.)


NaPoWriMo 2021 Button with black background

20 thoughts on “Day Three: Life in 100 words

  1. Loved reading real life through yours. ‘I mean, who would put vinegar together with laughter but a computer?’ This line is now ingrained in my memory and will be consoling each time a bad poem is written 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hahaha, I loved the weird combinations I got and wouldn’t have ordered them unless I was paid for it! Though how to use ‘spicy arabesque’ in a poem is beyond me at the moment. Maybe tomorrow after a good night’s mare 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. OK, so many things! First of all, I can’t believe you saw Pearl Jam live TEN times!! I didn’t even see them once and I listen to Eddie belt his heart out all the time.💔💜

    The poem: loved your sense of humor throughout and am adopting the word ‘petless’ (with your permission) for whenever I’m five minutes away from Willow. ‘Hugging my words’ moved me (sooo familiar).

    And your list of words is yummy (way better than Nutella) and the technical snafu you had with the cards–forgive me–really, really funny!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hihhii, I’m glad you can see the humour, Romana. I was momentarily really angry because I used probably more time pairing up the words than choosing them in the first place, and it was all gone! But then it hit me that this was one of those zen things when you need to laugh when you break a glass. 😀 And I’m even happier that I can move you, if only by the sheer amount of times when I could hear him belt out. 😉 Thank you from the heart!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, I’m so glad you say this, K! I don’t necessarily feel this way every time, it doesn’t feel like nailing it. It feels a bit like school. 😀 But I liked this prompt. And even if I rebel, it’s just a pose. Secretly I’m really glad for these prompts and responses.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “nor sit petless hugging my words” It struck me as saying you refused to give up a pet and hug words instead. And who would do such a thing? The photo of you in daisies is a delight. And your story of creating and losing your computer lists was real and realtime, and it felt like sitting beside you on the couch and talking about your day. It was nice to join you today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, Crystal, thank you so much! This is exactly how I’m doing it in my mind, in real time, and sharing this time with my reading buddies. This is how I would talk to you if you were here. 🙂 The scene from the poem is real: I was without a dog or cat all my life since I was 30 (we had birds and fish but they were nothing but trouble). So I had to hug words instead. I read like crazy and wrote a diary. Please, join me any time.

      Liked by 1 person

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