owes its being to Natalie Goldberg for a variation of her writing exercise in Writing Down the Bones
. We write down the first thing we think of: a writing topic, a word, a phrase ("First thought, best thought.") and place it in a hat. We pull out a slip of paper and I time-keep: seven minutes. Then, we each read our poem out loud, either in a circle or "Quaker Meeting Style", as the Spirit moves us — but all have to read what is written. We go in rounds of 4 or 5. No comments. Just hearing the variations. Soon, the imagery and music interweave. Some of these poems are made up of 20 or so "shaggy" or "buttery" words written on the black-board. A few, are made up of random words taken from various poems (as indicated by the titles).
I call these my "7-Minute poems." All are unrevised except for punctuation. All are spontaneous, with given titles. They are centered spokes in the wheel, as they remain.