Yes, And

Improvisation without representation is definitely authorized in this club, though I don’t quite know how it’s supposed to be accomplished (at least without some corporeal manifestation hanging around on this mechanical rotating clothes rack we call the universe).

First off, you’re supposed to “yes, and” the opposition into submission as often as possible, which typically would require a physical body in space and time. However, perhaps a physical body needn’t be required if we piped a nice [tinny] audio stream into the room as the live interaction winds itself down.

But that all goes without stating the obvious: if the instigator of improvisational inquiry has no chunky terrestrial body of which to speak, then why should the foil of the piece remain a solid entity? That just puts the burden on them, don’t you see? Having all of those internal organs thinly covered by what’s basically just a fleshy layer of napkins (and not the two-ply kind)… it’s dangerous! I won’t stand for reckless endangerment in the name of creativity.

Immense Scrutiny: Oh, Okay

What the hell do we even write about anymore?

Why does every single new idea
have this immense scrutiny attached to it–
this, the next in my sequence of work
after this whole COVID- dilemma kicked off.

How would one go about this treacherous task
that I would argue nobody wants to undertake?

Well, the first impression of the situation
would be that you should just get started.

But there are so many previously-made characters
just waiting for me to observe their every move
on the silver screen!!

Nobody calls it the silver screen anymore, hon.

Aw, shut up. You never let me wax aquarium.
I mean antiquarian. Same thing.

It’s obviously a completely different thing.
One involves some weird combination of wax and water,
the other is old timey shit.

Well, I meant the old shit, duh.
Anyway, I can’t wait to just dig into
another drama or comedy
or whatever shit they’re shoveling these days
over at the old network of flix.
And now that I’m standing here
thinking about it,
I can’t stand just being here
without reasonable computer access.

What do you mean,
we’re literally on a computer screen.
We could just walk two inches to the right
and bump into a browser window with let’s see…
oh, not the porn one.
But it looks like that Stephen Hawking movie
was the last thing of repute in his history.

Oh, how was that?

Yeah, not bad. Pretty damn stylized,
but what do you expect from a movie
that’s supposed to undertake the monumental task
of depicting the 20th Century’s most prominent
cosmological luminary
while addressing his ALS?

They covered his whole life?

Nah, just a scrapbook of mostly decent memories
up until the point where his older kids are teenagers
and running around in some Buckingham Palace bullshit.

Oh, okay.

Finding Ideas

Where does one find ideas?

I have a few options already conveniently laid out for that, just in case you’re wondering and would like a bit of inspiration for your next writing session.

Ideas may be found:

• when you’re on the back of a rhino during sweeps week
• when you’re looking for an easy win at whatever particular sweepstakes gobbledygook
• in the shower, when you’re rehashing the constitutionality of bellybutton rings
• when going down an elaborate water slide and your swim attire bunches up on you
• in the intricate landmass of one’s diverted psyche
• in the cheaps bin at your friendly neighborhood record store
• as you’re taking a break from the mindless rock breaking that Uncle Sam thought you’d enjoy doing as an act of courtesy towards the U S of A
• when the idea of finding ideas has gone horribly wrong and you’re scrounging around in the dark to try to concoct something before your friends ridicule you for taking so long to come up with just one idea, but then you remember that you don’t have any friends, and you’ve been defending yourself this whole time (while everybody around you seems to lack interest in your entire deal, which seems ludicrous to you until you passionately enlist the support of total strangers and get the reaction that only the more pragmatic among your friend group would have predicted, if said friend group were to actually exist)

So when you’re out there flagging down ideas, just remember one or two of these techniques and your creativity will flourish because of it!

Absurdity Is Rampant

Absurdity is rampant, all you jelly bean mongers out there (and aspiring monger-types who just haven’t caught your big break yet (it’s coming, trust me))!

The point here is the absurdity of even doing anything at all, let alone to the point where we can press our most sacred thoughts into lasting pellets of intuition and wildly disseminate them–in perpetuity–across the universe.

Effort would be considered the lion’s share of the process; it’s not the transcendence of this field of shapes and arbitrary sets of value, no, how could it be? For we are but simple field mice, content to labor our way through all hours of the day, afraid to look up or take pause.

Fear of the finite, the decay, the ruination of our children within, we clutch to anything resembling the womb.

But to state these maladies is only to bring attention back to that stale old paradigm, failing to uplift, only presenting symptoms of the perpetual problems while offering no solutions. What are we to do? Dive into some kind of fantastic phantasmagorical wonderscape?

Gretchen Ann simply needed to demonstrate the breadth of her innate yodeling abilities. Never once a formal student of the craft, her superb tonality and unapologetic virtuosity always brought her audience–usually herself–to the verge of emotional breakdown.


If bears could write,
would they choose that pastime
over climbing trees?
I’ll let you ponder that for a minute.

A can of whoop-ass overshadowed our biweekly WoundFest; there are only superficial injuries detailed in the most recent meeting minutes, no instances whatsoever of skin being broken. An average WoundFest should typically entail deep flesh wounds, mainly for the purpose of scaring away enthusiastic and misled newbies. The WFers are a tight-knit group, can’t have fair-weather harm-infliction hobbyists just jumping in and out all willy-nilly! What would say about WFers as a group? I’ll tell ya right now, it would make them look desperate! Soliciting the pain of complete outsiders and kicking them to the curb when they balk at the notion of losing a pint or two of blood… those despicable near-masochists need to stick with their own kind, so we don’t even broach this conversation in the first place, airing out our dirty laundry for the world to see.

Now, what these here WFers need to do, if they’re in the business of enlisting new members, is go out to the woods and rustle up a few bears. That would definitely take the unrequited writing ability off of their minds for a little bit, while practically guaranteeing worthwhile flesh wounds in the process (bloodlust is a hell of a drug). I can only imagine how excruciating it must be to possess the ability to manipulate something as complex and abstract as modern language with absolutely no ability to record it, aside from rudimentary scratch marks on tree bark that could never be appreciated as a contribution to the literary canon. At best, they’ll be confused with the cliché summer camp gouge marks left behind by horny pre-teens.

Bandwagon Antics

In light of this glut of well-delivered monologues here tonight, I’m convinced that we humans–because I’m definitely a human, don’t go running around and telling your friends otherwise–quite possibly have a fighting chance in this thing we call life amongst the celestial bodies (well, at least that’s what I call it). While by no means a guarantee, I can certainly exclaim that creativity should–dare I say must–eventually overtake the box-in-box mentality that has, thus far, led to the perpetuation of flocking masses of mundanity, sometimes riled to the point of stampeding.

Those of us who can visualize the ideal representation of creative humanity will be sick and tired of bowing down to tyrannical individuals who would prefer to destroy rather than glorify the artistic inspiration leading to craft (for craft’s sake). In the eyes of the inscrutable free-market economist, if something that requires a great deal of skill also happens to net you a tidy profit, then it will obviously be quite desirable. In the face of such bandwagon antics, it takes the uncompromising individual to declare “I am going to do this because I love it, no matter how minute the level of compensation.”

Pretzels and Applesauce

All right class, let me just jot some things down on the chalkboard here…

What am I hoping to achieve through the the synthesis of words in this particular manner? It would appear as though I’m looking for the special key that was crafted for the sole purpose of conveying the cosmic Truth as I see it. The nice thing about this hypothetical key is the almost-negligible cost to gain access to whatever happens to lie behind the lock–that is to say, the lack of necessity for lavish expenditures in order to reach the same island of internal artistic fulfillment as anyone else who’s choosing to express themselves on this particular plane. That’s not to say that this medium of words on a page or board is inherently superior to any other form of creative expression, it’s just obviously much cheaper (which appeals to my frugal sensibilities).

Now! Who’s ready to start learning the alphabet?

Oh come on, nobody’s excited about exploring the 26 letters of our language? When I was your age, I already knew what a silent E was. Trust me, you’re going to want to know these principles as you get bigger and need to concisely present your thoughts to the world around you.

Okay, okay. I can see that I’ve lost you guys. That’s okay; I’ve been teaching kindergarten for 25 years, and this is par for the course. I think you all have definitely earned your snack and nap through how attentive you’re being today, so good for you! Now remind me, who among you are vegetarian/vegan/lactose intolerant? Anybody know? Okay, pretzels and applesauce for everyone! Yippee!!