October 31, 2010

Trick or treat, fear or sweet,

Trick or treat,
fear or sweet,
now you choose:
do you wish to be
ruled by your fears or
your desires? your designs?

Your starting
steppingstone: feel it,
recognize it. Name it.
Atychiphobia (fear of failure),
Atelophobia (fear of imperfection),
Doxophobia (fear of expressing opinions, or of receiving praise),
by whom are you ruled? and to what length
do you measure your worth? and when
did I get to Paris?
but that’s beside the point, and more
on point is maybe you are more aware
of your Arachnephobia (fear of spiders),
your Nyctohylophobia (fear of dark, wooded areas or forests at nighttime),
your Agoraphobia (fear of public places)?

Your deprivatization of these
fears has made them
laughable, hyperbolical, remediable.
Ground on which you are
firmly aware becomes the old
ground, steps descending disappearing,
your first treat: taste the sweetness
of victory over your fears, your so-called
survival instincts, primitive and still
of use. This week
(by standard fashion), we will recognize
and solidify our fears into concrete.

We will write a poem
addressing our
least approachable, least appreciated, most ridiculous
phobias. We will use any form
of verse we wish, but, and since
it’s Halloween, each poem will begin:
“Trick or treat.”

Make your poems hair-raising, harebrained;
are you scared of rabbits or just the children
of your past? Discover
newly uncovered nightmares, terrors
of your mundane behaviour: why didn’t you
start this essay earlier? Procrastination
is a fancier noun than the dread
behind it: of what
are you afraid?

Okay, O fine, I have a fear
of imperfection coupled
with a fear of academic writing, so what
do I do?

I can stand
on this baseline and take
the path up, tearing apart
this essay while tearing
open the candy, the sugary sweet
reward for challenging my instincts.

Monologue your anxiety
on paper. How did it feel
to overcome that hairy jumping spider of death?
Or parasailed over your Acrophobia (fear of heights) to grab the sweetness
from the air? Or taken that first step toward
your next greatest dream,
and cemented the cornerstone
into your freedom? How
did it feel when I recognized my fear,
rose one step higher, and scribed this
essay as a nontraditionally-accepted
(or traditionally non-accepted)
form of standard expository writing?

Sweetbut wait,
you didn't face your fear at all,
you just kind of went around it, to
which I reply: It is an essay
dressed in verses, disguises, now
Happy Halloween, and also: you
don't always have to
kill the spider.

When you recognize
which of the above are yet
to be collected, that is the Moment
you will compose this week. By doing
this, discover your hidden
Papyrophobia (fear of paper) and Scriptophobia (fear of writing in public),
and welcome yourself to your new world,
where the brave are the free, and the daring,

divine. Macabre or comedy,
rhyming verse or free,
your Moment is yours to create,
just begin it: “Trick or treat.”

Now to be fair, here's my Moment:

Construction paper

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