January 12th, 2007
poem* “exercise”

poem: “exercise” by W.S. Merwin from Migration: New and Selected Poems
first forget what time it is
for an hour
do it regularly every day
then forget what day of the week it is
do this regularly for a week
then forget what country you are in
and practice doing it in company
for a week
with as few breaks as possible
follow these by forgetting how to add
or to subtract
it makes no difference
you can change them around
after a week
both will help you later
to forget how to count
forget how to count
starting with your own age
starting with how to count backward
starting with even numbers
starting with roman numerals
starting with the old calendar
going on to the old alphabet
going on the alphabet
until everything is continuous again
go on to forgetting elements
starting with water
proceeding to earth
rising in fire
forget fire
*sent to me as a gift from a dear reader, someone who often sends me gifts in the form of poems ;)

Jan 12 2007
3:52 pm
Helle Jorgensen writes:

Hello Keri
I have just discovered your blog and have laughed out loud, been entertained and inspired. Thank you. I will come back and visit you often and try to buy your book for a friend who has stopped drawing.

Jan 12 2007
4:18 pm
Sabine writes:

Isn’t it amazing just how hard it is to forget things? I think forgetting is probably one of the most complicated mental exercises. I am going to try and do everything in this poem, though it may even be impossible. At least it will clear my mind and help me think of other, more important things than the date.
Again, Keri, wonderful post! You’re writing is the highlight of my day. I come home from school and the first thing I do is check to see if you have updated. You’ve inspired me in so many ways, I can’t even begin to list all of them. Thank you so much!

Jan 12 2007
4:43 pm
Sophie writes:

What a great reminder to ‘think less’. Forget about all the things that don’t matter. Define what matters, define what to forget. Gosh, this post has made my mind spin!

Jan 12 2007
4:44 pm
[a} writes:

Forgetting, to free yourself, is such an interesting idea. Especially the forgetting what country you are from. It reminds me of something Rilke said: “We compose within ourself our true place of origin.”

Jan 12 2007
5:48 pm
marya writes:

merwin is one of my favorite poets. thank you for this. :)
here is one for you:
Rain Travel
by W. S. Merwin
I wake in the dark and remember
it is the morning when I must start
by myself on the journey
I lie listening to the black hour
before dawn and you are
still asleep beside me while
around us the trees full of night lean
hushed in their dream that bears
us up asleep and awake then I hear
drops falling one by one into
the sightless leaves and I
do not know when they began but
all at once there is no sound but rain
and the stream below us roaring
away into the rushing darkness

Jan 12 2007
11:54 pm
neilornstein writes:

reminds me of “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop:
The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.
—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
– Elizabeth Bishop

Jan 13 2007
6:18 am
Um Ibrahim writes:

Your blog has been quit “inpirational” to me, but everytime I was late, there r already 20+ comments, so skip to coment, forgive me;)
Love doing nothing & think less, but for me doing and think about everything r difficult, am lazy and stubborn, that’s way I come for you “Ideas” everytime am bored:) Thank’s.

Jan 13 2007
9:42 am
desperate debbie writes:

you are so fantastic. your website is a sourse of inspiration and renews my faith in life everytime i drop by to see what you’re up to.

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