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Lesson 2

Lesson 2

A Lesson by Tantra Bensko

Spontaneous trance.


Now that you've put intellectual, purposeful thought into deciding what directions your unique vision requires of literary innovation, try relaxing by defocusing your eyes, breathing more slowly, letting your thoughts fade off into the distance, or inside in your depths.

Start writing the first thing that comes to mind, and let the rhythm of it carry you. Rhythm helps you draw things from your subconscious your regular conscious mind might bypass, and it also helps take the readers into an altered state. Musicality of prose is often under-rated, and most readers don't realize how much effort great writers put into the sound of the words.

Iambic pentameter often makes a nice sound, though grows tedious if you use it straight through. Just let the sound of the words, and the ease of being in an almost meditative state allow you to write something about an agenda, without judging it. Just play. No one else will see it. What is the playful part of your psyche like, and how is it different from the usual story?

Maybe you end up writing non-sense, but find whatever images and word combinations, juxtapositions of mood and fresh language intrigue you to take something from it and start over with that.

Maybe you really like what you write. Never consider the first draft the final copy, but especially not when it's spontaneous, trancy stuff. You need to put it away overnight, and go back to it in a sharp state of mind that does judge and cut and is hard on you.

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Posted 3 Years Ago

I am having a lot of fun with these lessons, thank you!

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Posted 5 Years Ago


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Posted 5 Years Ago

The elevator floor stretched down into the sinking shaft,
but my legs were missing.

Silver triangles and gold pyramid reliefs speckled purple shadows behind the remembered glow of warm summer cigarettes, onyx totems and cactus starred nights.

It’s going to work, a cross-bund work. A labored plan.
A dog howls, it's not dark yet.

“Open brother.”
The tanks are caught on film
their treads tearing the winter european mud.
More grainy pictures.

“Why don't you finally like your meal?”
“I haven't heard anything, I haven't determined it yet.”
“If anyone gets caught talking about it, I can't say.…”

Talking about family, travels, girlfriends.
My brother captured every five minutes of me
in my dark blue pajamas, hopping around on one foot.

The gun wasn't registered, a small caliber.
She was a gold riveted rubic's cube, forget about her.

All the eyes and faces are alike, similar…
“But talk with me for moment…”
She sat with someone else on the carousel
“Look, see? The new sit closer together…”
“Next time you ask me, from where you come…”
Eyes close, head nods.
Pointed daggers of red painted finger nails.
“French beans, something you didn’t eat very much.”

Purple architectural lines,
hard-lead strings drawn on beige fog,
a vague mist the structure floats in,
giving off orange flecks, they splatter, run red.

The brass garden sprinkler is a distraction,
the physical body, it’s pain censures out the images.
The continuous ‘thicking’ water stream draws concentration away from pools of thought, hidden, hesitating, stagnant.

Big, big men and farm fat women, yards of milky tan tissue.
The saw blade, the gun, the pendant and chain darkly tinted in ink shadow.
breath comes- pulling, twisting-
jerking gasps over anonymous hardware

Barn barrel hands and baling twine beneath darkened eaves... silk gloves provided for him, like one wears polishing silver
white blizzard snow

I'm tasting a lot of where I've been

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Added on March 19, 2013
Last Updated on March 19, 2013

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Tantra Bensko
Tantra Bensko

Berkeley, CA

I teach fiction writing through UCLA Ex. Writing Program, and my own academy online where I focus on Experimental Writing, which I also teach through Writers College when I have time. I have nearly 20..