Sometimes Done Is Good Enough

January 4, 2010

It’s day one of a new quarter and all my energy is going toward the first day of class, so here’s another neurobics exercise to get your brain moving. It’s also my way of reminding you—and me—that some days you just have to do something and let it go! This mind challenge was embedded in a recent comment and the author’s response to the assignment can be seen in the comments to “About Wilkins-O’Riley Zinn.” Here’s the challenge:

Write a poem describing you—a description of yourself using the letters from “just like” and your first name. The letters can appear anywhere in the words.

I found this very difficult because the possibilities are so open, yet are also bounded by the realities of that initial j and, in my case, by not just one, but two k’s. It’s much easier to write an acrostic poem where the first letter of each line forms a word or phrase vertically and you don’t get the freedom to have the letters anywhere in the word. (This is what got Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in trouble in October 2009 when the first letters of a letter rejecting a bill formed a well-known and very offensive phrase. Google® it if you missed this.)

Here’s how I approached the challenge. I made a list of words I thought described me and then tried to fit them in somehow. It isn’t really poetic. There were words I couldn’t find a place for, like fun. But this is it for now.

Jeremy and Josh’s mom and Jim’s wife.
(Clearly I could not begin with just one J.)
and almost always kind.
An intellectual
snappy dresser.
A thaumaturgist
and collector,
a booklover,
and an original
seriously stuffed with stuff.

This being a public forum, I wish I had time to make my offering much more clever and much more representative of the fullness of who I am, and I wish I’d been able to say it all in a much more fascinating and poetic way. Alas, this is the reality of work under a deadline! Sometimes done is good enough.

Try the challenge yourself.

Dunkin’ Donuts. . .put the D at the end, you get Unkind Donuts. . .which I’ve had a few of in my day.
• Merl Reagle


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