My pain is gone, and (Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 12)

I had updates for you tonight, the main one being that my back & shoulder & neck stopped hurting when I stopped using a pillow, but… actually, yes, that is something I want to share. At the height of that whole ordeal with my upper back, the pain grew so terrible that it woke me up one night, and I intuitively pushed my pillow away. I was more than half asleep and hardly realized that I was doing it, but in the morning, my pain was mostly gone, and then I saw that I’d slept on the flat mattress and my pillow was way off to the side and I remembered what I’d done, and it was A Moment of understanding. I’ve been sleeping pillowless since then, and my pain is completely gone!

So I guess that’s all it was. My body (dramatically) rejected my pillow at the same time that it rejected the body products I was using. Now I’ve changed everything, and all of that discomfort has gone away. But man, was it intense and awful. Sincere thanks to you who offered suggestions in messages.

At any rate, I was just going to write about this conclusion to my pain ordeal, and then I decided to open my Missed Connections document to revisit the gems I’d stored away over the last few months.

For you who don’t know, what I do is I collect the (Craigslist) Missed Connections subject lines that strike me as I’m browsing the list of posts, and after a while, I put them together to form a poem. I present the poem here so you, too, can marvel at the random things people write in Missed Connections subject lines. I’ve based this series of poems on the Surrealist game called the “Exquisite Corpse” in which each player writes one creative line based on the previous line written by the previous person. At the end of the game, all of the lines are revealed, and the poem emerges.

Likewise, this poem that I’m sharing tonight was written by random strangers, one line per person. This particular “Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse” poem is exceptionally short. It’s just a little lyric, and it’s one of my favorites. I just think it’s really sweet and sad and current and profound, and all of the credit goes to the anonymous writers of the Missed Connections posts. I didn’t add or take away any punctuation this time, as I sometimes do.

Without further ado, may I present:

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 12

I gave my best smile
To the moon
Three or four years ago
The truth
Your cat’s name was Misty
You needed a basket at Trader Joe’s
I’m sorry I gave you the virus

Have a wonderful week’s end, my friends.

On the inside, looking out. (Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 11)

Friday morning, a screw fell to the floor when I opened my front door to leave the house. Saturday morning, I sent a couple of texts. Hours later, a person came over and took some measurements. Long story short: My new front door will be ready for installation in about four weeks.

Meanwhile, the door person will come back on Monday to fabricate a temporary fix on the door frame, enabling me to not only close the front door, but to lock it, too! Brilliant!

Because currently, the door doesn’t close. It can’t, because there’s nothing on the door frame to hold it in. The door frame is cracked and warped and crumbling. The part where the locks would bolt to hold the door shut look like they’ve been chewed up by rats. The screw fell out because the thread by which it’d been hanging finally broke.

So I’ve got dumbbells to equal 150 lbs (all I have in the house… there are more in the garage) strategically placed to keep the door closed and to make a potential intruder work for it at least a little. Thank the divine for the security screen door on the outside!

I guess these shenanegans make for good practice, right? After this, I’ll be a seasoned pro when it comes to shoring up for the ol’ zombie apocalypse.

Speaking of zombies, let’s talk about corpses. Exquisite corpses, that is. The exquisite corpse! A collection of lines of poetry, each one written by a stranger. It was February – Valentine’s Day, to be precise – the last time I posted a Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse poem. The people writing in Missed Connections these days have not let me down. I love the way the subject lines work together! There are 21 lines in this poem, meaning that it was written by 21 strangers who had no idea that they were writing poetry when they filled in those subject lines.

[On a technical note: I’ll sometimes add punctuation as I arrange the Missed Connections subject lines. This time, I did not. No punctuation.]

Without further ado, then:

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 11

I enjoyed our conversation
Girl with the pinecone necklace
Green top, black leggings, brown dog

Metaphysical section at Barnes & Noble
The Nonfiction Section
From a wise human being to another
your energy is beautiful
My Daytime Goddess
Forest nymph
Star child
My sky
when I left your dog followed me

Hocus pocus

We vibed to your music
I should have told you I loved you
I’m always looking for you
Years not months
Walking down the highway
Waiting for the rail

With that, I wish you all well! Until we meet again, my friends.



Valentine’s Day! (Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 10)

It’s Valentine’s Day weekend, and I could think of no better way to celebrate the holiday than to gift myself some chocolate and watch a twisted Valentine’s Day horror B-movie. I caught Into the Dark: Down on Hulu for some standard low-budget “stuck in an elevator with a psycho stalker over Valentine’s Day weekend” entertainment. It was perfect.

Also, I enjoyed sifting through my collection of Missed Connections subject lines to put together a Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse poem. I don’t need to say “Valentine’s Day edition,” because every day is Valentine’s Day for people who post in Missed Connections. It’s the nature of MC to attract the lonely and the wistful and the starry-eyed. Valentine’s Day is as much for the lovelorn as it is for lovers, after all.

These MCEC poems are always written by others, as you regular readers know. I’ve simply adopted the habit of browsing the Craigslist section every day or every other day to pluck out any subject lines that may catch my eye.

Many thanks to the 16 anonymous writers who posted to Missed Connections with these subject lines!

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 10

We’ve met twice
Black Dress at Casa Corazon
In red at The Desert Diamond Casino
Want to get to know you

Saw you last evening
Flashing headlights
You drove by and said “thanks….”
Stop light confession

Crossed paths in hallway
About a month ago
It was magic
Harmony

Lost you in Belvidere
While we were walking
A dart on a map
Truly missed….

 

Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends.

p.s. Happy Birthday, Arizona, you great state 48, you! 109 years old on Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Little poems written by strangers. (Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 9)

It’s midnight here, as it often is when I post. Tonight, I’m happy to come bearing a Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse poem. What is this, you newer friends may ask? As longer-time readers know, I periodically browse the Missed Connections section of Craigslist and pull out the subject lines that strike me as interesting for any reason. Eventually, I fit them together to create a poem. I’m essentially a harvester in the MC section, gathering the choice subject lines. Words are my jam.

There are 36 lines in the nine stanzas below. This means that 36 strangers wrote this poem, each one unknowingly contributing a line. In the case of this poem, the four-line stanzas are like little stand-alone poems, unrelated to each other.

Everyone is writer, is what this practice reveals to me time and time again… and I marvel at this.

Let’s get on with it, then! Here’s the ninth MCEC poem I’ve created, all credit going to the strangers who wrote the lines:

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 9

 

I

You were my tech at the hospital
I was your driver
You were on your phone &
you liked my hat

 

II

Saw you on the trail at Dreamy Draw
White horse
Luminarias
Thank you for breakfast

 

III

If you remember
You were homeless and on the street
You said you liked my shirt
“Angel Fire”

 

IV

Met cute scientist at power plant
COVID testing
Two times
looking for…

 

V

Gal in line at mailbox place
Cinnamon Girl Smart and Final Friday Night
The young lady sitting in the front row of a comedy show
Runner with red eyes

 

VI

You have a dog Lola
99c Sunday poodle
Exchanged glances while you jogged
you live in the neighborhood

 

VII

Sweet smile at cruisers
You wore a kimono and cork clogs
In town visiting
Football fan at Harbor Freight

 

VIII

Vintage CD player for use
Empty house
Jaguar
Confetti

 

IX

miss you
Chevron ballerina
Driving to Los Angeles
Run away train never coming back

 

Take care, friends.

 

 

Message in a bottle. (Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 8)

I’m a Missed Connections skeptic. I don’t believe that people recognize themselves when they read Missed Connections, and I’d bet that the writers know their messages won’t be found by their intended recipients. A Missed Connections posting seems to be more like a message in a bottle, doesn’t it? The writer throws it out there and hopes that anyone finds it and reads it. It seems like a lonely kind of thing to do.

Woman in the Porche with a nail in the tire from Vegas

I love how the writer tells us so much here. We have a woman in a car, and we know what kind of car it is. There’s something wrong with the car, and we know what. We don’t know whether the nail in the tire is from Vegas, or if the woman herself is from Vegas (dangling participle problems), but regardless, Vegas is involved and named as a location. That’s a lot of info in just twelve words.

For those of you unfamiliar with my Exquisite Corpse series, here’s my standard explanation:

To create these poems, I skim through the list of Missed Connections entries on Craigslist and pick out the subject lines that I find intriguing in some way, and then I arrange them into a shape that pleases me.

Credit goes to those strangers who unwittingly dropped wonderful bits of poetry in Missed Connections.

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 8

I’m tired
Goodwill cashier and vinyl lover
Dark hair woman with skeleton mask
Cute woman in the hazmat suit
Cute guy who walks around the park
Hotel pool
Pain Clinic

You changed the creamer for me
You waved at me at our apartment complex
Exchanged glances while you jogged
You were getting gas on 3rd St and Thomas at 1130pm
Let’s go fast

Woman in the Porche with a nail in the tire from Vegas
I Saw You
Dancing in Gold Canyon

 

 

 

Sign of the times. (Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 7)

For tonight’s post, I come bearing a little collection of subject lines gleaned from the Missed Connections section of Craigslist. If you’ve been here a while, you’re familiar.

It was in April, my last Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse poem.

For this seventh poem in my “Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse” series, I expected to find more of the wistfulness that came through in April, but rather, there’s more desperation. I tried to side-step that. I still wound up with the mood you’ll find in the lines collected below. It’s important, though, this mood.

For those of you unfamiliar with this series of poems:

To create these poems, I skim through the list of Missed Connections entries on Craigslist and pick out the subject lines that intrigue me in some way… then I arrange them into a shape that makes sense to me. (My standard explanation)

Credit goes to those strangers who unwittingly dropped wonderful bits of poetry in Missed Connections. (My standard disclaimer)

Also, here’s a reiteration of April’s note: I left all punctuation (and lack thereof) exactly the way I found it. I felt that letting the lines stand alone and untouched made the final poem feel more apt for the times.

I do want to say one thing in particular about this curation! The Missed Connections subject line I chose for the opening intrigues me; in the Before Time, “phone girlfriend” didn’t have the pandemic application that it does today. These lines created a short poem that invokes doom, desperation, and the past. It’s a mood, as I said. It’s a time capsule of a sort.

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 7

Phone girlfriend wanted
Music at bar
6Blocks away

Before the gyms were closed
We both saved two dollars
We shared the room last time I was in town

i was next to you high limit blackjack wild horse casino
Sarcasm, whiskey and ink
I doubt it

you told me something was hanging from my car
Hearse with the WATERBEDS signage
Still can’t believe you were there

Smoking car
Body in SCW
Nirvana Dispensary 11ish

 

 

 

Coronapocalypse quarantine week 5. (Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 6)

On “missed connections” during a pandemic:

With everyone in quarantine, there would either be more missed connections than usual, or less, depending on how you look at it.

The last time I did a Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse poem was in January, back in the Before Time. Just. We were on the brink, and we didn’t know it.

Be that as it may, for this sixth poem in my “Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse” series,  I read through the Missed Connections listings on Craigslist and gleaned some lines that came together in a poem that seems more wistful to me than ever.

For those of you unfamiliar with this series of poems:

To create these poems, I skim through the list of Missed Connections entries on Craigslist and pick out the subject lines that intrigue me in some way… then I arrange them into a shape that makes sense to me. (My standard explanation)

Credit goes to those strangers who unwittingly dropped wonderful bits of poetry in Missed Connections. (My standard disclaimer)

A note about this particular poem: This time, I left all punctuation (and lack thereof) exactly the way I found it. I felt that letting the lines stand alone and untouched made the final poem feel more apt for the times.

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 6

To the person who paid for my coffee
I broke your key in your car door
Where is our joke for today?

Saw you at the stoplight
Saw you down by the fountain
You were jogging at Tempe Town Lake

Full moon festival we danced together all night

Where are you

Seeking a friend for the end

U Haul
The extra mile
Years ago

Sad but True
Burning building
Where I took you last weekend

My last customer

 

[credit: esoteric_guru]

 

The End.

 

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 5

I wanted to do this thing (you know the thing, if you’ve been here a while) where I take to Craigslist’s “Missed Connections” section to find interesting word choices and turns of phrase in the entries’ subject lines. I was also feeling in the mood for haiku tonight… so I did both. I found it necessary to break up some of the lines in order to fit the 5-7-5 syllable limit for the three lines of each haiku; aside from that and some added punctuation here and there, I can claim no credit for these little poems. The lines were written by strangers, simply plucked out and cobbled together by Yours Truly.
Enjoy!
Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 5
~~~
Where is she, the girl
with the galaxy tattoo
cozy at the bank?
~~~
Glendale glitters dawn.
We used to ride together –
gift of a lifetime –
~~~
You cut my hair. Still
can’t stop thinking about you.
Sweetwater, Sweetheart.
~~~
Breakfast! We had two
variations of the same
(WeOhweeOhwee)
~~~
Looking for you. You
(a girl) were driving on Wow,
driving to Vegas…
~~~
Missing you for her,
mutual casino friend.
“Miss our talks, Cupcake.”
~~~
Poker player, your
Obama phone was stolen.
The most frightful time.
~~~
Walked by you Tuesday.
I hope I see you again.
You liked my – I saw –
~~~

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 4

Since this blog tends to cycle around various topics, I thought of what I haven’t done in a while. I post a lot of gym updates. I do a lot of general updates. I’ve written a couple of movie reviews lately. I’m overdue for a Geronimo (Sonoran desert tortoise) update, but there’s not much to report right now because I don’t see him often enough in this heat! Geronimo comes out ready to rock during summer storms, but it hasn’t rained much… I read yesterday that the last time we had such a dry summer was in 1988. They’re calling this year’s monsoon season the “Non-soon.”

It’s been a while since I’ve written a mental health update, but I do plan to do one in the near future. We’ve also got writing updates, office updates, pretty much you name it, etcetera, plus random thoughts and story-time posts.

Today, though, I come bearing a Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse poem. The last time I did one was in May.

For this fourth poem in my “Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse” series,  I have a short lyric that’s as wistful and whimsical as the previous poems in this series.

Standard explanation: To create these poems, I skim through the list of Missed Connections entries on Craigslist and pick out the subject lines that intrigue me in some way. Then I arrange them into a shape that makes sense to me. This is actually a great creative writing exercise, I’ve found! I don’t change anything in these lines except for obvious typos (“sic” would disrupt the poem), neither do I alter punctuation or caps.

Standard disclaimer: Credit goes to those strangers who unwittingly dropped wonderful bits of poetry in Missed Connections for me to gather and combine.

Without further ado:

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 4

Long ago and oh so far away
Night Swimming
Floating past on the lazy river
Where the wild things are…

Furniture Guy
Hiking the mountain
Card players
Sitting on bed in the bed of a white truck
dispensary chick
In and out
Plasma worker
Bowling!

just fun
so…

Hey neighbor….

 

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 3

You know what makes my day sometimes? Missed Connections on Craigslist. I love this collection of writing, these strangers posting missives to one another.

It’s the entries’ titles that interest me, because those are the hooks. When I come across an entry titled “Asparagus Whisperer,” I smile. Not enough can be said of spontaneous smiling! When you’re alone at your computer and you smile out of amusement or affection, it’s genuine. A heartfelt smile intended for no one is a gift to yourself.

I went to Craigslist Missed Connections today and was rewarded, I guess, by the season… people seem to have been especially inspired by each other lately.

So here – I suppose this really has become something of a series! – I’ve collected my favorite hooks gleaned from about a month’s worth of Missed Connections entries. Credit goes to these strangers who unwittingly stopped by to drop bits of poetry for me to gather and combine.

I’ve probably explained this before, but again for you newer readers: I don’t change anything in these entry titles, save for obvious typos, as “(sic)” would muddy up the poem. I don’t add or change punctuation or caps. All I do is quickly skim through the entries and pick out the titles that intrigue me in some way, and I copy/paste them into a Word document.

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 3

Hello, we met in the psych ward.
you switched to pharmacology after seeing a psychic
“They” say tue change purse has all the answers

Punk rock dude on 7th ave and indian school.
Serving up delicious pie
From Albuquerque to Vegas via Phoenix

Roadrunner
Cruisin 7th. You took money for the show
Looking For the Classic Beauty at White Mountain Dispensary on 4/20

Asparagus Whisperer
Missing that comic book girlie
Studying Spanish

Thoughtful woman who stopped at the Clean Freak
Looking for Michael the Bearded Bartender
Silver Cadillac on cave creek

Looking for my up, up, and away
Missed and missing still

Woman crying in car
I was at the movies alone – you were too.

 

La Fin.

 

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 2

People usually go to Craigslist’s “Missed Connections” looking to find themselves in the entries. I go to look for people who expose themselves as poets in the lyrical titles they write.

Many of you seemed to appreciate my “Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse” post, so I thought I’d peruse Missed Connections again to curate another one! It’s a joy to look through the entry titles with a poem in mind.

Enjoy this poem written by strangers, for strangers:

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 2

It’s Raining in Mesa
Almost forgot the keys

Crimson lips and glasses
90’s Movie Moment in Safeway
Peaches n cream
Blueberries Everywhere!

Remembering “Red Velvet”
Missing our literature discussions
Do you like art?
Did you make the most of it?

 

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse.

In recovery news: I’ve been good! Better. Normal life resumes in a week. We did have to cancel our travel plans for Thanksgiving, unfortunately, but the bright side is that there’s always next year.

The last time I went out was when I stopped by Target after going to the doctor that day I got my rest orders. It was funny… I had to ask a young Target employee a question and then apologize for my low and raspy voice when I realized that I was barely comprehensible. She replied, “That’s okay. Were you screaming at a concert last night?”

I was vaguely pleased that someone would think I’d been screaming at a concert rather than recovering my voice from laryngitis.

Anyway, I wanted to share a poem today, but something different.

I have an old and intermittent habit of browsing Craigslist’s Missed Connections section for its wonderful, quirky lines of poetry left by people who don’t realize that they’re poets. Just scanning the first lines down the entry list reminds me of the Exquisite Corpse exercises we did in my graduate creative writing program.

I thought it would be interesting to put together a little Exquisite Corpse poem authored by strangers who left these first lines on Craigslist. I copied a random line, pasted it in, then quickly scrolled to another line (without thinking of the previous line) and copied it to paste in after the first, and so on. I grouped the lines into couplets, but I changed nothing. I didn’t add or take away punctuation marks or caps. I left the wording alone. All I did was copy, paste, and group the lines in twos.

The result… a poem written by strangers:

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse

The Cowboy
Tammy plus 20 years ago

I miss our connection
Remember me?

Cowboy in St. John’s…
Noticed each other driving, said what’s up

Guy 58
You were drunk, dressed like a unicorn and hopping on one leg

Spirit Halloween store Salvador Dali
Looking for the DJ from the Freakshow

AZ warrior
Neon on a Friday

At the airport…
back after long summer

The girl with the pink hair
queen creek blonde pink streaks

Looking for girl at Wild Horse Pass
Your car broke down. You used my phone.