We had some eerie moments when the wire of the mic became somehow attenuated (overheated?) during the recording of a second poem (Nefertiti on the Astral) and in playback we heard a long drawn out garbled voice, as if we were channeling The Queen of Egypt direct. Photo Poem Montage She Dressed in a Hurry Live at The Mom Egg, Feral Mom, Feral Writer
Today’s prompts were inspired in part by four poems for Nefertiti published in November Butterfly (Saddle Road Press, 2014): Nefertiti Among Us (originally published by Stone Canoe Online), Thutmose Court Sculptor, Kiya, and Nefertiti on the Astral (originally published by Prairie Wolf Press). The poems speak from a number of vantage points including a woman archeologist, the sculptor renowned for making the infamous bust of Nefertiti, the second wife to the pharaoh (Kiya), and Nefertiti herself situated on the astral plane looking back on her incarnation.
Nefertiti Among Us(at Stone Canoe Online). The poem focuses on an archeologist’s experience of unearthing Nefertiti’s remains. Try your own hand at extending Nefertiti’s lifeline by imagining into an encounter with someone in her circle of intimates outliving her. Or focus on an iconic of your choosing, selecting a person in your iconic’s orbit clearly on the hunt for answers (a researcher, a historian, a lover, an artist). Write the story of that peripheral person’s inquiry. Or make a list of questions you would ask Nefertiti or your iconic. Alternately, make a list of questions you believe Nefertiti (or your iconic) died still longing to ask or to have lived long enough to answer.
- The video for Nefertiti Among Us maybe be viewed here (artists included in this montage: Mask by E. McK. Filmer, Dolls by Margaret Keelan, and Mummy Dreams by Michael Cookinham). Consider a dream narrative inspired by the still of the mummy in the video.
- In the poem Thutmose, Court Sculptor, Thutmose reflects on his process of making his infamous bust of Nefertiti. For this exercise, read Nefertiti in the Flak Tower, by Clive James (published in Standpoint, 2009). Here you will also be able to view the image of the bust of Nefertiti. From your own list of iconic favorites, choose an existing object one might view in a museum (ie., James Dean’s silver Porsche or Amelia Earhart’s scarf) or create an object you wish existed (using your imagination). Consider the object and what that existing fragment represents in relation to the life of the person once surrounding that object. Like Clive James, riff on the passage of time and how current events may relate to the object’s “life” past the life of your iconic. Or put the object in an alien setting and write a poem about it (place your object in the trunk of a car for the duration of a road trip, at the bottom of the ocean, on a shelf in a private home, etc).
Read Nefertiti on the Astral(up at Prairie Wolf Press along with the video for the poem made in collaboration with photography of Robyn Beattie and music of Bela Bartok performed by Stephen Pryputniewicz). View the video Nefertiti on the Astral. Place your iconic outside of time and have him/her reflect back on their incarnation. From the point of view of the iconic personality of your choosing, free-write to the first line: “I did what I came to do.”
Write for at least twenty minutes without censor and share your exercise or any thoughts about your writing process in comments below. Or add links for us to visit along any topic line inspired by the exercise.
Historical background on Nefertiti and her Pharaoh: Pharaohs of the Sun (National Geographic, by Rick Gore).
Nefertiti, a poem by D. K. Pritchett (Southern Muse).
Archeology, p. 28, a poem by Vanessa Place (poets.org).
A Q & A with author Michelle Moran on the writing of her novel, Nefertiti: Queen of Egypt, Daughter of Eternity (Three Rivers Press, 2008).
Links to Feral Mom, Feral Writer regarding the 2D3D Visual Poetry Exhibit where She Dressed in a Hurry, Nefertiti Among Us, and Amelia were featured.
Ladder to the Moon: Child vs. Art about the challenge of making it to the 2D3D Visual Poetry Exhibit reception to receive news that the photo montages She Dressed in a Hurrry, Nefertiti Among Us, and Amelia received Juror’s Best of Show award.
The Great Hymn to Aten, History and Archeology Blog of Rene Nieuwenhuizen
Photo at top of post and cover for the poetry collection, November Butterfly, by Robyn Beattie. Cover Design, Don Mitchell, Saddle Road Press.