Obstruction #1

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After our introduction to obstructions, Professor Villanueva told us to start immediately. He began by making us writing some lists.

Write down seven bodies of water you actually touched or visited.

  • River Thames
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • River Hudson
  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Masso delle Fanciulle River
  • Solda Stream
  • Sognsvann Lake

Write down seven anatomical features that are usually hidden.

  • Pube
  • Buttocks
  • Thighs
  • Breasts
  • Belly Button
  • Back
  • Nape




Write down seven verbs that convey motion, change, shifting.

  • Spiralling
  • Whirling
  • Mutating
  • Running
  • Heading
  • Swifting
  • Going

Write down the names of five birds associated with joy.

  • Crows
  • Parrots
  • Eagles
  • Sparrows
  • Swallows

Then, he told us what the first obstruction was.

  1. Title: The Perfect Human.
  2. First line: Is not.
  3. Make use of language from each of the lists you’ve created.
  4. Must be at least 28 lines.




Here is my first draft, and my first poem ever.

The Perfect Human

Is not there.

Grand and essential,

eternal and still

the certain presence of an ocean

between cracking lands.

The perfect human slips away

In an almost invisible stream

Running down her nape

Heading to the spine

After a long night spent among

Burgundy sheets.

When sparrows start singing

Spiralling on the shore

As the sky gets white in the earliest

Hour of summer

Then she straightens up,

does her hair silently

her pale buttocks still on the bed

as she looks out.

I would like to tell her

To avoid stepping on the last

Slice of pizza I tossed on the floor

Before kissing her yesterday

But she’s already going

And I know summer is running away through

The wet sheets,

when she breathes in

the salty sea smell to whisper

“Swallows are ready to fly again.”


What was unique or distinctive about writing this piece?

The obstructions seemed like obstacles at the beginning. Actually, they weren’t. I also noticed that to me language becomes more interesting if I try to write poetry. I am used to write fiction, and being a non-native English speaker, when I write I try to “go on” rather than really think about the best word to use. With poetry, I feel I am more involved in my research to find the best word.




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