#SurrealistNewYearResolutions

by G.G. Silverman

Jog backwards. Hum songs on bones. Build homes of feathers. Bathe in swamps. Eat clouds. Play poker with sly dogs. Call birds with a didgeridoo. Braid my hair with licorice. Tell secrets to horses. Sing lullabies to trees. Levitate in parking lots. Appear in a dream. Skip rope with starfish. Knit sweaters of twigs. Drink tears of beetles. Walk on ceilings. Swallow fire. Do backflips. Sprinkle guns for protection. Summon the dead.

G.G. Silverman lives north of Seattle with a man and a dog-boy. She has won awards for her fiction, and her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Molotov Cocktail, Iconoclast, The Seventh Wave, Lunch Ticket, PopSeagull’s ROBOTICA, scissors & spackle, and more. She is currently working on a short story collection as well as her third book in a comedic YA horror series. To learn more, please visit http://www.ggsilverman.com.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “#SurrealistNewYearResolutions”?

    Just this past New Year’s Day, I had spent a quiet morning struggling to write a poem that had been burning in my head for a while. After a few hours, I took a break, and decided to check that ultimate time-suck, the social media site known as Facebook. In seeing the litany of sometimes ridiculous hashtagged New Year’s resolutions offered up on my feed for public consumption, I began write to my own, as a joke status update. I think it said something like “Drink more from silly straws,” and “Eat more pudding” among other things. This provoked my imagination—if given the chance to write their own “status update” New Year’s resolutions, what would the Surrealists do? I had also recently been immersing myself in the short stories of Gabriel Garcia Marquez (“The Third Resignation” and “Eyes of a Blue Dog” are favorites), as well as the writing of Italo Calvino, and I’d find myself closing my eyes after certain passages, getting lost in their dream world, wishing I could live inside their stories. I said to myself, what kind of bizarre, artful world would I create if anything were possible?

    Thus inspired, I wrote several iterations of a poem, tearing the language apart and building it back up again to push myself beyond the expected, to create a magical, dream-like atmosphere of rebellious acts, with a hint of danger for good measure. During the revision process, length, pacing, and sounds were important—when strung together and read slowly, I want the words to have a hypnotic effect, like an incantation, or the thrum of Buddhist monks saying their mantras.

    Hence, the poem #SurrealistNewYearResolutions was born. Not just a hashtag, it’s a lifestyle. Expect to see me levitating in a parking lot any day now.

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