“Because there is no such thing as falling, only memory”
—W. Todd Kaneko
This prompt is based on Kaneko’s Dead Wrestler Elegies, because the collection obsessively melds themes of childhood, a troubled relationship with a father, and abandonment of a mother with the guise of professional wrestlers. It’s a sort of slight-of-hand achieved through a relentless switching of stories and themes from the author’s life with the lives of his childhood role models.
1) Fold a sheet of paper into three columns.
a. First column: write a list of childhood materials. Such as toys, games, locations, school activities, sports, books. It can be anything from childhood—except for a person
b. Second column: write a list of verbs that describe the way one can lose things. Such as misplace, trash, donate, give away, neglect
c. Third column: Of those childhood materials you listed in the first column, what has been lost from you and what still remains? Make a notation on the fate of the different items in the first column
2) Write an elegy for an object from childhood
An elegy is a lament for the dead which is typically designed to mirror the three stages of grief: sorrow, admiration, consolation. In poetry, elegies take on many forms but it is important to note that an elegy is not a eulogy or an ode.