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Writing and Healing Idea #23: What If the Moon’s a Balloon?

Posted on Feb 13, 2007 by

There’s a poem by e.e.cummings—“who knows if the moon’s a balloon”
It begins like this:

who knows if the moon’s
a balloon, coming out of a keen city
in the sky–

The poem can serve as a kind of springboard for making a list of questions that begin by asking: WHAT IF?

For instance——
What if the moon’s a balloon?
What if the balloon pops?
What if the moon is a hot-air balloon and the Wizard of Oz gets into the balloon and floats away, and all of this before you can get into the balloon with him, and you have to find your way back home on your own?

What if. . . what?

Consider making your own list of questions. Write as fast as you can without thinking. Begin with a single question—with e.e. cumming’s question if you like—and then just keep going. Don’t worry about the questions making sense—or the questions being clever—or even interesting. Just write them. Try to write fast without thinking too much.

When you have come to the end of something—a pause—look back over the questions you’ve written. Circle the ones that you like–or that surprise you in some way. Save the questions—especially the circled ones. Who knows? One of them could become the beginning to a poem—or to some other whole new piece.