Learn Cursive with Lunatic Engine – Lesson 15 –


A Small and Trifling Body

should not have taken so much
blood to wash out
should not have torn
her keel in two

Funny how just a couple of short lines excerpted from a whole poem can stand for so much. The process of completing these worksheets has forced me to focus on economy, on trying to pull out the most representative words and lines in each poem.

The editor the publisher has hired to work with me is absolutely fantastic and we’re really getting down to the short strokes in the publishing process. I’ve got to deliver the completed and final manuscript to the publisher in late September. The order of the poems is changing and there will be changes to some of the individuals poems as well.

Doing such a close reading, handwriting out lines from the poems, has had a really surprising, positive impact on the manuscript. So much so that once the book is published, I may redo these sheets…

And if I do go back and redo these sheets, I can tell you for certain I won’t be using this J. Herbin glass dip pen to do them. I love this filigreed little glass stick. It is beautiful to both look at and to hold. It is not, however, beautiful to use on textured paper. Because it is basically just a glass stick that comes to a knurled point, it catches and scratches its way across this paper. It performs better on smooth, finished paper like a Rhodia notebook but I wouldn’t recommend it for Tomoe River paper either.

One benefit of of this pen though is that it works with any ink. There is no feed to be gummed up by dry inks like this Diamine green black.. You simply dip it, use it then rinse it off under the tap. I have yet to get the point worn down to an angle that works well for me so I have to grip it differently, more perpendicular to the page, than actual pens but it is still kind of fun to use. And it does look really good in the sun.

About Learn Cursive with Lunatic Engine. Each week, until my first book of poetry launches in April 2020, I am going to complete a cursive worksheet featuring lines from the poems in the book with notes on which tool I used. I will post the blank sheets as pdf’s below and here on the full explanation page for you to download, print and complete.

A new lesson with new lines will be added to the complete document so that by the time the book comes out, you’ll have not only had a chance to read a couple of lines from each poem, but you’ll have written them yourself.

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