I want you to look at this painting:
I don’t love this painting. It is by no means my favorite. But every time I see it, I find myself drawn because it’s the best example of the middle finger to all of color theory. It says, fuck you, you were wrong when you said there were three primary colors. There are four, and black—the boldest color of them all–is not included. White is. White, red, blue, and yellow. And those are the only colors used in this painting. But even knowing that, the mind wants to believe that the color black is weaved into the painting, as though unable to understand how darkness can be made without such a basic color.
Based on this painting–or rather, using this painting as a starting point (whatever that means to you) I want everyone to write down three primary elements of general poetry that you lean toward. Then, I want you to think of two major elements of your poetry, separate from the three, that are unique to you. Then, I want you take one of the two away, and write a poem using only the four elements you have left, while behaving as though you have all five when one looks at the surface of the poem.