Transformation Lines


I recently had the pleasure of taking Jack Grapes’ Method Writing class here in Los Angeles where I live. It was the first writing class I’d ever taken that focussed solely on process—not product. And, wow, was it helpful…. I learned so much about how to put pen to paper, “go with the flow,” and just “trust the process.”

Of course, there’s a great metaphor for life in there, too…

One of the exercises Jack had us do involved something he calls “massaging the transformation line.” A “transformation line” is essentially a personal statement that has the word “I” in it, and involves a self-discovery. The object of “massaging” the transformation line is to delve deeper, with each succeeding transformation line deepening the original one—almost as if the writer were a detective working backwards to arrive at the truth.

Here’s a poem I wrote that came out of the transformation line exercise. I don’t know how close I came to arriving at “the Truth”—but it’s certainly an honest attempt to get there…. 😉


I seek.
I want.
I grasp.
I cling.

Searching for solutions.
For revolutions.

A resolution
to my evolution.

But it never ends.

I can’t remain still.

There is no conclusion.
Stillness is an illusion.

I am an illusion.

I have no idea what I am.

But society tells me.
My parents have told me.
Self help books.
The media.
The Church.

They all tell me.

And part of me believes them.

The wounded,
part of me
believes them.

Craves them.
Needs them.

…Or, do I?