October 29, 2014
Are you thinking of writing your life history, but you’re not sure where to begin? For inspiration, pick up a copy of I Remember by Joe Brainard. First published in 1970 the book has become a cult classic.
Brainard, a poet and prolific artist as well as a nice guy, so say his friends, recalls growing up in Oklahoma and then his life in the 1960s and 1970s in New York City. His concept was simple, but brilliant. He wrote down his memories as they came to him, each prefaced by the phrase “I remember.”
And Brainard remembers a lot: thinking of sex, his first crush, his first dance, his first blue ribbon at a county fair. His observations are personal and universal, emotional and thought-provoking.
With Halloween soon here, here are some examples of his commemorating the holiday:
I remember orange icing on cupcakes at school Halloween parties.
I remember usually getting dressed up as a hobo or a ghost. One year I was a skeleton.
I remember one house that always gave you a dime and several houses that gave you five-cent candy bars.
I remember after Halloween my brother and me spreading all our loot out and doing some trading.
I remember always at the bottom of the bag lots of dirty pieces of candy corn.
I remember the smell (not very good) of burning pumpkin meat inside jack-o’-lanterns.
What do you remember? Now write it down!