In-Class Exercises: Found Objects and Marco Polo

5 minute short, “Boxes”


  • Navy block letters, lined in white a la found object (a scarf for FC Bayern München)
  • From found writing: Reading the great works, Knows someone from Boston
  • Something related to the game MASH et al.
  • “Marco devoted his prison time to composing his book.”
  • Object: A paper ‘fortune teller’

The title may, or may not, have been printed in navy blue block letters, lined in white. Marco Polo never played MASH in gradeschool, perhaps explaining the unnatural wanderlust that sent him to the East. When he was released, assume he must have committed the work to writing, while the composition was still fresh. The manuscript was delivered to the publisher in wooden boxes, 4 in total.

Closer narrative distance

I once read that, “Marco [Polo] devoted his prison time to composing his book.” I wonder if prison time is what I need to empty the boxes of stories locked in mental purgatory. Sometimes they flit through my mind’s eye, like a striker from F.C. Bayern München. I figure Marco Polo probably read the great works; did they help him relate? What were the hot books in 13th century Europe?

Written on an actual box (white, cardboard) in Purple scented marker (smells like artificial grape)

Inside of box bottom
So. You found it. What were in the boxes that Marco Polo brought on his quest to the East? What does a 13th century traveler need to make a trip comfortable? Did he bring his favorite scarf? The one he got at the FC Bayern München match?
Inside of box top
Perhaps he presented it to the Great Khaan as a gift after he was invited in for milky tea and bortsog. The nomads must’ve laughed with pity at his poor porters, whose backs were breaking under the weight of all his material goods, stuffed into boxes. “You should learn from us!” They’d say, “Why have so many things?”
Outside of box top, orange crayon (glossy surface)
That would be no chance; to self-reflect or reject.
Which did he choose?
Did he have a fortune-teller by his side, reading the wishes of the fates?

2 Replies to “In-Class Exercises: Found Objects and Marco Polo”

  1. I like what you’ve done with narrative distance. For me, this was the hardest exercise we’ve done as I have trouble getting far away from the reader. Nice!

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