Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday Poetry Train #8

I have a poet friend visiting from out of town, Jen Hofer. She's one of my favourite people and favourite poets. She's one of the original 3:15 poets with me from way back in 1993.

Since she is here, I asked her to participate in this week's poetry train with me. At 2 AM last night, we wrote two exquisite corpses together. Here are the specific rules we made:

1) Each line is 11 words long.
2) The poems are 11 lines long.
3) We each selected a book from my bookshelf and opened them to a random page and selected a random sentence to use as a start line (the freaky thing being that both of us randomly selected sentences with 11 words in them)
4) We left only 3 words showing for the next person, who would then finish the line with 8 words to total 11, fold the paper, and leave 3 words showing on the next line.

Considering it was 2 in the morning, I think we did quite well.

If the above explanation confuses you, just know that in an exquisite corpse, the previous person leaves no or only a few words showing for the next person to write from. It's a fun form, writing blindly like that.


Hermaphroditos was an outdoor type who roamed wild on Mount Ida.
Gods gone wild, gone windy, gone out the window past that
future we saw forests with no names, animals whose fur had
worn in patches or worn down at the elbows, knees, heels
to walk miles as a camel across dream deserts not knowing
how long until we traced and untraced footsteps of another
mammal body, another glance at the working muscles of it and
we can conclude only how utterly inconclusive the night sky is
and the day sings like leopard cubs and falls to its
knees with ironic supplication, mock awe for the real gods or
real awe for fine silver, slipping between the cracks, lost again.


We had a real feeling for the human element in it.
A real feeling like sticking a finger in a socket or
lightning striking twice into tree branches open, fern pattern fronding open
into electric ricochet, a bouquet of light and matter, my fingers
extensions of something we believed could not be extended or could
be extended if the ego attracted peacock attention. When the day
came that we, like the world, undid becoming further unraveled against
this violent and necessary moment, it was as if time had
won and cashed or lost and cashed, spent, trashed, jilted and
jolted into some jungle space, kicking and screaming, colliding with the
natural state of the state, if we can call that natural.

Jump on Rhian's Poetry Train!


Rhian / Crowwoman said...

these are great and it sounds like a fun game and challenging exercise!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Whoa. SO very stream of consciousness there.

I admire you for trying all these forms. They sound hard and obviously require discipline. Which I'm glad I no longer have. *grin*

Danika / OpenChannel said...

Hey Rhian - Exquisite Corpses are one of my favourites. They make fun workshop exercises or party games.

Susan - what do you mean you have no discipline? You blog every day and are quite the prolific writer.

I think experimental forms are freeing and open one up.