Wednesday, July 27, 2005

fun with words. . .transmutation::genesis

My friend Scott and I have been playing word games based on the subconscious associations on I gave him a list of ten words from one of my poems with which he had to free associate and he gave me 10 words from one of his poems, etc. and we have written poems generated from the list(s). It seems a useful exercise to me because it takes words from someone elses lexicon and melds them with your own- often poets can get stuck in ruts, using the same word or image over and over again (I use the word blue obsessively. . .whether I like it or not). Anyway, here's what I came up with, the list then the poem. It's a fun game. . .feel free to join in on your blog and post your link in the comments.

  1. rearview: black storm sky
  2. voice: yodel
  3. sobriety: sticking
  4. litter : plastic
  5. totaling: layer
  6. ferryboat: barnacle
  7. glacial: filter
  8. transmutation: genesis
  9. blinks: blanks
  10. face-down: favorite ice cream

transmutation:: genesis

Like eyes in your rearview mirror, not mine
but black storm sky in a funeral of ice. Like voice,
yodel from a small crevice of wall
above your headboard. Are you stuck

in this undertow of unfamiliar walls,
recurrent dream parsed into reality
until you remember me more
as a plastic doll than love? Tell the story:

he says it first on the ferryboat, under three
layers of fog, barnacles growing on our elbows
and teeth. Somehow we can feel
the glacial chill of water, totaling,

festering and curl. No sunburn or filter,
no transmutation of twig into snake, but a hint,
a flash of how naked we are against a blank sky,
gray limbs blending with the blinking gray slap

of ocean chop. What about waking up
together? Sobriety in pink morning sweet rolls?
Face down in a mound of pillows saying
“blackberry” over and over again.


Scott Glassman said...

of course i couldn't leave it alone, i slightly modified the ending of mine, made it more sparse. I'm really liking this exchange notion, as a way of freeing vocabulary, tapping new sources.

Justin Evans said...

I really enjoy this idea for working up a poem. I have already e-mailed someone with it and I will be sure to let you know how it turned out. Thank you.

Nick said...

I think that I'll give it a whirl. Thanks for the link.