More explanation. I went to a creative writing workshop based on the exhibition, Observations. It was run by Tempo arts and facilitated by Ian Monk, a member of the Oulipo group. (See last week’s post if you want to know more about Oulipo and why I’m interested in it.)
Ian asked us to write 3 lines, in the centre of the page, inspired by one picture from the exhibition, in haiku form, 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables. He then asked us to expand, up and down, as if we were looking outside the frame of the picture.
in the beginning
sun on water, salt and earth
oil slick skin keep me safe whole
from water we come
and from water we are made
and in that moment
waves stull, black ice crystals form
eyes mouth full. I drown
gasp inhale brine my lungs
surface. Air once more
a choice. My choice? No.
I’m drawn to where I came from
At this point we were asked to leave our poems on the table and walk round and take 3 lines from someone else’s poem:
Crack. Dark. Swamp leaf earth mould egg
a dragon is born
small spark wavers wavers falls
le mer violant
exhales mille drunken kisses
smelting sea to gold
en or I watch him arise
phoenix wing spread burns
This was a useful exercise following on from the first experimental writing workshop, again forcing me to discard my habitual choice of words to fit a constraint.