And another attempt…

if you are broken 7

… I think the grid was a helpful transitional stage and feel like this is getting closer to what I want, although it’s still not quite there.

image

Experimental writing workshop 2 (second draft) Comments please!

This is an evolution from my notes from last weeks writing exercise, and I need some opinions! Is this better with more punctuation, as in the version here, or less … see below.

 

Version 1

If you are broken I might be good enough

Pink-warm crystal next to my skin. Stone grey sea rises and falls with my heart beat. Sun in my eyes blind me to what stands. Chill freeze my fingers, can’t write. Rays caress me open. No gold. Why is it so hard to think about love? Heat rises from my fingertips, capillaries contract. Cotton polyester wool in layers keep me warm, food in my belly, love. Two pairs of socks, fur toed boots. Waves roll in, heaped spray spreads into a sheets of foam. Slide up the beach, bubble and roil, knife edged love. No more skin exposed than lips and nose and icyfingertips.

Waves role in rein in ride in relentless unceasing roll me over and over and over and I am with you because you have no interest in me other than as a mirror for you. I can stay hidden. Worship me, you say, and my worship is enough.

Wind in my hair makes me put my hood up, just like your words scar, knife marks yours wound chill at my breast. What I want doesn’t exist, what I want is imperfect because I can imagine what I want.

Waves roll and roll, sun seeps from the cold. Wind blows harder, fingers freeze. Still chill on my heart, sun warm on my eyes and you are hundreds of miles away.

Expose my eskimo skin, grey white winter skin and hair, strip layer after layer, cotton, polyester, wool. Bare myself for you. Will you do the same for me?

Out of place, nothing before me, line roll on.

Role on.

Roll.

 

Version 2

If you are broken I might be good enough

pink warm crystal next to my skin stone grey sea rises and falls with my heart beat

sun in my eyes blind me to what stands chill freeze my fingers can’t write rays caress me open

no gold why is it so hard to think about love

heat rises from my fingertips capillaries contract cotton polyester wool in layers keep me warm food in my belly love

two pairs of socks fur toed boots

waves roll in heaped spray spreads into a sheets of foam slide up the beach bubble and roil knife edged love no more skin exposed than lips and nose and icyfingertips

waves role in rein in ride in relentless unceasing roll me over and over and over

and I am with you because you have no interest in me other than as a mirror for you I can stay hidden worship me you say and my worship is enough

wind in my hair makes me put my hood up just like your words scar knife marks yours wound chill at my breast

what I want doesn’t exist what I want is imperfect because I can imagine what I want

waves roll and roll sun seeps from the cold wind blows harder fingers freeze still chill on my heart sun warm on my eyes and you are hundreds of miles away

expose my eskimo skin grey white winter skin and hair strip layer after layer, cotton, polyester, wool, bare myself for you will you do the same for me

out of place nothing before me line roll on

role on

roll

 

Experimental writing workshop 2

image

This week is about doing an exercise from CA Conrad’s A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon: New (Soma)tics. This is a beautiful book, mixing poems and ‘exercises’, most of which are designed to take you out of sitting in front of the laptop or at a desk. Instead why not try making soup and writing with your hand in your soup? Or writing with a penny in your mouth? The Soma(tics) are about feeling and writing, writing and feeling, finding my body, coalescing the divine and the nervous system, all of which is explained better in the introduction to the book which I think you should be able to read via Amazon’s Look Inside.

31pu4j1n2VL._SL250_The image, top right, outlines the exercise I picked, taking a crystal, throwing it on a hand drawn map, and going to where it falls to write. This is an initial draft pulled from the notes I wrote while out. I’ve consciously not punctuated or added capitals because I’m fed up with Word capitalising for me. I may come back and punctuate later but this flow seemed to fit with the thoughts and notes I created:

 

If you are broken I might be good enough

pink warm crystal next to my skin stone grey sea rises and falls with my heart beat

sun in my eyes blind me to what stands chill freeze my fingers can’t write rays caress me open

no gold why is it so hard to think about love

heat rises from my fingertips capillaries contract cotton polyester wool in layers keep me warm food in my belly love

two pairs of socks fur toed boots

waves roll in heaped spray spreads into a sheets of foam slide up the beach bubble and roil knife edged love no more skin exposed than lips and nose and icyfingertips

waves role in rein in ride in relentless unceasing roll me over and over and over

and I am with you because you have no interest in me other than as a mirror for you I can stay hidden worship me you say and my worship is enough

wind in my hair makes me put my hood up just like your words scar knife marks yours wound chill at my breast

what I want doesn’t exist what I want is imperfect because I can imagine what I want

waves roll and roll sun seeps from the cold wind blows harder fingers freeze still chill on my heart sun warm on my eyes and you are hundreds of miles away

expose my eskimo skin grey white winter skin and hair strip layer after layer, cotton, polyester, wool, bare myself for you will you do the same for me

out of place nothing before me line roll on

role on

rhole on

rowl on

worl on

wowl on

ole on

roll

 

Experimental Writing: Haiku form

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

protozoa crawl

 

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

exhausting oscillation

a choice. My choice? No.

I’m drawn to where I came from

body dissipates

 

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:

 

ID-100173149

Phoenix In Fire Background Photo by fotographic1980 via http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

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

destruction dragonified

 

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.

 

Experimental writing workshop 1

I don’t normally feel the need to explain my writing, and would rather let it stand by myself. This term, however, we’re doing an experimental writing workshop so …

This week’s exercise is based on Oulipo, a group of writers, originating in France who write ‘with constraints’ and impose rules on what they do. What’s the point? Well, just in doing these exercises, I’ve found my vocab challenged and I’ve been pushed out of using phrases and structures that I didn’t realise i was stuck in. See what you think …

A Belle Absente – a love poem, where you omit the letters of the name of the beloved. In this one, the first letter is omitted from all the words in the first line, the second from the second line and so on.  I also entirely omit z.

Belle absente – no z

No hurry, we grow near, contrived ex-juncture, back-bound flame, leap the oblique.

No speed, a joyful glimpse of you enough, you bring me, wing me, my calyx, manqué, lack-driven.

No rush, pack foot forward, our ghost visits, filling my body, mixing my quick spirit, jostling my mind.

We join, step by slow-paced step like we are at no time apart, axel spinning, our faded quest near done.

We meet, quest-vexed, joke, hug, fall, candy touch, you pour yourself over my body.

In gaps, in want, in sound-lack, box-quick form of you, my Hajj, your vow, our void.

A circuit – a poem which can be read in different directions. The most amazing version of this is the book, Hundred Thousand Billion poems.

This is a simple ‘table’ – read along the lines or down the columns.

Asking                   I open my mouth                             I hold out my hands

Choosing             Head first                                            I follow my heart

Listening              I use my ears                                     Blood circulates, I breathe

Writing                 From eye to brain                            From head to heart to hand to pen

Publishing           I make my mark                                I fall.

There’s still plenty of work to do on these two poems, but I can already see how the constraints challenge my vocabulary, and force me to find fresh ways to describe an experience.