During my office Inner Sanctum of Awesomeness renovation, I’ve been unearthing some old material.
Yesterday I ran across several sets of “fragment poems” I had written almost 20 years ago.
One set was based on pictures I cut out of a magazine. One was cut ups from a dream journal. One was (I kid you not) based on things I read about cows.
*YOUR WEEKEND WORKOUT: come up with a fragment series!
You can make fragment cut ups from books, magazines, and journals. You can write fragments as a ritual (i.e. write one every time you open the refrigerator or every time you look in the mirror all weekend.). You can take titles of pictures or books or films or songs and write fragments using only the words from those titles.
The only rule is that they must be “fragments.” Fragments are disembodied ideas and phrases. They are not attached to any beginning or end. I write them primarily on gut instinct, something about the words/phrases sticks out. There is no narrative – but the mind tends to fill in the gaps with meaning (even if there was no intended meaning, just interesting sounds).
My favourite way to write fragments is to pull lines from multiple sources and intuitively arrange/collage them into a series.
The fragment series below is a “collated narrative” – which is when you spontaneously collage several sources at once, usually using different senses. In this case I was listening to a radio interview while I pulled out lines from a journal and a newspaper article. When putting it together, a sense of rightness and meaning emerged.
“I really believe you’d find _______ in growing corn” (racism)
so immediately like a
You have been lying, forging it
all for me
I want you to help me
I want to go backwards
sure on this side of the fence you are
sure I murder the majority
Through the code a path
perhaps there is another side
You are trained
I am wide
uttering excited utterings
they beat you
If you knocked
would you move me?
In filling this place
I come across novelty
a movement in the sphere
“That’s not the point”
“That has nothing to do with it”
I could make
with this hand
Attributed to the killing (verb):
noiselessly extended can’t
stand to sit still
you’re an escapist
I mean let me ask you something –
is murder where you draw the line?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
*I used to post Weekend Writing Workouts regularly on my original Accidental Novelist blog but have gotten out of the habit. I’m going to get back into the habit, but haven’t decided if they will be poetry or prose based. Or a combination.