IN HIGH SCHOOL I wrote a poem that eventually got published in the school’s literary folio. I wrote the poem for a class exercise, and the result wasn’t particularly brilliant or anything — a classmate even made fun of it for being “too dirty” — but it was my first attempt at poetry that actually looked and read like a poem.
Anyway, the exercise was pretty basic: my classmates and I were tasked to write “random” words on pieces of paper, the teacher shuffled the words in a mug, then we all had to take some x-number of words from that mug. The challenge was to write a poem using the words that we drew — we could only add connecting words like prepositions and articles, but we couldn’t include new verbs or nouns or adjectives.
This morning I woke up wanting to write a poem (char!!!) and because I was no longer in Poetry class, I decided to shuffle words from song lyrics instead. I checked out the first three English songs that came up on Spotify, I searched for their lyrics and I pasted the words onto this online word shuffle tool. I deleted punctuation, prepositions, and other commonly repeated words just to make things easier.
I took liberty in removing the words that I didn’t feel like using and I also modified some of the verb forms (e.g. from root to past participle). Except for these small diversions I stuck to the rules: I didn’t add new words in the mix, and here’s what I came up with:
everything, a dream
faces turn to ice on a Saturday
like fleeting tears and plans
in early May the dark sheets are empty seas
of turning looks and possibilities
two years far in time, a knowing heart
in season disappears
when days walk and nights feel
we rearrange blames in souvenirs
of falling suns and flashing TV’s
it’s true, Baby, see – matter is a concept
as beautiful as space, you refuse
a morning mirror breaks
while lights veer into a box
a vision slips: photographs
Feel free to do a similar exercise or share your thoughts on the poem above. Every time I read it I still find something off, but I’m going to keep it as a draft for now. Maybe I’ll go back to it someday; maybe not.
The featured image is a tea kettle and it has nothing to do with anything. Meh.