Here Is Where I Put My Mouth: Munching on the Avant-Garde

Wikipedia Poem, No. 610

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“Writing is the joy when all other joys have failed.” Russell Edson

superfood and the rack     what happened?        
   
sighs three discernible discriminatory criteria: it will take      
precisely inspired futures          used precisely necessarily 
conventions in current conventions in halls             
comparably it transcends current conventions 
claims      richard kostelanetz   in current         criteria: it should 
refer to findings and beliefs 
the term avant-garde refers to its maximum audience
and the secret of current conventions in current practices
it    should     listen to those out for dreg hormones 
the secret         of           current considerable discriminatory criteria: it
    transcends current conventions in comparable   halls   
discriminatory criteria should refer to those out for dreg hormones 
watch out for dreg hormones          the secret of currents 
conventioned hall like other joy is a superfood and the secret 

it should refer to its maximum audience
watch out for forging a path        that happened? sighs the mass 
watch out for dreg hormones three         discriminatory criteria: 

one it should refer to those out       for dreg hormones 
two the secret       of current conventions is another other joy 
three when all other joy is dismissed hell is the pull of the rack             

what happened? sighs transcendent practices
out from behind dreg hormones comes the mass of the mass   
of    the mess        watch out    for the secret of the rack   

what happened? the sighs of the mess locked in our cathedral   
comparable to time find probably it should refer to       itself 
and the secret of convection   in our cathedral     it will take 
other joy where was a superfood    when you so desperately need one

A Long Poem Inspired by Days of Overeating Metaphor

Wikipedia Poem, No. 596

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“I’ve given this coldness many names / thinking if it had a name it would have a solution” Kaveh Akbar

  nor is not its
     reader   nor is not its reader   a politician's slight to create a god
if they weren't given here   men are taught to create a god
if the roots of which i am so enamored poet
      of
the you the famous
poem is not this condition is not this condition is your lips offer up
a mouthful of hand like an acrobat part you when the poem
is guaranteed in this condition is you in the you
         in the you in the poet of him again his condition is not popular
your lips of the you in they weren't given here   men are taught of
the you in this condition is
not everyone knows the poem is not its reader   nor is not its reader
nor is pleasure guaranteed
      in the
you in the room and which i am so enamored poem is you
in the roots offer up a mouthful of
which aggravates an entire season
of
the poem is not its reader   a
  politician's slight of the poem is
         not
this condition is not this condition is not this condition
is not
      its reader   nor is not its reader   nor is you guaranteed
sitting on the roots of which i am so enamored poem is not its
reader   nor is guaranteed
        in the famous poet of sand   even here   men are taught to create
a god if you wish aggravation   an acrobat
      parts
you in the ways given here
men are taught to create a
god if the roots offer up a mouthful of him
again imagine you in the room   an entire season of pear trees
everyone knows the roots
of which aggravates
an acrobat parts   you room and aggravate
an acrobat part you of whom i am so enamored this poem is not its reader
nor is it a lover   nor is it guaranteed   in you the room
like an entire season of sand
everyone knows the poet
who is not a reader  nor is guaranteed in the roots
offer up a mouthful of the room which aggravates
an acrobat part of you in the room and which aggravates
an acrobat part your lips
of the room and like an acrobat part you the poem is not its reader
nor is guaranteed in the popular you the room and
which aggravates an entire season
of sand   everyone knows the room
and like an entire season of which aggravates an
acrobat part your lips offer up a mouthful of the poem is not
        the famous poem is not
this condition is not its reader
    a
     politician's slight
to
create a god if the popular
you in they weren't given here   men are taught
to
create a god if they weren't given here
     men are taught to create a god if the your lips offer up a mouthful of
which aggregates   an
entire season of aggravates 

 

Daedalus (Black Remix)

Wikipedia Poem, No. 579

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“That one most perilous and long voyage ended, only begins a second; and a second ended, only begins a third, and so on, for ever and for aye. Such is the endlessness, yea, the intolerableness of all earthly effort.” Melville

for language
symbolic this
mothers’ death
was a life
he bestows on her—her surrounded now—
his mothers
the composition for a life
bestown on her—his mothers—only through language
symbols like black water then anorexia
or an anorexia of rage
like black
water to jung a presence in which
exorcise a substitution
fire
he bestows on the
peculiar life particularity
if only through language
like teapots of a purpose for a life particular

and elegy

elegy if only matter
the composition an anorexia of performance
more like black water than to call this mothers’
composition a purpose
for language
symbols like
slow black water

royal rise roil roll raze raise

How to Write a Poem (Topography)

Wikipedia Poem, No. 571

w571

“The absence of plot leaves the reader room to think about other things. … Plots are for dead people.” David Shields

radiate what errs
as if it’s that simple
take words
mind nimble blades
being best free
let them delicate
among tantalizing ableness
let mind belong
let it glide to prayer
and grasp the error of being

Jorie Graham

Wikipedia Poem, No. 535

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“the problem is insoluble—also senseless—there is no real to which you can refer—and yet the bodies are all in it—whatever remains—the observable witnesses to the past—this debt—the relation of this to absolute silence—listen—it is absolutely silent back” Graham

of the ephemera of many end-of-times white, male writers:
kenneth goldsmith, david shields, guy debord, anus edax rerum
the wikipoem series is to connect on some point i had kidney disease
jorie prefers the conquerers of ephemera of many end-of-times
which is to say get to the who o the heart to connect on some point or another
i have to connect on off or to the blurry photo say: the left side conquers
the who connects on some point i had kidney disease jorie prefers the real
which is to say go about weaving the succulent into the truculent

Textures & Discrepancies

Wikipedia Poem, No. 533

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“Beyond the wild myrtle away from cats I turned him loose / and his eye asked me what to do, where to go” A.R. Ammons

debord jp
sarte
male writers
kenneth adrip
goldsmith evanescent
a substance despised
feeling
the
w

twenty ten is divided by
gwathmey
siegel & associates and a
terrace
on the
winner
is a
fall prize and a
terrace

earliest known club membership
often refer to
switch to they were
native

of no eternal significance
language used over
the shift to
go about weaving changes and
many tender
ibids

Writing Advice: “Eschew rationality, meaning and ‘good taste’.”

roybattyex

If you find yourself unable to write, don’t write. Play with your words.

Here’s a great unplanted seed for a writing exercise: Go to your favorite website and find an article that contains a not negligible amount of text. Highlight a paragraph and the copy it to your clipboard.

I’ll do this with you. I’m going to nytimes.com. BRB:

Sunayana Dumala tried once again to enter the worship room she and her husband, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, had created in their home for daily prayers. Mr. Kuchibhotla had built an intricate wooden shrine by hand two years ago, a small sacred edifice where they would kneel each morning. Months after his death, it became a place where she would honor him.

OK, so I have my text.

Now pick a number. (I chose 3.) Go into the text an erase every X word. It’s SORT OF an arduous task, but at least your brain is spending time with the words and their meanings and connections. Then, I’m going to get rid of all the punctuation and make every letter lowercase. BRB:

sunayana dumala once again enter the room she her husband kuchibhotla had in their for daily mr kuchibhotla built an wooden shrine hand two ago a sacred edifice they would each morning after his it became place where she honor him

Now invent a form based on numbers and letters that have significance to you. If you have tarot cards they can be helpful in this step. I’ll do that. King of Coins. That features a pentagram in this deck. Five lines per stanza. The card I’ve pulled in this deck features a self-portrait of Dali restraining a leashed leopard. There’s also a gentle, prone cow in a yellow fog blowing up and out of Dali’s head. That makes me think of a certain hunter/hunted duality. A certain predictable unevenness.

I’m going to alternate my line length 5, 10, 5, 10, 5. This kind of stuff is dumb, for sure, but it just gets your brain going.

sunayana duma
la once again enter the room she 
her husband kuchi
bhotla had in their for daily mr kuchi
bhotla built an wood 

en shrine hand two a
go a sacred edifice they would each 
morning after his 
it became place where she honor him sun
ayana duma

Now move the lines around in any way you see fit. Let go of all the rules. Do something that you don’t understand. Translate some words and phrases into Italian.

la once again enter the camera she 
bhotla had in their for quotidiano mr kuchi
go a sacro altare they would each 
it became place where onora il sole

sunayana duma
her husband kuchi
bhotla built an wood 
morning after his 
ayana duma
en shrine dare due lettere

Play with it some more. Trim off the fatty, hard-to-chew bits. Smell what the rock is cooking. Don’t question yourself. Find ways to make new phrases, invent new tastes. Create meaning where there was none. Skewer meaning where there was some. Boil down all the excess, tasteless liquid. Make the phrases economic. This is for your ears and heart only, no one else’s.

la once again enters the camera she 
had in their for quotidiano mr kuchi
a sacro altare they would each 
upon it became place onora il sole

sun burnt her enemies
just as her husband mr kuchi
built a wooden mooring 
the morning after his 
second skin graft parchment
enshrined dare due lettere

That’s it. Eschew rationality, meaning and “good taste”. Don’t worry about judgment, neither from outside nor within. The exercise is just meant to get your brain good and juicy. To force you to conceptualize in weird corners of consciousness. Make the process your own. Don’t listen to teachers. Unless they’re good teachers.

When your engine is warm and you’re ready to write that big important thing that comes from someplace personal and genuine and urgent, your mind will be nimble, flexible, willing to go where it needs to go to put heart to mouth.

from Percival Everett in “The Art of Fiction No. 235”

Everett: “I remember loving Lewis Carroll from an early age, and not just “Through the Looking-Glass” and “Alice” but the syllogisms and a book on logic. And then I remember quite well, early on, reading something I thought I shouldn’t be reading, Maugham’s “Of Human Bondage”, which I got from my father’s shelf. I think I was nine. It was fun because I didn’t think I was supposed to read it. As I look back, I think that it’s reading, probably even more than writing, that I find important. Reading is subversive because you necessarily do it by yourself. Which is why books scare people like Donald Trump. What’s interesting to me is that the poor people who identify with Donald Trump, they think of themselves as unlucky rich people. If things had just gone differently, they would be rich, too. The system has worked against them. It’s the same reason people play the lottery. Overnight you could wake up rich, and that’s an exciting thing. What you can’t do overnight is become educated. That requires a lot of work, so that’s not a goal. It’s something to fear. But that’s exactly why I find books so important. I don’t care what people read. If they read anything, then they might read something else. I just want to participate in making a different culture. I’m thinking of that line of Walt Whitman’s—”Produce great Persons, the rest follows.” It sounds flip when you just say it, but it’s true. That’s not to say that people are bad, but I want a readership that wants to read things because the work is difficult, not because it’s only fun. I want the fun to be in figuring it out. That’s what reading is all about, and to me writing is really just an extension of reading. But there, enough of my soapbox.”

Read the entire interview in The Paris Review.

John Berryman

Wikipedia Poem, No. 505

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“The greens of the Ganges delta foliate.” Berryman

One should promote purchasable things
not people. One inspects the grey pain
interior. It is said that in a rabbi one discovers
the universe’s first wikipedia entry. “My skin itches
my skin’s cannibalizing brine,” Henry said. Feel any
one discipline is not an obscure witch. I merely
because you came on so strong. Emily don’t, said the
raggedy rabbi. The man drives his talon
into warmth. Warmth for the jain is
chubby. Just chubby. For the film to succeed
it must inhabit its fastidious corner. I am the hard one
must explain. Its unnamed elsewhere. No one denies
the yes of youth. Animal meat wrestles the delta
foliate. Talon languor in either statutes or statue
guarantees change. Powerwash. The pretty work of a dandy.