Saturday, August 23, 2003


thanks for that post Jenn.
i had no idea you worked with Sonia Sanchez, and would like to hear more about working with her sometime.

the earliest form i recall using was the exquisite corpse, in junior high school. that was really fun. but once i realized that the teacher couldn't know who wrote which line, i used "fuck" every way my deviant teen mind could dream up. goofball poetics.

i worked with other forms when i was younger, but the sestina was one i never seemed able to fit my images\thoughts inside. so i appreciate how you say it's a good way of getting the words out of you, then finding some lines in there for better use elsewhere.

i just found out recently that the sestina was first reported being used in the 12th century. for some reason i imagined it's invention being later than that.

but i like the idea of using these different forms to spike the voltage.

one of the latest 9for9 questions uses an excerpt from Ann Lauterbach's essay "After the Fall." at one point she writes, "The forms of freedom are not without restraint, as in 'free verse,' which is not the same as formless."

i like to use these sort of homemade external forms, scaffolding, like the 7MARCHES poems where i'm writing through the month of March. granted, it's a sparse idea of form, but for some reason it's just enough to gather the harvest. i find myself soaking up EVERYTHING around me in February, knowing that i'll be writing everyday the next month.

then there's the external form Frank Sherlock and i are working with that we're calling THE CITY REAL & IMAGINED: Philadelphia Poems. we meet at the Robert Indiana LOVE sculpture and alternate leading a walk thru the city. before we go our separate ways and write the walk into poems, the one who leads the walk must come up with a fragment gathered along the walk, which will appear in both of our poems.

maybe this isn't related, but i dated a guy once who LOVED to watch Martha Stewart. one time, i fell asleep while he was watching her cut felt for, well, for something i don't recall right now. but i had a dream that Martha Sterwart was showing us how to cut the fat out of a poem. in fact, i actually remember her saying, "poets are so busy these days that we need to find quick and easy ways to trim those unneeded words from the poems we love to write." she was cutting the paper with scissors and putting the excess scraps into tuperware, in case we needed them later maybe? when i woke up and told Nate the dream i said that if Burroughs was still alive i'd write to him and tell him that dream, and he in turn might mail me an empty shotgun shell for my birthday. yeah, actually, this dream doesn't relate to the question of form. oh well, it was a fun dream though.


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