Back in seventh grade I was assigned to a group project that was saddled with doing a presentation on William Saroyan’s My Name Is Aram. I hated it. The book, the presentation, the whole thing. I was charged with essentially making a Freytag Pyramid that showed the major plot points for a book that was a collection of stories that (to my thirteen year old mind) didn’t fit the graph. Add to that the fact that I sort of skimmed the book and fell asleep while reading it on more than one occasion, and, well… It was a disaster. My groupmates didn’t talk to me for a long time afterward.
Decades later I learned that the book’s namesake, Saroyan’s son Aram, was a poet. A poet known for minimalist concrete poetry. Poetry that spoke to my Dadaist and Absurdist heart, including a poem that was the NEA’s first major controversy, a poem that pissed off a certain Senator Jesse Helms.
What caught me about it was that it would have easily fallen in line with a collection I had been keeping in one of my pocket notebooks of words that I misspelled that looked like legitimate words. Here I was collecting my “mistakes” and random wordplay for no known reason, and someone else was calling them poetry!
Over time I have been collecting them, tweaking them, expanding them, punning them, grouping and sorting them, but never really sure what to actually do with them. Perhaps they would make for a good Poetry Friday post? I call them “minimally invasive” because, like the type of surgery the name implies, they get the job done with as little disruption as possible. Or so I hope.
three mathematically inclined minimally invasive poems
worng worng ≠ reight
steak x steak x steak
√ all evil
four minimally invasive portmanteau poems
minimally invasive latinate timestamps
Well, at the very least, they were short, right? Short enough that you have plenty of time to go check out some more goodies over at the Poetry Friday roundup this week at The Poem Farm! Harvest Moon, Oktoberfest, Poetry Friday… it’s all good this week!