Posts Tagged ‘william carlos williams’

A while back there was a poetry contest held by a journal, the name of which escapes me.  It asked that readers take the opening paragraph from an essay and cross out text so that the words that remained created a poem. The words could be used in any order, which is a bit of a cheat if you ask me, because then it’s simply a question of vocabulary and not so much finding an order within an order.

I had once thought I could do this with Moby Dick.  I would work on a page a day and eventually end up with a final text that night allow me to appreciate the classic book.  Or at the very least finish it, because Moby Dick is just one book I can’t ever get into.

Anyway, I began with this:

From the opening of “Genltemen, Start Your Engines”
by Andrew Sean Greer

“I want to make it clear that I have been camping before, and I’m not just talking about Burning Man. I’m trying to say that I’ve lived in Montana and backpacked for hours into the wilderness, just me and a friend, where we set up our camp beside a little-known hot spring, and while my friend napped I got in au naturel and was promptly joined by an enormous female moose. There we sat, me and the moose, enjoying the steaming water, looking out blissfully at the sunset together like a honeymooning t couple, while I summoned the courage to call in a wee voice: “Help me!” If I had been wearing pants I would have peed them. But I survived my wildlife encounter, and made a fire, and bear-proofed our foodstuffs, and did all the things one does when one is camping. This is not a story of gay San Franciscans setting up a Moroccan hideaway among all the army-surplus tents, complete with mirrored pillows and a Porta-John covered in veils. I am proud to say it is quite the opposite.”

And ended up with this:

I want to make it clear

I’ve lived

beside a little known hot spring,
joined by an enormous female moose,
blissfully mooning.

made a fire
and did all the things one does
when complete,

and proud to say it.

It seemed obvious that the narrator was going to end up doing something with that moose, but maybe that’s just me.  Sort of ended up with a William Carlos Williams vibe in the end, didn’t it?

Poetry Friday.  Everything you’ve always wanted in a Friday, but with a little something extra added.  Terry over at The Family Bookshelf is hosting the round-up where, I’m sure, there are more appropriate Mother’s Day Weekend poems.


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An original, though not really and not very.  What is it about the snap of cold weather that increases the hunger?  Are we really still just nature-attuned mammals, fattening ourselves up for the winter, hunkering down for the scarcity of food?  Anyway, in a fit of hunger I foraged the refrigerator yesterday and spied some mushrooms that would have gone bad had I not eaten them.  That is to say, no one else in the house would have looked at them and said “Say, I bet those would taste good for lunch.”

While I was at the table, with the musky steam of a buttery saute curling around my face, I was suddenly flushed with that old WCW poem about plums and dashed off this personal rejoinder.

Not That You Noticed

I have eaten
the mushrooms
that were in
the fridge

and which
your dad abandoned
when visiting.

Believe me
they were delicious
pan fried
and pasta-tossed.

So much for originality.  The round-up this week is over at Big A little a

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