NaPoWriMo Day 11* (Brianna)

Just playing around, really just playing, with a word from the N+7s and in a style I don’t consider my own.  To my surprise, I like where the last 2 lines went.

metronome metronome metronome metronome
tick tick
tick tock
tock tick
tock tock
metre nom
no more

* I’m skipping/already skipped days 9 & 12 for Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  And I realized somehow my numberings have been off by a day, so maybe I accidentally skipped another day, too?

NaPoWriMo Days 6, 7, and 8 (Brianna)

I took a detour from the road trip poem(s) to play around with N+7s. Can you tell what texts originated these? Two of them, at least, should be easy.

N+7 #1 (nouns)


The appellation of these faciations in the crowner;
Petards on a wet, black boulangerite.

N+7 #2 (nouns and verbs)

Tempt us how we’re doling;
tan our survivalism in the next thivish deacons
and enterlace for a chandelier to window a
fixidity hundredweight dolman fuze shopper gigantomachy cardiac.

N+7 3 (nouns)

The lordship’s my Sheraton; I’ll not want.
He makes me lie down in green pataphysics.
He leads me beside still water-dogs.

He restores my sound;
He leads me in pathogens of right-handers
for his nancy’s sakura.

These were surprisingly time-consuming to prepare (“write” doesn’t feel like the right word here), especially because I was using my two-book OED. It was an interesting exercise and I had to keep myself from getting subsumed by the multitude of new-to-me words that popped up as I flipped through the dictionary.

Most of the words the N+7 technique created are words I’ve never used in poetry before, which led to 2 possible ideas that I might explore during the rest of April, instead of more road tripping. Idea 1: each day, write a poem incorporating one of these N+7 words. Idea 2: write form (or otherwise constrained) poems every day. I do enjoy working in form, especially when I’ve been in a creative dry spell.

Honestly, though, I’m not sure what the point of “writing” N+7s is. They don’t produce much that’s truly interesting–lyrically, linguistically, experimentally, even novelty-wise–for me, and I don’t feel I learned anything from them either, except that the dictionary is cool. And I already knew that. I think Joanne might be on to something with her version, though. Joanne, how did it turn out?

I also suspect I’d have more interesting results if I used a much shorter dictionary.

I’d love to hear thoughts on this from anyone else.

Leaping into Language Poetry

I’ve been AWOL, but I haven’t forgotten about Vary the Line.  I’m still recovering from poetry burnout.  A friend told me today that her poems are just starting to re-emerge, a year and a half after she graduated from her MFA.  I think mine might be hibernating.  I’m hoping they’ll wake up with the bears.

In the meantime, I’m going to try reading language poetry.  This is my husband Mike’s field of academic and creative expertise, but I’m pretty unfamiliar with it.  I know at least one of my fellow blog authors here doesn’t care for the stuff, and I think that’s a common sentiment.  I’m not sure how I feel.  It sounds interesting when Mike talks about it and it is interesting when he writes it.  Beyond that, my knowledge is pretty much limited to bpNichol’s concrete poetry, a dash of Christian Bok’s Eunoia, some a.rawlings, and bill bisset–in particular, his poem th tomato conspiracy aint worth a whol pome.  You can read it here.  That poem was in my high school poetry reader, and I loved it then.  I still do, even if it’s completely silly.

Now that I think about it, I’m not sure th tomato conspiracy is language poetry at all.  It’s definitely a purposeful manipulation of language in a non-standard way, but are mis-spellings anything more than that?  Hmm.

I thought I’d start my forays with bpNichol’s The Martyrology, Book One.  I’ve read the first 50 pages and I’m not sure this is language poetry, either.  It’s experimental, but so far I haven’t encountered much linguistic craziness.  I just assumed that since bill bisset writes language poetry, Mike studies language poetry, and Mike likes and studies The Martyrology, then The Martyrology must be language poetry.  But according to Mike, the language stuff doesn’t kick in until at least book 3.  Yikes.  That’s a lot of bpNichol to wade through. I might just jump straight to Sylvia Legris, or even Christian Bok.

The point of all of this is to say that I’m going to chronicle my language poetry experiment here.  I’m not sure what form that chronicling will take, or how detailed I’ll get, but hopefully it’ll be an interesting experience.

Any language-poetry suggestions for me?