Book Stream

Back on the Bernadette Mayer track today she asked me to: write as you think, as close as you can come to this, that is, put pen to paper and don’t stop. Experiment writing fast and writing slow. So, having spent an hour idly browsing Pinterest, this is what came out of my head. I […]

Where’s the Smoke?

Today Bernadette Mayer, speaking through the Salt-Pig, told me to: write a poem that reflects another poem, as in a mirror. Turns out this is not an easy thing to do in an hour, so I flipped through a notebook, sure I’d attempted this exercise before and found I had with Norman MacCaig’s: That Journey […]

A Bruised Peach

The exercise for today* turned out to be: Make a pattern of repetitions. And this is what I got: A Pattern It’s not because she doesn’t want to leave the house; not because she doesn’t want to see the beech trees on Beach Way, she’d like to see the beech trees, the beech trees will […]

Bracket of Manners

Today I combine Bernadette’s Mayer’s exhortation to: ‘Rewrite someone else’s writing. Experiment with theft and plagiarism,’ with the OULIPO formula N+7, thus: The Arrival of the Behaviour Bracket – a collaboration with Sylvia Plath I ordered this, this clean workforce bracket Square as a channel and almost too heavy to lift. I would say it […]

Fig Riding

Today’s writing exercise is: ‘Write in a strict form, or, transform prose into a poetic form.’ So I thought I’d try making a mesostic poem (like an acrostic only the chosen word is in the middle) using as the source text a page from one of my favourite books: Knots & Splices, by Cyrus Day, […]

Never Having to Say

Today the salt-pig gave me Love Journal…!!! Love, a Journal* Sunday faintly hung over we stayed in bed till late, ate the remains of what I’d made for Saturday’s supper from the food you’d bought Friday, it was still good. Monday you jumped out of bed to take out the trash before the midge-truck came, […]

Keeping Time

Today’s exercise, pulled from the salt-pig’s mouth is: Clocks/Timekeeping – something I’m not particularly good at, but here goes: Clocking It is current and will fizzle complacently like Sauerkraut on a windowsill, but return, always return, there is really nothing for it. Seasonally speaking it’s an idiom of flaccid syllables but enough loved to hang […]

Daily Exercise

The online poetry course I’ve been immersed in for the last 10 weeks ends tomorrow. It has been extraordinarily illuminating and I feel I’m only just beginning to absorb some of the things it teaches. I’ll miss it, not least because it has resulted in a massive spike in my own poem making, something I […]