Line Manager

Two days of doing other things and I’ve been flipped out of writing mode like a tiddlywink. Now here I am trying to roll out of the dog’s basket, and back on to the board. So here is an exercise that can be played with without causing too much agony. It asks that we try […]

Creation Mythology

Today’s exercise doesn’t come from Bernadette Mayer, though she does have a similar one, but from a new MOOC I’ve signed up for. It is Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop and is run by Cal Arts. They do weekly prompts, so I’ll probably intersperse them with Mayer’s. This one asks us to take a piece […]

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 […]

Yes No Please HELP…

Feeling a bit like a puppy in a snowstorm at the moment, excitedly trying to grab every flake. On Wednesday I made one of those breakthroughs I’ve heard other artists speak of (Picasso seeing tribal masks for the first time springs to mind), and I really want to just dive in and luxuriate in it. […]

Spooked

I’m in a pickle with my days. For example today I was convinced I had a live webcast at 4 o’clock and was rushing to get organised for it until, having a pee, I realised it was only Monday (and not Wednesday). I can’t work out which is better: busy weeks, or free weeks. Free […]