Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Another Idea

Here's another idea: Take a poetry book, randomly open it to a page, then write down the title of that poem. Don't read that poem, just write a poem inspired by the title. It's a way of taking something found, from someone else, and making it your own. Here's an example. The title below, "Night Frogs," is from a Robert Bly poem, from his Selected Poems. I doubt this is very much like Bly's poem. Night Frogs by Donald Illich Forget for a moment all you know of frogs: Kermit and Miss Piggy, beer-belching mascots, the poor science victim you refuse to dissect even if the sadistic teacher gives you an F. These monsters aren’t harmless spermy tadpoles. They consider you an amphibian landing, a beachhead for war they storm at night. The evening is emptied of sound, a pause in their trysting. Suddenly, a wall of croaks slams your window, which slick webbed feet shatter, knocking shards in your startled face. When you give up, they march you into the swamp. The muck covers your legs first, then your chest, until all that peeks out are flared nostrils, red eyes. Kermit’s resting in your bed tonight. He sleeps with your daughter, he’s drinking all your booze. Bulldozers will be coming through tomorrow.

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