Day 1 – from the TO READ PILE (fiction room)

Today’s poem was generated by the game Title Poem. It’s pretty easy, you simply use the titles of books as the basis for your poem. Boom!

I’ve played this game before as part of NaPoWrMo 2014 I think … then I was ruthless, only allowing myself exact titles. It made for slightly stilted verse, but which was great inspiration for rewriting in the months afterwards. This time, I’m cutting a little slack & allowing myself to add words here & there, or maybe change or drop a ‘the’ from titles to allow the poem a chance to have slightly more sense/meaning.

That said, though, they are still strange dreamlike things (I’ve written two so far, one each day, I just didn’t get around to posting yesterday), which go places I wouldn’t normally —but given I only have a limited palette to draw upon, am sort of ‘forced’ to. Kinda like when rhymers choose a word just because it fits the pattern, rather than cos it’s the right word. Hopefully though, these won’t be quite so clunky as that.

In my fiction room, I have a chair to read in. Next to this, is a small bookcase topped with towering piles of books; books I’m kinda interested in reading next, if the mood takes me (it is one of about 4 such stacks around my house). For this exercise all titles are taken from that stack.

[NOTE: Roman font are words from the titles; italics are my additions.]



this house of sky
fades, a perfect

bluethroat morning
by silver blade cut

from the chains
of heaven

we great apes keep hush
about our scarlet necropolis

feign resilience
to the troubles

as the bone clocks
play the angel’s game

a quantum thief
steals my vintage summer

and although i am
a married man

i wish someone were waiting
for me somewhere

perhaps down by the ocean
at the end of the lane

2 thoughts on “Day 1 – from the TO READ PILE (fiction room)

  1. Thanks Sally. I agree. I don’t believe there is such thing as “Writer’s Block”. I usually have so much I’m trying to get out, I rarely have ‘stare at the blank screen’ moments. But even when I don’t, I often play these sorts of games because, as you say, creativity comes bubbling out when you set a challenge. Then I love going back and editing to find out what the poem is actually trying to say.

    For example, yesterday’s poem (only published a few moment ago owing to a technical issue [ie, operator is a numpty]) by the time I’d finished it, seemed to be about dementia … which I certainly didn’t know when I started arranging words – but which makes sense, since I’m having a beloved grandmother start to experience it & so it’s clearly floating around my subconscious as an issue. But ‘knowing’ that now, when I revise this poem in the future, I’ll be able to draw those elements out even more … once my creativity restrictions are lifted.


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