This poem was created using a technique I call Frankenpoeming. It’s where I take a few lines or a phrases or an image from the poems I’ve been reading each day & then crunch them all together — reconfiguring metaphors, smashing words against each other, juxtaposing ideas I wouldn’t have necessary considered, & just generally using them as jumping off points into something of my own.
Then I leave it for a few hours, before going over it again & editing tweaking polishing, extending weird things into things that more (or less) sense. Sometime extracting the really crazy stuff altogether — or just leaving it.
Day 20 – TILthat in 1974, the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis published a paper titled “The Unsuccessful Self-Treatment of a Case of Writer’s Block.” It contained a total of zero words.
With this in mind, I’d like to write a poem based on the paper.
The Unsuccessful Self-Treatment of a Case of Writer’s Block (a poetic interpretation)
A different kind of day today as I played with form/function/generation a little. There is something which links all 4 of these poems (almost everything on this page in fact). I’m wondering if anyone can work it out.
Day 19 – TIL aboutmy relationship with Reality TV
Truman syndrome is a mental condition some people suffer where they believe they’re the star of an imaginary reality tv show.
You’ve got to feel sorry for those people living their sad fantasy worlds given i long ago realised that i was & am the centre the focus of attention of millions & millions of adoring fans worldwide — my family & everyone i know merely actors in a charade which makes me the rightful focus of the world’s attention.*
That being said — you’d think they’d have gotten better actors to play some of the parts
*paraphrasing words actually said by someone who suffers from Truman syndrome
The poetry volume I read today had several Mirror Cinquains in it. This is a mix of a standard Cinquain & a Reverse Cinquain. So, using the usual syllable counting convention, a mirror cinquain = 2,4,6,8,2 blank line 2,8,6,4,2 syllables. I’m not usually a big fan of form poems, they feel too forced unless you’ve got a lot of time to tweak them (which you don’t get in a NaPoWriMo when you’re working). Nonetheless I thought I’d give it a bash. There are lines I wish I could alter (ignore the scansion) which might happen in a future version.
Day 17 – TIR my gran
It’s the anniversary of my gran’s birthday today. To remember her, I looked for some Facts About Grandmothers & found a variety of sites ranging from dry statistics “78% read the newspaper” type thing to wildly subjective. However the one I have chosen appeared on several pages & is without doubt, true. (I have not chosen the most obvious fact: No love is as special as grandmother’s: it truly is unconditional.)
Grandmother Fact #1: they cook the best food
christmas lunches tuna mournays corned beef swimming in white sauce thick pea & ham soup egg sandwiches, taken from the freezer, then toasted even just Continental Hearty Beef soup straight outta the packet tasted ambrosial from her kitchen
what would this vego grandson give for the chance of one more meal with his gran
Just playing round with a passage from Book IV of Virgil’s The Georgics where he describes an incident surrounding the Big O following his failed attempt to restore Eurydice to life (he claims he that O lamented for seven whole months).
Day 16 – TIL a lot of flamingo related fun facts. (In point of fact I have lots & lots of bird facts, that I almost put a dozen of them into one megapoem, but this flamingo triptych seems to work quite well…)
i. there are more fake flamingos on Earth than real ones
ii. flamingos pair for life some stay mated for 50 years or more
nice that flamingos are 12.5x better at partnering than i am
iii. you probably know a crowd of crows is called a murder
& an assembly of owls is a parliament (or wisdom, or study)
but life gets really joyful the day you discover a flock of flamingoes is a flamboyance
With Big O & Eurydice being the theme this year, it feels a little like every day/poem explores the issue of grief so at times I’m not sure whose writing what about whom or when. The only thing I am sure of is why.
Day 15 – NTBLAILabout more than a forgotten letter of the alphabet
In Celebration of &
the ampersand’s formed from the ligature of the letters ET — the Latin word for “and”
… & the term “ampersand” is a corruption of and (&) per se and which literally means “(the character) & by itself (is the word) and”
… & this small odd looking character was actually once (kind of) the 27th member of the English alphabet*
… & when reciting the alphabet in the 1800s long-suffering schoolchildren would sing-song-say, “X, Y, Z, and per se and” so the students were essentially chanting “X, Y, Z, and by itself and”
… & being lazy children this was routinely slurred to the mondegreen ampersand & thus entered common usage
… & there’s a graffiti & in Pompeii from 79 CE
… & when it appears as &c where it means etc. (the ampersand time travels back into its E & T bones)
… & in screenplays, an & denotes a writing team [the word and designates the writers wrote separately, read: someone rewrote, & if there’s more than three ands on a credit, it’s a good sign you should probably stay the hell away from that movie]
… & when creating new type faces the & character allows designers to inject a little joie de vivre & artistic flair into proceedings
… not to mention some quite nice poets really love it & if that’s not a cause for celebration — then there isn’t one
*the thorn and the wynn are also membersof the Former Members Of The Alphabet Club but sadly we don’t have time (in this pome)to learn what led to their demises
2 Bob’s worth: a bonus poem
i. Jerk Bob that old bundle of chuckles the joy-killing chump Robert Hartwell Fiske in his dreary, dull AND utterly unreadable Dictionary of Unendurable English: A Compendium of Mistakes in Grammar, Usage, and Spelling with Commentary on Lexicographers and Linguists believes ampersands should only exist in proper names, business names, book titles, and the like never in place of the word and
he further opines: aside from the hurried, the only people inclined to use & in place of and are those who have scant sense of self and scant sense of style, and believe using & somehow swells them both.
ii. Lovely Bob Robert Nares in his far more charming highly erudite & intellectual work A Glossary; or, Collection of words, phrases, names, and allusions to customs, proverbs, etc., which have been thought to require illustration in the works of English authors, particularly Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Vol. I. A new ed., with considerable additions both of words and examples believes the ampersand’s calligraphic qualities make it a compelling design element that can add visual appeal & personality to any page.
For someone who loves this myth, I’m really struggling for quality content. Wondering if I should abandon it for something different for last half of the month. The Poetic Factoids, however, remain a treat to create.
Day 14 – TIL how deeply brain & body are connected
when your “inner voice” whispers wisdom deep within the wetness of your brain tiny muscle motions trigger in your larynx
no wonder i suffer so many sore throats after my multiple personalities have had their say on every conceivable topic
the muscular cacophony leaves my chords, exhausted
I’m really struggling to find Big O’s voice in this project. I’ve tried not writing in first person but it comes off very cold (which I suppose could be good thing) but I always end up flipping it back again. Worse, the words which are coming out are far more banal than the ideas which sound in my head. Frustrating, yes. Unusual, no.
Day 13 – TILI learnt about birth & lightning but not maths
the odds of — giving birth to a baby at 12:01am on January 1 are around 1 in 526,000*
which is roughly the same as getting struck by lightning
the odds of — giving birth to a baby at 12:01am on January 1 while getting struck by lightning
involves — knowledge of maths way way above my pay grade