Sunday, April 23, 2006

Crackpotz

So remember when Dup was getting up at five every morning to nail out a play in a month? Well he inspired me to shake things up with my own writing. So I wrote 1,000 five lined poems. It took me about three months 'cause I'm slow and I don't write on weekends, but the goal was twenty a day, one hundred a week. As readers of this blog know my poems tend to be a bit long and I work them to death. And even though I've been getting better, so that the India manuscript took about half as long to write as the telemarketing one, I'm still spending way too much time tinkering with re-writes to force a "coherent" narrative. I've been writing this way for so long now that I knew I needed to knock myself repeatedly in the head to reset my poetry-mind to get spontaneous and non-linear. So I whacked myself 1,000 times and it may have worked. Another thing I did to put more non-egoic intuition into the mix was pull cards from Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt's "Oblique Strategies."
One card just read "reverse," so around poem 350 I started to write every other poem in reverse order, last word first. Really forced me to see things in a different way. Non-linear indeed. I'm reading through the whole mess now and it seems there are at least a few things to work with. You figure out of 1,000 that at least 100 would be worth something, yeah? Next step I think is to go through, mine the notebooks, and try to come up with 60-75 poems. Quickly. Just some tweaking so the original wok spirit isn't leached of vitamins, fried to death. (Projects like this are what make me love this shit...)

9 Comments:

At 4:07 AM, Blogger Adam said...

wow. that sounds like a great exercise. 1000 poems! damn!

 
At 7:39 AM, Blogger dup said...

Great work, Pete! I'm glad my floundering could inspire something so GRAND. Now I need to get up in the morning to write about Kushner and Milton but it hasn't happened yet.

Let's focus, DUP!

 
At 12:54 PM, Blogger P'tit Boo said...

That's so cool Pete !
Rock on !

 
At 7:15 AM, Anonymous momster said...

That is just amazing, Pete! I admire your dedication.

 
At 9:23 AM, Blogger Slick said...

I'd like to see 100. It has a much better ring to it than "60 to 75." Arbitrary and artificial limits, after all, are at the heart of the project.

Don't discount the beauty of simple mathematics.

 
At 11:55 AM, Anonymous jjs said...

Pete, I'm impressed. I believe that may be more written lines than my lifetime sum total. And that includes school papers back in the day. Then again, they don't make us computer geeks write that much. And it shows, I'm sure!

 
At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not post all 1,000 and let us vote for our favorites? Or maybe we can vote out the ones we like the least?

t

 
At 1:45 PM, Blogger Slick said...

Good idea, T. That's what we need, a poetry reality show, starring Pete.

 
At 2:38 PM, Anonymous momster said...

But we don't vote Pete off, just his poems?!

 

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