Friday, November 11, 2011

24-hour chapbook: dress like a patient

Posting the pages of the 24-Hour Chapbook I've entitled dress like a patient (after a line from the song "Mica" by Mission of Burma). (call it a failed experiment, over time and 23 pages not 24--and sucky--but it's mine)

For the cover, I did a quick doodle and took a picture of it with my webcam--all I could think to do with limited resources and absolute zero time. MS Word, pages formatted as 4.25" x 5.5", captured with a "print screen" and made into .png's, which I'm loading up here. (Click to see full size.)

This will take a while, as I have to work and other things. My methods are far more labor intensive than this process needs to be. I just don't know how to do it the quicker, cleaner way.

The poems themselves ... are, frankly, embarrassing. However, both my relative anonymity and my tendency to overdisclose (you'd think those two would be at odds) guarantee that embarrassment won't stop me from posting them.

It is not heartening to think that this is probably the most successful poem of the bunch. Still, there's some value, and scrap material to use in other constructions. And I must draw the conclusion from this whole experiment that randomly generated combinations of words, while they do create some novel and surprising and perhaps accidentally insightful phrases and passages by chance, need to be more carefully culled. The intentional opening lines, of course, refer to methods of divination that rely on random chance. I do like the way some of the lines lay, such as
if you feel

still tree-tops ...
like a patient--

if you are to understand the heart,

You better understand the
chest ...
... for you know
how you

dress like one--
Other little bits have promise, I think, but didn't work in immediate and/or global context:
... clinical studies of a priest
... suicidal thoughts or
(because of the incongruent pairing) and
... Read more of.Read the mouth,
The lines
Go out of you. Live.

giving the whole world.
remind me of Rilke. And that's a good thing, right? From those lines came the title of the poem, but I would have to find another title if I took more time, as this one just does not work.

I really like the "Afters" (although, you know, the "ABILIFY DISCMELT" line is a joke). And I like the last line in context, sort of, but I have no idea what it means. Sounds like it means something, though.

Of the second poem, I can only say "Gosh, that's kind of neat" (or neat neat neat, as the Damned might say ... um, that was a dumb joke). I can't claim it's my voice or anything to do with me, though. I might be able to steal some bits from it, like ...
          ... a gobbling
(don't know why I like that so much), or ...

Messed up
or ...

You ain't
no fish,

(REPEAT Can't you

guess your body

with one of the REPEATs a REPEAT CHORUS, maybe?

I really didn't look at this one twice. I ran out of time, because I was playing around with another method of replacement where I took each significant word in the original line and did some free association to come up with a list of replacement words, then assign each a random number using the online random integer generator, create a number of possibilities and tweak from there. That method is much more labor intensive than the computer generated Oulipo-style n + 7 machine method that produced the piece as published. Again, both methods are really ideal for generating novel connections that need to be deliberately picked through by the human artist. The original line, because all mine, is as overwritten and undermeaningful as most of what I write.

"This is a Lie" is something I want to start a poem with. The rest of it is ... mainly just disappointing, boring.

All I did here was take a post from my other blog (which is kind of cheating in and of itself) about a dream I had and apply a conscious stutter and echo effect to it. It turned out OK, I guess. I like the stutter and echo when used judiciously. I think it can convey hesitation and obsession and such things in a way that I can't figure out yet how to improve or replace.

We'll just pretend the first one here doesn't exist. The second one exists, but not much more. I'm terrible with plants, and even the names and shapes of plants seem to evaporate out my head as quickly as they're dripped in. So I never knew what a catalpa was until I read Daneen Wardrop's "Late-Scape":
From their capacious leaves, catalpas pull evening.
               Regular on the rail, wheel-clack clack.
          If I could wish for everyone I would wish
                              shade of catalpas ...
It intrigued me. A few days later, one of the residents at work shared her arrangement of leaves with me: maple, catalpa, oak, giving me their names, their shapes, their colors, perseverate and precise. The catalpa looked like an upside down valentine heart, or a spade. And I thought I'd like to use that in a poem. But it doesn't work nearly as well as I want it to here.

Because of the circumstances under which I learned about the catalpa leaf, I wanted to incorporate some of the voices from the group homes, fictionalizing, blending, blurring, so as to not violate HIPAA. Needs more work. The ending falls flat as well.

The next poem was another created with eGnoetry using the Abilify site and the Grimm Brothers story "The Girl Without Hands." It comes out kind of neat, but, gee whiz, never really does anything. Anyway, I changed the title from the first draft because for a long time, I've wanted to write a poem or a short story or something called "Chapter 1, in which it is asserted that everything will be all right." Typically, when I start with the title, the poem usually does not turn out, but sometimes ...

"In Memoriam, DT" (both Dylan Thomas and "the DTs") is the same as it was here. There's too much of the original poem here for me to say it's actually my separate work. But, time, and then I stuffed it in as filler.

Maybe better next time. I'd love to see what somebody else would come up with (as a fully produced chapbook) in 24 hours. Probably better than this.

No comments:

Post a Comment