Sunday, April 14, 2013

Day 13: a prompt from Charles Bernstein

The prompt for today was to  “write a poem consisting entirely of things you’d like to say, but never would, to a parent, lover, sibling, child, teacher, roommate, best friend, mayor, president, corporate CEO, etc.” as suggested by Charles Bernstein in his list of poetry experiments. I did, but it turned out to be something I wouldn't like to share here (or anywhere for that matter!) So, I chose again from Bernstein's list and decided on a kind of found poem he calls Tzara's Hat.

I chose twelve words from Augusten Burroughs' Running with Scissors: a memoir using a random number generator. Then, I couldn't help borrowing the memoir's title as well.

Running with scissors

I saw you with the scissors,
she said
afraid of the answer
if any
a show of colour on her face
her hand held sheets
corners bent, margins grubby
of music or writing
her turquoise bracelet highlighted
the tension in the tendons
of her wrist
she shuffled the pages
and began to sing.
I wasn’t running, came the reply
shouted over her tuneless
obsessive scratching at his throat
left red marks, angry.
The anatomy of a heart
is no mystery to him
but knowledge is not armour
and he doesn’t understand
why she is upset.

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