Erotica Readers & Writers Association Blog

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Writing Exercise


 by Ashley Lister

 There are many interpretations of the phrase ‘found poetry.’ To my mind, found poetry is the result of taking an existing text, refashioning it on the page, and presenting the words as a poem. It’s a technique that’s been used by Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams and T S Eliot amongst many others. It’s an exercise that’s fun and produces surprisingly effective results.

The following two poems come from text within a piece of my own short fiction, a short story called ‘Victoria’s Hand.’

Found Poem #1
The words
hung
between them like
a thrown gauntlet. 

The Grandfather
in the hall outside
continued to tick
loudly. 

Algernon studied her face
with an expression that was
almost
comical. 

“Victoria?” he whispered
meekly.  “I don’t think
I heard you correctly.  Could you
please forgive me and
say that again?”

Victoria said,
“Get your cock out.”

Found Poem #2
A young lady has a
right
to know about these things
before making
a commitment
of this magnitude. 

Would you care
to tongue
my hole
for a moment so I can decide
whether
or not you
may keep your
moustache?

The notion behind this exercise is to give a writer a more acute awareness of prosodic features, such as the pauses suggested by line breaks, and to allow authors to interpret the layout of their work on the page as poetry.


As always, it will be a pleasure to read your found poetry in the comments box below.

8 comments:

  1. I especially adore the second piece, Ash!

    (I do remember the story! A favorite of mine.)

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  2. Here's one. I don't know if this is following the rules, but I did a little cutting and rearranging. This comes from my story "Never Too Late".

    "I knew it."
    Slow,
    he smears my lipstick
    even further
    with his thumb.
    My lower lips
    gape too,
    as wet and swollen.
    A few white droplets
    trickle
    down my chin.

    "I could tell."
    My nipples peak,
    screaming for attention.
    He's caught my eyes.
    I can't hide.
    The elevator dings.
    "My floor.”

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  3. Wowser! Doesn't it work well? That first stanza is so arresting and your final line just completes the whole package.

    Excellent poetry.

    Ash

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    Replies
    1. I just came out of Poetry Writing Month and I don't know that I could write a fresh piece of work if my life depended upon it. But I have begun the editing process - as of today. So, this exercise was quite timely, Ashley.

      I started this piece in response to a discussion on the email list in storytime about the use of the linebreak in modern poetry. The question came up about how close prose was to a modern poem if the rhyme wasn't predictable and end driven and if the rhythm wasn't a bouncy iambic. I started with a fresh piece of work, two paragraphs, really and focused on imagery, repetition, and some internal rhyme. Then I broke it into lines. What I'm showing here now is not the original line breaks I used during NaPo, but the edited version.


      Anyways, here's the piece written out as prose

      Glory Hole

      My father called them "human garbage cans" when he first heard about them, but I can think of a worse life, one like my sister has now that she's married to The Asshat. But when he calls me "cocksucker" he's more right than he knows.

      My mouth doesn't have a sex. It's just warm, and the strength of my draw is stronger than their drag. Gay, straight, it doesn't matter. They all come to me and my fingered invitation with its dangled rubber. I'm the warm mouth, the strong throat which won't choke as they thrust their joy down to its back. I'm the one whose face is the outline of my lips. They know me by the strength of my suck. I know them by the shape and length and cut of their cock, but it's by their smell that I recognize my favorites. My dream of a Better Tomorrow is that one day I can swallow all that's showered upon me. I'm twenty-eight and my glory hole is open.

      *********************************************

      Glory Hole

      My father calls them
            "human garbage cans",

            but

      I can think
            of a worse life, one like my sister has
            now that she's married to The Asshat.
            When he calls me

            "cocksucker"

            he's more right than he knows.

      My mouth
            doesn't have a sex. It's just warm,

      my draw
            is stronger than their drag. Gay, straight,
            it doesn't matter. They all come
            to me and
      my fingered invitation
            with its dangled rubber.

      I am the warm mouth,
            the strong throat which won't choke
            as they thrust their joy down its back.
      I am the one
            whose face is the outline of
      my lips.

      my suck.
      I know them
            by the shape and length and cut of their cock, but it's by their
            smell that
      I recognize
      my favorites.

      My dream
            of a Better Tomorrow is that one day
      I can swallow
            all

            that's showered upon me.
      I'm twenty-eight
            and

      my glory hole is open.

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    2. Even better. This one looks like it was originally formed as a poem. The line breaks add so much to this passage.

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    3. Thanks. The formatting with google is screwy though and is messing with some of my returns and indents. This version really was about focusing on the I/My view. I rarely use single word lines, much less wonky indents, so it was a fun exercise to play with how I wanted the breaks to work.

      Delete
  5. Nettie - read it when it came through earlier.

    I thought this was looking pretty good. There was a hypnotic rhythm to the layout you'd selected.

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