Disarticulation form is one of the codes for creating poetry. As the prompt enters your critical thought process, the fevered writing becomes some other entity, the responses from the other writer you receive become an elaboration on that code for creating. This is a vice-versa process that allows one to examine someone other than themselves and pull resources for a poem. It allowed me to look at other writings from myself and jumpstart new ideas about poetry and form. Moreover Disarticulation inspired me about the pedagogy of poetry.
Here is a poem in response to the “Scientists take the first ever photograph of light as both a wave and a particle” prompt. It began as a haiku but then kept growing, though I tried to stick to the 5-7-5 rule for each stanza. It was fun.
To photograph light
as both wave and particle
is to steal the soul
of morning. Coffee
cold as you cup light in both
hands, like a flower
plucked from the round earth,
captured, consumed, eaten for
its beauty, until
at last it is ours
until there are no more stars
to hold up the sky
At the beginning of the month, Terry gave collaborating poet AK Toney four prompts drawn from the media. He engaged in fevered writing with each of those prompts and gave the fevered writing to Terry. She used those words to generate this dis•articulations poem.
I ain’t the first bitch to travel
childless because I wanted to be King.
Womb’s like jail when you’re caught,
victim of a random, sweaty moment.
But I’m not fooled. I am no inmate.
I am the scroll of time, the picture
of power, particle and wave.
House of concrete bars—not my
destination. No locked world.
Scientists want to enslave the delta,
see it as mud or mist but
never flow. They rape my thoughts,
still I know my glow. A light being,
I shine with invisible stars.
I escape to nowhere, relax my worries
in clear air, massage my womb with dirt.
They never find me in this raw land.
My home is a spot in the hot sea.
I float just outside their view,
a lion on this decrepit beach,
a prophet of water and truth.
At the beginning of the month, AK gave Terry four prompts. She engaged in fevered writing with each of them and gave the results to AK. He used the words from that fevered writing to create this dis•articulations poem.
“What am I supposed to do now?”
So weary tired mandatory corporations…
Voting just disappeared, consuming share of oxygen
Blue stopped being sky
Skid souls wandered streets that row
Having owning stuff suffocated bending sagging
Cream rabbits for face
Stick whales on lips for Election Day
Polar bears drown and blur
Bring turtle’s life to television
Entombed are stories visions dreams
Voicemail is letting go…
Big joke rigged with sandwich, beer and TV
Government track down arrest you
People matters is unpronounceable name
Coltan is more quizzical than organic
I take makes world more dirty
Art culture becoming world materiality
Car causing shadow, overrun stuff away
Reside inside your consulate environment
House the overwhelming natural
You me so better than ours
Change like trying to change
Choices are given rather grab and go
Walls with empty rooms worth someday
Value walk in the sun
Terry Wolverton produced the following fevered writing based on four prompts provided by this month’s collaborating poet, AK Toney.
Two Children May Have Died for You to Have Your Mobile Phone
And two rabbits died for my face cream. I gave up television but it didn’t bring the turtles back to life. There are fewer whales because they are made into lipstick. And my car is causing polar bears to drown. Every step I take makes the world more dirty. I am consuming more than my share of oxygen. The sky has stopped being blue because I grow organic vegetables. Would the world be better off if we all just disappeared? Don’t call me; I’m letting it go straight to voice mail.
yet the name “coltan” elicits quizzical looks.
I tried to change my name but it’s like trying to change a shadow—the old one kept following me around. It looked so sad, like “what am I supposed to do now?” The name took the bus to Skid Row and wandered the streets with all the other souls that have no place to go, but it didn’t fit there either. Its letters were bending and sagging, becoming unpronounceable, its sounds beginning to blur. So it came back to me, asked, “what’s wrong with me?”
What makes anything worth having and owning has a lot to do with preserving art and culture within a natural environment.
I’m so weary of having and owning. My house is overrun with stuff and even when I give it away, more comes. Someday I’ll be entombed with my stuff, suffocated with all that having. I don’t even know what most of it is for. I long for empty rooms with blank walls. Let the art and culture reside inside me as stories, visions, dreams. All the materiality of it, its questions of value and worth, are overwhelming the natural environment, and making me so tired.
New City Election Dates and Schedules; One-Time Adjustment To Align Terms with New Election Dates By 2020. Charter Amendment 1
People don’t vote and I don’t think it matters what day the election is on. People think it’s a big joke and it’s all rigged and no one likes the choices they are given. People would rather go grab a sandwich or a beer, watch TV or take a walk in the sun. In Australia voting is mandatory and even if you’re out of the country on election day you still have to go to your consulate and vote. Or they track you down and arrest you. Even so, the Australian government doesn’t seem so much better than ours. Corporations run everything anyway.
Readers are encouraged to write your own poems inspired by the prompts or the fevered writing and post them to comments. The best poem we receive this month will be awarded a $25 prize.
This month’s collaborating poet, AK Toney, did the following fevered writing based on four prompts given him by Terry Wolverton:
An inmate escapes from jail, is found in hot tub
This that cool warm relax with no caught up inside just flow like the dirt in this water but I ain’t mud inside this houses without bars and sometimes I still feel locked up where there I’s and air are still in and out like life never flowed from a delta inside a womb of concrete the home I never had inside where I want to become warm and massaged like I have no worries in the world jus this.
Prophet of Respect
They found him with the decrepit the sodomized the raped the childless the enslaved the victims the poor with the scroll of invisible a medal that shined from sweat of forehead because the nervous knew that when they came for the truth it was for live or die take or share but they never came with just respect they always fooled themselves in power
King of sea lions spotted in Southern California waters
I beached bitches, “Awrff! Awrff!” you heard me as I want for avocados instead of raw fish as the pier sits near take a picture dear human being look for me in the waters where no-where but your land is destination…
Scientists take the first ever photograph of light as both a wave and a particle
Random thought rays never seen. What is a star outside the dust that floats?
I am but that dirt but a painting of actual glow caught in mist of life from image travelling is a view of time more than a moment, less than a second life
Readers who are contemplating writing your own poems may work with just the prompts or may choose to use one or more passages of fevered writing to inspire your poems. Best Reader poem we receive in March will win a $25 prize.
Charles Bane, Jr. sent is this reader poem inspired by the prompt, “Scientists take the first ever photograph of light as both a wave and a particle.”
Scientists take the first ever photograph of light as both a wave
and a particle
When Masai raise
spearheads to Ngai
at his falling wordless
leave, they mirror unsheathed
swords of city heights, wavering
in the breath of the unseen.
All mystery is powerless
before the respiratory fate
of light as you wash your
face, your back to me.
It is time to admit, as
I brush sand from
your feet, the odds
that a universe dimmed
will draw you in again for release.
You will be lost as four hundred
planets at first count are waterless,
or put in safekeeping of molecular cloud.
Somewhere distant, I will be noble
gas or fleeting charge. We will
meet, but incorporeal as gods.
Poetry Prompts from AK Toney:
“Two Children May Have Died for You to Have Your Mobile Phone” (Inter Press Service News Agency)
yet the name “coltan” elicits quizzical looks. (thestar.com/insights)
What makes anything worth having and owning has a lot to do with preserving art and culture within a natural environment. (kcet.org/departures)
New City Election Dates and Schedules; One-Time Adjustment To Align Terms with New Election Dates By 2020. Charter Amendment 1 (Official Sample Ballot and Voter Information Pamphlet)
L.A. inmate escapes from jail, is found in hot tub (Los Angeles Times)
Prophet of Respect (The Huffington Post/Black Voice)
King of sea lions spotted in Southern California waters (scpr.org)
Scientists take the first ever photograph of light as both a wave and a particle (businessinsider.com)
All prompts are drawn from the media — print, broadcast or social media.
Readers are encouraged to write and submit poems of your own, inspired by one or more of these prompts. There will be a $25 prize for the best poem we receive from a reader in March.
Shelly Krehbiel holds an M.F.A. from Antioch University Los Angeles. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Midwest Quarterly, Sulphur River Literary Review and The Fourth River.
Her poem, “How we lost track of real happiness” appeared on this blog on February 7, 2015. https://disarticulations2015.wordpress.com/2015/02/07/reader-poem-by-shelly-krehbiel/
Shelly will receive a $25 honorarium for the prize. We encourage readers to be inspired by the process and play along. Each month, we’ll award one $25 prize for the best reader poem we receive.
In March, AK Toney will collaborate with Terry Wolverton to create new dis•articulations poems.
In a few words, A. K. Toney is a poet, writer, educator and performance artist. As a World Stage Performance Gallery alumnus he had the honor to be mentored by jazz great, community leader and founder of the World Stage Billy Higgins. Toney’s skills as a performance artist have taken him across the nation and abroad. His experience as a performance artist and educator has allowed him and his organization, Reading Is Poetry, to teach workshops with LA Unified schools, NAMI, and the Natural History Museum. Toney is also a contributing writer to KCET.