It was an interesting exercise. The fevered writing in response to Terry’s found quotes I approached as a timed stream of consciousness experiment. For the writing of the poems from Terry’s fevered writing in response to my found quotes, I decided to choose words in the order they were written. This was a method that provided some sense of “form” that intuitively I felt this exercise would benefit from, and I think it did. I also decided not to alter the words in Terry’s fevered writing (to not change the tense or make nouns into verbs etc.); this rule I sensed would support the imagination in choosing the right word for it’s originality and the structure of the meaning of the poem. It was fun and a great exercise in focusing attention on language, and for me, structuring meaning in a poem.
For our dis•articulations collaboration, Ramón gave Terry four writing prompts. Terry engaged in fevered writing with each of them and gave the results back to Ramón, who then used the words from that fevered writing to create four dis•articulations poems.
The night can die
A thousand deaths
Other’s slaughter who believe
Ancient feud—ancestor night
Stagger, rise, succumb
To fire or gossip
Recovery craze tripping
My partner out
Shoes make moves
Shiny looking love tutu
Smile over music breaking
Make it brain engineer
Remain solitary brain
Up to our hormones
Awareness of Bloom
Another plant in trouble
Shoots in the plant’s direction
Sentient blow pathetic theories
Around the mess
This month’s collaborating poet, Ramón Garcia, produced this fevered writing based on four prompts given by Terry Wolverton. Terry will be writing a new poem incorporating her choice of these words.
Don’t say his name (Los Angeles Times)
Don’t say his name, say his mask.
Say his other name, the one that is not him, the name that is her.
Don’t say his name, say his face, his thousand faces.
Say what is not his name, his other name.
Don’t say what is not his name, say what is.
Don’t say his name, say Gertrude Stein.
Say this and say that but don’t say I didn’t tell you his name.
Say this name not that name, say it’s his and not a name.
Say all names and say his, but don’t say his name.
Say all that is his, his name and his not name.
Say his name, but don’t.
Say it, say his name and not his name, his mask and his face.
I never thought Michiko would come back
after she died. (“Alone” by Jack Gilbert, Poetry)
I never thought Michiko would come back after she did. But why not? People die and people come back. They’re called ghosts. They are called Michiko. To come back one must be dead, but who said so? Maybe Michiko said so, that’s why she died and came back as a ghost. Or maybe it was not a ghost just someone who comes back. After death, maybe it’s all a coming back to something. To a something called Michiko. I like the sound of the name and therefore it’s ghostly, beyond life, which is rhythm, which is language.
Einstein ring helps weigh a black hole (Earthsky.org)
Einstein ring helps weigh a black what? A black hole. A black hole in the wall. A black ring? What is an Einstein ring? Don’t’ ask me because I don’t know. I only know that it’s black and it’s a whole cause that’s what the saying says, that’s what the Earthsky says. What I say when I say what I write. This sounds like Einstein on the Beach, and it might be. But what beach, what Einstein, what sky? Why? Why sky? Why Einstein, which Einstein?
Live from the Gutter (song title, from What a Time to Be Alive, Drake and Future
Live from my Gutter. Live from what Gutter? Is Gutter a place, a geography? Or is it a state of being? Can it be a state of being, a Gutter. Can it be the name of a person or a cat? Gutter. It has a name ring to it. It has a song written into it. It has something to ring a song into it’s Gutter. Into it, it’s something and it’s alive. It’s alive to what is gutter. To what is guttering. To what is a song and what is Gutter. Guttersnipe. What is a guttersnipe? I really don’t know. Is it a song? An unknown song, and is Gutter the root word of a gutter word? I don’t know. It’s a song. Let it be in the gutter, without capitalizing a gutter, a Gutter. It’s alive, it’s live and black and it’s a hole. It’s a sky and it’s a Gutter. Help.
Readers who are contemplating writing your own poems may work with just the prompts or choose to use one or more passages of fevered writing to inspire your poems. Best Reader poem we receive in October will win a $25 prize.
In October, Ramón Garcia will collaborate with Terry Wolverton on new dis•articulations poems.
Ramón García is author of The Chronicles (Red Hen Press, 2015), Other Countries (What Books Press, 2010) and Ricardo Valverde (University of Minnesota Press, 2013), He has published poetry in a variety of journals and anthologies including Best American Poetry 1996, Ambit, The Floating Borderlands: Twenty-Five Years of US-Hispanic Literature, Crab Orchard Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, Los Angeles Review, and Mandorla: New Writing from the Americas. A founding member of the Glass Table Collective, an artist collective formed in 2008, he is a professor at California State University, Northridge and lives in Los Angeles.