Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Collage Poetry

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
67,800 / 85,000

Okay, progress on the novel seems to be crawling at the moment. I think it's at the stage where I don't want to let go and I don't have to if I don't keep going with the story. It's time to get a kick start and I've found in my previous manuscript - tackling a scene from another character's point of view opened up a whole new sub-plot and revealed why she acted so strange. From my main character Chloe's POV, she could only observe and see what Genevieve chose to reveal, but once I got into Genevieve's head, it all made send. Talk about skeletons in the closet! And it wasn't just the skeleton hiding in there!

Although there hasn't been much progress on the novel, my creativity has still been getting a workout...

Jennifer from my writer's group, introduced us to Collage Poetry. You cut words and phrases from magazines and then assemble the words to make a poem. We undertake this as an inebriated activity during our annual pilgrimage to the Byron Bay Writers' Festival.

Recently I've been cutting up a lot of Cosmopolitans and Cleo magazines from the nineties. And the articles never seem to change: How to dump a guy, how to tell if he's the one, how to tell if he's cheating, how to get over a broken heart, and the mandatory sex and the single girl articles. Loads of chick lit type scenarios and phrases.

I cut out the phrase '365 days of men' and was immediately inspired to create a book of chick lit collage poetry. I have excavated the collage poetry I've assembled over the last few years - although I can't find the LOVE-RAT poem - the poem composed during a session with an ad hoc writing group at work. The Love Rat has gone missing - as they often do!

I had fun sorting my pronouns, articles and conjunctions from the rest of the words at work. My podmate asked me if I was composing ransom notes or blackmail letters. NO! Collage poetry is more interesting and involves more lateral thinking than your average ransom note. The words are already there, waiting to be discovered, waiting for new associations and assemblages.

I rarely write conventional poetry. I had a moment a couple of years ago when a poem composed itself within 15 minutes from one image - 'hangnail moon'. I was still half asleep when I wrote it and I truly believe that the poem was channelled and I was merely the scribe. It hasn't happened since. Even when I did a poetry workshop, I had to force the images.

I sent that poem, called Prayer, to poetry.com. Ever since then, according to my inbox, I am a lauded international poet, invited to attend their poetry convetions (at a price), submit to upcoming publications (at a price) and collect awards which will only cost X number of dollars.

Next time they send me an email, perhaps I should tell them I have never written a poem since. But I can't be bothered. Instead I'm going to keep assembling the collage poetry and self-publish. It will cheaper than buying one of their volumes, and it will be all mine!


Nikki said...

I did collaging once to get inspired and it really helped -- hadn't done the poetry before though. Sounds fun!

Morris said...

This novel of yours sounds like something I would love to read!

Mr. Morris
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