Monday, March 7, 2011

Frankensteined Sentences

I spent a big chunk of today reworking my "13 sentences" manuscript: 64 poems each comprised of 13 sentences, many of those sentences collaged from art magazines and also my own notebooks. Often the sentences are Frankensteined together from various texts, one sentence created from three or four sources.  Then the individual sentences are grouped together and chat awkwardly, like guests at a party.  What I hope is that sometimes, like a party, the mood and flow and vibe come together, and all at once something memorable happens. One section of the manuscript is poems made of sentences that I wrote while watching (often very bad) movies.  I might call this part "The Netflix Notebooks."  Here's one. Most of these sentences were written while watching the movie Away From Her, starring Julie Christie. Like most of the 13 sentence poems, sentences from elsewhere in the manuscript intrude and make themselves known:

The Shadow Horses Will Gallop Away

All the homely and usual tasks, like washing up after dinner, these are things we want to do with a companion.

We could ski across the frozen lake, and lie on our backs in the snow as the moon is rising.

I do not wish to be lonesome and alone, but I go out by myself into this varied blue evening.

Would we miss the horses as they gallop away?

The icy stream approves of the bridge.

To have a bad memory is a tender and lucky thing.

Old hurts fade, a bruise will yellow away from the dark.

In the madhouse it’s always winter, winter light always and tarnished silver afternoons.

Remember a night they were twined in yours: my fingers little monks cloistered in your hands?

Home becomes voices in a cabin in the woods.

Insecurities continued, but we left them on the otherwise deserted top floor.

Now, as much as ever, it’s important to ask yourself, “what is forgiveness?”

Our exhibition also suggested the importance of starlings.

I lost the sense of what yellow means, but found it again in a flower.


  1. Fabulous poem; I can't wait to see the whole shebang in manuscript form! ove the last line: I lost the sense of what yellow means, but found it again in a flower.

  2. very nice. i wish you luck!
    so do some of the sentences show up in multiple poems? I'm interested in knowing that.

  3. Hey Sarah, thanks for reading. yes, throughout the manuscript sentences repeat, sometimes with small variations.