For information on the semi-procedures in back of these compositions, please see “About.”

[11001 – 11101]

After the exceptionally wayward
courtship of Fernando & Teresa
marred the commune’s continuity
like a lithe bubble with hazy complacency,
its once conversant nightingales forsook
elated frolic for studious prescription
& underwent credulous trespass.
Now eagles loft to discordant guitar
& mania stamps their blurred yet alluring
halo with perplexing footstep. The
feathered reel & the membrane revels
slap, lending unfavorable awkwardness
to reciprocal despondency—asatirical
impostor seasoned with hoary taint.

Composed: 5-19-09
Published: Folly Magazine. Katie Croke, ed. (August 2009). Web.

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On Added Words

Please see “About” for notes on semi-procedural composition.

It has been remarked by readers that I sometimes add words other than prepositions, articles, pronouns, or conjunctions to my compositions, and this is true. I sometimes “cheat” and toss a few common words into the salad. I want to comment on these additions in general.

I think of language as an impersonal record of its history of personal usages. We come to words already occupied, as I think Volosinov said. They are collective entities not our own, and we somehow make them our own as we try to make them say what we mean. And of course no word ever exists in isolation but comes confounded with other words by association, grammar, cliché, habit, and mishearing. We personalize our words by our use of all of these, but especially by the intonations with which our voice impels them. So I would like to connect the added words to the idea of voice and intonation, but not necessarily in the sense that these additions make any of the words “my own” or subject to my intention; they are added, or add themselves, in the interest of conversational tone–which is the sort of tone I often want to hear in these poems.

There are examples in the last poem I posted here, [21701 – 21800]. Setting aside the addition or modification of verbs (is, will) as a technical subject to be addressed later, you might be able to hear how the adjective “old” of “old coot” and the imperative “never” in “never inflate” add conversational tone. Here there is some voice talking: since no one would think of saying coot unless he meant an old coot, all very clichéd and everyday. So here the everyday is made to invade and otherwise occupy the relatively more rare register of words otherwise present. The addition of “never” as an imperative makes explicit the dialogical presence of interlocutors.

In short, I will add words whenever I mean give a conversational flow to, or merely want to hear a conversation tone in, a poem or section of a poem but can’t see another way to do it.

See “About” for details of my semi-procedures for composition

[21701 – 21800]
Unbind a monkey’s sophistication—
& the outflow is moonrise. Leverage
heartstrings, & vitreous farrier will
astound even Shiva. Sheared gears
sag, but the old coot remains
a fatalist. All-night weaning, Anglo-
Norman acceding, soporific blackamoor
disagreeing, taffeta whirligig adverting
the semi-fireproof exegesis
of eclogues that rankle a sweaty
purgation beside some di-symphonic
merry-go-round of obesity. Never
inflate what GNP portends, even when
melodic mosquitoes sprawl seaward.

Composed: 4-22-11
Published: 2-10-14 Blognostics

Dear Readers,

What I do to write these poems is to take the words from frequency lists found at: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionary:Frequency_lists

The lists I like are split into 100-word groupings. The only words I add, if they are not in the selected grouping, are prepositions, articles, and pronouns. I also add grammar, punctuation, & line breaks. The bracketed numbers tell you the frequency rankings of the words in that set. Here’s another example:

[11001 – 11101]

After the exceptionally wayward
courtship of Fernando & Teresa
marred the commune’s continuity
like a lithe bubble with hazy complacency,
its once conversant nightingales forsook
elated frolic for studious prescription
& underwent credulous trespass.
Now eagles loft to discordant guitar
& mania stamps their blurred yet alluring
halo with perplexing footstep. The
feathered reel & the membrane revels
slap, lending unfavorable awkwardness
to reciprocal despondency—asatirical
impostor seasoned with hoary taint.

Composed: 5-19-09
Published: Folly Magazine. Katie Croke, ed. (August 2009). Web.