A Few New: Snippets and a Collage Poem

I’ve had a box of phrases and words cut out from discarded books for a while and I’d been thinking about the idea of doing some snippets…this week I spent a couple of days working on a group of them.

I’ve written a lot about snippets in the past so I won’t rehash things. If you are interested just search under the term Snippets her on the blog and you’ll find lots of material. Otherwise, I think if you read along you will soon get the idea.

I’ll show you the scanned pages of what I did in these sessions (later I will digitally cut the scans apart so that each snippet image is solo, for later posting). And then I’ll give you the typed out versions of a few of my favorites. If you wonder about the numbers, I give each snippet a number because I keep a list of them.

Also – at the end of the session, there are some tantalizing phrases or words that didn’t get used. Sometimes I make a speed collage poem with them – just put the words together quick as they fall and see what develops. it can be surprising.

I did such a thing in this session as well, and I have included it for you to see.

Here are snippet images:

346.
husbands and wives had married
to be together and
Now, surprised at occupying prolonged silence,
argue in the manufacture of something to say
4/7/21

347.
It had
the sallow sparkle
of a vague headache
4/7/21

349.
And she stared at me,
a remnant of a recognition
fallen out of the past
4/7/21

351.
I wonder if that was
one of the rose bushes
dressing up as a potato.
4/7/21

352.
a single bird
owned by
nobody
4/7/21

353.
pinch the ceiling
hard
said the voice in the upstairs apartment
4/7/21

354.
should the kitchen become hotter,
I’m sure I’ll be
visible in the smoke
4/7/21

356.
as it turned out
They became
another sort of unhappy
4/7/21

358.
the house said,
you’re in luck.
I have windows
4/7/21

And here is the collage poem.

the eye to see

the eye
to see in darkness
the thread in the glass
The idea frequently told
compared
the other way a lottery
the portrait in a room that pleased
you hear your name
wait for me
remember so clearly passing
the pinch of hope
the orchestra heard
The tearing sound of the old to drop away
the pattern
no longer alone
Yes. The only thing
the hand that held the thread

collage poem
4/6/21

Snippets 214, 215, 216

Does anyone remember snippets?

Sure you do. Three-line collage poetry on ATC-sized cards. I started doing these about 4-5 years ago. Read this post from 2014 about the beginning of the snippet revolution in my life – I think you will be amused by what I said back then and how the snippet situation developed since.

But – I haven’t done any snippet-writing (composing? maneuvering?) since 2017. (Here’s the last post including them that I can find.)

Oh dear.

I was cleaning out my collage poetry work box and found these three. Don’t know when I did them. I felt a little sad. And I got the itch to try to do some more of them.

Now, snippet composition is slow and deliberate. I need to cut out lots of phrases and words and then I need to sit down. Slow down. And take my finger and push the little papers around until I get something that gels. It’s like a Little Vine, but slower-growing.

I want to return to this location, Snippet World, and do some more. Yes.

Anyway, here are the three strays. Read them and I hope you enjoy them. They have been waiting a long time to speak.

214.
my finger,
thin and scrawny
I have pointed it

215.
People under the influence
clinging to the truth
of that chalky pink vague story

216.
Tell nobody.
I would Tell nobody.
I can’t wait to tell somebody

Poetry Marathon Wrap-Up: 2017

Fifty-two sessions of the Installment Plan Poetry Marathon have come and gone in 2017. I thought I’d investigate some statistics, just from my own curiosity, as I think about what I want to do in 2018.

I figure I spent about 5 hours in each session, roughly – 260 hours total. This number doesn’t include any time I spent making notes or thinking poetry thoughts on other days, nor any of the time it takes to make up a print book manuscript. Just the writing, on Marathon days.

In this time, I wrote a lot of poems. How many? It’s hard to say. You see, I keep a listing of each poem I write (I started doing it so that I didn’t duplicate titles and well, because I just like lists). It has become essential for me to keep records, though, if I want to keep track of my poetry books, what’s in each one, and where to find a poem.

Anyway, according to the listings of the four books I did in 2017 (three published: Refuge, Repairs, and Redirection, with #4, still unnamed, to come out in early 2018) I have 525 entries.

But that is not the whole story. I maintained these lists by date, it being important to me that the books portray the order in which I wrote the poems. In April, I started doing the Little Vines; each week saw about 15-20 of these tiny poems emerge. On my listing, I mention them as a group – Little Vines 33-54, let’s say. As of the end of 2017, I’m up to 530 in the overall list.

Subtract the group entries, 35 or so, and add back the total number of Little Vines, and I end up with about 1000 poems done this year.

Well, my goodness. I have to sit back and take that number in. It seems incredible, absurd almost, that I have written that many poems. I had no idea (honest, I mean it) until I added things up that this much work had been done in those weekly sessions.

As I think about it, I see that I have never stepped back to think over the whole experience: instead I have focused week by week. Each session I concentrate only on what is before me. I am immersed in the weather that very day, the drive to the library, the season, what the students around me are doing, what shoes I am wearing, what I ate for breakfast. I am not connecting today’s work with all the other days – I’m just here to write, here in the present. I make a conscious effort to leave the flow of everyday life behind and just – write.

 

 

The first thing I thought after coming up with these figures was: There are so many. Too many? Are any of these poems any good?

And the next two things I thought: How would I know? and Does it matter?

For question number one, I did not keep a poem that I was not happy about, that didn’t feel “right”. So, I’ll say that to me, they are all good poems. I said what I wanted to say the best way I could at the time. Although of course I think I hit the mark a lot closer in some poems than in others: Some I’m really proud of – others are less satisfying, and all the rest are in the middle. I don’t think that quantity automatically means low quality.

For question number two, I have no idea at all if my work is any good and I’ll tell you that right up front. I don’t even know what “good” is beyond satisfying myself. I hope people will like reading them, and if they do, maybe that is “good”, in that larger sense. I don’t have any illusions that I’m any kind of standout fish in the ocean of literature, certainly. That’s fine, too.

For question number three, it doesn’t matter if any of them are any “good”. I like writing poems. I enjoy the whole poetry-writing experience and I love doing the Marathon day each week. I do feel very grateful there is a blog world in which to share the poems and I appreciate every reader and every comment – I am so encouraged when it seems someone understands what I am saying. Poetry-writing is an exploration of belonging, I think – a way to make sense of this world and my place in it.

Having said all of this I do think quantity means something, and that is – practice. I like to exercise, and practice is what it is all about. In running you have to put in the miles. In pickleball you have to play the games. To participate in the body combat class, you have to repeat the moves. In swimming you have to go up and down the pool. Practice.

 

So, the sheer number of poems written and hours put in do add up to something that is good. I practiced writing poetry. I do think the repetition has helped me gain skill. I feel more confident and fluid in my writing, and that is from – writing.

*******

What is the point of this discussion? I had planned to use this analysis as a way to decide on how to continue poetry-writing in the next year. But I see that I don’t really need to make plans. I am on a good path now. If changes need to be made as I go on, it will be made clear to me, I feel. Until then, I think I’ll just keep working.


I do think 2018 deserves its own Marathon name. I’ve been trying to come up with something. Pretend we’re traveling along in the middle of next year and you open a post – could you face

The Great Big Poetry Pie Slice #23?
Paid as You Go Poetry #44?
All Over the Place Poetry #35?
Spewed Out Syllables Session #28?
Long-Drawn-Out Poetry Marathon Milepost #41? (I’m kind of liking this last one…hmmm. Tongue in cheek, yet very descriptive of the concept of – putting one foot in front of another, one word added to another…)


Thank you to everyone who follows me and who reads my work. I can’t express how good it makes me feel to have companions on my journey.

Snippets With Nothing in Common and Yet They Ended Up Together

You know, I make snippets on ATC sized cards. Sometimes I grab what I’ve got lying around and then other times I’ve painted cards especially for the purpose of being a snippet background.

Lots of times I group snippets and other small poems by their themes. This time I’m going to do it by card appearance. Let’s see if the snippet serendipity team can pull a theme together, or can you?

These snippets are from June, 2017.

Snippets Placed on Top of a Grid

You know, I make snippets on ATC sized cards. Sometimes I grab what I’ve got lying around and then other times I’ve painted cards especially for the purpose of being a snippet background.

Lots of times I group snippets and other small poems by their themes. This time I’m going to do it by card appearance. Let’s see if the snippet serendipity team can pull a theme together, or can you?

These snippets are from June, 2017.

Snippets on a Plain Paint Card Background

You know, I make snippets on ATC sized cards. Sometimes I grab what I’ve got lying around and then other times I’ve painted cards especially for the purpose of being a snippet background.

Lots of times I group snippets and other small poems by their themes. This time I’m going to do it by card appearance. Let’s see if the snippet serendipity team can pull a theme together, or can you?

These snippets are from June, 2017.

Snippets with a Line Down the Side

You know, I make snippets on ATC sized cards. Sometimes I grab what I’ve got lying around and then other times I’ve painted cards especially for the purpose of being a snippet background.

Lots of times I group snippets and other small poems by their themes. This time I’m going to do it by card appearance. Let’s see if the snippet serendipity team can pull a theme together, or can you?

These snippets are from June, 2017.

Snippets in Squares

You know, I make snippets on ATC sized cards. Sometimes I grab what I’ve got lying around and then other times I’ve painted cards especially for the purpose of being a snippet background.

Lots of times I group snippets and other small poems by their themes. This time I’m going to do it by card appearance. Let’s see if the snippet serendipity team can pull a theme together, or can you?

These snippets are from June, 2017.

Snippets on Coverall Backgrounds

You know, I make snippets on ATC sized cards. Sometimes I grab what I’ve got lying around and then other times I’ve painted cards especially for the purpose of being a snippet background.

Lots of times I group snippets and other small poems by their themes. This time I’m going to do it by card appearance. Let’s see if the snippet serendipity team can pull a theme together, or can you?

These snippets are from June, 2017.

Snippets on Yellow Library Cards

You know, I make snippets on ATC sized cards. Sometimes I grab what I’ve got lying around and then other times I’ve painted cards especially for the purpose of being a snippet background.

Lots of times I group snippets and other small poems by their themes. This time I’m going to do it by card appearance. Let’s see if the snippet serendipity team can pull a theme together, or can you?

These snippets are from June, 2017.