nuhome‎ > ‎poetics‎ > ‎

How I Wrote

How I Wrote Some of These Writings

I was not born a poet.  I have no talent.  Yet by the time I was eighteen, I wanted to be one.  In order to compensate for my lack of talent, I had to make up ways of writing poetry, methods, procedures -- a pretext.  My difficulty, I found, was due to a terrible case of self-consciousness, so that every word in a poem had to be weighed so many times that hardly any words ever got written.  It was very constipating.   
The first procedure I adopted was used to write the Revolving Poems.  Either intuitively or through textual appropriation I would write disconnected lines, usually not more than four or five.  I would break each line in the middle (a caesura) and then "revolve" (combine ) the first half of every line with the second half of the other  lines.  In this way an original four-line stanza, for example, would generate three more four-line stanzas, exhausting the possibilities of the lines.  Also the original stanza often would be used to generate an additional, final "free" stanza, in which the first half-lines would revolve among themselves and the second half-lines would revolve among themselves.