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Cultivating Poetry and Poetic Criticism

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Prompt! [Jun. 7th, 2005|03:35 pm]
Cultivating Poetry and Poetic Criticism


Impromptu prompting!

Quick! Post a published poem, and write a poem, that has to do with speed. Bonus marks if something about the syntax and form of the piece also illustrates this theme.

Quickly now! And respond to this post, please!

[User Picture]From: mr_quackenbush
2005-06-07 07:49 pm (UTC)

Things to do on Speed by Ted Berrigan

mind clicks into gear
& fingers clatter over the keyboard
as intricate insights stream
out of your head;
this goes on for ten hours:
then, take a break: clean
all desk drawers, arrange all
pens & pencils in precise parallel patterns;
stack all books with exactitude in one pile
to coincide perfectly with the right angle
of the desk's corner.
Whistle thru ten more hours of arcane insights:
drink a quart of ice-cold pepsi:
clean the ice-box:
pass out for ten solid hours
interesting dreams.


Finish papers, wax floors, lose weight, write songs, sing songs, have
conference, sculpt, wake up & think more clearly. Clear up asthma.
treat your obesity, avoid mild depression, decongest, cure your
treat your hyper-kinetic brain-damaged children. Open the Pandora's Box
of amphetamine abuse.


Stretch the emotional sine curve; follow euphoric peaks with descents
into troughs
that are unbearable wells of despair & depression. Become a ravaged
scarecrow. Cock your emaciated body in
twisted postures
scratch your torn & pock-marked skin,
keep talking, endlessly.


Jump off a roof on the lower East Side
Write a 453 page unintelligible book


Dismantle 12 radios
string beads interminably
empty your purse
sit curled in a chair
& draw intricate designs
in the corner of an envelope


"I felt it rush almost instantly into
my head like a short circuit. My body
began to pulsate, & grew tiny antennae
all quivering in anticipation. I began
to receive telepathic communication from
the people around me. I felt elated."


get pissed off.
Feel your tongue begin to shred,
lips to crack, the inside of the mouth
become eaten out. Itch all over. See
your fingernails flake off, hair & teeth
fall out.
Buy a Rolls Royce
Become chief of the Mafia
Consider anti-matter.


Notice that tiny bugs are crawling all over your whole body
around, between and over your many new pimples.
Cut away pieces of bad flesh.
Discuss mother's promiscuity
Sense the presence of danger at the movies
get tough
turn queer


In the Winter, switch to heroin, so you won't catch pneumonia.
In the Spring, go back to speed.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: blue_lightning
2005-06-07 07:51 pm (UTC)

Re: Things to do on Speed by Ted Berrigan

Jump off a roof on the lower East Side
Write a 453 page unintelligible book

I do believe that just made my day.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mr_quackenbush
2005-06-07 07:56 pm (UTC)

Re: Things to do on Speed by Ted Berrigan

I love this poem. it's one of my all time favorites.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: elenuial
2005-06-08 04:28 am (UTC)

Re: Things to do on Speed by Ted Berrigan

My Junior year English prof. showed this to me when I told him about my insomnia, and I feel in love. I can't believe I forgot about it, so thanks for reminding me.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: elenuial
2005-06-08 04:28 am (UTC)

Re: Things to do on Speed by Ted Berrigan

Fell in love, even.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mr_quackenbush
2005-06-07 07:51 pm (UTC)
like pigs do

the thing you miss most mostly
is the misty marking of time snot
the snot caked grime and dust pulled
back through the nostrils
prognosticating like nostradamus
that that that that
you'll be up for days, fucker
you'll be up for days....
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: elenuial
2005-06-08 04:12 am (UTC)
Somebody had to do it.

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
    Old time is still a-flying :
And this same flower that smiles to-day
    To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
    The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
    And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
    When youth and blood are warmer ;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
    Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
    And while ye may go marry :
For having lost but once your prime
    You may for ever tarry.

-- Robert Herrick
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: blue_lightning
2005-06-08 04:24 am (UTC)
Ha! I was debating that one myself. :) Thanks!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: elenuial
2005-06-08 04:29 am (UTC)
Heh. Grab the obvious one before someone else does, that's the ticket. ~_^

There's always Marvell, of course. :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: elenuial
2005-06-08 04:25 am (UTC)
Business Model for Human-Powered Aeroplanes

At 747 we were together, and
at 743 we broke apart
listed in one database
a special hiring designed ergonomically with a mind for
windward action, leveraging a distribution
of weight, of settled mass
shifted through another downcycle
leaving the debris for the stockholders and the gravediggers and the best friends.
At 745 we never want to see each other again
and wish each other a solemn sleep-well.
(Reply) (Thread)