Sunday, March 21, 2010

More mash ups

Mashing up someone else's words is similar to the editing process you might go through on a piece of writing of your own. You take the parts you like, and you experiment with moving them around in different places. In my case, this fact was made all the more clear when I heard a mash-up my friend Jay did of three of my poems. I thought the result was much closer to the mark in terms of my own poem, and gave me some ideas of revisions I could do. You can see the mash-up Jay made here. I'm going to post the revision I made later, but first I'd like to point out that it is this type of shared creative process that I thrive on, and I think having other people around to help and inspire you is about as good as it gets. Anyhow, here's the draft that Jay used for his mash-up. It's a riddle, and I'm pretty sure I did a lousy job, because in this draft I don't really think there are enough clues to guess what I'm getting at. Can you guess? Here it is:

I am the worm.
My life occurs in cycles, from birth
as egg to blind hermaphrodite to death,
I'd eat my own tail if knew which end
of me was my head.

I am the star of a recent
film, Discover Earth, in which
I am shown chewing through
an apple. A worm
shaped halo of rot
trails after me, a seam, a worm
shaped tracer of a worm
reveals where I've been.

If you want to know
where I am going, it's easy.
Cut the film, place the frames back
to back, a stack laid on
its side, a tube, a worm shaped apple
I'm crawling through.

The film becomes the apple,
the apple becomes the worm.
Dissect it, within one cut
you can see what my annelid eyes cannot,
the fixed picture, stuck in a slice of film,
the poor solitary segment thinks he's me.

Which is almost true. I feel what he feels,
but I'm all allegory and he is almost real.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mash up

I will preface this by saying that the choice to use these words was not entirely mine. Every word in the following poem is taken from one of three poems by a friend of mine. I didn't use every word from her three poems, but I did pick ones I like and organize them in my own way. This raises some interesting questions about originality, although none of these questions is new. How original do the following words sound to you?

Photo Factory: Mules Wanted

This friday, everyone you know
will feel comfortable. Worst part:
They almost believe it's possible.

The mime has an imaginary life,
robs airports at night. His heart holds
winter one month, another one moon,
he still hasn't kept his saddles smooth.

Lizard skin begins to steam.

A terrible black creature trumpets
bible seeds all over your bearskin,
lights a cigarette. Protect your headdress
please. Death comes to a rabbit.

Slipping in underground scorpion pools
kills the most baby. Break down your
molecules to a great big silken loose
lazy firetruck, or everything is darkness,

I'm feeling butter this afternoon, mamma bear.

The voice of the Sea wounds you
because prowling dreams come with it.
Nervous laughter at the bedside, like
breath stolen from a wood spirit.

Oh supernatural snake eater, serve me.

Part of the mind is faithful,
but the blood keeps lingering ghosts.
All's up with that, sure,
I'm down if not for don't.

A double brain, descended from seeds
can learn Iriqoui and Cantonese,
remind you to gut the whalemeat.

This is the most confusing scene in the act:
Two brothers disrobe.
We find out that one of them
is in fact Robert de Niro.

Turnip, turnip, turnip, turnip,
turnip, turnip, turnip.

Screen your pie before going to Brazil.
Daughter knows teepee life is difficult,
but it's harder in the garden, like
a hummingbird in heat.
Turkish souls don't sleep.