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Try This: 5 Step Cut Up

Sometimes, many times, I don't know what I'm feeling until I write it out. 

Sometimes I stand back from myself, while in myself, wondering who is this person, writing these words, and why? 

Sometimes my head is so full and fuzzed, I can't find my own words. And so I gather others. I go to books — art books, science books, manuals and guides — and jot down words and phrases.

Some feel poetic: dotted with mist.

Others are fact-full: Later measurements show that these surface currents flow with an average velocity of three knots.

Sometimes I pluck single words:  moss   tidal   index

I cut these lines into strips, spread them out, and make sense again. I go outside myself to get back in, where the real poem is forming.

Yes, it is both forced and fluid. It is an exercise and it is art, the kind that stirs hand and heart —  the best kind of workout. 


The myth of currents


Before these rolling hills and furrowed fields

there was moss and bark, soggy leaves and mist

dotted with riddle. 


How is it I dissolved in place? 

Struggling to understand the dark wet days

I etched patterns across the terrain of veins.


Tidal rhythms vary but nothing drowns like despair. 

I explored the pull of sun and moon, the myth of currents

how the flow swirls, restores, carries away, the hours circling.


Now, there is no drenching rain or rusting salt, no

saturated gloom, no cursing gray sky. 


In this index of renewal, every body has its own

movement. What I’m saying is when the moon

was full and the night wide, I left the ocean


to save myself. 


— Drew Myron


Reader Comments (2)

For the first time in a long time, I've taken to writing words and phrases, book titles, and quotes in a notebook. What I write in the notebook then become clues, not to mention memory aids.

I like your poem a lot, Drew. What if you ended it at the word ocean?

May 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

Hi Maureen.
Thanks for the suggestion; I hadn't thought of that!

I'm really enjoying the cut-up as writing tool. Usually the phrases and lines get so mixed and mingled that they are nothing like the original, but the juxtaposition makes it fresh — I like that!

May 15, 2018 | Registered CommenterDrew

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