February 19, 2009

Live Poetry: Melted

Last month, I decided to try out a collaborative poem project using Twitter and Flickr. The process was simple:
  • Send out a request on Twitter for participants.
  • Create a Google Document.
  • Find an image from Flickr (Make sure to pick one from the Creative Commons)
  • Wait.
  • Wait some more.
  • Start to write.
  • Leave your poem as a comment on the original page.
Well, we were at it again. This time we decided to use an Etherpad:

Cut and paste this link to view the photo, and then work together to create a poem inspired by the image. This is live and we can see each other create. Don't be afraid to type over the work of others. Click "unnamed" on the right, to add your name and choose a color. Open the chat to chat with the group. Here is what it looked like:

We had about eight people show up. I don't think the final product is what is important, but more so the process. It is interesting to see how attached we become to our own language. The connections through words, ideas, and imagery is what makes this idea powerful.

While it may feel a bit forced at times, the idea that a group of people from around the world are working in real time to try and give expression to a shared reality is fascinating. After all isn't this connection, this expression the purpose of art, language, are common humanity.

Maybe I am reading too much into this. Anyway come join us next time:


They sent me here
I asked for pain
They gave me blue
Nothing but blue

The ceiling is moving
Another evaporated horizon
no moon, no sun
There's a rhyme somewhere
maybe irony
Would it be a sin to laugh out loud?
I'm thinking of jumping
above and beneath the glass
What is life?

her soft voice singing
songs about postcards
would she even read it?

Or would it be pinned by a butterfly magnet
to her popsicle-stained fridge?
their tiny fingers
long gone

This place is ice, no warmth, no red,
Blue. Nothing but blue
Frigid blue - frozen loins push forth no new life here.

I stretch out my tongue
Seeking wind
Something to cut, or freeze
To feel
Like the rip of the tongue from the metal flag pole
torn flesh so tender
and the rest gone

The bottle empty. Fire going out.
Does it matter?
Nothing can taste warm here.
Tongue is useless.

but begs to speak, to sing, to be heard
to connect.
frozen flesh forcing meaning
where none should be.

Scream at the sky, lunatic!
Drown your puny voice in this everlasting lake.

But then I feel
I yearn
to drink?
to pee?
ruled by the body
my eyes deceive

her eyes deceive
more failed tissue
how do you expect to experience
with nothing more than
blood, muscle, and bone.
eyes, tongues, useless
out here, in there.
you are everyone, everywhere.
I am in you let me out.

the bottle lies
it always does
I'll drown in a sentence
in a lake of Curacao
in the land of Vodka, czars,and Lenin's ghost
his dreams lost too
in this blur

Baikal is not big enough to encompass these lies.
What lies beneath? Lies.
They sent me here.

1 comment:

  1. So beautiful!
    I tried to get involved but it was already filled. Next time?